fbpx

Day 153 – The Decline of Solomon


Thoughts and Reflection

In today’s reading, we learn that our decisions have consequences for both ourselves and others. David was an absent father who did not pass his relationship with the Lord to Solomon. Solomon failed to be faithful to God. Solomon’s faith unravels because he gave his heart to something other than the Lord (hundreds of wives and concubines and false worship). Solomon builds a beautiful Temple for the Lord but also builds temples for the gods of his pagan wives.

Have you given your heart to someone or something other than 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!

Daily Readings

1 Kings 11

1 King Solomon loved many foreign women: not only Pharaoh’s daughter but Moabites, Edomites, Sidonians and Hittites,

2 from those peoples of whom Yahweh had said to the Israelites, ‘You are not to go among them nor they among you, or they will be sure to sway your hearts to their own gods.’ But Solomon was deeply attached to them.

3 He had seven hundred wives of royal rank and three hundred concubines.

4 When Solomon grew old his wives swayed his heart to other gods; and his heart was not wholly with Yahweh his God as his father David’s had been.

5 Solomon became a follower of Astarte, the goddess of the Sidonians, and of Milcom, the Ammonite abomination.

6 He did what was displeasing to Yahweh, and was not a wholehearted follower of Yahweh, as his father David had been.

7 Then it was that Solomon built a high place for Chemosh, the abomination of Moab, on the mountain to the east of Jerusalem, and to Milcom, the abomination of the Ammonites.

8 He did the same for all his foreign wives, who offered incense and sacrifice to their gods.

9 Yahweh was angry with Solomon because his heart had turned away from Yahweh, God of Israel, who had twice appeared to him

10 and had forbidden him to follow other gods; but he did not carry out Yahweh’s order.

11 Yahweh therefore said to Solomon, ‘Since you have behaved like this and have not kept my covenant or the laws which I laid down for you, I shall tear the kingdom away from you and give it to one of your servants.

12 For your father David’s sake, however, I shall not do this during your lifetime, but shall tear it out of your son’s hands.

13 Even so, I shall not tear the whole kingdom from him. For the sake of my servant David, and for the sake of Jerusalem which I have chosen, I shall leave your son one tribe.’

14 Yahweh raised an enemy against Solomon, Hadad the Edomite, of the kingly stock of Edom.

15 After David had crushed Edom, Joab the army commander had gone to bury the dead and had slaughtered the entire male population of Edom

16 (Joab stayed there with all Israel for six months until he had exterminated the entire male population of Edom),

17 but Hadad with a number of Edomites in his father’s service had fled to Egypt. Hadad had been only a boy at the time.

18 They set out from Midian, and on reaching Paran, took a number of men from Paran with them and went on to Egypt, to Pharaoh the king of Egypt, who provided him with a house, undertook to maintain him, and assigned him an estate.

19 Hadad became a great favourite of Pharaoh who gave him his own wife’s sister in marriage, the sister of the Great Lady Tahpenes.

20 The sister of Tahpenes bore him his son Genubath whom Tahpenes brought up in Pharaoh’s palace, Genubath living in Pharaoh’s palace with Pharaoh’s own children.

21 But when news reached Hadad in Egypt that David had fallen asleep with his ancestors and that Joab the army commander was dead, he said to Pharaoh, ‘Give me leave to go that I may return to my own country.’

22 ‘What do you lack here with me,’ Pharaoh said, ‘for you to want to go back to your country?’ ‘Nothing,’ he replied, ‘but please let me go.’Hence the harm which Hadad caused: he loathed Israel and ruled Edom.

23 God raised a second enemy against Solomon, Rezon son of Eliada. He had fled from his master, Hadadezer king of Zobah.

24 A number of men having rallied to him, he became leader of a marauding band (which was then massacred by David). Rezon captured Damascus and settled there and became king of Damascus.

25 He was hostile to Israel as long as Solomon lived.

26 Jeroboam was the son of Nebat, an Ephraimite from Zeredah; the name of his mother, a widow, was Zeruah; he was in Solomon’s service but revolted against the king.

27 This is the account of his revolt. Solomon was building the Millo and closing the breach in the City of David his father.

28 Now this Jeroboam was a man of great energy; Solomon, noticing how the young man set about his work, put him in charge of all the forced labour of the House of Joseph.

29 One day when Jeroboam had gone out of Jerusalem, the prophet Ahijah of Shiloh accosted him on the road. Ahijah was wearing a new cloak; the two of them were in the open country by themselves.

30 Ahijah took the new cloak which he was wearing and tore it into twelve strips,

31 saying to Jeroboam: ‘Take ten strips for yourself, for Yahweh, God of Israel, says this, “I am going to tear the kingdom from Solomon’s hand and give ten tribes to you.

32 He will keep one tribe for the sake of my servant David and for the sake of Jerusalem, the city which I have chosen out of all the tribes of Israel;

33 for he has forsaken me to worship Astarte the goddess of the Sidonians, Chemosh the god of Moab, Milcom the god of the Ammonites; he has not followed my ways by doing what I regard as right, or by keeping my laws and ordinances as his father David did.

34 But it is not from his hands that I will take the kingdom, since I have made him a prince for as long as he lives, for the sake of my servant David who kept my commandments and laws.

35 I shall, however, take the kingdom from the hand of his son, and I shall give it to you, that is, the ten tribes.

36 I shall give one tribe to his son, so that my servant David may always have a lamp in my presence in Jerusalem, the city which I have chosen as a dwelling-place for my name.

37 You nonetheless I shall appoint to rule over as much as you wish, and you will be king of Israel.

38 If you listen to all my orders and follow my ways, by doing what I regard as right and by keeping my laws and commandments as my servant David did, then I shall be with you and shall build you as enduring a dynasty as the one which I built for David. I shall give Israel to you,

39 and I shall humble the descendants of David, but not for ever.” ‘

40 Solomon tried to kill Jeroboam but he made off and fled to Egypt, to Shishak king of Egypt, and he remained in Egypt until Solomon’s death.

41 The rest of the history of Solomon, his entire career, his wisdom, is this not recorded in the Book of the Annals of Solomon?

42 Solomon’s reign in Jerusalem over all Israel lasted forty years.

43 When Solomon fell asleep with his ancestors, he was buried in the City of David his father; his son Rehoboam succeeded him.

Ecclesiastes 10

1 One dead fly can spoil the scent-maker’s oil: a grain of stupidity outweighs wisdom and glory.

2 The sage’s heart leads him aright, the fool’s leads him astray.

3 A fool walks down the road, he has no wit — and everyone remarks, ‘How silly he is!’

4 If the anger of the ruler rises against you, do not leave your post; composure mitigates grave offences.

5 One evil I observe under the sun: the sort of misjudgement to which rulers are prone-

6 folly promoted to the top and the rich taking the lowest place.

7 I see slaves riding on horses and princes on foot like slaves.

8 He who digs a pit falls into it, he who undermines a wall gets bitten by a snake,

9 he who quarries stones gets hurt by them, he who chops wood takes a risk from it.

10 If, for want of sharpening, the blade is blunt, you have to work twice as hard; but it is the outcome that makes wisdom rewarding.

11 If, for want of charming, the snake bites, the snake-charmer gets nothing out of it.

12 The sayings of a sage give pleasure, what a fool says procures his own ruin:

13 his words have their origin in stupidity and their ending in treacherous folly.

14 A fool talks a great deal, but none of us in fact can tell the future; what will happen after us, who can tell?

15 A fool finds hard work very tiring, he cannot even find his own way into town.

16 Woe to you, country with a lad for king, and where princes start feasting in the morning!

17 Happy the land whose king is nobly born, where princes eat at a respectable hour to keep themselves strong and not merely to revel!

18 Thanks to idleness, the roof-tree gives way, thanks to carelessness, the house lets in the rain.

19 We give parties to enjoy ourselves, wine makes us cheerful and money has an answer for everything.

20 Do not abuse the king, even in thought, do not abuse a rich man, even in your bedroom, for a bird of the air might carry the news, a winged messenger might repeat what you have said.

Ecclesiastes 11

1 Cast your bread on the water, eventually you will recover it.

2 Offer a share to seven or to eight people, you can never tell what disaster may occur.

3 When clouds are full of rain, they will shed it on the earth. If a tree falls, whether south or north, where it falls, there it will lie.

4 Keep watching the wind and you will never sow, keep staring at the clouds and you will never reap.

5 You do not understand how the wind blows, or how the embryo grows in a woman’s womb: no more can you understand the work of God, the Creator of all.

6 In the morning, sow your seed, until evening, do not cease from labour, for of any two things you do not know which will succeed, or which of the two is the better.

7 How sweet light is, how delightful it is to see the sun!

8 However many years you live, enjoy them all, but remember, the days of darkness will be many: futility awaits you at the end.

9 Young man, enjoy yourself while you are young, make the most of the days of your youth, follow the prompting and desire of heart and eye, but remember, God will call you to account for everything.

10 Rid your heart of indignation, keep your body clear of suffering, though youth and the age of black hair are both futile.

Ecclesiastes 12

1 Remember your Creator while you are still young, before the bad days come, before the years come which, you will say, give you no pleasure;

2 before the sun and the light grow dim and the moon and stars, before the clouds return after the rain;

3 the time when your watchmen become shaky, when strong men are bent double, when the women, one by one, quit grinding, and, as they look out of the window, find their sight growing dim.

4 When the street-door is kept shut, when the sound of grinding fades away, when the first cry of a bird wakes you up, when all the singing has stopped;

5 when going uphill is an ordeal and you are frightened at every step you take- yet the almond tree is in flower and the grasshopper is weighed down and the caper-bush loses its tang; while you are on the way to your everlasting home and the mourners are assembling in the street;

6 before the silver thread snaps, or the golden bowl is cracked, or the pitcher shattered at the fountain, or the pulley broken at the well-head:

7 the dust returns to the earth from which it came, and the spirit returns to God who gave it.

8 Sheer futility, Qoheleth says, everything is futile.

9 Besides being a sage, Qoheleth taught the people what he himself knew, having weighed, studied and emended many proverbs.

10 Qoheleth took pains to write in an attractive style and by it to convey truths.

11 The sayings of a sage are like goads, like pegs positioned by shepherds: the same shepherd finds a use for both.

12 Furthermore, my child, you must realise that writing books involves endless hard work, and that much study wearies the body.

13 To sum up the whole matter: fear God and keep his commandments, for that is the duty of everyone.

14 For God will call all our deeds to judgement, all that is hidden, be it good or bad.

Psalm 9

1 [For the choirmaster On oboe and harp Psalm Of David] I thank you, Yahweh, with my whole heart, I recount all your wonders,

2 I rejoice and delight in you, I sing to your name, Most High.

3 My enemies are in retreat, they stumble and perish at your presence,

4 for you have given fair judgement in my favour, seated on your throne as upright judge.

5 You have rebuked the nations, destroyed the wicked, blotted out their name for ever and ever;

6 the enemy is wiped out — mere ruins for ever — you have annihilated their cities, their memory has perished. See,

7 Yahweh is enthroned for ever, keeping his throne firm for judgement;

8 he will himself judge the world in uprightness, will give a true verdict on the nations.

9 May Yahweh be a stronghold for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble!

10 Those who revere your name can rely on you, you never desert those who seek you, Yahweh.

11 Sing to Yahweh who dwells in Zion, tell the nations his mighty deeds,

12 for the avenger of blood does not forget them, he does not ignore the cry of the afflicted.

13 Have pity on me, Yahweh, see my affliction, pull me back from the gates of death,

14 that I may recount all your praises at the gates of the daughter of Zion and rejoice in your salvation.

15 The nations have fallen into the trap they made, their feet caught in the snare they laid.

16 Yahweh has made himself known, given judgement, he has ensnared the wicked in the work of their own hands.Muted music 

17 May the wicked turn away to Sheol, all the nations forgetful of God.

18 For the needy is not forgotten for ever, not for ever does the hope of the poor come to nothing.

19 Arise, Yahweh; human strength shall not prevail. The nations shall stand trial before you.

20 Strike them with terror, Yahweh; the nations shall know that they are no more than human!


Leave a Reply

Like what you are reading? Subscribe and get notified of new posts.

You have Successfully Subscribed!

%d bloggers like this: