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Class: First Kings 2 and 3

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Solomon Executes Troublemakers 

First Kings 2.13–46

Don Ruhl • Savage Street, Grants Pass, Oregon • July 6, In the year of our Lord, 2016

  1. First Kings 2.13–25 – The Execution of Adonijah

    13 Now Adonijah the son of Haggith came to Bathsheba the mother of Solomon. So she said, “Do you come peaceably?” And he said, “Peaceably.” 14 Moreover he said, “I have something to say to you.” And she said, “Say it.” 15 Then he said, “You know that the kingdom was mine, and all Israel had set their expectations on me, that I should reign. However, the kingdom has been turned over, and has become my brother’s; for it was his from the LORD. 16 Now I ask one petition of you; do not deny me.” And she said to him, “Say it.” 17 Then he said, “Please speak to King Solomon, for he will not refuse you, that he may give me Abishag the Shunammite as wife.” 18 So Bathsheba said, “Very well, I will speak for you to the king.” 19 Bathsheba therefore went to King Solomon, to speak to him for Adonijah. And the king rose up to meet her and bowed down to her, and sat down on his throne and had a throne set for the king’s mother; so she sat at his right hand. 20 Then she said, “I desire one small petition of you; do not refuse me.” And the king said to her, “Ask it, my mother, for I will not refuse you.” 21 So she said, “Let Abishag the Shunammite be given to Adonijah your brother as wife.” 22 And King Solomon answered and said to his mother, “Now why do you ask Abishag the Shunammite for Adonijah? Ask for him the kingdom also—for he is my older brother—for him, and for Abiathar the priest, and for Joab the son of Zeruiah.” 23 Then King Solomon swore by the LORD, saying, “May God do so to me, and more also, if Adonijah has not spoken this word against his own life! 24 Now therefore, as the LORD lives, who has confirmed me and set me on the throne of David my father, and who has established a house for me, as He promised, Adonijah shall be put to death today!” 25 So King Solomon sent by the hand of Benaiah the son of Jehoiada; and he struck him down, and he died.
    1. What do you think of Adonijah’s words in verse 15?
      1. Was he manipulating Bathsheba?
      2. He appeared to be humble.
      3. He appeared to accept the reign of Solomon.
    2. Having said those things, he made a request.
      1. However, the request was for Solomon.
      2. Why did he go to Bathsheba instead?
        1. He knew or believed that Solomon would not reject his mother.
        2. This is another sign of his manipulation of Bathsheba and Solomon.
    3. Verse 19 shows how Solomon thought of his mother.
      1. He rose up and met her.
      2. He bowed down to her.
      3. He had a throne set for her.
    4. Why do you think Solomon reacted strongly in verse 22?
      1. He classed Adonijah with Abiathar and Joab.
      2. These men conspired against David, hence
        1. against Solomon and his mother.
        2. Adonijah knew that if he succeeded at becoming king,
          1. that would mean the death of Solomon and Bathsheba.
          2. How then could he ask for anything, especially Abishag?
            1. How should Adonijah have conducted himself?
            2. Should he not have humbled himself?
    5. Solomon then ordered the execution of Adonijah.
      1. Adonijah demonstrated that he still had a covetous heart,
      2. seeking things for himself that were not his.
  2. First Kings 2.26–27 – The Rejection of Abiathar

    26 And to Abiathar the priest the king said, “Go to Anathoth, to your own fields, for you are deserving of death; but I will not put you to death at this time, because you carried the ark of the Lord GOD before my father David, and because you were afflicted every time my father was afflicted.” 27 So Solomon removed Abiathar from being priest to the LORD, that he might fulfill the word of the LORD which He spoke concerning the house of Eli at Shiloh.
    1. Anathoh was just North of Jerusalem.
      1. It was also the home of Jeremiah.
    2. Why was Abiathar deserving of death?
      1. He had participated in the rebellion of Adonijah.
      2. He turned his back on David.
    3. Yet, what did Abiathar have in his favor?
      1. He carried the Ark before David.
      2. He suffered when David suffered.
    4. Why does a man,
      1. who so willingly suffered with someone like David,
        1. then turn his back on his former loyalty and
        2. support another?
      2. He saw the old age of David and
        1. knew that his days were numbered, and
        2. wanted to be in good with the new regime.
    5. What did the removal of Abiathar also fulfill?
      1. That the house of Eli would serve as high priests for a limited time.
      2. See First Samuel 2.27–36.
  3. First Kings 2.28–35 – The Execution of Joab

    28 Then news came to Joab, for Joab had defected to Adonijah, though he had not defected to Absalom. So Joab fled to the tabernacle of the LORD, and took hold of the horns of the altar. 29 And King Solomon was told, “Joab has fled to the tabernacle of the LORD; there he is, by the altar.” Then Solomon sent Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, saying, “Go, strike him down.” 30 So Benaiah went to the tabernacle of the LORD, and said to him, “Thus says the king, ‘Come out!’ ” And he said, “No, but I will die here.” And Benaiah brought back word to the king, saying, “Thus said Joab, and thus he answered me.” 31 Then the king said to him, “Do as he has said, and strike him down and bury him, that you may take away from me and from the house of my father the innocent blood which Joab shed. 32 So the LORD will return his blood on his head, because he struck down two men more righteous and better than he, and killed them with the sword—Abner the son of Ner, the commander of the army of Israel, and Amasa the son of Jether, the commander of the army of Judah—though my father David did not know it. 33 Their blood shall therefore return upon the head of Joab and upon the head of his descendants forever. But upon David and his descendants, upon his house and his throne, there shall be peace forever from the LORD.” 34 So Benaiah the son of Jehoiada went up and struck and killed him; and he was buried in his own house in the wilderness. 35 The king put Benaiah the son of Jehoiada in his place over the army, and the king put Zadok the priest in the place of Abiathar.
    1. Why did Joab join Adonijah, but not Absalom?
    2. Why did Joab go into the tabernacle and hang onto the horns of the altar?
      1. Did he believe he would be executed there?
      2. Why do you think Benaiah hesitated to execute Joab there?
    3. Joab would reap as he had sow.
      1. Eventually justice catches up with the wicked and criminals.
      2. Joab had time to repent, but
        1. his joining with Adonijah showed his impenitence.
        2. How could Joab turn against David?
  4. First Kings 2.36–46 – The Execution of Shimei

    36 Then the king sent and called for Shimei, and said to him, “Build yourself a house in Jerusalem and dwell there, and do not go out from there anywhere. 37 For it shall be, on the day you go out and cross the Brook Kidron, know for certain you shall surely die; your blood shall be on your own head.” 38 And Shimei said to the king, “The saying is good. As my lord the king has said, so your servant will do.” So Shimei dwelt in Jerusalem many days. 39 Now it happened at the end of three years, that two slaves of Shimei ran away to Achish the son of Maachah, king of Gath. And they told Shimei, saying, “Look, your slaves are in Gath!” 40 So Shimei arose, saddled his donkey, and went to Achish at Gath to seek his slaves. And Shimei went and brought his slaves from Gath. 41 And Solomon was told that Shimei had gone from Jerusalem to Gath and had come back. 42 Then the king sent and called for Shimei, and said to him, “Did I not make you swear by the LORD, and warn you, saying, ‘Know for certain that on the day you go out and travel anywhere, you shall surely die’? And you said to me, ‘The word I have heard is good.’ 43 Why then have you not kept the oath of the LORD and the commandment that I gave you?” 44 The king said moreover to Shimei, “You know, as your heart acknowledges, all the wickedness that you did to my father David; therefore the LORD will return your wickedness on your own head. 45 But King Solomon shall be blessed, and the throne of David shall be established before the LORD forever.” 46 So the king commanded Benaiah the son of Jehoiada; and he went out and struck him down, and he died. Thus the kingdom was established in the hand of Solomon.
    1. Why did he then violate them?
    2. Did he momentarily forget?
    3. Did he think this was an exception?
    1. 3.1a – Solomon and Pharaoh
      1. How significant that Israel had once been slaves to the Egyptians,
      2. then hundreds of years later
        1. Things can change.
        2. Sometimes change happens slowly, sometimes rapidly.
        1. an Israelite king marries an Egyptian, and
        2. makes a treaty with the Egyptians.
      1. Of all of Solomon’s wives, this one gets special attention,
      2. unless this is the Shulamite of the Song of Solomon.
    2. 3.1b – Building Projects
    3. How did Solomon show his love for the Lord?
      1. He walked in the statutes of his father David.
      2. He offered a thousand burnt offerings.
    4. Solomon made these burnt offerings at the high place, but he would also build the temple.
    5. Why was that important?
    6. Have you consider what the Book of Proverbs say about parents?
      1. Pro 1.8
      2. Pro 4.1
      3. Pro 6.20
      4. Pro 13.1
      5. Pro 15.5
      6. Pro 23.22
    7. It sounds as though the people sacrificed at more places than just the tabernacle.
    8. Why is that?
      1. Did the “high places” seem closer to heaven?
      2. How does it affect you to be on top of a mountain?
    9. What were Solomon’s three building projects listed here?
      1. He built his own house.
      2. He built the house of the Lord.
      3. He built the wall around Jerusalem.
    10. Why were these three projects mentioned but others excluded?
    11. Why?
    12. Did he want it to be a special prize to her?
    13. Did he think it unworthy for her until it was completed because of the splendor she had around her in Egypt?
      1. He wanted these three done
      2. before bringing Pharaoh’s daughter to Jerusalem.
    14. 3.2 – The Sacrifices of the People
    15. 3.3–4 – Solomon’s Love for the Lord
    1. For one thing, they showed that he followed the instructions of his father.
    2. It showed that he would execute evil quickly.
      1. men grow in their desire to do evil.
      2. We cannot justify or explain evil.
    3. What has He told us about prayer?
    4. Have you answered His question?
    5. What was the question?
    6. Who is able to judge or lead any nation with the huge numbers that nations have today?
    7. He asked for an understanding heart to judge God’s people,
    8. that he might discern between good and evil.
    9. Why say these other things first?
    10. He wanted to show the Lord that he recognize his need for something.
    11. To what extent would the Lord give it?
      1. No one before Solomon and
      2. no one after him
    12. However, the Lord decided to give Solomon even more:
      1. Riches
      2. Honor
      3. Long life, if he lived as his father David had, following the Lord
    13. would have the degree of wisdom
    14. that the Lord would give him.
    15. That Solomon asked for an understanding heart to judge.
    16. Then that Solomon did not ask for:
      1. Long life
      2. Riches
      3. The life of his enemies
    1. Second Samuel 16.3–14 shows the sin of Shimei.
    2. Shimei agreed to the conditions that Solomon made.
    3. How did these executions establish the kingdom of Solomon?
      1. See Ecclesiastes 8.11, written by Solomon
      2. that if sentence against evil does not happen quickly,

An Understanding Heart for Judging 

If God asked you what you wanted, what would you say?

First Kings 3

Don Ruhl • Savage Street, Grants Pass, Oregon • July 20, In the year of our Lord, 2016


First Kings 3.1–4 – The Days of Solomon

1 Now Solomon made a treaty with Pharaoh king of Egypt, and married Pharaoh’s daughter; then he brought her to the City of David until he had finished building his own house, and the house of the LORD, and the wall all around Jerusalem. 2 Meanwhile the people sacrificed at the high places, because there was no house built for the name of the LORD until those days. 3 And Solomon loved the LORD, walking in the statutes of his father David, except that he sacrificed and burned incense at the high places. 4 Now the king went to Gibeon to sacrifice there, for that was the great high place: Solomon offered a thousand burnt offerings on that altar.

  1. First Kings 3.5 – The Lord’s Question for Solomon

    5 At Gibeon the LORD appeared to Solomon in a dream by night; and God said, “Ask! What shall I give you?”
    1. What would you say to God, if He asked you that question?
    2. Jesus asked a man a similar question – Mark 10.46–51
    3. Do you think the Lord says the same to us then?
  2. First Kings 3.6–9 – An Understanding Heart for Judging

    6 And Solomon said: “You have shown great mercy to Your servant David my father, because he walked before You in truth, in righteousness, and in uprightness of heart with You; You have continued this great kindness for him, and You have given him a son to sit on his throne, as it is this day. 7 Now, O LORD my God, You have made Your servant king instead of my father David, but I am a little child; I do not know how to go out or come in. 8 And Your servant is in the midst of Your people whom You have chosen, a great people, too numerous to be numbered or counted. 9 Therefore give to Your servant an understanding heart to judge Your people, that I may discern between good and evil. For who is able to judge this great people of Yours?”
    1. Why do you think that Solomon did not just say what he wanted?
    2. Why did he preface his request with his words about David?
    3. Did Solomon believe he was equipped for the job of running a kingdom?
    4. In the words of verse 9, for what did Solomon ask?
    5. Then he asked the Lord a question.
  3. First Kings 3.10–14 – God Gave and God Gave, and Gave Some More

    10 The speech pleased the LORD, that Solomon had asked this thing. 11 Then God said to him: “Because you have asked this thing, and have not asked long life for yourself, nor have asked riches for yourself, nor have asked the life of your enemies, but have asked for yourself understanding to discern justice, 12 behold, I have done according to your words; see, I have given you a wise and understanding heart, so that there has not been anyone like you before you, nor shall any like you arise after you. 13 And I have also given you what you have not asked: both riches and honor, so that there shall not be anyone like you among the kings all your days. 14 So if you walk in My ways, to keep My statutes and My commandments, as your father David walked, then I will lengthen your days.”
    1. What first impressed God?
    2. The Lord promised to give Solomon that for which he asked.
  4. First Samuel 3.15 – Worship God for His Gifts

    15 Then Solomon awoke; and indeed it had been a dream. And he came to Jerusalem and stood before the ark of the covenant of the LORD, offered up burnt offerings, offered peace offerings, and made a feast for all his servants.
  5. I have had some weird dreams, and
  6. nothing of that caliber.
  7. Why did he do these things before the ark of the covenant of the Lord?
  8. He wanted to show his gratitude and love for the Lord.
    1. What a dream!
    2. Why did Solomon do all these things that this verse mentions?
  9. First Samuel 3.16–28 – The Ability to Judge

    16 Now two women who were harlots came to the king, and stood before him. 17 And one woman said, “O my lord, this woman and I dwell in the same house; and I gave birth while she was in the house. 18 Then it happened, the third day after I had given birth, that this woman also gave birth. And we were together; no one was with us in the house, except the two of us in the house. 19 And this woman’s son died in the night, because she lay on him. 20 So she arose in the middle of the night and took my son from my side, while your maidservant slept, and laid him in her bosom, and laid her dead child in my bosom. 21 And when I rose in the morning to nurse my son, there he was, dead. But when I had examined him in the morning, indeed, he was not my son whom I had borne.” 22 Then the other woman said, “No! But the living one is my son, and the dead one is your son.” And the first woman said, “No! But the dead one is your son, and the living one is my son.” Thus they spoke before the king. 23 And the king said, “The one says, “This is my son, who lives, and your son is the dead one’; and the other says, ‘No! But your son is the dead one, and my son is the living one.’|” 24 Then the king said, “Bring me a sword.” So they brought a sword before the king. 25 And the king said, “Divide the living child in two, and give half to one, and half to the other.” 26 Then the woman whose son was living spoke to the king, for she yearned with compassion for her son; and she said, “O my lord, give her the living child, and by no means kill him!” But the other said, “Let him be neither mine nor yours, but divide him.” 27 So the king answered and said, “Give the first woman the living child, and by no means kill him; she is his mother.” 28 And all Israel heard of the judgment which the king had rendered; and they feared the king, for they saw that the wisdom of God was in him to administer justice.
  10. He was removed from the situation.
  11. He neither gained nor lost anything which ever way the case turned out.
  12. He knew the quality of a true mother, even of a harlot.
    1. How was it that Solomon could make such a judgment?
    2. Yes, the Lord had given him wisdom, but what did Solomon exhibit in this case?
    3. What qualities did his judgment have that led him to offer this solution?
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