Monday, October 25, 2010

2 Chronicles, Chapters 5-9

Chapter 5

The temple is done. It's barbecue time! They put the ark of the covenant inside and god comes down in cloud form while they dance around. Snore.

Chapter 6

Solomon blesses the people, then starts bragging about how god didn't want his father to build the temple because only he, Solomon was pure enough. I guess this is before he marries those 700 pagan wives and starts building shrines to their gods all over the place, which then cause all those problems throughout Kings. Then he prays. For a long time. During his prayer, he instructs his people to pray toward this place (v. 26) which Mohammed clearly took seriously, but not the Jews.

Chapter 7

Solomon finishes praying. God comes down as a ball of fire and consumes his sacrifices. Apparently he likes his barbecue extra crispy. Then he goes into the temple. Solomon sacrifices even more sheep and oxen and there's even more singing and dancing. In a bit of revisionism worthy of Glen Beck, we are told that Solomon is a righteous king who maintains the holy days and keeps the temple clean. Again, no mention of those wives or the pagan groves he sets up for them. God promises to forgive the people and conquer their enemies if they just obey him.

Chapter 8

Solomon builds some cities. He enacts an amnesty of sorts on the children of foreigners left behind when the Israelites kicked them out: they won't eat them, they'll just tax them. What a guy! The Israelites will, of course, be army captains and priests. Solomon does finally marry an Egyptian woman, and tells her she can't go into the temple. Other than that, everything is hunky dory and the sacrificing continues apace.

Chapter 9

The Queen of Sheba comes to town and asks Solomon some questions. Again, we don't hear what they are, so we can't exactly judge the soundness of his wisdom. She does give him a lot of gold, though. In fact, everybody gives Solomon gold. So much that he makes targets and shields out of it. Now, given how soft gold is, it seems pretty dumb to make a shield out of it, certainly not a defensive tactic worthy of the smartest guy on earth. He then makes himself an ivory throne and puts a bunch of gold lions alongside it. I'm thinking gold lions were like Solomon's garden gnomes. He also has a lot of horses. Then he dies.

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