Sunday, July 25, 2010

1 Kings, Chapters 8 & 9

Chapter 8

Solomon consecrates the temple. Of course there's barbecue. Maybe heaven is Texas. God is back in cloud form and hides the temple from view. Then Solomon starts to pray. He praises his father and god for a bit, then says god doesn't have to live in the temple or anything, but could he please listen to the prayers said there? He also asks god to be a little more forgiving towards his chosen people and do things like end punishment droughts and plagues earlier. Solomon has lower expectations than Moses (thank god), saying, perhaps for the first time there is no man that sinneth not (v. 46). Remember that guy who was stoned to death for picking up sticks on the sabbath? Or the guy who went on a date with a girl from another tribe and got stabbed to death? Solomon asks god to go easier on people like that and remember that he brought them out of Egypt for a reason. Then he sacrifices a further 20 000 oxen and 120 000 sheep and feasts for a week.

Chapter 9

Solomon is understandably tired after his week of praying and eating burnt meat. When he drops of to sleep, god comes to him in a dream. I just saw Inception and now I'm picturing god as an extractor.

Anyway, god promises to live in the temple and keep him as king of Israel and so on and so forth so long as Solomon promises to obey his covenants. Someone fell asleep during the prayers! If you'll just scroll up a couple of paragraphs, Solomon specifically asked him to be a little more lenient.

If they don't of course, god will cast them out of the land and destroy the temple and make people hiss at them. Hissing! My cat used to hiss at me all the time. Bring it on!

It's also time to pay Hiram back for all the cedars and gold leaf and labour he lent to the project. Only 20 years after construction began! His payment is 20 cities in Galilee. But of course sneaky Solomon didn't get rich by giving away his good stuff and Hiram is disappointed at the quality of payment, especially after 20 years of waiting.

We also find out that Pharaoh had captured a Canaanite town, killed its inhabitants, and given it to his daughter as part of her dowry.

So Solomon taxes his people to pay Hiram. Non-Israelites are enslaved. Other tidbits: Solomon creates a navy.

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