Useful Bible Studies > 1 Kings Commentary > chapter 2

Benaiah obeys Solomon’s instructions

1 Kings 2:34-35

Benaiah, Solomon’s chief guard, belonged to a family of priests (1 Chronicles 27:5). Therefore, he had the right to enter a holy place.

He was acting by the king’s command, and Solomon, as king, was Israel’s chief judge. Therefore, Benaiah had the legal duty to carry out the punishment that the king had commanded.

Joab had entered a holy place to try to protect himself from the law and from the king. However, God’s law gave him, as a murderer, no protection in that place (Exodus 21:14). Solomon had made his judgment against Joab, so Benaiah killed him there.

Among Solomon’s instructions to Benaiah was that Benaiah should bury Joab (2:31). Benaiah understood that to mean that he should bury Joab with honour. Joab was an evil man and a murderer – but he still fought bravely for David and for Israel. For 40 years, he led Israel’s army. He won the battles that made Israel into a safe and peaceful nation. For those reasons, it was right to bury Joab in a proper grave – near his house, or in his family’s grave.

After Joab’s death, Israel needed a new chief army commander, and Solomon chose Benaiah for this job. It was a good choice: Benaiah was a brave soldier (2 Samuel 23:20-23) and a good man (1:36-37).

Zadok the chief priest also took over Abiathar’s responsibilities at this time.

Next part: Shimei promises to remain in Jerusalem (1 Kings 2:36-38)


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