Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Old Testament Scriptural Summaries and Commentary
Old Testament, 2 Kings 2, 5-6
Supplemental Study 2 Kings 3-4
Gospel Doctrine Class, Sunday School Lesson #29
"He Took Up…the Mantle of Elijah" (2 Kings 2:13)

2 Kings 2 - Elijah is translated/Elisha receives the mantle of Elijah
" And it came to pass, when the Lord would take up Elijah into heaven by a whirlwind, that Elijah went with Elisha from Gilgal."  And Elijah said unto Elisha, "Tarry here, I pray thee; for the Lord hath sent me to Beth-el." And Elisha said unto him, "As the Lord liveth, and as thy soul liveth, I will not leave thee." So they went down to Beth-el.  And the sons of the prophets that were at Beth-el came forth to Elisha, and said unto him, "Knowest thou that the Lord will take away thy master from thy head to day?" And he said, "Yea, I know it; hold ye your peace" (vv. 2:1-3).

And the same sequence of events between Elijah and Elisha happened again at Jericho and Jordan (vv. 2:4-6).  At Jordan, fifty men of the "sons of the prophets" stood and watched afar off as Elijah and Elisha stood by the river. Elijah took his mantle, and "smote the waters" and [the waters] were divided "hither and thither," so they crossed to the other side on dry ground.  Then Elijah said to Elisha, "Ask what I shall do for thee, before I be taken away from thee."  And Elisha said, "I pray thee, let a double portion of thy spirit be upon me."  And Elijah said, "Thou hast asked a hard thing: nevertheless, if thou see me when I am taken from thee, it shall be so unto thee; but if not, it shall not be so" (vv. 2:7-10). 

"And it came to pass, as they still went on, and talked, that, behold, there appeared  a chariot of fire, and horses of fire, and parted them both asunder; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven."
"The term heaven has more than one meaning. Sometimes it is used to mean the sky; at other times it refers to the celestial glory. Elijah was taken from this earth as a translated being, but not into celestial glory" (Old Testament Student Manual Kings-Malachi, (1982), 59–65).

 Note:  Elijah was translated (as was Moses) because it was necessary that he have a body when he conferred the sealing  keys—the power to bind in the heavens all ordinances performed on earth—on Peter, James and John on the Mount of Transfiguration before Christ was resurrected (Matt. 17:1-13).  After the resurrection of Christ, he became a resurrected being. 

And Elisha cried, "My father, my father, the chariot of Israel, and the horsemen thereof." And he saw him no more: and he took his own clothes, and tore them in two pieces.  As Elijah was taken up, his mantle "fell from him" and "He [Elisha] took up also the mantle of Elijah" and smote the waters of Jordan.  And he said, "Where is the Lord God of Elijah?" Then the waters parted "hither and thither" and Elisha crossed over (v. 2:11-14).
"Elijah’s cloak, or mantle, was a symbol of his authority. Possession of it symbolized that Elijah’s former authority now rested on Elisha" (Old Testament Student Manual Kings-Malachi, (1982), 59–65).
Now the sons of the prophets who had been watching in Jericho said, "The spirit of Elijah doth rest on Elisha. And they came to meet him, and bowed themselves to the ground before him."  And they said to him, "Behold now, there be with thy servants fifty strong men; let them go, we pray thee, and seek thy master: lest peradventure the Spirit of the Lord hath taken him up, and cast him upon some mountain, or into some valley." And Elisha said, "Ye shall not send." But they urged him till he was ashamed, and he said, "Send." So Fifty men looked for Elijah for three days but did not find him.  "And when they came again to him [Elisha], (for he tarried at Jericho,) he said unto them, Did I not say unto you, Go not?" (vv. 2:15-18).

And while in Jericho Elisha healed the water which was sick.  And he went forth unto the spring of the waters, and cast…salt in there, and said, "Thus saith the Lord, I have healed these waters; there shall not be from thence [here] any more death or barren land" (vv. 2:19-22).  
"The use of salt makes this a greater miracle, since salt normally corrupts rather than purifies water" (Old Testament Student Manual Kings-Malachi, (1982), 59–65).

As Elisha travels to Beth-el "there came forth little children out of the city, and mocked him" saying, "Go up, thou bald head; go up, thou bald head."  And he cursed them in the name of the Lord.  "And there came forth two she bears out of the wood, and tare forty and two children of them" (vv. 2:23-25).
"The word that in the King James Version is translated 'little children' means young as compared to old, and can be translated not only as child, but as young man, meaning a servant or one fit to go out to battle" (Old Testament Student Manual Kings-Malachi, (1982), 59–65).
The Old Testament Student Manual explains this scripture with a commentary by Adam Clark who conjectures that the she-bears could have been taking vengeance on those [not children] "young men" who were searching for and killing their young whelps (see also 2 Samuel 17).
"The mention of she-bears gives some colour to the…conjecture; and, probably, at the time when these young fellows insulted the prophet, the bears might be tracing the footsteps of the murderers of their young, and thus came upon them in the midst of their insults, God’s providence ordering these occurrences so as to make this natural effect appear as a Divine cause. If the conjecture be correct, the bears were prepared by their loss to execute the curse of the prophet, and God’s justice guided them to the spot to punish the iniquity that had been just committed.” (Commentary, 2:486; quoted in OT Student Manual, p. 64.)

  And Elisha went from there to mount Carmel, and from there he returned to Samaria (v. 2:25).

2 Kings 5 - Elisha cures Naaman, a Syrian, of leprosy
W. Cleon Skousen in his book, The Fourth Thousand Years, states the following: “We now come to one of the most notable chapters of the Old Testament.  This is the story of Naaman, the leper, from Syria” (p. 404).  Naaman was the captain of all the armies (host) of the king of Syria and “a mighty man of valor” (v. 5:1).  While in Israel, Naaman captured “a little maid” and brought her back to Syria as a servant to his wife.  So she said to her mistress, “Would God my lord were with the prophet that is in Samaria! For he would recover him of his leprosy” (v. 5:3).   Thus the king of Syria wrote a letter to the king of Israel and sent Naaman to him along with silver, gold and “ten changes of raiment.”  But the king of Israel thought it was a trick by the king of Syria (v. 5:7). 

 When the man of God, Elisha, heard the king was distressed, he sent to the king saying, “let him come now to me, and he shall know that there is a prophet in Israel” (v. 5:8).  So Naaman went with all his horses and chariots and stood at Elisha’s door but Elisha sent word to him by a messenger saying, “Go and wash in Jordan seven times, and thy flesh shall come again to thee, and thou shalt be clean” (v. 5:10).  This made Naaman angry and he immediately turned his chariot back toward Syria.  As he neared the Jordan, his humble servants said to him, “My father, if the prophet had bid thee do some great thing, wouldest thou not have done it? How much rather then, when he saith to thee, Wash and be clean?” (v. 5:13).  And Naaman agreed to do as the prophet had said.  He went into the Jordan and immersed himself in the waters seven times “…and his flesh came again like unto the flesh of a little child, and he was clean!” (v. 5:14). 

Naaman rushed back to Elisha and proclaimed, “Behold, now I know that there is no God in all the earth, but in Israel” (v. 5:15).  And he offered a reward to Elisha but Elisha refused (God’s power through the priesthood is not to be used for personal gain.)   Sadly, Elisha’s servant Gehazi ran after Naaman’s chariot and ask for a reward and was given two talents of silver and two changes of garments.  When Gehazi returned to Elisha, the prophet perceived what the servant had done.  Elisha said to him, “The leprosy therefore of Naaman shall cleave unto thee, and unto thy seed for ever.  And [Gehazi] went out from his presence a leper as white as snow” (v. 5:27).

2 Kings 6 - Elisha’s miracles continue
When Elisha was in Jordan where the sons of the prophets went to dwell, the brethren were working on  enlarging their dwelling by cutting and hauling logs from the Jordan River.  Unfortunately, while one man was in the process of axing a tree, the ax head fell off and sank into the river.  The man immediately went to Elisha and cried, “Alas. Master! For it was borrowed” (v. 6:5).  The man showed Elisha exactly where the ax head went down and Elisha took a stick and tossed it onto the spot and the ax head rose to the surface and was rescued (vv. 6:6-7).

 Now Syria was again at war with Israel.  The king of Syria confided to his servants the place where he was planning to ambush the king of Israel.  The Lord told Elisha about the plan and Elisha twice warned the Israelite king not go near the place of the Syrian fortification and it twice saved his life.  The king of Syria believed he had a spy in his camp but was told by one of his servants, “Elisha, the prophet that is in Israel, telleth the king of Israel the words that thou speakest in thy bed-chamber” (vv. 6:11-12). 

Thus, the king of Syria set about to find Elisha who was in Dothan, just a short distance from Samaria, and the Syrian army seized the city.  When Elisha’s servant arose in the morning, he found the city surrounded by the Syrians and was fearful.  Elisha said to him, “Fear not: for they that be with us are more than they that be with them” (v. 6:16).  And Elisha prayed to the Lord and caused the servant to see that the mountain was full of horses, chariots and fire (v. 6:17).  And Elisha again prayed that the Syrians would be smitten with blindness and the Lord smote them according to Elisha’s prayer (v. 6:18).  Then Elisha had the whole army follow him to Samaria and the Lord opened their eyes.  The king of Israel asked if he was to kill them, and Elisha said to let them eat and drink and return to their master.  “So the bands of Syria came no more into the land of Israel” (v. 6:19-23). 
Elder Dallin H. Oaks said: “When I read this wonderful story as a boy, I always identified with the young servant of Elisha. I thought, If I am ever surrounded by the forces of evil while I am in the Lord’s service, I hope the Lord will open my eyes and give me faith to understand that when we are in the work of the Lord, those who are with us are always more powerful than those who oppose us” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1992, 54; or Ensign, Nov. 1992, 39; quoted in Old Testament: Gospel Doctrine Teacher’s Manual, (2001), 139–43).

The next year, Ben-hadad, the king of Syria came again and seized Samaria and there was no food in the city.  The king of Israel blamed the Lord for the famine and decided to take revenge by killing the prophet Elisha—to be continued (v. 6:33).

Supplemental Scripture Study
2 Kings 3 - War with the Moabites
King Jehoram of Israel (the Northern Kingdom) reigned eighteen years and was evil—but not as evil as his father Ahab and his mother Jezebel (v. 3:1-2).  Jehoram went to Jehoshaphat, king of Judah, and ask him to make a pact with him and the king of Edom to battle against the Moabites because they refused to send Israel their required tribute (v. 3:4).  After seven days journey in the wilderness of Edom, they had no water for the men or the animals.  And Jehoshaphat asked that a prophet of the Lord be consulted.  One of the servants suggested Elisha and the three kings went to him.  Elisha knew that Jehoram was evil, but because of Jehoshaphat, he said to them, "Thus saith the LORD, make this valley full of ditches (vv. 3:8-16).   And in the morning water came by the way of Edom, and the ditches filled up with water (v. 3:20).  As the Moabites looked on the water where the armies of Israel were camped, it appeared as red blood in the sunrise and they thought the kings had slain each other and they went to raid the camps (vv. 3:21-23). 
"The divine help consisted, therefore, not in a miracle which surpassed the laws of nature, but simply in the fact that the Lord God, as He had predicted through His prophet, caused the forces of nature ordained by Him to work in the predetermined manner"(Keil and Delitzsch, Commentary, 3:1:305–6; Quoted in Old Testament Student Manual Kings-Malachi, (1982), 73–80.)

Then the Israelites rose up and slaughtered the Moabites and followed them to their cities where they did as Elisha had told them to do to the land; to beat down the cities, to cut down all the trees, to destroy all the wells, and to throw large rocks on the fields (so no crops could be planted) (v. 3:25).  The king of Moab saw that the battle was lost and offered his oldest son  as a sacrifice for a burnt offering to his idol god, which horrified the armies of Israel and they returned to their own land (vv. 3:26-27). 

2 Kings 4 - Elisha’s many miracles
(1) A widow, who was one of the wives of the sons of the prophets, came to Elisha.  She told him her sons were about to be taken away and made bondsmen for a debt she owed.  Elisha asked her if she had any thing in her house and she replied only a “pot of oil.”  Elisha told her to borrow all the empty pots she could find and from her pot, pour oil into the empty pots.  She did as he said and the oil stayed.  Elisha said, “Go, sell the oil and pay thy debt, and live thou and thy children” (vv. 4:1-8). 
(2) Elisha often was shown kindness by a Shunammite woman who perceived that he was a man of God.  She offered him bread and made him his own room in her house to stay when he was in the area.  Elisha, in turn, asked what he could do for her.  Elisha’s servant said that he noticed the woman had no children and her husband was old.  And, Elisha promised she would have a child by the same time next year.  “And the woman conceived and bare a son” (v. 4:17). 
(3) When the child was grown, one day he got sick and by the time the woman brought Elisha back to her house, he was dead.  And Elisha raised the Shunammite woman’s son from the dead and he lived (vv. 4:8-37). 
(4) Now at Gilgal there was a lack of food and the prophets gathered herbs and vines and wild gourds from the fields and made a pottage out of it.  As they were eating, some cried out that there was death in the pot.  Elisha ask that meal be brought and he put it into the pot, “and there was no harm in the pot” and they did eat (vv. 4:38-41). 
(5) Another miracle occurred when a man brought Elisha twenty loaves of barley bread and some ears of corn.  And he fed all the people and some was still left over.  This was done “according to the word of the Lord” (vv. 4:42-44).

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Old Testament Scriptural Summaries and Commentary
Old Testament, 1 Kings, chapters 17-19
Gospel Doctrine Class, Sunday School Lesson #28
"After the Fire, a Still Small Voice" 1 Kings 19:12

1 Kings chapter 17 - The prophet Elijah – four miracles
 Elijah, the Tishbite, who was of the inhabitants of Gilead appears before Ahab (see below) and says, “As the LORD God of Israel liveth, before whom I stand, there shall not be dew nor rain these years, but according to my word” (v.17:1).  And he sealed the heavens (first miracle).
 "And Ahab made a grove; and Ahab did more to provoke the Lord God of Israel to anger than all the kings of Israel that were before him"(1 Kings 16:33).

"Nearly nine hundred years before Christ, a prophet appeared in the court of the king of Israel. He is introduced only as 'Elijah the Tishbite of the inhabitants of Gilead.'  (We don't know what 'Tishbite' means; we know that 'Gilead' was a wilderness.) He carried with him a sacred authority. He denounced King Ahab, and then he closed the heavens over that wicked land and said there should be no rain. He set no conditions such as 'It won't rain until you repent'; he simply said there should be no rain except 'according to my word.' In plain language, 'It's not going to rain until I say so.'" (Elder Boyd K. Packer, Ordinances, BYU Fireside, Feb. 3, 1980, lds.org.)

And the Lord tells him to hide himself by the brook in Cherith that is before Jordan so he can drink of the brook.  "So he went and did according unto the word of the LORD." And the Lord commanded the ravens to feed him there; and they brought him bread and flesh both morning and evening (second miracle).  After a time the brook dried up because there was no rain. (v. 17:3-7).
 Elder Gordon B. Hinckley said: “There was no arguing. There was no excusing. There was no equivocating. Elijah simply ‘went and did according unto the word of the Lord.’ And he was saved from the terrible calamities that befell those who scoffed and argued and questioned” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1971, 159; or Ensign, Dec. 1971, 123–24).

Then the Lord tells Elijah to go to Zarephath [in the land of Sidon, (Internet Bibleatlas.org)] where a widow woman will sustain him.  And he sees her by the gate of the city. When he calls to her saying, “Bring me, I pray thee a morsel of bread in thine hand.” She tells him she has only a “handful of meal in a barrel, and a little oil in a cruse” that she is preparing for herself and her son that they may eat and die.  Elijah said to her, "Fear not: go and do as thou hast said; but make me thereof a little cake first, and bring it unto me, and after make for thee and for thy son.”  Elijah assures her, “For thus saith the LORD God of Israel, The barrel of meal shall not waste, neither shall the cruse of oil fail, until the day that the LORD sendeth rain upon the earth.”   And she did as he ask and they had food for many days.  And the barrel of meal wasted not [stayed full] and the cruse of oil did not fail "according to the word of the LORD, which he spake by Elijah" (third miracle) (vv. 17:11-16). 
(See "words of Christ" below; Luke 4:25-26.)
25 But I tell you of a truth, many widows were in Israel in the days of Elias, when the heaven was shut up three years and six months, when great famine was throughout all the land;
 26 But unto none of them was Elias sent, save unto Sarepta, a city of Sidon, unto a woman that was a widow

What can we do to help others who are in need?
Elder Jeffrey R. Holland said: “I know we can each do something, however small that act may seem to be. We can pay an honest tithe and give our fast and freewill offerings. … And we can watch for other ways to help. To worthy causes and needy people, we can give time if we don’t have money, and we can give love when our time runs out. We can share the loaves we have and trust God that the cruse of oil will not fail” (in Conference Report, Apr. 1996, 41; or Ensign, May 1996, 31; quoted in Old Testament: Gospel Doctrine Teacher’s Manual, (2001), 134–38).

Now the widow woman’s son gets sick and "there was no breath left in him."  And the widow cried out for help from Elijah.  Elijah carried the boy into the loft where he was staying and laid him on his own bed.  "And he stretched himself upon the child three times, and cried unto the LORD, and said, O LORD my God, I pray thee let this child’s soul come into him again.”  And Lord heard the voice of Elijah; and soul of the child came into him again (fourth miracle).   Then Elijah took him to his mother and said, “See thy son liveth.”  And the woman knew that Elijah was truly a man of God (vv. 17:17-24).
President Ezra Taft Benson taught:
“When we put God first, all other things fall into their proper place or drop out of our lives. Our love of the Lord will govern the claims for our affection, the demands on our time, the interests we pursue, and the order of our priorities. …
“May God bless us to put [him] first and, as a result, reap peace in this life and eternal life with a fulness of joy in the life to come” (in Conference Report, Apr. 1988, 3, 6; or Ensign, May 1988, 4, 6; quoted in Old Testament: Gospel Doctrine Teacher’s Manual, (2001), 134–38).

1 Kings chapter 18 - The prophet Elijah proposes a contest
After three years of famine in Samaria because of no rain, the Lord sends Elijah back to king Ahab.  As they see each other, Ahab said to Elijah, “Art thou he that troubleth Israel?"  And he answered, "I have not troubled Israel; but thou and thy father’s house, in that ye have forsaken the commandments of the LORD, and thou hast followed Baalim” (vv. 18:17-18).  And Elijah tells Ahab to gather all the prophets of Baal (450 of them) and the prophets of the groves (400), and go to Mt. Carmel—"a mountain ridge several miles long that runs from southeast to northwest. Its southeastern slopes are very near the northwestern corner of the great Jezreel Valley, and its northwest edge juts into the Mediterranean on the northern coasts of modern Israel" (OT Student Manual, p. 60) (v. 18: 19). 

Then Elijah speaks to the people asking, “How long halt ye between two opinions?  If the LORD be God follow him; but if Baal, then follow him. And the people answered him not a word” (v. 18:21). 
"They were halt, they could not walk uprightly; they dreaded Jehovah, and therefore could not totally abandon him; they feared the king and queen, and therefore thought they must embrace the religion of the state. Their conscience forbade them to do the former; their fear of man persuaded them to do the latter; but in neither were they heartily engaged; and at this juncture their minds seemed in equipoise, and they were waiting for a favourable opportunity to make their decision" (Adam Clark, The Holy Bible … with a Commentary and Critical Notes, 2:457; quoted in OT Student Manual, p. 60). 

Elijah proposes a contest to see whose god can cause a fire to burn a cut-up bullock [young bull] placed over wood on an altar.  The prophets of Baal will call on their god to light the fire, and Elijah will call on the Lord to do the same.  The priests of Baal call on the name of Baal from morning until noon and nothing happens.  In desperation they leap on the altar and cut themselves with knives and lancets mingling their own blood with their sacrifice. But again, nothing happens and they continue until evening (vv. 18:25-29). 

Now Elijah takes twelve stones, one for each tribe of Israel and he builds an altar with a trench around it.  Then he puts wood on the altar and cuts up the bullock and lays it on the wood.  Four barrels of water are poured on the bullock and on the wood and it was done a second and third time.  And the trench is filled with water also.  And, Elijah calls on the Lord.  “Then the fire of the LORD fell and consumed the burnt sacrifice, and the wood, and the stones, and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench” (vv. 18:31-38).  And the people said “The LORD, he is God; the LORD he is God” (v. 18:39).  The people and Elijah take all the prophets of Baal to the brook Kishon and slay them with swords (v. 18:40).   And the sound of a great rain from black clouds soon falls on Ahab and he takes his chariot and goes to Jezreel.  "And the hand of the LORD was on Elijah; and he girded up his loins, and ran before Ahab to the entrance of Jezreel" (vv. 18:41-46).

1 Kings chapter 19 - Elijah hides from Jezebel and goes to Sinai (Horeb)
When Jezebel finds out that Elijah and the people of Israel have been responsible for killing the prophets of Baal, she wants revenge and sends a message to Elijah that he will be dead by the next day (v. 19:2).  So Elijah flees to Beer-sheba and goes into the wilderness.  He is discouraged about his mission and lies under a juniper tree where an angel comes and tells him to arise and eat.  Then it happens a second time and he eats and drinks again to gain strength.  He goes to Mt. Sinai (Horeb), the mount of God, where he fasts [and prays] for forty days and forty nights.  And he leaves and goes to a cave where he lodges.  There, the word of the Lord came to him saying, “What doest thou here, Elijah?” (v. 19:9).   And Elijah laments to the Lord about how evil the children of Israel are in forsaking their covenants and they have “slain thy prophets with the sword.”  And he tells the Lord that even now they are trying to take away his life also (vv. 19:10,14).  The Lord tells him to go and stand on the mount.  As he is standing on the mountain, a great wind comes and breaks the rocks into pieces; then there is an earthquake; and a fire. "And after the earthquake a fire; but the LORD was not in the fire; and after the fire a still small voice" (v. 19:12).

And Elijah goes to converse with the Lord at the mouth of the cave (v. 19:13).  The Lord tells him to go to the wilderness of Damascus and he gives him three assignments.  First, he is to anoint Hazael to be king over Syria: second, Jehu is to be anointed to be king over Israel:  and third, Elisha is to be anointed prophet "in thy room" [in his place]. "And it shall come to pass, that him that escapeth the sword of Hazael shall Jehu slay: and him that escapeth from the sword of Jehu shall Elisha slay."  The Lord also tells Elijah that he is not alone, that seven thousand in Israel are still with him and do not worship Baal (vv. 19: 15-18).   

So Elijah departs from Horeb and finds Elisha plowing a field with twelve oxen.  “And Elijah passed by him, and cast his mantle upon him” (v. 19:19).  After a meal with his people, Elisha goes with Elijah and becomes his servant (v.19:21).

Joseph Smith said:
“The spirit, power, and calling of Elijah is, that ye have power to hold the key of the revelations, ordinances, oracles, powers and endowments of the fulness of the Melchizedek Priesthood and of the kingdom of God on the earth; and to receive, obtain, and perform all the ordinances belonging to the kingdom of God, even unto the turning of the hearts of the fathers unto the children, and the hearts of the children unto the fathers, even those who are in heaven. …

“I wish you to understand this subject, for it is important; and if you receive it, this is the spirit of Elijah, that we redeem our dead, and connect ourselves with our fathers which are in heaven, and seal up our dead to come forth in the first resurrection; and here we want the power of Elijah to seal those who dwell on earth to those who dwell in heaven. This is the power of Elijah and the keys of the kingdom of Jehovah” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, sel. Joseph Fielding Smith [1976], 337–38; quoted in Old Testament: Gospel Doctrine Teacher’s Manual, (2001), 134–38).

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Old Testament Scriptural Summaries and Commentary
Old Testament, 1 Kings, Chapters 12-14; 2 Chronicles 17 and 20
Supplemental; 1 Kings 11:1-4, 26-40; 2 Kings 17:20-23
Gospel Doctrine Class, Sunday School Lesson #27
The Influence of Wicked and Righteous Leaders

1 Kings 12—22,  A divided monarchy
Northern Kingdom (10 Tribes) Israel also called Ephraim
Southern Kingdom (tribes of Judah, Benjamin and the Levites) Judah

The Kings
Rehoboam (Judah) Forsook the law of the Lord
Jeroboam (Israel) Set up idols and false priesthood
Nadab (Israel) Followed Jeroboam’s pattern
Abijah (also called Abijam) (Judah) Walked in all the sins of his father
Asa (Judah) Did that which was good and right in the eyes of the Lord
Baasha (Israel) Followed the pattern of Jeroboam
Jehoshaphat (Judah) Did not take down the high places but was otherwise righteous
Elah (Israel) Was a drunkard—“made Israel to sin”
Zimri (Israel) Was a murderer, idolater (reigned seven days)
Omri (Israel) Was a worse idolater than all before him
Ahab (Israel) Was even worse than Omri, married Jezebel

1 Kings 12 - Rehoboam and Jeroboam

After Solomon died, his son, Rehoboam goes to Shechem as a concession to the northern tribes of Ephraim and Judah who didn’t support him, to be crowned king.  While Rehoboam is in Shechem, Jeroboam (see Chapter 11 in supplemental reading ) who fled to Egypt, was called back to speak to Rehoboam along with “all the congregation of Israel” (v. 12:3).  They said to Rehoboam, “Thy father made our yoke grievous; now therefore make thou the grievous service of thy father, and his heavy yoke which he put upon us lighter, and we will serve thee” (v. 12:4).  Rehoboam told them they should come again in three days.  During that time the king consulted the “old men” who told him “be a servant unto this people …and speak good words to them, then they will be thy servants for ever” (v. 12:7).  And Rehoboam consulted the “young men” who told him to say to the people “And now whereas my father did lade you with a heavy yoke, I will add to your yoke, …and chastise you with scorpions (stinging whips)" (v. 12:11).  And Rehoboam took the advice of the young men.  And all Israel departed except for those who dwelt in the cities of Judah (vv. 12:16-17). 

And all Israel called Jeroboam to their congregation and made him king.  Then Rehoboam returned to Jerusalem and prepared for war with the northern tribes.  “But the word of God came unto Shemaiah a man of God, saying, "Speak unto Rehoboam, the son of Solomon, king of Judah, and unto all the house of Judah and Benjamin, and to the remnant of the people, saying, Thus saith the LORD, Ye shall not go up, nor fight against your brethren the children of Israel” (vv. 12:22-24).  And Rehoboam listened to the word of the Lord through Shemaiah, the prophet, and war was avoided.

Then Jeroboam [king of the Northern Kingdom] built his capital in Shechem in mount Ephraim.  From that time he led his people into idolatry by making golden calves and placing them in Bethel and Dan so the Israelites would not go to worship in Jerusalem.  Jeroboam also changed the traditional feast days and ordained priests who were not Levites. "And he made an house of high places, and made priests of the lowest of the people, which were not of the sons of Levi" (vv. 12:25-33). 

1 Kings 13 - Jeroboam and the prophet from Judah
A prophet from Judah “by word of the LORD” (v. 13:1) goes to Bethel in the Northern Kingdom to prophesy.  He tells Jeroboam that the altar will be destroyed and the ashes poured out as a sign from God that his sacrifice is evil and not accepted by the Lord.  Jeroboam puts his hand on the altar and the hand “dried up, so that he could not pull it in again to him” (v. 13:4).  And Jeroboam asks the prophet to plead with the Lord to restore his hand; and the hand is restored (v. 13:6). 

Now comes the strange story of the prophet from Judah and an “old” prophet from Bethel who persuades the Judean prophet to go against “the word of the Lord.”  He has been told by the Lord not to eat bread or drink water in that place.  The old prophet lied and told the prophet from Judah that the Lord had spoken to him through an angel that he should bring him back into his house to eat bread and drink water—and the prophet from Judah disregards the Lords word and accepts the offer made by the prophet from Bethel.  After he has eaten and drunk water, the old prophet tells the other prophet that because he disobeyed the word of the Lord he will be killed by a lion and his carcass will be left there (vv. 13:8-24).  And thus it is.  Then the old prophet takes the Judean prophet’s body and buries it in his own sepulchre (v. 13:31) (see also 2 Kings 13:17).  Moral of the story: always obey the word of the Lord and not the word of man.

 “And Jeroboam returned not from his evil way;" and he continues to make the lowest of the people priests over high places "and this thing became sin unto the house of Jeroboam, even to cut it off, and to destroy it from off the face of the earth” (vv. 13:33-34).

1 Kings 14 - Rehoboam and Jeroboam both die

Jeroboam's son Abijah becomes sick and the king sends his wife in disguise to Shiloh in Judah to find the prophet Ahijah.  This is the prophet who earlier told Jeroboam he would be king over the ten tribes.  He tells Jeroboam’s wife that because Jeroboam has done evil and made other gods and molten images, that his son Abijah will die.  Ahijah also tells her to tell Jeroboam that the Lord will smite Israel [the Northern Kingdom], that they will be taken out of the land of their fathers, and they shall be scattered because they have provoked the Lord to anger. (vv. 14:1-15).  "And he [the Lord] shall give Israel up because of the sins of Jeroboam, who did sin, and who made Israel to sin" (v. 14:16).

And the days which Jeroboam [in Israel] reigned were two and twenty years: and he slept with his fathers and Nadab, his son reigned in his stead” (14:20). 

Meanwhile, Rehoboam, the son of Solomon reigned in Judah.  And he reigned seventeen years in Jerusalem.  And the people in Judah were also evil “above all that their fathers had done” (v. 14:22).  They worshiped idols in their “high places and groves” and there were “sodomites in the land” (vv. 14:23-24).  In the fifth year of the reign of Rehoboam, the king of Egypt came to war with Jerusalem.  The scriptures say that he took away all the treasures of the king’s house and the house of the Lord in Jerusalem (v. 14:26).   “And there was war between Rehoboam  [Judah] and Jeroboam [Israel] all their days” (v. 14:30).  And Rehoboam died and “Abijam his son reigned in his stead” (v. 14:31).

Note:  Rehoboam's son, Abijam,  is also referred to as Abijah in 2 Chronicles 12:16 (see footnote 1 Kings 14:31a).

2 Chronicles 17: 1-10 - Jehoshaphat, a righteous leader

The following is Jehoshaphat's  lineage: David, his son Solomon,  Solomon's son Rehoboam, Rehoboam's son Abijam (Abijah), Abijam's son Asa, Asa's son Jehoshaphat.

The first thing Jehoshaphat does is to strengthen Judah.  He “placed forces in all the fenced cities” and “sent garrisons in the land…and in the cities which Asa his father had taken” (v. 17:2-3).  “And the LORD was with Jehoshaphat, because he walked in the first ways of his father[s]; David, and sought not unto Baalim [fertility gods of the Canaanites and others; see Internet]; but sought to the LORD God of his father, and walked in his commandments, and not after the doings of Israel” [the Northern Kingdom] (vv. 17:3-4). 

And because he followed the Lord, Judah prospered with “riches and honour” in abundance.  “And his heart was lifted up in the ways of the LORD.”  And the scripture says he “took away” the high places and groves  where the immoral worship of Baal was practiced (v. 17:6) (see note below).   Then, he called the prophets and the Levite priests and sent them to teach the people of Judah “the book of the law of the LORD” throughout all the cities of Judah.  “And the fear of the LORD fell upon all the kingdoms of the lands that were round about Judah, so that they made no war against Jehoshaphat” (vv. 17:5-10).

“High places (1 Kings 12:31): altars that were built on hilltops. When the people fell into idolatry, they desecrated these altars and used them for idol worship.
Groves (1 Kings 14:15): places of pagan worship where people sometimes engaged in immoral behavior” (Old Testament: Gospel Doctrine Teacher’s Manual, (2001), 128–33).

Note:  Second Chronicles 20:33 states: “the high places were not taken away: for as yet the people had not prepared their hearts unto the God of their fathers.”

2 Chronicles 20: 1-30 - The people of Jehoshaphat trust in the Lord

Now a great multitude of people from Ammon, Moab, and mount Seir came against Jehoshaphat to battle.  Jehoshaphat “turned himself to seek the Lord, and proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah.”  And the people came out of all the cities to ask help of the Lord.  When they were gathered Jehoshaphat prayed mightily remembering that the Lord had promised Abraham the land as a sanctuary for his people.  He tells the Lord that they don't know why this “great company” has come against them and they don't know what to do; “but our eyes are upon thee”—they are willing to rely on the Lord (vv. 20:1-13).

The Spirit of the Lord comes to Jahaziel, a Levite and the son of Zechariah, in the midst of the congregation.  And he said, “Thus saith the LORD unto you, Be not afraid nor dismayed by reason of this great multitude; for the battle is not yours, but God's“ (v. 20:15).  He told them to go to the end of the wadi or valley east of the wilderness of Jeruel (see footnotes 16b, 16c).  He tells them they will not need to fight in this battle; “set yourselves, stand ye still, and see the salvation of the LORD with you, O Judah and Jerusalem; fear not, nor be dismayed; to morrow go out against them: for the LORD will be with you.”  Then Jehoshaphat and all the people fell on the ground and worshipped the Lord (vv. 20:14-18).

In the morning they went forth to the wilderness where the Lord sent them and the King said to them, “Hear me, O Judah, and ye inhabitants of Jerusalem; Believe in the LORD your God, so shall ye be established; believe in his prophets, so shall ye prosper.”  And they went out before the army singing praises to the Lord.  And the Lord caused the children of Ammon and Moab to go against the inhabitants of mount Seir to utterly slay and destroy them; then those who were left of the Ammonites and the Moabites fell on each other.  When Judah came to the given place in the wilderness, they beheld all were “dead bodies fallen to the earth, and none escaped.”  And for three days they took away the spoil found in abundance from among the dead.  On the fourth day they returned home with joy.  “And the fear of God was on all the kingdoms of those countries, when they had heard that the LORD fought against the enemies of Israel.” And the Lord gave Jehoshaphat rest “round about.”  Jehoshaphat reigned over Judah for twenty five years in Jerusalem always doing what was right in the sight of the Lord (vv. 20:18-32).

Supplemental Reading; 1 Kings 11:1-4, 26-40; 2 Kings 17:20-23

1 Kings 11 - Solomon is corrupted; Ahijah prophesies that Israel will be divided

And Solomon married many “strange” [foreign] women who brought their idol and heathen worship with them to Israel.  The scripture states that he had seven hundred wives and princesses, and three hundred concubines (v. 11:3).  These women corrupted Solomon and when he was old, he “turned away his heart after other gods” (v. 11:4).  And God stirred up adversaries against the king. 

Solomon’s servant, an industrious man named Jeroboam, was made ruler over the house of Joseph [Ephraim and Manasseh] (v. 11:28).  A prophet named Ahijah told Jeroboam that he would rule over the ten tribes of Israel but the tribe of Judah [including half the tribe of Benjamin and the Levites] would continue under David’s line [including the promised Messiah] (vv. 11:29-36).  From that day Solomon sought to kill Jeroboam who fled to Egypt for safety.  Solomon reigned over all of Israel forty years and died and was buried in the city of David.  He was succeeded by Rehoboam, his son (vv.11:40-43).

2 Kings 17- The Northern Kingdom (Israel) is conquered and scattered by Assyria

Hoshea was king of Israel when Shalmaneser [the king of Assyria after Tiglath-pileser] conquered Israel. 
“Hoshea: Reigned nine years (abt. 732–722 B.C.).  By the time of Hoshea’s reign, Israel’s captivity was unavoidable.  Samaria fell to Assyria about 721 B.C. and most of the inhabitants were deported. They were then scattered and became the ten lost tribes” (see 2 Kings 17:1–34). (See The Kings and the Prophets of Israel and Judah chart; LDS.org.)

Hoshea “became his servant, and gave him presents” which meant he was willing to be a vassal king (v. 17:3).  After a while, Hoshea quit sending tribute to the Assyrians and Shalmaneser put him in prison.  For three years the Assyrian king besieged the Northern Kingdom and finally took the city of Samaria.  The Assyrians took away the captive Israelites to Halah, Habor by the river of Gozan, and to the cities of the Medes (v. 17:4-6).  This punishment was because the Lord had been provoked to anger: “For they [the Israelites] served idols, whereof the LORD had said unto them, Ye shall not do this thing” (vv. 17:11-12).  “And they left all the commandments of the LORD their God, and made them molten images, even two calves, and made a grove and worshipped all the host of heaven, [the sun, moon, and stars] and served Baal” (v.17:16).  They sacrificed their children by fire and used “divination and enchantments.”

And the Lord removed them out of his sight (v. 17:17), “there was none left but the tribe of Judah only” (v. 17:18).  “The ten tribes carried into captivity at this time were Reuben, Simeon, Issachar, Zebulon, Gad, Dan, Asher, Naphtali, Ephraim, and Manasseh.  The three remaining tribes [in the Southern Kingdom] were Judah, Benjamin, and Levi” (Student Manual, II, p. 127).  Not all members of every tribe were taken captive.  Some had already migrated to Judah because of the wickedness of the people in Israel.  And, some of the ten tribes remained in Israel. 

To repopulate Samaria, the Assyrians brought in their own people along with others from various countries.  The scriptures state that these people did not fear [know] the Lord; “therefore the LORD sent lions among them, which slew some of them” (v. 17:25).  Then the Assyrian king sent an Israelite priest back from his captivity “and taught them how they should fear the LORD” (v. 17:28).   The result was, “They feared the LORD, and served their own gods, after the manner of the nations whom they carried away from thence” (v. 17:33).  In other words, they worshipped Jehovah and combined it with the pagan religions of Assyria.  The Samaritans as a people eventually resulted from the intermarriage between the remaining Israelites and the Assyrians who came after the ten tribes were carried away (Student  Manual, II, p. 127).

Note: Sometime during the three year siege of Samaria, the Assyrian king Shalmaneser died and was succeeded by Sargon II who destroyed the city and “carried the survivors captive into Assyria” (Student Manual, II, p. 114).

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Old Testament Scriptural Summaries and Commentary
Old Testament, 1 Kings, Chapters 3, 5-11
Supplemental; 1 Kings 1; 2:1-12; 4:29-34; see also 1 Chronicles 29
Gospel Doctrine Class, Sunday School Lesson #26
King Solomon: Man of Wisdom, Man of Foolishness

The First Book of the KINGS – Commonly called The Third Book of the Kings
1 Kings, Chapters 3, 5-11 — Solomon’s reign 
1 Kings, Chapter 3 — Solomon’s vision dream; Solomon judges between two women who both claim to be a child’s mother
Solomon solidifies his political power by making the daughter of the Egyptian pharaoh his wife (v. 3:1).  These foreign marriages become Solomon’s downfall as he begins to allow the worship of false gods (OT Student Manual, II, p.  4).  The temple had not yet been built in Jerusalem, so Solomon went to the tabernacle [built by Moses] located in Gibeon.  And he sacrificed “a thousand burnt offerings …upon that altar” (v. 3:4).  At night in Gibeon, the Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream saying, “Ask what I shall give thee” (v. 3:5).  And Solomon in his humility asks God only for “an understanding heart to judge thy people, that I may discern between good and bad” (v. 3:9).  And that pleased the Lord who gave him that which he didn't ask for also which was “riches and honor” contingent on his keeping the statutes and commandments of the Lord (vv. 3:13-14). 

 Verses 16-28 is the story of the two harlots who both claim to be the mother of the same child.  Solomon listens to both their stories then said, “Divide the living child in two, and give half to the one, and half to the other” (v. 3:25).  The false mother agrees to divide the child, but the real mother begs Solomon to give the child to the other woman that it would not be slain.  And, Solomon answered, “Give her the living child, and in no wise slay it: she is the mother thereof” (v. 3:27).  And all Israel heard the judgment that “the wisdom of God was in him” (v. 3:28). 

1 Kings, Chapters 5-6 — KING Hiram of Tyre [Lebanon] sends supplies for the temple
After David died, Hiram of Tyre sent his servants to Solomon.  And Solomon said to Hiram “Thou knowest how that David my father could not build an house unto the name of the LORD his God for the wars which were about him on every side, until the LORD put them under the soles of his feet” (v. 5:3).  And Solomon set about to build the temple with supplies of cedar and fir trees from Lebanon along with skilled Phoenician architects and craftsmen to “hew timber” (v. 5:6).  And Solomon gave Hiram wheat and oil for his household each year; and there was peace between them (vv. 5:11-12). 

Now Solomon needs workers to build the temple and he conscripts [commands] thirty thousand men from all Israel to cut stones and prepare the timbers.  This was  fulfillment of the prophesy made by Samuel that a king “will take your sons” to be servants, horsemen, captains and to reap the harvest and make his instruments of war and instruments of chariots.  And “he will take your daughters” to be cooks and bakers (see 1 Samuel 8: 11-18).

In the fourth year of Solomon’s reign, after four hundred and eighty years from the time that the children of Israel came out of Egypt, work on the temple in Jerusalem began (v. 6:1).

 Brigham Young said, “The pattern of this temple…[and] all the fixtures thereunto…were given to Solomon by revelation, through the proper source” (Discourses of Brigham Young, p. 414; quoted in OT Student Manual, II, p. 5).
"This was necessary because Solomon had never built a temple and didn't know the function and arrangement of all the rooms any more than Moses did when he built the tabernacle.  And the inner rooms of the temple were built in a similar design to the ancient tabernacle" (OT Student Manual, II, p. 5-6).  The temple was built by the finest craftsmen who carved cherubim, palm trees, and flowers of cedar and fir overlaid with gold within and without the temple (v. 6:29).  The word of the Lord came to Solomon that if he kept the statutes and judgments and all the commandments, “I [the Lord] will dwell among the children of Israel and will not forsake my people Israel” (v. 6:13).  And it took seven [and a half] years to build the temple (v. 6:38).

Note: It took twenty years to build Solomon's house and "the house of the Lord" (see v. 9:10).

1 Kings, Chapter 7— Solomon’s Palace is built and the temple is finished
The first twelve verses describe the palace that Solomon built for himself and the house he built for his wife, the pharaoh's daughter.  They were made of cedar and the porches were of "costly [hewed] stones." These took thirteen years to build. 

Then, Solomon had a “molten sea of brass” (v. 7:23) built for the temple that was placed on the backs of twelve brazen oxen, symbolic of the twelve tribes of Israel.

 Bruce R. McConkie explains that this was a baptismal font used for baptizing the living as there was no baptism for the dead until after the resurrection of Christ (Mormon Doctrine, pp. 103-4; quoted from The Student Manual, II, p. 6). 

 And Hiram of Tyre came to Jerusalem and built many works of brass for the temple (v. 7:13).  “And Solomon made all the vessels that pertained unto the house of the LORD; the altar of gold, and the table of gold, whereupon the showbread was” (v. 7:48).  And, finally, everything was finished and the work ended and everything was placed “among the treasures of the house of the LORD” (v. 7:51). 

1 Kings, Chapter 8 — The ark is placed in the Holy of Holies and Solomon dedicates the temple
Solomon calls for all the elders of Israel and the heads of the tribes to come to Jerusalem to bring the ark to the temple.  “And the priests [the Levites]  took up the ark” (v. 8:3) and “brought in the ark of the covenant of the LORD unto his place, into the oracle of the house, to the most holy place, even under the wings of the cherubims” (v. 8:6).  “And there was nothing in the ark save the two tables of stone, which Moses put there at Horeb, when the LORD made a covenant with the children of Israel, when they came out of the land of Egypt” (v. 8:9).    And a cloud filled the house of the Lord (vv. 8:10-11) indicating the very presence of God (OT Student Manual, II, p. 7). 

Now Solomon blesses the congregation and begins the dedicatory prayer.  Solomon praises the Lord (v. 8:23) and pleads with him “to hearken unto the cry and to the prayer, which thy servant prayeth before thee to day” (v. 8:28).  And he asks the Lord to forgive the sin of his servants "and teach them the good way wherein they should walk" that they will have rain on the land [temporal and spiritual blessings] (v. 8:36).  And Solomon speaks of a "stranger from a far country" who comes in the name of the Lord and prays toward the house of the Lord, and asks blessings upon Israel “that all people of the earth may know thy name” (vv. 8:41-43)—This seems to refer to the missionaries of a future day.  And Solomon asks the Lord for compassion on the people of Israel in all that they call for unto the Lord (vv. 8:50-52).  When Solomon finishes his prayer, he said to the people, “Let your heart therefore be perfect with the LORD our God, to walk in his statutes, and keep his commandments, as at this day” (v. 8:61).  And they offered sacrifice offerings of thousands of oxen and sheep for seven days. 

Then Solomon held a feast for the whole of Israel "from the entering in of Hamath unto the river of Egypt"—all of the lands that David conquered—for an additional seven days (v. 8:65).  “On the eighth day [after fourteen days of sacrifice and worship]… 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” (v. 8:66). 

1 Kings, Chapters 9-11— Solomon rules in splendor and dies in transgression
The Lord appears to Solomon a second time and accepts the temple “which thou hast built, to put my name there for ever” (v. 9:3).  Again the Lord tells Solomon everything is conditional on keeping his statutes and judgments.  And he cautions Solomon that if Israel serves other gods, he will cut them off out of the land which he has given them "and this house, which I have hallowed for my name, will I cast out of my sight" (vv. 9:6-7). 

Because of Solomon’s massive building projects the people are put in forced labor and heavily taxed.  This affects not only the children of Israel but the Amorites, Hittites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites who were made bondmen.  The Israelites  were not bondmen but became Solomon’s soldiers, servants, princes, captains and rulers of his chariots and horsemen. (vv. 9:15-23).  Then Solomon “made a navy of ships” (v. 9:26) and Hiram sent shipmen who had knowledge of the sea.  And the ships brought gold and other treasure to king Solomon.

The queen of Sheba [thought to be from Arabia near the southern end of the Red Sea] (Student Manual, II, p. 8), came to visit Solomon to test him on his famed wealth and wisdom.  She didn't believe what she had heard until she saw it with her own eyes, “and behold, the half was not told me: thy wisdom and prosperity exceedeth the fame which I heard” (v. 10:7).  And, they exchange gifts of gold, silver, and precious stones.  And she gave Solomon a great abundance of spices.  Now Solomon’s heart seems to be on all the things of the world that he can build or acquire.  And his navy brought him gold, silver, ivory, and apes and peacocks (v. 10:22).  “So king Solomon exceeded all the kings of the earth for riches and for wisdom” (v. 10:23). 

And Solomon married many “strange” [foreign] women who brought their idol and heathen worship with them to Israel.  The scripture states that he had seven hundred wives and princesses, and three hundred concubines (v. 11:3).  These women corrupted Solomon and when he was old, he “turned away his heart after other gods” (v. 11:4).  And God stirred up adversaries against the king.  

Solomon’s servant, an industrious man named Jeroboam, was made ruler over the house of Joseph [Ephraim and Manasseh] (v. 11:28).  A prophet named Ahijah told Jeroboam that Israel would be divided and he [Jeroboam] would rule over the ten tribes but the tribe of Judah [including half the tribe of Benjamin and the Levites] would continue under David’s line [including the promised Messiah] (vv. 11:29-36).  From that day Solomon sought to kill Jeroboam who fled to Egypt for safety.  Solomon reigned over all of Israel forty years and died and was buried in the city of David.  He was succeeded by Rehoboam, his son (vv.11:40-43).

Supplemental Scriptural Study
1 Kings 1 —  Adonijah and the succession of Solomon
King David was old and unable to keep warm.  Thus, a virgin was given to him care for him and to “lie in [his] bosom, that my lord the king may get heat” (v. 1:2).  The virgin’s name was Abishag and she was fair to behold but “the king knew her not” (v. 1:4).  The king’s fourth [next living] son Adonijah soon declares himself king and is supported by Joab, the commander of the military, Abiathar, the high priest, and other princes of the court including David’s personal servants and staff. 

Adonijah prepares a great feast a short distance from Jerusalem and purposely excludes Zadock, a priest, Benaiah, a military commander, and Nathan, the prophet, who are loyal to Solomon and David.  Nathan takes news of Adonijah’s plot to Bathsheba, Solomon’s mother, who along with Nathan succeeds in having King David declare Solomon his successor.  So, Solomon rode the king’s mule into Gohon and Zadock anointed Solomon with oil, and he was declared king.  And the people said, “God save king Solomon” (vv. 1:38-39). When Adonijah heard the noise, he was told that David had made Solomon king.  And Adonijah feared for his life and went to seek refuge on the horns of the altar.  But Solomon sent him to his house conditional on being “a worthy man; …but [cautioned] if wickedness shall be found in him, he shall die” (v. 1:52).

1 Kings, Chapter 2 —  David counsels Solomon to keep the commandments and dies; Solomon rules the kingdom
David knows he is about to die and he counsels Solomon “be thou strong therefore, and shew thyself a man.”  He also tells him to “keep the charge of the LORD thy God, to walk in his ways to keep his statutes, and his commandments, and his judgments and his testimonies, as it is written in the law of Moses” (vv. 2:2-3).  David's last advice to his son “in his wisdom” is to deal with [take revenge on] Joab for the murders of Abner and Amasa, and Shimi, who cursed David when he fled from Absalom--a sad ending for King David.  And, David “slept with his fathers and was buried in the city of David.” And David was king of Judah for seven years and all of Israel for thirty-three years (v. 2:10). 

 Adonijah is still plotting to get the throne and entreats Bathsheba to ask Solomon to give him Abishag for his wife and she agrees to his petition.  Solomon is angry because he knows that would be a sign to the people that Adonijah is the rightful king.  In swift judgment Solomon orders Adonijah killed by Benaiah that same day (vv. 2:24-25).  And Solomon exiles Abiathar, the priest who supported Adonijah, out of the court to his own fields (v. 2:26).  Joab flees to the horns of the altar for mercy, but because there is no doubt of his guilt in the murder of two innocent men, he is killed by Benaiah.  Zadock takes the place of Abiathar as Solomon’s priest and Benaiah is made captain of the host of Israel’s military (vv. 2:34-35).  Shimi is given a house in Jerusalem and ordered not to cross over the brook Kidron or he will be killed.  However, after three years, Shimi goes to Gath seemingly to look for his errant servants—Solomon did not want Shimi collaborating with the eastern enemies of Israel (Student Manual II, p. 3).  When Solomon finds out Shimi’s deception, he confronts him and Shimi is killed by Benaiah (vv.2:36-46).

Verses 4:1-19 lists all the officers, princes and priests of his court.  “And Solomon reigned over all kingdoms from the river unto the land of the Philistines, and unto the border of Egypt” (v. 4:21).  The scripture enumerates the huge amounts of flour and meal; oxen, sheep, harts, roebucks, fallow deer [gazelles], and fatted fowl needed as provisions for one day for his servants and officers.  “And Solomon had forty thousand stalls of horses for his chariots, and twelve thousand horsemen” (vv. 4:27-28) to house and feed along with all the barley and straw needed for the animals.  All these provisions for the government were levied as taxes by Solomon on the people of Israel (Student Manual, II, pp. 4-5). 

“And Solomon’s wisdom excelled the wisdom of all the children of the east country, and all the wisdom of Egypt.  For he was wiser than all men;…and his fame was in all nations round about.  And he spake three thousand proverbs: and his songs were a thousand and five” (vv. 4:30-32).

First Chronicles, Chapter 29:1-30
 1 Furthermore David the king said unto all the congregation, Solomon my son, whom alone God hath chosen, is yet young and tender, and the work is great: for the palace is not for man, but for the Lord God 2 Now I have prepared with all my might for the house of my God the gold for things to be made of gold, and the silver for things of silver, and the brass for things of brass, the iron for things of iron, and wood for things of wood; onyx stones, and stones to be set, glistering stones, and of divers colours, and all manner of precious stones, and marble stones in abundance.
3 Moreover, because I have set my affection to the house of my God, I have of mine own proper good, of gold and silver, which I have given to the house of my God, over and above all that I have prepared for the holy house,  4 Even three thousand talents of gold, of the gold of Ophir [probably a seaport], and seven thousand talents of refined silver, to overlay the walls of the houses withal: 5 The gold for things of gold, and the silver for things of silver, and for all manner of work to be made by the hands of artificers [skilled workman]. And who then is willing to consecrate his service this day unto the Lord?
6 ¶Then the chief of the fathers and princes of the tribes of Israel, and the captains of thousands and of hundreds, with the rulers of the king’s work, offered willingly,
 7 And gave for the service of the house of God of gold five thousand talents and ten thousand drams, and of silver ten thousand talents, and of brass eighteen thousand talents, and one hundred thousand talents of iron.  8 And they with whom precious stones were found gave them to the treasure of the house of the Lord, by the hand of Jehiel the Gershonite [Levite in charge of the treasury].  9 Then the people rejoiced, for that they offered willingly, because with perfect heart they offered willingly to the Lord: and David the king also rejoiced with great joy.
10 ¶Wherefore David blessed the Lord before all the congregation: and David said, Blessed be thou, Lord God of Israel our father, for ever and ever.  11 Thine, O Lord, is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty: for all that is in the heaven and in the earth is thine; thine is the kingdom, O Lord, and thou art exalted as head above all.  12 Both riches and honour come of thee, and thou reignest over all; and in thine hand is power and might; and in thine hand it is to make great, and to give strength unto all. 13 Now therefore, our God, we thank thee, and praise thy glorious name.  14 But who am I, and what is my people, that we should be able to offer so willingly after this sort? for all things come of thee, and of thine own have we given thee.  15 For we are strangers before thee, and sojourners, as were all our fathers: our days on the earth are as a shadow, and there is none abiding.  16 O Lord our God, all this store that we have prepared to build thee an house for thine holy name cometh of thine hand, and is all thine own.  17 I know also, my God, that thou triest the heart, and hast pleasure in uprightness. As for me, in the uprightness of mine heart I have willingly offered all these things: and now have I seen with joy thy people, which are present here, to offer willingly unto thee. 18 O Lord God of Abraham, Isaac, and of Israel, our fathers, keep this for ever in the imagination of the thoughts of the heart of thy people, and prepare their heart unto thee:  19 And give unto Solomon my son a perfect heart, to keep thy commandments, thy testimonies, and thy statutes, and to do all these things, and to build the palace, for the which I have made provision.
 20 ¶And David said to all the congregation, Now bless the Lord your God. And all the congregation blessed the Lord God of their fathers, and bowed down their heads, and worshiped the Lord, and the king.  21 And they sacrificed sacrifices unto the Lord, and offered burnt offerings unto the Lord, on the morrow after that day, even a thousand bullocks, a thousand rams, and a thousand lambs, with their drink offerings, and sacrifices in abundance for all Israel:  22 And did eat and drink before the Lord on that day with great gladness. And they made Solomon the son of David king the second time, and anointed him unto the Lord to be the chief governor, and Zadok to be priest.  23 Then Solomon sat on the throne of the Lord as king instead of David his father, and prospered; and all Israel obeyed him.  24 And all the princes, and the mighty men, and all the sons likewise of king David, submitted themselves unto Solomon the king.  25 And the Lord magnified Solomon exceedingly in the sight of all Israel, and bestowed upon him such royal majesty as had not been on any king before him in Israel.
 26 ¶Thus David the son of Jesse reigned over all Israel.  27 And the time that he reigned over Israel was forty years; seven years reigned he in Hebron, and thirty and three years reigned he in Jerusalem.  28 And he died in a good old age, full of days, riches, and honour: and Solomon his son reigned in his stead.  29 Now the acts of David the king, first and last, behold, they are written in the book of Samuel the seer, and in the book of Nathan the prophet, and in the book of Gad the seer [lost scriptures],  30 With all his reign and his might, and the times that went over him, and over Israel, and over all the kingdoms of the countries.