David dies. Before he dies, he encourages Solomon to walk in the way of the Lord. He also gives Solomon a list of people to be friends with a list of people to not be friends with (in a way, asking him to kill them). Adonijah asks Bathsheba to ask king Solomon to give Abishag (the scared girl from chapter one) to wife. In response, Solomon kills Adonijah, accusing him of asking his mother to ask the kingdom for Adonijah. Two of Adonijah's followers, the priest Abiathar and the warrior Joab, as well as Adonijah are killed by Benaiah. Solomon replaces the warrior with Benaiah and the priest with Zadok. Solomon killed Shimei, one of the men David mentioned to not be friends with, for leaving Jerusalem to gather his servants from Gath.
I am a bit confused as to why David thought it was okay for Solomon to kill men that he himself promised he would not kill. Isn't that the same thing? Like a dying wish of a king? Joab and Shemei were mentioned in David's dying wish and both died in this chapter. The last verse of the chapter said that Solomon was established in the nation. I suppose, in a way, he solidified any questions as to who is king and how he will rule his nation. It doesn't seem as though logic ran for killing Adonijah. I suppose the other two deaths were similar to a father's present from Solomon to David.
I notice that Joab and Adonijah both hung on the horns of the alter. I don't understand that phrase.
Apparently, they were claiming they deserved mercy. I suppose ruling a country is hard, but because the other side didn't cause a civil war, I feel as though they deserved mercy and the ability to live peaceably. I'm really happy that the Civil War in America didn't end in several people dying because their side of the war lost. It just doesn't seem fair. But then, the mercy that Solomon grants Adonijah couldn't have been good for his public image.
I want to point out how at the beginning of the chapter, David encourages Solomon to follow after God's commandments. "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 a man on the throne of Israel." Isreal would have been so different if the kings never turned away from God. What a different world.
Hanging on the horn is an action that shows the person feels he deserves mercy.
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