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Shimei was from the tribe of Benjamin (the same tribe of which Saul was a member). His tribal kinship with Saul made him an opponent of David, who had replaced Saul as Israel's king. When David was fleeing from his son Absalom, Shimei openly mocked David, and said that David was being repaid for having usurped the throne. After Absalom had been defeated and killed, and David was back in Jerusalem as king, Shimei implored David's forgiveness, which David mercifully granted during his reign. However, when David was dying (1 Kings 2:9), he told his son Solomon (who was to succeed him as king) not to forget Shimei's previous actions, and to take revenge against him. After becoming king, Solomon told Shimei to remain in Jerusalem, and warned him that if he were to cross the Kidron Brook and leave the city, he would be executed. Shimei remained in Jersualem for three years. However, after two of Shimei's slaves escaped, Shimei left Jersualem in pursuit of them. When Shimei returned, Solomon charged him with having broken the conditions that he had agreed to when Solomon had previously spared his life. Solomon then ordered Shimei's immediate execution, which was carried out by Solomon's servant Benaiah. (Non-Scriptural Jewish sources claim that Shimei had actually been Solomon's instructor as a youth, and, during that period, he had sought to prevent Solomon from marrying foreign wives. Solomon's subsequent disobedience in that regard began Solomon's descent into sin.)
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