Thoughts and Reflections
In today’s reading, we have a review of Solomon’s life. In Ecclesiastes, it may give us a negative view of life, but it is an honest assessment. If this life is all this is, then all of what we live for is vanity. All is meaningless because nothing else endures. We will all be forgotten because this life is not all there is.
In these moments we are asked to surrender to the Lord and trust him.
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 10
1 The queen of Sheba heard of Solomon’s fame and came to test him with difficult questions.
2 She arrived in Jerusalem with a very large retinue, with camels laden with spices and an immense quantity of gold and precious stones. Having reached Solomon, she discussed with him everything that she had in mind,
3 and Solomon had an answer for all her questions; not one of them was too obscure for the king to answer for her.
4 When the queen of Sheba saw how very wise Solomon was, the palace which he had built,
5 the food at his table, the accommodation for his officials, the organisation of his staff and the way they were dressed, his cupbearers, and the burnt offerings which he presented in the Temple of Yahweh, it left her breathless,
6 and she said to the king, ‘The report I heard in my own country about your wisdom in handling your affairs was true then!
7 Until I came and saw for myself, I did not believe the reports, but clearly I was told less than half: for wisdom and prosperity, you surpass what was reported to me.
10 And she presented the king with a hundred and twenty talents of gold and great quantities of spices and precious stones; no such wealth of spices ever came again as those which the queen of Sheba gave to King Solomon.
12 Of the almug timber the king made supports for the Temple of Yahweh and for the royal palace, and harps and lyres for the musicians; no more of this almug timber has since come or been seen to this day.
13 And King Solomon, in his turn, presented the queen of Sheba with everything that she expressed a wish for, besides those presents which he gave her with a munificence worthy of King Solomon. After which, she went home to her own country, she and her servants.
14 The weight of gold received annually by Solomon amounted to six hundred and sixty-six talents of gold,
16 King Solomon made two hundred great shields of beaten gold, six hundred shekels of gold going into one shield;
19 The throne had six steps, a back with a rounded top, and arms on each side of the seat; two lions stood beside the arms,
21 All King Solomon’s drinking vessels were of gold, and all the plate in the House of the Forest of Lebanon was of pure gold; silver was little thought of in Solomon’s days,
29 A chariot was imported from Egypt for six hundred silver shekels and a horse from Cilicia for a hundred and fifty. They also supplied the Hittite and Aramaean kings, who all used them as middlemen.
3 be in no hurry to depart from it; do not be obstinate in a bad cause, since the king will do as he likes in any case.
6 for there is a right moment and verdict for everything; but misfortune lies heavy upon anyone
9 I have seen all this to be so, having carefully studied everything taking place under the sun, while one person tyrannises over another to the former’s detriment.
11 Because the sentence on the evil-doer is not carried out on the instant, people’s hearts are full of desire to do wrong.
12 The sinner who does wrong a hundred times lives on. But this too I know, that there is good in store for people who fear God, because they fear him,
14 Another futile thing that happens on earth: upright people being treated as though they were wicked and wicked people being treated as though they were upright. To me this is one more example of futility.
15 And therefore I praise joy, since human happiness lies only in eating and drinking and in taking pleasure; this comes from what someone achieves during the days of life that God gives under the sun.
16 Having applied myself to acquiring wisdom and to observing the activity taking place in the world — for day and night our eyes enjoy no rest-
17 I have scrutinised God’s whole creation: you cannot get to the bottom of everything taking place under the sun; you may wear yourself out in the search, but you will never find it. Not even a sage can get to the bottom of it, even if he says that he has done so.
1 Yes, I have applied myself to all this and experienced all this to be so: that is to say, that the upright and the wise, with their activities, are in the hands of God. We do not understand either love or hate, where we are concerned, both of them are
2 futile. And for all of us is reserved a common fate, for the upright and for the wicked, for the good and for the bad; whether we are ritually pure or not, whether we offer sacrifice or not: it is the same for the good and for the sinner, for someone who takes a vow, as for someone who fears to do so.
3 This is another evil among those occurring under the sun: that there should be the same fate for everyone. The human heart, however, is full of wickedness; folly lurks in our hearts throughout our lives, until we end among the dead.
4 But there is hope for someone still linked to the rest of the living: better be a live dog than a dead lion.
5 The living are at least aware that they are going to die, but the dead know nothing whatever. No more wages for them, since their memory is forgotten.
6 Their love, their hate, their jealousy, have perished long since, and they will never have any further part in what goes on under the sun.
7 So, eat your bread in joy, drink your wine with a glad heart, since God has already approved your actions.
9 Spend your life with the woman you love, all the days of futile life God gives you under the sun, throughout your futile days, since this is your lot in life and in the effort you expend under the sun.
10 Whatever work you find to do, do it with all your might, for there is neither achievement, nor planning, nor science, nor wisdom in Sheol where you are going.
11 Another thing I have observed under the sun: that the race is not won by the speediest, nor the battle by the champions; it is not the wise who get food, nor the intelligent wealth, nor the learned favour: chance and mischance befall them all.
13 Here is another example of the wisdom I have acquired under the sun and it strikes me as important:
14 There was once a small town, with only a few inhabitants; a mighty king made war on it, laying siege to it and building great siege-works round it.
18 Wisdom is worth more than weapons of war, but a single sin undoes a deal of good.
1 [For the choirmaster On the . . . of Gath Psalm Of David] Yahweh our Lord, how majestic is your name throughout the world! Whoever keeps singing of your majesty higher than the heavens,
4 what are human beings that you spare a thought for them, or the child of Adam that you care for him?
5 Yet you have made him little less than a god, you have crowned him with glory and beauty,
6 made him lord of the works of your hands, put all things under his feet,