Advice to Solomon [1-10]."
Bible Study was written by Roger Christopherson, and it's transcription
is provided with written permission by https://theseason.org
At the end of the last chapter, we saw that Solomon had a lot of compassion for his brother, and sought to do him no harm, as long as Adonijah lived a life of a worthy man. It is time in this chapter to do a lot of house cleaning of those men that sought to do harm to David and Solomon in the plotting of their minds. So in this chapter we will see the final instructions from David to his son Solomon, that is now sitting on the throne of David over all Israel.
I Kings 2:1 "Now the days of David drew nigh that he should die; and he charged Solomon his son, saying,"
I Kings 2:2 "I Go the way of all the earth: be thou strong therefore, and shew thyself a man;"
David is telling his son Solomon that like all men, I am going to die, and go to my grave. Though David's body remained in the grave, Christ's body arose from the grave. However at death, the soul of each body ascends immediately to be with the Father that placed each soul in that flesh body at conception.
I Kings 2:3 "And keep the charge of the Lord thy God, to walk in His ways, to keep His statutes, and His commandments, and His judgments, and His testimonies, as it is written in the law of Moses, that thou mayest prosper in all that thou doest, and whithersoever thou turnest thyself:"
The lesson for this chapter hinges on the subject of this verse. If you want to prosper, then this is the way that you can assure that you will. This advice is coming from David and given to his son Solomon.
However, today many people just don't know the difference between statutes, commandments, or Judgments. The "statutes" were the ceremonial teachings and things to observe. Most of those statutes were of a symbolic nature and were nailed to the cross with Christ. The "commandments" are the moral laws of God, and they are just as true and right today, as the day they were given by God to Moses on Mount Sinai. The first five commandments are directed to our relationship to God, while the last five commandments are directed to man's morality to govern his relations to his fellow man.
The "Judgments" are those things that have to do with civil law. Those things that deal with the community that we live in, and those regulations that govern the things of the community. While "testimonies" deal with the laws and regulations of special services, as God deals with his people in their lives.
As the rest of this chapter goes on, Solomon is going to be tested in each of these areas of instruction that David is giving to him. These instructions are just as important to us today as they were to Solomon, as David was giving these instructions to him. Choosing to follow these instructions will make you a far wiser person and a better Christian because it will bring discipline in your life. Which shows us how easily we can be taken in by others when there is no discipline in our minds. We are talking about common sense that God has given us, and making the right choices with the knowledge and common sense that is in our minds. If you ever expect to be blessed by God and prosper, then you will have to pay attention to this example that David is giving to his son. It is up to you whether you are blessed or not. This history lesson is an ensample to each of us today.
I Kings 2:4 "That the Lord may continue His word which He spake concerning me, saying, If thy children take heed to their way, to walk before Me in truth with all their heart and with all their soul, there shall not fail thee (said He) a man on the throne of Israel."
At this time in Israel, all the tribes of Israel were under Solomon as one nation. They had not split into two separate nations called houses yet, as they shall do at Solomon's death. This then, is referring to the throne of David that Solomon is now sitting on. It is David's advice to Solomon that God had promised, that if those ways of God were followed, God would bless the throne and it would never end.
I Kings 2:5 "Moreover thou knowest also what Joab the son of Zeruiah did to me, and what he did to the two captains of the hosts of Israel, unto Abner the son of Ner, and unto Amasa the son of Jether, whom he slew, and shed the blood of war in peace, and put the blood of war upon his girdle that was about his loins, and in his shoes that were on his feet."
Follow this carefully, for David is warning Solomon of one of the acts that his nephew Joab did to him. This is warning Solomon of those that are living in his kingdom, and the wicked things that they have done before. Meaning, if they had acted in such a manner before, than they surely will do it again to you. Wake up and look around you, know the people by the things that they say and the things that they do.
David is pleading with Solomon to even the score for his old dad, so that they will not deal in the same manner with you. David is old and feeble at this time, and these things must be made right before peace and security can exist in his kingdom. These men did not follow those statutes, commandments or judgments of God, and they were not faithful to their own word. If you expect to have a kingdom in peace and right with God, than you must tend to these things from the start. We see exactly what Joab did that was so wrong.
Because of Joab's jealousy towards both of these men, Joab killed these two men and David stood by and did nothing to prevent it. Nor did he lift a hand against Joab after the murders were done, because Joab had witnessed that murderous act of David when he sent Uriah, Bath-sheba's husband to Joab to be killed in battle. Sure David did wrong, but Joab used that against David for many years, all the days of David's life. Joab violated God's commandments, and got away with it when he himself murdered Abner and Amasa, the generals over Absalom's army.
Joab also broke the trust of a testimony committed by king David, for when Amasa was greeting him with a kiss of friendship, Joab drew his sword, and slay him right into his fifth rib. This was out and out murder over jealously. Yet David did not make the judgment that he should have, so he is passing the judgment on to Solomon to make those things right. These events are recorded in II Samuel 3:27, and II Samuel 20:10.
I Kings 2:6 "Do therefore according to thy wisdom, and let not his hoar head go down to the grave in peace."
David is requesting from Solomon that he should make these things right, so that Joab will not be allowed to go to the grave in peace. The point being that Joab should not be allowed to die a natural death. David is asking for capital punishment on Joab.
I Kings 2:7 "But shew kingdness unto the sons of Barzillai the Gileadite, and let them be of those that eat at thy table: for so they came to me when I fled because of Absalom thy brother."
Not only does David want the punishment on those that deserve it, but David also wants those that did him right to receive their just rewards. David is telling Solomon to not only allow them to draw from the storehouse of the king, but let them sit at your royal table, and be treated as royal family, for the great kindness that their father has shown to me in my time of need. It is a repayment in a moral situation.
I Kings 2:8 "And, behold, thou hast with thee Shimei the son of Gera, a Benjamite of Bahurim, which cursed me with a grievous curse in the day when I went to Mahanaim: but he came down to meet me at Jordan, and I sware to him by the Lord, saying, I will not put thee to death with the sword."
Shimei was the young man of Benjamin that cursed David, as he was fleeing in haste from Absalom, when his life was in danger. Absalom had gathered an army and was coming after David, and this young man ran alongside David as his household was cursing both God and David.
I Kings 2:9 "Now therefore hold him not guiltless: (for thou art a wise man, and knowest what thou oughtest to do unto him); but his hoar head bring thou down to the grave with blood."
We will see the wisdom of Solomon because Solomon will not use the charge of David to bring Shimei to the grave, but something else. There will be another charge against him, and it will appear to others that David had nothing to do with the cleansing process of the kingdom of Solomon.
I Kings 2:10 "So David slept with his fathers, and was buried in the city of David."
David's reign is over, and David died.
I Kings 2:11 "And the days that David reigned over Israel were forty years: seven years reigned he in Hebron, and thirty and three years reigned he in Jerusalem."
David reigned over Israel in Hebron seven years before he took Jerusalem from the Jebusites, and cleaned it up and made it the capital of the Israelites.
I Kings 2:12 "Then sat Solomon upon the throne of David his father; and his kingdom was established greatly."
Solomon's kingdom was a great success, for Solomon used his great wisdom to draw all the kings of the world to him. Solomon followed God's laws.
I Kings 2:13 "And Adonijah the son of Haggith came to Bath-sheba the mother of Solomon. And she said, Comest thou peaceably? And he said, Peaceably."
Though Solomon was the son of David and Bath-sheba, Adonijah was not the son of Bath-sheba, but Haggith. Bath-sheba remembered how Adonijah had tried to take the throne from her son, and she just did not trust Adonijah.
I Kings 2:14 "He said moreover, I have somewhat to say unto thee. And she said, Say on."
Mothers are very trusting souls, so we see Bath-sheba is going to give Adonijah the benefit of the doubt. Adonijah is going to have Solomon's mother make a request on his behalf. How can Solomon deny the request of his mother? The lesson here is to be very careful concerning someone's word, for when they have betrayed you before, expect it to happen again. Though these words seem so innocent, they are all a part of a deadly plot of treason. It is far more than just seeking the hand of a young woman.
I Kings 2:15 "And he said, "Thou knowest that the kingdom was mine, and that all Israel set their faces on me, that I should reign: howbeit the kingdom is turned about, and is become my brother's: for it was his from the Lord."
This is a bold lie that is coming from the lips of Adonijah, for he is saying that all the people wanted him to be king. That just wasn't so. This old boy is very sharp and is trying not to disturb Bath-sheba, by adding the part, that it was Solomon's right to reign came from the Lord. This is what throws many Christian's off, when it comes to analyzing God's Word; for though it is written that it was God's will that Solomon reign, here we see Adonijah lying, stating other things as fact. What is said here was not spoken in honesty, but it was said for the sake of gaining a favor from the queen mother to force her to do something very dangerous; even so, it will be done in ignorance.
I Kings 2:16 "And now I ask one petition of thee, deny me not. And she said unto him, Say on."
So far this man was saying the right things, he had accepted his rightful position, and he also recognized that her son Solomon had the right to be king. The thing that won her over was when Adonijah said that the Lord gave the kingdom to Solomon.
I Kings 2:17 "And he said, Speak, I pray thee, unto Solomon the king, (for he will not say thee nay,) that he give me Abishag the Shunammite to wife."
"Abishag the Shunammite" was the pretty young girl that was brought into the bed of David to keep the king warm in his old age, and now that the king is dead, Adonijah wanted this girl for his wife. It sounds reasonable and innocent, for her obligation to David is over, and she is available to be a wife. It wasn't much to ask of Bath-sheba, for her to put this request before her son, the king. Remember that Adonijah was the brother of Solomon, and it is like asking your brother for the right for the hand of a girl in marriage. Bath-sheba is touched by Adonijah's request and sincerity and she agrees to make the request for him.
I Kings 2:18 "And Bath-sheba said, Well; I will speak for thee unto the king."
So at this point, we see exactly what can get you into trouble. You listen to the words that are being spoken, but you do not have the knowledge to know what is behind the thought of the one speaking. Bath-sheba gave in too easily to this man with a bad reputation, and did not consider the outcome of the request. Wicked men and women know the words that will turn on a Christian, and cause them to let down their spiritual guard. This young man used the name of the Lord only as a means of getting to Bath-sheba's heart, to gain an advantage over her. Adonijah had no more desire to seek God's ways, nor did he care for the ways of the Lord nor God's will. This is one of Satan's ways.
I Kings 2:19 "Bath-sheba therefore went unto king Solomon, to speak unto him for Adonijah. And the king rose up to meet her, and bowed himself unto her, and sat down on his throne, and caused a seat to be set for the king's mother, and sat her at his right hand."
The right hand of the king was the highest position in the kingdom. Bath-sheba took that chair, and sat by her son. This was his mother, and he sought to please her and bowed to her wishes. Adonijah knew that this would be the way that Solomon would accept his mother's request, and that he would grant her wishes.
I Kings 2:20 "Then she said, I desire one small petition of thee; I pray thee, say me not nay. And the king said unto her, Ask on, my mother: for I will not say thee nay."
Solomon loved his mother.
I Kings 2:21 "Then she said, Let Abishag the Shunammite be given to Adonijah thy brother to wife."
Do you get it? Adonijah caused Bath-sheba to make this request to sound like it was her idea that this act be done. On the surface it sounds like a reasonable request, only there are deep overtones here.
I Kings 2:22 "And king Solomon answered and said unto his mother, And why dost thou ask Abishag the Shunammite for Adonijah? ask for him the kingdom also; for he is mine elder brother; even for him, and for Abiathar the priest, and for Joab the son of Zeruiah."
In Solomon's wisdom, he has figured out already that it is not right for Adonijah to ask him for the hand of Abishag. Something smells a little fishy in Jerusalem on this matter. However it is his mother that is asking for this request. Solomon asked his mother, if you are going to ask a favor for Adonijah, are you going to ask for favors for Abiathar and Joab also, these are those men that planned to take the throne against David's wishes. Solomon can see right through Bath-sheba's words. He can see what Queen mother had forgotten while all the smooth talk was taking place.
Even though a marriage with virgin Abishag was not consumated with David, for she was only a nurse for David; all the people considered Abishag to be a concubine of David. Thus it would be Solomon's right to give the young woman in the hand of marriage. The point that is made here and that Bath-sheba is overlooking, is that the man that takes over the wives of the king at the king's death, becomes the new king. This was an underhanded way of gaining some control to the throne, and even a move to dethrone Solomon. It seemed to be such a small thing and so innocent at the time, yet the Queen mother had no idea what was going on behind her back.
As we live our lives today, those little things that creep in are foreign to the testimonies and judgments that God has placed in His word for our lives. We give in a little here, and a little there to where those things that we say we stand for, are so polluted that it becomes repugnant to God. It is easy to mess up if you are ignorant in the word and the world around you. Solomon knew that if it was Adonijah that was the one making the plea with Bath-sheba, then Abaithar, and Joab were also part of the plot.
I Kings 2:23 "Then king Solomon sware by the Lord, saying, God do so to me, and more also, if Adonijah have not spoken this word against his own life."
After the warning by Solomon to Adonijah in the last chapter, Adonijah has now made a move that would condemn his life and his own soul.
I Kings 2:24 "Now therefore, as the Lord liveth, Which hath established me, and set me on the throne of David my father, and Who hath made me an house [nation], as He promised, Adonijah shall be put to death this day."
This then is an oath that Solomon is making to the fact that if this plot is to dethrone Solomon, than this day Adonijah will be put to death. Solomon is going to watch the others in the plot, to determine if it actually exists.
I Kings 2:25 "And king Solomon sent by the hand of Benaiah the son of Jehoiada; and he fell upon him that he died."
Remember that Solomon allowed Adonijah to live after his first plot to obtain the throne, but the second time Adonijah made a move to dethrone Solomon, he would die. This request and the using of Bath-sheba to take the throne of Solomon was treason. Had Solomon not seen through Adonijah's request and given the concubine to him, than Joab would have the right to declare the anointing of Solomon void, Abiathar the priest would be in the wings, and Adonijah would be made the king. Do you see the wickedness in the mind of Adonijah?
Benaiah was now in the position that was once held by Joab, and it was Benaiah that would carry out the punishment for the treason. This was not murder, but capital punishment for the act of treason against the state. This would fall under civil law. Had it not been for Solomon's great wisdom, the throne would have been taken from Solomon then.
That is Satan's number one trick; trying to use someone close to God's people to cause them to sin and fall from grace. Be careful, my friend, for the lesson that we learn here is just as true now as it was in Adonijah's day.
I Kings 2:26 "And unto Abiathar the priest said the king, Get thee in Anathoth, unto thine own fields; for thou art worthy of death: but I will not at this time put thee to death, because thou barest the ark of the Lord God before David my father, and because thou hast been afflicted in all wherein my father was afflicted."
Solomon is telling the priest Abiathar that he should also be put to death at this time, but because he is keeper of the ark of the Lord, he will not be killed at this time. The reason for this, was that Abiathar was the priest that was found guilty as he was the one that was ready to anoint Adonijah. Abiathar took part in the first plot to place Adonijah on the throne, and now he was willing to take part in this second move against the throne.
This applies to our day just as it did then, for there are many priests and ministers whom are ready to stand by and anoint the false Christ at his arrival. The have made themselves ready to be servants of Satan, leading their entire flocks into Satan's religious system, when he appears here on earth. They are anxious to take the virgin bride of Christ, and turn them over to Satan in marriage, just as Adonijah was trying to turn the virgin bride of David over, and falsey gain the throne for himself. There are many Abiathars in our day that look so reverent and priestly in their manner and words, yet they would think nothing of leading their entire flock to Satan. The word "Abiathar" in the Hebrew means "answer to prayer". It was an answer to his prayer that Abiathar's life was spared here.
But Solomon told Abiathar that he would not serve any more as a priest. He was told that he was not fit to preach and he was ordered to go to the field and work as a farm hand.
I Kings 2:27 "So Solomon thrust out Abiathar from being priest unto the Lord; that he might fulfil the word of the Lord, which He spake concerning the house of Eli in Shiloh."
In First Samuel 2:31-35; God promised Eli that there would be a time when there would be none of his seed that would serve as priests again. Abiathar was the final line to the priesthood of in the lineage of Eli the Judge and the prophet. Though God cut off the priesthood from the sons and lineage of Eli, God promised that some day He would raise up a faithful priest that shall do according to that which is in God's heart and God's mind.
I Samuel 2:35 "And I will raise Me up a faithful priest, that shall do according to that which is in Mine heart and in My mind: and I will build him a sure house; and he shall walk before Mine anointed for ever."
This prophecy came to pass when Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead. "Lazarus" in the Hebrew tongue is "Eleazar", which means "help of God". Jesus Christ was that priesthood that is faithful and that is His name; "the Anointed One". God raised a priesthood through the lineage of David, and it was a work of God.
Abiathar was a priest that listened and tried to please man, and this was a very serious thing, for he was going to anoint Adonijah as king and make void the anointing of Solomon. In the end, there simply is not a man in the flesh that could measure up to God's standards to stand as the High priest before God. God gave us that high Priest in Jesus Christ. Jesus does meet all of the standards before Almighty God. When Jesus Christ came out of the tomb, he became the True high priest.
I Kings 2:28 "Then tidings came to Joab: for Joab had turned after Adonijah, though he turned not after Absalom, And Joab fled unto the tabernacle of the Lord, and caught hold on the horns of the altar."
Solomon knew now that Joab was in full support of Adonijah, even though he did not support his cousin Absalom. He was at the party at the serpent's rock [Zoheleth] when Adonijah was going to anoint himself king, and he was ready to assume complete authority over the army of Israel, once Abiathar had completed the anointing of Adonijah. Joab was part of the plot, and he knew that his days were numbered and few. Here we see Joab doing exactly as Adonijah did when he saw that his he was about to be put to death. He headed for the tabernacle of the Lord, and hung on to the horns of the altar. To this point, Solomon had made no statement that Joab would be killed, yet in Joab's mind he knew that he was guilty of the same treason acts as Adonijah. Joab's act condemned him as guilty. The plot is out in the open, and those involved are heading for cover.
David said, kill Joab for those two murders,(Abner, and Amasa) yet here Joab is at the altar pleading for his life, for another act of treason, for trying to overthrow king Solomon.
I Kings 2:29 "And it was told king solomon that Joab was fled unto the tabernacle of the Lord; and, behold, he is by the altar. Then Solomon sent Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, saying, Go, fall upon him."
Solomon knew immediately that Joab was just as guilty as Adonijah, and Solomon gave the order to Benaiah to "Go, fall upon him." Kill him for his part in that act. So what is the law concerning murder?
Exodus 21:12 "He that smiteth a man, so that he die, shall be surely put to death."
Exodus 21:13 "And if a man lie not in wait, but God deliver him into his hand; then I will appoint thee a place whether he shall flee."
Exodus 21:14 "But if a man come presumptuously upon his neighour, to slay him with guile; thou shalt take him from mine altar, that he may die."
The key point as to whether the man dies or not from the death of another, is whether it was planned or not. Joab knew that he was part of the planning of the death of both Abner, and Amasa, and their deaths were cold and calculated. So here he is hanging onto the altar begging for mercy from God. God has already passed judgment upon him. Friend, it simply doesn't matter whether you confess, and plead for mercy at any altar, the judgment for that sin is death; Capital punishment.
This law was not done away with when Jesus came in the flesh and died on the cross. Jesus made it very clear that the law for murder still stands. It does no good for a murderer to go to the altar to save his flesh body, because God is going to do the judging of that murderer before His throne.
Matthew 5:21 "Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment: "
"Kill" in the Greek text is # 5407 in the Strong's Greek dictionary. "Phoneuo, fon-yoo'-o; from 5406, to be a murderer, to kill, to do murderer." So let's go to the prime root to get the source of the meaning of the word in 5406. "Phoneus, phon-yooce'; a murderer, always of criminal intent [or at least criminal] homicide; which 443 does not necessarily imply; which 4607 is a specific term for a public bandit: murderer."
Jesus came to fulfill the law and not change one part of it. It is God's law to put away murderers, and take their life from off the face of the earth. The death sentence is for the purpose of cleansing the land so that others will see the murderer die, and those actions will cease from happening in the communities. However, there must be two witness to the act. There was no forgiveness at the altar of God for Joab, for his soul must be sent to the Father, and there Joab will be judged before the face God and the victim(s). The two souls of the men that Joab murdered are there with the Father waiting for Joab to come and be tried at the throne of God in heaven. Before God there are no unsolved mysteries. Solomon was faithful in the instruction that the word of God, and his father David instructed him to do.
I Kings 2:30 "And Benaiah came to the tabernacle of the Lord, and said unto him, Thus saith the king, Come forth. And he said, Nay; but I will die here. And Benaiah brought the king word again, saying, Thus said Joab, and thus he answered me."
Taking the life of another man is a serious thing, and Benaiah wanted additional instructions before he took the life of Joab; especially standing in the tabernacle before the altar of God. King Solomon gave the instructions to Benaiah, so what Benaiah did was carry out the duties of the state. Today it is the court that holds the power for carrying out the wishes of the people.
I Kings 2:31 "And the king said unto him, Do as he hath said, and fall upon him, and bury him; that thou mayest take away the innocent blood, which Joab shed, from me, and form the house of my father."
Solomon in turn gave the permission to grant Joab's final wish. So Joab will die just as he requested, hanging on to the horns of the altar in the tabernacle. Pay attention now for this is the reason for the taking the life of the murderer; "...that thou mayest take away the innocent blood." In other words; until the murderer's life is killed, the innocent blood rests on the people's houses and families within that community, but when the murderer is killed, than the innocent blood rests on the murderer himself [or herself]. This fact of the law is very biblical, for Christ's death on the cross did not take that part of the law away.
I Kings 2:32 "And the Lord shall return his blood upon his own head, who fell upon two men more righteous and better than he, and slew them with the sword, my father David not knowing thereof, to wit, Abner the son of Ner, Captain of the host of Israel, and Amasa the son of Jether, captain of the host of Judah."
This is naming the the two acts of murder that Joab did in the shedding of innocent blood. The murders were done after the friendliness of a handshake was committed, and during the greetings of the kiss to a close friend. The butchering came after the plotting took place to end the life of these two men. It was very much a premeditative act by Joab.
Once the murderer is put to death, the blood of the innocent person that was killed falls on his own head, and is lifted off the people of the community. It is the duty of the state to carry out the punishment, once the double witnesses have testified, and it is known to be a fact. When Benaiah thrust the sword into Joab and took Joab's life, the guilt of the murderers of Abner and Amasa were shifted from David and Israel to the head of Joab. Benaiah did not commit a murder, for he was acting in the official capacity for the state, at the orders of king Solomon [the government]. Time is not a factor in bringing justice in the case of a murderer. Many years had passed from the time of Abners death until justice was served.
I Kings 2:33 "Their blood shall therefore return upon the head of Joab, and upon the head of his seed for ever: but upon David, and upon his seed, and upon his house, and upon his throne shall there be peace for ever from the Lord."
This particular part of the punishment has changed, following the death of Jesus Christ at the cross. The sins of the father do not fall on the son any longer, but for the murderer, whether it be a man or woman, it will rest on the head of the murderer for the act that was committed. It does not change, even if the murderer is at the altar of God pleading. This does not mean that our heavenly Father will not forgive them, but God must be the judge, and that judgment will be face to face, with the soul of the victim present. Flesh man is out of the judgment once the murderer is killed. God knows the intent of the heart or mind of the murderer, and he also knows the intent of the repentance of the murderer. Those things can not be known by any flesh man.
That soul may be forgiven before the Father, but it doesn't mean that the murderer's soul is going to hell. Many Christians have died in the taking of the gospel of Christ to the heathen, where by their death was outright murder. Yet for the sake of the gospel, those souls may have come to the saving knowledge of Christ and truly repented. Of course there is repentance for that crime, and the blotting out of that sin takes place before the Father, where all decisions are final. However before flesh man, there still hast to be an accounting for that crime.
Once Joab died, than all innocent blood was taken from David's hands, and that of his family and the people of the community. God will not bless a people that will not carry out His instructions from His Word.
I Kings 2:34 "So Benaiah the son of Jehoiada went up, and fell upon him, and slew him: and he was buried in his own house in the wilderness."
This was the practice for any death, that the dead were buried before sunset.
I Kings 2:35 "And the king put Benaiah the son of Jehoiada in his room over the hosts: and Zadok the priest did the king put in the room of Abiathar."
Because king Solomon knew that he could rely on Benaiah to carry out orders, Benaiah was made capitan over the army. Zadok then took over the duties of Abiathar, the high priest, for Solomon sent Abiathar to the field and away from the tabernacle and all the duties of the priest. Remember it was Zadok that David called in to administer the anointing of Solomon to be the king.
I Kings 2:36 "And the king sent and called for Shimei, and said unto him, "Build thee an house in Jerusalem, and dwell there, and go not forth thence whither."
Shimei was the one that cursed David, and on David's death bed, he asked Solomon to take care of that evil act that was done to him. Do it in a fair and just manner. The cursing was done when David was running from his son Absalom, when Absalom was trying to take over the throne. When an Israelite cursed the throne which God had established and anointed, that person cursed God. Shimei cursed David at a time, so in a manner that was a complete insult of God himself.
So the way that Solomon is dealing with Shimei, was to order him to build himself a house in Jerusalem, telling him you live there the rest of your life. Solomon warned Shimei that if he ever left Jerusalem for any reason, he would carry out the capital punishment that rested on his head. This was a life sentence and his own home in Jerusalem was the jail house.
I Kings 2:37 "For it shall be, that on the day thou goest out, and passest over the brook Kedron, thou shalt know for certain that thou shalt surely die: thy blood shall be upon thine own head."
Solomon is telling Shimei that it is he himself that will pronounce his own death sentence if you leave Jerusalem and pass over the brook Kedron. The brook Kedron is that little intermittent stream that runs between mount Sion, and the mount of Olives. It is the mount of Olives that Christ will return to. Solomon did not want this Shimei to go to the mount of Olives. Shimei had cursed David and the kingship that God had placed over all Israel.
I Kings 2:38 "And Shimei said unto the king, The saying is good: as my lord the king hath said, so will thy servant do. And Shimei dwelt in Jerusalem may days."
Shimei knew that the punishment could be far greater, and he was willing to accept the judgment of Solomon. So Shimei built his house in Jerusalem, and he lived there for about three years.
I Kings 2:39 "And it came to pass at the end of three years, that two of the servants of Shimei ran away unto Achish son of Maachah king of Gath. And they told Shimei, saying, Behold, thy servants be in Gath."
The word "Achish" in the Hebrew tongue means "angry". Gath is to the south of Jerusalem, so it is in the opposite direction to the brook Kedron. The orders by Solomon was that he not cross the brook Kedron but stay in Jerusalem. In Shimei's mind, he was not crossing Kedron, but going in the opposite direction. The sentence by Solomon was that "if you leave your house in Jerusalem, and travel anywhere, it will be your death." The command was to stay home the rest of your life.
The lesson here is a matter of discipline to the one being punished. Solomon disciplined Shimei in a very passionate way, where by Shimei could even have his own servants within his household. It wasn't really that much punishment. So let's see how the human mind can make excuses for the sake of not following the commandments of God. This is the way that people get into trouble, and allow themselves to fall away from God.
I Kings 2:40 "And Shimei arose, and saddled his ass, and went to Gath to Achish to seek his servants: and Shimei went, and brought his servants from Gath."
Gath is about 64 miles from Jerusalem, and Shimei went there to where his servant Achish ran to. These servants were important to Shimei, so much so that he would risk his life to bring them back to Jerusalem.
I Kings 2:41 "And it was told Solomon that Shimei had gone from Jerusalem to Gath, and was come again."
Shimei had made this hundred and twenty mile trip riding on his donkey, and when he returned, the whole neighborhood knew that he had gone because these runaway servants were back in the house. It didn't take long for Solomon to hear that Shimei had violated the sentence that was on his head.
I Kings 2:42 "And the king sent and called for Shimei, and said unto him, Did I not make thee to sware by the Lord, and protested unto thee, saying, Know for a certain, on the day thou goest out, and walkest abroad any whither, that thou shalt surely die? And thou saidest unto me, The word that I have heard is good."
So after the man had sentenced himself to death, Solomon is now reminding Shimei what the law placed on him was. Solomon reminded Shimei that he agreed to abide by that law. Once Solomon had spoken, he did not give Shimei the chance to present his case, to argue the facts and make excuses.
I Kings 2:43 "Why then hast thou not kept the oath of the Lord, and the commandment that I have charged thee with?"
Solomon is doing the talking, even though it is the form of a question.
I Kings 2:44 "The king said moreover to Shimei, Thou knowest all the wickedness which thine heart is privy to, that thou didst to David my father: therefore the Lord shall return thy wickedness upon thine own head;"
Solomon is now getting to the base reason for the sentence that was passed on Shimei in the first place. You talk about the wisdom of Solomon, for Solomon did not kill Shimei for the sake of cursing his father David, but for the sake of violating the sentence of the law that Shimei put on his own head. Shimea agreed to the law being placed on him, that should he leave the city while under house arrest, and it would now be for the sake of that law that he would die. Shimea had a choice and made his own decision to leave Jerusalem, and when he broke out of this house [jail], that act would cause him to die. Solomon was more than fair, he allowed him to build the house he would be comfortable in, and allowed him to have servants and even keep the lands he had. However he could not leave his own house to go to outside those lands. Though the death is for another reason, other than cursing David, both are fulfilled in the death of Shimei.
I Kings 2:45 "And king Solomon shall be blessed, and the throne of David shall be established before the Lord for ever."
That throne has been well attended both physically and spiritually from that time.
I Kings 2:46 "So the king commanded Benaiah the son of Jehoiada; which went out, and fell upon him, that he died. And the kingdom was established in the hand of Solomon."
So all of those individuals that had sinned against David his father, and his own throne, have died. Solomon has proved himself, and his throne when he carried out those commandments that were mentioned in the third verse of this chapter. Those were the Statutes, or ceremonial laws that have to do with the priests and those things of the tabernacle. The commandments were those things that were the moral laws of God. The Judgments being the civil laws of the community, where neighbors have to get along with each other. Also the testimonies, which were the laws dealing with special services before God Himself, in carrying out God's plan. Solomon fulfilled each of these when he was passing judgment on those that were in violation of both David's throne, as well as his own. Solomon did a good job in passing judgment.
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