“Don’t ask me my business, Kate”

1 Kings 2:13–46

This passage today wraps up the first section of Kings. This opening asks the question How did Solomon come to power? Here we tie up all the loose ends associated with David.

There are consequences for opposing the rightful king. There are consequences for living a life of violence. Those who live by the sword die by the sword. That’s one of those smart things Jesus said.

The classic film The Godfather provides ample parallels for understanding relationships and situations in the Old Testament. This is one of those scenarios that echoes in the famous climax of that movie. The organized crime of New York City is ruled by five mafia families. Vito Corleone, the “godfather” of the title and patriarch of the Corleone family has died, and his son Michael has to establish his role as successor.

Michael_Godfather_Baptism scene

The movie ends with a montage scene showing how one-by-one, Michael arranges the violent death of everyone who wronged his father and might prove a threat to his new position as head of the family. This is the same thing Solomon is doing in this chapter with Benaiah as his hitman .

Here, four characters will meet their demise as a result of their actions to David.

Adonijah asks to marry Abishag, one of the king’s harem. While we might see this a proclamation of romantic love, it’s more likely another political move from the conniving older brother. He just won’t let up, so he’s a threat and has to go.

Abiathar the priest who supported Adonijah is exiled.

Joab the military commander who supported Adonijah and numerous times disobeyed the direct orders of King David is killed in the sanctuary of the tabernacle. This would have been an especially shameful way to go for a person of Joab’s stature and profession.

Shimei had at one point insulted King David, so Solomon puts him under house arrest. When Shimei violates the terms of his deal, he’s done.

So all the loose ends of David’s kingdom are tied up.

So the kingdom was established in the hands of Solomon.

And we can imagine a curtain coming down.

Question: Does all this mean that God is a vengeful God? Or that people are violent people?


About peterjwhite

I am a pastor to college students in Tulsa, OK.
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