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1 Kings 2 Good News Translation (GNT)

David's Last Instructions to Solomon

When David was about to die, he called his son Solomon and gave him his last instructions: “My time to die has come. Be confident and determined, and do what the Lord your God orders you to do. Obey all his laws and commands, as written in the Law of Moses, so that wherever you go you may prosper in everything you do. If you obey him, the Lord will keep the promise he made when he told me that my descendants would rule Israel as long as they were careful to obey his commands faithfully with all their heart and soul.

“There is something else. You remember what Joab did to me by killing the two commanders of Israel's armies, Abner son of Ner and Amasa son of Jether. You remember how he murdered them in time of peace as revenge for deaths they had caused in time of war. He killed innocent men,[a] and now I bear the responsibility for what he did, and I suffer[b] the consequences. You know what to do; you must not let him die a natural death.

“But show kindness to the sons of Barzillai from Gilead and take care of them, because they were kind to me when I was fleeing from your brother Absalom.

“There is also Shimei son of Gera, from the town of Bahurim in Benjamin. He cursed me bitterly the day I went to Mahanaim, but when he met me at the Jordan River, I gave him my solemn promise in the name of the Lord that I would not have him killed. But you must not let him go unpunished. You know what to do, and you must see to it that he is put to death.”

The Death of David

10 David died and was buried in David's City. 11 He had been king of Israel for forty years, ruling seven years in Hebron and thirty-three years in Jerusalem. 12 Solomon succeeded his father David as king, and his royal power was firmly established.

The Death of Adonijah

13 Then Adonijah, whose mother was Haggith, went to Bathsheba, who was Solomon's mother. “Is this a friendly visit?” she asked.

“It is,” he answered, 14 and then he added, “I have something to ask of you.”

“What is it?” she asked.

15 He answered, “You know that I should have become king and that everyone in Israel expected it. But it happened differently, and my brother became king because it was the Lord's will. 16 And now I have one request to make; please do not refuse me.”

“What is it?” Bathsheba asked.

17 He answered, “Please ask King Solomon—I know he won't refuse you—to let me have Abishag, the young woman from Shunem, as my wife.”

18 “Very well,” she answered. “I will speak to the king for you.”

19 So Bathsheba went to the king to speak to him on behalf of Adonijah. The king stood up to greet his mother and bowed to her. Then he sat on his throne and had another one brought in on which she sat at his right. 20 She said, “I have a small favor to ask of you; please do not refuse me.”

“What is it, mother?” he asked. “I will not refuse you.”

21 She answered, “Let your brother Adonijah have Abishag as his wife.”

22 “Why do you ask me to give Abishag to him?” the king asked. “You might as well ask me to give him the throne too. After all, he is my older brother, and Abiathar the priest and Joab are on his side!”[c] 23 Then Solomon made a solemn promise in the Lord's name, “May God strike me dead if I don't make Adonijah pay with his life for asking this! 24 The Lord has firmly established me on the throne of my father David; he has kept his promise and given the kingdom to me and my descendants. I swear by the living Lord that Adonijah will die this very day!”

25 So King Solomon gave orders to Benaiah, who went out and killed Adonijah.

Abiathar's Banishment and Joab's Death

26 Then King Solomon said to Abiathar the priest, “Go to your country home in Anathoth. You deserve to die, but I will not have you put to death now, for you were in charge of the Lord's Covenant Box while you were with my father David, and you shared in all his troubles.” 27 Then Solomon dismissed Abiathar from serving as a priest of the Lord, and so made come true what the Lord had said in Shiloh about the priest Eli and his descendants.

28 Joab heard what had happened. (He had supported Adonijah, but not Absalom.) So he fled to the Tent of the Lord's presence and took hold of the corners of the altar.[d] 29 When the news reached King Solomon that Joab had fled to the Tent and was by the altar, Solomon sent a messenger to Joab to ask him why he had fled to the altar. Joab answered that he had fled to the Lord because he was afraid of Solomon. So King Solomon sent Benaiah[e] to kill Joab. 30 He went to the Tent of the Lord's presence and said to Joab, “The king orders you to come out.”

“No,” Joab answered. “I will die here.”

Benaiah went back to the king and told him what Joab had said.

31 “Do what Joab says,” Solomon answered. “Kill him and bury him. Then neither I nor any other of David's descendants will any longer be held responsible for what Joab did when he killed innocent men. 32 The Lord will punish Joab for those murders, which he committed[f] without my father David's knowledge. Joab killed two innocent men who were better men than he: Abner, commander of the army of Israel, and Amasa, commander of the army of Judah. 33 The punishment for their murders will fall on Joab and on his descendants forever. But the Lord will always give success to David's descendants who sit on his throne.”

34 So Benaiah went to the Tent of the Lord's presence and killed Joab, and he was buried at his home in the open country. 35 The king made Benaiah commander of the army in Joab's place and put Zadok the priest in Abiathar's place.

The Death of Shimei

36 Then the king sent for Shimei and said to him, “Build a house for yourself here in Jerusalem. Live in it and don't leave the city. 37 If you ever leave and go beyond Kidron Brook, you will certainly die—and you yourself will be to blame.”

38 “Very well, Your Majesty,” Shimei answered. “I will do what you say.” So he lived in Jerusalem a long time.

39 Three years later, however, two of Shimei's slaves ran away to the king of Gath, Achish son of Maacah. When Shimei heard that they were in Gath, 40 he saddled his donkey and went to King Achish in Gath, to find his slaves. He found them and brought them back home. 41 When Solomon heard what Shimei had done, 42 he sent for him and said, “I made you promise in the Lord's name not to leave Jerusalem. And I warned you that if you ever did, you would certainly die. Did you not agree to it and say that you would obey me? 43 Why, then, have you broken your promise and disobeyed my command? 44 You know very well all the wrong that you did to my father David. The Lord will punish you for it. 45 But he will bless me, and he will make David's kingdom secure forever.”

46 Then the king gave orders to Benaiah, who went out and killed Shimei. Solomon was now in complete control.

Footnotes:

  1. 1 Kings 2:5 Some ancient translations innocent men; Hebrew men in battle.
  2. 1 Kings 2:5 Some ancient translations I bear … and I suffer; Hebrew he bears … and he suffers.
  3. 1 Kings 2:22 Some ancient translations and Abiathar the priest … on his side; Hebrew unclear.
  4. 1 Kings 2:28 See 1.50.
  5. 1 Kings 2:29 One ancient translation Solomon sent a messenger … sent Benaiah; Hebrew Solomon sent Benaiah.
  6. 1 Kings 2:32 will punish … committed; or will kill Joab, because he committed those murders.
Good News Translation (GNT)

Copyright © 1992 by American Bible Society

1 Kings 2 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

David’s Instruction to Solomon

When David’s time to die drew near, he charged his son Solomon, saying: “I am about to go the way of all the earth. Be strong, be courageous, and keep the charge of the Lord your God, walking in his ways and keeping his statutes, his commandments, his ordinances, and his testimonies, as it is written in the law of Moses, so that you may prosper in all that you do and wherever you turn. Then the Lord will establish his word that he spoke concerning me: ‘If your heirs take heed to their way, to walk before me in faithfulness with all their heart and with all their soul, there shall not fail you a successor on the throne of Israel.’

“Moreover you know also what Joab son of Zeruiah did to me, how he dealt with the two commanders of the armies of Israel, Abner son of Ner, and Amasa son of Jether, whom he murdered, retaliating in time of peace for blood that had been shed in war, and putting the blood of war on the belt around his waist, and on the sandals on his feet. Act therefore according to your wisdom, but do not let his gray head go down to Sheol in peace. Deal loyally, however, with the sons of Barzillai the Gileadite, and let them be among those who eat at your table; for with such loyalty they met me when I fled from your brother Absalom. There is also with you Shimei son of Gera, the Benjaminite from Bahurim, who cursed me with a terrible curse on 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, ‘I will not put you to death with the sword.’ Therefore do not hold him guiltless, for you are a wise man; you will know what you ought to do to him, and you must bring his gray head down with blood to Sheol.”

Death of David

10 Then David slept with his ancestors, and was buried in the city of David. 11 The time that David reigned over Israel was forty years; he reigned seven years in Hebron, and thirty-three years in Jerusalem. 12 So Solomon sat on the throne of his father David; and his kingdom was firmly established.

Solomon Consolidates His Reign

13 Then Adonijah son of Haggith came to Bathsheba, Solomon’s mother. She asked, “Do you come peaceably?” He said, “Peaceably.” 14 Then he said, “May I have a word with you?” She said, “Go on.” 15 He said, “You know that the kingdom was mine, and that all Israel expected me to reign; however, the kingdom has turned about and become my brother’s, for it was his from the Lord. 16 And now I have one request to make of you; do not refuse me.” She said to him, “Go on.” 17 He said, “Please ask King Solomon—he will not refuse you—to give me Abishag the Shunammite as my 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 to meet her, and bowed down to her; then he sat on his throne, and had a throne brought for the king’s mother, and she sat on his right. 20 Then she said, “I have one small request to make of you; do not refuse me.” And the king said to her, “Make your request, my mother; for I will not refuse you.” 21 She said, “Let Abishag the Shunammite be given to your brother Adonijah as his wife.” 22 King Solomon answered his mother, “And why do you ask Abishag the Shunammite for Adonijah? Ask for him the kingdom as well! For he is my elder brother; ask not only for him but also for the priest Abiathar and for Joab son of Zeruiah!” 23 Then King Solomon swore by the Lord, “So may God do to me, and more also, for Adonijah has devised this scheme at the risk of his life! 24 Now therefore as the Lord lives, who has established me and placed me on the throne of my father David, and who has made me a house as he promised, today Adonijah shall be put to death.” 25 So King Solomon sent Benaiah son of Jehoiada; he struck him down, and he died.

26 The king said to the priest Abiathar, “Go to Anathoth, to your estate; for you deserve death. But I will not at this time put you to death, because you carried the ark of the Lord God before my father David, and because you shared in all the hardships my father endured.” 27 So Solomon banished 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 When the news came to Joab—for Joab had supported Adonijah though he had not supported Absalom—Joab fled to the tent of the Lord and grasped the horns of the altar. 29 When it was told King Solomon, “Joab has fled to the tent of the Lord and now is beside the altar,” Solomon sent Benaiah son of Jehoiada, saying, “Go, strike him down.” 30 So Benaiah came to the tent of the Lord and said to him, “The king commands, ‘Come out.’” But he said, “No, I will die here.” Then Benaiah brought the king word again, saying, “Thus said Joab, and thus he answered me.” 31 The king replied to him, “Do as he has said, strike him down and bury him; and thus take away from me and from my father’s house the guilt for the blood that Joab shed without cause. 32 The Lord will bring back his bloody deeds on his own head, because, without the knowledge of my father David, he attacked and killed with the sword two men more righteous and better than himself, Abner son of Ner, commander of the army of Israel, and Amasa son of Jether, commander of the army of Judah. 33 So shall their blood come back on the head of Joab and on the head of his descendants forever; but to David, and to his descendants, and to his house, and to his throne, there shall be peace from the Lord forevermore.” 34 Then Benaiah son of Jehoiada went up and struck him down and killed him; and he was buried at his own house near the wilderness. 35 The king put Benaiah son of Jehoiada over the army in his place, and the king put the priest Zadok in the place of Abiathar.

36 Then the king sent and summoned Shimei, and said to him, “Build yourself a house in Jerusalem, and live there, and do not go out from there to any place whatever. 37 For on the day you go out, and cross the Wadi Kidron, know for certain that you shall die; your blood shall be on your own head.” 38 And Shimei said to the king, “The sentence is fair; as my lord the king has said, so will your servant do.” So Shimei lived in Jerusalem many days.

39 But it happened at the end of three years that two of Shimei’s slaves ran away to King Achish son of Maacah of Gath. When it was told Shimei, “Your slaves are in Gath,” 40 Shimei arose and saddled a donkey, and went to Achish in Gath, to search for his slaves; Shimei went and brought his slaves from Gath. 41 When Solomon was told that Shimei had gone from Jerusalem to Gath and returned, 42 the king sent and summoned Shimei, and said to him, “Did I not make you swear by the Lord, and solemnly adjure you, saying, ‘Know for certain that on the day you go out and go to any place whatever, you shall die’? And you said to me, ‘The sentence is fair; I accept.’ 43 Why then have you not kept your oath to the Lord and the commandment with which I charged you?” 44 The king also said to Shimei, “You know in your own heart all the evil that you did to my father David; so the Lord will bring back your evil on your own head. 45 But King Solomon shall be blessed, and the throne of David shall be established before the Lord forever.” 46 Then the king commanded Benaiah son of Jehoiada; and he went out and struck him down, and he died.

So the kingdom was established in the hand of Solomon.

New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

1 Kings 2 Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)

The time came near for David to die; so he commissioned Shlomo his son as follows: “I am going the way of all the earth. Therefore, be strong; show yourself a man. Observe the charge of Adonai your God to go in his ways and keep his regulations, mitzvot, rulings and instructions in accordance with what is written in the Torah of Moshe; so that you will succeed in all you do and wherever you go. If you do, Adonai will fulfill what he promised me when he said, ‘If your children pay attention to how they live, conducting themselves before me honestly with all their heart and being, you will never lack a man on the throne of Isra’el.’

“Moreover, you are aware of what Yo’av the son of Tz’ruyah did to me, that is, what he did to the two commanders of the armies of Isra’el, Avner the son of Ner and ‘Amasa the son of Yeter — he killed them, shedding the blood of war in peacetime, putting the blood of war on the belt around his waist and the shoes on his feet. Therefore, act according to your wisdom; don’t let his gray head go down to the grave in peace.

“But show kindness to the sons of Barzillai the Gil‘adi. Include them with those who eat at your table, because they came and stood with me when I was fleeing from Avshalom your brother.

“Finally, you have with you Shim‘i the son of Gera the Binyamini, from Bachurim. He laid a terrible curse on me when I was on my way to Machanayim; but he came down to meet me at the Yarden; so I swore to him by Adonai that I would not have him put to death with the sword. Now, however, you should not let him go unpunished. You are a wise man, and you will know what you should do to him — you will bring his gray head down to the grave with blood.”

10 Then David slept with his ancestors and was buried in the City of David. 11 David had ruled Isra’el for forty years — seven years in Hevron and thirty-three years in Yerushalayim.

12 Shlomo sat on the throne of David his father; and his rule had become firmly established, 13 when Adoniyah the son of Haggit came to Bat-Sheva the mother of Shlomo. She asked, “Have you come as a friend?” He answered, “Yes, as a friend.” 14 Then he continued, “I have something to say to you.” She said, “Go on.” 15 He said, “You know that the kingdom should have been mine, that all Isra’el was looking to me to be their ruler. No matter; the kingdom has turned around and become my brother’s, because Adonai gave it to him. 16 But now I ask one favor of you; don’t deny me.” “Go on,” she said. 17 He said, “Please speak to Shlomo the king — for he won’t say ‘No’ to you — and ask him to give me Avishag the Shunamit as my wife.” 18 Bat-Sheva said, “All right, I will speak to the king on your behalf.”

19 So Bat-Sheva went to King Shlomo to speak to him on behalf of Adoniyah. The king rose to meet her and bowed down to her. Then he sat down on his throne and had a throne set up for the king’s mother, so that she sat at his right. 20 She said, “I am asking one small favor of you; don’t deny me.” The king said to her, “Ask, mother; I won’t deny you.” 21 She said, “Let Avishag the Shunamit be given to Adoniyah your brother as his wife.” 22 King Shlomo answered his mother, “Why are you asking Avishag the Shunamit for Adoniyah? Ask the kingdom for him too! After all, he’s my older brother! Yes, for him, and for Evyatar the cohen and for Yo’av the son of Tz’ruyah!” 23 Then King Shlomo swore by Adonai, “May God do terrible things to me and worse if Adoniyah hasn’t condemned himself to death with this request! 24 Now therefore, as Adonai lives, who has established me, put me on the throne of David my father and set up a dynasty for me, as he promised, Adoniyah will certainly be put to death today.” 25 King Shlomo commissioned B’nayah the son of Y’hoyada, and he struck him down, so that he died.

26 To Evyatar the cohen the king said, “You, get yourself to ‘Anatot, to your own fields. You deserve to die; but I won’t put you to death just now; since you did carry the ark of Adonai Elohim before David my father; and you suffered together with my father in everything he suffered.” 27 So Shlomo forced Evyatar out of his task as cohen to Adonai, so that what Adonai had said in Shiloh about the family of ‘Eli might be fulfilled.

28 When the news came to Yo’av, he fled to the tent of Adonai and took hold of the horns of the altar; for Yo’av had given his support to Adoniyah, even though he had not supported Avshalom. 29 King Shlomo was told, “Yo’av has fled to the tent of Adonai; he’s there by the altar.” Shlomo sent B’nayah the son of Y’hoyada with the order, “Go, strike him down.” 30 B’nayah came to the tent of Adonai and said to him, “The king says: leave!” He answered, “No, I’d rather die here.” B’nayah brought the message back to the king, “This is what Yo’av said to me.” 31 The king answered him, “Do what he said — strike him down, and bury him. In this way you will take away from me and my father’s family the blood which Yo’av shed for no reason. 32 Adonai will bring his blood back on his own head, because he struck down two men more righteous and better than he — he killed them with the sword without my father David’s awareness: Avner the son of Ner, commander of the army of Isra’el, and ‘Amasa the son of Yeter, commander of the army of Y’hudah. 33 In this way their blood will return on the head of Yo’av and his descendants forever; but for David, his descendants, his family and his throne there will be peace forever from Adonai.” 34 So B’nayah the son of Y’hoyada went up, struck him down and killed him; he was buried in his own house in the desert. 35 The king put B’nayah the son of Y’hoyada in charge of the army instead of him, and the king replaced Evyatar with Tzadok the cohen.

36 The king summoned Shim‘i and said to him, “Build yourself a house in Yerushalayim, and live there; don’t go outside the city walls. 37 Know for a fact that on the day you go out and cross Vadi Kidron, you will certainly die; your blood will be on your own head.” 38 Shim‘i answered the king, “What you have said is good; as my lord the king has said, so will your servant do.” So Shim‘i lived in Yerushalayim for a long time.

39 But after three years, two of Shim‘i’s slaves ran away and went to Akhish son of Ma‘akhah, king of Gat. They told Shim‘i, “Your slaves are in Gat.” 40 So Shim‘i set out, saddled his donkey and went to Akhish in Gat to look for his slaves; then Shim‘i returned, bringing his slaves from Gat.

41 Shlomo was told that Shim‘i had gone from Yerushalayim to Gat and back. 42 The king summoned Shim‘i and said to him, “Didn’t I have you swear by Adonai and forewarn you by telling you, ‘Know for a fact that on the day you leave and go anywhere outside the city, you will certainly die’? and you answered me, ‘What you’re saying is good; I hear it.’ 43 Why, then, haven’t you kept the oath of Adonai and the mitzvah I charged you with?” 44 Moreover, the king said to Shim‘i, “You know in your own heart all the terrible things you did to David my father; therefore Adonai will bring back your wickedness on your own head. 45 But King Shlomo will be blessed, and the throne of David will be established before Adonai forever.” 46 So the king gave the order to B’nayah the son of Y’hoyada, and he went out and struck him down, so that he died.

Thus the kingdom was established in Shlomo’s hands.

Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)

Copyright © 1998 by David H. Stern. All rights reserved.

1 Kings 2 The Message (MSG)

1-4 When David’s time to die approached, he charged his son Solomon, saying, “I’m about to go the way of all the earth, but you—be strong; show what you’re made of! Do what God tells you. Walk in the paths he shows you: Follow the life-map absolutely, keep an eye out for the signposts, his course for life set out in the revelation to Moses; then you’ll get on well in whatever you do and wherever you go. Then God will confirm what he promised me when he said, ‘If your sons watch their step, staying true to me heart and soul, you’ll always have a successor on Israel’s throne.’

5-6 “And don’t forget what Joab son of Zeruiah did to the two commanders of Israel’s army, to Abner son of Ner and to Amasa son of Jether. He murdered them in cold blood, acting in peacetime as if he were at war, and has been stained with that blood ever since. Do what you think best with him, but by no means let him get off scot-free—make him pay.

“But be generous to the sons of Barzillai the Gileadite—extend every hospitality to them; that’s the way they treated me when I was running for my life from Absalom your brother.

8-9 “You also will have to deal with Shimei son of Gera the Benjaminite from Bahurim, the one who cursed me so viciously when I was on my way to Mahanaim. Later, when he welcomed me back at the Jordan, I promised him under God, ‘I won’t put you to death.’ But neither should you treat him as if nothing ever happened. You’re wise, you know how to handle these things. You’ll know what to do to make him pay before he dies.”

10-12 Then David joined his ancestors. He was buried in the City of David. David ruled Israel for forty years—seven years in Hebron and another thirty-three in Jerusalem. Solomon took over on the throne of his father David; he had a firm grip on the kingdom.

Solomon

13-14 Adonijah son of Haggith came to Bathsheba, Solomon’s mother. She said, “Do you come in peace?”

He said, “In peace.” And then, “May I say something to you?”

“Go ahead,” she said, “speak.”

15-16 “You know that I had the kingdom right in my hands and everyone expected me to be king, and then the whole thing backfired and the kingdom landed in my brother’s lap—God’s doing. So now I have one request to ask of you; please don’t refuse me.”

“Go ahead, ask,” she said.

17 “Ask King Solomon—he won’t turn you down—to give me Abishag the Shunammite as my wife.”

18 “Certainly,” said Bathsheba. “I’ll speak to the king for you.”

19 Bathsheba went to King Solomon to present Adonijah’s request. The king got up and welcomed her, bowing respectfully, and returned to his throne. Then he had a throne put in place for his mother, and she sat at his right hand.

20 She said, “I have a small favor to ask of you. Don’t refuse me.”

The king replied, “Go ahead, Mother; of course I won’t refuse you.”

21 She said, “Give Abishag the Shunammite to your brother Adonijah as his wife.”

22 King Solomon answered his mother, “What kind of favor is this, asking that Abishag the Shunammite be given to Adonijah? Why don’t you just ask me to hand over the whole kingdom to him on a platter since he is my older brother and has Abiathar the priest and Joab son of Zeruiah on his side!”

23-24 Then King Solomon swore under God, “May God do his worst to me if Adonijah doesn’t pay for this with his life! As surely as God lives, the God who has set me firmly on the throne of my father David and has put me in charge of the kingdom just as he promised, Adonijah will die for this—today!”

25 King Solomon dispatched Benaiah son of Jehoiada; he struck Adonijah and he died.

26 The king then told Abiathar the priest, “You’re exiled to your place in Anathoth. You deserve death but I’m not going to kill you—for now anyway—because you were in charge of the Chest of our ruling God in the company of David my father, and because you shared all the hard times with my father.”

27 Solomon stripped Abiathar of his priesthood, fulfilling God’s word at Shiloh regarding the family of Eli.

28-29 When this news reached Joab, this Joab who had conspired with Adonijah (although he had remained loyal in the Absalom affair), he took refuge in the sanctuary of God, seizing the horns of the Altar and holding on for dear life. King Solomon was told that Joab had escaped to the sanctuary of God and was clinging to the Altar; he immediately sent Benaiah son of Jehoiada with orders, “Kill him.”

30 Benaiah went to the sanctuary of God and said, “King’s orders: Come out.”

He said, “No—I’ll die right here.”

Benaiah went back to the king and reported, “This was Joab’s answer.”

31-33 The king said, “Go ahead then, do what he says: Kill him and bury him. Absolve me and my father’s family of the guilt from Joab’s senseless murders. God is avenging those bloody murders on Joab’s head. Two men he murdered, men better by far than he ever was: Behind my father’s back he brutally murdered Abner son of Ner, commander of Israel’s army, and Amasa son of Jether, commander of Judah’s army. Responsibility for their murders is forever fixed on Joab and his descendants; but for David and his descendants, his family and kingdom, the final verdict is God’s peace.”

34-35 So Benaiah son of Jehoiada went back, struck Joab, and killed him. He was buried in his family plot out in the desert. The king appointed Benaiah son of Jehoiada over the army in place of Joab, and replaced Abiathar with Zadok the priest.

36-37 The king next called in Shimei and told him, “Build yourself a house in Jerusalem and live there, but you are not to leave the area. If you so much as cross the Brook Kidron, you’re as good as dead—you will have decreed your own death sentence.”

38 Shimei answered the king, “Oh, thank you! Your servant will do exactly as my master the king says.” Shimei lived in Jerusalem a long time.

39-40 But it so happened that three years later, two of Shimei’s slaves ran away to Achish son of Maacah, king of Gath. Shimei was told, “Your slaves are in Gath.” Shimei sprang into action, saddled his donkey, and went to Achish in Gath looking for his slaves. And then he came back, bringing his slaves.

41 Solomon was told, “Shimei left Jerusalem for Gath, and now he’s back.”

42-43 Solomon then called for Shimei and said, “Didn’t I make you promise me under God, and give you a good warning besides, that you would not leave this area? That if you left you would have decreed your own death sentence? And didn’t you say, ‘Oh, thank you—I’ll do exactly as you say’? So why didn’t you keep your sacred promise and do what I ordered?”

44-45 Then the king told Shimei, “Deep in your heart you know all the evil that you did to my father David; God will now avenge that evil on you. But King Solomon will be blessed and the rule of David will be a sure thing under God forever.”

46 The king then gave orders to Benaiah son of Jehoiada; he went out and struck Shimei dead.

The kingdom was now securely in Solomon’s grasp.

The Message (MSG)

Copyright © 1993, 2002, 2018 by Eugene H. Peterson

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