1 Kings 2:26 MEANING

1 Kings 2:26
(26) Anathoth is noted, in Joshua 21:18; 1 Chronicles 6:60, as a city of the priests in the territory of Benjamin, but a few miles from Jerusalem, and is best known to us as the birthplace of Jeremiah (Jeremiah 1:1; Jeremiah 32:7).

It is notable that it is not Abiathar's priestly character which protects him, but the remembrance of his long friendship to David in adversity, and probably of that special promise which David made to him, perhaps not without remorse, when he found that his deceit to Ahimelech had drawn down Sau?s bloody vengeance upon him and his family (1 Samuel 22:20-23).

Verse 26. - And unto Abiathar the priest [see note on 1 Kings 1:8. The historian now relates the end of Adonijah's confederates] said the king, get thee to Anathoth [The Heb. is extremely curt and authoritative, corresponding well with the anger and determination of the speaker. Anathoth, the home of Abiathar, was also the residence of another high priest, Hilkiah (Jeremiah 1:1). It was in Benjamin, a priests' city, and had suburbs (Jeremiah 21:13, 17, 18). It has been identified by Robinson with Anita, a village 1.25 hrs. N.N.E, of Jerus. The name ( = Answers) according to Gesenius, means, "answers to prayer," but according to the Talmud, "echoes"], unto [עַל is here almost the equivalent of אֶל. Cf. 2 Samuel 15:4, 20, Hebrews etc.] thine own fields [the patrimony of his family] for thou art worthy of death; [Heb. a man of death; LXX. ἀνὴρ θανάτου, i.e., ἔνοχος θανάτου, Matthew 26:66.] but I will not at this time [Heb. in this day] put thee to death [i.e., the sentence of death was deferred during good behaviour. It is hardly correct to say that Abiathar was "spared for a time, but only for a time" (Stanley). More correctly Corn. a Lapide: "Misit eum in patriam ut ibi vitam, quam ei condonabat, quiete tradu-ceret." For aught we know, he died in peace because thou barest the ark of the Lord God before David my father [Thenius, quite needlessly would read for "ark," .... "ephod" (1 Samuel 23:6). Zadok and Abiathar had borne the ark (not of course in person, but per altos, viz., the Levites Uriel, Joel, etc.: 1 Chronicles 15:11), when David brought it up to Jerusalem, and also during his flight from Absalom (2 Samuel 15:24-29). Abiathar had thus been associated both with David's joys and sorrows] and because thou hast been afflicted in all wherein my father was afflicted. [See 1 Samuel 22:17-23; 2 Samuel 15:24, etc.]

2:26-34 Solomon's words to Abiathar, and his silence, imply that some recent conspiracies had been entered into. Those that show kindness to God's people shall have it remembered to their advantage. For this reason Solomon spares Abiathar's life, but dismisses him from his offices. In case of such sins as the blood of beasts would atone for, the altar was a refuge, but not in Joab's case. Solomon looks upward to God as the Author of peace, and forward to eternity as the perfection of it. The Lord of peace himself gives us that peace which is everlasting.And unto Abiathar the priest said the king,.... Who was either at court, or he sent for him, and thus addressed him:

get thee to Anathoth; a city of the tribe of Benjamin, given to the priests, Joshua 21:18; of which place Abiathar might be originally, and whither he is bid to return:

unto thine own fields; which belonged to him there, either by inheritance or purchase; and these he was to mind, and not perform the functions of his office, however as high priest, and at Jerusalem, and the tabernacle there, and still less appear at court, or meddle with state affairs, only to attend to his private domestic concerns:

for thou art worthy of death; in joining with Adonijah in the lifetime of David, and setting him up as a king without his knowledge, and in opposition to Solomon, contrary to the will of God, and promise of David, of which he, being high priest, cannot be thought to be ignorant, and for his late confederacy with Adonijah, of which Solomon had knowledge:

but I will not at this time put thee to death; he does not give him a full pardon, only a respite; suggesting, that should he be guilty of any overt act, he would be put to death another time, though not now:

because thou barest the ark of the Lord God before David my father; when he fled from Absalom, 2 Samuel 15:24;

and because thou hast been afflicted in all wherein my father was afflicted; shared with him in all his afflictions under the persecutions of Saul, from the time he slew the priests at Nob, and at the rebellion of Absalom; in each of which he accompanied him, and suffered and sympathized with him.

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