1 Now the days of David drew near that he should die; and he commanded Solomon his son, saying, 2 "I am going the way of all the earth. You be strong therefore, and show yourself a man; 3 and keep the instruction of Yahweh your God, to walk in his ways, to keep his statutes, his commandments, his ordinances, and his testimonies, according to that which is written in the law of Moses, that you may prosper in all that you do, and wherever you turn yourself. 4 That Yahweh may establish his word which he spoke concerning me, saying, 'If your children take heed to their way, to walk before me in truth with all their heart and with all their soul, there shall not fail you,' he said, 'a man on the throne of Israel.' 5 "Moreover you know also what Joab the son of Zeruiah did to me, even what he did to the two captains of the armies of Israel, to Abner the son of Ner, and to Amasa the son of Jether, whom he killed, and shed the blood of war in peace, and put the blood of war on his sash that was about his waist, and in his shoes that were on his feet. 6 Do therefore according to your wisdom, and don't let his gray head go down to Sheol in peace. 7 But show kindness to the sons of Barzillai the Gileadite, and let them be of those who eat at your table; for so they came to me when I fled from Absalom your brother. 8 "Behold, there is with you Shimei the son of Gera, the Benjamite, of Bahurim, who cursed me with a grievous curse in the day when I went to Mahanaim; but he came down to meet me at the Jordan, and I swore to him by Yahweh, saying, 'I will not put you to death with the sword.' 9 Now therefore don't hold him guiltless, for you are a wise man; and you will know what you ought to do to him, and you shall bring his gray head down to Sheol with blood." 10 David slept with his fathers, and was buried in the city of David. 11 The days that David reigned over Israel were forty years; seven years reigned he in Hebron, and thirty-three years reigned he in Jerusalem. 12 Solomon sat on the throne of David his father; and his kingdom was firmly established. 13 Then Adonijah the son of Haggith came to Bathsheba the mother of Solomon. She said, "Do you come peaceably?" He said, "Peaceably. 14 He said moreover, I have something to tell you." She said, "Say on." 15 He said, "You know that the kingdom was mine, and that all Israel set their faces on me, that I should reign. However the kingdom is turned around, and has become my brother's; for it was his from Yahweh. 16 Now I ask one petition of you. Don't deny me." She said to him, "Say on." 17 He said, "Please speak to Solomon the king (for he will not tell you 'no'), that he give me Abishag the Shunammite as wife." 18 Bathsheba said, "Alright. I will speak for you to the king." 19 Bathsheba therefore went to king Solomon, to speak to him for Adonijah. The king rose up to meet her, and bowed himself to her, and sat down on his throne, and caused a throne to be set for the king's mother; and she sat on his right hand. 20 Then she said, "I ask one small petition of you; don't deny me." The king said to her, "Ask on, my mother; for I will not deny you." 21 She said, "Let Abishag the Shunammite be given to Adonijah your brother as wife." 22 King Solomon answered his mother, "Why do you ask Abishag the Shunammite for Adonijah? Ask for him the kingdom also; for he is my elder brother; even for him, and for Abiathar the priest, and for Joab the son of Zeruiah." 23 Then king Solomon swore by Yahweh, saying, "God do so to me, and more also, if Adonijah has not spoken this word against his own life. 24 Now therefore as Yahweh 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, surely Adonijah shall be put to death this day." 25 King Solomon sent by Benaiah the son of Jehoiada; and he fell on him, so that he died. 26 To Abiathar the priest the king said, "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 Yahweh before David my father, and because you were afflicted in all in which my father was afflicted." 27 So Solomon thrust out Abiathar from being priest to Yahweh, that he might fulfill the word of Yahweh, which he spoke concerning the house of Eli in Shiloh. 28 The news came to Joab; for Joab had turned after Adonijah, though he didn't turn after Absalom. Joab fled to the Tent of Yahweh, and caught hold on the horns of the altar. 29 It was told king Solomon, "Joab has fled to the Tent of Yahweh, and behold, he is by the altar." Then Solomon sent Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, saying, "Go, fall on him." 30 Benaiah came to the Tent of Yahweh, and said to him, "Thus says the king, 'Come forth!'" He said, "No; but I will die here." Benaiah brought the king word again, saying, "Thus said Joab, and thus he answered me." 31 The king said to him, "Do as he has said, and fall on him, and bury him; that you may take away the blood, which Joab shed without cause, from me and from my father's house. 32 Yahweh will return his blood on his own head, because he fell on two men more righteous and better than he, and killed them with the sword, and my father David didn't know it: Abner the son of Ner, captain of the army of Israel, and Amasa the son of Jether, captain of the army of Judah. 33 So shall their blood return on the head of Joab, and on the head of his seed forever. But to David, and to his seed, and to his house, and to his throne, there shall be peace forever from Yahweh." 34 Then Benaiah the son of Jehoiada went up, and fell on him, and killed him; and he was buried in his own house in the wilderness. 35 The king put Benaiah the son of Jehoiada in his place over the army; and Zadok the priest did the king put in the place of Abiathar. 36 The king sent and called for Shimei, and said to him, "Build yourself a house in Jerusalem, and dwell there, and don't go out from there anywhere. 37 For on the day you go out, and pass over the brook Kidron, know for certain that you shall surely die: your blood shall be on your own head." 38 Shimei said to the king, "The saying is good. As my lord the king has said, so will your servant do." Shimei lived in Jerusalem many days. 39 It happened at the end of three years, that two of the servants of Shimei ran away to Achish, son of Maacah, king of Gath. They told Shimei, saying, "Behold, your servants are in Gath." 40 Shimei arose, and saddled his donkey, and went to Gath to Achish, to seek his servants; and Shimei went, and brought his servants from Gath. 41 It was told Solomon that Shimei had gone from Jerusalem to Gath, and was come again. 42 The king sent and called for Shimei, and said to him, "Didn't I adjure you by Yahweh, and warn you, saying, 'Know for certain, that on the day you go out, and walk abroad any where, you shall surely die?' You said to me, 'The saying that I have heard is good.' 43 Why then have you not kept the oath of Yahweh, and the commandment that I have instructed you with?" 44 The king said moreover to Shimei, "You know all the wickedness which your heart is privy to, that you did to David my father. Therefore Yahweh shall return your wickedness on your own head. 45 But king Solomon shall be blessed, and the throne of David shall be established before Yahweh forever." 46 So the king commanded Benaiah the son of Jehoiada; and he went out, and fell on him, so that he died. The kingdom was established in the hand of Solomon.
David leaves his dying charge with Solomon, relative to his own personal conduct, 1-Kings 2:1-4; to Joab, 1-Kings 2:5, 1-Kings 2:6; to Barzillai, 1-Kings 2:7; to Shimei, 1-Kings 2:8, 1-Kings 2:9. He dies, and Solomon is established in the kingdom, 1-Kings 2:10-12. Adonijah requests to have Abishag to wife, and is put to death by Solomon, 1-Kings 2:13-25. Abiathar the priest is banished to his estate at Anathoth, 1-Kings 2:26, 1-Kings 2:27. Joab, fearing for his life, flees to the horns of the altar, and is slain there by Benaiah, 1-Kings 2:28-34. Benaiah is made captain of the host in his stead, 1-Kings 2:35. Shimei is ordered to confine himself to Jerusalem, and never leave it on pain of death, 1-Kings 2:36-38. After three years he follows some of his runaway servants to Gath, and thereby forfeits his life, 1-Kings 2:39, 1-Kings 2:40. Solomon sends for him, upbraids him, and commands him to be slain by Benaiah, 1-Kings 2:41-46.
INTRODUCTION TO 1 KINGS 2
This chapter gives an account of the charge David gave to his son Solomon, a little before his death, to walk in the ways of the Lord, 1-Kings 2:1; and of some instructions delivered to him concerning some particular persons he should either show favour to, or execute justice on, 1-Kings 2:5; and the next account in it is concerning his death and burial, and the years of his reign, 1-Kings 2:10; after which it relates an address of Bathsheba to Solomon in favour of Adonijah, which was refused, and the issue of it was his death, 1-Kings 2:12; and the deposition of Abiathar from the priesthood, 1-Kings 2:26; and the putting of Joab to death for his treason and murders, 1-Kings 2:28; in whose post Benaiah was put, as Zadok was in the place of Abiathar, 1-Kings 2:35; and lastly the confinement of Shimei in Jerusalem, who had cursed David, 1-Kings 2:36; who upon transgressing the orders given him was put to death, 1-Kings 2:39.
*More commentary available by clicking individual verses.