Verse 3 And 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:
Verse 4 That 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.
Verse 5 Moreover 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.
Verse 8 And, 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.
Verse 9 Now 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.
Do not consider him as an innocent man; for, as thou art a wise man, and knowest how to treat such persons, treat him as he deserves; only, as I have sworn to him that I would not put him to death, "bring not his hoar head down to the grave with blood." So Solomon understood David; for, after he had commanded Joab to be slain, in obedience to his father, he sent for Shimei, and knowing he ought to be well watched, he confined him to Jerusalem for the rest of his life: and so it appears David should be understood; for the negative particle lo, in the former clause, "hold him not guiltless," should be repeated in the latter clause, though not expressed; instances of which frequently occur in the Hebrew Scriptures. (See Jud 5:30. 1Sa 2:3. Ps 1:5; 9:18; 38:1; 75:5. Pr 5:16; 24:12, etc.) This is the view taken of the subject by Dr. Kennicott, and it seems the best and most correct mode of interpreting the text.
Verse 15 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.
Verse 19 Bathsheba 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.
Verse 22 And 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.
We have already seen, that the whole harem of an eastern monarch was a part of the regal succession (See note on 2 Sa 16:23); and it was treason for a subject to claim any wife or virgin who had once formed a part of it. Solomon evidently considered the request of Adonijah in this light; and was convinced that he was still aiming to seize the crown, to which he considered this as one step. But it is very doubtful, how far the plea either of policy or state necessity can justify Solomon in thus embruing his hands in his brother's blood, whatever might have been his treasonable intentions or conduct.
Verse 24 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.
Verse 26 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 my father was afflicted.
Verse 27 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.
This was for having taken part with Adonijah; but by it a remarkable prophecy was fulfilled. God had told Eli, (1 Sa 2:30-36) that the priesthood should depart from his house; Abiathar was the last of the priests of Ithamar, of which family was Eli the high priest. Zadok, who succeeded, was of the family of Eleazar; and by this change the priesthood reverted to its ancient channel.
Verse 32 And the LORD shall return his blood upon his own head, who fell upon two menmore 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.
Verse 33 Their 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.
It appears that he slew him at the very altar. The altar was so sacred among all the people, that, in general, even the vilest wretch found safety, if he once reached it. This led to many abuses, and the perversion of public justice; and God decreed (Ex 24:14) that the presumptuous murderer, who had taken refuge at his altar, should be dragged thence and put to death.
No doubt Solomon suspected that Shimei's influence would be dangerous upon his own estate and among his numerous dependents in different parts of the land; and therefore he proposed to him, as the condition of his indemnity for former crimes, that he should live in Jerusalem under his eye, and by no means remove thence. These terms Shimei readily agreed to, and solemnly swore to observe them; and for three years he lived unmolested and in affluence. But growing secure, in contempt of Solomon's authority and of the oath of God, upon an unnecessary business he took a journey, which according to his own engagement forfeited his life. Thus the Lord left him to be infatuated, that due punishment might be inflicted upon him; in order that every ringleader of opposition to Solomon's kingdom might be crushed, and others be intimidated by their examples. Solomon's throne by the death of this man was established in peace, and became a type of the Redeemer's kingdom of peace and righteousness.--SCOTT.
Verse 39 And 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.
Verse 42 And 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.
Verse 44 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;