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.
The Insecurity of the Wicked
37 1 Do not be angry because of the wrongdoers, or have envy of the workers of evil. 2 For they will quickly be cut down like grass, and become dry like the green plants. 3 Have faith in the Lord, and do good; be at rest in the land, and go after righteousness. 4 So will your delight be in the Lord, and he will give you your heart's desires. 5 Put your life in the hands of the Lord; have faith in him and he will do it. 6 And he will make your righteousness be seen like the light, and your cause like the shining of the sun.
7 Take your rest in the Lord, waiting quietly for him; do not be angry because of the man who does well in his evil ways, and gives effect to his bad designs. 8 Put an end to your wrath and be no longer bitter; do not give way to angry feeling which is a cause of sin. 9 For the evil-doers will be cut off: but those who have faith in the Lord will have the earth for their heritage. 10 For in a short time the evil-doer will be gone: you will go searching for his place, and it will not be there. 11 But the gentle will have the earth for their heritage; they will take their delight in peace without measure. 12 The sinner has evil designs against the upright, lifting up the voice of wrath against him. 13 He will be laughed at by the Lord, who sees that his day is coming. 14 The evil-doers have taken out their swords, their bows are bent; for crushing the poor, and to put to death those who are upright in their ways. 15 But their swords will be turned into their hearts, and their bows will be broken. 16 The little which the good man has is better than the wealth of evil-doers. 17 For the arms of the evil-doers will be broken: but the Lord is the support of the good. 18 The days of the upright are numbered by the Lord, and their heritage will be for ever. 19 They will not be shamed in the evil time, and in the days when all are in need of food they will have enough. 20 But the wrongdoers will come to destruction, and the haters of the Lord will be like the fat of lambs, they will be burned up; they will go up in smoke, and never again be seen.
21 The sinner takes money and does not give it back; but the upright man has mercy, and gives to others. 22 Those who have his blessing will have the earth for their heritage; but those who are cursed by him will be cut off. 23 The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord, and he takes delight in his way. 24 Even if he has a fall he will not be without help: for the hand of the Lord is supporting him. 25 I have been young, and now am old, but I have not seen the good man without help, or his children looking for bread. 26 All the day he is ready to have mercy and to give; his children are a blessing. 27 Be turned from evil, and do good; and your place will be for ever. 28 For the Lord is a lover of righteousness, and takes care of his saints; they will be kept safe for ever; but the seed of the evil-doers will be cut off. 29 The upright will have the earth for their heritage, and will go on living there for ever. 30 The mouth of the good man says words of wisdom; the talk of his tongue is of righteousness. 31 The law of his God is in his heart; he will never make a false step. 32 The sinners are watching the upright man, desiring to put him to death. 33 The Lord will not give him into their hands, or be against him when he is judged.
34 Be waiting for the Lord, and keep his way; and you will be lifted up, and have the land for your heritage: when the evil-doers are cut off, you will see it. 35 I have seen the evil-doer in great power, covering the earth like a great tree. 36 But he came to an end, and there was no sign of him; I made a search for him and he was not there. 37 Give attention to the good man, and take note of the upright; because the end of that man is peace. 38 But as for the sinners, they will be cut off together; the end of the wrongdoers is destruction. 39 But the Lord is the saviour of the upright: he is their strength in the time of trouble. 40 And the Lord will be their help, and keep them safe: he will take them out of the hands of the evil-doers, and be their saviour, because they had faith in him.
The Prayer of an Old Man
71 1 In you, O Lord, have I put my hope; let me never be shamed. 2 Keep me safe in your righteousness, and come to my help; give ear to my voice, and be my saviour. 3 Be my strong Rock, the strong place of my salvation; for you are my Rock, and my safe place. 4 O my God, take me out of the hand of the sinner, out of the hand of the evil and cruel man. 5 For you are my hope, O Lord God; I have had faith in you from the time when I was young. 6 You have been my support from the day of my birth; you took me out of my mother's body; my praise will be ever of you. 7 I am a wonder to all; but you are my strong tower. 8 My mouth will be full of your praise and glory all the day. 9 Do not give me up when I am old; be my help even when my strength is gone. 10 For my haters are waiting secretly for me; and those who are watching for my soul are banded together in their evil designs, 11 Saying, God has given him up; go after him and take him, for he has no helper. 12 O God, be not far from me; O my God, come quickly to my help. 13 Let those who say evil against my soul be overcome and put to shame; let my haters be made low and have no honour.
14 But I will go on ever hoping, and increasing in all your praise. 15 My mouth will make clear your righteousness and your salvation all the day; for they are more than may be measured. 16 I will give news of the great acts of the Lord God; my words will be of your righteousness, and of yours only. 17 O God, you have been my teacher from the time when I was young; and I have been talking of your works of wonder even till now. 18 Now when I am old and grey-headed, O God, give me not up; till I have made clear your strength to this generation, and your power to all those to come. 19 Your righteousness, O God, is very high; you have done great things; O God, who is like you? 20 You, who have sent great and bitter troubles on me, will give me life again, lifting me up from the deep waters of the underworld. 21 You will make me greater than before, and give me comfort on every side. 22 I will give praise to you with instruments of music, O my God, for you are true; I will make songs to you with music, O Holy One of Israel. 23 Joy will be on my lips when I make melody to you; and in my soul, to which you have given salvation. 24 My tongue will be talking of your righteousness all the day; for those whose purpose is to do me evil have been crushed and put to shame.
A Prayer for Vengeance
94 1 O God, in whose hands is punishment, O God of punishment, let your shining face be seen. 2 Be lifted up, O judge of the earth; let their reward come to the men of pride. 3 How long will sinners, O Lord, how long will sinners have joy over us? 4 Words of pride come from their lips; all the workers of evil say great things of themselves. 5 Your people are crushed by them, O Lord, your heritage is troubled, 6 They put to death the widow and the guest, they take the lives of children who have no father; 7 And they say, Jah will not see it, the God of Jacob will not give thought to it. 8 Give your mind to my words, you who are without wisdom among the people; you foolish men, when will you be wise? 9 Has he by whom your ears were planted no hearing? or is he blind by whom your eyes were formed? 10 He who is the judge of the nations, will he not give men the reward of their acts, even he who gives knowledge to man? 11 The Lord has knowledge of the thoughts of man, for they are only a breath.
12 Happy is the man who is guided by you, O Jah, and to whom you give teaching out of your law; 13 So that you may give him rest from the days of evil, till a hole is made ready for the destruction of the sinners. 14 The Lord will not give up his people, or take away his support from his heritage; 15 But decisions will again be made in righteousness; and they will be kept by all whose hearts are true. 16 Who will give me help against the sinners? and who will be my support against the workers of evil? 17 If the Lord had not been my helper, my soul would quickly have gone down into death. 18 If I say, My foot is slipping; your mercy, O Lord, is my support. 19 Among all my troubled thoughts, your comforts are the delight of my soul. 20 What part with you has the seat of sin, which makes evil into a law? 21 They are banded together against the soul of the upright, to give decisions against those who have done no wrong. 22 But the Lord is my safe resting-place; my God is the Rock where I am safe. 23 And he has made their evil designs come back on themselves, cutting them off in their sin; the Lord our God will put an end to them.