Solomon cometh and goeth: 1 Kings 1 to 11

David snuffs it, despite being wrapped in virgins.
Solomon creates his own little Treadstone of wetwork before he becomes king and –
* almost does conjoined infant surgery
* builds a gaudy temple and a gaudy palace
* gets in a sex haze and worships the wrong gods
* and finally dies.

1 Kings 1
Oh boy, would I like to end up in a nursing home with these perks!

Verse 1-2 Now king David was old and stricken in years; and they covered him with clothes, but he gat no heat. Wherefore his servants said unto him, Let there be sought for my lord the king a young virgin: and let her stand before the king, and let her cherish him, and let her lie in thy bosom, that my lord the king may get heat.

Up turns Abishag, very fair, but she is not shagged – “The king knew her not”.
Here comes trouble

Verse 5 Then Adonijah the son of Haggith exalted himself, saying, I will be king: and he prepared him chariots and horsemen, and fifty men to run before him.

Some, but not all, follow him, and Nathan (the prophet) goes to Bath-sheba and gives her advice so Solomon will be king.
So she goes to David to wise him up to the usurpation.

Verse 20-1 And thou, my lord, O king, the eyes of all Israel are upon thee, that thou shouldest tell them who shall sit on the throne of my lord the king after him. Otherwise it shall come to pass, when my lord the king shall sleep with his fathers, that I and my son Solomon shall be counted offenders.

And Nathan turns up, as planned, and David orders Solomon be anointed as his successor. It’s done and

Verse 40 And all the people came up after him, and the people piped with pipes, and rejoiced with great joy, so that the earth rent with the sound of them.

This displeases Adonijah, naturally. And scares his supporters.

Verse 49 And all the guests that were with Adonijah were afraid, and rose up, and went every man his way.

And Solomon says he may or may not whack Adonijah…

Verse 52 And Solomon said, If he will shew himself a worthy man, there shall not an hair of him fall to the earth: but if wickedness shall be found in him, he shall die.

Can’t say fairer than that. Solomon summons Adonijah, who then gets sent home.

1 Kings 2
Torch is handed to new generation…

Verse 1-2 Now the days of David drew nigh that he should die; and he charged Solomon his son, saying, I go the way of all the earth: be thou strong therefore, and shew thyself a man;

Obey the Lord, kill that lying fracker Joab.

Verse 6 Do therefore according to thy wisdom, and let not his hoar head go down to the grave in peace.

David maybe holding a grudge from being scolded?
Oh, and David says “I promised not to kill Shimei with a sword, so you’re gonna have to kill him somehow else…”

Verse 8-9 And, behold, thou hast with thee Shimei the son of Gera, a Benjamite of Bahurim, which cursed me with a grievous curse in the day when I went to Mahanaim: but he came down to meet me at Jordan, and I sware to him by the LORD, saying, I will not put thee to death with the sword. Now therefore hold him not guiltless: for thou art a wise man, and knowest what thou oughtest to do unto him; but his hoar head bring thou down to the grave with blood.

With David, you always have to read the fine print, eh? Or had to, since the turd is dead, and not before time. Good riddance.

Verse 10 So David slept with his fathers, and was buried in the city of David.

Adonijah comes to Bath-sheba whining about how unfair it is, he was the Popular Choice for king. His consolation prize? He wants it to be Abishag the unshagged nurse to David.

Bath-sheba asks Solomon “can I have a favour.” “Yes, whatever you like.” “Give Abishag to Adonijah.” “The bastard DIES TODAY!!” Nice way to keep your word, Solomon.

Verse 24 Now therefore, as the LORD liveth, which hath established me, and set me on the throne of David my father, and who hath made me an house, as he promised, Adonijah shall be put to death this day.

Solomon gets Benaiah to do the wetwork, but there’s pushback from the priestly class over this extra-judicial murder…
So Solomon sacks the troublesome priest. Joab gets nervous, flees. Benaiah, who’s rapidly becoming Solomon’s favourite Treadstone agent, finds Joab, who says “I’ll die here at the altar thank you, I ain’t going back to Solomon.” Benaiah calls that in to HQ. “Kill him then” says Solomon, citing the deaths of Abner and Amasa as justification.

Verse 33 Their blood shall therefore return upon the head of Joab, and upon the head of his seed for ever: but upon David, and upon his seed, and upon his house, and upon his throne, shall there be peace for ever from the LORD.

And Solomon puts Shimei under house arrest in Jerusalem, on pain of death. This works, but after some years Shimei is gone to Gath following some runaway slaves. Solomon hears about this AWOL and says

Verse 44 The king said moreover to Shimei, Thou knowest all the wickedness which thine heart is privy to, that thou didst to David my father: therefore the LORD shall return thy wickedness upon thine own head;

Benaiah does the killing. “And the kingdom was established in the hand of Solomon.”

1 Kings 3
And Solomon parties like it’s 1979 .

Verse 1 And Solomon made affinity with Pharaoh king of Egypt, and took Pharaoh’s daughter, and brought her into the city of David, until he had made an end of building his own house, and the house of the LORD, and the wall of Jerusalem round about.

God turns up in a dream and gives Solomon a wish.
Solomon wisely wishes for the wisdom of Solomon.

Verse 9 Give therefore thy servant an understanding heart to judge thy people, that I may discern between good and bad: for who is able to judge this thy so great a people?

In dreams begin responsibility and all that…
God’s chuffed and maybe relieved (though not surprised, obviously)

Verse 11-2 And God said unto him, Because thou hast asked this thing, and hast not asked for thyself long life; neither hast asked riches for thyself, nor hast asked the life of thine enemies; but hast asked for thyself understanding to discern judgment; Behold, I have done according to thy words: lo, I have given thee a wise and an understanding heart; so that there was none like thee before thee, neither after thee shall any arise like unto thee

And as a sign or respect/love/whatever, Solomon ALSO gets riches and honour and a provisional offer of a long life…

Verse 14 And if thou wilt walk in my ways, to keep my statutes and my commandments, as thy father David did walk, then I will lengthen thy days.

And Solomon wakes up, goes to the ark of the covenant, makes offerings and feeds his servants. And who should turn up but the two women disputing over one baby. One explains about the other…

Verse 19 -20 And this woman’s child died in the night; because she overlaid it.
20: And she arose at midnight, and took my son from beside me, while thine handmaid slept, and laid it in her bosom, and laid her dead child in my bosom.

Solomon calls for his sword, to perform some ad hoc surgery on conjoined twins … well, one healthy baby actually. In Joseph Heller’s “God Knows” it’s because Solomon is a bit dim – makes Palin look like Einstein sort of dim.

Verse 26 Then spake the woman whose the living child was unto the king, for her bowels yearned upon her son, and she said, O my lord, give her the living child, and in no wise slay it. But the other said, Let it be neither mine nor thine, but divide it.

Solomon gives the baby to the one who didn’t like the surgery idea, cos she’s defo the mum. And this impresses folks?!

Verse 28 And all Israel heard of the judgment which the king had judged; and they feared the king: for they saw that the wisdom of God was in him, to do judgment.

1 Kings 4
List of Solomon’s crew. Yawn.

Verse 7 And Solomon had twelve officers over all Israel, which provided victuals for the king and his household: each man his month in a year made provision.

List of them, yawn. Then some poetic bits.

Verse 20-1 Judah and Israel were many, as the sand which is by the sea in multitude, eating and drinking, and making merry. And Solomon reigned over all kingdoms from the river unto the land of the Philistines, and unto the border of Egypt: they brought presents, and served Solomon all the days of his life.

And everything’s good, and Solomon’s really smart blah blah

Verse 32-3 And he spake three thousand proverbs: and his songs were a thousand and five. And he spake of trees, from the cedar tree that is in Lebanon even unto the hyssop that springeth out of the wall: he spake also of beasts, and of fowl, and of creeping things, and of fishes.

1 Kings 5
Hiram, one of David’s chums, is told by Solomon about the plans for a BIG Temple, and asked to provide cedar trees out of Lebanon.
Hiram’s delighted to get the contract (non-competitive tenders are great if you’re winning them) and talks delivery methods.

Verse 9 My servants shall bring them down from Lebanon unto the sea: and I will convey them by sea in floats unto the place that thou shalt appoint me, and will cause them to be discharged there, and thou shalt receive them: and thou shalt accomplish my desire, in giving food for my household.

And Solomon sends a big old workforce to Lebanon, and they come back with great stones, costly stones and hewed stones. If the foundations be deployed, what can the righteous do???

1 Kings 6
And we get architectural blueprints of the Temple, which is a prefab sprout..

Verse 7 And the house, when it was in building, was built of stone made ready before it was brought thither: so that there was neither hammer nor axe nor any tool of iron heard in the house, while it was in building.

God pitches in with a reminder of His promise.
And these nouveau riche types. They just don’t have Taste.

Verse 21 So Solomon overlaid the house within with pure gold: and he made a partition by the chains of gold before the oracle; and he overlaid it with gold.

Gaudy, gaudy, gaudy.
Oh gawd, more gaud. And finally, it’s built. Seven years…

1 Kings 7
His own house took 13 years. And we get its dimensions. Cubits of this, cubits of that. Brass this, Gold that. I think I prefer smiting.

1 Kings 8
The ark of the covenant gets wheeled out.

Verse 5 And king Solomon, and all the congregation of Israel, that were assembled unto him, were with him before the ark, sacrificing sheep and oxen, that could not be told nor numbered for multitude.

God chuffed, Solomon grandstanding.
And Sol wisely does some pre-emptive begging for hypotheticals.

Verse 47 Yet if they shall bethink themselves in the land whither they were carried captives, and repent, and make supplication unto thee in the land of them that carried them captives, saying, We have sinned, and have done perversely, we have committed wickedness;

And some incipient Lord’s Prayer

Verse 50 And forgive thy people that have sinned against thee and all their transgressions wherein they have transgressed against thee, and give them compassion before them who carried them captive, that they may have compassion on them:

Solomon finally shuts up, throws a big party.

Verse 66 On the eighth day he sent the people away: and they blessed the king, and went unto their tents joyful and glad of heart for all the goodness that the LORD had done for David his servant, and for Israel his people.

1 Kings 9
Construction complete, God turns up in a dream with the same threat/promise. Obey and live long and prosper or Disobey and mayhem and stuff will result.

Verse 7-8 Then will I cut off Israel out of the land which I have given them; and this house, which I have hallowed for my name, will I cast out of my sight; and Israel shall be a proverb and a byword among all people: And at this house, which is high, every one that passeth by it shall be astonished, and shall hiss; and they shall say, Why hath the LORD done thus unto this land, and to this house?

Solomon seems to have misjudged the reward to his loyal cedar contractor.

Verse 12 -3 And Hiram came out from Tyre to see the cities which Solomon had given him; and they pleased him not. And he said, What cities are these which thou hast given me, my brother? And he called them the land of Cabul unto this day.

But (after some political geography – yawn) Solomon and Hiram seem to have patched things up, because Solomon makes a Red Sea navy

Verse 27-8 And Hiram sent in the navy his servants, shipmen that had knowledge of the sea, with the servants of Solomon. And they came to Ophir, and fetched from thence gold, four hundred and twenty talents, and brought it to king Solomon.

1 Kings 10
Ah, here comes trouble…

Verse 1-2 And when the queen of Sheba heard of the fame of Solomon concerning the name of the LORD, she came to prove him with hard questions. And she came to Jerusalem with a very great train, with camels that bare spices, and very much gold, and precious stones: and when she was come to Solomon, she communed with him of all that was in her heart.

He tells all, shows all, and she’s ruefully convinced…

Verse 7 Howbeit I believed not the words, until I came, and mine eyes had seen it: and, behold, the half was not told me: thy wisdom and prosperity exceedeth the fame which I heard.

She showers loads of gives (120 talents of gold, spices, stones) on Solomon, and meanwhile the navy’s doing well

Verse 11 And the navy also of Hiram, that brought gold from Ophir, brought in from Ophir great plenty of almug trees, and precious stones.

Almug? Wikipedia says “According to the Book of First Kings (1 Kings 10:12), and the Second Book of Chronicles (II Chronicles 2:8; 9:10-11), it was used, together with cedar and pine, in the construction of Solomon’s Temple including the crafting of musical instruments for use in the Temple. Likely the wood was brought by the ships of Tarshish, sent from the Red Sea port of Ezion-Giber, from the distant country of Ophir, and was very valuable.”
Sheba goes home. She could at least have left Solomon with some taste. Here we go again…

Verse 18-9 Moreover the king made a great throne of ivory, and overlaid it with the best gold. The throne had six steps, and the top of the throne was round behind: and there were stays on either side on the place of the seat, and two lions stood beside the stays.

And Solomon makes Monty Burns look like a sink council-estate dosser.

1 Kings 11
I’m getting a little jealous of this Solomon clown.

Verse 1 But king Solomon loved many strange women, together with the daughter of Pharaoh, women of the Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Zidonians, and Hittites;

But his 700 wives and princesses and 300 concubines befuddle him, since they come from peoples worshipping other gods, and in a sex haze your brain does funny things.

Verse 4 For it came to pass, when Solomon was old, that his wives turned away his heart after other gods: and his heart was not perfect with the LORD his God, as was the heart of David his father.

He starts worshiping Ashtoreth and Milcom in the middle.
And he must be senile. Does he not know what happens when you do this?

Verse 7 Then did Solomon build an high place for Chemosh, the abomination of Moab, in the hill that is before Jerusalem, and for Molech, the abomination of the children of Ammon.

That’s dysrationalia, plain and simple.
Sure enough, God gets peeved and

Verse 14 And the LORD stirred up an adversary unto Solomon, Hadad the Edomite: he was of the king’s seed in Edom.

And God seems to have done some convenient time travel stuff here, or set the ball rolling while still being all lovey dovey with Solomon, because the chronologies don’t add up.

Verse 21 And when Hadad heard in Egypt that David slept with his fathers, and that Joab the captain of the host was dead, Hadad said to Pharaoh, Let me depart, that I may go to mine own country.

I mean, it’s all time-y wime-y.
And some other rebels are promising future spoils for present support. Always a risky strategy…

Verse 30-1 And Ahijah caught the new garment that was on him, and rent it in twelve pieces: And he said to Jeroboam, Take thee ten pieces: for thus saith the LORD, the God of Israel, Behold, I will rend the kingdom out of the hand of Solomon, and will give ten tribes to thee:

And voila, Solomon’s dead.

Verse 42-3 And the time that Solomon reigned in Jerusalem over all Israel was forty years. And Solomon slept with his fathers, and was buried in the city of David his father: and Rehoboam his son reigned in his stead.

Good place to stop for the day. Rehoboam is toast, me feels…

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About dwighttowers

Below the surface...
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One Response to Solomon cometh and goeth: 1 Kings 1 to 11

  1. Pingback: The wisdom of Solomon? «

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