1 Kings 1-2
David in Old Age
1 Now King David was [a]old, advanced in years; they covered him with clothes, but he could not get warm. 2 So his servants said to him, “Let a young virgin be found for my lord the king and let her attend him and become his nurse; let her lie against your chest, so that my lord the king may feel warm.” 3 So they searched for a beautiful girl throughout the territory of Israel, and found Abishag the [b]Shunammite, and brought her to the king. 4 The girl was very beautiful; and she became the king’s nurse and served him, but the king [c]was not intimate with her.
5 Then Adonijah the son of [David’s wife] Haggith exalted himself, saying, “I [the eldest living son] will be king.” So [following Absalom’s example] he prepared for himself chariots and horsemen, and fifty men to run before him.(A) 6 His father [David] had [d]never rebuked him at any time by asking, “Why have you done this?” Adonijah was also a very handsome man, and he was born after Absalom. 7 He had conferred with [e]Joab the son of Zeruiah [David’s half sister] and with Abiathar the priest; and they followed Adonijah and helped him. 8 But Zadok the priest, Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, Nathan the prophet, Shimei, Rei, and David’s [f]most formidable warriors did not side with Adonijah [in his desire to become king].
9 Adonijah sacrificed sheep and oxen and fattened steers by the Stone of Zoheleth, which is beside [the well] En-rogel; and he invited all his brothers, the king’s sons, and all the men of Judah, the king’s servants [to this feast].(B) 10 But he did not invite Nathan the prophet, Benaiah, the most formidable warriors, or his brother Solomon.
Nathan and Bathsheba
11 Then Nathan spoke to Bathsheba the mother of Solomon, “Have you not heard that Adonijah the son of Haggith has become king, and David our lord does not know about it? 12 Come now, please let me advise you and save your life and the life of your son Solomon.(C) 13 Go at once to King David and say to him, ‘Did you not, my lord, O king, swear to your maidservant, saying, “Solomon your son shall certainly be king after me, and he shall sit on my throne”? Why then has Adonijah become king?’ 14 Behold, while you are still there speaking with the king, I will come in after you and confirm your words.”
15 So Bathsheba went to the king in his bedroom. Now the king was very old and weak, and Abishag the Shunammite was attending the king. 16 So Bathsheba bowed down and paid respect to the king. And the king said, “[g]What do you wish?” 17 She said to him, “My lord, you swore by the Lord your God to your maidservant, saying, ‘Solomon your son shall certainly be king after me and he shall sit on my throne.’ 18 But now, behold, Adonijah is [acting as] king; and now [as things stand], my lord the king, you do not know it. 19 He has sacrificed oxen and fattened steers and sheep in abundance, and has invited all the king’s sons and Abiathar the priest and Joab the commander of the army [to a feast], but he did not invite your servant Solomon. 20 Now as for you, my lord the king, the eyes of all [h]Israel are on you [waiting for you] to tell them who shall sit on the throne of my lord the king after him. 21 Otherwise it will come about when my lord the king lies down [in death] with his fathers, that I and my son Solomon will be considered [i]political enemies.”
22 While she was still speaking with the king, Nathan the prophet came in. 23 The king was told, “Here is Nathan the prophet.” And when he came before the king, he bowed before the king with his face to the ground. 24 Then Nathan said, “My lord the king, have you said, ‘Adonijah shall be king after me, and he shall sit on my throne’? 25 Because he has gone down today [to En-Rogel] and has sacrificed oxen and fattened steers and sheep in abundance, and has invited all the king’s sons, the commanders of the army and Abiathar the priest [to this feast]; and [right now] they are eating and drinking in his presence; and they say, ‘Long live King Adonijah!’ 26 But he has not invited me, your servant, nor Zadok the priest, nor Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, nor your servant Solomon. 27 If this thing has been done by my lord the king, why have you not shown your servants who shall sit on the throne of my lord the king after him?”
28 King David answered, “Call Bathsheba to me.” And she came into the king’s presence and stood before him. 29 Then the king swore an oath and said, “As the Lord lives, who has redeemed my soul from all distress, 30 even as I swore to you by the Lord, the God of Israel, saying, ‘Solomon your son shall certainly be king after me, and he shall sit on my throne in my place’; I will indeed do so this very day.” 31 Bathsheba bowed down with her face to the ground, and laid herself face down before the king and said, “May my lord King David live forever!”
32 Then King David said, “Call Zadok the priest, Nathan the prophet, and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada to me.” And they came before the king. 33 The king told them, “Take the [j]servants of your lord with you and have Solomon my son [k]ride on my own mule, and bring him down to [the spring at] [l]Gihon [in the Kidron Valley]. 34 Let Zadok the priest and Nathan the prophet anoint him there as king over Israel. Then blow the trumpet and say, ‘Long live King Solomon!’ 35 Then you shall come up [to Jerusalem] after him, and he shall come and sit on my throne and he shall reign as king in my place; for I have appointed him to be ruler over Israel and Judah.” 36 Benaiah [the overseer of the king’s bodyguards], the son of Jehoiada answered the king and said, “Amen! (So be it!) May the Lord, the God of my lord the king, say so too. 37 [m]Just as the Lord has been with my lord the king, so may He be with Solomon, and make his throne greater than the throne of my lord King David!”
Solomon Anointed King
38 So Zadok the priest, Nathan the prophet, Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, the Cherethites, and the Pelethites [the king’s bodyguards] went down [from Jerusalem] and had Solomon ride on King David’s mule, and brought him to [the spring at] Gihon. 39 Zadok the priest took a horn of [olive] oil from the [sacred] tent and anointed Solomon. They blew the trumpet, and all the people said, “Long live King Solomon!” 40 All the people went up after him, and they were playing on flutes and rejoicing with great joy, so that the earth shook and seemed to burst open with their [joyful] sound.
41 Now Adonijah and all the guests who were with him heard it as they finished eating. When Joab heard the trumpet sound, he said, “[n]Why is the city in such an uproar?” 42 While he was still speaking, behold, Jonathan the son of Abiathar the priest arrived. And Adonijah said, “Come in, for you are a valiant and trustworthy man and you bring good news.”(D) 43 But Jonathan replied to Adonijah, “No, on the contrary, our lord King David has made Solomon king! 44 The king has sent him with Zadok the priest, Nathan the prophet, Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, the Cherethites, and the Pelethites; and they have had him ride on the king’s [own royal] mule. 45 Also, Zadok the priest and Nathan the prophet have anointed him king in Gihon, and they have come up from there celebrating, so the city is in an uproar. This is the noise which you have heard. 46 Besides, Solomon has taken his seat on the throne of the kingdom. 47 Moreover, the king’s servants came to bless (congratulate) our lord King David, saying, ‘May [o]your God make the name of Solomon better (more famous) than your name and make his throne greater than your throne.’ And the king bowed himself [before God] upon the bed. 48 The king has also said this: ‘Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel, who has granted one [of my descendants] to sit on my throne today and allowed my eyes to see it.’”
49 Then all Adonijah’s guests were terrified [of being branded as traitors] and stood up and left the feast, and each one went on his way. 50 And Adonijah feared Solomon, and he got up and went [to the tabernacle on Mt. Zion] and took hold of the horns of the altar [seeking asylum]. 51 Now Solomon was told, “Behold, Adonijah is afraid of King Solomon, and behold, he has grasped the horns of the altar [seeking God’s protection], saying, ‘King Solomon must swear to me today that he will not kill his servant with the sword.’” 52 Solomon said, “If he [proves he] is a worthy man, not even one of his hairs shall fall to the ground; but if wickedness is found in him, he shall die.” 53 So King Solomon sent [soldiers], and they brought Adonijah down from the altar [that was in front of the tabernacle]. And he came and bowed down to King Solomon, and Solomon said to him, “Go to your house.”
David’s Charge to Solomon
2 When David’s time to die approached, he gave instructions to Solomon his son, saying, 2 “I am going the way of all the earth [as dust to dust]. Be strong and prove yourself a man. 3 Keep the charge of the Lord your God, [that is, fulfill your obligation to] walk in His ways, keep His statutes, His commandments, His precepts, and His testimonies, as it is written in the Law of Moses, so that you may succeed in everything that you do and wherever you turn, 4 so that the Lord may fulfill His [p]promise concerning me, saying, ‘If your sons are careful regarding their way [of life], to walk before Me in truth with all their heart and mind and with all their soul, you shall not fail to have a man (descendant) on the throne of Israel.’
5 Now you also know what Joab the son of Zeruiah [my sister] did to me, and what he did to the two commanders of the armies of Israel, to Abner the son of Ner and to Amasa the son of Jether, [both of] whom he murdered; [q]avenging the blood of war in [a time of] peace. And he put the [innocent] blood of war [of Abner and Amasa] on his [r]belt that was around his [s]waist, and on his sandals on his feet. 6 So act in accordance with your wisdom, but do not let his gray head go down to Sheol (the place of the dead) in peace. 7 But be gracious and kind to the sons of Barzillai the Gileadite, and let them be among those who [have the honor to] eat at your table; for they met me [with kindness] when I fled from your brother Absalom.(E) 8 And look, you have with you Shimei the son of Gera, the Benjamite of Bahurim; he is the one who cursed me with a sinister curse the day I went to Mahanaim. But he came down to meet me at the Jordan [on my return], and I swore to him by the Lord, saying, ‘I will not put you to death with the sword.’ 9 But now do not let him go unpunished, for you are a wise man; and you will know what to do to him, and you will bring his gray head down to Sheol [covered] with blood.”
Death of David
10 So David lay down with his fathers [in death] and was buried in the [t]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 Then Solomon sat on the throne of David his father, and his kingdom was firmly established.
13 Now Adonijah the son of [David and] Haggith came to Bathsheba the mother of Solomon. She said, “Do you come in peace?” And he said, “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 kingdom belonged to me [as the eldest living son] and all Israel [u]looked to me and expected me to be king. However, the kingdom has passed [from me] and became my brother’s, for it was his from the Lord. 16 So now I am making one request of you; do not [v]refuse me.” And she said to him, “Speak.” 17 He said, “Please speak to King Solomon, for he will not refuse you; ask that he may give me Abishag the Shunammite as a wife.”(F) 18 Bathsheba replied, “Very well; I will speak to the king for you.”
19 So Bathsheba went to King Solomon to speak to him for Adonijah. And the king rose to meet her, bowed before her, and sat down on his throne; then he had a throne set for her, the king’s mother, and she sat on his right. 20 Then she said, “I am making one small request of you; do not refuse me.” And the king said to her, “Ask, my mother, for I will not refuse you.” 21 So she said, “Let Abishag the Shunammite be given to your brother Adonijah as a wife.” 22 King Solomon answered and said to his mother, “And why are you asking for [w]Abishag the Shunammite for Adonijah? Ask the kingdom for him also—since he is my older brother—[ask it] for him and for Abiathar the priest and Joab the son of Zeruiah [his supporters]!” 23 Then King Solomon swore by the Lord, saying, “May God do the same to me, and more also, if Adonijah has not requested this [deplorable] thing against his own [x]life. 24 So now, 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 indeed be put to death today.” 25 So King Solomon sent Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, and he [y]struck Adonijah and he died.
26 Then the king said to Abiathar the priest, “Go to Anathoth to your own fields, for you [z]certainly deserve to die; but I will not put you to death this day, because you carried the ark of the Lord God before my father David, and you suffered everything that my father endured.” 27 So Solomon dismissed Abiathar [a descendant of Eli] from being priest to the Lord, fulfilling the word of the Lord, which He had spoken concerning the house (descendants) of Eli in Shiloh.(G)
28 Now the news reached Joab, for Joab had supported and followed Adonijah, although he had not followed Absalom. So Joab fled to the [sacred] tent of the Lord and took hold of the horns of the altar [to seek asylum]. 29 King Solomon was told that Joab had fled to the tent of the Lord and was at that moment beside the altar. Then Solomon sent Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, saying, “Go, [aa]strike him down.” 30 So Benaiah came to the tent of the Lord and told Joab, “This is what the king commands, ‘Come out of there.’” But Joab said, “No, for I will die here.” Then Benaiah brought word to the king again, saying, “This is what Joab said, and this is how he answered me.” 31 The king said to him, “Do as he has said. [ab]Strike him down and bury him, so that you may remove from me and from my father’s house the innocent blood which Joab shed. 32 The Lord will return his bloody deeds upon his own head, because he struck down two men more righteous and honorable than he and killed them with the sword, without my father David knowing: Abner the son of Ner, commander of the army of Israel, and Amasa the son of Jether, commander of the army of Judah. 33 So shall their blood return on the head of Joab and the heads of his descendants forever. But for David, his descendants, his house, and his throne, may there be peace from the Lord forever.” 34 So Benaiah the son of Jehoiada went up [to the tabernacle] and struck and killed Joab, and he was buried at his own house in the wilderness [of Judah]. 35 The king appointed Benaiah the son of Jehoiada over the army in Joab’s place, and appointed Zadok the priest in place of Abiathar.
36 Now the king sent word and called for Shimei and said to him, “Build yourself a house in Jerusalem and live there. Do not go from there to [ac]any other place. 37 For on the day you leave and cross over the [ad]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 word (ruling) is good. As my lord the king has said, so will your servant do.” So Shimei lived in Jerusalem for many days.
39 But it happened after three years, that two of Shimei’s servants ran away to Achish the son of Maacah, the king of [ae]Gath. And Shimei was told, “Behold, your [runaway] servants are in Gath.” 40 So Shimei arose, saddled his donkey, and went to Gath to [King] Achish to look for his servants. And Shimei went and brought them back from Gath. 41 Now Solomon was told that Shimei had gone from Jerusalem to Gath, and had returned. 42 So the king sent word and called for Shimei and said to him, “Did I not make you swear by the Lord and solemnly warn you, saying, ‘Know for certain that on the day you leave [Jerusalem] and go anywhere, you shall surely die’? And you said to me, ‘The word (ruling) I have heard is good.’ 43 Why then have you not kept the oath of the Lord, and the command which I gave you?” 44 The king also said to Shimei, “You are aware in your own heart of all the evil you did to my father David; so the Lord shall return 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 So the king commanded Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, and he went out and struck down Shimei, and he died.
So the kingdom was established in the hands of Solomon.
- 1 Kings 1:1 I.e. about seventy years old.
- 1 Kings 1:3 The town of Shunam was located within the territory of Issachar.
- 1 Kings 1:4 Lit did not know her.
- 1 Kings 1:6 David’s failure to discipline his sons always resulted in tragedy.
- 1 Kings 1:7 The commander of Israel’s army.
- 1 Kings 1:8 Lit mighty men and so throughout the chapter.
- 1 Kings 1:16 Lit What to you.
- 1 Kings 1:20 In general, sons of Israel or Israel or Israelites refers to all the people (males and females) of the various tribes descended from the twelve sons (Gen 35:23-26) of Jacob (later renamed Israel by God). In verses concerning things such as warfare or circumcision sons of Israel or Israel or Israelites usually refers only to the males. Tribes of ancient people were identified by the name of their founding ancestor. Therefore, this same general rule applies when referring to individual tribal groups, e.g. sons of Reuben, Reuben, Reubenites and so throughout.
- 1 Kings 1:21 Lit sinners.
- 1 Kings 1:33 This group would have included David’s personal bodyguards.
- 1 Kings 1:33 Placing Solomon on his royal mule announced to the people that David had chosen Solomon as his successor.
- 1 Kings 1:33 This was near En-rogel, the site of Adonijah’s celebration.
- 1 Kings 1:37 This was a declaration of support for David and his choice of Solomon.
- 1 Kings 1:41 Gihon was nearby, but because of the topography it was not visible.
- 1 Kings 1:47 See note v 37.
- 1 Kings 2:4 Lit His word which He spoke.
- 1 Kings 2:5 Lit he also shed.
- 1 Kings 2:5 Lit girdle. The girdle was a band about six inches wide that had clasps or fasteners in front. It was worn around the loins (the midsection of the body between the lower ribs and the hips) and was normally made of leather. Expensive or embroidered girdles were also worn and were made of cotton, flax or silk. The girdle also served as a kind of pocket or pouch and was used to carry personal items such as a dagger, money, or other necessary things.
- 1 Kings 2:5 Lit loins.
- 1 Kings 2:10 Not the walled city today called “Old Jerusalem” but a peninsula of land extending south from the “old city.”
- 1 Kings 2:15 Lit set their faces toward me.
- 1 Kings 2:16 Lit turn away my face; similarly in the following verses.
- 1 Kings 2:22 Even though Abishag remained a virgin while attending David during his final days, no one was closer to him. Bathsheba evidently did not view Abishag’s status as David’s former nurse to be problematic, but Solomon immediately perceived marriage to Abishag as a claim to the throne, which was Adonijah’s true intention in making the request. Abishag would have been considered an inheritance from David.
- 1 Kings 2:23 Lit soul.
- 1 Kings 2:25 Lit fell upon.
- 1 Kings 2:26 Lit are a man of death.
- 1 Kings 2:29 Lit fall upon him.
- 1 Kings 2:31 Lit fall upon.
- 1 Kings 2:36 Lit here and there.
- 1 Kings 2:37 This was the border between the tribal territories of Judah and Benjamin, Shimei’s tribe. Confinement in Jerusalem would stop Shimei from plotting against Solomon.
- 1 Kings 2:39 One of the five major cities of the Philistines.
Security of Those Who Trust in the Lord, and Insecurity of the Wicked.
A Psalm of David.
37 [a]Do not worry because of evildoers,
Nor be envious toward wrongdoers;
For they will wither quickly like the grass,
And fade like the green herb.
Trust [rely on and have confidence] in the Lord and do good;
Dwell in the land and feed [securely] on His faithfulness.
Delight yourself in the Lord,
And He will give you the desires and petitions of your heart.
Commit your way to the Lord;
Trust in Him also and He will do it.
He will make your righteousness [your pursuit of right standing with God] like the light,
And your judgment like [the shining of] the noonday [sun].
Be still before the Lord; wait patiently for Him and entrust yourself to Him;
Do not fret (whine, agonize) because of him who prospers in his way,
Because of the man who carries out wicked schemes.
Cease from anger and abandon wrath;
Do not fret; it leads only to evil.
For those who do evil will be cut off,
But those who wait for the Lord, they will inherit the land.(A)
For yet a little while and the wicked one will be gone [forever];
Though you look carefully where he used to be, he will not be [found].(B)
But the humble will [at last] inherit the land
And will delight themselves in abundant prosperity and peace.(C)
The wicked plots against the righteous
And gnashes at him with his teeth.
The Lord laughs at him [the wicked one—the one who oppresses the righteous],
For He sees that his day [of defeat] is coming.
The wicked have drawn the sword and bent their bow
To cast down the afflicted and the needy,
To slaughter those who are upright in conduct [those with personal integrity and godly character].
The sword [of the ungodly] will enter their own heart,
And their bow will be broken.
Better is the little of the righteous [who seek the will of God]
Than the abundance (riches) of many wicked (godless).(D)
For the arms of the wicked will be broken,
But the Lord upholds and sustains the righteous [who seek Him].
The Lord knows the days of the blameless,
And their inheritance will continue forever.
They will not be [b]ashamed in the time of evil,
And in the days of famine they will have plenty and be satisfied.
But the wicked (ungodly) will perish,
And the enemies of the Lord will be like the [c]glory of the pastures and like the fat of lambs [that is consumed in smoke],
They vanish—like smoke they vanish away.
The wicked borrows and does not pay back,
But the righteous is gracious and kind and gives.
For those blessed by God will [at last] inherit the land,
But those cursed by Him will be cut off.(E)
The steps of a [good and righteous] man are directed and established by the Lord,
And He delights in his way [and blesses his path].
When he falls, he will not be hurled down,
Because the Lord is the One who holds his hand and sustains him.
I have been young and now I am old,
Yet I have not seen the righteous (those in right standing with God) abandoned
Or his descendants pleading for bread.
All day long he is gracious and lends,
And his descendants are a blessing.
Depart from evil and do good;
And you will dwell [securely in the land] forever.
For the Lord delights in justice
And does not abandon His saints (faithful ones);
They are preserved forever,
But the descendants of the wicked will [in time] be cut off.
The righteous will inherit the land
And live in it forever.
The mouth of the righteous proclaims wisdom,
And his tongue speaks justice and truth.
The law of his God is in his heart;
Not one of his steps will slip.
The wicked lies in wait for the righteous
And seeks to kill him.
The Lord will not leave him in his hand
Or let him be condemned when he is judged.
Wait for and expect the Lord and keep His way,
And He will exalt you to inherit the land;
[In the end] when the wicked are cut off, you will see it.
I have seen a wicked, violent man [with great power]
Spreading and flaunting himself like a cedar in its native soil,
Yet he passed away, and lo, he was no more;
I sought him, but he could not be found.
Mark the blameless man [who is spiritually complete], and behold the upright [who walks in moral integrity];
There is a [good] future for the man of peace [because a life of honor blesses one’s descendants].
As for transgressors, they will be completely destroyed;
The future of the wicked will be cut off.
But the salvation of the righteous is from the Lord;
He is their refuge and stronghold in the time of trouble.
The Lord helps them and rescues them;
He rescues them from the wicked and saves them,
Because they take refuge in Him.
- Psalm 37:1 One of the longer psalms, Ps 37 also has the distinction of having every other verse (sometimes succeeding verses) begin with a letter of the Hebrew in alphabetical order. This technique served as a memory aid.
- Psalm 37:19 I.e. have their expectations in Your goodness be disappointed.
- Psalm 37:20 I.e. flowers.
Prayer of an Old Man for Rescue.
71 In you, O Lord, I have put my trust and confidently taken refuge;
Let me never be [a]put to shame.
In Your righteousness deliver me and rescue me;
Incline Your ear to me and save me.
Be to me a rock of refuge and a sheltering stronghold to which I may continually come;
You have given the commandment to save me,
For You are my rock and my fortress.
Rescue me, O my God, from the hand of the wicked (godless),
From the grasp of the unrighteous and ruthless man.
For You are my hope;
O Lord God, You are my trust and the source of my confidence from my youth.
Upon You have I relied and been sustained from my birth;
You are He who took me from my mother’s womb and You have been my benefactor from that day.
My praise is continually of You.
I am as a wonder to many,
For You are my strong refuge.
My mouth is filled with Your praise
And with Your glory all day long.
Do not cast me off nor send me away in the time of old age;
Do not abandon me when my strength fails and I am weak.
For my enemies have spoken against me;
Those who watch for my life have consulted together,
Saying, “God has abandoned him;
Pursue and seize him, for there is no one to rescue him.”
O God, do not be far from me;
O my God, come quickly to help me!
Let those who attack my life be ashamed and consumed;
Let them be covered with reproach and dishonor, who seek to injure me.
But as for me, I will wait and hope continually,
And will praise You yet more and more.
My mouth shall tell of Your righteousness
And of Your [deeds of] salvation all day long,
For their number is more than I know.
I will come with the mighty acts of the Lord God [and in His strength];
I will make mention of Your righteousness, Yours alone.
O God, You have taught me from my youth,
And I still declare Your wondrous works and miraculous deeds.
And even when I am old and gray-headed, O God, do not abandon me,
Until I declare Your [mighty] strength to this generation,
Your power to all who are to come.
Your righteousness, O God, reaches to the [height of the] heavens,
You who have done great things;
O God, who is like You, [who is Your equal]?
You who have shown [b]me many troubles and distresses
Will revive and renew me again,
And will bring me up again from the depths of the earth.
May You increase my greatness (honor)
And turn to comfort me.
I will also praise You with the harp,
Your truth and faithfulness, O my God;
To You I will sing praises with the lyre,
O Holy One of Israel.
My lips will shout for joy when I sing praises to You,
And my soul, which You have redeemed.
My tongue also will speak of Your righteousness all day long;
For they are ashamed, for they are humiliated who seek my injury.
The Lord Implored to Avenge His People.
94 O Lord God, You to whom vengeance belongs,
O God, You to whom vengeance belongs, shine forth [in judgment]!
Rise up, O Judge of the earth;
Give to the proud a fitting compensation.
O Lord, how long will the wicked,
How long will the wicked rejoice in triumph?
They pour out words, speaking arrogant things;
All who do evil boast proudly.(A)
They crush Your people, O Lord,
And afflict and abuse Your heritage.
[a]They kill the widow and the alien
And murder the fatherless.
Yet they say, “The Lord does not see,
Nor does the God of Jacob (Israel) notice it.”
Consider thoughtfully, you senseless (stupid ones) among the people;
And you [dull-minded] fools, when will you become wise and understand?
He who made the ear, does He not hear?
He who formed the eye, does He not see?
He who instructs the nations,
Does He not rebuke and punish,
He who teaches man knowledge?
The Lord knows the thoughts of man,
That they are a mere breath (vain, empty, futile).(B)
Blessed [with wisdom and prosperity] is the man whom You discipline and instruct, O Lord,
And whom You teach from Your law,
That You may grant him [power to calm himself and find] peace in the days of adversity,
Until the pit is dug for the wicked and ungodly.
For the Lord will not abandon His people,
Nor will He abandon His inheritance.
For judgment will again be righteous,
And all the upright in heart will follow it.
Who will stand up for me against the evildoers?
Who will take a stand for me against those who do wickedness?
If the Lord had not been my help,
I would soon have dwelt in [the land of] silence.
If I say, “My foot has slipped,”
Your compassion and lovingkindness, O Lord, will hold me up.
When my anxious thoughts multiply within me,
Your comforts delight me.
Can a throne of destruction be allied with You,
One which frames and devises mischief by decree [under the sacred name of law]?
They band themselves together against the life of the righteous
And condemn the innocent to death.
But the Lord has become my high tower and defense,
And my God the rock of my refuge.
He has turned back their own wickedness upon them
And will destroy them by means of their own evil;
The Lord our God will wipe them out.
- Psalm 94:6 Widows, resident aliens, and the fatherless were particularly vulnerable members of ancient society, since they often had little or no economic means. The wicked could easily take advantage of them. God in several Old Testament passages commanded Israel to care especially for these helpless members of society. See, for example, Deut 24:17-22; Ps 146:9; Is 1:17; Zech 7:9, 10.