And Benaiah came to the tabernacle of the LORD, and said unto him, Thus says the king, Come forth. And he said, Nay; but I will die here. And Benaiah brought the king word again, saying, Thus said Joab, and thus he answered me.
Read Chapter 2
George Leo Haydock
Die, if my life must not be spared. (Haydock)
He knew that the like precaution would not have been able to protect Adonias. It was not just that he, who had despised all that was sacred, should find an asylum at the altar itself.