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The anointing of Solomon as king, which was effected by David's command (1 Kings 1), is only briefly mentioned in 1 Chronicles 23:1 in the words, “When David was old and full of days, he made his son Solomon king over Israel;” which serve as an introduction to the account of the arrangements made by David during the closing days of his life. After these arrangements have been described, there follow in 1 Chron 28 and 29 his last instructions and his death. The aged king gathered together the tribe-princes and the rest of the dignitaries and superior officers to a diet at Jerusalem, and having introduced Solomon to them as the successor chosen by God, exhorted them to keep the commandments of God, and urged upon Solomon and the whole assembly the building of the temple, gave his son the model of the temple and all the materials which he had collected towards its erection, called upon the great men of the kingdom to contribute to this work, which they willingly agreed to, and closed this last act of his reign with praise and thanksgiving to God and a great sacrificial festival, at which the assembled states of the realm made Solomon king a second time, and anointed him prince in the presence of Jehovah ( 1 Chronicles 29:22). - A repetition of the anointing of the new king at the instigation of the states of the realm, accompanied by their solemn homage, had also taken place in the case of both Saul (2 Sam 11) and David (2 Samuel 2:4 and 2 Samuel 5:3), and appears to have been an essential requirement to secure the general recognition of the king on the part of the nation, at any rate in those cases in which the succession to the throne was not undisputed. In order, therefore, to preclude any rebellion after his death, David summoned this national assembly again after Solomon's first anointing and ascent of the throne, that the representatives of the whole nation might pay the requisite homage to king Solomon, who had been installed as his successor according to the will of God. - To this national assembly, which is only reported in the Chronicles, there are appended the last instructions which David gave, according to 1 Chronicles 29:1-1 Samuel : of our chapter, to his successor Solomon immediately before his death. Just as in the Chronicles, according to the peculiar plan of that work, there is no detailed description of the installation of David on the throne; so here the author of our books has omitted the account of this national diet, and the homage paid by the estates of the realm to the new king, as not being required by the purpose of his work, and has communicated the last personal admonitions and instructions of the dying king David instead.
David's Last Instructions and Death. - 1 Kings 2:1-Numbers :. When David saw that his life was drawing to a close, he first of all admonished his son Solomon to be valiant in the observance of the commandments of God. “I go the way of all the world” (as in Joshua 23:14), i.e., the way of death; “be strong and be a man,” - not “bear my departure bravely,” as Thenius supposes, but prove thyself brave (cf. 1 Samuel 4:9) to keep the commandments of the Lord. Just as in 1 Samuel 4:9 the object in which the bravery is to show itself is appended simply by the copula Vâv; so is it here also with וגו ושׁמרתּ . The phrase יי את־משׁמרת שׁמר , to keep the keeping of Jehovah, which so frequently occurs in the Thorah, i.e., to observe or obey whatever is to be observed in relation to Jehovah (cf. Genesis 26:5; Leviticus 8:35; Leviticus 18:30, etc.), always receives its more precise definition from the context, and is used here, as in Genesis 26:5, to denote obedience to the law of God in all its extent, or, according to the first definition, to walk in the ways of Jehovah. This is afterwards more fully expanded in the expression וגו חקּתין לשׁמר , to keep the ordinances, commandments, rights, and testimonies of Jehovah. These four words were applied to the different precepts of the law, the first three of which are connected together in Genesis 26:5; Deuteronomy 5:28; Deuteronomy 8:11, and served to individualize the rich and manifold substance of the demands of the Lord to His people as laid down in the Thorah. תּשׂכּיל למען , that thou mayest act wisely and execute well, as in Deuteronomy 29:8; Joshua 1:7.
1 Kings 2:4-Deuteronomy :
Solomon would then experience still further this blessing of walking in the ways of the Lord, since the Lord would fulfil to him His promise of the everlasting possession of the throne. וגו יקים למען is grammatically subordinate to תּשׂכּיל למען in 1 Kings 2:3. The word which Jehovah has spoken concerning David ( עלי דּבּר ) is the promise in 2 Samuel 7:12., the substance of which is quoted here by David with a negative turn, וגו יכּרת לא , and with express allusion to the condition on which God would assuredly fulfil His promise, viz., if the descendants of David preserve their ways, to walk before the Lord in truth. בּאמת is more precisely defined by נפשׁם ... בּכל . For the fact itself see Deuteronomy 5:5; Deuteronomy 11:13, Deuteronomy 11:18. The formula וגו יכּרת לא is formed after 1 Samuel 2:33 (compare also 2 Samuel 3:29 and Joshua 9:23). “There shall not be cut off to thee a man from upon the throne of Israel,” i.e., there shall never be wanting to thee a descendant to take the throne; in other words, the sovereignty shall always remain in thy family. This promise, which reads thus in 2 Samuel 7:16, “Thy house and thy kingdom shall be continual for ever before thee, and thy throne stand fast for ever,” and which was confirmed to Solomon by the Lord Himself after his prayer at the consecration of the temple (1 Kings 8:25; 1 Kings 9:5), is not to be understood as implying that no king of the Davidic house would be thrust away from the throne, but simply affirms that the posterity of David was not to be cut off, so as to leave no offshoot which could take possession of the throne. Its ultimate fulfilment it received in Christ (see at 2 Samuel 7:12.). The second לאמר in 2 Samuel 7:4 is not to be erased as suspicious, as being merely a repetition of the first in consequence of the long conditional clause, even though it is wanting in the Vulgate, the Arabic, and a Hebrew codex.
After a general admonition David communicated to his successor a few more special instructions; viz., first of all (2 Samuel 7:5, 2 Samuel 7:6), to punish Joab for his wickedness. “What Joab did to me:” - of this David mentions only the two principal crimes of Joab, by which he had already twice deserved death, namely, his killing the two generals. Abner (2 Samuel 3:27) and Amasa the son of Jether (2 Samuel 20:10). The name יתר is written יתרא in 2 Samuel 17:25. Joab had murdered both of them out of jealousy in a treacherous and malicious manner; and thereby he had not only grievously displeased David and bidden defiance to his royal authority, but by the murder of Abner had exposed the king to the suspicion in the eyes of the people of having instigated the crime (see at 2 Samuel 3:28, 2 Samuel 3:37). דּמי מ ויּשׂם “and he made war-blood in peace,” i.e., he shed in the time of peace blood that ought only to flow in war ( שׂים in the sense of making, as in Deuteronomy 14:1; Exodus 10:2, etc.), “and brought war-blood upon his girdle which was about his loins, and upon his shoes under his feet,” sc. in the time of peace. This was the crime therefore: that Joab had murdered the two generals in a time of peace, as one ought only to slay his opponent in time of war. Girdle and shoes, the principal features in oriental attire when a man is preparing himself for any business, were covered with blood, since Joab, while saluting them, had treacherously stabbed both of them with the sword. David ought to have punished these two crimes; but when Abner was murdered, he felt himself too weak to visit a man like Joab with the punishment he deserved, as he had only just been anointed king, and consequently he did nothing more than invoke divine retribution upon his head (2 Samuel 3:29). And when Amasa was slain, the rebellions of Absalom and Sheba had crippled the power of David too much, for him to visit the deed with the punishment that was due. But as king of the nation of God, it was not right for him to allow such crimes to pass unpunished: he therefore transferred the punishment, for which he had wanted the requisite power, to his son and successor.
1 Kings 2:6
“Do according to thy wisdom (“mark the proper opportunity of punishing him” - Seb. Schmidt), and let not his grey hair go down into hell (the region of the dead) in peace (i.e., punished).” The punishment of so powerful a man as Joab the commander-in-chief was, required great wisdom, to avoid occasioning a rebellion in the army, which was devoted to him.
1 Kings 2:7
If the demands of justice required that Joab should be punished, the duty of gratitude was no less holy to the dying king. And Solomon was to show this to the sons of Barzillai the Gileadite, and make them companions of his table; because Barzillai had supplied David with provisions on his flight from Absalom (2 Samuel 17:27., 2 Samuel 19:32.). שׁלחנך בּאכלי והיוּ , “let them be among those eating of thy table;” i.e., not, “let them draw their food from the royal table,” - for there was no particular distinction in this, as all the royal attendants at the court received their food from the royal kitchen, as an equivalent for the pay that was owing - but, “let them join in the meals at the royal table.” The fact that in 2 Samuel 9:10-1 Kings :, 2 Samuel 9:13, we have על־שׁלחן אכל to express this, makes no material difference. According to 2 Samuel 19:38, Barzillai had, it is true, allowed only one son to follow the king to his court. “For so they drew near to me,” i.e., they showed the kindness to me of supplying me with food; compare 2 Samuel 17:27, where Barzillai alone is named, though, as he was a man of eighty years old, he was certainly supported by his sons.
1 Kings 2:8-1 Samuel :
On the other hand, Shimei the Benjamite had shown great hostility to David (cf. 2 Samuel 16:5-Ruth :). He had cursed him with a vehement curse as he fled from Absalom ( נמרצת , vehement, violent, not ill, heillos, from the primary meaning to be sick or ill, as Thenius supposes, since it cannot be shown that מרץ has any such meaning); and when David returned to Jerusalem and Shimei fell at his feet, he had promised to spare his life, because he did not want to mar the joy at his reinstatement in his kingdom by an act of punishment (2 Samuel 19:19-Jeremiah :), and therefore had personally forgiven him. But the insult which Shimei had offered in his person to the anointed of the Lord, as king and representative of the rights of God, he could not forgive. The instruction given to his successor ( אל־תּנקּהוּ , let him not be guiltless) did not spring from personal revenge, but was the duty of the king as judge and administrator of the divine right.
After these instructions David died, and was buried in the city of David, i.e., upon Mount Zion, where the sepulchre of David still existed in the time of Christ (Acts 2:29).
(Note: The situation of the tombs of the kings of Judah upon Zion, Thenius has attempted to trace minutely in a separate article in Illgen ' s Zeitschrift für die histor. Theol. 1844, i. p. 1ff., and more especially to show that the entrance to these tombs must have been on the eastern slope of Mount Zion, which falls into the valley of Tyropoeon, and obliquely opposite to the spring of Siloah. This is in harmony with the statement of Theodoret ( quaest. 6 in iii. Reg.), to the effect that Josephus says, τὸ δὲ μνῆμα ( τῆς ταφῆς ) παρὰ τὴν Σιλοὰμ εἶναι ἀντροειδὲς ἔχον τὸ σχῆμα, καὶ τῆν βασιλικὴν δηλοῦν πολυτέλειαν; although this statement does not occur in any passage of his works as they have come down to us.)
On the length of his reign see 2 Samuel 5:5.
Accession of Solomon and Establishment of his Government. - 1 Kings 2:12 is a heading embracing the substance of what follows, and is more fully expanded in 1 Chronicles 29:23-Lamentations :. Solomon established his monarchy first of all by punishing the rebels, Adonijah (1 Chronicles 29:13-Lamentations :) and his adherents (1 Chronicles 29:26 -35), and by carrying out the final instructions of his father (vv. 36-46).
1 Kings 2:13-Job :
Adonijah forfeits his life. - 1 Kings 2:13-Job :. Adonijah came to Bathsheba with the request that she would apply to king Solomon to give him Abishag of Shunem as his wife. Bathsheba asked him, “Is peace thy coming?” i.e., comest thou with a peaceable intention? (as in 1 Samuel 16:4), because after what had occurred (1 Kings 1:5.) she suspected an evil intention. He introduced his petition with these words: “Thou knowest that the kingdom was mine, and all Israel had set its face upon me that I should be king, then the kingdom turned about and became my brother's; for it became his from the Lord.” The throne was his, not because he had usurped it, but because it belonged to him as the eldest son at that time, according to the right of primogeniture. Moreover it might have been the case that many of the people wished him to be king, and the fact that he had found adherents in Joab, Abiathar, and others, confirms this; but his assertion, that all Israel had set its eyes upon him as the future king, went beyond the bounds of truth. At the same time, he knew how to cover over the dangerous sentiment implied in his words in a very skilful manner by adding the further remark, that the transfer of the kingdom to his brother had come from Jehovah; so that Bathsheba did not detect the artifice, and promised to fulfil his request (1 Kings 2:16.) to intercede with king Solomon for Abishag to be given him to wife. את־פּני אל־תּשׁבי , “do not turn back my face,” i.e., do not refuse my request.
1 Kings 2:19
When Bathsheba came to Solomon, he received her with the reverence due to the queen-mother: “ he rose up to meet her ” (a pregnant expression for “he rose up and went to meet her”), made a low bow, then sat upon his throne again, and bade her sit upon a throne at his right hand. The seat at the right hand of the king was the place of honour among the Israelites (cf. Psalms 110:1), also with the ancient Arabian kings (cf. Eichhorn, Monumenta Antiq. Hist. Arab. p. 220), as well as among the Greeks and Romans.
1 Kings 2:20-Song of Solomon :
To her request, “Let Abishag of Shunem be given to Adonijah thy brother for a wife” ( את יתּן , cf. Ges. §§143, 1, a.), which she regarded in her womanly simplicity as a very small one ( קטנּה ), he replied with indignation, detecting at once the intrigues of Adonijah: “And why dost thou ask Abishag of Shunem for Adonijah? ask for him the kingdom, for he is my elder brother; and indeed for him, and for Abiathar the priest, and for Joab the son of Zeruiah.” The repetition of לו in ולו (1 Kings 2:22), for the purpose of linking on another clause, answers entirely to the emotional character of the words. “For him, and for Abiathar and Joab:” Solomon said this, because these two men of high rank had supported Adonijah's rebellion and wished to rule under his name. There is no ground for any such alterations of the text as Thenius proposes. - Although Abishag had been only David's nurse, in the eyes of the people she passed as his concubine; and among the Israelites, just as with the ancient Persians (Herod. iii. 68), taking possession of the harem of a deceased king was equivalent to an establishment of the claim to the throne (see at 2 Samuel 12:8 and 2 Samuel 3:7-Ruth :). According to 2 Samuel 16:21, this cannot have been unknown even to Bathsheba; but as Adonijah's wily words had disarmed all suspicion, she may not have thought of this, or may perhaps have thought that Abishag was not to be reckoned as one of David's concubines, because David had not known her (1 Kings 1:4).
1 Kings 2:23-Jeremiah :
Solomon thereupon solemnly swore (the formula of an oath, and the כּי introducing the oath, as in 1 Samuel 14:44, etc.), “Adonijah has spoken this word against his own life.” בּנפשׁו , at the cost of his life, as in 2 Samuel 23:17, i.e., at the hazard of his life, or to his destruction. 2 Samuel 23:24. “And now, as truly as Jehovah liveth, who hath established me and set me on the throne of my father David, and hath made me a house, as He said ( verbatim, 2 Samuel 7:11): yea, to-day shall Adonijah be put to death.” Jehovah established Solomon, or founded him firmly, by raising him to the throne in spite of Adonijah's usurpation. In ויושׁיביני the central י has got into the text through a copyist's error. בּית לי עשׂה , i.e., He has bestowed upon me a family or posterity. Solomon had already one son, viz., Rehoboam, about a year old (compare 1 Kings 11:42 with 1 Kings 14:21 and 2 Chronicles 12:13).
Solomon had this sentence immediately executed upon Adonijah by Benaiah, the chief of the body-guard, according to the oriental custom of both ancient and modern times. The king was perfectly just in doing this. For since Adonijah, even after his first attempt to seize upon the throne had been forgiven by Solomon, endeavoured to secure his end by fresh machinations, duty to God, who had exalted Solomon to the throne, demanded that the rebel should be punished with all the severity of the law, without regard to blood-relationship.
1 Kings 2:26-Daniel :
Deposition of Abiathar. - The conduct of Solomon towards the high priest Abiathar is a proof how free his actions were from personal revenge or too great severity. Abiathar had also forfeited his life through the part he took in Adonijah's conspiracy; but Solomon simply sent him to Anathoth (i.e., Anata; see at Joshua 18:24), to his own fields, i.e., to his property there, telling him, “Thou art indeed a man of death,” i.e., thou hast deserved to die, “but I will not put thee to death to-day, because thou hast borne the ark of Jehovah,” namely, both on the occasion of its solemn conveyance to Jerusalem (1 Chronicles 15:11.) and also on David's flight from Absalom (2 Samuel 15:24, 2 Samuel 15:29), that is to say, because of his high-priestly dignity, and because thou didst endure all that my father endured, i.e., thou didst share all his afflictions and sufferings, both in the period of Saul's persecution (1 Samuel 22:20., 1 Samuel 23:8.), and during the rebellion of Absalom (2 Samuel 15:24.). ההוּא בּיּום (to-day) puts a limit upon the pardon, because Solomon could not foresee whether Abiathar would always keep quiet, and not forfeit his life again by fresh crimes.
The banishment of Abiathar to his own private possession involved his deposition from the priesthood. And, as the historian adds, thus was the word of the Lord concerning the house of Eli fulfilled ( 1 Samuel 2:30-Micah :). למלּא corresponds to the New Testament ἵνα πληρωθῇ . For further remarks on this prophecy and its fulfilment, see at 1 Samuel 2:30.
Execution of Joab. - When the report (of the execution of Adonijah and the deposition of Abiathar) came to Joab, he fled to the tent of Jehovah (not to the tabernacle, but to the holy tent upon Zion) to seek protection at the altar (see at 1 Kings 1:50). The words נטה לא ... יואב כּי are introduced as a parenthesis to explain Joab's flight: “for Joab had leaned after Adonijah,” i.e., taken his side ( אהרי נטה , as in Exodus 23:2; Judges 9:3), “but not after Absalom.”
Benaiah went up ( ויּעל ), inasmuch as the altar by the ark of the covenant stood higher up Mount Zion than Solomon's house. Joab was buried “in his house” (i.e., in the tomb prepared in his house, either in the court or in the garden: cf. 1 Samuel 25:1), “in the desert,” probably the wilderness of Judah, as Joab's mother was a step-sister of David, and therefore probably dwelt in the neighbourhood of Bethlehem.
1 Kings 2:35
Solomon appointed Benaiah commander-in-chief in the place of Joab, and put Zadok in Abiathar's place (cf. 1 Kings 1:8-1 Samuel :).
1 Kings 2:36-Haggai :
Punishment of Shimei. - Solomon thereupon ordered Shimei to come, probably from Bahurim, where his home was (2 Samuel 16:5), and commanded him to build himself a house in Jerusalem to dwell in, and not to leave the city “any whither” ( ואנה אנה ), threatening him with death if ever he should cross the brook Kidron. The valley of Kidron is mentioned as the eastern boundary of the city with an allusion to the fact, that Bahurim was to the east of Jerusalem towards the desert.
1 Kings 2:38
Shimei vowed obedience, and that on oath, as is supplementarily observed in 1 Kings 2:42, though it has been arbitrarily interpolated by the lxx here; and he kept his word a considerable time.
1 Kings 2:39-Matthew :
But after the lapse of three years, when two slaves fled to Gath to king Achish, with whom David had also sought and found refuge (1 Samuel 27:2, compare 1 Kings 21:11.), he started for Gath as soon as he knew this, and fetched them back.
1 Kings 2:41-John :
When this was reported to Solomon, he sent for Shimei and charged him with the breach of his command: “Did I not swear to thee by Jehovah, and testify to thee, etc.? Why hast thou not kept the oath of Jehovah (the oath sworn by Jehovah)...?”
1 Kings 2:44
He then reminded him of the evil which he had done to his father: “Thou knowest all the evil, which thy heart knoweth (i.e., which thy conscience must tell thee); and now Jehovah returns the evil upon thy head,” namely, by decreeing the punishment of death, which he deserved for blaspheming the anointed of the Lord (2 Samuel 16:9).
1 Kings 2:45
“And king Solomon will be blessed, and the throne of David be established before Jehovah for ever,” namely, because the king does justice (compare the remark on 1 Kings 2:33).
1 Kings 2:46
Solomon then ordered him to be executed by Benaiah. This punishment was also just. As Solomon had put Shimei's life in his own hand by imposing upon him confinement in Jerusalem, and Shimei had promised on oath to obey the king's command, the breach of his oath was a crime for which he had no excuse. There is no force at all in the excuses which some commentators adduce in his favour, founded upon the money which his salves had cost him, and the wish to recover possession of them, which was a right one in itself. If Shimei had wished to remain faithful to his oath, he might have informed the king of the flight of his slaves, have entreated the king that they might be brought back, and have awaited the king's decision; but he had no right thus lightly to break the promise given on oath. By the breach of his oath he had forfeited his life. And this is the first thing with which Solomon charges him, without his being able to offer any excuse; and it is not till afterwards that he adduces as a second fact in confirmation of the justice of his procedure, the wickedness that he practised towards his father. - The last clause, “and the kingdom was established by ( בּיד ) Solomon,” is attached to the following chapter in the Cod. Al. of the lxx (in the Cod. Vat. it is wanting, or rather its place is supplied by a long interpolation), in the Vulgate, and in the Syriac; and indeed rightly so, as Thenius has shown, not merely because of the רק in 1 Kings 3:2, but also because of its form as a circumstantial clause, to which the following account (1 Kings 3:1.) is appended.
The Keil & Delitzsch Old Testament Commentary is a derivative of a public domain electronic edition.
Keil, Carl Friedrich & Delitzsch, Franz. "Commentary on 1 Kings 2". Keil & Delitzsch Old Testament Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/
the Week of Proper 6 / Ordinary 11