Welcome to the #BAM #InYoFaceDevil Bible Study!
August 6, 2018
Book of 1 Kings 6-11
Solomon builds temple. Temple dimensions, design and method of construction are described. David covenant (with telling conditional clauses) reaffirmed.
Solomon builds his and his wife’s house, taking thirteen years to do so. It included pillars, bevelled windows, a hall of judgment, and much splendour. Huram – half Israelite, half from Tyre – makes the furnishings for the temple.
Solomon calls Israel to Jerusalem, where the ark of covenant brought into the Holy of Holies in the new temple. The cloud of the Lord’s presence (shekinah) enters the temple, so that the preists cannot continue ministering. The temple dedicated, and the Davidic covenant is reaffirmed (with conditional clauses). Solomon expresses the hope that the Lord shall say of the temple, ‘My name shall be there’. God begged to hear supplications when Israelites are making oaths, have been defeated, are suffering from famine or plague, or have been taken captive in a foreign land. Solomon ends by enjoining loyalty, and walking in the way of the Lord’s statues. There is a huge feast with thousands of offerings made.
God answers Solomon’s prayer, reaffirming the David covenant conditionally. Solomon gives twenty cities in Galilee to Hiram, king of Tyre, in return for a supply of gold and cedar. The remnant Canaanite peoples are used as slave labour. Financing from joint naval expeditions with Hiram brings in gold.
The Queen of Sheba visits Solomon. She comes in great splendour, and tests him with hard questions, but he displays his wisdom, until there is no more spirit in her. The queen remarks on how blessed the Israelites are, and there is a royal exchange of gifts before she departs. The kingdom of Israel expands, becoming very rich and powerful. Examples of Solomon’s wealth are given: two hundred golden shields, golden drinking cups, and an ivory throne. He also has many horses – in direct disobedience of Deuteronomy 17:16.
Solomon has many foreign wives and concubines from the nations God had warned about. He also worships false gods, building altars and high places for them. As punishment, God says that he will tear the kingdom from the hands, not of Solomon (on account of his father), but of Solomon’s son. One tribe will be given to Solomon’s progeny, on account of David. Hadad the Edomite seeks revenge against Israel for Joab’s slaughter of Edomite men; Rezon of Zobah also becomes an enemy, mindful of David’s slaughter of the Zobahites. An internal enemy also emerges: Jeroboam, an Ephraimite in charge of some of Solomon’s construction projects, is encouraged by the prophet Ahijah, who tears his garment into twelve pieces, to symbolise the impending division of the kingdom. Jeroboam rebels against Solomon, and flees to Egypt. Solomon dies after forty years of rule.