Thoughts and Reflection
Today in our readings we learn Solomon comes to the end of his life in foolishness. The builder finishes his life in ruins. The Lord told Solomon that he will establish his throne forever as long as he does not turn away from him and serve other gods. Solomon does not take the Lord’s words to heart.
Have you turned away from the Lord?
About This Project
For the year 2022, I decided that my New Year’s Resolution was to read the whole Bible following the Bible in the Year plan presented by Fr. Mike Schmitz. It is a big and bold undertaking. You can follow along by subscribing. Feel free to look at previous day’s post and comment. It’s something we can all learn from together!
1 Kings 9
1 When Solomon had finished building the Temple of Yahweh, the royal palace and everything else which Solomon had wanted to do,
2 Yahweh appeared to Solomon a second time, as he had appeared to him at Gibeon.
3 Yahweh said to him, ‘I have heard your prayer and the entreaty which you have before me. I consecrate this temple which you have built: I place my name there for ever; my eyes and my heart will be there always.
4 For your part, if you walk before me in innocence of heart and in honesty, like your father David, if you do everything that I command and keep my laws and my ordinances,
5 I shall make your royal throne secure over Israel for ever, as I promised your father David when I said, “You will never lack for a man on the throne of Israel.”
6 But if you turn away from me, either you or your descendants, and instead of keeping my commandments and laws which I have laid down for you, you go and serve other gods and worship them,
7 then I shall banish Israel from the country which I have given them, and shall disown this Temple which I have consecrated for my name, and Israel will be a proverb and a byword among all peoples.
8 As for this once-exalted Temple, everyone who passes by will be appalled, and they will whistle and say, “Why has Yahweh treated this country and this Temple like this?”
9 And the answer will be, “Because they deserted Yahweh their God who brought their ancestors out of Egypt, and they adopted other gods and worshipped and served them; that is why Yahweh has brought all these disasters on them.” ‘
10 At the end of the twenty years that it took Solomon to erect the two buildings, the Temple of Yahweh and the royal palace
11 (Hiram king of Tyre had provided Solomon with all the cedar wood, juniper wood and gold that he wanted), King Solomon gave Hiram twenty towns in the territory of Galilee.
12 But when Hiram came from Tyre to view the towns that Solomon had given him, he was not pleased with them.
13 He said, ‘What kind of towns are these you have given me, brother?’ And to this day they are known as ‘cabul-land’.
14 Hiram sent the king one hundred and twenty talents of gold.
15 This is an account of the forced labour levied by King Solomon for building the Temple of Yahweh, his own palace, the Millo and the fortifications of Jerusalem, Hazor, Megiddo, Gezer
16 (Pharaoh king of Egypt mounted an expedition, captured Gezer, burnt it down and massacred the Canaanites living there; he then gave the town as a dowry to his daughter, Solomon’s wife,
17 and Solomon rebuilt Gezer), Lower Beth-Horon,
18 Baalath, Tamar in the desert, inside the country,
19 all Solomon’s storage towns owned by Solomon, all the towns for his chariots and horses, and whatever Solomon was pleased to build in Jerusalem, in the Lebanon and in all the countries under his rule.
20 All those who survived of the Amorite, Hittite, Perizzite, Hivite and Jebusite peoples, who were not Israelites-
21 their descendants still remaining in the country on whom the Israelites had not been able to enforce the curse of destruction — these Solomon levied as forced labourers, as is still the case today.
22 Solomon did not, however, impose forced labour on the Israelites; for they were soldiers, his officials, his administrators, his officers and his chariot and cavalry commanders.
23 There were five hundred and fifty officials in charge of the foremen over Solomon’s work, who supervised the people employed on the work.
24 After Pharaoh’s daughter had moved from the City of David up to the palace which he had built for her, he then built the Millo.
25 Three times a year Solomon presented burnt offerings and communion sacrifices on the altar which he had built for Yahweh and set his burnt offerings smoking before Yahweh. Thus he completed the Temple.
26 King Solomon equipped a fleet at Ezion-Geber, which is near Elath on the shores of the Red Sea, in Edom.
27 For this fleet Hiram sent men of his, experienced sailors, to serve with those in Solomon’s service.
28 They went to Ophir and took on four hundred and twenty talents of gold, which they brought back to Solomon.
1 I see another evil under the sun, which goes hard with people:
2 suppose someone has received from God riches, property, honours — nothing at all left to wish for; but God does not give the chance to enjoy them, and some stranger enjoys them. This is futile, and grievous suffering too.
3 Or take someone who has had a hundred children and lived for many years, and, having reached old age, has never enjoyed the goodthings of life and has not even got a tomb; it seems to me, a still-born child is happier.
4 In futility it came, into darkness it departs, and in darkness will its name be buried.
5 It has never so much as seen or known the sun; all the same, it will rest more easily than that person,
6 who would never have known the good things of life, even by living a thousand years twice over. Do we not all go to the same place in the end?
7 All toil is for the mouth, yet the appetite is never satisfied.
8 What advantage has the wise over the fool? And what of the pauper who knows how to behave in society?
9 Better the object seen than the sting of desire: for the latter too is futile and chasing after the wind.
10 What has been is already defined — we know what people are: They cannot bring to justice one who is stronger than themselves.
11 The more we say, the more futile it is: what good can we derive from it?
12 And who knows what is best for someone during life, during the days of futile life which are spent like a shadow? Who can tell anyone what will happen after him under the sun?
1 Better a good name than costly oil, the day of death than the day of birth.
2 Better go to the house of mourning than to the house of feasting; for to this end everyone comes, let the living take this to heart.
3 Better sadness than laughter: a joyful heart may be concealed behind sad looks.
4 The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning, the heart of fools in the house of gaiety.
5 Better attend to the reprimand of the wise than listen to a song sung by a fool.
6 For like the crackling of thorns under the cauldron is the laughter of fools: and that too is futile.
7 But being oppressed drives a sage mad, and a present corrupts the heart.
8 Better the end of a matter than its beginning, better patience than ambition.
9 Do not be too easily exasperated, for exasperation dwells in the heart of fools.
10 Do not ask why the past was better than the present, for this is not a question prompted by wisdom.
11 Wisdom is as good as a legacy, profitable to those who enjoy the light of the sun.
12 For as money protects, so does wisdom, and the advantage of knowledge is this: that wisdom bestows life on those who possess her.
13 Consider God’s creation: who, for instance, can straighten what God has bent?
14 When things are going well, enjoy yourself, and when they are going badly, consider this: God has designed the one no less than the other so that we should take nothing for granted.
15 In my futile life, I have seen everything: the upright person perishing in uprightness and the wicked person surviving in wickedness.
16 Do not be upright to excess and do not make yourself unduly wise: why should you destroy yourself?
17 Do not be wicked to excess, and do not be a fool: why die before your time?
18 It is wise to hold on to one and not let go of the other, since the godfearing will find both.
19 Wisdom makes the wise stronger than a dozen governors in a city.
20 No one on earth is sufficiently upright to do good without ever sinning.
21 Again, do not listen to all that people say, then you will not hear your servant abusing you.
22 For often, as you very well know, you have abused others.
23 Thanks to wisdom, I have found all this to be true; I resolved to be wise, but this was beyond my reach!
24 The past is out of reach, buried deep — who can discover it?
25 But I have reached the point where, having learnt, explored and investigated wisdom and reflection, I recognise evil as being a form of madness, and folly as something stupid.
26 And I find woman more bitter than Death, she is a snare, her heart is a net, and her arms are chains. The man who is pleasing to Godeludes her, but the sinner is captured by her.
27 This is what I think, says Qoheleth, having examined one thing after another to draw some conclusion,
28 which I am still looking for, although unsuccessfully: one man in a thousand, I may find, but a woman better than other women-never.
29 This alone is my conclusion: God has created man straightforward, and human artifices are human inventions.
1 [Lament Of David Which he sang to Yahweh about Cush the Benjaminite] Yahweh my God, I take refuge in you, save me from all my pursuers and rescue me,
2 or he will savage me like a lion, carry me off with no one to rescue me.
3 Yahweh my God, if I have done this: if injustice has stained my hands,
4 if I have repaid my ally with treachery or spared one who attacked me unprovoked,
5 may an enemy hunt me down and catch me, may he trample my life into the ground and crush my vital parts into the dust.
6 Arise, Yahweh, in your anger, rise up against the arrogance of my foes. Awake, my God, you demand judgement.
7 Let the assembly of nations gather round you; return above it on high!
8 (Yahweh judges the nations.) Judge me, Yahweh, as my uprightness and my integrity deserve.
9 Put an end to the malice of the wicked, make the upright stand firm, you who discern hearts and minds, God the upright.
10 God is a shield that protects me, saving the honest of heart.
11 God is an upright judge, slow to anger, but a God at all times threatening
12 for those who will not repent. Let the enemy whet his sword, draw his bow and make ready;
13 but he is making ready instruments of death for himself and tipping his arrows with fire;
14 look at him: pregnant with malice, conceiving spite, he gives birth to treachery.
15 He digs a trap, scoops it out, but he falls into the snare he made himself.
16 His spite recoils on his own head, his brutality falls back on his own skull.
17 I thank Yahweh for his saving justice. I sing to the name of the Most High.