1The time came when David was about to die. So David talked to Solomon and told him, 2“I am about to die, like all men must. But you are growing stronger and becoming a man. 3Now, carefully obey all the commands of the Lord your God. Carefully obey all his laws and commands and decisions and agreements. Obey everything that is written in the Law of Moses. If you do this, then you will be successful in everything you do and every place you go. 4And if you obey the Lord, then the Lord will keep his promise about me. The Lord said, 'If your sons carefully live the way I tell them, sincerely, with all their heart, then the king of Israel will always be a man from your family.’” 5David also said, “You remember what Joab son of Zeruiah did to me. He killed two of the commanders of Israel’s army. He killed Abner son of Ner and Amasa son of Jether. Remember, he killed them during a time of peace! The blood from these men splashed on the sword belt and army boots he was wearing. I should have punished him. 6But you are the king now. So you should punish him in the way you think is the most wise. ˻But you must be sure that he is killed.˼ Don’t let him die peacefully of old age! 7“Be kind to the children of Barzillai of Gilead. Let them be your friends and eat at your table. They helped me when I ran away from your brother Absalom. 8“And remember, Shimei son of Gera, is still around here. He is from the family group of Benjamin in Bahurim. Remember that he said very bad things against me on the day that I ran away to Mahanaim. Then he came down to meet me at the Jordan River. I made a promise to him. I promised before the Lord that I would not kill Shimei. 9Now, don’t leave him unpunished. You are a wise man. You will know what you must do to him. But don’t let him die peacefully of old age.” 10Then David died. He was buried in the City of David. 11David ruled Israel 40 years. He ruled seven years in Hebron and 33 years in Jerusalem. 12Now Solomon was king. He sat on the throne of his father David and was in complete control of his kingdom. 13Then Adonijah son of Haggith went to Bathsheba, Solomon’s mother. Bathsheba asked him, “Do you come in peace?” Adonijah answered, “Yes. This is a peaceful visit. 14I have something to say to you.” Bathsheba said, “Then speak.” 15Adonijah said, “You remember that at one time the kingdom was mine. All the people of Israel thought I was their king. But things changed. Now my brother is the king. The Lord chose him to be king. 16So now I have one thing to ask you. Please do not refuse me.” Bathsheba answered, “What do you want?” 17Adonijah said, “I know that King Solomon will do anything you ask him. So please ask him to let me marry Abishag, the woman from Shunem.” 18Then Bathsheba said, “Fine. I will speak to the king for you.” 19So Bathsheba went to King Solomon to talk with him. King Solomon saw her and he stood to meet her. Then he bowed down to her and sat on the throne. He told some servants to bring another throne for his mother. Then she sat down at his right side. 20Bathsheba said to him, “I have one small thing to ask you. Please do not refuse me.” The king answered, “You can ask anything you want, mother. I will not refuse you.” 21So Bathsheba said, “Let your brother Adonijah marry Abishag, the woman from Shunem.” 22King Solomon answered his mother, “Why are you asking me to give Abishag to Adonijah? Why don’t you just ask me to let him be king too! After all, he is my older brother. Abiathar the priest and Joab will support him!” 23Then Solomon made a promise with the Lord. He said, “I swear ˻(promise)˼ that I will make Adonijah pay for this. And it will cost him his life! 24The Lord made me the king of Israel. He has given me the throne that belonged to my father David. The Lord kept his promise and gave the kingdom to me and my family. Now, as sure as the Lord is alive, I swear ˻(promise)˼ that Adonijah will die today!” 25King Solomon gave the command to Benaiah. And Benaiah went out and killed Adonijah. 26Then King Solomon said to Abiathar the priest, “I should kill you, but I will let you go back to your home in Anathoth. I will not kill you now because you helped to carry the Holy Box of the Lord while marching with my father David. And I know that you shared in the hard times, just like my father.” 27Solomon told Abiathar that he could not continue to serve as a priest of the Lord. This happened the way the Lord said it would. God said this about Eli the priest and his family at Shiloh. ˻And Abiathar was from Eli’s family.˼ 28Joab heard about this and became afraid. He had supported Adonijah, but not Absalom. Joab ran to the tent of the Lord and held the horns of the altar. 29Someone told King Solomon that Joab was at the altar in the Lord’s Tent. So Solomon ordered Benaiah to go and kill him. 30Benaiah went into the Lord’s Tent and said to Joab, “The king says, 'Come out!’” But Joab answered, “No, I will die here.” So Benaiah went back to the king and told him what Joab had said. 31Then the king commanded Benaiah, “Do as he says! Kill him there. Then bury him. Then my family and I will be free of the guilt of Joab. This guilt was caused because Joab killed innocent people. 32Joab killed two men who were much better than himself. They were Abner son of Ner and Amasa son of Jether. Abner was the commander of Israel’s army and Amasa was the commander of Judah’s army. My father David did not know at that time that Joab had killed them. So the Lord will punish Joab for those men he killed. 33He will be guilty for their deaths. And his family will also be guilty forever. But God will bring peace for David, his descendants, his family of kings, and his kingdom forever.” 34So Benaiah son of Jehoiada killed Joab. Joab was buried near his home in the desert. 35Solomon then made Benaiah, son of Jehoiada, commander of the army in Joab’s place. Solomon also made Zadok the new high priest in Abiathar’s place. 36Next, the king sent to get Shimei. The king said to him, “Build a house for yourself here in Jerusalem. Live in that house and don’t leave the city. 37If you leave the city and go any further than Kidron Brook, then you will be killed. And it will be your own fault.” 38So Shimei answered, “That is fine, my king. I will obey you.” So Shimei lived in Jerusalem for a long time. 39But three years later, two of Shimei’s slaves ran away. They went to Achish son of Maacah, the king of Gath. Shimei heard that his slaves were in Gath. 40So Shimei put his saddle on his donkey and went to King Achish at Gath. He went to find his slaves. He found them there and brought them back home. 41But someone told Solomon that Shimei had gone from Jerusalem to Gath and returned. 42So Solomon sent for him. Solomon said, “I used the Lord’s name and swore ˻(promised)˼ that you would die if you left Jerusalem. I warned you that if you went anywhere, your death would be your own fault. And you agreed to what I said. You said that you would obey me. 43Why did you break your promise? Why did you not obey my command? 44You know the many wrong things you did against my father David. Now the Lord will punish you for those wrong things. 45But the Lord will bless me. He will make David’s kingdom safe forever.” 46Then the king ordered Benaiah to kill Shimei, and he did. Now Solomon had full control of his kingdom.
1 Kings 2