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Bible Commentaries

Morgan's Exposition on the Whole Bible

1 Kings 2

Verses 1-46

In the last charge of David there was first a recognition of the sphere of Solomon's safety. In all probability his personal influence had been great with his son, but now he was going "the way of all the earth." Great responsibilities would devolve upon that son. There was, however, a path of safety. It was absolute loyalty to God. One can imagine how, as David urged this upon his son, his own experience of disobedience would add weight and urgency to all he said.

The remainder of the charge of David, especially concerning Joab and Shimei, has been severely criticized. Much of this criticism would cease if certain simple things were borne in mind. It may be well to state them. First, David knew these men by experience, and appreciated their danger to the state. Second, he had kept his covenant with them, and spared their lives. Third, and this is to be especially noted, he left the matter of how to deal with them in the hands of Solomon. Finally, his words concerning the death of each are in all probability prophetic rather than vindictive.

With Solomon began, in some senses, the most splendid period in Israel's history. The splendor, however, was largely mental and material. The spiritual is noticeably absent. The acts in which he dealt with the leading men in the kingdom in whose hearts were the impulses of treachery were characterized by clemency and yet firmness. Adonijah's request for Abishag must be considered in the light of Eastern custom. Solomon saw in the request a movement toward rebellion, and therefore Adonijah was also slain. Abiathar was deposed from the priesthood. To Shimei an opportunity of life was granted on certain well-defined conditions. He broke his parole, and paid the penalty.

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Bibliographical Information
Morgan, G. Campbell. "Commentary on 1 Kings 2". "Morgan's Exposition on the Bible". 1857-84.