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Wednesday, May 22nd, 2024
the Week of Proper 2 / Ordinary 7
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Bible Commentaries
1 Kings 2

Bridgeway Bible CommentaryBridgeway Bible Commentary

Verses 1-46

Opponents of Solomon executed (2:1-46)

As he saw his death approaching, David passed on to Solomon advice aimed at ensuring stability to his reign and good government for God’s people. The first and most important point was a reminder to be faithful to God. God’s promises of a prosperous kingdom and a lasting dynasty required David and his successors to be obedient to God’s will. Without obedience, there was no guarantee of blessing (2:1-4; 1 Chronicles 22:6-16).

David’s second piece of advice to Solomon was to remove those likely to rebel against him, and reward those who had remained loyal to him. David had for many years known that Joab should have been punished for the murders he had committed (see 2 Samuel 3:30; 2 Samuel 20:10). He now saw an opportunity to deal with Joab, because he knew that Solomon would not hesitate to execute one who had recently supported Adonijah (5-9).

After the death of David (10-12), Solomon soon found opportunities to get rid of his opponents. Adonijah was first to be killed. Since a new king inherited the former king’s concubines, Solomon considered that Adonijah’s request to marry Abishag was an attempt to claim David’s throne (13-22; cf. 2 Samuel 3:7; 2 Samuel 12:8; 2 Samuel 16:22). Adonijah was executed for treason (23-25).

Solomon then dealt with Abiathar, the high priest who, with Joab, had supported Adonijah. Abiathar was not executed, but his dismissal brought his priestly work, and the priestly work of Eli’s descendants, to an end (26-27; cf. 1 Samuel 2:27-36).

Next Joab was executed. He had no right to ask for mercy by clinging to the altar, as he had been guilty of wilful murder (28-35; cf. Exodus 21:12-14). Joab was followed by Shimei, a relative of Saul who had always been opposed to the throne of David (see 2 Samuel 16:5-14). To lessen Shimei’s chances of plotting against him, Solomon would not allow him to leave Jerusalem (36-38). When Shimei went to Gath in search of runaway slaves, Solomon saw this as defiance of his authority. Shimei was promptly executed (39-46a). With all possible opponents now removed, Solomon’s position was secure (46b).

Bibliographical Information
Flemming, Donald C. "Commentary on 1 Kings 2". "Fleming's Bridgeway Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/bbc/1-kings-2.html. 2005.
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