22 Aug. 1 Kings 2:1-12

22 Aug.  Israel’s king will always be from David’s family line

“Since it was almost time for David to die, he gave his son Solomon his last commands. David said, ‘My time to die is near. Be a good and strong leader. Obey the LORD your God. Follow him by obeying his demands, his commands, his laws and his rules that are written in the teaching of Moses.’”

“If you do these things, you will be successful in all you do and wherever you go. And if you obey the LORD, he will keep the promise he made to me. He said, “If your descendants live as I tell them and have complete faith in me, a man from your family will always be king over the people of Israel.”’”

“’Also, you remember what Joab son of Zeruiah did to me. He killed the two commanders of Israel’s armies: Abner son of Ner and Amasa son of Jether. He did this as if he and they were at war, although it was a time of peace. He put their blood on the belt around his waist and on his sandals on his feet. Punish him in the way you think is wisest, but do not let him die peacefully of old age.’”

“'Be kind to the children of Barzillai of Gilead, and allow them to eat at your table. They welcomed me when I ran away from your brother Absalom.’”

“’And remember, Shimei son of Gera, the Benjamite, is here with you. He cursed me the day I went to Mahanaim. But when he came down to meet me at the Jordan River, I promised him before the LORD, “Shimei, I will not kill you.” But you should not leave him unpunished. You are a wise man, and you will know what to do to him, but you must be sure he is killed.’”

“Then David died and was buried with his ancestors in Jerusalem. He had ruled over Israel 40 years – seven years in Hebron and 33 years in Jerusalem.”

“Solomon became king after David, his father, and he was in firm control of his kingdom.”

          (1 Kings 2:1-12)

 

 

Today’s passage recounts David’s last wishes to his son Solomon, and prepares us for the actions that Solomon took at the beginning of his reign in order to consolidate his hold on the kingdom of Israel.

David began by telling Solomon to live a good life and to obey the commands of the LORD. Only if he followed the Law of Moses set out in the Books of Moses (in Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy) would God make him a successful ruler. And only if Solomon obeyed the Law of the LORD would God be faithful to his promise to David – that the ruler over the people of Israel would always be a member of David’s family (see 1 Kings 2:4).

While Solomon – like all the kings of Israel before and after – was incapable of remaining true to God’s commands (see, for example, 1 Kings 11:1-8) and the kingdom of Israel ultimately collapsed, the New Testament reminds us that Jesus Christ was also “from the family of David” (see Matthew 1:1 & Luke 2:4).

In his final wishes, David asked Solomon to reward the children of Bazillai who were kind to him when he was forced to flee Jerusalem, and also to carry out several punishments that he did not appear to have been able to perform himself. In particular, he warned Solomon about the unhealthy power taken upon himself by Joab who had acted as David’s commander but often disobeyed the king.

David died in c.971BC and was buried in David's City on Mount Zion in Jerusalem. A mausoleum believed by some to be on the site of David’s tomb can still be visited today at Mount Zion to the south of the Old City. This, however, is unlikely to be the actual site of David’s tomb as he was buried in the City of David on the Ophel ridge on the eastern side of the Tyropeoen Valley.

The photo (by Berthold Werner) shows Mount Zion from the Mount of Olives. 

You can read more about the incorrect identification of the location of Mount Zion by early Christian pilgrims in the 4th century AD @ https://thebiblejourney.org/biblejourney2/31-the-golden-age-of-israel-under-king-solomon/solomon-succeeds-his-father-david/


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