The Queen of Sheba

Solomon's fame regarding his wisdom and wealth spread throughout the ancient world, even as far away as Ophir and Sheba. It is not certain where Sheba is exactly, but many scholars believe it may have been located along the Red Sea on the Arabian peninsula.The Temple that Solomon built for the Lord drew upon the vast wealth of his enormous kingdom. Once it was completed, Solomon's Temple was no doubt one of the great wonders of its time.Solomon's reputation brought acclaim and riches from many nations, but he disobeyed God, marrying pagan women and worshiping their gods. So God raised up enemies like Hadad from Edom and Rezon from Zobah (modern-day Syria). Jeroboam from Zeredah was another enemy who would eventually divide this mighty kingdom.

Solomon’s fame regarding his wisdom and wealth spread throughout the ancient world, even as far away as Ophir and Sheba. It is not certain where Sheba is exactly, but many scholars believe it may have been located along the Red Sea on the Arabian peninsula.
The Temple that Solomon built for the Lord drew upon the vast wealth of his enormous kingdom. Once it was completed, Solomon’s Temple was no doubt one of the great wonders of its time.
Solomon’s reputation brought acclaim and riches from many nations, but he disobeyed God, marrying pagan women and worshiping their gods. So God raised up enemies like Hadad from Edom and Rezon from Zobah (modern-day Syria). Jeroboam from Zeredah was another enemy who would eventually divide this mighty kingdom.

Sheba is accepted by most archaeologists to be the ancient civilization of Saba in Yemen. Generally thought to have been a  trading nation, it has been speculated that the Queen’s motives were more commercial than a genuine interest in Solomon’s wisdom. That is not what the scripture tells us, however. Verse 4 says that after she had seen and heard all of his wisdom, his house, officials, and all of the burnt offerings he made to the Lord “there was no more breath in her.

In fact, she said that the reports she had received really understated the greatness of his wisdom. She gave the king 120 talents of gold (estimated to be about 75 pounds) and a very great quantity of spices, and precious stones. Verse 9 says that there were no spices like she had given to him. In return, verse 12 says, Solomon gave her whatever she desired.

The chronicler went on to tell of the 666 talents of gold that came to him in one year (“besides that which the explorers and merchants brought“), 500 shields of gold that were made, an ivory throne overlaid with gold, and other items demonstrating his great wealth. So great was his wealth and wisdom that it exceeded all other kings of every nation, and “all the kings of the earth sought the presence of Solomon to hear his wisdom, which God had put into his mind.” In fact, the chronicler says that they all brought him expensive gifts year after year, increasing his wealth.

The chapter ends with Solomon’s death after 40 years as king. His son, Rehoboam reigned in his place.

(This year’s reading plan for Luke, Acts, and 1 and 2 Chronicles averages just 15 verses per day – 5 days per week!)
Schedule for this week
Read or listen to audio of today’s selection from Acts here
Read or listen to audio of today’s selection from 2 Chronicles here

/Bob’s boy
___________________
some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility.  When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Bible Reading Schedules” page of my website at http://graceofourlord.com.  

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Solomon’s Accomplishments – 2 Chronicles 8

Depiction of Solomon and Pharaoh's daughter re...

Depiction of Solomon and Pharaoh’s daughter reciting the Song of Solomon. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In the first verse of chapter 8, the chronicler tells us that it took 20 years to build the temple and Solomon’s Palace. Estimates are that this temple stood for about 410 years, when it was destroyed and Babylonian captivity began. The chronicler goes on to mention some of the accomplishments Solomon made after its completion. Verse 2 describes Solomon rebuilding the cities that Hiram had given him. These cities were actually given to Hiram earlier as either gift or, more likely, surety for a loan. That would explain why he got them back.

Verse 3’s account of Solomon taking Hamath-zobah and building Tadmor in the wilderness  is not recorded anywhere else in scripture. The former was located about 200 KM north of Damascus, and the latter was about 200 KM northeast. These cities of commerce represented the maximum boundaries Solomon’s kingdom would have. The chronicler goes on to recount the other strongholds Solomon built up, as well as the conscription of Canaanites remaining in the land as slaves for labor.

In verse 11, Solomon brought the Pharaoh’s daughter into a separate house away from “the house of David” and the ark of the covenant because it was holy. Solomon knew that his union with foreign women was not acceptable. Verses 12-15 give us an account of how he kept the feast days and appointed the Levites to their proper duties.

Outwardly, the kingdom seemed to be expected to follow all of God’s commandments. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for the king himself.

(This year’s reading plan for Luke, Acts, and 1 and 2 Chronicles averages just 15 verses per day – 5 days per week!)
Schedule for this week
Read or listen to audio of today’s selection from Luke here
Read or listen to audio of today’s selection from 2 Chronicles here

/Bob’s boy
___________________
some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility.  When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Bible Reading Schedules” page of my website at http://graceofourlord.com.  

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Solomon’s Prayer Answered – 2 Chronicles 7

Chapter 7 contains God’s response to Solomon’s prayer. It starts with God sending fire down from heaven that consumes the burnt offering and sacrifices. Then the glory of the Lord filled the temple, and the priests could not even go inside. What a sight it must have been! Then

The borders of the Promised Land stretched from the wilderness of Zin and Kadesh-barnea in the south to Lebo-hamath and Riblah in the north, and from the Mediterranean seacoast on the west to the Jordan River on the east. The land of Gilead was also included.

The borders of the Promised Land stretched from the wilderness of Zin and Kadesh-barnea in the south to Lebo-hamath and Riblah in the north, and from the Mediterranean seacoast on the west to the Jordan River on the east. The land of Gilead was also included.

King Solomon and all of the people offered up 22,000 oxen and 120,000 sheep as a sacrifice. There had not been anything like it since David had the ark of the covenant brought to Jerusalem. So vast was the celebration that verses 7-8 says:

“Solomon consecrated the middle of the court that was before the house of the Lord, for there he offered the burnt offering and the fat of the peace offerings, because the bronze altar Solomon had made could not hold the burnt offering and the grain offering and the fat.” At that time Solomon held the feast for seven days, and all Israel with him, a very great assembly, from Lebo-hamath to the Brook of Egypt. And on the eighth day they held a solemn assembly, for they had kept the dedication of the altar seven days and the feast seven days.

Then God answered Solomon’s prayer, and He did tell Him all of the ways that He would bless them as Solomon had prayed. But He also made this promise:

“But if you turn aside and forsake my statutes and my commandments that I have set before you, and go and serve other gods and worship them, then I will pluck you up from my land that I have given you, and this house that I have consecrated for my name, I will cast out of my sight, and I will make it la proverb and a byword among all peoples.”

Of course, the post-exillic people that the chronicler was addressing here would know very well that the Lord meant to keep even these last promises. So9me of them had experienced it first-hand.

 

(This year’s reading plan for Luke, Acts, and 1 and 2 Chronicles averages just 15 verses per day – 5 days per week!)
Schedule for this week
Read or listen to audio of today’s selection from Luke here
Read or listen to audio of today’s selection from 2 Chronicles here

/Bob’s boy
___________________
some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility.  When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Bible Reading Schedules” page of my website at http://graceofourlord.com.  

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Solomon’s Blessing – 2 Chronicles 6

English: image of Solomon and the covenant of ...

English: image of Solomon and the covenant of the ark, painted in 1747 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In chapter 6, the temple has been built, the ark of the covenant has been moved in, and now it is time for Solomon to dedicate it and offer his prayer to God. This was covered also in 1 Kings 8:12-50, but here in a post-exillic message, the Chronicler is less focused on the history of Moses and the Exodus and more so on the Davidic covenant.

The temple was a huge part of life for those who had remembrances of how things were before exile, and those whose relatives had passed that knowledge of that life. It was a representation of their heritage therefore, and it mattered a great deal – especially now that it was lost. The chronicler does a good job with delivering the message of the day in question. Solomon’s prayer is eloquent, and exceedingly respectful. He acknowledges that no structure made by man can contain God.

Still, the dedication ends with Solomon inviting God to come and dwell in the Temple.

(This year’s reading plan for Luke, Acts, and 1 and 2 Chronicles averages just 15 verses per day – 5 days per week!)
Schedule for this week
Read or listen to audio of today’s selection from Luke here
Read or listen to audio of today’s selection from 2 Chronicles here

/Bob’s boy
___________________
some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

Please note: I did not design the reading plan that I am following in my blog.  All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility.  When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Bible Reading Schedules” page of my website at http://graceofourlord.com.  

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Solomon Recruits Help – 2 Chronicles 2

English: Tyre, Lebanon - a view of the Christi...

English: Tyre, Lebanon – a view of the Christian quarter from the fishing harbour pier) Slovenščina: Tir, Libanon – pogled na krščansko četrt s pomola v ribiškem pristanišču (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Solomon prepares for building not only the temple, but also his own palace. The chronicler mentions that fact here, but nothing else is mentioned of its construction, which we find documented in 1 Kings 7:1-12. The king of Tyre was said to have had great love for David (1 Kings 5:1), and had sent cedars, carpenters, and masons to help build his house (2 Samuel 5:11). So Solomon sent the king a letter, asking for similar help, promising great amounts of wheat, barley, wine, and oil in return.

Hiram responded with his own letter, praising Solomon for what he was about to do, and sent a man skilled to work in gold, silver, bronze, iron, stone, and wood, and in purple, blue, and crimson fabrics and fine linen, and to do all sorts of engraving and execute any design.” He would also provide the timber cutters for the cedars he would send by sea to Joppa.

Solomon then took a census of all of the resident aliens of Israel, and there were 153,600. Most of these would be descendants of the Canaanites that were never driven out of the land. He conscripted them to work on the project. Verse 18 details the division of their labor – Seventy thousand of them he assigned to bear burdens, 80,000 to quarry in the hill country, and 3,600 as overseers to make the people work.

(This year’s reading plan for Luke, Acts, and 1 and 2 Chronicles averages just 15 verses per day – 5 days per week!)
Schedule for this week
Read or listen to audio of today’s selection from Luke here
Read or listen to audio of today’s selection from 2 Chronicles here

/Bob’s boy
___________________
some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

Please note: I did not design the reading plan that I am following in my blog.  All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility.  When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Bible Reading Schedules” page of my website at http://graceofourlord.com.  

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David’s Charge to Solomon – 1 Chronicles 28

English: Solomon and the Plan for the Temple, ...

English: Solomon and the Plan for the Temple, as in 1 Kings 6, illustration from a Bible card published by the Providence Lithograph Company (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Chapter 28 is David’s official notice to all of the assembled officials of Israel at Jerusalem of Solomon’s charge to build the temple, as he explains to them the reasons for God’s choice of Solomon to build it. He then gives the charge to Solomon in their presence, saying:

“Be strong and courageous and do it. Do not be afraid and do not be dismayed, for the Lord God, even my God, is with you. He will not leave you or forsake you, until all the work for the service of the house of the Lord is finished.”

This is quoted from God’s charge to Joshua in Joshua 1:9 and also from Deuteronomy 1:21, and it is meant to encourage the young heir in the face of the most important task of his life. But he was not left to his own devices, for David gave him the plans for the entire thing in verses 11-19 in intricate detail – as the Lord had given it to him.

Just as was the case with the Tabernacle that Moses had to rally to construct in splendid detail, God provided the “blueprints” for the house that David’s son was to build with the help of all the Levites and craftsmen at his beck and call.

(This year’s reading plan for Luke, Acts, and 1 and 2 Chronicles averages just 15 verses per day – 5 days per week!)
Schedule for this week
Read or listen to audio of today’s selection from Luke here
Read or listen to audio of today’s selection from 1 Chronicles here

/Bob’s boy
___________________
some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

Please note: I did not design the reading plan that I am following in my blog.  All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility.  When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Bible Reading Schedules” page of my website at http://graceofourlord.com.  

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Organization of David’s Kingdom – 1 Chronicles 27

As we can see David’s time coming to an end, his preparations for Solomon’s reign continues now beyond the Levites and into the military. The army mentioned here is not David’s more official force, but is best described as a very large citizen militia, consisting of 12 divisions of 24,000 men.

Samuel anoints David, Dura Europos, Syria, Dat...

Samuel anoints David, Dura Europos, Syria, Date: 3rd c. AD (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The leaders of the tribes that are listed in verses 16-22 may be from the ranks of elders. We are not told. Nor are we given a reason for the omission of the tribes of Gad and Asher. Interestingly, “Aaron” is listed as a tribe in verse 17. The Lord’s wrath over the census that Joab ended up not finishing (2 Samuel 24:1-17) is only briefly mentioned in verse 24.

Verses 25-31 list 12 administrators over David’s treasuries, corporate workers of the field, and vast amounts of property. David and his kingdom were at a high point of wealth. Among the counselors and friends listed in verses 32-34 are Hushai and Ahithophel. No mention is made of Hushai’s role in David’s victory over Absalom (2 Samuel 15:32-37, 2 Samuel 16:15-17:16), nor of Ahithophel’s betrayal in that same ordeal.

(This year’s reading plan for Luke, Acts, and 1 and 2 Chronicles averages just 15 verses per day – 5 days per week!)
Schedule for this week
Read or listen to audio of today’s selection from Luke here
Read or listen to audio of today’s selection from 1 Chronicles here

/Bob’s boy
___________________
some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

Please note: I did not design the reading plan that I am following in my blog.  All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility.  When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Bible Reading Schedules” page of my website at http://graceofourlord.com.  

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Gatekeepers and Treasurers – 1 Chronicles 26

Among the Levites, the gatekeepers had the responsibility first and foremost of protecting the sanctuary from unlawful or unauthorized entry and defilement from such practices as idolatry. Their duties also included taking care of the temple treasuries and dedicated gifts, as well as maintenance of the building (as detailed in 1 Chronicles 9:22-32). It was likely this group that Hezekiah assembled to cleanse the temple in 2 Chronicles 29:3-11.

Ark of the Covenant.

Ark of the Covenant.

Among the gatekeepers were the families of Meshelemiah, Hoash, and Obed-edom. This is surely the same Obed-edom whose house the ark was to after the failed first attempt. It had remained there for three months (1 Chronicles 13:13-14, 2 Samuel 6:10-12).  This is significant in that Obed-edom was a Gittite (a resident of Gath). Was he a Gittite by birth geographically, but genealogically an Israelite? The Bible is silent about his participation, but we do know that the passages just cited say that God blessed his household and all that he had when the ark was left in his care. Where the Lord is concerned, that is enough.

The treasurers were from the sons of Gershom, Ladan, and other Kohathites. There were two separate treasuries that were kept near the gates. One contained the offerings and tithes of the people, while the other contained the spoils taken in battle and certain other dedicated gifts, such as  those dedicated by Samuel, Saul, David, and his commanders. The Izharites and Hebronites were appointed to oversee the territories of the Reubenites, Gadites, Manassites, and other areas west of the Jordan.

(This year’s reading plan for Luke, Acts, and 1 and 2 Chronicles averages just 15 verses per day – 5 days per week!)
Schedule for this week
Read or listen to audio of today’s selection from Luke here
Read or listen to audio of today’s selection from 1 Chronicles here

/Bob’s boy
___________________
some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

Please note: I did not design the reading plan that I am following in my blog.  All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility.  When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Bible Reading Schedules” page of my website at http://graceofourlord.com.  

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David Organizes the Sanctuary – (1 Chronicles 24-25)

In these two chapters, David is organizing the priests and the musicians. It might not sound like such a big deal to us, but it was a monumental task. There were many thousands of Levites at this time, and casting lots as he had them to do was the best way to determine the order in which they would serve. The lines came from the sons of Aaron, which would only include Eleazar and Ithamar. Nadab and Abihu had died without any children (Leviticus 10:1-3). It was from the line of Abijah (24:10) that Zechariah, John the baptist’s father, came (Luke 1:5).

 

English: Nadab and Abihu consumed by fire from...

English: Nadab and Abihu consumed by fire from the Lord; illustration from “Figures de la Bible”, illustrated by Gerard Hoet (1648-1733), and others, and published by P. de Hondt in The Hague in 1728; image courtesy Bizzell Bible Collection, University of Oklahoma Libraries. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Since the Book of Chronicles is written for the benefit of the returning exiles, it was again important to document the lines carefully in these two chapters. In chapter 25, David and the Levite leaders organized the musicians for the temple under the lines of Asaph, Heman, and Jeduthun. Asaph is credited (at least in the superscripts) with having written Psalm 50 and Psalms 73-83. Heman is probably the same Heman the Ezrahite that is credited in the superscript of Psalm 88. Jeduthun is mentioned in Psalms 39, 62, and 77.

 

(This year’s reading plan for Luke, Acts, and 1 and 2 Chronicles averages just 15 verses per day – 5 days per week!)
Schedule for this week
Read or listen to audio of today’s selection from Luke here
Read or listen to audio of today’s selection from 1 Chronicles here

 

/Bob’s boy

 

___________________

 

some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

 

Please note: I did not design the reading plan that I am following in my blog.  All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility.  When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Bible Reading Schedules” page of my website at http://graceofourlord.com.  

 

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A New Age – (1 Chronicles 23)

Jewish high priest wearing a hoshen, and Levit...

Jewish high priest wearing a hoshen, and Levites in ancient Judah. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

 

In this chapter, David is reaching the end of his life, and he makes Solomon the king. He then brought all of the leaders of Israel together, including the Levites. Levites more than thirty years old were counted, and the total was 38,000. He designated an astounding 24,000 of these to “have charge of the work in the house of the Lord.” He assigned other duties for the rest, including 4,000 of them to offer praise to God with instruments. Verse 6 says that he “organized them in divisions corresponding to the sons of Levi: Gershon, Kohath, and Merari.”

 

David made the observation that with the temple being built, there would no longer be any need for the Levites to carry and assemble the tabernacle or any of the things needed for its service. “The Lord, the God if Israel” David said, had given rest to His people. As 1 Kings 4:25 tells us it did, Israel and Judah under Solomon was about to enter an long era of unprecedented peace, the likes of which would never occur again. David proclaimed that the Levites were to attend to, and assist, the sons of Aaron for the service of the house of the Lord.

 

(This year’s reading plan for Luke, Acts, and 1 and 2 Chronicles averages just 15 verses per day – 5 days per week!)
Schedule for this week
Read or listen to audio of today’s selection from Luke here
Read or listen to audio of today’s selection from 1 Chronicles here

 

/Bob’s boy

 

___________________

 

some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

 

Please note: I did not design the reading plan that I am following in my blog.  All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility.  When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Bible Reading Schedules” page of my website at http://graceofourlord.com.  

 

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