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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 my father.

And the LORD shall return his blood upon his own 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 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 eyer from the LORD.

So Benaiah the son of Jehoiada 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 day 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. s

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. ' ". . . H 3

And

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 gone 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 thec, saying, Know for a certain, that on the day thougoest out, and walkest abroadany 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, that 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

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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 in 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, cone trary 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.

By the reverence which Solomon shewed to his mother, we may conclude, that he would have - complied with her request, if it had been lawful for him to do so : but Bath-sheba had never considered the consequences of it; she therefore, we may conclude, readily absolved her son from his promise, when she was taught to see Adonijah's petition in a proper light. .

Achish, the king of Gath, had been so great a friend to David, that thought David had conquered the Philistines, he suffered him still to retain the title of a king, and only made him tributary; so that there was a friendly correspondence between his city and Jerusalem, by which means Shimei might easily hear that his servants were there; but he should have sent another to seek them; and he certainly drew his punishment upon his own head, because he was forewarned of the consequences of his presuming to go out of Jerusalem, and by doing so he gave reason to suspect that he had seditious purposes in view.

What is supposed to be the true interpretation of David's dying injunction respecting Shimei, has been already explained: and we find that Solomon, who was the wisest of men, put the same construction on his father's words. His treatment to Shimei furnishes us with a sufficient answer to those who censure David on this head*.

SECTION

* I have hitherto avoided the discussion of Bath-sheba's character, for the same reasons which deterred me from entering into every particular of David's conduct in respect to Uriah; but it may benecessary to observe that it appears from Solomon's respectful treatment of her,and from some expressions in the Proverbs,that she was in her general behaviour an amiable woman,not that thisjustifies her crime. She certainly was a partaker in David's sin; and, we may conclude, a partner also in his sorrow, remorse, and chastisement.

It is a needless question to enquire, why David was not commanded

SECTION XXXIV.

SOLOMON'S SACRIFICES AT GIBEON HIS DREAM.

From 2 Chron. Chap. i. and 1 Kings, Chap. iii.

AND Solomon the son of David was strengthened in his kingdom, and the Lord his God was with him, and magnified him exceedingly.

And Solomon loved the LORD, walking in the statutes of David his father: only he sacrificed and burnt incense in high places.

Then Solomon spake unto all Israel, to the captains of thousands and of hundreds, and to the judges, and to every governor in all Israel, the chief of the fathers.

So Solomon and all the congregation with him went to the high place that was at Gibeon: for there was the tabernacle of the congregation of God, which Moses the servant of the LORD had made in the wilderness.

But the ark of God had David brought up from Kirjath-jearim to the place which David had prepared for it: for he had pitched a tent for it at Jerusalem.

Moreover, the brazen altar that Bezaleel the son of Uri, the son of Hur, had made, he put before the tabernacle of the LORD: and Solomon and the congregation sought unto it. .

to put'her away, since we have in the New Testament clear and ex‘ress laws in respect to adulterers ; and therefore have no occasion to refer to David's history in this particular: if we do, it should be with a view to observe the unhappy consequences of his deviations from the marriage law, instituted at the creation. The custom of the age authorised in some degree a plurality of wives; but whoeyer considers the tenderness of David's disposition, and his particular fond. ness for his sons, may conceive that he would have enjoyed more domestic happiness had they been all the children of one mother. -H 5 .

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