Ver. 2. Flesh, to the tomb. Omnium idem exitus est, sed & idem domicilium. Petron.
---In life each follows his own course. C.
Ver. 3. Charge, what he orders.
--- Understand. Heb. "act prudently," (M.) or "with success," Gr. interp. (C.) and Chal. M.
--- The observance of God's law, both in private and in public, will ensure to thee the title of a wise prince.
Ver. 4. Truth and sincerity. C.
--- This promise was made, 2 K. vii. 16. M.
Ver. 5. Joab. These instructions given by David to his son, with relation to Joab and Semei, proceeded not from any rancour of heart, or private pique; but from a zeal for justice: that crimes so public and heinous might not pass unpunished. Ch.
--- David and Solomon esteemed themselves, in a manner, defiled, as long as these continued unpunished, v. 31. Joab had behaved to David with great insolence, after the death of Absalom. H.
--- He had lately sided with Adonias. M.
--- But what touched the good old king more particularly, were the treacherous murders of two great generals, who had put themselves under his protection, and were endeavouring to promote his welfare. Only the fear of greater commotions had hitherto prevented David from bringing his nephew to public execution, as the people expected. He deemed it requisite to remind his successor of this obligation, when his power should be sufficiently strong, that the impunity of such daring offenders might not destroy the commonwealth. H.
--- Peace. Pretending affection. Joab had treated Abner and Amasa as the worst of enemies, and their blood had stained his garments. M.
Ver. 6. To hell. This word hell doth not signify the place or state of damnation; but the place and state of the dead. Ch.
--- It would have been a great scandal if this murderer had died quietly in his old age. Joab had rendered great services to his uncle, for which he had been rewarded. He had been at the head of the armies 40 years. His great age rendered him now less formidable; particularly as the nation enjoyed peace.
Ver. 7. Table, or of the meat, which had been served upon it; as was the custom at the court of Persia. Dan. i. 5.
--- Brother. See 2 K. xix. 31. C.
Ver. 8. Curse. Saying, Go out, &c. 2 K. xvi. 5.
--- Camp. Heb. Machanayim. H.
--- Sword. He would revenge his private wrongs, but reserved the punishment of a notorious offender, till a time when passion would have no influence. Solomon was not bound by the personal oath of his father.
BahurimBahurim (2Sam 3:16, etc.), on the slope of Mt. Olivet, poss. Kh. ez-Zambi, or Kh. Buqei'dan. --- Bahurim, a fortress of Benjamin, about an hour's walk east of Bethania. Adric. xxviii.
Ver. 9. Man. Many have thought that Solomon was only 12 years old. Euseb. &c.
--- But the best chronologers suppose that he was about 20. God had blessed him with a happy disposition, which he adorned with various graces. C. iii. 12. Wisd. viii. 19.
Ver. 10. David. Thus died this perfect model of princes, and this great saint, whose only fault, of consequence, was occasioned by Bethsabee: (2 K. xi. 4.) and this served to display his repentance. S. Chrys. hom lxxvii.
--- He prefigured Jesus Christ in a wonderful manner; in his birth, at the same city; his election, in preference to his brethren; his persecutions, and subsequent glory. Jesus was, in like manner, betrayed by a false friend, and obliged to go out of Jerusalem, laden with his cross. But he acquired fresh splendour by his sufferings, and purchased a more faithful people. The tomb of David remained for many ages. Acts ii. 29. Josephus says that it contained vast riches: but this seems to be fabulous. S. Jerom often went to pray at this tomb. Ep. ad Marcel.
--- If it be now unknown, the Holy Ghost has left us a more illustrious monument to the honour of this great man, in the Psalms, and EcclI. xlvii. 2. &c. C.
--- We have now only an abridgment of his history. 1 Par. xxix. 29.
Ver. 11. Seven years. The odd six months are not mentioned. 2 K. ii. 11. H.
Ver. 12. Sat, exercising the same authority, as he had done in his father's life-time. C. i. 53. C. S. Aug. de C. xvii. 8. Salien, A.C. 1033.
--- The public assembly of Israel, convoked by David, had already sworn fidelity to him. 1 Par. xxviii. 1. H.
Ver. 15. Mine, according to the ordinary course of things. But I was willing to forego my claims, when I perceived that the Lord had made choice of my brother. C.
Ver. 17. Wife. Some think that Joab had instigated Adonias to make this petition, that his party might be strengthened. Theod. q. 7. But love might be his prompter. C.
--- Bethsabee consented to further his petition, (M.) without suspecting any bad consequences. H.
Ver. 19. To her. Only fools will despise their parents. Prov. xv. 20. Eccli. iii. 18. Tob. iv. 3. The Persians would allow no one to sit in his mother's presence, without her leave; and Alexander would treat Sysigambis with the like respect. Q. Curt. v.
--- Right hand. In the most honourable place, next to his own. Gen. xlviii. 13. The Turks and Persians give the preference to the left. Xenop. Cyrop. viii.
Ver. 20. Thy face, with confusion. He engages to grant her request, if it could be done with any propriety, (C.) as a son ought to do. W.
Ver. 22. The kingdom. It was a maxim in most of the oriental courts, that the things which had belonged to the king, should not be enjoyed by any but his successor. Grotius.
--- Hence Adonias might be suspected of ambitious projects, as his party was still formidable. C.
--- The marriage seems also to be unlawful. M. See C. i. 4.
--- Yet, if the aforesaid custom subsisted at that time; or, if the marriage had been evidently prohibited, both Adonias and Bethsabee must have acted in a very inconsistent manner, so that we must hesitate before we pronounce sentence. H.
--- Many condemn Solomon of precipitation and cruelty in his judgment; (Cajet.) while others approve of his conduct, (Theod. q. 7.) and think any delay might have proved dangerous. Ubi facto magis quam consulto opus. Tacit. C.
Ver. 24. House. This generally denotes children, and Roboam was born this year. Some have considered his birth as miraculous, supposing that Solomon was not above 12 years old, v. 9. S. Jer. Ep. ad Vital.
Ver. 25. Banaias. The chief officers became executioners, on such occasions. Dan. ii. 24. The Romans employed soldiers; which makes Tertullian (Coron. xi.) dissuade Christians from entering the service.
Ver. 26. Priest. Sadoc had been anointed in his stead, probably by Nathan, in the general assembly, while David was present: they anointed...Sadoc to be high priest, 1 Par. xxix. 22. Salien.
--- But not, Solomon orders Abiathar to retire to his estate, in punishment of his conspiracy. C.
--- He might have justly put him to death, if he had committed a crime worthy of it; as his dignity did not give him a right to disturb the peace of the state with impunity. H.
--- Solomon acted as a prophet. W.
--- God had long before denounced that the family of Eleazar should regain the dignity, which Heli had obtained by some means or other. 1 K. ii. 31. H.
--- Solomon only put the divine decree in execution. Pineda vi. 15.
--- Sadoc had perhaps also passed sentence, as the Levitical tribe had a great sway in the courts of judicature. M.
--- Abiathar was still honoured with his former title. C. iv. 4. But he was not permitted to officiate, (C.) nor to remain in the royal city, as he seemed now to be a dangerous man. H.
--- Anathoth was a sacerdotal town in Benjamin. M.
--- A portion of the suburbs had been assigned to Abiathar, unless he had obtained a field by inheritance, or by marrying an heiress. See Jeremias xxxii. 7. C.
AnathothAnathoth was a sacerdotal town in Benjamin. M. --- Anathoth, a village to the north of Jerusalem, to which many priests had retired, though it did not belong to them. C.
Ver. 28. Joab. The Latin MSS. except one, and almost all the ancient editions of Sixtus, &c. read Solomon. "And a messenger came to Solomon that Joab," &c.
--- Solomon. Heb. "Absalom." Sept. vary. The difference is of little consequence. C.
Ver. 30. Die, if my life must not be spared. H.
--- He knew that the like precaution would not have been able to protect Adonias. It was not just that he, who had despised all that was sacred, should find an asylum at the altar itself.
Ver. 34. Slew him, holding the altar; though some think that he was removed by force, like Athalia, 4 K. xi. 15. Both actions were contrary to the reverence due to so holy a place, and perhaps inexcusable; (C.) unless the law had ordered it otherwise. Ex. xxi. 14. H.
Ver. 35. Abiathar. See v. 26. Secular princes sometimes nominate, but they must obey, the pastor. W.
Ver. 37. Cedron, which led towards Bahurim. He was equally forbidden to go out by any other road; and was put to death for going to Geth.
--- Head. Thou canst blame only thyself. Solomon might have put this man to death before: but he chose to pay so much deference to the oath of his father, as not to bring him to execution without a fresh offence.
CedronCedron. Heb. nachal Kidron, may signify, "the shady torrent," or "vale," as it is styled by Josephus. It does not take its name from cedars. It is dry in summer, and when filled with water, in only three steps across. Doubdan xxvii. --- Cedron, to the east and south of Jerusalem, where Topheth and the sepulchres of the poor, and all unclean things, were placed. Here the pagans burnt their children in honour of Moloch. See 3 K. xv. 13. 2 Par. xxix. 16. and xxx. 14.
Brook of Cedron[Hebrew Náhál Qidhrôn, "Wâdi Qidron"; only once "fields of Qidron"; John 18:1, ho cheimarros ho Kedron; in R.V., Kidron]. The name designates in Holy Writ the ravine on the east of Jerusalem, between the Holy City and the Mount of Olives. The word Cedron is usually connected with the root Qadár, "to be dark", and taken to refer to the colour of the stream or ravine; but its exact origin and precise meaning are really unknown. The Valley of Cedron begins with a slight depression near the Tombs of the Judges, a mile and a quarter north-west of Jerusalem. It runs first south towards the Holy city, and then turns nearly east, passing to the north of the tombs of the Kings. Next, it bends to the right towards the south, deepening as it follows this general direction between Jerusalem and the Mount of Olives. Opposite St. Stephen's gate, it is fully 100 feet deep and about 400 feet broad; its bed is shaded by venerable olive-trees and crossed by an old bridge. Below the bridge, the valley presents the first traces of a torrent bed. It narrows gradually and sinks more rapidly leaving to the east the church of the tomb of the Blessed Virgin, and next, Gethsemani. A thousand feet from the old bridge, the valley is merely a deep gulley across which another bridge is thrown, and on the banks of which are, to the right, Mohammedan tombs, and to the left, the sepulchres of Josaphat, Absalom, St. James, and the Jewish cemetery. About a thousand feet farther, there is in a cave, on the right bank, the Fountain of the Virgin, and higher up, on the left, the village of Siloe. Somewhat farther down, the Tyropoeon valley falls from the right into the Cedron, which now expands down to the Valley of Hinnom. Here, the Cedron is about 200 yards wide, and has on its left the Mount of Offence. Shortly after the junction of the Valley of Hinom with the Cedron, there is Job's well, to the south of which Sir C. Warren found, in 1868-69, the shaft of a great rock-cut aqueduct. On leaving the Holy City, the Valley of the Cedron runs its winding and gradually precipitous course through the Wilderness of Judea to the north-western shore of the Dead Sea. The Cedron is perfectly dry during the summer and most of the winter. North of Jerusalem, it bears the name of Wâdi al-Jos (Valley of Nuts); between the city and the Mount of Olives, it is known as Wâdi Sitti Mariam (Valley of St. Mary), or again as the Valley of Josaphat (cf. Joel, iii, 2, 12); after leaving Jerusalem, it is called Wâdi en-Nâr (Valley of Fire), and also Wâdi er-Rahib (Valley of the Monks). Its whole length is some 20 miles in a straight line, and its descent nearly 4000 feet. Its bed east of Jerusalem is now about 40 feet higher than in ancient times. The Cedron is first mentioned in Holy Scripture in connection with David's flight from Absalom, during which he crossed it [2 Samuel 15:23]; and next, in connection with the prohibition to Semei against his ever crossing it [1 Kings 2:37]. It was at the torrent Cedron that King Asa burnt the filthy idol of his mother [1 Kings 15:13; 2 Chronicles 15:16]. It was into it that Ezechias and Josias cast all the impurities which had polluted the House of the Lord (cf. 2 Chronicles 29:16; 30:14; 2 Kings 23:4, 6, 12). The torrent Cedron is last mentioned in the O.T. in Jeremiah 31:40, apparently as part of the common cemetery of Jerusalem. In the New Testament it is spoken of only once, in connection with Christ's going forth over it to Gethsemani (John 18:1). In the present day it is the desired resting-place of both Jews and Mussulmans, and the supposed scene of Last Judgment.
Ver. 39. Servants. Two in number; (Heb. Sept.) perhaps originally from Geth; (M.) to the king of which place David had fled, 44 years before. Abul. q. 44.