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1 Kings - Chapter 2

1 As David's life drew to its close he laid this charge on his son Solomon,

2 'I am going the way of all the earth. Be strong and show yourself a man.

3 Observe the injunctions of Yahweh your God, following his ways and keeping his laws, his commandments, his ordinances and his decrees, as stands written in the Law of Moses, so that you may be successful in everything you do and undertake,

4 and that Yahweh may fulfil the promise which he made me, "If your sons are careful how they behave, and walk loyally before me with all their heart and soul, you will never want for a man on the throne of Israel."

5 'You know too what Joab son of Zeruiah did to me, and what he did to the two commanders of the army of Israel, Abner son of Ner and Amasa son of Jether; how he murdered them, shedding the blood of war in time of peace and staining the belt round my waist and the sandals on my feet with the blood of war.

6 You will be wise not to let his grey head go down to Sheol in peace.

7 As regards the sons of Barzillai of Gilead, treat them with faithful love, let them be among those who eat at your table, for they were as kind to me when I was fleeing from your brother Absalom.

8 You also have with you Shimei son of Gera, the Benjaminite from Bahurim. He called down a terrible curse on me the day I left for Mahanaim, but he came down to meet me at the Jordan and I swore to him by Yahweh that I would not put him to death.

9 But you, you must not let him go unpunished; you are a wise man and will know how to deal with him, to bring his grey head down to Sheol in blood.'

10 So David fell asleep with his ancestors and was buried in the City of David.

11 David was king of Israel for a period of forty years: he reigned at Hebron for seven years, and in Jerusalem for thirty-three.

12 Solomon then sat on the throne of David, and his sovereignty was securely established.

13 Adonijah son of Haggith went to Bathsheba mother of Solomon. 'Do you bring peace?' she asked. He replied, 'Yes, peace.'

14 Then he said, 'I have something to say to you.' 'Say on,' she replied.

15 'You know', he said, 'that the kingdom should have come to me, and that all Israel expected me to be king; but the crown eluded me and fell to my brother, since it came to him from Yahweh.

16 Now I have one request to make you; do not refuse me.' 'Go on,' she said.

17 He went on, 'Please ask King Solomon -- for he will not refuse you -- to give me Abishag of Shunem in marriage.'

18 'Very well,' Bathsheba replied, 'I shall speak to the king about you.'

19 So Bathsheba went to King Solomon to speak to him about Adonijah; the king got up to meet her and bowed before her; he then sat down on his throne; a seat was brought for the king's mother, and she sat down on his right.

20 She said, 'I have one small request to make you; do not refuse me.' 'Mother,' the king replied, 'make your request, for I shall not refuse you.'

21 'Let Abishag of Shunem', she said, 'be given in marriage to your brother Adonijah.'

22 King Solomon replied to his mother, 'And why do you request Abishag of Shunem for Adonijah? You might as well request the kingdom for him, since he is my elder brother and Abiathar the priest and Joab son of Zeruiah are on his side.'

23 And King Solomon swore by Yahweh: 'May God bring unnameable ills on me, and worse ills, too,' he said, 'if Adonijah does not pay for these words of his with his life!

24 As Yahweh lives who has set me securely on the throne of my father David, and who, as he promised, has given him a dynasty, Adonijah shall be put to death this very day.'

25 And King Solomon commissioned Benaiah son of Jehoiada to strike him down, and that was how he died.

26 As for Abiathar the priest, the king said to him, 'Go to Anathoth to your estate. You deserve to die, but I am not going to put you to death now, since you carried the ark of Yahweh in the presence of my father David and shared all my father's hardships.'

27 Solomon deprived Abiathar of the priesthood of Yahweh, thus fulfilling the prophecy which Yahweh had uttered against the House of Eli at Shiloh.

28 When the news reached Joab -- for Joab had lent his support to Adonijah, though he had not supported Absalom -- he fled to the Tent of Yahweh and clung to the horns of the altar.

29 King Solomon was told, 'Joab has fled to the Tent of Yahweh; he is there beside the altar.' On this, Solomon sent word to Joab, 'What reason did you have for fleeing to the altar?' Joab replied, 'I was afraid of you and fled to Yahweh.' Solomon then sent Benaiah son of Jehoiada. 'Go', he said, 'and strike him down.'

30 Accordingly Benaiah went to the Tent of Yahweh. 'By order of the king,' he said, 'come out!' 'No,' he said, 'I will die here.' So Benaiah brought word back to the king, 'This is what Joab said, and the answer he gave me.'

31 'Do as he says,' the king replied. 'Strike him down and bury him, and so rid me and my family today of the innocent blood which Joab has shed.

32 Yahweh will bring his blood down on his own head, because he struck down two more upright and better men than he, and, without my father David's knowledge, put to the sword Abner son of Ner, commander of the army of Israel, and Amasa son of Jether, commander of the army of Judah.

33 May their blood come down on the head of Joab and his descendants for ever, but may David, his descendants, his dynasty, his throne, have peace for ever from Yahweh.'

34 Whereupon Benaiah son of Jehoiada went out, struck Joab down and put him to death; he was buried at his home in the desert.

35 In his place as head of the army the king appointed Benaiah son of Jehoiada and, in place of Abiathar, the priest Zadok.

36 The king had Shimei summoned to him. 'Build yourself a house in Jerusalem,' he told him. 'You are to live there; do not leave it to go anywhere at all.

37 The day you go out and cross the ravine of the Kidron, be sure you will certainly die. Your blood will be on your own head.'

38 'That is a fair demand,' Shimei replied to the king, 'your servant will do as my lord the king orders.' And for a long time Shimei lived in Jerusalem.

39 But when three years had gone by, it happened that two of Shimei's slaves ran away to Achish son of Maacah, king of Gath; Shimei was told, 'Your slaves are in Gath.'

40 On this, Shimei got up and saddled his donkey and went to Akish at Gath to find his slaves. He went off and brought his slaves back from Gath.

41 Solomon was informed that Shimei had left Jerusalem for Gath and come back again.

42 The king had Shimei summoned to him. 'Did I not make you swear by Yahweh,' he said, 'and did I not warn you, "The day you leave to go anywhere at all, be sure you will certainly die"? To which you replied, "That is a fair demand."

43 Why did you not keep the oath to Yahweh and the order which I imposed on you?'

44 The king then said to Shimei, 'You know well all the evil you did to my father David. Yahweh is about to bring your wickedness down on your own head.

45 But may King Solomon be blessed, and may the throne of David be kept secure before Yahweh for ever!'

46 The king gave orders to Benaiah son of Jehoiada; he went out and struck Shimei down; and that was how he died. And now the kingdom was securely in Solomon's hands.

Book of 1 Kings Chapters

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