Day 140 (May 20): Lord, show our enemies your power that they will be disgraced, Solomon becomes king, Solomon is wise to Adonijah’s plan to overthrow him, Adonijah, Joab and Shimei killed, Solomon sacrifices 1,000 burnt offerings, Solomon asks God for wisdom

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.

Psalm 83

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

Day 125 (May 5): David sacrifices belongings to build the temple, David praises God, Solomon anointed king, Solomon’s brother tries to claim throne, David informed of Adonijah’s plan, David quickly plans to put Solomon on throne

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 29:1

1 Kings 1:5-53

Questions & Observations

Q. (1 Chronicles 29:1-22): As we read this story, should we keep in mind that it is 1 Chronicles, where the author may have glorified the actual happenings to paint a prettier picture of King David’s rule?

A. That is always something to have in mind at this point.  We certainly get a “rosy” vision of David, but I would also say that there is not much going on here that is outside of the established character of David: He is willing to make great sacrifices on behalf of his God, and this is just one more instance of it.  It is quite clear why David is held up as an OT example for others to follow, even with his obvious shortcomings.

Q. (1 King 1:1-4): What?  I guess this is a “give the king his last dying wish?”  Whatever the reason is, I’m sure it’s not that important — as I have learned.  But, why include it here?  From the text, we never see David spending much time with his sons.  Maybe this is why they are so at odds.  The brothers didn’t have a strong family nucleus with their father or each other?

A. The historian Josephus mentions the “medical” practice of using a healthy person to keep the elderly warm, so it appears that this was an accepted practice in this day.  It appears to be part of the process of making David as comfortable as possible in his final days.  Verse 6 would seem to indicate that David was quite lax in his discipline of his boys, even where it was quite clear what he desired — for Solomon, not any of his other sons, to be king.  David excelled at many things, but it appears that being father of the year was not one of them — and just one more place where the king’s polygamy created unnecessary tension.

Q. (1:5-6): These people seem to be so fickle.  If there was such a huge celebration for Solomon to become king, then why is there an opposing side thinking that they can defeat the named king?

A. Both Solomon and his brother are powerful men, so it is most likely that many who joined Adonijah are hedging their bets as to who will be the “true” king.  They want to be in the good graces of such a powerful monarch, and one of the best ways was to be on his side and cheering for him, right up until the moment someone else prevails.  Fickle is right.

Q. (1:7): Joab sure is a hard one to figure out.  He has always stood beside King David, though he definitely wasn’t completely obedient.  But, if King David named Solomon the next king, then I would think Joab would support Solomon.  On a side note, Joab has to be getting very old too!

A. He is, and this decision to not follow Solomon will be a costly one for him.  Technically, Adonijah is probably, by society’s standards, the right choice for king. He was most likely the oldest surviving son, and the logical choice to be king.  So it is not especially a surprise that Joab followed him.  But as with David, man’s choice for king was not God’s choice.

Q. (1:31): This is a sideline question.  People bow before the king.  Is this OK with God?  I am not sure how God views bowing to anyone except him.  Some people around the world greet one another with a bow, showing a sign of respect.  This came up once when President Obama bowed to a foreign leader.  I was taking a martial arts class with my daughter and we were supposed to bow when you entered the dojo and when we left, I believe, as a sign of respect to the master.  I did not like this one bit.  I have never met the master who is in another part of the world.  I bow my head to God when I pray, but rarely a full-body bow.  I definitely don’t feel like bowing to someone that I don’t know, or moreover, someone who isn’t God.

A. I think there is a fine line between bowing in respect for a leader or another person, and “bowing your heart” to an idol.  Bowing your heart to anything other than God is obviously not what God desires, but I don’t see a particular problem with showing respect for others, as long as it is not worship.

Q. (1:34): Solomon has already been anointed.

A. Anointing is a public ceremony, so I’m not surprised that Solomon is anointed many times.  There wouldn’t have been any CNN covering the ceremony, so the repeated anointing might have had something to do with different people being involved in the process.  Part of the reason for this particular ceremony is David’s desire to publicly make it crystal clear who the king is going to be.

Q. (1:50): Adonijah was afraid of Solomon because he had David and the Lord backing him?  I would think that Adonijah would die from grabbing the horns of the altar.  Maybe he has learned from observing the Lord’s power and will be obedient to Solomon?

A. The horns of the altar are not the same as the Ark, which is what was not to be touched.  The horns of the alter were the place where sacrifices were made, and would have been seen as a place of mercy and surrender.  This is most likely what Adonijah is attempting to convey: I have sinned against the true king, my brother, and need his forgiveness and mercy.

Looking ahead at the next few readings, we are getting heavy into the Psalms of David.  For background information on Psalms, check out http://biblesummary.org/psalms/1.htm