24 The Lord’s anger again raged against Israel, and he incited David against them, saying, “Go count Israel and Judah.” 1 2 The king told Joab, the general in command of his army, “Go through all the tribes of Israel from Dan to Beer Sheba and muster the army, so I may know the size of the army.”
3 Joab replied to the king, “May the Lord your God make the army a hundred times larger right before the eyes of my lord the king! But why does my master the king want to do this?”
4 But the king’s edict stood, despite the objections of 2 Joab and the leaders of the army. So Joab and the leaders of the army left the king’s presence in order to muster the Israelite army.
5 They crossed the Jordan and camped at Aroer, on the south side of the city, at 3 the wadi of Gad, near Jazer. 6 Then they went on to Gilead and to the region of Tahtim Hodshi, coming to Dan Jaan and on around to Sidon. 4 7 Then they went to the fortress of Tyre 5 and all the cities of the Hivites and the Canaanites. Then they went on to the Negev of Judah, to Beer Sheba. 8 They went through all the land and after nine months and twenty days came back to Jerusalem. 6
9 Joab reported the number of warriors 7 to the king. In Israel there were 800,000 sword-wielding warriors, and in Judah there were 500,000 soldiers.
10 David felt guilty 8 after he had numbered the army. David said to the Lord, “I have sinned greatly by doing this! Now, O Lord, please remove the guilt of your servant, for I have acted very foolishly.”
11 When David got up the next morning, the Lord had already spoken 9 to Gad the prophet, David’s seer: 12 “Go, tell David, ‘This is what the Lord says: I am offering you three forms of judgment. Pick one of them and I will carry it out against you.’”
13 Gad went to David and told him, “Shall seven 10 years of famine come upon your land? Or shall you flee for three months from your enemy with him in hot pursuit? Or shall there be three days of plague in your land? Now decide 11 what I should tell the one who sent me.” 14 David said to Gad, “I am very upset! I prefer that we be attacked by the Lord, for his mercy is great; I do not want to be attacked by men!” 12
15 So the Lord sent a plague through Israel from the morning until the completion of the appointed time. Seventy thousand men died from Dan to Beer Sheba. 16 When the angel 13 extended his hand to destroy Jerusalem, the Lord relented from his judgment. 14 He told the angel who was killing the people, “That’s enough! Stop now!” 15 (Now the Lord’s angel was near the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite.)
17 When he saw the angel who was destroying the people, David said to the Lord, “Look, it is I who have sinned and done this evil thing! As for these sheep – what have they done? Attack me and my family.” 16
18 So Gad went to David that day and told him, “Go up and build an altar for the Lord on the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite.” 19 So David went up as Gad instructed him to do, according to the Lord’s instructions.
20 When Araunah looked out and saw the king and his servants approaching him, he 17 went out and bowed to the king with his face 18 to the ground. 21 Araunah said, “Why has my lord the king come to his servant?” David replied, “To buy from you the threshing floor so I can build an altar for the Lord, so that the plague may be removed from the people.” 22 Araunah told David, “My lord the king may take whatever he wishes 19 and offer it. Look! Here are oxen for burnt offerings, and threshing sledges 20 and harnesses 21 for wood. 23 I, the servant of my lord 22 the king, give it all to the king!” Araunah also told the king, “May the Lord your God show you favor!” 24 But the king said to Araunah, “No, I insist on buying it from you! I will not offer to the Lord my God burnt sacrifices that cost me nothing.”
So David bought the threshing floor and the oxen for fifty pieces of silver. 23 25 Then David built an altar for the Lord there and offered burnt sacrifices and peace offerings. And the Lord accepted prayers for the land, and the plague was removed from Israel.
1 King David was very old; 1 even when they covered him with blankets, 2 he could not get warm. 2 His servants advised 3 him, “A young virgin must be found for our master, the king, 4 to take care of the king’s needs 5 and serve as his nurse. She can also sleep with you 6 and keep our master, the king, warm.” 7 3 So they looked through all Israel 8 for a beautiful young woman and found Abishag, a Shunammite, and brought her to the king. 4 The young woman was very beautiful; she became the king’s nurse and served him, but the king did not have sexual relations with her. 9
5 Now Adonijah, son of David and Haggith, 10 was promoting himself, 11 boasting, 12 “I will be king!” He managed to acquire 13 chariots and horsemen, as well as fifty men to serve as his royal guard. 14 6 (Now his father had never corrected 15 him 16 by saying, “Why do you do such things?” He was also very handsome and had been born right after Absalom. 17 ) 7 He collaborated 18 with Joab son of Zeruiah and with Abiathar the priest, and they supported 19 him. 20 8 But Zadok the priest, Benaiah son of Jehoiada, Nathan the prophet, Shimei, Rei, and David’s elite warriors 21 did not ally themselves 22 with Adonijah. 9 Adonijah sacrificed sheep, cattle, and fattened steers at the Stone of Zoheleth near En Rogel. He invited all his brothers, the king’s sons, 23 as well as all the men of Judah, the king’s servants. 10 But he did not invite Nathan the prophet, Benaiah, the elite warriors, 24 or his brother Solomon.
11 Nathan said to Bathsheba, Solomon’s mother, “Has it been reported to you 25 that Haggith’s son Adonijah has become king behind our master David’s back? 26 12 Now 27 let me give you some advice as to how 28 you can save your life and your son Solomon’s life. 13 Visit 29 King David and say to him, ‘My master, O king, did you not solemnly promise 30 your servant, “Surely your son Solomon will be king after me; he will sit on my throne”? So why has Adonijah become king?’ 14 While 31 you are still there speaking to the king, I will arrive 32 and verify your report.” 33
15 So Bathsheba visited the king in his private quarters. 34 (The king was very old, and Abishag the Shunammite was serving the king.) 16 Bathsheba bowed down on the floor before 35 the king. The king said, “What do you want?” 17 She replied to him, “My master, you swore an oath to your servant by the Lord your God, ‘Solomon your son will be king after me and he will sit on my throne.’ 18 But now, look, Adonijah has become king! But you, 36 my master the king, are not even aware of it! 37 19 He has sacrificed many cattle, steers, and sheep and has invited all the king’s sons, Abiathar the priest, and Joab, the commander of the army, but he has not invited your servant Solomon. 20 Now, 38 my master, O king, all Israel is watching anxiously to see who is named to succeed my master the king on the throne. 39 21 If a decision is not made, 40 when my master the king is buried with his ancestors, 41 my son Solomon and I 42 will be considered state criminals.” 43
22 Just then, 44 while she was still speaking to the king, Nathan the prophet arrived. 23 The king was told, “Nathan the prophet is here.” Nathan entered and bowed before the king with his face to the floor. 45 24 Nathan said, “My master, O king, did you announce, ‘Adonijah will be king after me; he will sit on my throne’? 25 For today he has gone down and sacrificed many cattle, steers, and sheep and has invited all the king’s sons, the army commanders, and Abiathar the priest. At this moment 46 they are having a feast 47 in his presence, and they have declared, ‘Long live King Adonijah!’ 48 26 But he did not invite me – your servant – or Zadok the priest, or Benaiah son of Jehoiada, or your servant Solomon. 27 Has my master the king authorized this without informing your servants 49 who should succeed my master the king on his throne?” 50
28 King David responded, 51 “Summon Bathsheba!” 52 She came and stood before the king. 53 29 The king swore an oath: “As certainly as the Lord lives (he who has rescued me 54 from every danger), 30 I will keep 55 today the oath I swore to you by the Lord God of Israel: ‘Surely Solomon your son will be king after me; he will sit in my place on my throne.’” 31 Bathsheba bowed down to the king with her face to the floor 56 and said, “May my master, King David, live forever!”
32 King David said, “Summon Zadok the priest, Nathan the prophet, 57 and Benaiah son of Jehoiada.” They came before the king, 33 and he 58 told them, “Take your master’s 59 servants with you, put my son Solomon on my mule, and lead him down to Gihon. 60 34 There Zadok the priest and Nathan the prophet will anoint 61 him king over Israel; then blow the trumpet and declare, ‘Long live King Solomon!’ 35 Then follow him up as he comes and sits on my throne. He will be king in my place; I have decreed 62 that he will be ruler over Israel and Judah.” 36 Benaiah son of Jehoiada responded 63 to the king: “So be it! 64 May the Lord God of my master the king confirm it! 65 37 As the Lord is with my master the king, so may he be with Solomon, and may he make him an even greater king than my master King David!” 66
38 So Zadok the priest, Nathan the prophet, Benaiah son of Jehoiada, the Kerethites, and the Pelethites 67 went down, put Solomon on King David’s mule, and led him to Gihon. 39 Zadok the priest took a horn filled with olive oil 68 from the tent and poured it on 69 Solomon; the trumpet was blown and all the people declared, “Long live King Solomon!” 40 All the people followed him up, playing flutes and celebrating so loudly they made the ground shake. 70
41 Now Adonijah and all his guests heard the commotion just as they had finished eating. 71 When Joab heard the sound of the trumpet, he asked, “Why is there such a noisy commotion in the city?” 72 42 As he was still speaking, Jonathan 73 son of Abiathar the priest arrived. Adonijah said, “Come in, for 74 an important man like you must be bringing good news.” 75 43 Jonathan replied 76 to Adonijah: “No! 77 Our master 78 King David has made Solomon king. 44 The king sent with him Zadok the priest, Nathan the prophet, Benaiah son of Jehoiada, the Kerethites, and the Pelethites and they put him on the king’s mule. 45 Then Zadok the priest and Nathan the prophet anointed 79 him king in Gihon. They went up from there rejoicing, and the city is in an uproar. That is the sound you hear. 46 Furthermore, Solomon has assumed the royal throne. 80 47 The king’s servants have even come to congratulate 81 our master 82 King David, saying, ‘May your God 83 make Solomon more famous than you and make him an even greater king than you!’ 84 Then the king leaned 85 on the bed 48 and said 86 this: ‘The Lord God of Israel is worthy of praise because 87 today he has placed a successor on my throne and allowed me to see it.’” 88
49 All of Adonijah’s guests panicked; 89 they jumped up and rushed off their separate ways. 50 Adonijah feared Solomon, so he got up and went and grabbed hold of the horns of the altar. 90 51 Solomon was told, “Look, Adonijah fears you; 91 see, he has taken hold of the horns of the altar, saying, ‘May King Solomon solemnly promise 92 me today that he will not kill his servant with the sword.’” 52 Solomon said, “If he is a loyal subject, 93 not a hair of his head will be harmed, but if he is found to be a traitor, 94 he will die.” 53 King Solomon sent men to bring him down 95 from the altar. He came and bowed down to King Solomon, and Solomon told him, “Go home.” 96
2 When David was close to death, 1 he told 2 Solomon his son: 2 “I am about to die. 3 Be strong and become a man! 3 Do the job the Lord your God has assigned you 4 by following his instructions 5 and obeying 6 his rules, commandments, regulations, and laws as written in the law of Moses. Then you will succeed in all you do and seek to accomplish, 7 4 and the Lord will fulfill his promise to me, 8 ‘If your descendants watch their step 9 and live faithfully in my presence 10 with all their heart and being, 11 then,’ he promised, 12 ‘you will not fail to have a successor on the throne of Israel.’ 13
5 “You know what Joab son of Zeruiah did to me – how he murdered two commanders of the Israelite armies, Abner son of Ner and Amasa son of Jether. 14 During peacetime he struck them down like he would in battle; 15 when he shed their blood as if in battle, he stained his own belt and the sandals on his feet. 16 6 Do to him what you think is appropriate, 17 but don’t let him live long and die a peaceful death. 18
7 “Treat fairly 19 the sons of Barzillai of Gilead and provide for their needs, 20 because they helped me 21 when I had to flee from your brother Absalom.
8 “Note well, you still have to contend with Shimei son of Gera, the Benjaminite from Bahurim, 22 who tried to call down upon me a horrible judgment when I went to Mahanaim. 23 He came down and met me at the Jordan, and I solemnly promised 24 him by the Lord, ‘I will not strike you down 25 with the sword.’ 9 But now 26 don’t treat him as if he were innocent. You are a wise man and you know how to handle him; 27 make sure he has a bloody death.” 28
10 Then David passed away 29 and was buried in the city of David. 30 11 David reigned over Israel forty years; he reigned in Hebron seven years, and in Jerusalem 31 thirty-three years.
12 Solomon sat on his father David’s throne, and his royal authority 32 was firmly solidified.
13 Haggith’s son Adonijah visited Bathsheba, Solomon’s mother. She asked, “Do you come in peace?” He answered, “Yes.” 33 14 He added, 34 “I have something to say to you.” She replied, “Speak.” 15 He said, “You know that the kingdom 35 was mine and all Israel considered me king. 36 But then the kingdom was given to my brother, for the Lord decided it should be his. 37 16 Now I’d like to ask you for just one thing. Please don’t refuse me.” 38 She said, “Go ahead and ask.” 39 17 He said, “Please ask King Solomon if he would give me Abishag the Shunammite as a wife, for he won’t refuse you.” 40 18 Bathsheba replied, “That’s fine, 41 I’ll speak to the king on your behalf.”
19 So Bathsheba visited King Solomon to speak to him on Adonijah’s behalf. The king got up to greet 42 her, bowed to her, and then sat on his throne. He ordered a throne to be brought for the king’s mother, 43 and she sat at his right hand. 20 She said, “I would like to ask you for just one small favor. 44 Please don’t refuse me.” 45 He said, 46 “Go ahead and ask, my mother, for I would not refuse you.” 21 She said, “Allow Abishag the Shunammite to be given to your brother Adonijah as a wife.” 22 King Solomon answered his mother, “Why just request Abishag the Shunammite for him? 47 Since he is my older brother, you should also request the kingdom for him, for Abiathar the priest, and for Joab son of Zeruiah!”
23 King Solomon then swore an oath by the Lord, “May God judge me severely, 48 if Adonijah does not pay for this request with his life! 49 24 Now, as certainly as the Lord lives (he who made me secure, allowed me to sit on my father David’s throne, and established a dynasty 50 for me as he promised), Adonijah will be executed today!” 25 King Solomon then sent 51 Benaiah son of Jehoiada, and he killed Adonijah. 52
26 The king then told Abiathar the priest, “Go back to your property 53 in Anathoth. You deserve to die, 54 but today I will not kill you because you did carry the ark of the sovereign Lord before my father David and you suffered with my father through all his difficult times.” 55 27 Solomon dismissed Abiathar from his position as priest of the Lord, 56 fulfilling the decree of judgment the Lord made in Shiloh against the family of Eli. 57
28 When the news reached Joab (for Joab had supported 58 Adonijah, although he had not supported Absalom), he 59 ran to the tent of the Lord and grabbed hold of the horns of the altar. 60 29 When King Solomon heard 61 that Joab had run to the tent of the Lord and was right there beside the altar, he ordered Benaiah son of Jehoiada, 62 “Go, strike him down.” 30 When Benaiah arrived at the tent of the Lord, he said to him, “The king says, ‘Come out!’” But he replied, “No, I will die here!” So Benaiah sent word to the king and reported Joab’s reply. 63 31 The king told him, “Do as he said! Strike him down and bury him. Take away from me and from my father’s family 64 the guilt of Joab’s murderous, bloody deeds. 65 32 May the Lord punish him for the blood he shed; 66 behind my father David’s back he struck down and murdered with the sword two men who were more innocent and morally upright than he 67 – Abner son of Ner, commander of Israel’s army, and Amasa son of Jether, commander of Judah’s army. 33 May Joab and his descendants be perpetually guilty of their shed blood, but may the Lord give perpetual peace to David, his descendants, his family, 68 and his dynasty.” 69 34 So Benaiah son of Jehoiada went up and executed Joab; 70 he was buried at his home in the wilderness. 35 The king appointed Benaiah son of Jehoiada to take his place at the head of 71 the army, and the king appointed Zadok the priest to take Abiathar’s place. 72
36 Next the king summoned 73 Shimei and told him, “Build yourself a house in Jerusalem 74 and live there – but you may not leave there to go anywhere! 75 37 If you ever do leave and cross the Kidron Valley, know for sure that you will certainly die! You will be responsible for your own death.” 76 38 Shimei said to the king, “My master the king’s proposal is acceptable. 77 Your servant will do as you say.” 78 So Shimei lived in Jerusalem for a long time. 79
39 Three years later two of Shimei’s servants ran away to King Achish son of Maacah of Gath. Shimei was told, “Look, your servants are in Gath.” 40 So Shimei got up, saddled his donkey, and went to Achish at Gath to find his servants; Shimei went and brought back his servants from Gath. 41 When Solomon was told that Shimei had gone from Jerusalem to Gath and had then returned, 42 the king summoned 80 Shimei and said to him, “You will recall 81 that I made you take an oath by the Lord, and I solemnly warned you, ‘If you ever leave and go anywhere, 82 know for sure that you will certainly die.’ You said to me, ‘The proposal is acceptable; I agree to it.’ 83 43 Why then have you broken the oath you made before the Lord and disobeyed the order I gave you?” 84 44 Then the king said to Shimei, “You are well aware of the way you mistreated my father David. 85 The Lord will punish you for what you did. 86 45 But King Solomon will be empowered 87 and David’s dynasty 88 will endure permanently before the Lord.” 46 The king then gave the order to Benaiah son of Jehoiada who went and executed Shimei. 89
So Solomon took firm control of the kingdom. 90