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1When David’s time to die drew near, he charged Solomon his son, saying, 2“I am about to go the way of all the earth. Be strong, and show yourself a man, 3and 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, that you may prosper in all that you do and wherever you turn; 4that the Lord may establish his word which he spoke concerning me, saying, ‘If your sons 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 man on the throne of Israel.’

5“Moreover you know also what Joʹab the son of Zeruʹiah did to me, how he dealt with the two commanders of the armies of Israel, Abner the son of Ner, and Amaʹsa the son of Jether, whom he murdered, avenging in time of peace blood which had been shed in war, and putting innocent blood upon the girdle about my loins, and upon the sandals on my feet. 6Act therefore according to your wisdom, but do not let his gray head go down to Sheol in peace. 7But deal loyally with the sons of Barzilʹlai the Gileadite, and let them be among those who eat at your table, for with such loyalty they met me when I fled from Abʹsalom your brother. 8And there is also with you Shimʹe-i the son of Gera, the Benjaminite from Bahuʹrim, who cursed me with a grievous curse on the day when I went to Mahanaʹim; but when he came down to meet me at the Jordan, I swore to him by the Lord, saying, ‘I will not put you to death with the sword.’ 9Now therefore hold him not guiltless, for you are a wise man; you will know what you ought to do to him, and you shall bring his gray head down with blood to Sheol.”

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

13Then Adoniʹjah the son of Haggith came to Bathsheʹba the mother of Solomon. And she said, “Do you come peaceably?” He said, “Peaceably.” 14Then he said, “I have something to say to you.” She said, “Say on.” 15He said, “You know that the kingdom was mine, and that all Israel fully expected me to reign; however the kingdom has turned about and become my brother’s, for it was his from the Lord. 16And now I have one request to make of you; do not refuse me.” She said to him, “Say on.” 17And he said, “Pray ask King Solomon—he will not refuse you—to give me Abʹishag the Shuʹnammite as my wife.” 18Bathsheʹba said, “Very well; I will speak for you to the king.”

19So Bathsheʹba went to King Solomon, to speak to him on behalf of Adoniʹjah. And the king rose to meet her, and bowed down to her; then he sat on his throne, and had a seat brought for the king’s mother; and she sat on his right. 20Then 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.” 21She said, “Let Abʹishag the Shuʹnammite be given to Adoniʹjah your brother as his wife.” 22King Solomon answered his mother, “And why do you ask Abʹishag the Shuʹnammite for Adoniʹjah? Ask for him the kingdom also; for he is my elder brother, and on his side are Abiʹathar the priest and Joʹab the son of Zeruʹiah.” 23Then King Solomon swore by the Lord, saying, “God do so to me and more also if this word does not cost Adoniʹjah his life! 24Now therefore as the Lord lives, who has established me, and placed me on the throne of David my father, and who has made me a house, as he promised, Adoniʹjah shall be put to death this day.” 25So King Solomon sent Benaiʹah the son of Jehoiʹada; and he struck him down, and he died.

26And to Abiʹathar the priest the king said, “Go to Anʹathoth, to your estate; for you deserve death. But I will not at this time put you to death, because you bore the ark of the Lord God before David my father, and because you shared in all the affliction of my father.” 27So Solomon expelled Abiʹathar from being priest to the Lord, thus fulfilling the word of the Lord which he had spoken concerning the house of Eli in Shiloh.

28When the news came to Joʹab—for Joʹab had supported Adoniʹjah although he had not supported Abʹsalom—Joʹab fled to the tent of the Lord and caught hold of the horns of the altar. 29And when it was told King Solomon, “Joʹab has fled to the tent of the Lord, and behold, he is beside the altar,” Solomon sent Benaiʹah the son of Jehoiʹada, saying, “Go, strike him down.” 30So Benaiʹah came to the tent of the Lord, and said to him, “The king commands, ‘Come forth.’ ” But he said, “No, I will die here.” Then Benaiʹah brought the king word again, saying, “Thus said Joʹab, and thus he answered me.” 31The 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 which Joʹab shed without cause. 32The Lord will bring back his bloody deeds upon his own head, because, without the knowledge of my father David, he attacked and slew with the sword two men more righteous and better than himself, Abner the son of Ner, commander of the army of Israel, and Amaʹsa the son of Jether, commander of the army of Judah. 33So shall their blood come back upon the head of Joʹab and upon the head of his descendants for ever; but to David, and to his descendants, and to his house, and to his throne, there shall be peace from the Lord for evermore.” 34Then Benaiʹah the son of Jehoiʹada went up, and struck him down and killed him; and he was buried in his own house in the wilderness. 35The king put Benaiʹah the son of Jehoiʹada over the army in place of Joʹab, and the king put Zadok the priest in the place of Abiʹathar.

36Then the king sent and summoned Shimʹe-i, and said to him, “Build yourself a house in Jerusalem, and dwell there, and do not go forth from there to any place whatever. 37For on the day you go forth, and cross the brook Kidron, know for certain that you shall die; your blood shall be upon your own head.” 38And Shimʹe-i said to the king, “What you say is good; as my lord the king has said, so will your servant do.” So Shimʹe-i dwelt in Jerusalem many days.

39But it happened at the end of three years that two of Shimʹe-i’s slaves ran away to Aʹchish, son of Maʹacah, king of Gath. And when it was told Shimʹe-i, “Behold, your slaves are in Gath,” 40Shimʹe-i arose and saddled an ass, and went to Gath to Aʹchish, to seek his slaves; Shimʹe-i went and brought his slaves from Gath. 41And when Solomon was told that Shimʹe-i had gone from Jerusalem to Gath and returned, 42the king sent and summoned Shimʹe-i, and said to him, “Did I not make you swear by the Lord, and solemnly admonish you, saying, ‘Know for certain that on the day you go forth and go to any place whatever, you shall die’? And you said to me, ‘What you say is good; I obey.’ 43Why then have you not kept your oath to the Lord and the commandment with which I charged you?” 44The king also said to Shimʹe-i, “You know in your own heart all the evil that you did to David my father; so the Lord will bring back your evil upon your own head. 45But King Solomon shall be blessed, and the throne of David shall be established before the Lord for ever.” 46Then the king commanded Benaiʹah the son of Jehoiʹada; and he went out and struck him down, and he died.

So the kingdom was established in the hand of Solomon.

Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright © 1946, 1952, and 1971 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America.
Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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