Joab and Adonijah

INTRODUCTION: After Absalom was killed and the men of Israel who had supported him scattered, they soon decided they should support King David again. Rivalry developed between them and the men of Judah who brought the king back to Jerusalem without waiting for all the tribes of Israel to be represented. A Benjamite blew his trumpet and led many men away in anger. David put Amasa in the place of Joab, but Joab found an opportunity to kill Amasa by surprise in the field; then he went on to successfully squelch the potential revolt. When King David was in his latter years, Adonijah, the next son after Absalom, was helped by Joab in an attempt to replace David as king without David's knowledge. But the celebration for Adonijah's coronation came to an abrupt end when David was informed, and he ordered Solomon to be quickly anointed as king. After David had died, King Solomon brought justice upon Adonijah, Joab, and Shimei.

NOTE: All passages are from the 1901 American Standard Version.

A - THE MEN OF ISRAEL WANTED TO RETURN TO DAVID AS THEIR KING

2 Samuel 19 "9 And all the people were at strife throughout all the tribes of Israel, saying, The king delivered us out of the hand of our enemies, and he saved us out of the hand of the Philistines; and now he is fled out of the land from Absalom. 10 And Absalom, whom we anointed over us, is dead in battle. Now therefore why speak ye not a word of bringing the king back? 11 And king David sent to Zadok and to Abiathar the priests, saying, Speak unto the elders of Judah, saying, Why are ye the last to bring the king back to his house? seeing the speech of all Israel is come to the king, to bring him to his house. 12 Ye are my brethren, ye are my bone and my flesh: wherefore then are ye the last to bring back the king? 13 And say ye to Amasa, Art thou not my bone and my flesh? God do so to me, and more also, if thou be not captain of the host before me continually in the room of Joab. 14 And he bowed the heart of all the men of Judah, even as the heart of one man; so that they sent unto the king, saying, Return thou, and all thy servants. 15 So the king returned, and came to the Jordan. And Judah came to Gilgal, to go to meet the king, to bring the king over the Jordan."

2 Samuel 19 "40 So the king went over to Gilgal, and Chimham went over with him: and all the people of Judah brought the king over, and also half the people of Israel. 41 And, behold, all the men of Israel came to the king, and said unto the king, Why have our brethren the men of Judah stolen thee away, and brought the king, and his household, over the Jordan, and all David's men with him? 42 And all the men of Judah answered the men of Israel, Because the king is near of kin to us: wherefore then are ye angry for this matter? have we eaten at all at the king's cost? or hath he given us any gift? 43 And the men of Israel answered the men of Judah, and said, We have ten parts in the king, and we have also more right in David than ye: why then did ye despise us, that our advice should not be first had in bringing back our king? And the words of the men of Judah were fiercer than the words of the men of Israel."

COMMENTS: The text describes a general agreement that developed among those who had followed Absalom that they should go to David to escort him back to Jerusalem as their king. They reminded each other of how many things David had done for Israel before and after he had become king. Meanwhile King David sent word to Zadok and Abiathar the priests who had remained in Jerusalem to faithfully serve him; and asked them to go to the elders of Judah to ask why they had not come out to escort David since all of Israel was turning back to him. Since they were his own brethren why should they be last to escort him? He also wanted his priests to tell Amasa, as his relative, that David would appoint him to take the place of Joab as captain of the army. This could have been a sign of general forgiveness for the revolt since Amasa had gone with Absalom; but David may have especially desired to remove Joab who had ignored David's instruction and killed Absalom to end the armed conflict. All the men of Judah were moved by David's message, and they were eager to bring David into Jerusalem. King David went to the Jordan, and the men of Judah went to Gilgal to prepare to bring the king over the Jordan.

The king crossed over the Jordan to Gilgal, accompanied by the people of Judah and also half the people of Israel. Then the men of Israel went to King David and complained that Judah had stolen the act of escort of David and all those who were with him. This began an outburst of argument between the men of Judah and the men of Israel. The men of Judah said they were direct blood relation and they had not received any reward for their action; and the men of Israel said they had ten parts in the king and should not have been displaced in bringing him back. This all may seem a bit trivial, but feelings were very strong about the matter.


B - A BENJAMITE TRIED TO LEAD A REBELLION AGAINST KING DAVID

2 Samuel 20 "1 And there happened to be there a base fellow, whose name was Sheba, the son of Bichri, a Benjamite: and he blew the trumpet, and said, We have no portion in David, neither have we inheritance in the son of Jesse: every man to his tents, O Israel. 2 So all the men of Israel went up from following David, and followed Sheba the son of Bichri; but the men of Judah clave unto their king, from the Jordan even to Jerusalem. 3 And David came to his house at Jerusalem; and the king took the ten women his concubines, whom he had left to keep the house, and put them in ward, and provided them with sustenance, but went not in unto them. So they were shut up unto the day of their death, living in widowhood. 4 Then said the king to Amasa, Call me the men of Judah together within three days, and be thou here present. 5 So Amasa went to call the men of Judah together; but he tarried longer than the set time which he had appointed him. 6 And David said to Abishai, Now will Sheba the son of Bichri do us more harm than did Absalom: take thou thy lord's servants, and pursue after him, lest he get him fortified cities, and escape out of our sight. 7 And there went out after him Joab's men, and the Cherethites and the Pelethites, and all the mighty men; and they went out of Jerusalem, to pursue after Sheba the son of Bichri. 8 When they were at the great stone which is in Gibeon, Amasa came to meet them. And Joab was girded with his apparel of war that he had put on, and thereon was a girdle with a sword fastened upon his loins in the sheath thereof; and as he went forth it fell out. 9 And Joab said to Amasa, Is it well with thee, my brother? And Joab took Amasa by the beard with his right hand to kiss him. 10 But Amasa took no heed to the sword that was in Joab's hand: so he smote him therewith in the body, and shed out his bowels to the ground, and struck him not again; and he died. And Joab and Abishai his brother pursued after Sheba the son of Bichri. 11 And there stood by him one of Joab's young men, and said, He that favoreth Joab, and he that is for David, let him follow Joab. 12 And Amasa lay wallowing in his blood in the midst of the highway. And when the man saw that all the people stood still, he carried Amasa out of the highway into the field, and cast a garment over him, when he saw that every one that came by him stood still. 13 When he was removed out of the highway, all the people went on after Joab, to pursue after Sheba the son of Bichri. 14 And he went through all the tribes of Israel unto Abel, and to Beth-maacah, and all the Berites: and they were gathered together, and went also after him."

2 Samuel 20 "15 And they came and besieged him in Abel of Beth-maacah, and they cast up a mound against the city, and it stood against the rampart; and all the people that were with Joab battered the wall, to throw it down. 16 Then cried a wise woman out of the city, Hear, hear; say, I pray you, unto Joab, Come near hither, that I may speak with thee. 17 And he came near unto her; and the woman said, Art thou Joab? And he answered, I am. Then she said unto him, Hear the words of thy handmaid. And he answered, I do hear. 18 Then she spake, saying, They were wont to speak in old time, saying, They shall surely ask counsel at Abel: and so they ended the matter. 19 I am of them that are peaceable and faithful in Israel: thou seekest to destroy a city and a mother in Israel: why wilt thou swallow up the inheritance of Jehovah? 20 And Joab answered and said, Far be it, far be it from me, that I should sdwallow up or destroy. 21 The matter is not so: but a man of the hill-country of Ephraim, Sheba the son of Bichri by name, hath lifted up his hand against the king, even against David; deliver him only, and I will depart from the city. And the woman said unto Joab, Behold, his head shall be thrown to thee over the wall. 22 Then the woman went unto all the people in her wisdom. And they cut off the head of Sheba the son of Bichri, and threw it out to Joab. And he blew the trumpet, and they were dispersed from the city, every man to his tent. And Joab returned to Jerusalem unto the king. 23 Now Joab was over all the host of Israel; and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada was over the Cherethites and over the Pelethites; 24 and Adoram was over the men subject to taskwork; and Jehoshaphat the son of Ahilud was the recorder; 25 and Sheva was scribe; and Zadok and Abiathar were priests; 26 and also Ira the Jairite was chief minister unto David."

COMMENTS: The harsh words that were exchanged resulted in a Benjamite man blowing a trumpet and shouting to incite the men of the ten tribes to abruptly leave with his words that they had no part in David as king. How quickly the earlier words of remembering how David had served all Israel; changed to the selfish words of a "base" Benjamite which seemed to arouse vengeful animosity that the Benjamite King Saul had been replaced by King David of Judah. The men of Judah stayed wit their king all the way into Jerusalem. King David set aside into special accommodations the ten concubines disgraced by Absalom, and they remained like widows for the rest of their lives.

King David instructed Amasa to gather all the men of Judah within three days, but Amasa did not return within the set time. So King David told Abishai that Sheba the son of Bichri would cause more harm than had Absalom, so Abishai was to lead David's men And stop him before he could hide within any fortified city. Joab's men, and the Cherethites and the Pelethites, and all the mighty men went on the pursuit. When they were at the great stone which is in Gibeon, Amasa came to meet them. Joab caught him off guard as he greeted him warmly, then grabbed him by the beard and killed him by thrusting his sword into his side. Joab and Abishai led the men through all the tribes of Israel and many others gathered to follow them. When they besieged Abel of Beth-maacah, and began to batter the wall to gain entry. A wise woman of the city appealed to Joab from the wall, saying this was a faithful city of peace; therefore why would he destroy the inheritance of Jehovah? Joab said he had not come to do such a thing, but a man of the hill-country of Ephraim, Sheba the son of Bichri by name, had threatened King David. Joab wanted that man only and he would leave the city. The woman spoke to all the people by her wisdom, and they cut off the head of Sheba the son of Bichri, and threw it out to Joab. Joab blew the trumpet, and they dispersed from that city, every man to his tent. And Joab returned to Jerusalem to the king with no more mention of Amasa at this point. Joab was again over all the host of Israel.


C - ADONIJAH FOLLOWED A PATTERN SIMILAR TO THAT OF ABSALOM TO REPLACE HIS FATHER AS KING

1 Kings 1 "1 Now king David was old and stricken in years; and they covered him with clothes, but he gat no heat. 2 Wherefore his servants said unto him, Let there be sought for my lord the king a young virgin: and let her stand before the king, and cherish him; and let her lie in thy bosom, that my lord the king may get heat. 3 So they sought for a fair damsel throughout all the borders of Israel, and found Abishag the Shunammite, and brought her to the king. 4 And the damsel was very fair; and she cherished the king, and ministered to him; but the king knew her not. 5 Then Adonijah the son of Haggith exalted himself, saying, I will be king: and he prepared him chariots and horsemen, and fifty men to run before him. 6 And his father had not displeased him at any time in saying, Why hast thou done so? and he was also a very goodly man; and he was born after Absalom. 7 And he conferred with Joab the son of Zeruiah, and with Abiathar the priest: and they following Adonijah helped him. 8 But Zadok the priest, and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, and Nathan the prophet, and Shimei, and Rei, and the mighty men that belonged to David, were not with Adonijah. 9 And Adonijah slew sheep and oxen and fatlings by the stone of Zoheleth, which is beside En-rogel; and he called all his brethren, the king's sons, and all the men of Judah, the king's servants: 10 but Nathan the prophet, and Benaiah, and the mighty men, and Solomon his brother, he called not."

COMMENTS: David was now affected by his age to the point of needing extra clothing to be warm, but when he slept he couldn't get warm enough. His servants proposed that a young virgin be found to be with the king always, and to sleep with him to keep him warm. They did a wide range search through Israel, and Abishag the Shunammite was brought to the king. This attractive young woman cherished the king, and ministered to him; but they did not have sexual intimacy together. Adonijah, the son born next after Absalom made public display of himself even saying he would be king. His method of using chariots and having fifty men to run before him was as Absalom had done, and King David did not question him about this. Adonijah conferred with Joab and with Abiathar the priest and they helped him in his plans to replace his father King David. But those who had been loyal to David before were not part of those drawn to Adonijah; and though the servants and the many sons of David were invited, Solomon his younger brother was specifically excluded.


D - NATHAN USED TWO STEPS TO INFORM KING DAVID

1 Kings 1 "11 Then Nathan spake unto Bath-sheba the mother of Solomon, saying, Hast thou not heard that Adonijah the son of Haggith doth reign, and David our lord knoweth it not? 12 Now therefore come, let me, I pray thee, give thee counsel, that thou mayest save thine own life, and the life of thy son Solomon. 13 Go and get thee in unto king David, and say unto him, Didst not thou, my lord, O king, swear unto thy handmaid, saying, Assuredly Solomon thy son shall reign after me, and he shall sit upon my throne? why then doth Adonijah reign? 14 Behold, while thou yet talkest there with the king, I also will come in after thee, and confirm thy words. 15 And Bath-sheba went in unto the king into the chamber: and the king was very old; and Abishag the Shunammite was ministering unto the king. 16 And Bath-sheba bowed, and did obeisance unto the king. And the king said, What wouldest thou? 17 And she said unto him, My lord, thou swarest by Jehovah thy God unto thy handmaid, saying, Assuredly Solomon thy son shall reign after me, and he shall sit upon my throne. 18 And now, behold, Adonijah reigneth; and thou, my lord the king, knowest it not: 19 and he hath slain oxen and fatlings and sheep in abundance, and hath called all the sons of the king, and Abiathar the priest, and Joab the captain of the host; but Solomon thy servant hath he not called. 20 And thou, my lord the king, the eyes of all Israel are upon thee, that thou shouldest tell them who shall sit on the throne of my lord the king after him. 21 Otherwise it will come to pass, when my lord the king shall sleep with his fathers, that I and my son Solomon shall be counted offenders. 22 And, lo, while she yet talked with the king, Nathan the prophet came in. 23 And they told the king, saying, Behold, Nathan the prophet. And when he was come in before the king, he bowed himself before the king with his face to the ground. 24 And Nathan said, My lord, O king, hast thou said, Adonijah shall reign after me, and he shall sit upon my throne? 25 For he is gone down this day, and hath slain oxen and fatlings and sheep in abundance, and hath called all the king's sons, and the captains of the host, and Abiathar the priest; and, behold, they are eating and drinking before him, and say, Long live king Adonijah. 26 But me, even me thy servant, and Zadok the priest, and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, and thy servant Solomon, hath he not called. 27 Is this thing done by my lord the king, and thou hast not showed unto thy servants who should sit on the throne of my lord the king after him?"

COMMENTS: Nathan approached David's wife Bathsheba, and told her about Adonijah celebrating to become king without his father's knowledge. Nathan advised Bathsheba of how they together should inform the king of the preparations because the lives of Solomon and Bathsheba would be in jeopardy if Adonijah became king. Bathsheba went to the king first, and he was in the chamber with Abishag ministering to him in his weakened condition of old age. Bathsheba bowed and addressed him as my lord and herself as handmaid. She asked why Adonijah was holding a feast to become king since David had sworn by Jehovah his God to her, that Solomon would reign after him as king. If Adonijah became king, after David died, Solomon and Bathsheba would be in danger. Since Nathan was announced to be waiting, Bathsheba went out and Nathan went in and bowed before the king. Nathan confirmed the situation to King David with some detail of those taking part in this activity, and asked if this was approved by the king.


E - THE FIRST CORONATION FOR SOLOMON WAS DECLARED QUICKLY BY DAVID

1 Kings 1 "28 Then king David answered and said, Call to me Bath-sheba. And she came into the king's presence, and stood before the king. 29 And the king sware, and said, As Jehovah liveth, who hath redeemed my soul out of all adversity, 30 verily as I sware unto thee by Jehovah, the God of Israel, saying, Assuredly Solomon thy son shall reign after me, and he shall sit upon my throne in my stead; verily so will I do this day. 31 Then Bath-sheba bowed with her face to the earth, and did obeisance to the king, and said, Let my lord king David live for ever. 32 And king David said, Call to me Zadok the priest, and Nathan the prophet, and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada. And they came before the king. 33 And the king said unto them, Take with you the servants of your lord, and cause Solomon my son to ride upon mine own mule, and bring him down to Gihon: 34 and let Zadok the priest and Nathan the prophet anoint him there king over Israel; and blow ye the trumpet, and say, Long live king Solomon. 35 Then ye shall come up after him, and he shall come and sit upon my throne; for he shall be king in my stead; and I have appointed him to be prince over Israel and over Judah. 36 And Benaiah the son of Jehoiada answered the king, and said, Amen: Jehovah, the God of my lord the king, say so too. 37 As Jehovah hath been with my lord the king, even so be he with Solomon, and make his throne greater than the throne of my lord king David. 38 So Zadok the priest, and Nathan the prophet, and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, and the Cherethites and the Pelethites, went down, and caused Solomon to ride upon king David's mule, and brought him to Gihon. 39 And Zadok the priest took the horn of oil out of the Tent, and anointed Solomon. And they blew the trumpet; and all the people said, Long live king Solomon. 40 And all the people came up after him, and the people piped with pipes, and rejoiced with great joy, so that the earth rent with the sound of them."

COMMENTS: King David had Bathsheba brought back in and he told her by an oath before Jehovah that Solomon would become king that very day to reign on his throne. Bathsheba bowed before the king in deferential respect and said to him may my lord the king live forever. David then gave orders for Solomon to ride the king's mule and be accompanied in royal manner to Gihon: to be anointed as king in the full customary fashion by the loyal men of David. After the ceremony was completed, the trumpet was blown and Solomon returned to sit on the king's throne. The joyful uproar and loud shouts of long live the king were noticeable as the sounds carried over a long distance.


F - ADONIJAH'S CELEBRATION WAS INTERRUPTED BY THE LOUD JOYFUL SOUNDS IN THE CITY

1 Kings 1 "41 And Adonijah and all the guests that were with him heard it as they had made an end of eating. And when Joab heard the sound of the trumpet, he said, Wherefore is this noise of the city being in an uproar? 42 While he yet spake, behold, Jonathan the son of Abiathar the priest came: and Adonijah said, Come in; for thou art a worthy man, and bringest good tidings. 43 And Jonathan answered and said to Adonijah, Verily our lord king David hath made Solomon king: 44 and the king hath sent with him Zadok the priest, and Nathan the prophet, and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, and the Cherethites and the Pelethites; and they have caused him to ride upon the king's mule; 45 and Zadok the priest and Nathan the prophet have anointed him king in Gihon; and they are come up from thence rejoicing, so that the city rang again. This is the noise that ye have heard. 46 And also Solomon sitteth on the throne of the kingdom. 47 And moreover the king's servants came to bless our lord king David, saying, Thy God make the name of Solomon better than thy name, and make his throne greater than thy throne: and the king bowed himself upon the bed. 48 And also thus said the king, Blessed be Jehovah, the God of Israel, who hath given one to sit on my throne this day, mine eyes even seeing it."

1 Kings 1 "49 And all the guests of Adonijah were afraid, and rose up, and went every man his way. 50 And Adonijah feared because of Solomon; and he arose, and went, and caught hold on the horns of the altar. 51 And it was told Solomon, saying, Behold, Adonijah feareth king Solomon; for, lo, he hath laid hold on the horns of the altar, saying, Let king Solomon swear unto me first that he will not slay his servant with the sword. 52 And Solomon said, If he shall show himself a worthy man, there shall not a hair of him fall to the earth; but if wickedness be found in him, he shall die. 53 So king Solomon sent, and they brought him down from the altar. And he came and did obeisance to king Solomon; and Solomon said unto him, Go to thy house."

COMMENTS: When all the noise was heard including the sound of the trumpet, Jonathan the son of Abiathar the priest came from the city and gave the details of the coronation ceremony. He also said David's servants went to him and said may your God make the name of Solomon better than yours, and make his throne greater than your throne: and the king bowed himself upon the bed. Also King David said, blessed be Jehovah, the God of Israel, who has given one to sit on my throne this day. All the guests of Adonijah were frightened by this news and they left immediately and went their own ways. Adonijah's response was to go to the altar and hold on to the horns desiring King Solomon to swear that he would not be killed by the sword. Solomon said he would not be harmed unless he was found to be wicked, so after Adonijah went and bowed in homage before King Solomon he was permitted to go to his house.


G - ADONIJAH MADE A FOOLISH REQUEST THAT COST HIS LIFE

1 Kings 2 "1 Now the days of David drew nigh that he should die; and he charged Solomon his son, saying, 2 I am going the way of all the earth: be thou strong therefore, and show thyself a man; 3 and keep the charge of Jehovah thy God, to walk in his ways, to keep his statutes, and his commandments, and his ordinances, and his testimonies, according to that which is written in the law of Moses, that thou mayest prosper in all that thou doest, and whithersoever thou turnest thyself. 4 That Jehovah may establish 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. 5 Moreover thou knowest also what Joab the son of Zeruiah did unto me, even 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. 6 Do therefore according to thy wisdom, and let not his hoar head go down to Sheol in peace. 7 But show kindness 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 from Absalom thy brother. 8 And, behold, there is with thee Shimei the son of Gera, the Benjamite, of Bahurim, who cursed me with a grievous curse in the day when I went to Mahanaim; but he came down to meet me at the Jordan, and I sware to him by Jehovah, saying, I will not put thee to death with the sword. 9 Now therefore hold him not guiltless, for thou art a wise man; and thou wilt know what thou oughtest to do unto him, and thou shalt bring his hoar head down to Sheol with blood. 10 And David slept with his fathers, and was buried in the city of David. 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."

1 Kings 2 "12 And Solomon sat upon the throne of David his father; and his kingdom was established greatly. 13 Then Adonijah the son of Haggith came to Bath-sheba the mother of Solomon. And she said, Comest thou peaceably? And he said, Peaceably. 14 He said moreover, I have somewhat to say unto thee. And she said, Say on. 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 Jehovah. 16 And now I ask one petition of thee; deny me not. And she said unto him, Say on. 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. 18 And Bath-sheba said, Well; I will speak for thee unto the king. 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 throne to be set for the king's mother; and she sat on his right hand. 20 Then she said, I ask one small petition of thee; deny me not. And the king said unto her, Ask on, my mother; for I will not deny thee. 21 And she said, Let Abishag the Shunammite be given to Adonijah thy brother to wife. 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. 23 Then king Solomon sware by Jehovah, saying, God do so to me, and more also, if Adonijah hath not spoken this word against his own life. 24 Now therefore as Jehovah liveth, who hath established me, and set me on the throne of David my father, and who hath made me a house, as he promised, surely Adonijah shall be put to death this day. 25 And king Solomon sent by Benaiah the son of Jehoiada; and he fell upon him, so that he died."

COMMENTS: As David drew closer to the end of his days, he gave advice to Solomon to stand firm as a man and follow Jehovah his God, in all commands, testimonies, and ordinances as written in the law of Moses. David said this would bring him prosperity, but even more it would bring about the promise of Jehovah that there would not fail to be a man on the throne of Israel if David's children would live in truth before Jehovah with all their heart and all their soul. Then David began to speak of Joab, the son of his sister Zeruiah, who had killed two men in a subversive manner after each one had turned to follow King David. As for Shimei the Benjamite, he had cursed David as he fled from Absalom, then begged for mercy after Absalom was dead. David said Solomon was wise and knew how to justly bring these men to the grave with blood. David directed Solomon to allow the sons of Barzillai the Gileadite to eat at the king's table because they came to him as he fled from Absalom. David slept with his fathers, and was buried in the city of David. The seven years at Hebron and thirty-three years at Jerusalem are recorded as forty years that he reigned over Israel.

Solomon was established greatly as king of Israel as successor to David his father. Now that David was dead, Adonijah went to the king's mother Bathsheba, hoping to use her influence before Solomon to get his request. He still thought so much of himself that he first told her that she knew the kingdom was his; but things had turned so that Jehovah made Solomon the king. It must have been very interesting for Bathsheba to hear Adonijah's words, when she had told King David that if Adonijah became king she and her son would be in peril. Perhaps that is why she had nothing else to say to him except that she would give his request to the king that he give Adonijah Abishag the Shunammite to wife, likely knowing her son well enough for the result. Solomon very respectfully received his mother, and she asked that he hear her petition and not to deny her. Solomon told her to proceed and he would not deny her. It would have been interesting to see the expressions on the faces of Solomon and his mother. When Solomon heard the request he reacted quickly to say asking such a thing would be like asking that the kingdom be given to Adonijah because he was the elder brother of Solomon. That move would also include Abiathar the priest, and for Joab the son of Zeruiah. King Solomon vowed by Jehovah that Adonijah had brought this request at the cost of his own life. King Solomon sent Benaiah the son of Jehoiada and Adonijah died that very day.


H - JOAB AND SHIMEI TOOK ACTIONS THAT LED TO THEIR DEATH

1 Kings 2 "26 And unto Abiathar the priest said the king, Get thee to 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 Jehovah before David my father, and because thou wast afflicted in all wherein my father was afflicted. 27 So Solomon thrust out Abiathar from being priest unto Jehovah, that he might fulfil the word of Jehovah, which he spake concerning the house of Eli in Shiloh. 28 And the tidings came to Joab; for Joab had turned after Adonijah, though he turned not after Absalom. And Joab fled unto the Tent of Jehovah, and caught hold on the horns of the altar. 29 And it was told king Solomon, Joab is fled unto the Tent of Jehovah, and, behold, he is by the altar. Then Solomon sent Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, saying, Go, fall upon him. 30 And Benaiah came to the Tent of Jehovah, 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. 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 blood, which Joab shed without cause, from me and from my father's house. 32 And Jehovah will return his blood upon his own head, because he fell upon two men more righteous and better than he, and slew them with the sword, and my father David knew it not, 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. 33 So shall their blood return upon the head of Joab, and upon the head of his seed for ever: but unto David, and unto his seed, and unto his house, and unto his throne, shall there be peace for ever from Jehovah. 34 Then 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. 35 And the king put Benaiah the son of Jehoiada in his room over the host; and Zadok the priest did the king put in the room of Abiathar."

1 Kings 2 "36 And the king sent and called for Shimei, and said unto him, Build thee a house in Jerusalem, and dwell there, and go not forth thence any whither. 37 For on the day thou goest out, and passest over the brook Kidron, know thou for certain that thou shalt surely die: thy blood shall be upon thine own head. 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 many days. 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 Maacah, king of Gath. And they told Shimei, saying, Behold, thy servants are in Gath. 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. 41 And it was told Solomon that Shimei had gone from Jerusalem to Gath, and was come again. 42 And the king sent and called for Shimei, and said unto him, Did I not adjure thee by Jehovah, and protest unto thee, saying, Know for certain, that on the day thou goest out, and walkest abroad any whither, thou shalt surely die? and thou saidst unto me, The saying that I have heard is good. 43 Why then hast thou not kept the oath of Jehovah, and the commandment that I have charged thee with? 44 The king said moreover to Shimei, Thou knowest all the wickedness which thy heart is privy to, that thou didst to David my father: therefore Jehovah shall return thy wickedness upon thine own head. 45 But king Solomon shall be blessed, and the throne of David shall be established before Jehovah for ever. 46 So the king commanded Benaiah the son of Jehoiada; and he went out, and fell upon him, so that he died. And the kingdom was established in the hand of Solomon."

COMMENTS: King Solomon sent Abiathar the priest to his own field in Anathoth, saying that he was worthy of death, but it would not be required at that time because he had carried the ark of the Lord Jehovah and served many years with King David. Word of this dismissal of Abiathar was heard by Joab and he was concerned because he had supported Adonijah in the attempted take over of the throne. Joab fled to the Tent of Jehovah, and grabbed onto the horns of the altar, and King Solomon was told of it. Then Solomon sent Benaiah the son of Jehoiada and when he would not let go of the altar, Benaiah killed him there and then Joab was buried. Solomon said Jehovah had returned his blood upon his own head, because he had killed Abner and Amasa, two men more righteous than he, and King David wasn't aware at the time. This would remain blood guilt for Joab's descendents; but for David's throne and for his descendents it would not be chargeable by Jehovah. King Solomon put Benaiah the son of Jehoiada in his room over the host; and Zadok the priest was put in the room of Abiathar.

The king sent for Shimei, and told him to build a house in Jerusalem, and not to go anywhere else. He was told if he left Jerusalem he would bring about his own death, and Shimei said he understood and would obey. But, after three years Shimei went to Gath and brought back some runaway slaves, and Solomon was told. The king sent for Shimei and said he had not kept the oath of Jehovah, and the commandment the king had charged him with. Solomon said Shimei had done wicked things to King David and therefore Jehovah would return his wickedness upon himself. But Solomon would be blessed and the throne of David would be establish before Jehovah forever. Solomon commanded Benaiah the son of Jehoiada; and he went out and killed Shimei. And the kingdom was established in the hand of Solomon.

--- REFLECTIONS IN PRAYER ---

LORD, the Scripture indicates that Joab did not have a forgiving nature like that of David, but he took direct action in some times when that was appropriate. However, his personal vendetta against Amasa was a second time that such an event was hidden from David initially. There was also very evident pride in Adonijah's actions when he decided that his father was near enough to death that he should steal the throne from him; and Joab became part of this deceptive effort. You, LORD, have grace and mercy in abundance, but it is never to be counted by any individual as license for actions of pride or malice. When David ordered the quick installation of his son Solomon to be king, it was not by Solomon's request, but made in his behalf based on an earlier vow David had made to Jehovah. The very birth of Solomon after the sin of David with Bathsheba and the loss of their first child, was your sovereign will with far reaching results for future generations. The wisdom of Solomon was soon applied to bring the removal of Abiathar as priest; and the just end to the lives of Adonijah, Joab, and Shimei. Help me, LORD, not to hold myself or others in an inappropriate level of high esteem that reaches the point of prideful disregard before you; the only almighty and eternal sovereign King. All praise to my LORD and Savior. Amen.

Published 25 November 2018