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The Catholic Study Bible A special version of the New American Bible, with a wealth of background information useful to Catholics.

Chapter 2

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David's Last Instructions and Death. 1When the time of David's death drew near,* he gave these instructions to his son Solomon: 2“I am going the way of all mankind. Take courage and be a man. 3Keep the mandate of the LORD, your God, following his ways and observing his statutes, commands, ordinances, and decrees as they are written in the law of Moses, that you may succeed in whatever you do, wherever you turn, a Dt 17, 19 . 4and the LORD may fulfill the promise he made on my behalf when he said, ‘If your sons so conduct themselves that they remain faithful to me with their whole heart and with their whole soul, you shall always have someone of your line on the throne of Israel.’ b 2 Sm 7, 11–16; Ps 132, 11f . 5You yourself know what Joab, son of Zeruiah, did to me when he slew the two generals of Israel's armies, Abner, son of Ner, and Amasa, son of Jether. He took revenge for the blood of war in a time of peace, and put blood shed without provocation on the belt about my waist and on the sandal on my foot. c 2 Sm 3, 27; 20, 10 . 6Act with the wisdom you possess; you must not allow him to go down to the grave in peaceful old age.

7“But be kind to the sons of Barzillai the Gileadite, and have them eat at your table. For they received me kindly when I was fleeing your brother Absalom. d 2 Sm 19, 33ff .

8“You also have with you Shimei, son of Gera, the Benjaminite of Bahurim, who cursed me balefully when I was going to Mahanaim. Because he came down to meet me at the Jordan, I swore to him by the LORD that I would not put him to the sword. e 2 Sm 16, 5; 19, 19 . 9But you must not let him go unpunished. You are a prudent man and will know how to deal with him to send down his hoary head in blood to the grave.”

10David rested with his ancestors and was buried in the City of David. f Acts 2, 29 . 11The length of David's reign over Israel was forty years: he reigned seven years in Hebron and thirty-three years in Jerusalem. g 1 Chr 29, 27 .

The Kingdom Made Secure. 12When Solomon was seated on the throne of his father David, with his sovereignty firmly established, 13Adonijah, son of Haggith, went to Bathsheba, the mother of Solomon. “Do you come as a friend?” she asked. “Yes,” he answered, 14and added, “I have something to say to you.” She replied, “Say it.” 15So he said: “You know that the kingdom was mine, and all Israel expected me to be king. But the kingdom escaped me and became my brother's, for the LORD gave it to him. 16But now there is one favor I would ask of you. Do not refuse me.” And she said, “Speak on.” 17He said, “Please ask King Solomon, who will not refuse you, to give me Abishag the Shunamite for my wife.”* 18“Very well,” replied Bathsheba, “I will speak to the king for you.”

19Then Bathsheba went to King Solomon to speak to him for Adonijah, and the king stood up to meet her and paid her homage. Then he sat down upon his throne, and a throne was provided for the king's mother, who sat at his right. 20“There is one small favor I would ask of you,” she said. “Do not refuse me.” “Ask it, my mother,” the king said to her, “for I will not refuse you.” 21So she said, “Let Abishag the Shunamite be given to your brother Adonijah for his wife.” 22“And why do you ask Abishag the Shunamite for Adonijah?” King Solomon answered his mother. “Ask the kingdom for him as well, for he is my elder brother and has with him Abiathar the priest and Joab, son of Zeruiah.” 23And King Solomon swore by the LORD: “May God do thus and so to me, and more besides, if Adonijah has not proposed this at the cost of his life. 24And now, as the LORD lives, who has seated me firmly on the throne of my father David and made of me a dynasty as he promised, this day shall Adonijah be put to death.” 25Then King Solomon sent Benaiah, son of Jehoiada, who struck him dead.

26The king said to Abiathar the priest: “Go to your land in Anathoth. Though you deserve to die, I will not put you to death this time, because you carried the ark of the Lord GOD before my father David and shared in all the hardships my father endured.” 27So Solomon deposed Abiathar from his office of priest of the LORD, thus fulfilling the prophecy which the LORD had made in Shiloh about the house of Eli. h 1 Sm 2, 31 .

28When the news came to Joab, who had sided with Adonijah, though not with Absalom, he fled to the tent of the LORD and seized the horns of the altar. 29King Solomon was told that Joab had fled to the tent of the LORD and was at the altar. He sent Benaiah, son of Jehoiada, with the order, “Go, strike him down.” 30Benaiah went to the tent of the LORD and said to him, “The king says, ‘Come out.’ ” But he answered, “No! I will die here.” Benaiah reported to the king, “This is what Joab said to me in reply.” 31The king answered him: “Do as he has said. Strike him down and bury him, and you will remove from me and from my family the blood which Joab shed without provocation. 32The LORD will hold him responsible for his own blood, because he struck down two men better and more just than himself, and slew them with the sword without my father David's knowledge: Abner, son of Ner, general of Israel's army, and Amasa, son of Jether, general of Judah's army. i 2 Sm 3, 27; 20, 10 . 33Joab and his descendants shall be responsible forever for their blood. But there shall be the peace of the LORD forever for David, and his descendants, and his house, and his throne.” 34Benaiah, son of Jehoiada, went back, struck him down and killed him; he was buried in his house in the desert. 35The king appointed Benaiah, son of Jehoiada, over the army in his place, and put Zadok the priest in place of Abiathar.

36Then the king summoned Shimei and said to him: “Build yourself a house in Jerusalem and live there. Do not go anywhere else. 37For if you leave, and cross the Kidron Valley, be certain you shall die without fail. You shall be responsible for your own blood.” 38Shimei answered the king: “I accept. Your servant will do just as the king's majesty has said.” So Shimei stayed in Jerusalem for a long time. 39But three years later, two of Shimei's servants ran away to Achish, son of Maacah, king of Gath, and Shimei was informed that his servants were in Gath. 40So Shimei rose, saddled his ass, and went to Achish in Gath in search of his servants, whom he brought back. 41When Solomon was informed that Shimei had gone from Jerusalem to Gath, and had returned, 42the king summoned Shimei and said to him: “Did I not have you swear by the LORD to your clear understanding of my warning that, if you left and went anywhere else, you should die without fail? And you answered, ‘I accept and obey.’ 43Why, then, have you not kept the oath of the LORD and the command that I gave you?” 44And the king said to Shimei: “You know in your heart the evil that you did to my father David. Now the LORD requites you for your own wickedness. 45But King Solomon shall be blessed, and David's throne shall endure before the LORD forever.” 46The king then gave the order to Benaiah, son of Jehoiada, who struck him dead as he left.


a: Dt 17, 19 .

b: 2 Sm 7, 11–16; Ps 132, 11f .

c: 2 Sm 3, 27; 20, 10 .

d: 2 Sm 19, 33ff .

e: 2 Sm 16, 5; 19, 19 .

f: Acts 2, 29 .

g: 1 Chr 29, 27 .

h: 1 Sm 2, 31 .

i: 2 Sm 3, 27; 20, 10 .

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