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SOLOXON REIGNETHADONIJAH PUT TO DEATH.
From 1 Kings, Chap. ii.
THEN sat Solomon upon the throne of David his father, and his kingdom was established greatly.
And Adonijah the son of Haggith came to Bathsheba, the mother of Solomon, and she said, Comest thou peaceably? And he said, Peaceably.
He said moreover, I have something to say unto thee. And she said, Say on.
And 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.
And now I ask one petition of thee, deny me not. And she said unto him, Say on.
And he said, Speak, I pray thee, unto Solomon the king (for he will not say thee nay) that he give me Abishag the Shunamite to wife.
Bath-sheba 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.
Then 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.
And she said, Let Abishag the Shunamite be given to Adonijah thy brother to wife.
And king Solomon answered and said unto his mother, And why dost thou ask Abishag the Shunamite 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.
Then 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.
Now 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.
And king Solomon sent by the hand of Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, and he fell upon him that he died.
And 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 father was afflicted.
So 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.
Then tidings came to Joab, (for Joab had turned after Adonijah, though he turned not after Absalom) and Joab fed unto the tabernacle of the Lord, and caught held on the horns of the altar.
And it was told king Solomon that Joab was fled upto 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.
And Benaiah came to the tabernacle of the LORD, and said unto him, hus 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.
And 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
father. And the LORD shall return his blood
upon 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. Their blood shall therefore return upon the head of 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.
So Benaiah the son of Jehoida went up, and fell upon him, and slew him; and he was buried in his own house in the wilderness.
And 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,
And 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. For it shall be, that on the clay 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.
And 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.
And it came to pass at the end of three years, that two of the servants of Shimei ran away unto Achish the son of Maacah king of Gath : and they told Shimei, saying, Behold thy servants be in Gath.
And 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. And it was told Solomon that Shimei had
from Jerusalem to Gath, and was come again.
And the king sent and called for Shimei, and said unto him, Did I not make thee swear by the LORD, and
protested unto thee, saying, Know for a certain, that 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.
Why then hast thou not kept the oath of the LORD, and the commandment that I have charged thee with ? The 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; and king Solomon shall be blessed, and the throne of David shall be established before the LORD for ever.
So the king commanded Benaiah the son of Jehoiada which went out and fell upon him, and he died: and the kingdom was established in the hand of Solomon.
ANNOTATIONS AND REFLECTIONS. No sooner was Solomon seated on the throne, than Adonijah began to renew his scheme of dispossessing him; and with this view he desired to have Abishag, who had formerly been one of David's wives. Solomon promised him, when he fled to the altar on a former occasion, “ that if he would shew himself a worthy man, he should remain in safety: but that, if there was any way of wickedness in him, he should surely die:" therefore Solomon was fully justified in causing him to be put to death, since the welfare of the public required it; and it was
Solomon's duty to put the law of God exactly in execution against all offenders, without having respect to affinity of blood; because, he sat in the throne of the LORD JEHOVAH over Israel, and was not at liberty to consult his own inclinations in respect to the punishment of those who wished to dispossess the LORD's vicegerent.
As for Joab, he soon gave proofs of his disloyalty, and furnished Solomon with a fair pretence for condemning him to death for treasonable practices; but it seems, that he had before resolved to punish him for the murders of Abner and Amasa. Whoever recollects the cruel circumstances with which Joab perpetrated those crimes, must own, that it would have been a great encouragement to wickedness, if the grey hairs of such a notorious sinner had been suffered to go down to the grave
peace. Abiathar, as high priest, should have devoted himself entirely to the service of God, instead of co-operating with those who were endeavouring to supersede the king, who was appointed of the LORD; therefore he was unworthy to fill that holy office; but, in reverence to the LORD, whose minister he was, though unworthy of that high honour, Solomon forbore to put him to death. Abiathar was the last priest of the house of Eli, Zadok was a descendant of Eliazar. We must not suppose that there were two high-priests in the time of David, contrary to the original institution, though Zadok and Abiathar are sometimes mentioned together; but probably on account of the ark being in one place, and the brazen altar for burnt sacrifices at another, the high-priest had an assistant. Abiathar seems to have had the pre-eminence till the latter end of David's reign, when he was rejected for opposing God's will in respect to Solomon's succession to the crown; and Zadok was anointed, but did not take the office upon him, till Solomon divested Abiathar of it, H 4