Study Guide

1 Kings Chapter 2

Chapter 2

David Dies Of Natural Causes; Solomon's Enemies Die Of Benaiah

  • Before he dies, David's final advice to Solomon is as follows:
  • "Be strong. Show that you're a man. Keep the Lord's commandments/judgments/testimonies/laws. If you do, you'll always prosper, and our sons will always sit on the throne of Israel. Remember when Joab murdered Abner and Amasa? He's gotta die. Take care of that. While you're at it, deal with Shimei, too. I promised I personallywouldn't kill him, even though he cursed me, so you do the honors. Oh—and make sure to watch after my friend Barzillai and his family. He helped me out when I needed him."
  • David dies and is buried, ending a glorious 40-year reign.
  • Solomon has hardly begun his own tenure as king when Adonijah visits Bath-sheba with a shady proposal: He wants to marry the newly widowed Abishag, and he wants Bath-sheba to convince Solomon that it's a good idea. She agrees to try, for some reason.
  • Solomon doesn't go for it. He's like, "Sheesh, Mom. Why don't you just ask me to give him the whole kingdom while you're at it? No— You know what? That's it. Adonijah's gonna die today."
  • An over-reaction? Maybe not. See, when a king dies, all of his possessions (including his wives—no offense, wives) belong to his heir. So for Adonijah to try to marry Abishag was kind of like trying to become king all over again.
  • At least, that's the way Solomon sees it, and he goes sort of Emperor-Palpatine-Executing-Order-66 on all of his enemies.
  • He sends his right-hand man Benaiah to kill Adonijah, because that's what Benaiah does best. Adios, Adonijah.
  • Solomon also seems to suspect that Abiathar and Joab were involved in Adonijah's little machinations, so he decides to take care of them, too.
  • First, he banishes Abiathar to his home in Anathoth and strips him of his role as a priest.
  • Joab hears about Adonijah and Abiathar, and he starts to sweat. He runs to the tabernacle to grab the horns of the altar for protection. Hey, it worked for Adonijah that one time, right?
  • But Solomon sends Benaiah to the tabernacle. He's like, "Are you gonna come quietly, Jojo?" And Joab's like, "I ain't goin' nowheres! I'll stay here 'til I die!"
  • Benaiah reports this to Solomon, who says, "That's the best idea Joab's ever had: Kill the murdering sonofagun."
  • So Benaiah whacks Joab inside the tabernacle.
  • With that, Benaiah becomes the senior commander of Solomon's military.
  • Continuing to fulfill David's last wishes, Solomon puts Shimei on house arrest in Jerusalem as punishment for doing his father wrong years previously.
  • If he crosses the brook Kidron, Solomon tells him, he's dead. Shimei swears he won't.
  • Three years later, two of Shimei's servants run away across the brook Kidron, and he crosses it to go after them. Solomon hears about it, and Benaiah sends Shimei on a one-way trip to the morgue.

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