Through the Bible – Day 118

Bible text(s)

Solomon takes control of the kingdom

Adonijah is killed

13One day, Adonijah went to see Bathsheba, Solomon's mother, and she asked, “Is this a friendly visit?”

“Yes. 14I just want to talk with you.”

“All right,” she told him, “go ahead.”

15“You know that I was king for a little while,” Adonijah replied. “And everyone in Israel accepted me as their ruler. But the LORD wanted my brother to be king, so now things have changed. 16Would you do me a favour?”

“What do you want?” Bathsheba asked.

17“Please ask Solomon to let me marry Abishag. He won't say no to you.”

18“All right,” she said. “I'll ask him.”

19When Bathsheba went to see Solomon, he stood up to meet her, then bowed low. He sat back down and had another throne brought in, so his mother could sit at his right side. 20Bathsheba sat down and then asked, “Would you do me a small favour?”

Solomon replied, “Mother, just tell me what you want, and I will do it.”

21“Allow your brother Adonijah to marry Abishag,” she answered.

22Solomon said:

What? Let my elder brother marry Abishag? You may as well ask me to let him rule the kingdom! And why don't you ask such favours for Abiathar and Joab?

23I swear in the name of the LORD that Adonijah will die because he asked for this! If he doesn't, I pray that God will severely punish me. 24The LORD made me king in my father's place and promised that the kings of Israel would come from my family. Yes, I swear by the living LORD that Adonijah will die today.

25“Benaiah,” Solomon shouted, “go and kill Adonijah.” So Adonijah died.

Abiathar is sent back home

26Solomon sent for Abiathar the priest and said:

Abiathar, go back home to Anathoth! You ought to be killed too, but I won't do it now. When my father David was king, you were in charge of the sacred chest, and you went through a lot of hard times with my father. 27But I won't let you be a priest of the LORD any more.

And so the promise that the LORD had made at Shiloh about the family of Eli came true.

Joab is killed

28Joab had not helped Absalom try to become king, but he had helped Adonijah. So when Joab learnt that Adonijah had been killed, he ran to the sacred tent and grabbed hold of the corners of the altar for protection. 29When Solomon heard about this, he sent someone to ask Joab, “Why did you run to the altar?”

Joab sent back his answer, “I was afraid of you, and I ran to the LORD for protection.”

Then Solomon shouted, “Benaiah, go and kill Joab!”

30Benaiah went to the sacred tent and yelled, “Joab, the king orders you to come out!”

“No!” Joab answered. “Kill me right here.”

Benaiah went back and told Solomon what Joab had said.

31-32Solomon replied:

Do what Joab said. Kill him and bury him! Then my family and I won't be responsible for what he did to Abner the commander of Israel's army and to Amasa the commander of Judah's army. He killed those innocent men without my father knowing about it. Both of them were better men than Joab. Now the LORD will make him pay for those murders. 33Joab's family will always suffer because of what he did, but the LORD will always bless David's family and his kingdom with peace.

34Benaiah went back and killed Joab. His body was taken away and buried near his home in the desert.

35Solomon put Benaiah in Joab's place as army commander, and he put Zadok in Abiathar's place as priest.

Shimei is killed

36Solomon sent for Shimei and said, “Build a house here in Jerusalem and live in it. But whatever you do, don't leave the city! 37If you ever cross Kidron Valley and leave Jerusalem, you will be killed. And it will be your own fault.”

38“That's fair, Your Majesty,” Shimei answered. “I'll do that.” So Shimei lived in Jerusalem from then on.

39About three years later, two of Shimei's servants ran off to King Achish in Gath. When Shimei found out where they were, 40he saddled his donkey and went after them. He found them and brought them back to Jerusalem.

41Someone told Solomon that Shimei had gone to Gath and was back. 42Solomon sent for him and said:

Shimei, you promised in the name of the LORD that you would never leave Jerusalem. I warned you that you would die if you did. You agreed that this was fair, didn't you? 43You have disobeyed me and have broken the promise you made to the LORD.

44I know you remember all the cruel things you did to my father David. Now the LORD is going to punish you for what you did. 45But the LORD will bless me and make my father's kingdom strong for ever.

46“Benaiah,” Solomon shouted, “kill Shimei.” So Shimei died.

Solomon was now in complete control of his kingdom.

The LORD makes Solomon wise

1Solomon signed a treaty with the king of Egypt and married his daughter. She lived in the older part of Jerusalem until the palace, the LORD's temple, and the wall around Jerusalem were completed.

2At that time, there was no temple for worshipping the LORD, and everyone offered sacrifices at the local shrines. 3Solomon loved the LORD and followed his father David's instructions, but Solomon also offered sacrifices and burnt incense at the shrines.

4The most important shrine was in Gibeon, and Solomon had offered more than a thousand sacrifices on that altar.

5One night while Solomon was in Gibeon, the LORD God appeared to him in a dream and said, “Solomon, ask for anything you want, and I will give it to you.”

6Solomon answered:

My father David, your servant, was honest and did what you commanded. You were always loyal to him, and you gave him a son who is now king. 7LORD God, I'm your servant, and you've made me king in my father's place. But I'm very young and know so little about being a leader. 8And now I must rule your chosen people, even though there are too many of them to count.

9Please make me wise and teach me the difference between right and wrong. Then I will know how to rule your people. If you don't, there is no way I could rule this great nation of yours.

10-11God said:

Solomon, I'm pleased that you asked for this. You could have asked to live a long time or to be rich. Or you could have asked for your enemies to be destroyed. Instead, you asked for wisdom to make right decisions. 12So I'll make you wiser than anyone who has ever lived or ever will live.

13I'll also give you what you didn't ask for. You'll be rich and respected as long as you live, and you'll be greater than any other king. 14If you obey me and follow my commands, as your father David did, I'll let you live a long time.

15Solomon woke up and realized that God had spoken to him in the dream. He went back to Jerusalem and stood in front of the sacred chest, where he offered sacrifices to please the Lord and sacrifices to ask his blessing. Then Solomon gave a feast for his officials.

Solomon makes a difficult decision

16One day two women came to King Solomon, 17and one of them said:

Your Majesty, this woman and I live in the same house. Not long ago my baby was born at home, 18and three days later her baby was born. Nobody else was there with us.

19One night while we were all asleep, she rolled over on her baby, and he died. 20Then while I was still asleep, she got up and took my son out of my bed. She put him in her bed, then she put her dead baby next to me.

21In the morning when I got up to feed my son, I saw that he was dead. But when I looked at him in the light, I knew he wasn't my son.

22“No!” the other woman shouted. “He was your son. My baby is alive!”

“The dead baby is yours,” the first woman yelled. “Mine is alive!”

They argued back and forth in front of Solomon, 23until finally he said, “Both of you say this live baby is yours. 24Someone bring me a sword.”

A sword was brought, and Solomon ordered, 25“Cut the baby in half! That way each of you can have part of him.”

26“Please don't kill my son,” the baby's mother screamed. “Your Majesty, I love him very much, but give him to her. Just don't kill him.”

The other woman shouted, “Go ahead and cut him in half. Then neither of us will have the baby.”

27Solomon said, “Don't kill the baby.” Then he pointed to the first woman, “She is his real mother. Give the baby to her.”

28Everyone in Israel was amazed when they heard how Solomon had made his decision. They realized that God had given him wisdom to judge fairly.

1 Kings 2:13-3:28CEVOpen in Bible reader

1Pilate gave orders for Jesus to be beaten with a whip. 2The soldiers made a crown out of thorn branches and put it on Jesus. Then they put a purple robe on him. 3They came up to him and said, “Hey, you king of the Jews!” They also hit him with their fists.

4Once again Pilate went out. This time he said, “I will have Jesus brought out to you again. Then you can see for yourselves that I have not found him guilty.”

5Jesus came out, wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe. Pilate said, “Here is the man!”

6When the chief priests and the temple police saw him, they yelled, “Nail him to a cross! Nail him to a cross!”

Pilate told them, “You take him and nail him to a cross! I don't find him guilty of anything.”

7The crowd replied, “He claimed to be the Son of God! Our Jewish Law says that he must be put to death.”

8When Pilate heard this, he was terrified. 9He went back inside and asked Jesus, “Where are you from?” But Jesus did not answer.

10“Why won't you answer my question?” Pilate asked. “Don't you know that I have the power to let you go free or to nail you to a cross?”

11Jesus replied, “If God had not given you the power, you couldn't do anything at all to me. But the one who handed me over to you did something even worse.”

12Then Pilate wanted to set Jesus free. But the crowd again yelled, “If you set this man free, you are no friend of the Emperor! Anyone who claims to be a king is an enemy of the Emperor.”

13When Pilate heard this, he brought Jesus out. Then he sat down on the judge's bench at the place known as “The Stone Pavement”. In Aramaic this pavement is called “Gabbatha”. 14It was about midday on the day before Passover, and Pilate said to the crowd, “Look at your king!”

15“Kill him! Kill him!” they yelled. “Nail him to a cross!”

“So you want me to nail your king to a cross?” Pilate asked.

The chief priests replied, “The Emperor is our king!” 16Then Pilate handed Jesus over to be nailed to a cross.

Jesus is nailed to a cross

Jesus was taken away, 17and he carried his cross to a place known as “The Skull”. In Aramaic this place is called “Golgotha”. 18There Jesus was nailed to the cross, and on each side of him a man was also nailed to a cross.

19Pilate ordered the charge against Jesus to be written on a board and put above the cross. It read, “Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews.” 20The words were written in Hebrew, Latin, and Greek.

The place where Jesus was taken wasn't far from the city, and many of the Jewish people read the charge against him. 21So the chief priests went to Pilate and said, “Why did you write that he is King of the Jews? You should have written, ‘He claimed to be King of the Jews.’ ”

22But Pilate told them, “What is written will not be changed!”

23After the soldiers had nailed Jesus to the cross, they divided up his clothes into four parts, one for each of them. But his outer garment was made from a single piece of cloth, and it did not have any seams. 24The soldiers said to each other, “Let's not rip it apart. We will gamble to see who gets it.” This happened so that the Scriptures would come true, which say,

“They divided up my clothes

and gambled

for my garments.”

The soldiers then did what they had decided.

25Jesus' mother stood beside his cross with her sister and Mary the wife of Clopas. Mary Magdalene was standing there too. 26When Jesus saw his mother and his favourite disciple with her, he said to his mother, “This man is now your son.” 27Then he said to the disciple, “She is now your mother.” From then on, that disciple took her into his own home.

John 19:1-27CEVOpen in Bible reader
Canadian Bible Societyv.4.21.9
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