Monday, August 30, 2010

1 Kings 6-7

The Facts (Chapter number: Verse)

1 Kings 6 - No mention of any women.

7:8- Solomon made a house much like the hall he made himself for Pharaoh's daughter, whom he had taken in marriage.
7:14 - Solomon hired Hiram, a bronzeworker, who was the son of a widow of the tribe of Naphtali and whose father had been an artisan in bronze.

My Comments

I honestly thought we were behind the boring architecture stuff. Didn't we suffer enough when the Bible explained EVERY SINGLE DETAIL of the tabernacle in Exodus which included how they made the lamp stands, the table for holding the bread of presence, at least two altars, the priestly vestments and the ark of the covenant. Some of the most boring stuff I've ever read. These bits about Solomon's palace and temple are no more interesting. And these sections still leave me with the question why was this even left in the Bible? If I was God (or even some dude pretending to be God) the specific details of building construction would not be on the top of my "Things To Include In My Most Holy Book" list.

And just a quick note: I love how wives are basically always "taken" by their husbands. Simple word choices can tell you a lot about how women are viewed, and in this case "taken" treats them more like property and not like active participants in their own marriages/lives. Really quite revealing and sad.

Wednesday: 1 Kings 8-9

Friday, August 27, 2010

1 Kings 3-5

The Facts (Chapter number: Verse)

3:1 - Solomon made a marriage alliance with Pharaoh king of Egypt and married his daughter and brought her into the city of David.
3:16-28 - Two prostitutes that lived in the same house came before Solomon. One woman told Solomon how they both lived in the same house. She had given birth and three days later the other woman gave birth and they were the only two in the house. The other woman laid on her son in the middle of the night and killed him. So she got up and took the son of the first woman and placed her dead son in the living son's place. The first woman knew the living son was hers, but the second insisted otherwise. They argued before the king. So Solomon called for a sword and said that the living son should be cut in half, a half to be given to each woman. The first woman said that the second woman could keep the son as long as he was not killed, for she had compassion for her son burning in her. The second woman said it shall be neither mine nor hers so divide him. Solomon declared the son not be cut in half and be given to the first women for she was clearly the boys real mother.

4:11 - "Ben-adinadah in all Naphath-dor (he had Taphath, Solomon's daughter as his wife)."

1 Kings 5: No mention of any women.

My Comments

The infamous Solomon baby dividing story is finally here. I know that pretty much everyone knows this story in one form or another since it's a fairly classic "wise old dude" story. I find it interesting that the women are right off the bat identified as prostitutes. I guess since they apparently have no husbands and they have sex they can't be anything but prostitutes. Maybe I should find it interesting, the Bible needlessly points out prostitutes left and right so it's really just par for the course here.

I'm also not sure exactly how I learned the story originally. I remember there were two women fighting over one kid and Solomon threatened to kill the kid to find out who the real mother was. I don't think I ever heard about how one woman originally had a son, accidentally killed him in her sleep, and then proceeded to swap her dead son for her roommates living son. Somehow that just makes the story so much more morbid. And again, I have to say how bad I feel for the woman who lost her son. The Bible is very clear over and over and over again that a woman without a son is nothing. She is less that. She is a failure. So how can you blame the woman for what she did when she not only has no son now but she actually killed her only living son? I can't say I blame her. Maybe king Solomon, in all his God given wisdom, could have done something to help that woman? Maybe in his infinite wisdom he could do something to help better the lives of all the women in his nation?



Guess when God gave Solomon wisdom it couldn't actually be better than the wisdom God already had. Which as we've learned does not involve caring about the lives and happiness of half (or more) of the human population. Maybe God is incapable of making anything wiser than himself? Does that fall under the same category as "can God make a big so heavy he can't lift it" logic?

Either way, it's kind of crappy. But at least in the end justice was served in the trial and no woman was stoned to death. So, one step forward?

Monday: 1 Kings 6-7

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

1 Kings 1-2

The Facts (Chapter number: Verse)

1: 1-4 - King David was very old and could not get warm no matter how many blankets covered him. So his servants said to him, "Let a young virgin be sought for the king ad be his attendant. Let her lie in your bosom so that my lord the king may be warm." So they searched for a beautiful girl throughout Israel and found Abishag the Shunamite and brought her to the king. She became the king's attendant and served him, but the king did not know her sexually.
1:11-22 - Nathan tells Bathsheba, Solomon's mother, how Adonijah son of Haggith has become king without David knowing it. Nathan tells Bathsheba to go to David and remind him how he promised to make Solomon king and to inform him that Adonijah has now made himself king. After Bathsheba tells David this Nathan will come in and confirm her words. So Bathsheba goes to David and reminds him of his promise and tells him how Adonijah has become king without David knowing, sacrificing animals and inviting all the children of the king, the priet Abiathar and commander Joab to feasts. Solomon was not invited to these feasts and Bathsheba fears they will become outsiders and offenders if Adonijah remains king. Nathan comes in while Bathsheba is still speaking with the king.
1:28-31 - David summons Bathsheba and swears to her that her son Solomon would succeed him as king. Bathsheba bowed with her face to the ground and did obeisance to the king and said, "May my lord King David live forever!"

2:13-25 - Adonijah comes to Bathsheba peaceably and requests for her to go to Solomon and ask Solomon to give Adonijah Abishag the Shunamite as a wife. Bathsheba agrees and goes to see King Solomon. She asks to speak to Solomon on Adonijah's behalf. The King rose and bowed to her. The Solomon sat in his throne and had a throne brought for the king's mother and she sat on his right. Bathsheba tells Solomon she has a request and Solomon says that she knows he cannot refuse her. Bathsheba asks if Solomon will give Adonijah the woman Abishag as a wife. Solomon asks why she would request this. "Ask for him the kingdom as well! For he is my elder brother." Solomon cries. King Solomon is so angry at this request that he orders Adonijah be put to death.

My Comments

Much like 2 Samuel 14, we have a woman involved in a plan, but her part is to regurgitate the exact words the man tells her to. The odd part about this one is Bathsheba is told what to say, and after she tells David about Adonijah Nathan comes in and tells David the exact same thing. Why couldn't Nathan just tell David himself? Or why wasn't Bathsheba telling David good enough on it's own? I would imagine Bathsheba telling David of Adonijah's taking of the throne would be enough for David to at least investigate the claim. So why did both of them need to tell David? Seems redundant or it means that it needed to be confirmed twice for David to bother caring about the state of his kingdom.

And the virgin thing at the beginning is kind of creepy. Basically a beautiful virgin was the Biblical version of a heating pad. Just kind of gives me the creeps imagining this old man using a young girl (she would have had to be young since women were married extremely young at the time) basically as a blanket. At least he didn't have sex with her. That would have just been way too much.

Friday: 1 Kings 3-5

Monday, August 23, 2010

2 Samuel 22-24

The Facts (Chapter number: Verse)

2 Samuel 22 - No mention of any women.

2 Samuel 23 - No mention of any women.

2 Samuel 24 - No mention of any women.

My Comments

Well, looks like I'm coming back to not much. Guess it's an easy way to start back up.

I do want to point out something really strange in 2 Samuel 24, though. God commands David to take a census. So David of course takes a census since God commanded it. After the census is taken God promptly gets angry at David for taking a census (apparently trying to count God's "innumerable" people is a horrible slight against God) and proceeds to give David the option of going through three years of famine, fleeing for three years from enemies or taking three days of pestilence. David chooses pestilence and is very sorry for the horrible thing he has done.

So why did God tell David to take a census if he was just going to get super pissed about it? And what's weird is that God commanded a census before (Numbers 26) and didn't get angry then. So why is it such a heinous crime now? I just don't understand why God would request something he has commanded the people to never do. Was it a test of faith? If that was the case it's not a very smart test of faith since God tends to change his mind quite often in the Old Testament so it would be impossible to tell if God was testing them or just changing his rules. Maybe God just felt like punishing some people but thought it would be weird if He did it without being provoked. I'm not sure of the reason but it's really weird and kind of dickish no matter what the reason is.

Wednesday: 1 Kings 1-2


Regular blog posts will resume tonight and the regular posting schedule will change from every weekday to Monday-Wednesday-Friday. Hopefully this will allow me more time to work on each post and provide more resources and links in each post and a better developed analysis on my part. I was feeling very rushed doing it every day and really feel like I could get more in depth and definitely provide more outside resources if I give myself a little more time between posts. So hopefully this will work out and I won't need to go on hiatus again.

I also hope everyone enjoys the new layout and design. Blogger added a new template designer and it's really quite nice and fun to play around with. Hopefully they'll add more background designs so I can get something that is a little more pertinent to the blog topic. I'm really hoping for an apple design or motif. :)