1 Kings 1-2 Bible in Basic English

Abishag Ministers to David

1 1  Now King David was old and far on in years; and though they put covers over him, his body was cold. 2  So his servants said to him, Let search be made for a young virgin for my lord the king, to take care of him and be waiting on him; and you may take her in your arms, and so my lord the king will be warm. 3  So after searching through all the land of Israel for a fair young girl, they saw Abishag the Shunammite, and took her to the king. 4  Now she was very beautiful; and she took care of the king, waiting on him at all times; but the king had no connection with her.

Adonijah Usurps the Throne

5  Then Adonijah, the son of Haggith, lifting himself up in pride, said, I will become king; and he made ready his carriages of war and his horsemen, with fifty runners to go before him. 6  Now all his life his father had never gone against him or said to him, Why have you done so? and he was a very good-looking man, and younger than Absalom. 7  And he had talk with Joab, the son of Zeruiah, and with Abiathar the priest; and they were on his side and gave him their support. 8  But Zadok the priest, and Benaiah, the son of Jehoiada, and Nathan the prophet and Shimei and Rei, and David's men of war did not take the side of Adonijah. 9  Then Adonijah put to death sheep and oxen and fat beasts by the stone of Zoheleth, by En-rogel; and he sent for all his brothers, the king's sons, and all the men of Judah, the king's servants, to come to him: 10  But he did not send for Nathan the prophet and Benaiah and the other men of war and Solomon his brother.

11  Then Nathan said to Bath-sheba, the mother of Solomon, Has it not come to your ears that Adonijah, the son of Haggith, has made himself king without the knowledge of David our lord? 12  So now, let me make a suggestion, so that you may keep your life safe and the life of your son Solomon. 13  Come now, go to King David and say to him, Did you not, O my lord, take an oath to me, your servant, saying, Truly Solomon your son will be king after me, seated on the seat of my kingdom? why then is Adonijah acting as king? 14  And while you are still talking there with the king, see, I will come in after you and say that your story is true. 15  Then Bath-sheba went into the king's room; now the king was very old, and Abishag the Shunammite was waiting on him. 16  And Bath-sheba went down on her face on the earth before the king giving him honour. And he said, What is your desire? 17  And she said to him, My lord, you took an oath by the Lord your God and gave your word to your servant, saying, Truly, Solomon your son will be king after me, seated on the seat of my kingdom. 18  And now, see, Adonijah has made himself king without my lord's knowledge; 19  And has put to death oxen and fat beasts and sheep in great numbers, and has sent for all the sons of the king, and Abiathar the priest, and Joab, the captain of the army; but he has not sent for Solomon your servant. 20  And now, my lord the king, the eyes of all Israel are on you, waiting for you to say who is to take the place of my lord the king after him. 21  For as things are, it will come about, when my lord the king is sleeping with his fathers, that I and Solomon my son will be made outlaws. 22  And while she was still talking with the king, Nathan the prophet came in. 23  And they said to the king, Here is Nathan the prophet. And when he came in before the king, he went down on his face on the earth. 24  And Nathan said, O my lord king, have you said, Adonijah is to be king after me, seated on the seat of my kingdom? 25  Because today he has gone down and has put to death oxen and fat beasts and sheep in great numbers, and has sent for all the king's sons to come to him, with the captains of the army and Abiathar the priest; and they are feasting before him and crying, Long life to King Adonijah! 26  But me, your servant, and Zadok the priest, and Benaiah, the son of Jehoiada, and your servant Solomon, he has not sent for. 27  Has this thing been done by my lord the king, without giving word to your servants who was to be placed on my lord the king's seat after him?

Solomon Made King

28  Then King David in answer said, Send for Bath-sheba to come to me. And she came in and took her place before the king. 29  And the king took an oath, and said, By the living Lord, who has been my saviour from all my troubles, 30  As I took an oath to you by the Lord, the God of Israel, saying, Certainly Solomon your son will become king after me, seated on my seat in my place; so will I do this day. 31  Then Bath-sheba went down on her face on the earth before the king giving him honour, and said, May my lord King David go on living for ever.

32  And King David said, Send for Zadok the priest, and Nathan the prophet, and Benaiah, the son of Jehoiada. And they came before the king. 33  And the king said to them, Take with you the servants of your lord, and put Solomon my son on my beast, yes, mine, and take him down to Gihon; 34  And there let Zadok the priest and Nathan the prophet put the holy oil on him to make him king over Israel; and sounding the horn say, Long life to King Solomon! 35  Then come up after him and he will come in and take his place on the seat of my kingdom; for he is to be king in my place, and I have given orders that he is to be ruler over Israel and over Judah. 36  And Benaiah, the son of Jehoiada, answering the king, said, So be it: and may the Lord, the God of my lord the king, say so. 37  As the Lord has been with my lord the king, even so may he be with Solomon and make the seat of his authority greater than that of my lord King David. 38  So Zadok the priest, and Nathan the prophet, and Benaiah, the son of Jehoiada, and the Cherethites and the Pelethites, went down and put Solomon on King David's beast and took him to Gihon. 39  And Zadok the priest took the vessel of oil out of the Tent, and put the holy oil on Solomon. And when the horn was sounded, all the people said, Long life to King Solomon! 40  And all the people came up after him, piping with pipes, and they were glad with great joy, so that the earth was shaking with the sound.

41  And it came to the ears of Adonijah and all the guests who were with him, when their meal was ended. And Joab, hearing the sound of the horn, said, What is the reason of this noise as if the town was worked up? 42  And while the words were on his lips, Jonathan, the son of Abiathar the priest, came; and Adonijah said, Come in; for you are a man of good faith and the news which you have for us will be good. 43  And Jonathan, answering, said to Adonijah, Not so, but our lord King David has made Solomon king: 44  And he sent with him Zadok the priest, and Nathan the prophet, and Benaiah, the son of Jehoiada, and the Cherethites and the Pelethites; and they put him on the king's beast: 45  And Zadok the priest and Nathan the prophet put the holy oil on him and made him king in Gihon; and they came back from there with joy, and the town was all worked up. This is the noise which has come to your ears. 46  And now Solomon is seated on the seat of the kingdom. 47  And the king's servants came to our lord King David, blessing him and saying, May God make the name of Solomon better than your name, and the seat of his authority greater than your seat; and the king was bent low in worship on his bed. 48  Then the king said, May the God of Israel be praised, who has given one of my seed to be king in my place this day and has let my eyes see it. 49  And all the guests of Adonijah got up in fear and went away, every man to his place. 50  And Adonijah himself was full of fear because of Solomon; and he got up and went to the altar, and put his hands on its horns. 51  And they gave Solomon word of it, saying, See, Adonijah goes in such fear of King Solomon, that he has put his hands on the horns of the altar, saying, Let King Solomon first give me his oath that he will not put his servant to death with the sword. 52  And Solomon said, If he is seen to be a man of good faith, not a hair of him will be touched; but if any wrongdoing is seen in him, he is to be put to death. 53  So King Solomon sent, and they took him down from the altar. And he came and gave honour to King Solomon; and Solomon said to him, Go to your house.

David's Charge to Solomon

2 1  Now the time of David's death came near; and he gave orders to Solomon his son, saying, 2  I am going the way of all the earth: so be strong and be a man; 3  And keep the orders of the Lord your God, walking in his ways, keeping his laws and his orders and his rules and his words, as they are recorded in the law of Moses; so that you may do well in all you do and wherever you go, 4  So that the Lord may give effect to what he said of me, If your children give attention to their ways, living uprightly before me with all their heart and their soul, you will never be without a man to be king in Israel. 5  Now you have knowledge of what Joab, the son of Zeruiah, did to me, and to the two captains of the army of Israel, Abner, the son of Ner, and Amasa, the son of Jether, whom he put to death, taking payment for the blood of war in time of peace, and making the band of my clothing and the shoes on my feet red with the blood of one put to death without cause. 6  So be guided by your wisdom, and let not his white head go down to the underworld in peace. 7  But be good to the sons of Barzillai the Gileadite, and let them be guests at your table; for so they came to me when I went in flight from Absalom your brother. 8  Now you have with you Shimei, the son of Gera the Benjamite of Bahurim, who put a bitter curse on me on the day when I went to Mahanaim; but he came down to see me at Jordan, and I gave him my oath by the Lord, saying, I will not put you to death by the sword. 9  But do not let him be free from punishment, for you are a wise man; and it will be clear to you what you have to do with him; see that his white head goes down to the underworld in blood.

The Death of David

10  Then David went to rest with his fathers, and his body was put into the earth in the town of David. 11  David was king over Israel for forty years: for seven years he was king in Hebron and for thirty-three years in Jerusalem.

12  And Solomon took his place on the seat of David his father, and his kingdom was made safe and strong.

Solomon Establishes His Kingdom

13  Then Adonijah, the son of Haggith, came to Bath-sheba, the mother of Solomon. And she said, Come you in peace? And he said, Yes, in peace. 14  Then he said, I have something to say to you. And she said, Say on. 15  And he said, You saw how the kingdom was mine, and all Israel had the idea that I would be their king; but now the kingdom is turned about, and has become my brother's, for it was given to him by the Lord. 16  Now I have one request to make to you, and do not say, No, to me. And she said to him, Say on. 17  Then he said, Will you go to Solomon the king (for he will not say, No, to you) and put before him my request that he will give me Abishag the Shunammite for a wife? 18  And Bath-sheba said, Good! I will make your request to the king. 19  So Bath-sheba went to King Solomon to have talk with him on Adonijah's account. And the king got up to come to her, and went down low to the earth before her; then he took his place on the king's seat and had a seat made ready for the king's mother and she took her place at his right hand. 20  Then she said, I have one small request to make to you; do not say, No, to me. And the king said, Say on, my mother, for I will not say, No, to you. 21  And she said, Let Abishag the Shunammite be given to Adonijah your brother for a wife. 22  Then King Solomon made answer and said to his mother, Why are you requesting me to give Abishag the Shunammite to Adonijah? Take the kingdom for him in addition, for he is my older brother, and Abiathar the priest and Joab, the son of Zeruiah, are on his side. 23  Then King Solomon took an oath by the Lord, saying, May God's punishment be on me if Adonijah does not give payment for these words with his life. 24  Now by the living Lord, who has given me my place on the seat of David my father, and made me one of a line of kings, as he gave me his word, truly Adonijah will be put to death this day. 25  And King Solomon sent Benaiah, the son of Jehoiada, and he made an attack on him and put him to death.

26  And to Abiathar the priest the king said, Go to Anathoth, to your fields; for death would be your right reward; but I will not put you to death now, because you took up the ark of the Lord God before David my father, and you were with him in all his troubles. 27  So Solomon let Abiathar be priest no longer, so that he might make the word of the Lord come true which he said about the sons of Eli in Shiloh. 28  And news of this came to Joab; for Joab had been one of Adonijah's supporters, though he had not been on Absalom's side. Then Joab went in flight to the Tent of the Lord, and put his hands on the horns of the altar. 29  And they said to King Solomon, Joab has gone in flight to the Tent of the Lord and is by the altar. Then Solomon sent Benaiah, the son of Jehoiada, saying, Go, make an attack on him. 30  And Benaiah came to the Tent of the Lord and said to him, The king says, Come out. And he said, No; but let death come to me here. And Benaiah went back to the king and gave him word of the answer which Joab had given. 31  And the king said, Do as he has said and make an attack on him there, and put his body into the earth; so that you may take away from me and from my family the blood of one put to death by Joab without cause. 32  And the Lord will send back his blood on his head, because of the attack he made on two men more upright and better than himself, putting them to the sword without my father's knowledge; even Abner, the son of Ner, captain of the army of Israel, and Amasa, the son of Jether, captain of the army of Judah. 33  So their blood will be on the head of Joab, and on the head of his seed for ever; but for David and his seed and his family and the seat of his kingdom, there will be peace for ever from the Lord. 34  So Benaiah, the son of Jehoiada, went up, and falling on him, put him to death; and his body was put to rest in his house in the waste land.

35  And the king put Benaiah, the son of Jehoiada, in his place over the army; and Zadok the priest he put in the place of Abiathar. 36  Then the king sent for Shimei, and said to him, Make a house for yourself in Jerusalem and keep there and go to no other place. 37  For be certain that on the day when you go out and go over the stream Kidron, death will overtake you: and your blood will be on your head. 38  And Shimei said to the king, Very well! as my lord the king has said, so will your servant do. And for a long time Shimei went on living in Jerusalem. 39  But after three years, two of the servants of Shimei went in flight to Achish, son of Maacah, king of Gath. And word was given to Shimei that his servants had gone to Gath. 40  Then Shimei got up, and making ready his ass, he went to Gath, to Achish, in search of his servants; and he sent and got them from Gath. 41  And news was given to Solomon that Shimei had gone from Jerusalem to Gath and had come back again. 42  Then the king sent for Shimei, and said to him, Did I not make you take an oath by the Lord, protesting to you and saying, Be certain that on the day when you go out from here, wherever you go, death will overtake you? and you said to me, Very well! 43  Why then have you not kept the oath of the Lord and the order which I gave you? 44  And the king said to Shimei, You have knowledge of all the evil which you did to David my father; and now the Lord has sent back your evil on yourself. 45  But a blessing will be on King Solomon, and the kingdom of David will keep its place before the Lord for ever. 46  So the king gave orders to Benaiah, the son of Jehoiada; and he went out and, falling on him, put him to death. And Solomon's authority over the kingdom was complete.


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