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And blessed be His glorious name for ever, and let the whole earth be filled with glory; Amen, and amen.
The prayers of David the son of Jesse are ended. It appears, from the beginning of this Psalm, that David's intention was to pray for blessings on his son Solomon ; but before he could proceed to express all that he wished concerning the glory of Solomon's reign, he was inspired by the Holy Spirit to describe, in a prophetic manner, that of the Messiah's kingdom. This prophecy was calculated to furnish instruction to Solomon, by setting before him such rules as might serve for a guide to him in the character of vicegerent of that great Being, whose temporal kingdom he was appointed to govern: and it will appear, from the course of this history, that Solomon was happy in proportion to his observation of these rules, and wretched and inglorious when he deviated from them.
1 Kings, Chap. ii. 1 Chron. Chap. xxix. Now the days of David drew nigh, that he should die; and he charged Solomon his son, saying, I go the way of all the earth: be, thou strong therefore, and shew thyself a man.
And keep the charge of the LORD thy God, to walk in his way, to keep his statutes, and his commandments, and his judgments, and his testimonies, as it is written in the law of Moses, that thou mayest prosper in all that thou doest, and whithersoever thou turnest thyself: that the Lord may continue his word which he spake
concerning me, saying, If thy children take heed to their way,
and walk before me in truth, with all their heart and with all their soul, there shall not fail thee (said he) a man on the throne of Israel.
Moreover, thou knowest also what Joab the son of Zeruiah did to me, and what he did to the two captains of the host of Israel, unto Abner the son of Ner and unto Amasa the son of Jether, whom he slew, and shed the blood of war in peace, and put the blood of war upon his girdle that was about his loins, and in his shoes that were on his feet.
Do therefore according to thy wisdom, and let not his hoar head go down to the grave
in But shew kindness unto the sons of Barzillai the Gileadite, and let them be of those that eat at thy table : for so they came to me when I fled because of Absalom thy brother.
And behold, thou hast with thee Shimei the son of Gera, a Benjamite of Bahurim, which cursed me with a grievous curse, in the day when I went to Mahanaim: but he came down to meet me at Jordan, and I sware to him by the LORD, saying, I will not put thee to death with the sword.
Now therefore hold him not guiltless : for thou art a wise man, and knowest what thou oughtest to do unto
but his hoar head bring thou down to the grave with blood.
So David slept with his fathers, and was buried in the city of David.
And the time that he reigned over Israel was forty years; seven years reigned he in Hebron, and thirty and three years reigned he in Jerusalem.
And he died in a good old age, full of days, riches, and honour. And Solomon his son reigned in his stead,
ANNOTATIONS AND REFLECTIONS. As David was sensible that his last hours drew nigh, he called for his son Solomon, that he might with his dying lips enforce the admonitions he had formerly given him concerning obedience to the LORD; and likewise instruct him in some particulars, necessary to secure his peaceable possession of the throne.
Joab was a man of a very turbulent spirit, who had on several occasions resisted David's authority, and he had lately joined in a conspiracy against Solomon; it was therefore likely, that he would give the young king much trouble, and Solomon perhaps might be induced to spare him on account of his venerable years, and the high rank he had long borne in the army; David therefore exhorted Solomon to act towards him as wisdom should direct ; and reminded his son of the former crimes Joab had committed, how frequently he had opposed the lawful commands of his sovereign, and how tream cherously he had murdered Abner and Amasa.
From David's own words, when Joab murdered Ab. ner, we may conclude, that he certainly would have called him to his trial immediately: but he feared that by attempting it, he might occasion more bloodshed amongst his subjects, as Joab had great influence in the army; neither was the king in a situation to admit of his taking vengeance for the death of Amasa, as he was at that time but just returned to the royal city, and the kingdom in the utmost confusion.
David's general behaviour to his enemies gives us reason to suppose, that for every private injury he would readily have forgiven Joab; but as King of Israel, he could not pardon him without being guilty of a breach of God's commands himself; for the law was very strong against wilful murder, and admitted of no atonement
for it by sacrifices and prayers. Supposing that the
relating to Shimei is not properly translated, and that it should have been rendered, “ Now therefore hold him not guiltless, (for thou art a wise man, and knowest what thou oughtest to do unto him) NOR his hoar head bring thou down to the grave with blood.” If this is the right interpretation of the passage, (which Solomon's treatment of Shimei confirms,) then we may understand, that David only intended to caution his son to keep a strict eye upon Shimei, as his loyalty was by no means to be depended on; neither was it consistent with wisdom and policy to permit such a seditious person to enjoy the same privileges in every respect, as his faithful subjects did.
When David had given all requisite instructions to Solomon, his business on earth was finished; and as the faculties of his mind were unimpaired, there is no doubt but he passed his last moments in pious meditations.
David * had set the LORD always before him, therefore (even in this tremendous hour) his heart was glad and his glory (or immortal Spirit) rejoiced; for he firmly trusted that it would not be left for ever in the place of the dead, but that even his body should rise agair ; and that God would redeem his Soul from the power of the grave, and not suffer him, who had been sanctified by the inspiration of the holy Spirit, to see corruption; but would shew him the path of life which leadeth to the presence of God, where is fulness of joy, and at whose right hand there are pleasures for evermore!
* See Psalm xvi. 8, &c. and xlix. 15.