Day 144 – David’s Last Words

Thoughts and Reflection

Today in our readings we learn about David’s final words to Solomon. He transfers his hard-earned wisdom to his son. He tells him that people will seek to get close to him and will try to take advantage of him. Children pay more attention to the example we set than the advice we offer, however. David also tells him to stay close to the Lord and heed his commands but his example to his son was that of a divided heart and distant father.

What vice would you give your child if it were your last?

About This Project

For the year 2022, I decided that my New Year’s Resolution was to read the whole Bible following the Bible in the Year plan presented by Fr. Mike Schmitz. It is a big and bold undertaking. You can follow along by subscribing. Feel free to look at previous day’s post and comment. It’s something we can all learn from together!

Daily Readings

1 Kings 2

1 As David’s life drew to its close he laid this charge on his son Solomon,

2 ‘I am going the way of all the earth. Be strong and show yourself a man.

3 Observe the injunctions of Yahweh your God, following his ways and keeping his laws, his commandments, his ordinances and his decrees, as stands written in the Law of Moses, so that you may be successful in everything you do and undertake,

4 and that Yahweh may fulfil the promise which he made me, “If your sons are careful how they behave, and walk loyally before me with all their heart and soul, you will never want for a man on the throne of Israel.”

5 ‘You know too what Joab son of Zeruiah did to me, and what he did to the two commanders of the army of Israel, Abner son of Ner and Amasa son of Jether; how he murdered them, shedding the blood of war in time of peace and staining the belt round my waist and the sandals on my feet with the blood of war. 

6 You will be wise not to let his grey head go down to Sheol in peace.

7 As regards the sons of Barzillai of Gilead, treat them with faithful love, let them be among those who eat at your table, for they were as kind to me when I was fleeing from your brother Absalom.

8 You also have with you Shimei son of Gera, the Benjaminite from Bahurim. He called down a terrible curse on me the day I left for Mahanaim, but he came down to meet me at the Jordan and I swore to him by Yahweh that I would not put him to death.

9 But you, you must not let him go unpunished; you are a wise man and will know how to deal with him, to bring his grey head down to Sheol in blood.’

10 So David fell asleep with his ancestors and was buried in the City of David.

11 David was king of Israel for a period of forty years: he reigned at Hebron for seven years, and in Jerusalem for thirty-three.

12 Solomon then sat on the throne of David, and his sovereignty was securely established.

13 Adonijah son of Haggith went to Bathsheba mother of Solomon. ‘Do you bring peace?’ she asked. He replied, ‘Yes, peace.’

14 Then he said, ‘I have something to say to you.’ ‘Say on,’ she replied.

15 ‘You know’, he said, ‘that the kingdom should have come to me, and that all Israel expected me to be king; but the crown eluded me and fell to my brother, since it came to him from Yahweh.

16 Now I have one request to make you; do not refuse me.’ ‘Go on,’ she said.

17 He went on, ‘Please ask King Solomon — for he will not refuse you — to give me Abishag of Shunem in marriage.’

18 ‘Very well,’ Bathsheba replied, ‘I shall speak to the king about you.’

19 So Bathsheba went to King Solomon to speak to him about Adonijah; the king got up to meet her and bowed before her; he then sat down on his throne; a seat was brought for the king’s mother, and she sat down on his right.

20 She said, ‘I have one small request to make you; do not refuse me.’ ‘Mother,’ the king replied, ‘make your request, for I shall not refuse you.’

21 ‘Let Abishag of Shunem’, she said, ‘be given in marriage to your brother Adonijah.’

22 King Solomon replied to his mother, ‘And why do you request Abishag of Shunem for Adonijah? You might as well request the kingdom for him, since he is my elder brother and Abiathar the priest and Joab son of Zeruiah are on his side.’

23 And King Solomon swore by Yahweh: ‘May God bring unnameable ills on me, and worse ills, too,’ he said, ‘if Adonijah does not pay for these words of his with his life!

24 As Yahweh lives who has set me securely on the throne of my father David, and who, as he promised, has given him a dynasty, Adonijah shall be put to death this very day.’

25 And King Solomon commissioned Benaiah son of Jehoiada to strike him down, and that was how he died.

26 As for Abiathar the priest, the king said to him, ‘Go to Anathoth to your estate. You deserve to die, but I am not going to put you to death now, since you carried the ark of Yahweh in the presence of my father David and shared all my father’s hardships.’

27 Solomon deprived Abiathar of the priesthood of Yahweh, thus fulfilling the prophecy which Yahweh had uttered against the House of Eli at Shiloh.

28 When the news reached Joab — for Joab had lent his support to Adonijah, though he had not supported Absalom — he fled to the Tent of Yahweh and clung to the horns of the altar.

29 King Solomon was told, ‘Joab has fled to the Tent of Yahweh; he is there beside the altar.’ On this, Solomon sent word to Joab, ‘What reason did you have for fleeing to the altar?’ Joab replied, ‘I was afraid of you and fled to Yahweh.’ Solomon then sent Benaiah son of Jehoiada. ‘Go’, he said, ‘and strike him down.’ 

30 Accordingly Benaiah went to the Tent of Yahweh. ‘By order of the king,’ he said, ‘come out!’ ‘No,’ he said, ‘I will die here.’ So Benaiah brought word back to the king, ‘This is what Joab said, and the answer he gave me.’

31 ‘Do as he says,’ the king replied. ‘Strike him down and bury him, and so rid me and my family today of the innocent blood which Joab has shed.

32 Yahweh will bring his blood down on his own head, because he struck down two more upright and better men than he, and, without my father David’s knowledge, put to the sword Abner son of Ner, commander of the army of Israel, and Amasa son of Jether, commander of the army of Judah.

33 May their blood come down on the head of Joab and his descendants for ever, but may David, his descendants, his dynasty, his throne, have peace for ever from Yahweh.’

34 Whereupon Benaiah son of Jehoiada went out, struck Joab down and put him to death; he was buried at his home in the desert.

35 In his place as head of the army the king appointed Benaiah son of Jehoiada and, in place of Abiathar, the priest Zadok.

36 The king had Shimei summoned to him. ‘Build yourself a house in Jerusalem,’ he told him. ‘You are to live there; do not leave it to go anywhere at all.

37 The day you go out and cross the ravine of the Kidron, be sure you will certainly die. Your blood will be on your own head.’

38 ‘That is a fair demand,’ Shimei replied to the king, ‘your servant will do as my lord the king orders.’ And for a long time Shimei lived in Jerusalem.

39 But when three years had gone by, it happened that two of Shimei’s slaves ran away to Achish son of Maacah, king of Gath; Shimei was told, ‘Your slaves are in Gath.’

40 On this, Shimei got up and saddled his donkey and went to Akish at Gath to find his slaves. He went off and brought his slaves back from Gath.

41 Solomon was informed that Shimei had left Jerusalem for Gath and come back again.

42 The king had Shimei summoned to him. ‘Did I not make you swear by Yahweh,’ he said, ‘and did I not warn you, “The day you leave to go anywhere at all, be sure you will certainly die”? To which you replied, “That is a fair demand.”

43 Why did you not keep the oath to Yahweh and the order which I imposed on you?’

44 The king then said to Shimei, ‘You know well all the evil you did to my father David. Yahweh is about to bring your wickedness down on your own head.

45 But may King Solomon be blessed, and may the throne of David be kept secure before Yahweh for ever!’

46 The king gave orders to Benaiah son of Jehoiada; he went out and struck Shimei down; and that was how he died. And now the kingdom was securely in Solomon’s hands.

2 Chronicles 2

1 And Solomon allocated seventy thousand men to be porters and eighty thousand to quarry in the hills and three thousand six hundred overseers for them.

2 And Solomon sent this message to Huram king of Tyre, ‘Do as you did for my father David when you sent him cedars for him to build himself a palace to live in.

3 You see, I am building a house for the name of Yahweh my God, to acknowledge his holiness so that perfumed incense may be burnt before him, the loaves of permanent offering be perpetually laid out and the burnt offerings be made morning and evening, on the Sabbaths, New Moons and solemn festivals of Yahweh our God, as prescribed to Israel for ever;

4 and the house which I am building must be large, for our God is greater than all gods;

5 even so, who would not find it an impossible task to build a house for him, when the heavens and the heavens of the heavens cannot contain him? And who am I to build a house for him except to burn incense before him?

6 So now send me a man skilled at working in gold, silver, bronze, iron, scarlet, crimson and violet materials, and who knows the art of engraving too; he is to work with my skilled men in Judah and Jerusalem, whom my father David has provided.

7 Also send me cedar, juniper and algum trunks from the Lebanon, for I know that your servants know the art of felling timber in the Lebanon. And, my servants will work with your servants

8 in preparing a vast quantity of timber for me, since the house which I intend to build is to be of a size to marvel at.

9 Furthermore, for the upkeep of the woodcutters whom you employ to cut the timber, I shall provide twenty thousand kor of wheat, twenty thousand kor of barley, twenty thousand bat of wine and twenty thousand bat of oil.’

10 In a letter sent to King Solomon, Huram king of Tyre replied, ‘Because Yahweh loves his people he has made you their king!’

11 Huram went on to say, ‘Praised be Yahweh, God of Israel, who made heaven and earth and has given King David a wise son, endowed with discretion and discernment, to build a house for Yahweh and a palace in which to reign!-

12 I am now sending you a skilled and intelligent man, Huram-Abi

13 the son of a Danite woman by a Tyrian father. He knows the arts of working in gold, silver, bronze, iron, stone, wood, scarlet, violet, fine linen and crimson materials, and is competent to carry out any kind of engraving and to execute any design which may be entrusted to him, in collaboration with your skilled men and those of my lord David, your father.

14 ‘So now let my lord send his servants the wheat, barley, oil and wine as promised

15 and we will fell all the wood you need from Lebanon, and bring it you in rafts by sea to Jaffa; and it will be your responsibility to transport it to Jerusalem.’

16 Solomon then took a census of all the aliens resident in Israel similar to the census which his father David had taken; it was found that there were a hundred and fifty-three thousand six hundred.

17 He impressed seventy thousand of them as porters, eighty thousand as quarrymen in the hills and three thousand six hundred as overseers to make sure the people worked.

2 Chronicles 3

1 Solomon then began building the house of Yahweh in Jerusalem on Mount Moriah where David his father had had a vision — on the site which David had prepared — on the threshing-floor of Ornan the Jebusite.

2 He began building it on the second day of the second month of the fourth year of his reign.

3 These are the dimensions which Solomon fixed for the structure of the house of God: its length in cubits, according to the old standard, was sixty cubits and its width twenty cubits;

4 and the portico in front of the house was the full width of the house, that is, twenty cubits, and its height was a hundred and twenty cubits; on the inside he overlaid it with pure gold.

5 The Great Hall he lined with juniper, which he overlaid with fine gold and ornamented with palm trees and festoons,

6 and he decorated the hall beautifully with precious stones and with gold from Parvaim,

7 overlaying the hall, its beams and its thresholds, its walls and its doors, with gold and engraving the walls with great winged creatures.

8 He also made the Holy of Holies, the length of which corresponded to the width of the Great Hall, being twenty cubits, with a width of twenty cubits, and this he overlaid with fine gold weighing six hundred talents,

9 while the weight of the gold nails was fifty shekels. He also overlaid the upper rooms with gold.

10 In the Holy of Holies he modelled two winged creatures of wrought metal work and overlaid them with gold.

11 The total span of their wings was twenty cubits; one wing, being five cubits long, touched the wall of the house and the other wing, being five cubits long, touched the wing of the other winged creature;

12 while one wing of the other, five cubits long, touched the other wall of the house and the other wing, five cubits long, touched the wing of the other winged creature.

13 The spread of these creatures’ wings was twenty cubits. They stood in an upright position, with their faces towards the Hall.

14 He also made the Curtain of violet, scarlet, crimson and fine linen, working a design of winged creatures on it.

15 In front of the Hall he made two pillars thirty-five cubits high, and on the top of each a capital measuring five cubits.

16 He made festoons, in the Debir, to go at the tops of the pillars, and made a hundred pomegranates to go on the festoons.

17 He erected the pillars in front of the Temple, one on the right, the other on the left; the one on the right he called Jachin and the one on the left, Boaz.

Psalm 62

1 [For the choirmaster . . . Jeduthun Psalm Of David] In God alone there is rest for my soul, from him comes my safety;

2 he alone is my rock, my safety, my stronghold so that I stand unshaken.

3 How much longer will you set on a victim, all together, intent on murder, like a rampart already leaning over, a wall already damaged?

4 Trickery is their only plan, deception their only pleasure, with lies on their lips they pronounce a blessing, with a curse in their hearts.

5 Rest in God alone, my soul! He is the source of my hope.

6 He alone is my rock, my safety, my stronghold, so that I stand unwavering.

7 In God is my safety and my glory, the rock of my strength. In God is my refuge;

8 trust in him, you people, at all times. Pour out your hearts to him, God is a refuge for us.

9 Ordinary people are a mere puff of wind, important people a delusion; set both on the scales together, and they are lighter than a puff of wind.

10 Put no trust in extortion, no empty hopes in robbery; however much wealth may multiply, do not set your heart on it.

11 Once God has spoken, twice have I heard this: Strength belongs to God,

12 to you, Lord, faithful love; and you repay everyone as their deeds deserve.

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