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1 Kings 2 Modern English Version (MEV)

David’s Charge to Solomon

Now it was coming close to the day of David’s death, and he gave his son Solomon a charge, saying:

“I am going the way of all the earth. Be strong, and show yourself to be a man. And keep the charge of the Lord your God, walking in His ways, keeping His statutes, His commandments, His judgments, and His testimonies, as it is written in the Law of Moses, that you may prosper in all that you do and wherever you turn, that the Lord may carry out His word that He spoke concerning me, saying, ‘If your children take heed to their way, to walk before Me in faithfulness with all their hearts and with all their souls, you shall not fail to have a man on the throne of Israel.’

“Moreover, you know also what Joab the son of Zeruiah did to me, what he did to the two commanders of the army of Israel, to Abner the son of Ner and to Amasa the son of Jether, whom he killed, shedding the blood of war in a time of peace. He spilled their blood on the belt that was around his waist and on the shoes of his feet. Do the right thing according to your wisdom, and do not let his gray head go down to the grave in peace.

“But show kindness to the sons of Barzillai the Gileadite, and let them eat at your table, for with such loyalty they supported me when I fled from your brother Absalom.

“There is also with you Shimei the son of Gera, a Benjamite from Bahurim, who cursed me with a grievous curse in the day when I went to Mahanaim. But when he came down to meet me at the Jordan, I swore to him by the Lord, saying, ‘I will not put you to death with the sword.’ Now therefore do not hold him guiltless, for you are a wise man and know what you ought to do to him. Bring his gray head down to the grave with blood.”

10 So David slept with his fathers and was buried in the City of David.

11 David reigned over Israel forty years. He reigned seven years in Hebron and thirty-three years in Jerusalem. 12 So Solomon sat upon the throne of his father David, and his kingdom was firmly established.

The Throne of Solomon Established

13 Then Adonijah the son of Haggith came to Bathsheba the mother of Solomon. And she said, “Do you come in peace?”

And he said, “I come peaceably.” 14 Then he said, “I have something to say to you.”

And she said, “Speak.”

15 He said, “You know that the kingdom was mine and that all Israel viewed me as the king. However, the kingdom has become my brother’s, for it was given to him by the Lord. 16 And now I ask one petition of you; do not deny me.”

She said to him, “Keep speaking.”

17 And he said, “Please speak to Solomon the king, for he will not refuse you, that he may give me Abishag the Shunammite as a wife.”

18 Bathsheba said, “Very well, I will speak to the king on your behalf.”

19 So Bathsheba went to King Solomon to speak to him on behalf of Adonijah. The king rose up to meet her and bowed to her. Then he sat down on his throne and had a seat placed at his right hand for her to sit upon.

20 Then she said, “I desire one small petition of you. Please do not deny me.”

And the king said to her, “Ask, my mother, for I will not refuse you.”

21 She said, “Let Abishag the Shunammite be given as a wife to Adonijah your brother.”

22 King Solomon answered his mother, “Now why do you ask Abishag the Shunammite for Adonijah? Ask for him the kingdom also, for he is my elder brother. Ask not only for him, but also for Abiathar the priest, and for Joab the son of Zeruiah.”

23 Then King Solomon swore by the Lord, saying, “May God do so to me and more also if this word does not cost Adonijah his life. 24 Now therefore as the Lord lives, who has established me and set me on the throne of David my father and who has made me a house as He promised, Adonijah shall be put to death this day.” 25 So King Solomon dispatched Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, and he executed him.

26 The king said to Abiathar the priest, “Go to Anathoth, to your own fields, for you are worthy of death. But I will not at this time put you to death, because you bore the ark of the Lord God before David my father and because you shared in all the hardships my father endured.” 27 So Solomon expelled Abiathar from being priest to the Lord, thus fulfilling the word of the Lord that He had spoken concerning the house of Eli in Shiloh.

28 Then word came to Joab, for Joab had followed Adonijah, though he did not support Absalom. And Joab fled to the tabernacle of the Lord and caught hold of the horns of the altar. 29 King Solomon was told that Joab had fled to the tabernacle of the Lord and was by the altar. Then Solomon sent Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, saying, “Go and execute him.”

30 So Benaiah came to the tabernacle of the Lord and said to him, “Thus says the king, ‘Come forth.’ ”

And he said, “No, I will die here.”

And Benaiah told the king all Joab said.

31 The king said to him, “Do as he has said, strike him down and bury him, and thus take away from me and my father’s house the guilt for the blood Joab shed without cause. 32 The Lord shall return his blood upon his own head, for he attacked two men more righteous and better than he—Abner the son of Ner, commander of the army of Israel, and Amasa the son of Jether, commander of the army of Judah—and killed them with the sword when my father David was unaware. 33 Therefore their blood shall return upon the head of Joab and upon the head of his seed forever, but upon David and upon his seed and upon his house and upon his throne shall the peace of the Lord rest forever.”

34 So Benaiah the son of Jehoiada went up and attacked and killed him, and he was buried in his own house in the wilderness. 35 The king put Benaiah the son of Jehoiada over the army in place of Joab and put Zadok the priest in the place of Abiathar.

36 The king sent and called for Shimei and said to him, “Build a house for yourself in Jerusalem, and dwell there, and never leave the city. 37 For on the day you go out and pass over the Kidron Valley, know for certain that you will surely die. Your blood shall be on your own head.”

38 Shimei said to the king, “What you say is good. As my lord the king has said, so will your servant do.” And Shimei lived in Jerusalem many days.

39 It came about that at the end of three years, two servants of Shimei ran away to Achish son of Maakah king of Gath. And they told Shimei, saying, “Your servants are in Gath.” 40 Shimei arose, saddled his donkey, and went to Gath to Achish to look for his servants. And Shimei went and brought his servants from Gath.

41 Solomon was told that Shimei had gone from Jerusalem to Gath and had returned. 42 The king sent and called for Shimei and said to him, “Did I not make you swear by the Lord and warned you, saying, ‘Know for certain that on the day you go out and walk abroad anywhere, you shall surely die’? And you said to me, ‘What you say is good; I will obey.’ 43 Why then have you not kept the oath of the Lord and the commandment that I gave you?”

44 The king also said to Shimei, “You know all the wickedness in your heart and what you did to David my father. Therefore the Lord shall return your wickedness on your own head. 45 But King Solomon shall be blessed, and the throne of David shall be established before the Lord forever.”

46 So the king commanded Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, who went out and attacked him so that he died.

And the kingdom was established in the hand of Solomon.

Modern English Version (MEV)

The Holy Bible, Modern English Version. Copyright © 2014 by Military Bible Association. Published and distributed by Charisma House.

1 Kings 2 New International Version (NIV)

David’s Charge to Solomon

When the time drew near for David to die, he gave a charge to Solomon his son.

“I am about to go the way of all the earth,” he said. “So be strong, act like a man, and observe what the Lord your God requires: Walk in obedience to him, and keep his decrees and commands, his laws and regulations, as written in the Law of Moses. Do this so that you may prosper in all you do and wherever you go and that the Lord may keep his promise to me: ‘If your descendants watch how they live, and if they walk faithfully before me with all their heart and soul, you will never fail to have a successor on the throne of Israel.’

“Now you yourself know what Joab son of Zeruiah did to me—what he did to the two commanders of Israel’s armies, Abner son of Ner and Amasa son of Jether. He killed them, shedding their blood in peacetime as if in battle, and with that blood he stained the belt around his waist and the sandals on his feet. Deal with him according to your wisdom, but do not let his gray head go down to the grave in peace.

“But show kindness to the sons of Barzillai of Gilead and let them be among those who eat at your table. They stood by me when I fled from your brother Absalom.

“And remember, you have with you Shimei son of Gera, the Benjamite from Bahurim, who called down bitter curses on me the day I went to Mahanaim. When he came down to meet me at the Jordan, I swore to him by the Lord: ‘I will not put you to death by the sword.’ But now, do not consider him innocent. You are a man of wisdom; you will know what to do to him. Bring his gray head down to the grave in blood.”

10 Then David rested with his ancestors and was buried in the City of David. 11 He had reigned forty years over Israel—seven years in Hebron and thirty-three in Jerusalem. 12 So Solomon sat on the throne of his father David, and his rule was firmly established.

Solomon’s Throne Established

13 Now Adonijah, the son of Haggith, went to Bathsheba, Solomon’s mother. Bathsheba asked him, “Do you come peacefully?”

He answered, “Yes, peacefully.” 14 Then he added, “I have something to say to you.”

“You may say it,” she replied.

15 “As you know,” he said, “the kingdom was mine. All Israel looked to me as their king. But things changed, and the kingdom has gone to my brother; for it has come to him from the Lord. 16 Now I have one request to make of you. Do not refuse me.”

“You may make it,” she said.

17 So he continued, “Please ask King Solomon—he will not refuse you—to give me Abishag the Shunammite as my wife.”

18 “Very well,” Bathsheba replied, “I will speak to the king for you.”

19 When Bathsheba went to King Solomon to speak to him for Adonijah, the king stood up to meet her, bowed down to her and sat down on his throne. He had a throne brought for the king’s mother, and she sat down at his right hand.

20 “I have one small request to make of you,” she said. “Do not refuse me.”

The king replied, “Make it, my mother; I will not refuse you.”

21 So she said, “Let Abishag the Shunammite be given in marriage to your brother Adonijah.”

22 King Solomon answered his mother, “Why do you request Abishag the Shunammite for Adonijah? You might as well request the kingdom for him—after all, he is my older brother—yes, for him and for Abiathar the priest and Joab son of Zeruiah!”

23 Then King Solomon swore by the Lord: “May God deal with me, be it ever so severely, if Adonijah does not pay with his life for this request! 24 And now, as surely as the Lord lives—he who has established me securely on the throne of my father David and has founded a dynasty for me as he promised—Adonijah shall be put to death today!” 25 So King Solomon gave orders to Benaiah son of Jehoiada, and he struck down Adonijah and he died.

26 To Abiathar the priest the king said, “Go back to your fields in Anathoth. You deserve to die, but I will not put you to death now, because you carried the ark of the Sovereign Lord before my father David and shared all my father’s hardships.” 27 So Solomon removed Abiathar from the priesthood of the Lord, fulfilling the word the Lord had spoken at Shiloh about the house of Eli.

28 When the news reached Joab, who had conspired with Adonijah though not with Absalom, he fled to the tent of the Lord and took hold of the horns of the altar. 29 King Solomon was told that Joab had fled to the tent of the Lord and was beside the altar. Then Solomon ordered Benaiah son of Jehoiada, “Go, strike him down!”

30 So Benaiah entered the tent of the Lord and said to Joab, “The king says, ‘Come out!’”

But he answered, “No, I will die here.”

Benaiah reported to the king, “This is how Joab answered me.”

31 Then the king commanded Benaiah, “Do as he says. Strike him down and bury him, and so clear me and my whole family of the guilt of the innocent blood that Joab shed. 32 The Lord will repay him for the blood he shed, because without my father David knowing it he attacked two men and killed them with the sword. Both of them—Abner son of Ner, commander of Israel’s army, and Amasa son of Jether, commander of Judah’s army—were better men and more upright than he. 33 May the guilt of their blood rest on the head of Joab and his descendants forever. But on David and his descendants, his house and his throne, may there be the Lord’s peace forever.”

34 So Benaiah son of Jehoiada went up and struck down Joab and killed him, and he was buried at his home out in the country. 35 The king put Benaiah son of Jehoiada over the army in Joab’s position and replaced Abiathar with Zadok the priest.

36 Then the king sent for Shimei and said to him, “Build yourself a house in Jerusalem and live there, but do not go anywhere else. 37 The day you leave and cross the Kidron Valley, you can be sure you will die; your blood will be on your own head.”

38 Shimei answered the king, “What you say is good. Your servant will do as my lord the king has said.” And Shimei stayed in Jerusalem for a long time.

39 But three years later, two of Shimei’s slaves ran off to Achish son of Maakah, king of Gath, and Shimei was told, “Your slaves are in Gath.” 40 At this, he saddled his donkey and went to Achish at Gath in search of his slaves. So Shimei went away and brought the slaves back from Gath.

41 When Solomon was told that Shimei had gone from Jerusalem to Gath and had returned, 42 the king summoned Shimei and said to him, “Did I not make you swear by the Lord and warn you, ‘On the day you leave to go anywhere else, you can be sure you will die’? At that time you said to me, ‘What you say is good. I will obey.’ 43 Why then did you not keep your oath to the Lord and obey the command I gave you?”

44 The king also said to Shimei, “You know in your heart all the wrong you did to my father David. Now the Lord will repay you for your wrongdoing. 45 But King Solomon will be blessed, and David’s throne will remain secure before the Lord forever.”

46 Then the king gave the order to Benaiah son of Jehoiada, and he went out and struck Shimei down and he died.

The kingdom was now established in Solomon’s hands.

New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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