v 46. Then, at the king’s command, Benaiah son of Jehoiada took Shimei outside and killed him.
So the kingdom was now firmly in Solomon’s grip.
You will probably be glad to reach the end of this violent chapter as yet others fall to Solomon’s ruthless efforts to secure his throne.
Shimei was a Benjamite of Bahurim, son of Gera, “a man of the family of the house of Saul” (2 Samuel 16:5-14, 19:16-23). He is mentioned as one of David‘s tormentors during his flight before Absalom, and as imploring and winning David’s forgiveness when the latter returned. David, however, in his dying charge to Solomon, bade him avenge the insult. We read that part of the story on Monday in verses 8 and 9 where David says to Solomon quite simply ‘You are a wise man, and you will know how to arrange a bloody death for him.’
Say no more – violence is written in almost every verse of this chapter!
This seems to be one of the sad parts of David’s legacy. But please don’t judge it by today’s standards. The stories may raise all kinds of moral questions in your mind, but the fact is that in the culture of 3000 years ago that was the way things were done to defend your hereditary rights.
We are going on next to a couple of readings in the New Testament, where there are different cultural norms and where the teaching of Jesus draws a line for us under this kind of behaviour.