Rehoboam Takes Over – 2 Chronicles 9-10

The United Kingdom of Solomon breaks up, with ...

The United Kingdom of Solomon breaks up, with Jeroboam ruling over the Northern Kingdom of Israel (in green on the map). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

At the end of chapter 9, when writing about Solomon’s death, the chronicler tells the reader that many of Solomon’s “acts” were written about “in the history of Nathan the prophet, and in the prophecy of Ahijah the Shilonite, and in the visions of Iddo the seer concerning Jeroboam the son of Nebat.” These are evidently a few of many works of history that had been written about – most of which were lost by the time of the Roman destruction of Jerusalem, if not sooner.

Nathan the prophet, we know about well, as he served David as well as Solomon. But who were these others? Ahijah the Shilonite was the prophet who met Jeroboam on the road and tore the garment into 12 pieces to signify the tearing of “the kingdom from the hand of Solomon” (1 Kings 11:29). Iddo the seer was another prophet who is also mentioned in 2 Chronicles 12:15, and 2 Chronicles 13:22.

Now that Solomon has passed away, his son Rehoboam takes over as King. He travels to Shechem, where the people have gathered to make him king. Meanwhile, Jeroboam, who had fled from Solomon into Egypt (1 Kings 11:40) hears about Solomon’s passing, and his son becoming king. So he now returns from Egypt.

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.  

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 Furnishes the Temple – 2 Chronicles 4-5

Moses Consecrates Aaron and His Sons and Offer...

Moses Consecrates Aaron and His Sons and Offers Their Sin Offering (illustration from the 1728 Figures de la Bible) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Solomon had an altar made of bronze. Depending on the size of the cubit in 2 Chronicles 4:1, it could have been as big as 30 ft. long, 30 ft. wide, and 15 ft. high! To this, one commentator we read concerning this chapter, said: “What was wrong with this? Ten cubits was a height of something like fifteen feet, which required that steps would have to be used by the priests in making sacrifices upon it; and God had specifically commanded Israel, “Neither shalt thou go up by steps unto my altar'” (Exodus 20:26).

This commentator also said that there were “also countless concessions to paganism, as seen in the images of the bulls (politely called oxen here) placed under the layer. The bulls, calves, oxen, whatever they were called, were the usual images under which the old Canaanite fertility god Baal was worshiped. Even the Jewish historian Josephus condemned Solomon for what he did in this (Antiquities of the Jews p. 255).”

Could it be that Solomon had sinned so greatly in furnishing the Temple? Let us take the commandment not to go up steps to the altar. If you read Exodus 20:26, it actually says “And you shall not go up by steps to my altar, that your nakedness be not exposed on it.’” This problem was alleviated, however, in Exodus 28:42, when God told Moses “You shall make for them linen undergarments to cover their naked flesh. They shall reach from the hips to the thighs; and they shall be on Aaron and on his sons when they go into the tent of meeting or when they come near the altar…”

Moses with the tablets of the Ten Commandments...

Moses with the tablets of the Ten Commandments, painting by Rembrandt (1659) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

As for the oxen, the Decalogue (Ten Commandments) forbade making a graven image – but as an object of worship. These twelve oxen that held up the “sea” were obviously representative of the twelve tribes. They were in no way part of the act of worship. Also, we know that later, the “glory of the Lord” filled the Temple after the dedication. So obviously, God approved of the construction and the furnishings.

The “sea” in verse 10 was a large circular water tank used by priests for ceremonial cleansing, just like the bronze basin of Exodus 30:18-21. In chapter 5, the ark of the covenant was brought into the “Most Holy Place” under the wings of the cherubim. Verse 10 says that there was nothing inside the ark except the two tablets (it had once contained Aaron’s rod and a jar of manna).

(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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Solomon Anointed King – 1 Chronicles 29

The chapter opens with David addressing the assembly of all of the officials of Israel that had gathered together in Jerusalem in chapter 28. He tells them that Solomon is young and inexperienced, and the task at hand (building the temple) is formidable. It is only in 1 Chronicles 29:1 and 29:19 that the word “palace” is used to describe the temple. According to Albert Barnes, “the original word here used is the Hebrew form of a Persian word, and generally designates the residence of the Persian monarch,” as in Esther 1:5. But David makes it clear in verse 1 that it is not a house for a man, but for the Lord.

It is then that David gives one of the last examples of his leadership as a godly king. He tells the assembly of the precious metals that have been provided and also of the large amount of treasure from his own personal wealth that he has donated to the cause of building the Lord’s house. He then asks those assembled who among them will give of their own possessions for the Lord. The result is a huge unifying onslaught of reverent generosity that gives the people great joy.

The Anointing of Solomon by Cornelis de Vos. A...

The Anointing of Solomon by Cornelis de Vos. According to 1 Kings 1:39, Solomon was anointed by Zadok. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

David then offers a prayer to God in verses 10-19. It is a humble prayer of thanksgiving and worship for the Almighty – to whom all of these things they have given actually belong. This was followed by thousands of burnt offerings and drink offerings, and all sacrifices were accompanied by a great feast and celebration.

Solomon was then anointed king in his second coronation, and Zadok was anointed as priest. Verses 26-30 mark the death of David, who the scripture says reigned 40 years over Israel – seven at Hebron and 33 at Jerusalem. Verse 28 says “he died at a good age, full of days, riches, and honor.”

(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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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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