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Our Young Folk's Josephus by  William Shepard
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THE DEATH OF DAVID

DAVID, who was now very old, began to make ready stones and timber and iron for the building of the temple. And he set many masons to shaping the stones, and carpenters to cut- [168] ting beams out of the cedar-trees, for he said that as his son Solomon was young and inexperienced, he would prepare for him the materials for building the temple.

He called Solomon to him, and told him that God had chosen him as his successor to the kingdom of Israel, and had foretold that he would build a temple for the ark. He bade Solomon also take notice of the preparations he had made for this purpose, and informed him that he had laid by in is treasury a great deal of gold and silver to pay the workmen and those who furnished the materials.

But another of David's sons, whose name was Adonijah, wished to be king in place of Solomon. And because his father was now weak and old, he determined not to wait for his death, but to displace him at once and rule in his stead. Therefore he made a great feast for his friends, and persuaded them to name him king. When David heard this, he said that on account of what Adonijah had done he would make Solomon king at once. And he ordered his servants to saddle his mule and to place Solomon upon it, and take him to a fountain named Gihon, where they were to anoint him king. Then the were to blow trumpets and cry aloud, "Long live King Solomon!" so that all the people might know he had been made king by his father.

This was done, and afterwards Solomon went to the royal palace and sat upon the throne. And the people came, and shouted and rejoiced with dancing and singing.

Adonijah and his guests were still sitting at their feast when they heard the sound of trumpets and rejoicing. And when they were wondering what it might mean, a messenger ran in and told them of the anointing of Solomon. There-upon all the guests dispersed and went to their own homes, leaving Adonijah alone. Adonijah was greatly troubled, and he prayed to God, confessing his sin. But when Solomon was told that Adonijah was sorry for what he had done and was afraid lest he should be killed, he said that if Adonijah [169] proved himself a good man no harm should be done to him, and he commanded him to go to his own house.

David called together all the chief men among the Israelites, and told them that he had chosen Solomon to rule over them, because the Lord had pointed him out as the proper person. He also told them about the temple which he had wished to build, how God had prevented him from doing so, because he was a man of war, whose hands had been stained with blood, and how Solomon had been appointed to carry out the work.

Then David, in the sight of them all, gave the descriptions and the plans of the building to Solomon. He asked the people to help Solomon in the work, for he was a young man who had had little experience; and he showed them that the work would be easy because of the great preparations he had made for it himself, and the large sums of money that he had saved up for the purpose.

When David had ceased speaking, many of the chief men came forward and said they would help Solomon, and give him quantities of gold and silver and brass, and other things that would be useful.

David ordered that solemn sacrifices should be offered up, and that a great festival should be celebrated. And hi himself ate and feasted with the multitude.

Shortly afterwards David died, at the age of seventy, having ruled for forty years. He was buried in Jerusalem with great magnificence.


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