Welcome to BibleBum where we are exploring the entire Bible in one year to better learn how to follow God’s instructions and discover the purpose for our lives. The BibleBum blog uses The One Year Chronological Bible, the New Living Translation version. At the end of each day’s reading, Rob, a cultural history aficionado and seminary graduate, answers questions from Leigh An, the blogger host, about the daily scripture. To start from the beginning, click on “Index” and select Day 1.
1 Chronicles 29:23-25
2 Chronicles 1:1
1 Kings 2:13-46
1 Kings 3:1-4
2 Chronicles 1:2-6
1 Kings 3:5-15
2 Chronicles 1:7-13
Questions & Observations
Q. (Psalm 83): This may be our last psalm?
A. By my count, we did not get all of the Psalms (I think Psalm 72 is actually attributed to Solomon- maybe he tried his hand at his father’s hobby of poetry). There are 150 Psalms in all, and I think we covered a bit more than half of them.
Q. (1 Chronicles 29:23-25): I am sure Solomon did a great job as it states here. But, are we to apply how Chronicles made David seem like he could do no wrong to Solomon?
A. No. David is the central figure of Chronicles, and though it will be rosy with parts of his story (as Kings is), it will be happy to show some of his downside at the end of his life, and the effect that it has on the kingdom.
Q. (1 Kings 2:13-25): Why would Adonijah’s request to marry Abishag seal his fate?
A. If you remember from the last “chapter” we read (1 Kings 1), Abishag was the beautiful woman who basically provided body heat to the elderly David as he was dying. Though David never had sex with her (1:4), she would have been considered a part of his harem. Adonijah’s — who remember is Solomon’s older brother — plan is really sneaky: he’s trying to play both sides to get another shot at the throne for himself. Being married to part of the previous king’s harem would have been understood as a powerful sign of your right to the throne, basically that you had “inherited” the rights to these women. But since she was a virgin, the move appears more innocent, since she wasn’t technically his concubine. But make no mistake, he is once again trying to plot against Solomon, and he even uses Solomon’s MOTHER to do it! No wonder Solomon was enraged.
Q. (2:36): Is Shimei back in the picture because he cursed David and Solomon wanted to rid Israel of the evil he inflicted?
A. Based upon the time frames involved (even if it’s a new book), Shimei’s offense would still have been “recent” news in Solomon’s mind. From the passage as I see it, Solomon had no interest in killing Shimei at all, and basically gave him exile instead, which Shimei foolishly squandered. Solomon offered him a way out: his death is on his own head.
Q. (2:13-46): I think four people died in this passage. Death seems to be the punishment of choice for this time period. Why so harsh? Because they won’t listen to and respect God’s commands?
A. You don’t mess with the king in this era, especially one put in place by God as Solomon is. We will see how this plays out in the rest of Kings, when prophets are sent to confront corrupt kings, and often fear for their lives!
Q. (1 Kings 3:1-4): Why did Solomon want to build an alliance with Egypt? Did Egypt now follow God? I guess Egypt has been rebuilt? In verse 3, it sounds as if burning sacrifices was not honorable because of the word “except.”
A. Egypt surely has rebuilt from whatever havoc God wreaked upon it: the Exodus was hundreds of years ago. While David was a warrior, Solomon is a master diplomat: he will prosper and make his nation great and incredibly wealthy through trade with other nations including Egypt, which would have been a valuable trading partner and also a powerful nation. He will need these other nations to provide him with supplies for the massive temple building project he is about to undertake. But don’t be misled: Solomon will regret making some of these decisions, notably marrying foreign wives in clear violation of the Law.
O. (1 Kings 3:5-15): How smart Solomon was to ask God for wisdom. Something most of us could use, but don’t think to ask God for. Sovereign Grace has a great kids’ album — I like it just as much as my kids — titled “Walking with the Wise” I have mentioned this album before. It has a very catchy tune, “Make Me Wise,” that tells of Solomon’s request to God. You can listen to it at http://sovereigngracemusic.org/Songs/Make_Me_Wise/4