1 Kings 2:12, Solomon’s Secret to Success

So Solomon sat on the throne of his father David, and his rule was firmly established. 

//Solomon is recognized in the Bible as the richest, wisest king ever, securing the blessing of God. But he hardly endeared himself to his people, with the excessive slavery and taxation required to build his empire. Did God’s blessing go to Solomon’s head, so that in time he became greedy?

Often, Solomon is portrayed as one who strayed in the latter part of his life, but one wonders how much the rest of his story is politically contrived. Certainly, his beginning exceeds his ending in wickedness.

According to the Bible, immediately after King David’s death, Solomon “firmly established” his place on the throne. How? By executing his enemies, Joab, Shemei, and the rightful heir to the throne: Solomon’s brother Adonijah.

So King Solomon gave orders to Benaiah son of Jehoiada, and he struck down Adonijah and he died.—verse 25

To the priest Abiathar, Solomon said he deserved death, but because of his allegiance to David he would be spared. He was simply stripped of his power. When Joab (who was also loyal to Adonijah) heard what happened to Abiathar, he fled to the house of God and took hold of the altar. But Solomon showed no mercy:

King Solomon was told that Joab had fled to the tent of the LORD and was beside the altar. Then Solomon ordered Benaiah son of Jehoiada, “Go, strike him down!”—verse 29

Shimei’s fate began as a mere house arrest, with the threat of death if he ever left Jerusalem. But Shimei’s slaves ran off and he chased after them outside the city and …

Then the king gave the order to Benaiah son of Jehoiada, and he went out and struck Shimei down and killed him. The kingdom was now firmly established in Solomon’s hands.—verse 46 

One wonders how Solomon’s story would read if this Benaiah fellow had written it.

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