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David's dying charge


to his son Solomon.

A M. 2989.
B. C. 1015.

Now the days of David drew nigh || thy children take heed to their way, A. M: 2008:

that he should die; and he charg- to walk before me in truth, with ed Solomon his son, saying,

all their heart, and with all their soul, h there 2 "I go the way of all the earth : be thou shall not a fail thee (said he) a man on the strong therefore, and show thyself a man; throne of Israel.

3 And keep the charge of the LORD thy God, 5 Moreover, thou knowest also what Joab the to walk in his ways, to keep his statutes, and son of Zeruiah i did to me, and what he did to his commandments, and his judgments, and the two captains of the hosts of Israel, unto his testimonies, as it is written in the law of Abner the son of Ner, and unto Amasa the Moses, that thou mayest a prosper in all that son of Jether, whom he slew, and 3 shed the thou doest, and whithersoever thou turnest blood of war in peace, and put the blood of war thyself.

upon his girdle that was about his loins, and 4. That the Lord may continue his word in his shoes that were on his feet. which he spake concerning me, saying, 'If 6 Do therefore maccording to thy wisdom,

* Gen. xlvii. 29; Deut. xxxi.14.- Josh. xxiii.14. _c Deut. h 2 Sam. vii. 12; Chap. viii. 25.- Heb. be cut off from thee ITI. 19.-- Deut. xxix. 9; Josh. i. 7; 1 Chron. xxii. 12. - Or, ll from the throne. 2 Sam. iii. 39; xviii. 5, 12, 14 ; xix. 5, 7. do risely, 1 Sam. xvii. 5, 14, 40.- - 2 Sam. vii. 25.

k 2 Sam. iii. 27.- 12 Sam. xx. 10.—Heb. pul.

.-om Verse TL 12-52 Kings XX. 3.

9; Prov. xx. 26.

_ Psa.


Verse 5. Moreover, thou know est, &c.—After DaVerses 1, 2. The days of David drew nigh, that vid had given Solomon this general charge, he prohe must die-As he himself was sensible. And he || ceeded to direct him to do some particular acts of charged Solomon his sonAfter the example of || justice and kindness, and first of all bids him reAbraham, the father of the faithful, Gen. xviii. 19.) member how Joab had acted. We must not look I go the way of all the earthEven the sons and upon this admonition of David, on his death-bed, as heirs of heaven must go the way of all the earth, || proceeding from a spirit of private revenge, but as of all who dwell thereon. But they walk with advising the execution of a public piece of justice, pleasure in this way, through the valley of the || which the circumstances of things would not permit shadow of death. Prophets, yea, kings, must go | him to inflict before. Certainly the punishment of this way to brighter light and honour than prophecy | Joab was owing both to God and man, for his or sovereignty. Be thou, strong-For, to govern | treacherous and cruel murder of Abner and Amasa; his people according to the law of God, required and, therefore, David here, in justice to his people, great fortitude or strength of mind. And show thy- and the divine laws, ordered his son and succesself a man–In manly wisdom, and courage, and sor to do that, when his throne was sully established, constancy, though thou art but young in years. which he could not execute himself for want of suf

Verses 3, 4. And keep the charge of the Lord thy | ficient power, Joab's interest being then so great, God-Here we find David inculcating, in his last mo- that it might have thrown the state into a fresh civil ments, the great ruling principle, the foundation- | war, had any steps been taken to inflict punishment stone of the Hebrew state, and which in some mea- upon him. What Joab the son of Zeruiah did to sure distinguishes it from all other governments that || me–That is, against me. For Joab's murder of bave ever subsisted. For the whole strength and Abner and Amasa was a great injury to David, as it stability of that state was built, not upon the riches or was a breach of his laws and peace, a contempt of forces of the kingdom, but upon a strict observance his person and government, a pernicious example of the statutes and commandments of the Lord. As || to his subjects, and a great scandal to him, giving it is written in the law of Moses—Which the prince | people reason to suspect that Joab had been only was enjoined to transcribe and read, (Deut. xvii. 11) David's instrument, to effect what he secretly dethat he might govern his own and his people's ac- | signed. And shed the blood of war in peace-He tions by it. That thou mayest prosper—Or, behave | slew them as if they had been in the state of war, thyself prudently. Hereby he intimates that reli- | when there was not only a cessation of arms, but also gion is the truest reason of state, and that all true a treaty of peace. And put the blood of war upon wisdom and good success depend upon piety. That | his girdleThis is added to denote his impenitence, the Lord may confirm his word—Fulfil his promise, that although by his perfidious manner of killing the condition upon which it was suspended being them, when he pretended to embrace them, he stainperformed. Thus, to engage him to keep the charge || ed his own garments with their blood, yet he was of the Lord, he represents unto him the gracious not ashamed of it, but gloried in it, and marched promise which God had made him, to perpetuate boldly along with the army, with the same girdle the kingdom in his family without interruption, and shoes which were sprinkled with their blood. provided his children sincerely and heartily cleaved Verse 6. Do therefore according to thy wisdomto God in faithsul and conscientious obedience to What in reason and justice thou seest to be fit. For his commandments.

though I was forced to forbear him, I never forgave David's charge concerning


Barzillai and Shimei.

the grave

in peace.

A. M. 2989. and let not his hoar head go down to which cursed me with a grievous A. M. 2989. B. C. 1015.

B. C. 1015.

curse in the day when I went to 7 But show kindness unto the sons of n Bar- || Mahanaim : but he came down to meet me zillai the Gileadite, and let them be of those at Jordan, and I sware to him by the LORD, that eat at thy table: for so they came to saying, I will not put thee to death with the me when I fled because of Absalom thy bro- || sword. ther.

9 Now therefore + hold him not guiltless : for 8 And behold, thou hast with thee 9 Shimei | thou art a wise man, and knowest what thou the son of Gera, a Benjamite of Bahurim, oughtest to do unto him; but his hoar head

-P 2 Sam. || * Heb, strong:

2 Sam. xii. 31, 38. - 2 Sam. ix. 7, 10; xix. 28.

xvii. 27.- 2 Sam. xvi. 5.

r 2 Samuel xix. 18.- - 2 Samuel xix. 23. + Exod. xx. 7; Job ix. 28.

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him. Let not his hoar head go down to the grave ed the grant by an oath. But then it must be rein peace-Punish him according to his demerits. membered, that the obligation of the oath was pure“This dying order of David,” says Dr. Dodd, re- ly personal ; for so he himself explains it, saying, ferring to Dr. Chandler, was an order worthy of a I sware unto him by the Lord, I will not put thee good king, and fit to be given in the last moments to death by the sword. And, therefore, though Daof his life. The crimes which drew down this pun- | vid was bound, Solomon was at full liberty to vinishment upon Joab, have already been expatiated dicate the majesty of kings, in chastising this high upon. Many reasons concurred to prevent David's insult upon his father in such a manner as he calling him to an account; but it is plain he never thought fit: nor was there any danger of doing this forgot nor forgave his crime: nay, he could not, to excess, when the chastisement was deferred to consistently with the law, have forgiven him if he the calm and cool season of dispassionate justice; had been inclined to it. His deferring his punish- when neither passion nor personal resentment could ment so long, was no reason why he should always inflame the vengeance. David well knew how much do it. Reasons of state prevented its being inflicted | it became the piety of his character to submit himbefore, and reasons of state required its being put in self and his concerns to the divine disposal, throughexecution at this juncture. In time of war it was out the whole course of his life; but could he, for dangerous to atteinpt it, on account of the power, in- this reason, wholly renounce the interest of jusfluence, and military skill of Joab; in time of peace tice ? Or, if he could, he very well knew how danit was safe, because Joab's power was then upon the gerous an example it might be to his successors, to decline, and his services were unnecessary. Joab suffer such injuries and insults upon majesty to pass was ambitious, enterprising, and restless, and having unpunished : and, therefore, when he had acted up not proved very loyal to the father, might have prac to the piety and dignity of his own character, he tised the same perfidy against the son; who being very wisely admonished his son to act up to the young, and scarcely settled in his throne, might wisdom of his." have suffered from his treachery, his want of fideli- Verse 9. Now therefore hold him not guiltless ty, and his ambitious views, which were insatiable." || Though I spared his life, do not treat him as an in

Verse 7. Shoid kindness to the sons of Barzillai | nocent person, nor consider him as one reconciled -David's gratitude here expressed is remarkable. to my family, and to thy succession to the throne. Barzillai only desired him to show kindness to He is Shimei still, and wants nothing but a fair opChimham, 2 Sam. xix. 37; but he extends it to all portunity to declare it. Clear him not, therefore, his sons. Let them be of those that eat at thy table | as I did, if thou findest him guilty of any mal-prac-As Mephibosheth had done at David's table. It is tices; but his hoar head bring down, &c.—Cut him probable Mephibosheth was now dead, for otherwise off as an old offender and dangerous enemy, to seDavid would not have forgotten him. For so they cure thy own peace, and the safety of thy governcame to me-Such kindness they showed me; in- ment. In this sense Josephus understands the viting him to Barzillai's house, who sustained him words. But, certainly, David's telling Solomon, in his great distress, 2 Sam. xix. 32.

that he sware to Shimei he would not put him to Verse 8. Behold thou hast with thee Shimei, fc., death for his outrage and treason, is a demonstrawhich cursed me with a grievous curse—“David," tive proof that he did not advise Solomon to put says Delaney, “ when he was importuned to punish him to death for the crime that he himself had Shimei, (2 Sam. xvi. 9, and xix. 21,) imitated the solemnly forgiven; for can any one imagine David mercy of God, who waits that he may be gracious. would tell Solomon that he had sworn not to put Had he copied after any lower pattern, he had not Shimei to death, and in the same breath order him, spared Shimei, in the very instant of passion and in defiance of his oath, to be put to death? If he provocation; nor would he afterward have forgiven had intended that Solomon should immediately put him, in the fulness of prosperity and power. He him to death, there would have been neither reason very well knew how much the remission of per- || nor sense in the words, Thou art a wise man, and sonal injuries became the kingly character, and, || knowest what thou oughtest to do unto him. For to therefore, he gave Shimei his life, and confirm- what purpose was it to tell Solomon that he knew Solomon is established


in the kingdom.

A. D. 1014.

A M. 2990. " bring thou down to the grave with 13 | And Adonijah the son of Hag. A. M. 2390. B. C. 1014. blood.

gith came to Bath-sheba the mother 10 So David slept with his fathers, and of Solomon. And she said, Comest thou was buried in the city of David.

peaceably? And he said, Peaceably. 11 And the days that David ? reigned over 14 He said moreover, I have somewhat to Israel were forty years : seven years reigned he say unto thee. And she said, Say on. in Hebron, and thirty and three years reigned 15 And he said, Thou knowest that the kinghe in Jerusalem.

dom was mine, and that all Israel set their 12 I - Then sat Solomon upon the throne of faces on me that I should reign: howbeit the David his father; and his kingdom was estab-kingdom is turned about, and is become my lished greatly.

brother's : for dit was his from the LORD.

Gen. xlii. 38; xliv. 31.—Ch. i. 21 ; Acts ïi. 29; xiii. 36. 52 San. v.7.- 2 Sam. v. 4; 1 Chron. xxix. 26.-81 Chron.

xxix. 23; 2 Chron. i. 1.- 1 Samuel xvi. 4, -- Chap. i. 5. di Chron. xxii. 9; xxviii. 5, 7; Prov. xxi. 30; Dan. 11.21.

how to behave to Shimei, if David's command was petition would run thus: Give me not poverty and immediately to cut him off, and Solomon under- | riches. Every one sees the absurdity of this petistood him in that sense ? But it is certain Solomon tion; and therefore the translators rightly rendered did not understand his father in that sense, by his or-it

, Give me neither poverty nor riches. In the same dering him to build a house for himself in Jerusalem, analogy, the passage in question, rightly translated, (serse 36,) as well as from the different manner in will stand thus : Now, therefore, neither hold him which he treated Shimei and Joab. The fact is, Da- | guiltless, ( for thou art a wise man, and knowest vid advised his son to keep a strict watch over || what thou oughtest to do unto him,) nor his hoar Shimei, and to put him to death only, if, on any new head bring thou down to the grave with blood. This offence, he should again forfeit his life; and this, it advice, in this sense, is full of humanity, as well as is hoped, has been made appear to be the truth of wisdom, and Solomon (we see) understood and obthe case. Now, how is this inconsistent with piety, | served it in this sense, and in no other.” of the advice of a prince on his death-bed ? It is Verses 10, 11. So David slept with his fatherstrue, forgiveness of enemies is a duty, provided they | He died with the satisfaction of seeing his own son cease to become our enemies; but no man is obliged, || his successor, the wisest and the hopefulest prince by any law, so to forgive an enemy, continuing of the whole earth, and with the assurance of God's such as not to take the proper methods to guard peculiar favour to his posterity, from whence he against the effects of his enmity, and bring him to had already, in the clearest light of prophetic vision, jazice, if no other method will prove effectual. | seen the Messiah, the Lord of life, to arise; of whose Much less is a prince obliged so to forgive an im- dominion, and the increase of his government and placable enemy to his crown and government, and glory, he well knew, by the Spirit of God upon him, one who is likely to disturb the settlement of the there would be no end. And was buried in the city crown in his successor, as not to order the suc- l of David—In that part of Jerusalem which was cessor to be upon his guard against him, and punish called by his name, because he took it from the Jehim, when guilty, according to his demerits. Such | busites. Seven years reigned he in HebronMore a caution and order is what he owes to his people; | precisely, seven years and six months; (2 Sam. v. he may die as a private person, in charity with all || 5;) but smaller numbers are often omitted in Scripmankind, and forgive every private injury against ture computations, and only the larger noticed. himself; and yet, as a prince, advise what is neces- Verse 12. Then sat Solomon upon the throne, fc. sary for the public good after his decease, and even —The kingdom was settled upon him with univerthe execution of particular persons, if, by abusing sal consent and approbation. His kingdom was esthe lenity and respite they once received, they tablishedHe had the hearty affections of his peoshould be guilty of new and capital offences.- ple, which all men know to be a prince's best and Chandler. Doctor Waterland, Le Clerc, and Cal- | surest establishment. met, give the same interpretation with Doctor Chan- Verses 13–15. She said, Comest thou peaceably ? dler. The reader will probably think that the above-Or with some evil design against me or my son ? reisoning sufficiently justifies David in this particu- which she might well suspect, knowing his ambition lar, even on supposition that the text is rightly trans- and envy at Solomon, and his hatred against her, lated, which, however, Dr. Delaney is of opinion it as the chief cause of his being cast down from his is not. The Hebrew particle, 1, vau, he thinks, || aspiring views and high hopes. He said, Thou ought to have been rendered here, as in all similar knowest that the kingdom is mine-Both by right cazes, not connectively, but disjunctively, as it is of primogeniture and actual inauguration. And all Prov. xxx. 8, and in many other places. “Agur," | Israel set their faces on meThey looked on me says he, “ beseeches God to keep him from the as their king and my father's successor, and expectextremes of poverty and wealth. If the particle ed that he would confirm my election. He pretends tau were to be interpreted here connectively, the || that the generality of the people favoured his views,

Adonijah desires to have


Abishag, and is put to death.

A. M. 2990.
B. C. 1014.

B. C. 1014.

16 And now I ask one petition of 21 And she said, Let Abishag the A. M. 2990.

thee, 5 deny me not. And she said | Shunammite be given to Adonijah unto him, Say on.

thy brother to wife. 17 And he said, Speak, I pray thee, unto Solo- 22 And King Solomon answered and said mon the king, (for he will not say thee nay,) that unto his mother, And why dost thou ask he give me • Abishag the Shunammite to wife. Abishag the Shunammite for Adonijah ? ask

18 And Bath-sheba said, Well; I will speak for him the kingdom also; for he is mine elder for thee unto the king.

brother; even for him, and for h Abiathar the 19 Bath-sheba therefore went unto King So- | priest, and for Joab the son of Zeruiah. lomon, to speak unto him for Adonijah. And 23 Then King Solomon sware by the LORD, the king rose up to meet her, and f bowed him- || saying, i God do so to me, and more also, if self unto her, and sat down on his throne, and Adonijah have not spoken this word against caused a seat to be set for the king's mother ; || his own life. 8 and she sat on his right hand.

24 Now therefore, as the LORD liveth which 20 Then she said, I desire one small petition hath established me, and set me on the throne of thee; I pray thee, say me not nay. And of David my father, and who hath made me the king said unto her, Ask on, my mother: a house, as he * promised, Adonijah shall be for I will not say


put to death this day.

*Heb. turn not away my face, Psa. cxxxii. 10.- Chap i. 3, 4.

i Exod. xx. 12.

6 Psa. xlv. 9. Chap. i. 7.-i Ruth i. 17.-k2 Sam. vii.

11, 13; 1 Chron. xxii. 10.

* That

and wished him to be king. Howbeit the kingdom design is not upon Abishag, but upon the kingdom; is turned about, and is become my brother's Is which by this means he hopes to recover. translated from me to him by the vicissitude of hu- Adonijah had such a design is very probable,” says man affairs, and the changeable humour of the peo- Poole, “both from his temper, for he was an asple. For it was his from the Lord-Either, Ist, piring and designing man, highly discontented By God's providence so disposing David's mind, and with Solomon's government, and desirous of a the people's hearts: or rather, 20, By God's ap- change; and from the nature of the thing, bepointment, and particular designation : wherein he cause he would not have made so daring and seems to acquiesce, affectionately terming Solomon presumptuous a request, if he had not had some his brother, that he might deceive both her and him | great design in it.” For he is my elder brotherinto a belief that he was far from any design of And therefore looks on the kingdom as his by birthusurping the government.

right, and the law of nations, and thinks he may Verse 17. That he give me Abishag to wife-It lawfully endeavour to recover his own, and cast me is not likely that either Adonijah or Bath-sheba was out as a usurper; to accomplish which the seeking ignorant that it was unlawful for any man to marry | Abishag to wife is the first step. Even for him, his father's wife: but they perhaps thought that as and for Abiathar and Joab_“It is very likely," David knew her not, the marriage had not been says the author last quoted, “though not expressed, completed.

that he, and Joab, and Abiathar, were engaged in Verse 19. T'he king rose up to meet her, and some design against Solomon, and that Solomon had bowed himself-For the high dignity to which he obtained information of it; and therefore he did, and was advanced, did not make him forget the honour | reasonably might, take this attempt of Adonijah to due to a parent: an amiable example this, to teach obtain Abishag, for an indication, and the first overt all children to continue to show respect to their pa- | act of his treason." rents, how much soever they may be advanced Verse 23. Then King Solomon sware by the Lord above them in wealth, dignity, or honour. She sat |--Once here, and again verse 24, which he did to on his right hand—The most honourable place, next | oblige himself irrevocably to perform his resoluto the king.

tion, and to prevent all intercession for Adonijah's Verses 20, 21. I desire one small petition of thee | life, the matter being, he believed, of the greatest -So she esteemed it, because she did not perceive | importance to him. Adonijah's design in it, nor the circumstances con- Verse 24. And set me on the throne of Davidnected with it. I will not say thee nay-Supposing For, though Adonijah be my elder brother, yet I thy request can be lawfully and safely granted, and have an undoubted right and title to the crown, will be productive of no injury to myself or others. from the promise and appointment of that God who Let Abishag be given to Adonijah thy brother-disposes of all kingdoms, and especially this of IsThat is, thy brother by the father's side, and whom rael, to whom he pleaseth; and therefore Adonijah brotherly affection and relation oblige thee to grati- in this and his former attempt is guilty of treason fy; at least, in small things.

against me,

and of rebellion against God. And who Verse 22. Ask for him the kingdom also-His | hath made me a house-Who hath given me posJoab is afraid for his life,


and flees to the tabernacle.

A. P. 2990. 25 And King Solomon sent by the the word of the LORD; which he A. M. 2990. B. C. 1014

B. C. 1014. hand of Benaiah the son of Jehoia- spake concerning the house of Eli in da; and he fell upon him that he died. Shiloh. B. C. 1014.

26 | And unto Abiathar the priest || 28 I Then tidings came to Joab; (for Joab

said the king, Get thee to Anathoth, Phad turned after Adonijah, though he turned unto thine own fields ; for thou art worthy of not after Absalom ;) and Joab fled unto the death : but I will not at this time put thee to tabernacle of the LORD, and 4 caught hold on death, * because thou barest the ark of the the horns of the altar. Lord God before David my father, and be- 29 And it was told King Solomon that Joab cause thou hast been afflicted in all wherein was filed unto the tabernacle of the LORD; my father was afflicted.

and behold, he is by the altar. Then Solo27 So Solomon thrust out Abiathar from being mon sent Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, saying, priest unto the LORD; that he might fulfil Go, fall upon him.

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m 1 Sam. xxiii. 6; || 1 Samuel xxii. 20, 23; 2 Samuel xv. 24. - 1 Sam. ii. 31-35.

p Chap. i. 7.-Chap. i. 50.

terity, as this phrase often means ; see Exod. i. 21 ; | ther-When he thought fit to carry it out with him; for Rehoboam was probably born before this time: and when thou, as high-priest, wast called to attend or rather, who hath established me in the house and upon it. Thus Solomon shows his respect to the throne of David, and so hath fulfilled in and to me sacred office. Because thou hast been afflicted, &c. the promise made to him respecting his house, (2-Exposed to all the hardships David endured all Sam. vii. 11,) and the settlement of the crown in him the time of his exile under Saul, 1 Sam. xxii. 20, &c. and his seed. Adonijah shall be put to death this Here Solomon mixes mercy with justice, and reday—“Had Adonijah lived under our constitution, quites Abiathar's former kindness to David; hereby he would have had a fair hearing before conviction. teaching princes, that they should not write injuries But we should remember that in the kingdoms of in marble, and benefits in sand and water, as they the East the government was absolute, and the pow- have been too often observed to do. So Solomon er of life or death entirely in the prince; so that thrust out Abiathar-Either from his office, or at Solomon, without the formality of any process, || least from the execution of it. That he might fulcould pronounce his brother dead; and because he | fil the word of the LordSolomon did not do this conceived that in cases of this nature delays were that he might fulfil the word of the Lord, but bedangerous, might send immediately and have him cause Abiathar had taken the part of Adonijah. But despatched; though we cannot but say that it would by Solomon's being moved to do this on account have been more to his commendation, had he show- of Abiathar's rebellion, the word of the Lord was ed more clemency and spared his life.”—Dodd. fulfilled, which he had spoken concerning the house

Verse 25. Solomon sent by the hand of Benaiah, | of Eli in Shiloh. And in this sense we are to take &e. For the execution of justice was not then the same kind of expressions in the New Testament, committed to obscure persons, as it is now, but to where things are frequently said to be done to fulfil persons of great honour and authority. Notwith-|| certain prophecies. standing what has been observed in the two or three Verse 28. Then tidings came to Joab-Concernpreceding notes, probably the reader will be inclined ing Adonijah's death, and Abiathar's deposition. to think, as certainly many are, that it is far from And Joab fled unto the tabernacle of the Lord, being clear Solomon acted right in putting Adonijah This makes it appear that Joab had had a hand in to death, or that the latter had any ill design in ask- | the counsel mentioned verse 22, as Solomon susing Abishag. And yet, what certainly is of great | pected. And caught hold on the horns of the altarweight, we nowhere find Solomon censured in the It appears from this and some other instances, that Scriptures for this action.

it was now become a custom among the Israelites, Verses 26, 27. Unto Abiathar-said the king, Get though by no divine law, to flee to the altar of the thee to Anathoth- This was a city of the priests, Lord, as to an asylum ; however, by Solomon's (Josh. xxi. 28,) where he commanded him to lead a treatment of Joab on this occasion, it appears, that private life ; either in that part of the suburbs which this privilege was only allowed for some misdefell to his share, or in some land which he had pur- meanours, and not for capital offences, especially chased. I will not, at this time, put thee to death murder. And Solomon (verse 31) showed that the -He does not fully pardon him, but reserves to altar had better be stained with the blood of a murhimself a liberty of punishing him afterward if he derer, than be polluted with his touch, in seeking should see occasion. This he does to keep him in an asylum from it, and thereby escaping the punawe, that he might not dare to raise or foment dis-ishment which the divine laws required to be incontents or tumults among the people, which other-flicted on him. wise he might have been inclined to do. Because Verses 29, 30. Go, fall upon him-Namely, if he thou didst bear the ark of the Lord before my fa- || will not come out from thence, as I foresee he will

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