Dave Burnette's Commentary

1 Kings Chapter 2

Written By: God through Inspiration
Penned By: Jeremiah
Date Penned: (586 BC)
Overview: A History of the Kings of Israel and Judah (c 1-22)
Theme: The United Kingdom (c 1-11)
Message: David Charges Solomon (v 1-46)

1 Kings 2 Commentary 

(2:3-4) David Gives Instruction to Solomon -  David stressed to Solomon the need to make God and his laws the center of personal life and government in order to preserve the kingdom, as God had promised to do (2 Samuel 7). This promise from God had two parts. One part was conditional and depended upon the kings' actions. The other part was unconditional. God's conditional promise was that David and his descendants would remain in office as kings only when they honored and obeyed him. When David's descendants failed to do this, they lost the throne (2 Kings 25). God's unconditional promise was that David's line would go on forever. This was fulfilled in the birth of Jesus Christ, a descendant of David who was also the eternal Son of God (Romans 1:3-4). David, whose life exemplified obedience, gave well seasoned advice to his son, the next king. It would be up to Solomon to follow it.

(2:5-9) David Advises Solomon on the Treatment of Enemies - David had some harsh advice for Solomon concerning his enemies. This advice was designed to help the young king establish and secure his throne, and it was directed only toward blatant enemies- those who opposed God by opposing God's appointed king. Legally, David was asking Solomon to give his enemies the punishment they deserved. It was against both civil law and God's laws for Shimei to curse a king (Exodus 22:28).

(2:5-7) Joab Seeks Power - Joab epitomizes those who are ruthless in accomplishing their goals. To Joab, winning was everything. He wanted to gain power for himself and protect it. In contrast, Barzillai stands for those who are loyal to God and live by his standards. When offered glory, for example, he unselfishly asked that it be given to his son. Do you take all the credit for yourself, or do you acknowledge God's help and give credit to others?

(2:10) David Dies - David died at about age 70 

(2:13-22) Adonijah Seeks One of David's Wives - This was not a case of thwarted love; Adonijah had more in mind than his supposed love for Abishag. Although she was still a virgin, Abishag was considered part of David's harem. Adonijah wanted Abishag because possessing the king's harem was equivalent to claiming the throne. Absalom had done the same thing in his rebellion against David (2 Samuel 16:20-23). Solomon understood what Adonijah was trying to do.

(3:23-34) The Plot Fails - In this plot against Solomon, all the conspirators lost. Adonijah and Joab were killed, and the priest Abiathar lost his job. They all thought they would gain something by their alliance: influence, position, recognition, authority. But they had a poor leader and wrong motives, and they were working against God's will. Consider your motives carefully before making alliances with others, and make sure your motives and actions are aligned with what God wants. Motives are important; be sure you understand yours and those of your leaders and peers.

(2:26-27) Abiathar loses the Priesthood - As a young man, Abiathar had been the only one to escape when King Saul had massacred all the priests in the city of Nob (1 Samuel 22:11-23). Abiathar had then become the high priest under David, and he had remained loyal to David throughout his reign. But when Abiathar supported Adonijah's wrongful claim to the throne after David's death (Kings 17), Solomon forced him to give up the priesthood, fulfilling the prophecy of 1 Samuel 2:27-36 that Eli's descendants would not continue to serve as priests

(2:31) David Curses Joab - Joab had spent his life trying to defend his position as David's commander. Twice David had tried to replace him, and both times Joab had treacherously killed his rivals before they could assume command (2 Samuel 3:17-30; 19:13; 20:4-10). Because Job was in his service, David was ultimately responsible for these senseless deaths. But for political and military reasons (see the note on 2 Samuel 3:39), David had decided not to publicly punish Joab. Instead, he had put a curse on Joab and his family (2 Samuel 3:29)


Dave Burnette's Life Application

Walking in the Ways of the Lord

Each day we walk through the Bible chapter by chapter, making application of our text to help us grow in the Lord. Today we continue in the book of 1 Kings with Chapter 2.  In our text, we see David's charge to Solomon and Solomon removing his opposition. What catches my eye is the advice that David gives Solomon to walk in the ways of the Lord, keep His statutes, and keep his commandments. Here David reflects on His life and gives Solomon some wisdom to apply to his life. Today we who are getting older provide the younger generation the same charge to walk in the ways of the Lord, and your instruction is in the Bible. The younger generation needs to read the Word of God, understand its meaning, obey its precepts, and apply its teachings under the direction of the indwelling Spirit of God to the believer. This simple advice will relieve a person from many years of heartache and mistakes. How about you? Do you heed the Word of God and the direction of those who have gone before us? Let us learn from our text today and David's suggestion to Walk in the Ways of the Lord.


1 Kings 2

1 Kings 2

 1Now the days of David drew nigh that he should die; and he charged Solomon his son, saying,

 2I go the way of all the earth: be thou strong therefore, and shew thyself a man;

 3And 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 thou doest, and whithersoever thou turnest thyself:

 4That the LORD may continue his word which he spake concerning me, saying, 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.

 5Moreover thou knowest also what Joab the son of Zeruiah did to me, and what he did to the two captains of the hosts of Israel, unto Abner the son of Ner, and unto Amasa the son of Jether, whom he slew, and shed the blood of war in peace, and put the blood of war upon his girdle that was about his loins, and in his shoes that were on his feet.

 6Do therefore according to thy wisdom, and let not his hoar head go down to the grave in peace.

 7But shew kindness unto the sons of Barzillai the Gileadite, and let them be of those that eat at thy table: for so they came to me when I fled because of Absalom thy brother.

 8And, behold, thou hast with thee Shimei the son of Gera, a Benjamite of Bahurim, which cursed me with a grievous curse in the day when I went to Mahanaim: but he came down to meet me at Jordan, and I sware to him by the LORD, saying, I will not put thee to death with the sword.

 9Now therefore hold him not guiltless: for thou art a wise man, and knowest what thou oughtest to do unto him; but his hoar head bring thou down to the grave with blood.

 10So David slept with his fathers, and was buried in the city of David.

 11And the days that David reigned over Israel were forty years: seven years reigned he in Hebron, and thirty and three years reigned he in Jerusalem.

 12Then sat Solomon upon the throne of David his father; and his kingdom was established greatly.

 13And Adonijah the son of Haggith came to Bathsheba the mother of Solomon. And she said, Comest thou peaceably? And he said, Peaceably.

 14He said moreover, I have somewhat to say unto thee. And she said, Say on.

 15And he said, Thou knowest that the kingdom was mine, and that all Israel set their faces on me, that I should reign: howbeit the kingdom is turned about, and is become my brother's: for it was his from the LORD.

 16And now I ask one petition of thee, deny me not. And she said unto him, Say on.

 17And he said, Speak, I pray thee, unto Solomon the king, (for he will not say thee nay,) that he give me Abishag the Shunammite to wife.

 18And Bathsheba said, Well; I will speak for thee unto the king.

 19Bathsheba therefore went unto king Solomon, to speak unto him for Adonijah. And the king rose up to meet her, and bowed himself unto her, and sat down on his throne, and caused a seat to be set for the king's mother; and she sat on his right hand.

 20Then she said, I desire one small petition of thee; I pray thee, say me not nay. And the king said unto her, Ask on, my mother: for I will not say thee nay.

 21And she said, Let Abishag the Shunammite be given to Adonijah thy brother to wife.

 22And king Solomon answered and said unto his mother, And why dost thou ask Abishag the Shunammite for Adonijah? ask for him the kingdom also; for he is mine elder brother; even for him, and for Abiathar the priest, and for Joab the son of Zeruiah.

 23Then king Solomon sware by the LORD, saying, God do so to me, and more also, if Adonijah have not spoken this word against his own life.

 24Now therefore, as the LORD liveth, which hath established me, and set me on the throne of David my father, and who hath made me an house, as he promised, Adonijah shall be put to death this day.

 25And king Solomon sent by the hand of Benaiah the son of Jehoiada; and he fell upon him that he died.

 26And unto Abiathar the priest said the king, Get thee to Anathoth, unto thine own fields; for thou art worthy of death: but I will not at this time put thee to death, because thou barest the ark of the LORD God before David my father, and because thou hast been afflicted in all wherein my father was afflicted.

 27So Solomon thrust out Abiathar from being priest unto the LORD; that he might fulfil the word of the LORD, which he spake concerning the house of Eli in Shiloh.

 28Then tidings came to Joab: for Joab had turned after Adonijah, though he turned not after Absalom. And Joab fled unto the tabernacle of the LORD, and caught hold on the horns of the altar.

 29And it was told king Solomon that Joab was fled unto the tabernacle of the LORD; and, behold, he is by the altar. Then Solomon sent Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, saying, Go, fall upon him.

 30And Benaiah came to the tabernacle of the LORD, and said unto him, Thus saith the king, Come forth. And he said, Nay; but I will die here. And Benaiah brought the king word again, saying, Thus said Joab, and thus he answered me.

 31And the king said unto him, Do as he hath said, and fall upon him, and bury him; that thou mayest take away the innocent blood, which Joab shed, from me, and from the house of my father.

 32And the LORD shall return his blood upon his own head, who fell upon two men more righteous and better than he, and slew them with the sword, my father David not knowing thereof, to wit, Abner the son of Ner, captain of the host of Israel, and Amasa the son of Jether, captain of the host of Judah.

 33Their blood shall therefore return upon the head of Joab, and upon the head of his seed for ever: but upon David, and upon his seed, and upon his house, and upon his throne, shall there be peace for ever from the LORD.

 34So Benaiah the son of Jehoiada went up, and fell upon him, and slew him: and he was buried in his own house in the wilderness.

 35And the king put Benaiah the son of Jehoiada in his room over the host: and Zadok the priest did the king put in the room of Abiathar.

 36And the king sent and called for Shimei, and said unto him, Build thee an house in Jerusalem, and dwell there, and go not forth thence any whither.

 37For it shall be, that on the day thou goest out, and passest over the brook Kidron, thou shalt know for certain that thou shalt surely die: thy blood shall be upon thine own head.

 38And Shimei said unto the king, The saying is good: as my lord the king hath said, so will thy servant do. And Shimei dwelt in Jerusalem many days.

 39And it came to pass at the end of three years, that two of the servants of Shimei ran away unto Achish son of Maachah king of Gath. And they told Shimei, saying, Behold, thy servants be in Gath.

 40And Shimei arose, and saddled his ass, and went to Gath to Achish to seek his servants: and Shimei went, and brought his servants from Gath.

 41And it was told Solomon that Shimei had gone from Jerusalem to Gath, and was come again.

 42And the king sent and called for Shimei, and said unto him, Did I not make thee to swear by the LORD, and protested unto thee, saying, Know for a certain, on the day thou goest out, and walkest abroad any whither, that thou shalt surely die? and thou saidst unto me, The word that I have heard is good.

 43Why then hast thou not kept the oath of the LORD, and the commandment that I have charged thee with?

 44The king said moreover to Shimei, Thou knowest all the wickedness which thine heart is privy to, that thou didst to David my father: therefore the LORD shall return thy wickedness upon thine own head;

 45And king Solomon shall be blessed, and the throne of David shall be established before the LORD for ever.

 46So the king commanded Benaiah the son of Jehoiada; which went out, and fell upon him, that he died. And the kingdom was established in the hand of Solomon.