1 Kings

David’s Instructions for Solomon

The days of David came near for him to die, and he charged Solomon his son, saying, “I am about to go the way of all the world. Be strong and be courageous.[a] You shall keep the charge of Yahweh your God, to walk in his ways, to keep his statutes, his commandments, his judgments, and his testimonies, as are written in the law of Moses, so that you may prosper in all that you do and everywhere you turn, so that Yahweh may establish his word which he spoke concerning me, saying, ‘If your sons take heed of their way, to walk before me in faithfulness, with all their heart and with all their soul, no man of yours will be cut off from the throne of Israel.’”

“Moreover, you also know what Joab the son of Zeruiah did to me when he dealt with the two commanders of the armies of Israel, to Abner son of Ner and to Amasa son of Jether, and he murdered them and put the blood of war in a time of peace. He put the blood of war on the leather belt that was on his waist and on the sandals which were on his feet. You must act according to your wisdom, but you must not let his gray hair go down to Sheol in peace. Regarding the sons of Barzillai the Gileadite, you shall do loyal love and let them be among those who eat at your table, because they met me when I fled from Absalom your brother. And look, Shimei the son of Gera the son of the Benjaminite from Bahurim is with you. Now he cursed me severely[b] when I went to Mahanaim, but he came down to meet me at the Jordan, so I swore to him by Yahweh, ‘I surely will not kill you with the sword.’ So then, do not leave him unpunished, for you are a wise man, and you will know what you must do to him. You must bring his grey hair down to Sheol with blood.”

10 Then David slept with his ancestors[c] and was buried in the city of David. 11 The days that David reigned over Israel were 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.

Adonijah’s Persistence

13 Adonijah the son of Haggith came to Bathsheba the mother of Solomon, and she said, “Are you coming in peace?”[d] He said, “Peace.” 14 Then he said, “May I have a word with you?”[e] Then she said, “Go on.” 15 He said, “You know that the kingship was mine and that all Israel had set their face toward me as king, but the kingship turned around and became my brother’s, for it was from Yahweh for him to have it. 16 Now one request I am asking from you, and you must not refuse me.”[f] Then she said to him, “Go on.” 17 He said, “Please speak to King Solomon, for he will not refuse you, so that he will give to me Abishag the Shunnamite as wife.” 18 Then Bathsheba said, “Very well, I will speak to the king concerning you.”

Solomon’s Responses to Adonijah, Joab, and Shimei

19 Bathsheba came to King Solomon to speak to him concerning Adonijah, and the king got up to meet her, bowed down to her, and then sat on his throne. Then he set up a throne for the king’s mother, and she sat on his right. 20 She said, “I have one small request I am asking from you. Do not refuse me.”[g] The king said to her, “Ask, my mother, for I will not refuse you.”[h] 21 Then she said, “Let Abishag the Shunnamite be given to Adonijah your brother as wife.” 22 King Solomon answered and said to his mother, “Why are you asking Abishag the Shunnamite for Adonijah? Ask for him also the kingdom, for he is my brother, older than I; and ask for him also Abiathar the priest, and for Joab the son of Zeruiah.” 23 Then King Solomon swore by Yahweh, saying, “Thus may God do to me and thus may he add, if Adonijah hasn’t spoken this thing at the expense of his life. 24 So then, as Yahweh lives,[i] who has established me and seated me on the throne of my father David and who has established for me a dynasty as he promised, then surely Adonijah will be put to death today.” 25 King Solomon sent through the hand of Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, so he struck him, and he died.

26 To Abiathar the priest, the king said, “Go to Anathoth, to your field, for you deserve to die,[j] but on this day I will not kill you, for you carried the ark of the Lord Yahweh before David my father, and because you endured hardship in all the hardship that my father endured.” 27 So Solomon banished Abiathar from being priest to Yahweh, thus fulfilling the word which Yahweh had spoken concerning the house of Eli in Shiloh.

28 When the message came to Joab (now Joab had supported[k] Adonijah but had not supported[l] Absalom), he fled to the tent of Yahweh and grasped the horns of the altar. 29 It was told to King Solomon that Joab had fled to the tent of Yahweh and was beside the altar. So Solomon sent word to Benaiah son of Jehoiada, saying, “Go and fall upon him.” 30 So Benaiah went to the tent of Yahweh, and he said to him, “Thus says the king: ‘Come out.’” And he said, “No, for I want to die here.” So Benaiah returned a word to the king, saying, “Thus Joab spoke, and thus he answered me.” 31 Then the king said to him, “Do as he spoke; fall upon him and bury him, and so you shall remove the innocent blood that Joab shed from on me and from on the house of my father. 32 Yahweh will return his blood on his head, because he fell upon two men, more righteous and better than he, and he killed them with the sword, even though my father did not know it; namely Abner son of Ner, commander of the army of Israel, and Amasa son of Jether, commander of the army of Judah. 33 And their blood will return on the head of Joab and on the head of his descendants forever, but for David and his descendants and for his house and his throne, there will be peace forever from Yahweh.” 34 So Benaiah son of Jehoiada went up, and he fell on him and killed him, and he was buried in his house in the wilderness. 35 Then the king appointed Benaiah the son of Jehoiada in his place over the army, and the king appointed Zadok the priest in place of Abiathar.

36 Then the king sent and summoned Shimei, and he said to him, “Build yourself a house in Jerusalem and live there, but you must not go out anywhere whatsoever[m] from there. 37 It shall happen that on the day you go out and cross over the Wadi[n] Kidron, know for certain that you will surely die.[o] Your blood will be on your head.” 38 Shimei said to the king, “The word is good that my lord the king has spoken to me; thus will your servant do.” So Shimei lived in Jerusalem many days.

39 It happened that at the end of three years, two of Shimei’s slaves fled to Achish, son of Maacah, the king of Gath. They told Shimei, saying, “Your slaves are here in Gath.” 40 So Shimei got up and saddled his donkey, and he went to Gath, to Achish, to search for his slaves. So Shimei went and brought his slaves from Gath. 41 When Solomon was told that Shimei had gone from Jerusalem to Gath and had returned, 42 the king sent and summoned Shimei, and he said to him, “Did I not make you swear by Yahweh? I warned you, saying, ‘On the day you go out and you go anywhere whatsoever,[p] know for certain that you will surely die.’[q] And you said to me, ‘The word is good; I accept.’ 43 Why have you not kept the oath of Yahweh and the command which I commanded you?” 44 Then the king said to Shimei, “You know all the evil which your heart knows, what you did to David my father. Now Yahweh will return the evil on your head, 45 but King Solomon will be blessed and the throne of David will be established before Yahweh forever.” 46 Then the king commanded Benaiah son of Jehoiada, and he went out and fell upon him, and he died. So the kingdom was established in the hand of Solomon.


  1. 1 Kings 2:2 Literally “as a man”
  2. 1 Kings 2:8 Literally “cursed me with a curse”
  3. 1 Kings 2:10 Or “fathers”
  4. 1 Kings 2:13 Literally “Is peace your coming?”
  5. 1 Kings 2:14 Literally “A word is for me to you”
  6. 1 Kings 2:16 Literally “not turn my face”
  7. 1 Kings 2:20 Literally “not turn my face”
  8. 1 Kings 2:20 Literally “not turn your face”
  9. 1 Kings 2:24 Literally “the life of Yahweh”
  10. 1 Kings 2:26 Literally “you are a man of death”
  11. 1 Kings 2:28 Literally “had turned after”
  12. 1 Kings 2:28 Literally “had not turned after”
  13. 1 Kings 2:36 Literally “where and where”
  14. 1 Kings 2:37 A valley that is dry most of the year, but contains a stream during the rainy season
  15. 1 Kings 2:37 Literally “dying you will die”
  16. 1 Kings 2:42 Literally “where and where”
  17. 1 Kings 2:42 Literally “dying you will die”