First Kings 2 Commentary
This chapter introduces us to politics at the palace. Adonijah, Joab, and Abiathar had committed treason. They deserved death. The delayed execution of Adonijah means that Solomon had a measure of forgiveness. Abiathar is not killed but simply exiled. We are impressed with Solomon’s respect for the priest who had served his father so faithfully.
The case of Joab is interesting. He is killed because of his many murder cases. At the back of David’s mind is the killing of Absalom. David hadn’t gotten over it.
By the end of this chapter, Solomon had murdered Adonijah, Joab, and Shimei. So his reign over the nation was firmly established. But we can ask: established by what? Killings? This doesn’t look like a good sign though we understand the killings.
We know these killings are a marked departure from David’s politics of forgiveness. But is David himself completely innocent in this matter? We know the killing of both Joab and Shimei had the blessing of David. Why did David want his son to do what David had initially promised never to do? What kind of faith is this? What has he communicated to Solomon?
Could it be that the well-known failings of Solomon had something to do with David’s hypocrisy here? We have seen Solomon make references to the name of the LORD as he eliminates his political opponents but it sounds flat.
Solomon’s thought that the kingdom would be established before the LORD forever by killing off Shimei also sounds flat. The thought that Solomon’s kingdom can only stay afloat by killing off Shimei is very dangerous. We shall see what becomes of Solomon with this kind of mindset.
The chapter ends with the statement that the kingdom was now established in Solomon’s hands. We cannot wait to see what happens next.
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