1. When David was about to die, he gave his son Solomon this instruction,

2. "I am about to go the way of all creatures. Be strong and show yourself a man.

3. Keep the commandments of Yahweh your God and walk in his ways. Keep his statutes, his commands, his ordinances and declarations written in the law of Moses, that you may succeed in whatever you do and wherever you go.

4. If you do so, Yahweh will fulfill the promise he made to me: 'If your sons take care to walk before me faithfully with their whole heart and their whole soul, you shall always have one of your descendants on the throne of Israel.'

5. Now you know what Joab, the son of Zeruiah did to me - how he dealt with the two commanders of Israel's armies, Abner the son of Ner, and Amasa the son of Jether. These two he murdered, avenging, in time of peace, blood which had been shed in time of war. He has thus stained with innocent blood the belt I wear and the sandals on my feet.

6. Act wisely, therefore, his blood must be shed before he dies of old age.

7. As to the sons of Barzillai, the Gileadite, deal kindly with them and let them be among those who eat at your table, for they themselves treated me with similar kindness when I fled from your brother Absalom.

8. With you also is Shimei, son of Gera, the Benjaminite from Bahurim who cursed me terribly, the day I fled to Mahanaim. When he came down to meet me at the Jordan, I swore to him by Yahweh, 'I will not put you to death with the sword.'

9. Now therefore, you, being a wise man, shall not hold him guiltless. You will know what to do with him: his blood must be shed before he dies of old age."

10. Then David rested with his fathers and was buried in the city of David.

11. David reigned over Israel for forty years: seven years in Hebron and thirty-three years in Jerusalem.

12. So Solomon sat on the throne of David his father and his reign was firmly established.

13. Then Adonijah, son of Haggith, came to Bathsheba, mother of Solomon, who asked him, "Do you come in peace?" He answered, "In peace,"

14. and added, "I have something to tell you." She said, "Speak"

15. and Adonijah said, "You know that the kingdom was mine and that all Israel fully expected me to reign. But the kingdom has slipped from my hands and become my brother's for it was given him by Yahweh.

16. Now I have one thing to ask of you and I beg you not to refuse me." She said, "Speak,"

17. and he continued, "Please ask King Solomon to give me Abishag the Shunammite for my wife. I know that he cannot refuse you."

18. Bathsheba answered, "Very well, I shall speak to the king on your behalf."

19. So Bathsheba went to King Solomon to speak to him on behalf of Adonijah. The king met her and bowed to her. Then he sat on his throne and had a seat brought for the king's mother who sat on his right.

20. She said, "I have one small request to make of you. Do not refuse me." And the king answered her, "Make your request, my mother, for I will not refuse you."

21. She then said, "Let Abishag the Shunammite be given to Adonijah your brother as his wife."

22. King Solomon answered his mother, "And why do you not ask for the kingdom to be given to him! For he is my elder brother, and Abiathar the priest and Joab the son of Zeruiah are on his side."

23. Then King Solomon swore this oath, "Yahweh do so to me and more if this request does not cause Adonijah his life!

24. Now, therefore, as Yahweh lives, he who has established me and placed me on the throne of David my father, and who has established a kingly line as he promised, Adonijah shall be put to death this day."

25. So King Solomon sent Benaiah, son of Jehoiada, who killed him.

26. Then the king said to Abiathar the priest, "Go to your estate at Anathoth. You deserve death but I will not put you to death, because you carried the ark of God before my father David and shared in all his trials."

27. So Solomon removed Abiathar as priest of Yahweh, and fulfilled the word spoken by Yahweh in Shiloh concerning the descendants of Eli.

28. This news reached Joab, who had supported Adonijah but not Absalom. He fled to the tent of Yahweh and held onto the horns of the altar.

29. When it was reported to King Solomon that Joab had fled to the tent of Yahweh and was beside the altar, the king sent Benaiah, son of Jehoiada, with this command, "Go, strike him down!"

30. So Benaiah went to the tent of Yahweh and said to Joab, "The king commands: 'Come forward.'" But he replied, "No, I will die here." So Benaiah went back to the king with this report, "This is what Joab answered."

31. The king then replied. "Do as he has said. Strike him down and have him buried. With this, the guilt for the blood which Joab shed will be lifted from me and from my father's family.

32. Yahweh will repay him for the blood he shed because, without my father David's knowledge, he attacked and slew with the sword two men more righteous and better than himself, Abner son of Ner, commander of the Israelite army, and Amasa son of Jether, commander of Judah's army.

33. "Their blood shall be avenged on Joab and his descendants forever; but David and his descendants, his family and throne shall enjoy peace from Yahweh forever."

34. Then Benaiah, son of Jehoiada, went up, struck Joab down and killed him. He was buried in his own house in the desert.

35. The king put Benaiah, son of Jehoiada, over the army in place of Joab; and Zadok the priest, in place of Abiathar.

36. Then the king sent for Shimei and told him, "Build yourself a house in Jerusalem and stay there, and do not leave the place to go anywhere.

37. On the day you leave and cross the brook Kidron, you shall surely die and you shall be responsible for your own death."

38. Shimei answered the king, "What you say is good. Your servant will do as my lord the king has commanded." So Shimei stayed in Jerusalem for many days.

39. Three years later, two of Shimei's slaves ran away to Achish, son of Maacha, king of Gath. When it was reported to Shimei that his slaves were in Gath,

40. he saddled an ass and went to Achish in Gath in search of his slaves.

41. When Solomon was informed that Shimei had left Jerusalem for Gath and returned,

42. the king sent for Shimei and said to him, "Did I not make you swear by Yahweh and warned you severely that, on the day you left to go anywhere you would surely die? And you answered me: 'What you say is good; I shall obey!'

43. Why then did you not keep your oath to Yahweh and obey the command I gave you?"

44. The king told Shimei, "Remember the evil you did to David my father. Now Yahweh will repay you for what you did.

45. But King Solomon shall be blessed, and the throne of David shall stand firm before Yahweh forever."

46. Then the king commanded Benaiah, son of Jehoiada, who went out and struck Shimei and killed him. In this manner, Solomon firmly established his reign.



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