1 Kings 2New Life Version (NLV)
David’s Last Words to Solomon
2 When David’s time to die was near, he told his son Solomon, 2 “I am going the way of all the earth. So be strong. Show yourself to be a man. 3 Do what the Lord your God tells you. Walk in His ways. Keep all His Laws and His Word, by what is written in the Law of Moses. Then you will do well in all that you do and in every place you go. 4 Then the Lord will keep His promise to me. He has said to me, ‘Your sons must be careful of their way, to walk before Me in truth with all their heart and soul. If they do, you will never be without a man on the throne of Israel.’ 5 Now you know what Zeruiah’s son Joab did to me. You know what he did to the two captains of the armies of Israel. He killed Abner the son of Ner, and Amasa the son of Jether in the time of peace as if it were in the time of war. He put the blood of war on his belt and on the shoes of his feet. 6 So act with wisdom. Do not let his gray hair go down to the grave in peace. 7 But show kindness to the sons of Barzillai the Gileadite. Let them be among those who eat at your table. For they helped me when I ran from your brother Absalom. 8 See, there is with you Shimei the son of Gera the Benjamite, of Bahurim. It was he who spoke bad words against me on the day I went to Mahanaim. But when he came down to me at the Jordan, I promised him by the Lord, saying, ‘I will not put you to death with the sword.’ 9 So do not let him go without being punished. For you are a wise man. You will know what you should do to him. Bring his gray hair down to the grave with blood.”
The Death of David
10 Then David died and was buried in the city of David. 11 He had ruled over Israel forty years. Seven years he ruled in Hebron. And thirty-three years he ruled in Jerusalem. 12 Solomon sat on the throne of his father David and things went well for the nation.
Solomon Had Adonijah Killed
13 Now Adonijah the son of Haggith came to Solomon’s mother Bathsheba. She said, “Do you come in peace?” And he said, “Yes, in peace.” 14 Then he said, “I have something to say to you.” And she said, “Speak.” 15 So he said, “You know that the nation was mine. All Israel thought I would be king. But the nation has become my brother’s, for it was his from the Lord. 16 Now I have one thing to ask of you. Do not say no to me.” And she said to him, “Speak.” 17 He said, “I beg you, speak to Solomon the king. For he will not say no to you. Ask him to give me Abishag the Shunammite as a wife.” 18 Bathsheba said, “Very well. I will speak to the king for you.”
19 So Bathsheba went to speak to King Solomon for Adonijah. The king stood up to meet her, bowed in front of her, then sat on his throne. He had a seat brought in for the king’s mother, and she sat on his right. 20 She said, “I am asking you for one small thing. Do not say no to me.” And the king said to her, “Ask, my mother. I will not say no to you.” 21 So she said, “Let Abishag the Shunammite be given to your brother Adonijah as his wife.” 22 King Solomon answered his mother, “Why are you asking me to give Abishag the Shunammite to Adonijah? Ask me to give him the nation also! For he is my older brother. And Abiathar the religious leader and Joab the son of Zeruiah are on his side!” 23 Then King Solomon swore by the Lord, saying, “May God do so to me and more, if Adonijah has not asked for this against his own life. 24 The Lord has given me my place on the throne of my father David. He has made me a house as He promised. And as the Lord lives, for sure Adonijah will be put to death today.” 25 So King Solomon sent Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, and he went to Adonijah and killed him.
Abiathar Sent Away and Joab Is Killed
26 Then the king said to Abiathar the religious leader, “Go to your own fields at Anathoth, for you should be put to death. But I will not have you killed at this time. Because you carried the special box of the Lord God in front of my father David. And you shared in all of my father’s suffering.” 27 So Solomon stopped Abiathar from being religious leader for the Lord any longer. This was done to keep the word of the Lord, which God had spoken about the family of Eli in Shiloh.
28 Now the news came to Joab. For Joab had followed Adonijah, but he had not followed Absalom. And Joab ran to the tent of the Lord and took hold of the horns of the altar. 29 King Solomon was told that Joab had run to the tent of the Lord, and was beside the altar. Then Solomon sent Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, saying, “Go and kill him.” 30 Benaiah came to the tent of the Lord. He said to Joab, “The king says to come out.” But Joab said, “No! I will die here.” So Benaiah returned to the king and said, “This is what Joab said. This is how he answered me.” 31 The king said to him, “Do as he has said. Kill him and bury him. In this way you will take away from me and my father’s house the blood of those killed by Joab without a reason. 32 The Lord will return Joab’s acts of killing upon his own head. Because Joab killed two men who were right and good and better than he. He killed them with the sword while my father David did not know it. He killed 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 their blood will be on the head of Joab and on the head of his children forever. But may there be peace from the Lord forever to David and his children, his house and his throne.” 34 Then Benaiah the son of Jehoiada went up and killed Joab. He was buried at his own house in the desert. 35 The king put Benaiah the son of Jehoiada over the army in Joab’s place. And the king put Zadok the religious leader in the place of Abiathar.
The Death of Shimei
36 Then the king sent for Shimei and said to him, “Build a house for yourself in Jerusalem and live there. Do not leave there. 37 For on the day you go out and cross the river Kidron, you will know for sure that you will die. Your blood will be on your own head.” 38 Shimei said to the king, “What you say is good. Your servant will do as my lord the king has said.” So Shimei lived in Jerusalem many days.
39 But at the end of three years, two of Shimei’s servants ran away to Achish the son of Maacah, king of Gath. Shimei was told, “See, your servants are in Gath.” 40 Then Shimei got up and made his donkey ready to travel. And he went to Achish in Gath to look for his servants. Shimei went and brought his servants from Gath. 41 Solomon was told that Shimei had gone from Jerusalem to Gath and had returned. 42 So the king sent for Shimei and said to him, “Did I not make you promise by the Lord and tell you of danger, saying, ‘You will know for sure that on the day you leave and go anywhere, you will die’? And you said to me, ‘What you have said is good.’ 43 Then why have you not kept the promise of the Lord? Why have you not done what I told you?” 44 And the king said to Shimei, “You know in your heart all the bad things you did to my father David. So the Lord will return your sin upon your own head. 45 But good will come to King Solomon. The throne of David will keep its place before the Lord forever.” 46 So the king told Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, and he went out and killed Shimei. The nation was put under the rule of Solomon.