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Saturday, May 25th, 2024
the Week of Proper 2 / Ordinary 7
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Bible Commentaries
1 Kings 2

Smith's Bible CommentarySmith's Commentary

Verses 1-46

Chapter 2

So the days of David drew nigh when he was going to die; and he charged Solomon his son, saying, I go the way of all the earth: be thou strong therefore, and show thyself a man ( 1 Kings 2:1-2 );

Now here's father to son, and it's typical fatherly advice. Show yourself a man, son. Be strong. Show yourself a man. David coming to the end of the road. Now it is interesting to me that David's later years were spent in a feeble, physical condition, a man who must have been in tremendous physical shape in his prime. He talks about "By the Lord I've run through a troop: I've leaped over a wall" ( 2 Samuel 22:30 ). And you see the rugged country that David fled from Saul, the wilderness of Seib and down in Engedi and so this rugged area. You know that the guy had to be in top physical shape, but yet in the later years stricken and now about to die.

God doesn't give us immunity from death. God doesn't give us immunity from feebleness perhaps before death. This business of every child of God ought to live prosperous life and healthy life isn't-it doesn't follow in the Scriptures. Here is David, a man after God's own heart, stricken in his older years and now ready to die. Others are healthy up until death but it is really, you know, it isn't fair, it isn't right to say, "Well, brother, if you just believe God and think positively, you know, you could be healthy and you wouldn't have to suffer like this." Not so. There is no explanation why sometimes very godly people suffer. We don't know the reason, and don't feel that a positive attitude is going to give you immunity from any suffering either.

David's advice to Solomon was very good to begin with. But then it sort of lapsed into personal vengeance that David wanted Solomon to take. So typical of David. Had his capacities for extremely high spiritual characteristics but then also had the capacity to be very human. "I'm going away of all the earth: be strong, show yourself a man."

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 you do, and whithersoever you turn yourself ( 1 Kings 2:3 ).

So good advice. Walk in the ways of the Lord. Keep His statutes, commandments, judgments, testimonies in order that you may be prosperous. Now earlier, David had written, "Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful. But whose delight is in the law of the Lord; and in this law does he meditate day and night. For he shall be like a tree planted by the river of water, bringing forth his fruit in its season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper" ( Psalms 1:1-3 ).

When Moses was giving Joshua the charge, Moses said to Joshua much of what David said to Solomon in his command to Joshua that he might keep the commandments and ordinances and statutes of the Lord. "For thus shalt thou make thy way prosperous" ( Joshua 1:8 ).

So the key to prosperity is obedience to the laws of God. "Whatsoever he doeth shall prosper." So excellent advice by David to his son. And David reminds him of God's conditional promise, but notice that it is a conditional promise.

Now there are those today that call themselves British Israelites or we got Herbert W. Armstrong and his errant son Ted, and they proclaim that the king of England is actually a direct descendant of David because of it being the only- what they say continuing monarchy, and God promised David that there would never cease one of this family from sitting upon the throne. And so a part of the tribes migrated to England and the Anglo-Saxon races are actually a part of the ten lost tribes. And they seek to trace names, you know, so many Jacobs and so many of the various Israelitish names on through to England and to Europe and so forth. And so their whole premise is that the ten lost tribes are actually the Anglo-Saxon races today and that God's promise is fulfilled that Prince Charles is actually a direct descendant of king David. And so when he ascends to the throne it's just a continuation of God's promise to David.

But notice that God's promise to David is conditional. It is conditioned on

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 ( 1 Kings 2:4 ).

But that is not an unconditional promise. That is a conditional promise. And David's descendants did not meet the conditions. And so the story that Jeremiah hid one of David's descendants and fled ultimately to England with him and all is just so much conjecture. And it does lack in real evidence and proof. The promise to David was conditional that by the time Judah fell to the Babylonian empire, they had so corrupted and turned from God that they had become as godless as the nations around them, worshipping in lasciviousness the other gods of the nations around them.

So David had a conditional promise of God, his descendants did not walk before the Lord in truth and thus, there came an end. Yet the promise to David is to be fulfilled in and through Jesus Christ, for that everlasting kingdom that was promised to David is to be fulfilled when Christ comes. And "He shall sit upon the throne of David, to order it, and to establish it in righteousness and in judgment henceforth from henceforth even forever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts shall perform this" ( Isaiah 9:7 ). So God will fulfill the promise but it will be through Jesus Christ when He comes again to reign.

Now David gets into the more David-side of the whole thing. David was just like we are. We carry grudges and animosities and all. And so he now talks to him and he says. This guy Joah, man, he was a pain. And he gave me a lot of trouble. And he killed Abner and also Amasa. And he shouldn't have done that. Don't let his old grey head go down to the grave in peace. Take care of him.

But do show kindness unto Barzillai and to his family because they came out and helped me at the time of Absalom's insurrection ( 1 Kings 2:7 ).

But this guy Shimei, the Benjamite. You remember him who went along the hill cursing and throwing rocks. Don't let his grey head go down to the grave in peace.

Don't hold him guiltless: you're a wise man ( 1 Kings 2:9 ).

Take care of him.

So David slept with his fathers, and was buried in the city of David. And the days that David reigned over Israel were forty years: the first seven in Hebron [reigning over Judah], and [then the last] thirty-three years in Jerusalem reigning [over all of Israel]. And Solomon upon the throne of David his father; and the kingdom was established greatly. Now Adonijah came to Bathsheba and he said, I want you to do a favor for me. Please don't say no. And she said, What is it? And he said, I want you to go to your son Solomon, (because surely he won't refuse you anything), and ask Solomon to give to me Abishag, [David's concubine, that beautiful gal that was brought in at the end to be with David]. And so Bathsheba came into Solomon and [he said, I'll sit down here, mom, and] he made a place for her sitting at his right hand. And she said, Son, I want you to grant me a favor. And he said, You say whatever it is, mom. And she said, Well, I want you to give Abishag unto Adonijah. [And he said, Oh, that guy Adonijah. Surely he has, you know, done this to his own hurt.] He's going to be slain for this ( 1 Kings 2:10-13 , 1 Kings 2:16-22 , 1 Kings 2:24 ).

You see a part of the ascension to the throne was the receiving of the concubines of the previous ruler. Now we mentioned this when Absalom came into Jerusalem and set up the tent on the roof of David's house and took the ten concubines that David had left to keep the house and all, and went in on to them there on the roof. And that in a sense is a mark of the ascension to the throne. David had even taken some of Saul's concubines when he came to the throne. So Solomon saw this as a desire of Adonijah still to take the kingdom. It's the way that he interpreted it.

And so he says, "Does he want the kingdom also?" I mean, he's upset over the request.

So king Solomon sware by the LORD, saying, God do so to me, and more also, if Adonijah has not spoken this word against his own life. Now therefore, as the LORD liveth, which hath established me, and set me on the throne of David my father, who hath made me a house, as he promised, Adonijah shall be put to death today. And he sent Benaiah down to kill him which he did ( 1 Kings 2:23-25 ).

And then Abiathar, the other priest that had gone with Adonijah and conspired with him against-or to put Adonijah on the throne, Solomon banished him from serving in the priesthood. He just sent him off to the farm, put him out to pasture and that was the end of him as far as any service to the priesthood was concerned. And thus, God did fulfill because Abiathar was a descendant of Eli. God did fulfill the word which He spoke concerning the house of Eli, and the end of the priesthood of the house of Eli in First Samuel chapter two, verse thirty-one to thirty-five, where Eli's sons were so evil.

Now tidings then came to Joab that Solomon is moving now against the rebellion of Adonijah and he's, you know, Adonijah has been killed and Abiathar has been sent out to the banished, really, from the capital city. So Joab ran in and grabbed hold of the horns on the altar. It was a position of real supplication unto God. You grab hold and you really cry out unto God, holding on to the horns of the altar. So Solomon ordered Benaiah to go out and to kill Joab for all of the innocent blood that he shed.

And so he came and said, "Come out from the altar there."

And Joab says, "No way, I'm staying here. I'm hanging on." So he came back and he told Solomon.

He said, "I ordered him to come away from the altar. He's holding on to the horns of the altar and he said he won't leave."

He said, "All right, his way. Kill him right there." So he came in and slew him as he was holding on to the horns of the altar for the innocent blood. And thus, sort of a purging or a cleansing of the bloody reign of David which much of it, of course, could be laid at the feet of Joab.

So Benaiah was made the head over the army: and Zadok became the ruling priest ( 1 Kings 2:35 ).

Now this guy Shimei that had cursed David, and David told Solomon, "Take care of him."

He called him in and he said, "Look, you're to stay within the gates of Jerusalem. As long as you stay here and behave yourself, you'll be all right. But the day you leave the city of Jerusalem, you're taking your life in your own hands. Do you understand this?"

Shimei said, "Yeah, I understand."

He said, "Okay." So Shimei lived there in Jerusalem for a couple of years. But he had a couple of servants that ran off and they went down to Gath, one of the Philistines' cities. And he heard that the servants were there in Gath, and so he left the city of Jerusalem to go down and get his runaway servant. And it was told to king Solomon, Shimei has left the city.

So when he got back, he said, "Didn't you understand that you were to stay in the city and if you left, that was it?"

And he said, "Surely you brought the death sentence upon yourself." And so Shimei was also executed. "

Bibliographical Information
Smith, Charles Ward. "Commentary on 1 Kings 2". "Smith's Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/csc/1-kings-2.html. 2014.
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