Abishag Ministers to David
1 1 King David was old and advanced in years; and although they covered him with clothes, he could not get warm. 2 So his servants said to him, "Let a young virgin be sought for my lord the king, and let her wait on the king, and be his attendant; let her lie in your bosom, so that my lord the king may be warm." 3 So they searched for a beautiful girl throughout all the territory of Israel, and found Abishag the Shunammite, and brought her to the king. 4 The girl was very beautiful. She became the king's attendant and served him, but the king did not know her sexually.
Adonijah Usurps the Throne
5 Now Adonijah son of Haggith exalted himself, saying, "I will be king"; he prepared for himself chariots and horsemen, and fifty men to run before him. 6 His father had never at any time displeased him by asking, "Why have you done thus and so?" He was also a very handsome man, and he was born next after Absalom. 7 He conferred with Joab son of Zeruiah and with the priest Abiathar, and they supported Adonijah. 8 But the priest Zadok, and Benaiah son of Jehoiada, and the prophet Nathan, and Shimei, and Rei, and David's own warriors did not side with Adonijah. 9 Adonijah sacrificed sheep, oxen, and fatted cattle by the stone Zoheleth, which is beside En-rogel, and he invited all his brothers, the king's sons, and all the royal officials of Judah, 10 but he did not invite the prophet Nathan or Benaiah or the warriors or his brother Solomon.
11 Then Nathan said to Bathsheba, Solomon's mother, "Have you not heard that Adonijah son of Haggith has become king and our lord David does not know it? 12 Now therefore come, let me give you advice, so that you may save your own life and the life of your son Solomon. 13 Go in at once to King David, and say to him, "Did you not, my lord the king, swear to your servant, saying: Your son Solomon shall succeed me as king, and he shall sit on my throne? Why then is Adonijah king?' 14 Then while you are still there speaking with the king, I will come in after you and confirm your words." 15 So Bathsheba went to the king in his room. The king was very old; Abishag the Shunammite was attending the king. 16 Bathsheba bowed and did obeisance to the king, and the king said, "What do you wish?" 17 She said to him, "My lord, you swore to your servant by the Lord your God, saying: Your son Solomon shall succeed me as king, and he shall sit on my throne. 18 But now suddenly Adonijah has become king, though you, my lord the king, do not know it. 19 He has sacrificed oxen, fatted cattle, and sheep in abundance, and has invited all the children of the king, the priest Abiathar, and Joab the commander of the army; but your servant Solomon he has not invited. 20 But you, my lord the king-the eyes of all Israel are on you to tell them who shall sit on the throne of my lord the king after him. 21 Otherwise it will come to pass, when my lord the king sleeps with his ancestors, that my son Solomon and I will be counted offenders." 22 While she was still speaking with the king, the prophet Nathan came in. 23 The king was told, "Here is the prophet Nathan." When he came in before the king, he did obeisance to the king, with his face to the ground. 24 Nathan said, "My lord the king, have you said, "Adonijah shall succeed me as king, and he shall sit on my throne'? 25 For today he has gone down and has sacrificed oxen, fatted cattle, and sheep in abundance, and has invited all the king's children, Joab the commander  of the army, and the priest Abiathar, who are now eating and drinking before him, and saying, "Long live King Adonijah!' 26 But he did not invite me, your servant, and the priest Zadok, and Benaiah son of Jehoiada, and your servant Solomon. 27 Has this thing been brought about by my lord the king and you have not let your servants know who should sit on the throne of my lord the king after him?"
Solomon Made King
28 King David answered, "Summon Bathsheba to me." So she came into the king's presence, and stood before the king. 29 The king swore, saying, "As the Lord lives, who has saved my life from every adversity, 30 as I swore to you by the Lord, the God of Israel, "Your son Solomon shall succeed me as king, and he shall sit on my throne in my place,' so will I do this day." 31 Then Bathsheba bowed with her face to the ground, and did obeisance to the king, and said, "May my lord King David live forever!"
32 King David said, "Summon to me the priest Zadok, the prophet Nathan, and Benaiah son of Jehoiada." When they came before the king, 33 the king said to them, "Take with you the servants of your lord, and have my son Solomon ride on my own mule, and bring him down to Gihon. 34 There let the priest Zadok and the prophet Nathan anoint him king over Israel; then blow the trumpet, and say, "Long live King Solomon!' 35 You shall go up following him. Let him enter and sit on my throne; he shall be king in my place; for I have appointed him to be ruler over Israel and over Judah." 36 Benaiah son of Jehoiada answered the king, "Amen! May the Lord, the God of my lord the king, so ordain. 37 As the Lord has been with my lord the king, so may he be with Solomon, and make his throne greater than the throne of my lord King David." 38 So the priest Zadok, the prophet Nathan, and Benaiah son of Jehoiada, and the Cherethites and the Pelethites, went down and had Solomon ride on King David's mule, and led him to Gihon. 39 There the priest Zadok took the horn of oil from the tent and anointed Solomon. Then they blew the trumpet, and all the people said, "Long live King Solomon!" 40 And all the people went up following him, playing on pipes and rejoicing with great joy, so that the earth quaked at their noise.
41 Adonijah and all the guests who were with him heard it as they finished feasting. When Joab heard the sound of the trumpet, he said, "Why is the city in an uproar?" 42 While he was still speaking, Jonathan son of the priest Abiathar arrived. Adonijah said, "Come in, for you are a worthy man and surely you bring good news." 43 Jonathan answered Adonijah, "No, for our lord King David has made Solomon king; 44 the king has sent with him the priest Zadok, the prophet Nathan, and Benaiah son of Jehoiada, and the Cherethites and the Pelethites; and they had him ride on the king's mule; 45 the priest Zadok and the prophet Nathan have anointed him king at Gihon; and they have gone up from there rejoicing, so that the city is in an uproar. This is the noise that you heard. 46 Solomon now sits on the royal throne. 47 Moreover the king's servants came to congratulate our lord King David, saying, "May God make the name of Solomon more famous than yours, and make his throne greater than your throne.' The king bowed in worship on the bed 48 and went on to pray thus, "Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel, who today has granted one of my offspring  to sit on my throne and permitted me to witness it.' " 49 Then all the guests of Adonijah got up trembling and went their own ways. 50 Adonijah, fearing Solomon, got up and went to grasp the horns of the altar. 51 Solomon was informed, "Adonijah is afraid of King Solomon; see, he has laid hold of the horns of the altar, saying, "Let King Solomon swear to me first that he will not kill his servant with the sword.' " 52 So Solomon responded, "If he proves to be a worthy man, not one of his hairs shall fall to the ground; but if wickedness is found in him, he shall die." 53 Then King Solomon sent to have him brought down from the altar. He came to do obeisance to King Solomon; and Solomon said to him, "Go home."
David's Charge to Solomon
2 1 When David's time to die drew near, he charged his son Solomon, saying: 2 "I am about to go the way of all the earth. Be strong, be courageous, 3 and keep the charge of the Lord your God, walking in his ways and keeping his statutes, his commandments, his ordinances, and his testimonies, as it is written in the law of Moses, so that you may prosper in all that you do and wherever you turn. 4 Then the Lord will establish his word that he spoke concerning me: "If your heirs take heed to their way, to walk before me in faithfulness with all their heart and with all their soul, there shall not fail you a successor on the throne of Israel.' 5 "Moreover you know also what Joab son of Zeruiah did to me, how he dealt with the two commanders of the armies of Israel, Abner son of Ner, and Amasa son of Jether, whom he murdered, retaliating in time of peace for blood that had been shed in war, and putting the blood of war on the belt around his waist, and on the sandals on his feet. 6 Act therefore according to your wisdom, but do not let his gray head go down to Sheol in peace. 7 Deal loyally, however, with the sons of Barzillai the Gileadite, and let them be among those who eat at your table; for with such loyalty they met me when I fled from your brother Absalom. 8 There is also with you Shimei son of Gera, the Benjaminite from Bahurim, who cursed me with a terrible curse on the day when I went to Mahanaim; but when he came down to meet me at the Jordan, I swore to him by the Lord, "I will not put you to death with the sword.' 9 Therefore do not hold him guiltless, for you are a wise man; you will know what you ought to do to him, and you must bring his gray head down with blood to Sheol."
The Death of David
10 Then David slept with his ancestors, and was buried in the city of David. 11 The time that David reigned over Israel was forty years; he reigned seven years in Hebron, and thirty-three years in Jerusalem.
12 So Solomon sat on the throne of his father David; and his kingdom was firmly established.
Solomon Establishes His Kingdom
13 Then Adonijah son of Haggith came to Bathsheba, Solomon's mother. She asked, "Do you come peaceably?" He said, "Peaceably." 14 Then he said, "May I have a word with you?" She said, "Go on." 15 He said, "You know that the kingdom was mine, and that all Israel expected me to reign; however, the kingdom has turned about and become my brother's, for it was his from the Lord. 16 And now I have one request to make of you; do not refuse me." She said to him, "Go on." 17 He said, "Please ask King Solomon-he will not refuse you-to give me Abishag the Shunammite as my wife." 18 Bathsheba said, "Very well; I will speak to the king on your behalf." 19 So Bathsheba went to King Solomon, to speak to him on behalf of Adonijah. The king rose to meet her, and bowed down to her; then he sat on his throne, and had a throne brought for the king's mother, and she sat on his right. 20 Then she said, "I have one small request to make of you; do not refuse me." And the king said to her, "Make your request, my mother; for I will not refuse you." 21 She said, "Let Abishag the Shunammite be given to your brother Adonijah as his wife." 22 King Solomon answered his mother, "And why do you ask Abishag the Shunammite for Adonijah? Ask for him the kingdom as well! For he is my elder brother; ask not only for him but also for the priest Abiathar and for Joab son of Zeruiah!" 23 Then King Solomon swore by the Lord, "So may God do to me, and more also, for Adonijah has devised this scheme at the risk of his life! 24 Now therefore as the Lord lives, who has established me and placed me on the throne of my father David, and who has made me a house as he promised, today Adonijah shall be put to death." 25 So King Solomon sent Benaiah son of Jehoiada; he struck him down, and he died.
26 The king said to the priest Abiathar, "Go to Anathoth, to your estate; for you deserve death. But I will not at this time put you to death, because you carried the ark of the Lord God before my father David, and because you shared in all the hardships my father endured." 27 So Solomon banished Abiathar from being priest to the Lord, thus fulfilling the word of the Lord that he had spoken concerning the house of Eli in Shiloh. 28 When the news came to Joab-for Joab had supported Adonijah though he had not supported Absalom-Joab fled to the tent of the Lord and grasped the horns of the altar. 29 When it was told King Solomon, "Joab has fled to the tent of the Lord and now is beside the altar," Solomon sent Benaiah son of Jehoiada, saying, "Go, strike him down." 30 So Benaiah came to the tent of the Lord and said to him, "The king commands, "Come out.' " But he said, "No, I will die here." Then Benaiah brought the king word again, saying, "Thus said Joab, and thus he answered me." 31 The king replied to him, "Do as he has said, strike him down and bury him; and thus take away from me and from my father's house the guilt for the blood that Joab shed without cause. 32 The Lord will bring back his bloody deeds on his own head, because, without the knowledge of my father David, he attacked and killed with the sword two men more righteous and better than himself, Abner son of Ner, commander of the army of Israel, and Amasa son of Jether, commander of the army of Judah. 33 So shall their blood come back on the head of Joab and on the head of his descendants forever; but to David, and to his descendants, and to his house, and to his throne, there shall be peace from the Lord forevermore." 34 Then Benaiah son of Jehoiada went up and struck him down and killed him; and he was buried at his own house near the wilderness.
35 The king put Benaiah son of Jehoiada over the army in his place, and the king put the priest Zadok in the place of Abiathar. 36 Then the king sent and summoned Shimei, and said to him, "Build yourself a house in Jerusalem, and live there, and do not go out from there to any place whatever. 37 For on the day you go out, and cross the Wadi Kidron, know for certain that you shall die; your blood shall be on your own head." 38 And Shimei said to the king, "The sentence is fair; as my lord the king has said, so will your servant do." So Shimei lived in Jerusalem many days. 39 But it happened at the end of three years that two of Shimei's slaves ran away to King Achish son of Maacah of Gath. When it was told Shimei, "Your slaves are in Gath," 40 Shimei arose and saddled a donkey, and went to Achish in Gath, to search for his slaves; Shimei went and brought his slaves from Gath. 41 When Solomon was told that Shimei had gone from Jerusalem to Gath and returned, 42 the king sent and summoned Shimei, and said to him, "Did I not make you swear by the Lord, and solemnly adjure you, saying, "Know for certain that on the day you go out and go to any place whatever, you shall die'? And you said to me, "The sentence is fair; I accept.' 43 Why then have you not kept your oath to the Lord and the commandment with which I charged you?" 44 The king also said to Shimei, "You know in your own heart all the evil that you did to my father David; so the Lord will bring back your evil on your own head. 45 But King Solomon shall be blessed, and the throne of David shall be established before the Lord forever." 46 Then the king commanded Benaiah son of Jehoiada; and he went out and struck him down, and he died. So the kingdom was established in the hand of Solomon.
The Insecurity of the Wicked
37 1 Do not fret because of the wicked; do not be envious of wrongdoers, 2 for they will soon fade like the grass, and wither like the green herb. 3 Trust in the Lord, and do good; so you will live in the land, and enjoy security. 4 Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart. 5 Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him, and he will act. 6 He will make your vindication shine like the light, and the justice of your cause like the noonday.
7 Be still before the Lord, and wait patiently for him; do not fret over those who prosper in their way, over those who carry out evil devices. 8 Refrain from anger, and forsake wrath. Do not fret-it leads only to evil. 9 For the wicked shall be cut off, but those who wait for the Lord shall inherit the land. 10 Yet a little while, and the wicked will be no more; though you look diligently for their place, they will not be there. 11 But the meek shall inherit the land, and delight themselves in abundant prosperity. 12 The wicked plot against the righteous, and gnash their teeth at them; 13 but the Lord laughs at the wicked, for he sees that their day is coming. 14 The wicked draw the sword and bend their bows to bring down the poor and needy, to kill those who walk uprightly; 15 their sword shall enter their own heart, and their bows shall be broken. 16 Better is a little that the righteous person has than the abundance of many wicked. 17 For the arms of the wicked shall be broken, but the Lord upholds the righteous. 18 The Lord knows the days of the blameless, and their heritage will abide forever; 19 they are not put to shame in evil times, in the days of famine they have abundance. 20 But the wicked perish, and the enemies of the Lord are like the glory of the pastures; they vanish-like smoke they vanish away.
21 The wicked borrow, and do not pay back, but the righteous are generous and keep giving; 22 for those blessed by the Lord shall inherit the land, but those cursed by him shall be cut off. 23 Our steps are made firm by the Lord, when he delights in our way; 24 though we stumble, we shall not fall headlong, for the Lord holds us by the hand. 25 I have been young, and now am old, yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken or their children begging bread. 26 They are ever giving liberally and lending, and their children become a blessing. 27 Depart from evil, and do good; so you shall abide forever. 28 For the Lord loves justice; he will not forsake his faithful ones. The righteous shall be kept safe forever, but the children of the wicked shall be cut off. 29 The righteous shall inherit the land, and live in it forever. 30 The mouths of the righteous utter wisdom, and their tongues speak justice. 31 The law of their God is in their hearts; their steps do not slip. 32 The wicked watch for the righteous, and seek to kill them. 33 The Lord will not abandon them to their power, or let them be condemned when they are brought to trial.
34 Wait for the Lord, and keep to his way, and he will exalt you to inherit the land; you will look on the destruction of the wicked. 35 I have seen the wicked oppressing, and towering like a cedar of Lebanon. 36 Again I passed by, and they were no more; though I sought them, they could not be found. 37 Mark the blameless, and behold the upright, for there is posterity for the peaceable. 38 But transgressors shall be altogether destroyed; the posterity of the wicked shall be cut off. 39 The salvation of the righteous is from the Lord; he is their refuge in the time of trouble. 40 The Lord helps them and rescues them; he rescues them from the wicked, and saves them, because they take refuge in him.
The Prayer of an Old Man
71 1 In you, O Lord, I take refuge; let me never be put to shame. 2 In your righteousness deliver me and rescue me; incline your ear to me and save me. 3 Be to me a rock of refuge, a strong fortress, to save me, for you are my rock and my fortress. 4 Rescue me, O my God, from the hand of the wicked, from the grasp of the unjust and cruel. 5 For you, O Lord, are my hope, my trust, O Lord, from my youth. 6 Upon you I have leaned from my birth; it was you who took me from my mother's womb. My praise is continually of you. 7 I have been like a portent to many, but you are my strong refuge. 8 My mouth is filled with your praise, and with your glory all day long. 9 Do not cast me off in the time of old age; do not forsake me when my strength is spent. 10 For my enemies speak concerning me, and those who watch for my life consult together. 11 They say, "Pursue and seize that person whom God has forsaken, for there is no one to deliver." 12 O God, do not be far from me; O my God, make haste to help me! 13 Let my accusers be put to shame and consumed; let those who seek to hurt me be covered with scorn and disgrace.
14 But I will hope continually, and will praise you yet more and more. 15 My mouth will tell of your righteous acts, of your deeds of salvation all day long, though their number is past my knowledge. 16 I will come praising the mighty deeds of the Lord God, I will praise your righteousness, yours alone. 17 O God, from my youth you have taught me, and I still proclaim your wondrous deeds. 18 So even to old age and gray hairs, O God, do not forsake me, until I proclaim your might to all the generations to come. Your power 19 and your righteousness, O God, reach the high heavens. You who have done great things, O God, who is like you? 20 You who have made me see many troubles and calamities will revive me again; from the depths of the earth you will bring me up again. 21 You will increase my honor, and comfort me once again. 22 I will also praise you with the harp for your faithfulness, O my God; I will sing praises to you with the lyre, O Holy One of Israel. 23 My lips will shout for joy when I sing praises to you; my soul also, which you have rescued. 24 All day long my tongue will talk of your righteous help, for those who tried to do me harm have been put to shame, and disgraced.
A Prayer for Vengeance
94 1 O Lord, you God of vengeance, you God of vengeance, shine forth! 2 Rise up, O judge of the earth; give to the proud what they deserve! 3 O Lord, how long shall the wicked, how long shall the wicked exult? 4 They pour out their arrogant words; all the evildoers boast. 5 They crush your people, O Lord, and afflict your heritage. 6 They kill the widow and the stranger, they murder the orphan, 7 and they say, "The Lord does not see; the God of Jacob does not perceive." 8 Understand, O dullest of the people; fools, when will you be wise? 9 He who planted the ear, does he not hear? He who formed the eye, does he not see? 10 He who disciplines the nations, he who teaches knowledge to humankind, does he not chastise? 11 The Lord knows our thoughts, that they are but an empty breath.
12 Happy are those whom you discipline, O Lord, and whom you teach out of your law, 13 giving them respite from days of trouble, until a pit is dug for the wicked. 14 For the Lord will not forsake his people; he will not abandon his heritage; 15 for justice will return to the righteous, and all the upright in heart will follow it. 16 Who rises up for me against the wicked? Who stands up for me against evildoers? 17 If the Lord had not been my help, my soul would soon have lived in the land of silence. 18 When I thought, "My foot is slipping," your steadfast love, O Lord, held me up. 19 When the cares of my heart are many, your consolations cheer my soul. 20 Can wicked rulers be allied with you, those who contrive mischief by statute? 21 They band together against the life of the righteous, and condemn the innocent to death. 22 But the Lord has become my stronghold, and my God the rock of my refuge. 23 He will repay them for their iniquity and wipe them out for their wickedness; the Lord our God will wipe them out.
1:25 Gk: Heb [the commanders]
1:48 Gk: Heb [one]