1 Kings 2:1-3:2
David’s last words
2 David’s time was coming to an end. So he commanded Solomon his son, 2 “I’m following the path that the whole earth takes. Be strong and be a man. 3 Guard what is owed to the Lord your God, walking in his ways and observing his laws, his commands, his judgments, and his testimonies, just as it is written in the Instruction from Moses. In this way you will succeed in whatever you do and wherever you go. 4 So also the Lord will confirm the word he spoke to me: ‘If your children will take care to walk before me faithfully, with all their heart and all their being, then one of your own children will never fail to be on the throne of Israel.’ 5 You should know what Joab, Zeruiah’s son, has done to me and what he did to the two generals of Israel, Abner, Ner’s son, and Amasa, Jether’s son. He murdered them, spilling blood at peacetime and putting the blood of war on the belt around his waist and on the sandals on his feet. 6 So act wisely: Don’t allow him to die a peaceful death. 7 As for Barzillai’s sons from Gilead, show them kindness. Let them eat with you. When I was running away from your brother Absalom, they came to me. 8 Now as for this Shimei, Gera’s son—a Benjaminite from Bahurim—who is with you, he cursed me viciously when I went to Mahanaim. When he came down to meet me at the Jordan, I swore to him by the Lord, ‘Surely I won’t execute you with the sword.’ 9 But you don’t need to excuse him. You are wise and know what to do to him. Give him a violent death.”
10 Then David lay down with his ancestors and was buried in David’s City. 11 He ruled over Israel forty years—seven years in Hebron and thirty-three years in Jerusalem.
Solomon secures his throne
12 Solomon sat on the throne of his father David, and his royal power was well established. 13 Adonijah, Haggith’s son, went to Bathsheba, Solomon’s mother. She said, “Are you coming in peace?”
He said, “Yes. 14 I have something to say to you.”
She said, “Say it.”
15 He said, “You know how the kingdom was mine. All Israel had appointed me as their king. Then suddenly the kingdom went to my brother as the Lord willed. 16 Now I have just one request of you. Don’t refuse me!”
She said to him, “Go on.”
17 Adonijah continued, “Ask King Solomon to let me marry Abishag from Shunem—he won’t refuse you.”
18 Bathsheba said, “Okay; I’ll speak to the king for you.”
19 So Bathsheba went to King Solomon to talk with him about Adonijah. The king stood up to meet her and bowed low to her. Then he returned to his throne and had a throne set up for the queen mother. She sat to his right. 20 She said, “I have just one small request for you. Don’t refuse me.”
The king said to her, “Mother, ask me. I won’t refuse you.”
21 “Let Abishag from Shunem be married to your brother Adonijah,” she said.
22 King Solomon replied to his mother, “Why ask only for Abishag from Shunem for Adonijah? Why not ask for the entire kingdom for him? After all, he is my older brother and has the support of Abiathar the priest and Joab, Zeruiah’s son.” 23 King Solomon swore by the Lord, “May God do to me as he sees fit! Adonijah has made this request at the cost of his life! 24 Now, as surely as the Lord lives—the one who supported me, put me on the throne of my father David, and provided a royal house for me exactly as he promised—Adonijah will be executed today.” 25 So King Solomon sent Benaiah, Jehoiada’s son. He attacked Adonijah, and Adonijah died.
26 The king said to the priest Abiathar, “Go to your fields at Anathoth, because you are a condemned man. However, I won’t kill you today because you carried the Lord’s chest in front of my father David and because you shared in all my father’s sufferings.” 27 So Solomon expelled Abiathar from the Lord’s priesthood in order to fulfill the Lord’s word that was spoken against Eli’s family at Shiloh.
28 Now the news reached Joab because he had supported Adonijah, though he hadn’t supported Absalom. Joab ran to the Lord’s tent and grabbed the horns of the altar. 29 King Solomon was told that Joab had fled to the Lord’s tent and was now beside the altar. So Solomon sent Benaiah, Jehoiada’s son, instructing him, “Go. Attack Joab!”
30 Benaiah came to the Lord’s tent and said to Joab, “The king says, ‘Come out!’”
Joab said, “No! I’d rather die here.”
Benaiah sent a report back to the king: “This is what Joab said and how he answered me.”
31 The king said to him, “Do as he said. Attack him and then bury him. In doing this, you will remove from me and from my father’s royal house the guilt over the innocent blood that Joab shed. 32 May the Lord return that bloodguilt back on his own head for attacking the two men who were better and more righteous than he was. He murdered those two with the sword: Abner, Ner’s son and Israel’s general, and Amasa, Jether’s son and Judah’s general. But my father David didn’t know about it. 33 May the bloodguilt for their deaths return on Joab’s head and on the head of his family line forever. But may the Lord’s peace be on David, his family, and his royal house forever.” 34 So Benaiah, Jehoiada’s son, went and attacked Joab and killed him.
Joab was buried at his home in the wilderness. 35 In his place, the king gave leadership of the army to Benaiah, Jehoiada’s son. The king put the priest Zadok in Abiathar’s position. 36 Then he sent for Shimei and said, “Build a house for yourself in Jerusalem and stay in the city. Don’t leave to go anywhere else. 37 If you try to leave, be advised that on the day you cross the Kidron Valley you will most certainly die. Your bloodguilt will be on your own head.”
38 Shimei said to the king, “This is a good idea. Your servant will do just what my master the king said.” So Shimei stayed in Jerusalem for a long time.
39 After three years, two of Shimei’s servants fled to the king of Gath, Achish, Maacah’s son. Shimei was informed, “Your servants are now in Gath.” 40 Shimei saddled his donkey and went to Achish in Gath to look for his servants. Shimei then brought his servants back from Gath. 41 Solomon was told that Shimei had left Jerusalem for Gath and then returned.
42 The king sent for Shimei and asked him, “Didn’t I make you swear a solemn pledge by the Lord? And didn’t I swear to you, ‘If you try to leave and go anywhere, be advised that on that very day you will most certainly die’? You said to me, ‘This is a good idea. I agree to it.’ 43 Why didn’t you keep your solemn promise to the Lord and the command that I gave you?” 44 The king said further, “You know quite well all the evil that you did to my father David. May the Lord return your evil on your own head. 45 However, may King Solomon be blessed and David’s throne be secure before the Lord forever.” 46 Then the king commanded Benaiah, Jehoiada’s son, who went and attacked Shimei, and he died.
In these ways royal power was handed over to Solomon.
Solomon first meets God
3 Solomon became the son-in-law of Pharaoh, Egypt’s king, when he married Pharaoh’s daughter. He brought her to David’s City until he finished building his royal palace, the Lord’s temple, and the wall around Jerusalem. 2 Unfortunately, the people were sacrificing at the shrines because a temple hadn’t yet been built for the Lord’s name in those days.
Pretenders of sharing
5 However, a man named Ananias, along with his wife Sapphira, sold a piece of property. 2 With his wife’s knowledge, he withheld some of the proceeds from the sale. He brought the rest and placed it in the care and under the authority of the apostles. 3 Peter asked, “Ananias, how is it that Satan has influenced you to lie to the Holy Spirit by withholding some of the proceeds from the sale of your land? 4 Wasn’t that property yours to keep? After you sold it, wasn’t the money yours to do with whatever you wanted? What made you think of such a thing? You haven’t lied to other people but to God!” 5 When Ananias heard these words, he dropped dead. Everyone who heard this conversation was terrified. 6 Some young men stood up, wrapped up his body, carried him out, and buried him.
7 About three hours later, his wife entered, but she didn’t know what had happened to her husband. 8 Peter asked her, “Tell me, did you and your husband receive this price for the field?”
She responded, “Yes, that’s the amount.”
9 He replied, “How could you scheme with each other to challenge the Lord’s Spirit? Look! The feet of those who buried your husband are at the door. They will carry you out too.” 10 At that very moment, she dropped dead at his feet. When the young men entered and found her dead, they carried her out and buried her with her husband. 11 Trepidation and dread seized the whole church and all who heard what had happened.
Responses to the church
12 The apostles performed many signs and wonders among the people. They would come together regularly at Solomon’s Porch. 13 No one from outside the church dared to join them, even though the people spoke highly of them. 14 Indeed, more and more believers in the Lord, large numbers of both men and women, were added to the church. 15 As a result, they would even bring the sick out into the main streets and lay them on cots and mats so that at least Peter’s shadow could fall on some of them as he passed by. 16 Even large numbers of persons from towns around Jerusalem would gather, bringing the sick and those harassed by unclean spirits. Everyone was healed.
The Jerusalem Council harasses the apostles
17 The high priest, together with his allies, the Sadducees, was overcome with jealousy. 18 They seized the apostles and made a public show of putting them in prison. 19 An angel from the Lord opened the prison doors during the night and led them out. The angel told them, 20 “Go, take your place in the temple, and tell the people everything about this new life.” 21 Early in the morning, they went into the temple as they had been told and began to teach.
When the high priest and his colleagues gathered, they convened the Jerusalem Council, that is, the full assembly of Israel’s elders. They sent word to the prison to have the apostles brought before them. 22 However, the guards didn’t find them in the prison. They returned and reported, 23 “We found the prison locked and well-secured, with guards standing at the doors, but when we opened the doors we found no one inside!” 24 When they received this news, the captain of the temple guard and the chief priests were baffled and wondered what might be happening. 25 Just then, someone arrived and announced, “Look! The people you put in prison are standing in the temple and teaching the people!” 26 Then the captain left with his guards and brought the apostles back. They didn’t use force because they were afraid the people would stone them.
27 The apostles were brought before the council where the high priest confronted them: 28 “In no uncertain terms, we demanded that you not teach in this name. And look at you! You have filled Jerusalem with your teaching. And you are determined to hold us responsible for this man’s death.”
29 Peter and the apostles replied, “We must obey God rather than humans! 30 The God of our ancestors raised Jesus from the dead—whom you killed by hanging him on a tree. 31 God has exalted Jesus to his right side as leader and savior so that he could enable Israel to change its heart and life and to find forgiveness for sins. 32 We are witnesses of such things, as is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey him.”
33 When the council members heard this, they became furious and wanted to kill the apostles. 34 One council member, a Pharisee and teacher of the Law named Gamaliel, well-respected by all the people, stood up and ordered that the men be taken outside for a few moments. 35 He said, “Fellow Israelites, consider carefully what you intend to do to these people. 36 Some time ago, Theudas appeared, claiming to be somebody, and some four hundred men joined him. After he was killed, all of his followers scattered, and nothing came of that. 37 Afterward, at the time of the census, Judas the Galilean appeared and got some people to follow him in a revolt. He was killed too, and all his followers scattered far and wide. 38 Here’s my recommendation in this case: Distance yourselves from these men. Let them go! If their plan or activity is of human origin, it will end in ruin. 39 If it originates with God, you won’t be able to stop them. Instead, you would actually find yourselves fighting God!” The council was convinced by his reasoning. 40 After calling the apostles back, they had them beaten. They ordered them not to speak in the name of Jesus, then let them go. 41 The apostles left the council rejoicing because they had been regarded as worthy to suffer disgrace for the sake of the name. 42 Every day they continued to teach and proclaim the good news that Jesus is the Christ, both in the temple and in houses.
A pilgrimage song.
125 The people who trust in the Lord
are like Mount Zion:
never shaken, lasting forever.
2 Mountains surround Jerusalem.
That’s how the Lord surrounds his people
from now until forever from now!
3 The wicked rod won’t remain
in the land given to the righteous
so that they don’t use their hands to do anything wrong.[a]
4 Lord, do good to people who are good,
to people whose hearts are right.
5 But as for those people who turn to their own twisted ways—
may the Lord march them off with other evildoers!
Peace be on Israel!
- Psalm 125:3 Heb uncertain
25 There is a path that may seem straight to someone,
but in the end it is the path of death.