2 Chronicles 3:1-17, Solomon begins to build the Temple. (11/12/12)
The books of 1 and 2 Chronicles cover about the same time period as 1 and 2 Samuel and 1 and 2 Kings, but from a different point of view. The writers of Chronicles are most interested in the Temple and Temple worship. Not surprisingly, their main interest in Solomon is as the builder of the Temple, roughly 5 chapters, as opposed to about a chapter and a half in 1 Kings. The Temple, its construction, and its ornamentation are described in loving detail in Chronicles. Solomon gets credit for it all.
2 Chronicles 4:1-22, He casts an altar of bronze and a sea of brass. (11/13/12)
According to Wikipedia, archeology doesn’t have much to say about Solomon’s Temple, primarily because Temple Mount hasn’t been excavated. Apparently there is no contemporary extra-Biblical source that talks about the Temple, either. There is, however, archeological evidence for the second Temple (built after the Jews returned from the Exile) and for Herod’s renovation of it, so I don’t personally see any reason to doubt that an earlier Temple had occupied the same site.
A couple of years ago I calculated that when David assembled the materiel for the Temple, it amounted to about $4.5 billion in gold and $150 million in silver at today’s prices. So even if we thought that the writers of Chronicles might be generous in their estimates of the gold, silver, and brass that Solomon used in construction, it must have been a fabulously beautiful place of worship. The Babylonians carted off everything of value at the time of the Exile.
2 Chronicles 5:1-14, The glory of the Lord fills the Temple. (11/14/12)
Well. Today I want to talk about italics. The Bible in Basic English puts a couple of verses in today's reading into italics. After spending about 45 minutes looking at various translations, the web, and the Greek and Hebrew, I have no idea why. I did learn that some people have really strong views on the subject, which range roughly from “don’t read a Bible that doesn’t italicize words not in the original language” to “italicizing words not in the original language is pointless because tells you only about grammatical differences between the two languages.” (One website suggested that you won’t go to heaven if you read the wrong translation, which, let me assure you, brothers and sisters, is unloving, divisive, and ridiculous.)
Some translations, most notably the King James Version and its close relatives, italicize words that aren’t in the original language. In a sentence like “Who is
this man?” the italics show a word that wasn’t there and didn’t have to be there in perfectly grammatical Hebrew or Greek. In a sentence like “Who is this man
?” the italics show a word that wasn’t in the Hebrew or Greek and doesn’t have to be there in the English, either. In the latter case, you have learned something useful.
Other translations use italics for quotations from other books, most often New Testament quotations of Old Testament books. That’s useful to know, also.
Neither of these reasons is true of today’s italics; however, it does give me the opportunity to suggest that if your Bible comes with explanations before Genesis 1:1, you should read them.
2 Chronicles 9:1-12, 29-31, The Queen of Sheba visits Solomon. (11/15/12)
“The Wisdom of Solomon” is famous, and probably today’s story is the second-most famous example. (The most famous example, of course, is the story about the baby, 1 Kings 3:16-28.) Various modern-day countries and their royal families claim descent from Sheba and its queen – and Solomon, see verse 12! I always thought it was just Ethiopia, but it turns out that claimants include Somalia, Sudan, Egypt, and Eritrea as well, according to Wikipedia. Who knew?
The books of Nathan the prophet, Ahijah the prophet, and Iddo the seer are all lost.
1 Kings 11:1-13, Solomon worships other gods. (11/16/12)
Sigh. Solomon’s problem wasn’t the wives.
His problem was worshipping the gods
of the wives, as stated in vss. 9 and 10. All his wealth, and all his wisdom, and all his alliances, when it came right down to it, weren’t enough to ensure that his dynasty would rule over all of Israel. Continuing to worship God and ignoring the gods would have been enough.
More of The Rest of the Story
Week 1. Beginning of Life As We Know It
Week 1. More on the Beginning of Life As We Know It
Week 2. God Builds a Nation – Abraham … But Not Lot
Week 2. God Builds a Nation – Isaac…But not Ishmael or the sons of Keturah
Week 2. God Builds a Nation – Jacob…But not Esau
Week 3. Joseph Preserves Two Nations
Week 4. Deliverance
Week 4. More on Deliverance
Week 5. New Commands and a New Covenant
Week 6. Wandering
Week 6. More on the Wandering
Week 7. The Battle Begins
Week 8. A Few Good Men...and Women
Week 9. The Faith of a Foreign Woman
Week 10. Standing Tall, Falling Hard
Week 11. From Shepherd to King
Week 12. The Trials of a King
Week 13. The King Who Had It All
Week 14. A Kingdom Torn in Two
Weeks 15 and 16. God's Messengers and The Beginning of the End
Week 17. The Kingdoms' Fall
Jeremiah, Prophet of the Exile
Story 19. The Return Home
in the Old Testament
Story 21. Rebuilding the Walls
Story 22. The Birth of the King
Story 23. Jesus’ Ministry Begins
Story 24. No Ordinary Man
Story 25. Jesus, the Son of God
Story 26. The Hour of Darkness
Story 27. The Resurrection
Story 28. New Beginnings
James, Brother of the Lord
John and Jude
Story 31. The End of Time
Copyright 2009, 2011, 2012 by Regina L. Hunter. All rights reserved. This page has been prepared for the web site by RPB.
The illustration of Solomon in his glory is from the Thomas family Bible, now in a private collection of a family member.
Opinions expressed on this page are solely those of the
author, Regina Hunter, and may or may not be shared by the sponsors or the
Bible-study participants. Thanks to the
Holy Spirit for any useful ideas presented here, and thanks to all the readers
for their support and enthusiasm. All
errors are, of course, the sole responsibility of the author.
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