1 Kings 2

In this chapter we have David setting and Solomon at the same time rising.
I. The conclusion of David's reign with his life.
1. The charge he gives to Solomon upon his death-bed, in general, to serve God (#1Ki 2:1-4), in particular, concerning Joab, Barzillai, and Shimei, #1Ki 2:5-9.
2. His death and burial, and the years of his reign, #1Ki 2:10,11.
II. The beginning of Solomon's reign, #1Ki 2:12. Though he was to be a prince of peace, he began his reign with some remarkable acts of justice,
1. Upon Adonijah, whom he put to death for his aspiring pretensions, #1Ki 2:13-25.
2. Upon Abiathar, whom he deposed from the high priesthood for siding with Adonijah, #1Ki 2:26,27.
3. Upon Joab, whom he put to death for his late treasons and former murders, #1Ki 2:28-35.
4. Upon Shimei, whom, for cursing David, he confined to Jerusalem (#1Ki 2:36-38), and three years after, for transgressing the rules, put to death, #1Ki 2:39-46. (MH)

V. 1–

David's turn to die comes, as it will for all men.

V. 2.
David gives charge to his son to keep all the ways of the Lord. There is no better advice one can give another.

V. 3.

The MAGIC FORMULA for success is given again, the same as Moses gave to Joshua:

Be strong, and show yourself a man...

Here is a strong sermon.

Did not Goliath say, GIVE ME A MAN?

MANHOOD is here defined.

How is Solomon to show himself a man? BY KEEPING THE CHARGE OF THE LORD, and walking in His ways, v. 3.

A man obeys God, which is a direct contradiction to the natural idea of manhood. Human nature says manhood is shown by a spirit of rebellion against the Lord and His ways, and all the world lines up, saying the same thing.

The ONLY reason the service for the Lord has become ‘women's work', is because men have failed in their responsibility toward God. God will raise up women to do His work, for His work will get done.

Success and honour comes from ‘showing yourself a man' in your service of the Lord.

Here we have David's, a dying man who is assured of what awaits him after death, last words, and they are to his son on manhood.

(Good sermon on death, Pulpit Commentary, #5, p. 29-32.)

GIVE ME A MAN, but the world does not want a real man. God's ideal man:

Show thyself a man. Manhood is something that is shown, not talked about.
Be strong... It takes strength that most men do not have to show themselves a man, and the strength is not the kind of strength that shows itself in the gym nor in the bar. It is strength of character in doing what God defines as right.
Keep the CHARGE of the Lord. That is done today by keeping all the requirements as found in the law of Moses. Of course, the ordinances (statutes, offerings and sacrifices) are removed in Christ (Colossians 2:14).

Thou mayest prosper. The promise is prosperity for following the law of Moses. That promise if found many times in Scripture, e.g., Deuteronomy 29:9, Joshua 1:7, 22:5, Psalms 1, &c.

V. 4, David's posterity's place on the throne was conditional. They departed from the Lord, and though it took hundreds of years to catch up with them, the Lord Himself removed them from the throne.

V. 5.
David charges his son, Solomon, to see that Joab pays for his two murders (Abner and Amasa):
1) Son of David, Christ, will take care of those of whom we are fearful. (Evidently, David was fearful of Joab, so he did not render the proper justice.)

2) He will take care of them when the time comes.

3) He will deal with them according to His wisdom.

4) Vengeance is mine, saith the Lord.

There are many ways we can apply this charge David gives his son concerning Joab, but it all adds up to this: No matter how great or small one is, there is a day coming when he will have to meet his deeds, whether they be good or bad.

V. 6, Solomon is only 14-16 at this time, but evidently he already exhibited the quality of wisdom.

V. 7, sons of Barzillai...

1) David encouraged his son to be a man.
2) David reminds his son of the wickedness of Joab to be dealt with.
3) David now remembers the goodness of Barzillai.

Wisdom should not only be used to deal with sin, but also to deal with righteousness—not only to justly deal with Joab, but also to justly deal with Barzillai.

4) Vv. 8, 9, David also reminds of Shimei.

Shimei would bow whichever way the wind was blowing, and as long as he lived, he would be a threat to the throne. "Solomon, you had better watch him closely, or he will cause you problems." Solomon did this be making him move inside the city where Solomon could keep an eye on him.

V. 10, 11, and David passed the way of all human flesh, he died. They gave him an honourable burial.

V. 13 gives us a good comparison between the brothers, Adonijah and Solomon, as Adonijah moves to take the throne away. Even Solomon's mother is influenced by his smooth talk, and helps him in his efforts.

V. 17. Rome's view says about Mary, the mother of Christ, "Pray for us, for your Son will not tell you now". And the same response comes from Christ as came from Solomon, "No". In fact, Psalms 2;12 gives us advice to kiss the son, not the mom, lest he be angry at thee.

Note for us: How many try to get us to make a commitment to them before we hear what the commitment is, and when we do not want to follow through with that commitment, they say, "But, you promised", as they try to hold us to something we knew nothing about.

Abishag the Shunamite would have been the most beautiful girl in the nation. She was the winner of the beauty contest (1:3), and the king is the "rightful heir" to the former king's wives, if you can consider this an inheritance.

Of interest here: Is Abishag the Shunamite the girl refered to in the Songs?

Bathsheba probably saw a romance here, although Soloman in his wisdom saw the truth, vv. 22-24, and put a stopto the treat quickly, v. 25.

Solomon, maybe about 14 years old here, but really no way to tell other than Josephus, but Solomon did have at least one son already, Rehoboam, 1 Kings 11:42.

Solomon reigned 40 years, compare with 1 Kings 14:21, And Rehoboam was forty and one when he began to reign.

Again, what could David his father say when Solomon started his family at the age of 13 (if it was that early)? Josephus sais Solomon reigned 80 years, and died at 94. I believe Scripture, and he died at age 54, although the promise of 3:14 promises long life if he would follow the ways of the Lord, which he did not.

What could David say when his son got a girl pregnant at 13, but then again, he may have married at that early age. Scripture does not say. David had done the same with Bathsheba, another man's wife. He should have dealt with Solomon anyway over this "love" for women at that age. David should have dealt with Joab anyway over his murder of Abner and Amasa.

We are assuming that Solomon did take the throne at 14, but we do not know for sure at what age he took the throne. However, if he took the throne at 14, that put his birth at about the 26 year of David's reign, which would be right, because Solomon was te 4th son of David and Bathsheba.

With Solomon around 20, and being the 4th son (1 Chronicles 3:5), David would have had his problems with Bathsehba in the first half of his reign, probably around the 16th year or so, so I am inclined to think Solomon was very young here.

David had a problem with women, but his son, Solomon, was a slave to them. I cannot see any way he could have lived to 94 with 1,000 wives. The age of 54 would fit a lot better, considering his life-style, and the promise conditioned in 3:14.

Solomon moves quickly, and puts down the hint of revolt in Adonijah, and he also moves on against the two important leaders that followed Adonijoh, Abiathar, the priest, and Joab, the captain of the army. Abiathar, he sends home to live in seclusion out of public eye, and Joab he puts to death for the murders, as his father should have done. (See my notes back there.)

NOTE that the children will have to deal with issues that the parents refuse to deal with, e.g., the "social security" mess the US faces today. The parents have refused to deal with it, and the children are the ones who will be bit with the results.

Solomon kills Adonijah, which was lawful even though he was his half brother. Adonijah, tried to claim the throne by being the next in line age wise, v. 15, even though he knew Solomon was appointed and anointed by God. Adonijah forced the issue in his subtle attempt to lay claim to the kingdom. Solomon promised his brother life as long as he caused no problems for the kingdom God had established, 1:51, 52, 53.

Abonijah knew the results, but he probably felt this was subtle enough no one would be wise to his attempt, and he staked his life on it, and lost.

If Bathsehba could see no problem with it, the he felt that probably no one else would. No doubt he felt when the time was right to make his move upon the throne, he would have one of David's ‘wives' to help support his claim.

He was smart in man's wisdom, but Solomon had the Lord's wisdom.

NOTE that man's looks for immediate results, while the Lord sees down the road.

THE BROTHERS contrasted

Adonijah was endowed with man's beauty, as was Absolom, and men admired him.
Solomon was endowed with wisdom of the Lord.
a) Wisdom is far better, to be desired more than rubies or beauties.

Men admired Adonijah.
The Lord loved Solomon, 2 Samuel 12:24.

Adonijah was ambitious.
Solomon was pious.

Adonijah loved self, sough his own advancement.
Solomon loved the Lord (1 Kings 3:3), and sought His kingdom's advancement (for thy name's sake).

Adonijah resisted and defied the will of God, 2:15.
Solomon walked in the statutes of David his father.

Adonijah desired riches and honour.
Solomon desired a wise and understanding heart (3:9, 11).

Adonijah lived, acted as though he was master, 1:5
Solomon remembered he was but a servant, v. 9 (his father told him what to do).

Adonijah lost all, even his life.
Solomon gained all that he sought, and all was added to him. Riches, honour and the life of his enemies.

Adonijah tried to force events.
Solomon waited patiently on the Lord.

a) Adonijah could not wait until his father was dead to make his move. He would be king at any cost.
Solomon took no part in the events that placed him on the throne. He that believeth shall not make haste." (Isaiah 28:16.)

IN OTHER WORDS, those who trust the Lord will not get in a hurry to work things out on their own. If we believe God and His word, we will wait patiently for Him to move in His good time. However, we will be doing what we can, but not trying to force things.

Adonijah tried to overturn the design of Divine Providence.
Solomon committed himself to him that judgeth righteously.
a) Solomon was crowned; Adonijah was executed.

Adonijah rebelled against his father.
Solomon reverenced his mother.
a) Treatment of one's parents is a revealer of character.

Adonijah repaid his father's indulgences with treason.
Solomon, when seated on the throne, had throne set for his mother.
a) Solomon held his mother in the greatest respect while Adonijah would not even respect his dying father.

God chose Solomon, and refused Adonijah
God chose the younger above the elder in Esau and Jacob, Manasseh and Ephraim, David and his brethren.

Although in the above cases, the elder seemed to e the favored in men's eyes because men look on the outward appearances while the Lord looketh upon the heart. In every case, God sets aside the goodly for the godly, unless the goodly is goodly.

b) Solomon, rejected by jacob and Abiathar, is accepted by Hehovah.

V. 28

Now it is time for Joab to answer for his two murders. Why did the man who had no time to go to the temple up till now suddenly find time to go to the temple?

First, his conscience drove him there.
The foremost military man in Israel, who feared or turned from nothing, here flees from his conscience. He fled from a rumor, v. 28. He knew his sin was found out, and the day of payment was at hand. A man can ignore his conscience only so long, but it will be dealt with. He could not escape its persistent crying.

Second, his adversity drove him to the religion he had no time for in his prosperity.
Death-bed repentance? Prayers in peril from men who have never prayed before. NO ATHEIST IN THE FOX HOLE.

Neglect of God in health, yet turned to God in sickness.

NOTICE that many times God uses the "death bed", perils and sicknesses to get men's attention and to turn.

Third, the altar is for sacrifice not for sanctuary, protection of evil persons.
It is foolish presumption to seek protection with no obedience.
The altar was made for worship and service, not for deliverance from the results of a wicked life.
Joab had no use for it as a place of worship and service. He only had use for it when it benefitted him.

Christianity is for men to live by, for the glory of God.

Christianity is that men may offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to god as a living sacrifice.

When used as a place to flee or to escape when we can sin no longer, Christianity offers little protection.

People who want the benefits of the altar with no obligation to the altar change its holy use to selfish purposes. People who want it for death but not for life, will find no more protection than did Joab. Joab lived his life for himself. Now he sought protection from the results of such a life.

If it is sought as a means to escape the results of the life of sin, death-bed repentance is very questionable. If it is sought as a todal surrender to the Lord, then one will live.

Notice Joab fled — "I'm at the altar; you can't slay me", instead of fleeing to the altar for forgiveness for his two murders and rebellion with Adonijah. Altar is a place of forgiveness to the repentant; it is not a an escape for the proud.

It really does not matter whether it is death bed or not, if one comes to the altar (Christ) for its benefits with no obligation, that is purely selfish motives, and offers no safety.

Why was Joab but to death here? The altar was a shelter for many, but why not for Joab?

1. He came too late.
He came as a fugitive, not a worshiper.
He did not come as a repentant sinner, but as a proud soldier.
He only came because he was driven to it as a last hope, with no where else to go. He had tried every place else. "IT'S TOO LATE TO CRY FOR MERCY WHEN IT'S THE TIME FOR JUSTICE."

There will be a time when the door is closed.
David found mercy at the alter for the same crimes: A) of rebellion against God, and B) of murder of his fellow man.

When his sin was exposed to him, he fled to the altar as a repentant sinner (Psalms 51), and he found mercy.

2. Because he shall have judgment without mercy that showed no mercy.
Joab's murders could not have been more cruel, 2 Samuel 3:27, 20:9.
God has a way of allowing those who live by the sword to die by the sword.

3. Because God rewards sure, even if it is slowly.
It had been 34 years since Abner's death, 8 years since Amasa's death.
He had outlived David, who should have dealt with Joab's evils.
I am sure he though he had escaped, but God proves here, Be sure your sins will find you out.

4. Because the law required a life for a life.
The law demanded blood for blood to cleanse the land.
Here we have a picture of Christ: Joab, the guilty blood for the innocent, and Christ, the innocent blood for the guilty.

Notice Joab was not put to death for his following Adonijah, but for his murders.

V. 36, Shimei

Now Shimei must answer for his evil deeds.

Solomon sends for him, and sets conditions for him to live. He must remain in Jerusalem, the City of Peace. If he leaves the city, his life will be forfeited. Shimei agrees to the terms.

Shimei leaves to recover his servant from Gath. Solomon hears of his departure, and kills Shimei for breaking his agreement.


1. The king of Peace executes justice, and the king that the humanistic world is expecting mercy from is going to experience justice instead when they stand before Him. All judgment has been committed to the King of Peace.

2. The only safety is in our Jerusalem, Jesus, our city of Peace. Outside of Him, there is only justice and judgment. Inside of him, there is mercy and grace.

Was Shimei expecting to sneak out and back?
Was he taking for granted that mercy would continue to be extended even with his willful rebellion?
Solomon brought him in to where he could watch for an attempted overthrow, and did this look like such an attempt? Shemei went to a foreign power, and returned.

Why did Shimei return? Why didn't he keep going? Did he thing Solomon (Peaceable) would not keep his word? After all, he had dealt with Joab.

Good questions.

V. 44

Notice here that Solomon in his wisdom saw the throne, or "civil government" as the dispenser of Divine Justice here on earth. He did not see the church nor the family as the God's instrument of justice, Romans 13.

V. 46, Solomon, Peaceable, established his throne with the sword, as he removes his enemies.

King Jesus establishes His rule with the sword, the Word of God, Hebrews 4:12, Revelation 19:15.