1 Kings Chapter 2  PDF  MSWord

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Go to Bible: 1 Kings 2
1Ki 2:1(top)
1Ki 2:2(top)
1Ki 2:3

“injunction.” An injunction is a judicial order that compels a person to carry out a certain act. God had given a specific injunction to kings (cp. Deut. 17:14-20).

“according to that which is written in the Law of Moses.” This verse shows that David and Solomon were aware of, and lived by, the Law of Moses.

1Ki 2:4

“your sons.” This refers to the “sons of David” who take the throne; David’s descendants. Jesus is rightfully called “the Son of David.”

1Ki 2:5

“on his belt.” That is, on Joab’s belt and on Joab’s shoes. Joab killed both Abner and Amasa up close with his sword.

1Ki 2:6(top)
1Ki 2:7(top)
1Ki 2:8(top)
1Ki 2:9(top)
1Ki 2:10(top)
1Ki 2:11(top)
1Ki 2:12

“Solomon sat on the throne.” The Bible never says how old Solomon was when he became king, but for reasons why he seems to have been 20 or a little older, see commentary on 1 Kings 3:7. Also, it was common when a king began to reign that the Bible stated whether he did what was evil or what was right in the eyes of Yahweh (cp. 2 Kings 13:1-2, 10-11; 14:23-24; 1 Kings 15:11; 2 Kings 12:2; 14:1-3). However, the Bible does not say that about Solomon. It does say that Solomon disobeyed God concerning his material wealth and where he got it, and he also became an idolater later in his life (1 Kings 10:14-11:13). The Bible does say how long Solomon reigned: 40 years (1 Kings 11:42).

“and his kingdom was firmly established.” This is also stated in 1 Kings 2:46, and the two verses, 1 Kings 2:12 and 2:46, form a kind of inclusio, an enclosing envelope that surrounds and groups the accounts between them. Between the two verses are four accounts of Solomon dealing with potential enemies. He deals with his older brother Adonijah, an unfaithful priest Abiathar, Joab, one of David’s generals who supported his rival and not Solomon, and Shemei, a man from the tribe of Benjamin who showed up as a disobedient and threatening subject. On a macro scale, this inclusio seems to very much be a kind of type of the start of the Messianic Kingdom of Christ. When Christ conquers the earth and sets up his kingdom he will separate the “goats,” people who have not supported him or his people, from the “sheep,” people who have supported him, and have the goats thrown into the Lake of Fire for destruction (Matt. 25:31-46, see commentary on Matt. 25:31 and Matt. 25:32). One of the things that makes a kingdom safe and prosperous is getting rid of potential internal rebellion and strife, and Christ will do that and then rule his kingdom with a rod of iron.

1Ki 2:13(top)
1Ki 2:14

“I have something to say to you.” The Hebrew is more idiomatic: “I have a word for you.”

1Ki 2:15

“the kingship was mine and that all Israel set their faces on me.” This is a huge exaggeration to pressure Bathsheba.

1Ki 2:16

“Do not turn me down.” The Hebrew is idiomatic: “Do not turn my face.”

1Ki 2:17

“turn you down.” The Hebrew is “turn your face.”

1Ki 2:18

“Very well.” The Hebrew is simply, “Good.” We might idiomatically say “Okay.” Bathsheba knew Adonijah was a rival to Solomon, and almost certainly knew that her speaking to Solomon about Adonijah’s request would result in Adonijah’s death. She spoke to Solomon “about” Adonijah, not “on his behalf” as some versions say.

1Ki 2:19

“bowed down.” The common biblical way of bowing down before people or God was to fall to one’s knees and bow the upper body and face to the earth. The word translated “bowed down,” shachah (#07812 שָׁחָה), is the same Hebrew word as “worship.”

[For more on bowing down, see commentary on 1 Chron. 29:20.]

1Ki 2:20

“do not turn me down.” The Hebrew is, “turn me away.”

1Ki 2:21(top)
1Ki 2:22(top)
1Ki 2:23

“life.” The Hebrew word “life” is “soul” the animating life of the body.

1Ki 2:24

“made me a house.” That is, continued the Davidic dynasty through him, Solomon.

1Ki 2:25

“And King Solomon sent.” The text puts the death of Adonijah clearly as the will and responsibility of Solomon, who in this case dealt firmly and decisively with an enemy.

1Ki 2:26

“you are deserving of death.” The Hebrew is, “a man of death,” that is, a man who deserves to die.

1Ki 2:27

“Solomon expelled Abiathar from being priest to Yahweh.” Abiathar was the High Priest, and he was of the line of Ithamar, Aaron’s son. Aaron, the first High Priest, had four sons, Nadab, Abihu, Eleazar, and Ithamar (Exod. 6:23). Nadab and Abihu died (Lev. 10:1-2) and the high priesthood went back and forth between the line of Eleazar and Ithamar, although how or why that happened is not stated in Scripture. Eli, the High Priest at the time of Samuel’s childhood, was from the line of Ithamar, as were the next four High Priests after him, When Abiathar was High Priest, Solomon deposed him and replaced him with Zadok (1 Kings 2:27, 35), who was from the line of Eleazar, and descendants of Eleazar remained the High Priests for generations after that.

1Ki 2:28(top)
1Ki 2:29(top)
1Ki 2:30(top)
1Ki 2:31(top)
1Ki 2:32(top)
1Ki 2:33

“on the head of his seed forever.” This is a way of saying that the responsibility for the act of killing Amasa and Abner will be attributed to Joab’s house forever, and not David’s house.

1Ki 2:34

“in his own house in the wilderness.” So Joab owned a house somewhere in the Judean wilderness.

1Ki 2:35

“in Joab’s place.” The Hebrew is literally, “in his place,” meaning in Joab’s place as head of the army.

1Ki 2:36(top)
1Ki 2:37

“know, yes, know that you will die, yes die.” The repetition of the verbs “know” and “die” are the use of the figure of speech polyptoton for emphasis (see commentary on Gen. 2:16). Solomon may have mentioned the Wadi Kidron because Shimei would have likely crossed it to get back to his hometown in Benjamin.

1Ki 2:38

Your word is good.” The Hebrew text is “The word is good.” Shimei was of the house of Saul, and he realized that his cursing and throwing stones at David (2 Sam. 16:5-7) warranted the death penalty. However, Solomon was willing to let him live in Jerusalem where he was not in much of a position to start a rebellion, and there was no prohibition against Shimei being visited by family members if they wanted to come. Solomon knew that the house of Saul was still a potential threat and did not want to have to keep tabs on Shimei; he was free to live in Jerusalem but not free to leave.

1Ki 2:39(top)
1Ki 2:40(top)
1Ki 2:41(top)
1Ki 2:42(top)
1Ki 2:43(top)
1Ki 2:44

“You knew all the wickedness that your heart knew that you did to David.” Although this reads in a seemingly unusual way, it makes perfect sense. It was three years earlier Shimei took the oath, and it was some years before that when he cursed David, which he would have known was wrong; you don’t curse God’s anointed king. So the text is saying, “You knew three years ago when you took the oath all the wickedness that your heart knew when you cursed David, but you cursed him anyway.”

1Ki 2:45(top)
1Ki 2:46(top)

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