1 Kings 2:10-3:14 Contemporary English Version (CEV)
10-11 David was king of Israel forty years. He ruled seven years from Hebron and thirty-three years from Jerusalem. Then he died and was buried in Jerusalem.[a] 12 His son Solomon became king and took control of David’s kingdom.
Adonijah Is Killed
13 One day, Adonijah went to see Bathsheba, Solomon’s mother, and she asked, “Is this a friendly visit?”
“Yes. 14 I just want to talk with you.”
“All right,” she told him, “go ahead.”
15 “You know that I was king for a little while,” Adonijah replied. “And everyone in Israel accepted me as their ruler. But the Lord wanted my brother to be king, so now things have changed. 16 Would you do me a favor?”
“What do you want?” Bathsheba asked.
17 “Please ask Solomon to let me marry Abishag. He won’t say no to you.”
18 “All right,” she said. “I’ll ask him.”
19 When Bathsheba went to see Solomon, he stood up to meet her, then bowed low. He sat back down and had another throne brought in, so his mother could sit at his right side.[b] 20 Bathsheba sat down and then asked, “Would you do me a small favor?”
Solomon replied, “Mother, just tell me what you want, and I will do it.”
21 “Allow your brother Adonijah to marry Abishag,” she answered.
22 Solomon said:
What? Let my older brother marry Abishag? You may as well ask me to let him rule the kingdom! And why don’t you ask such favors for Abiathar and Joab?[c]
23 I swear in the name of the Lord that Adonijah will die because he asked for this! If he doesn’t, I pray that God will severely punish me. 24 The Lord made me king in my father’s place and promised that the kings of Israel would come from my family. Yes, I swear by the living Lord that Adonijah will die today.
25 “Benaiah,” Solomon shouted, “go kill Adonijah.” So Adonijah died.
Abiathar Is Sent Back Home
26 Solomon sent for Abiathar the priest and said:
Abiathar, go back home to Anathoth! You ought to be killed too, but I won’t do it now. When my father David was king, you were in charge of the sacred chest, and you went through a lot of hard times with my father. 27 But I won’t let you be a priest of the Lord anymore.
And so the promise that the Lord had made at Shiloh about the family of Eli came true.[d]
Joab Is Killed
28 Joab had not helped Absalom try to become king, but he had helped Adonijah. So when Joab learned that Adonijah had been killed, he ran to the sacred tent and grabbed hold of the corners of the altar for protection.[e] 29 When Solomon heard about this, he sent someone to ask Joab, “Why did you run to the altar?”
Joab sent back his answer, “I was afraid of you, and I ran to the Lord for protection.”[f]
Then Solomon shouted, “Benaiah, go kill Joab!”
30 Benaiah went to the sacred tent and yelled, “Joab, the king orders you to come out!”
“No!” Joab answered. “Kill me right here.”
Benaiah went back and told Solomon what Joab had said.
31-32 Solomon replied:
Do what Joab said. Kill him and bury him! Then my family and I won’t be responsible for what he did to Abner the commander of Israel’s army and to Amasa the commander of Judah’s army. He killed those innocent men without my father knowing about it. Both of them were better men than Joab. Now the Lord will make him pay for those murders. 33 Joab’s family will always suffer because of what he did, but the Lord will always bless David’s family and his kingdom with peace.
34 Benaiah went back and killed Joab. His body was taken away and buried near his home in the desert.
35 Solomon put Benaiah in Joab’s place as army commander, and he put Zadok in Abiathar’s place as priest.
Shimei Is Killed
36 Solomon sent for Shimei and said, “Build a house here in Jerusalem and live in it. But whatever you do, don’t leave the city! 37 If you ever cross Kidron Valley and leave Jerusalem, you will be killed. And it will be your own fault.”
38 “That’s fair, Your Majesty,” Shimei answered. “I’ll do that.” So Shimei lived in Jerusalem from then on.
39 About three years later, two of Shimei’s servants ran off to King Achish in Gath. When Shimei found out where they were, 40 he saddled his donkey and went after them. He found them and brought them back to Jerusalem.
41 Someone told Solomon that Shimei had gone to Gath and was back. 42 Solomon sent for him and said:
Shimei, you promised in the name of the Lord that you would never leave Jerusalem. I warned you that you would die if you did. You agreed that this was fair, didn’t you? 43 You have disobeyed me and have broken the promise you made to the Lord.
44 I know you remember all the cruel things you did to my father David. Now the Lord is going to punish you for what you did. 45 But the Lord will bless me and make my father’s kingdom strong forever.
46 “Benaiah,” Solomon shouted, “kill Shimei.” So Shimei died.
Solomon was now in complete control of his kingdom.
The Lord Makes Solomon Wise
3 Solomon signed a treaty with the king of Egypt and married his daughter. She lived in the older part of Jerusalem[g] until the palace, the Lord’s temple, and the wall around Jerusalem were completed.
2 At that time, there was no temple for worshiping the Lord, and everyone offered sacrifices at the local shrines.[h] 3 Solomon loved the Lord and followed his father David’s instructions, but Solomon also offered sacrifices and burned incense at the shrines.
4 The most important shrine was in Gibeon, and Solomon had offered more than a thousand sacrifices on that altar.
5 One night while Solomon was in Gibeon, the Lord God appeared to him in a dream and said, “Solomon, ask for anything you want, and I will give it to you.”
6 Solomon answered:
My father David, your servant, was honest and did what you commanded. You were always loyal to him, and you gave him a son who is now king. 7 Lord God, I’m your servant, and you’ve made me king in my father’s place. But I’m very young and know so little about being a leader. 8 And now I must rule your chosen people, even though there are too many of them to count.
9 Please make me wise and teach me the difference between right and wrong. Then I will know how to rule your people. If you don’t, there is no way I could rule this great nation of yours.
10-11 God said:
Solomon, I’m pleased that you asked for this. You could have asked to live a long time or to be rich. Or you could have asked for your enemies to be destroyed. Instead, you asked for wisdom to make right decisions. 12 So I’ll make you wiser than anyone who has ever lived or ever will live.
13 I’ll also give you what you didn’t ask for. You’ll be rich and respected as long as you live, and you’ll be greater than any other king. 14 If you obey me and follow my commands, as your father David did, I’ll let you live a long time.
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