View text in paragraph format View text in list format

1 Kings Chapter 2 | Parsha: Va-yehi

1When David’s life was drawing to a close, he instructed his son Solomon as follows: 2“I am going the way of all the earth; be strong and show yourself a man. 3Keep the charge of the Lord your God, walking in His ways and following His laws, His commandments, His rules, and His admonitions as recorded in the Teaching of Moses, in order that you may succeed in whatever you undertake and wherever you turn. 4Then the Lord will fulfill the promise that He made concerning me: ‘If your descendants are scrupulous in their conduct, and walk before Me faithfully, with all their heart and soul, your line on the throne of Israel shall never end!’

5“Further, you know what Joab son of Zeruiah did to me, what he did to the two commanders of Israel’s forces, Abner son of Ner and Amasa son of Jether: he killed them, shedding blood of war in peacetime, staining the girdle of his loins and the sandals on his feet with blood of war. 6So act in accordance with your wisdom, and see that his white hair does not go down to Sheol in peace.

7“But deal graciously with the sons of Barzillai the Gileadite, for they befriended me when I fled from your brother Absalom; let them be among those that eat at your table.

8“You must also deal with Shimei son of Gera, the Benjaminite from Bahurim. He insulted me outrageously when I was on my way to Mahanaim; but he came down to meet me at the Jordan, and I swore to him by the Lord: ‘I will not put you to the sword.’ 9So do not let him go unpunished; for you are a wise man and you will know how to deal with him and send his gray hair down to Sheol in blood.”

10So David slept with his fathers, and he was buried in the City of David. 11The length of David’s reign over Israel was forty years: he reigned seven years in Hebron, and he reigned thirty-three years in Jerusalem. 12And Solomon sat upon the throne of his father David, and his rule was firmly established.

13Adonijah son of Haggith came to see Bathsheba, Solomon’s mother. She said, “Do you come with friendly intent?” “Yes,” he replied; 14and he continued, “I would like to have a word with you.” “Speak up,” she said. 15Then he said, “You know that the kingship was rightly mine and that all Israel wanted me to reign. But the kingship passed on to my brother; it came to him by the will of the Lord. 16And now I have one request to make of you; do not refuse me.” She said, “Speak up.” 17He replied, “Please ask King Solomon—for he won’t refuse you—to give me Abishag the Shunammite as wife.” 18“Very well,” said Bathsheba, “I will speak to the king in your behalf.”

19So Bathsheba went to King Solomon to speak to him about Adonijah. The king rose to greet her and bowed down to her. He sat on his throne; and he had a throne placed for the queen mother, and she sat on his right. 20She said, “I have one small request to make of you, do not refuse me.” He responded, “Ask, Mother; I shall not refuse you.” 21Then she said, “Let Abishag the Shunammite be given to your brother Adonijah as wife.” 22The king replied to his mother, “Why request Abishag the Shunammite for Adonijah? Request the kingship for him! For he is my older brother, and the priest Abiathar and Joab son of Zeruiah are on his side.”

23Thereupon, King Solomon swore by the Lord, saying, “So may God do to me and even more, if broaching this matter does not cost Adonijah his life! 24Now, as the Lord lives, who has established me and set me on the throne of my father David and who has provided him with a house, as he promised, Adonijah shall be put to death this very day!” 25And Solomon instructed Benaiah son of Jehoiada, who struck Adonijah down; and so he died.

26To the priest Abiathar, the king said, “Go to your estate at Anathoth! You deserve to die, but I shall not put you to death at this time, because you carried the Ark of my Lord God before my father David and because you shared all the hardships that my father endured.” 27So Solomon dismissed Abiathar from his office of priest of the Lord—thus fulfilling what the Lord had spoken at Shiloh regarding the house of Eli.

28When the news reached Joab, he fled to the Tent of the Lord and grasped the horns of the altar—for Joab had sided with Adonijah, though he had not sided with Absalom. 29King Solomon was told that Joab had fled to the Tent of the Lord and that he was there by the altar; so Solomon sent Benaiah son of Jehoiada, saying, “Go and strike him down.” 30Benaiah went to the Tent of the Lord and said to him, “Thus said the king: Come out!” “No!” he replied; “I will die here.” Benaiah reported back to the king that Joab had answered thus and thus, 31and the king said, “Do just as he said; strike him down and bury him, and remove guilt from me and my father’s house for the blood of the innocent that Joab has shed. 32Thus the Lord will bring his blood guilt down upon his own head, because, unbeknown to my father, he struck down with the sword two men more righteous and honorable than he—Abner son of Ner, the army commander of Israel, and Amasa son of Jether, the army commander of Judah. 33May the guilt for their blood come down upon the head of Joab and his descendants forever, and may good fortune from the Lord be granted forever to David and his descendants, his house and his throne.” 34So Benaiah son of Jehoiada went up and struck him down. And he was buried at his home in the wilderness. 35In his place, the king appointed Benaiah son of Jehoiada over the army, and in place of Abiathar, the king appointed the priest Zadok.

36Then the king summoned Shimei and said to him, “Build yourself a house in Jerusalem and stay there—do not ever go out from there anywhere else. 37On the very day that you go out and cross the Wadi Kidron, you can be sure that you will die; your blood shall be on your own head.” 38“That is fair,” said Shimei to the king, “your servant will do just as my lord the king has spoken.” And for a long time, Shimei remained in Jerusalem.

39Three years later, two slaves of Shimei ran away to King Achish son of Maacah of Gath. Shimei was told, “Your slaves are in Gath.” 40Shimei thereupon saddled his ass and went to Achish in Gath to claim his slaves; and Shimei returned from Gath with his slaves. 41Solomon was told that Shimei had gone from Jerusalem to Gath and back, 42and the king summoned Shimei and said to him, “Did I not adjure you by the Lord and warn you, ‘On the very day that you leave and go anywhere else, you can be sure that you will die,’ and did you not say to me, ‘It is fair; I accept’? 43Why did you not abide by the oath before the Lord and by the orders which I gave you?” 44The king said further to Shimei, “You know all the wrong, which you remember very well, that you did to my father David. Now the Lord brings down your wrongdoing upon your own head. 45But King Solomon shall be blessed, and the throne of David shall be established before the Lord forever.”

46The king gave orders to Benaiah son of Jehoiada and he went out and struck Shimei down; and so he died.
Thus the kingdom was secured in Solomon’s hands.

Add Remark

Chapter Tags