References: 2 Samuel 23:20-23; 1 Chronicles 11:22-25; 1 Kings 1:32-40; 1 Kings 2:24-46.
Heart of the Story: One of David’s most trusted men, Benaiah had a long, loyal, and illustrious life.
Back Story: Benaiah (son of Jehoiada) was from Kabzeel , on the border between Judah and Edom. Apparently, he was a Levite because his father is described as an Aaronite leader (Douglas & Tenney, 2011).
Story Line: Benaiah was described as a mighty man, loyal to David from before David became king over Israel. He killed Moab’s two mightiest warriors. He went down in a pit on a snowy day and killed a lion. He killed a huge Egyptian. Although the Egyptian had a spear in his hand, Benaiah began fighting him with a club. Benaiah snatched the spear from the seven foot Egyptian and killed the Egyptian with his own spear. David had such faith in Benaiah’s loyalty that he made him commander over the Kerethites and Pelethites, mercenaries who were David’s personal bodyguard.
When David was an old man and learned that his son Adonijah had himself declared king, David called Zadok the priest, Nathan the prophet, and Benaiah, the commander over his personal guards. He ordered that they place Solomon on his donkey, lead him to the Spring of Gihon, and anoint Solomon king. When Benaiah heard David’s order he said, “Amen! May the Lord, the God of my lord the king, say so. As the Lord has been with my lord the king, even so may he be with Solomon, and make his throne greater than the throne of my lord King David” (1 King 1:36-37). After King David died, Solomon became king.
Soon afterward Adonijah conspired (again) to be named king of Israel. King Solomon sent Benaiah to Adinojah with the order to kill Adonijah. When the news came to Joab, commander of David’s army, that Adinojah was dead, Joab knew he was in trouble. Joab supported Adonijah’s bid to be king. Plus Joab took the innocent lives of Abner (commander of the army of Israel) and Amasa (commander of the army of Judah). Joab fled to the tent of the Lord and stood beside the altar. King Solomon sent Benaiah to kill Joab. King Solomon put Benaiah over the army in place of Joab. Several years later, King Solomon ordered Benaiah to kill Shimei, who cursed King David.
Pondering Relationships: Clearly, Benaiah was loyal to David and implemented David’s commands. It was David’s order that Solomon succeed him. David made this clear within Benaiah’s hearing; consequently, Benaiah did all he could to establish and secure the kingdom of Israel for Solomon. Loyalty means unswerving in allegiance and loyalty defines the relationship of Benaiah to David and David’s will from the time he swore allegiance to David through the beginning of Solomon’s reign. The Bible does not record when Benaiah died; however, he was a good man for David to have at his side. Not only did Benaiah keep King David’s person safe, he assisted mightily in securing the kingdom for Solomon.
Reflection: Do you give to God the same loyalty that Benaiah gave to Kings David and Solomon?
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Copyright July 19, 2016; Carolyn A. Roth.