Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary on the Whole Bible
back to: 1 Kings
Book: 1 Kings
Chapter: 2

David's dying charge to Solomon. (1-4) David's charge as to
Joab and others. (5-11) Solomon reigns, Adonijah aspiring to the
Throne is Put to Death. (12-25) Abiathar banished, Joab Put to
Death. (26-34) Shimei is Put to Death. (35-46)

1-4 David's charge to Solomon is, to keep the charge of the
Lord. The authority of a dying Father is much, but nothing to
that of a living God. God promised David that the Messiah should
come from his descendants, and that promise was absolute; but
the promise, that there should not fail of them a Man On the
Throne of Israel, was conditional; if he walks before God in
sincerity, with zeal and resolution: in order hereunto, he must
take heed to his way.

5-11 These dying counsels concerning Joab and Shimei, did not
come from personal Anger, but for the security of Solomon's
Throne, which was the cause of God and Israel. It is evident
Joab did not repent of the murders he had committed, but would
readily repeat them to carry any purpose; though long reprieved,
he shall be reckoned with at last. Time does not wear out the
guilt of any Sin, particularly of Murder. Concerning Shimei,
Hold him not guiltless; do not think him any true friend to
thee, or thy government, or fit to be trusted; he has No less
malice now than he had then. David's dying sentiments are
recorded, as delivered under the influence of the Holy Ghost,

2Sa 23:1-7. The Lord discovered to him the offices and the
Salvation of that glorious personage, the Messiah, whose coming
he then foretold, and from whom he derived all his comforts and
expectations. That Passage gives a decided proof that David died
under the influence of the Holy Ghost, in the Exercise of Faith
and Hope.

12-25 Solomon received Bathsheba with all the respect that was
owing to a mother; but let none be asked for that which they
ought not to grant. It ill becomes a good Man to prefer a bad
request, or to appear in a bad cause. According to eastern
customs it was Plain that Adonijah sought to be King, By his
asking for Abishag as his Wife, and Solomon could not be safe
while he lived. Ambitious, turbulent spirits commonly prepare
Death for themselves. Many a head has been lost By catching at a

26-34 Solomon's words to Abiathar, and his silence, imply that
some recent conspiracies had been entered into. Those that show
kindness to God's people shall have it remembered to their
advantage. For this reason Solomon spares Abiathar's Life, but
dismisses him from his offices. In case of such sins as the
Blood of beasts would atone for, the Altar was a Refuge, but not
in Joab's case. Solomon looks upward to God as the Author of
peace, and forward to eternity as the Perfection of it. The Lord
of peace himself gives us that peace which is Everlasting.

35-46 The old malignity remains in the unconverted Heart, and a
watchful Eye should be kept On those who, like Shimei, have
manifested their Enmity, but have given No evidence of
Repentance. No engagements or dangers will restrain worldly men;
they go On, though they forfeit their lives and souls. Let us
remember, God will not accommodate his Judgment to us. His Eye
is over us; and let us strive to walk as in his presence. Let
our every act, Word, and thought, be governed By this great
Truth, that the Hour is quickly coming when the smallest
circumstances of our lives shall be brought to Light, and our
eternal state be fixed By a righteous and unerring God. Thus
Solomon's Throne was established in peace, as the Type of the
Redeemer's kingdom of peace and Righteousness. And it is a
comfort, in reference to the Enmity of the Church's enemies,
that, how much soever they rage, it is a vain thing they
imagine. Christ's Throne is established, and they cannot shake