Friday, September 3, 2010

1 Kings 10-11

The Facts (Chapter number: Verse)

10:1-13 - The Queen of Sheba heard of Solomon and his infinite wisdom so she went to Solomon to test him with hard questions. She came to Jerusalem with many gifts for him and once she was with him she told him all that was on her mind. Solomon answered all of her questions and there was nothing he could not answer. When the queen had observed all of Solomon's wisdom, the house he'd built, his food, the seating of his officials and his burnt offerings there was no more spirit in her. So she said to the king, "The report was true that I heard in my own land of your accomplishments and of your wisdom, but I did not believe it until I came and my own eyes had seen it. Not even half had been told to me; your wisdom and prosperity far surpass the report that I have heard. Happy are your wives! Happy are these your servants, who continually attend you and hear your wisdom. Blessed be the Lord your God who set you on the throne of Israel. Because the Lord loved Israel forever, he has made you king to execute justice and righteousness." The queen of Sheba gave Solomon many great treasures, and Solomon gave to the queen every desire that she expressed as well as things out of Solomon's royal bounty. Then she returned to her own land with her servants.

11:1-8 - Solomon's Errors. Solomon loved many foreign women along with the daughter of Pharaoh: Moabite, Ammonite, Edomite, Sidonian, and Hittite women from the nations which God said the Israelites may not take women because it would incline the Israelite men to worship their gods. Solomon clung to these in love. Among his wives were 700 princesses and 300 concubines, and his wives turned his heart away from God. When Solomon got older his wives turned his heart away to their gods and Solomon's heart was not true to God as David's was. Solomon followed the goddess of the Sidonians and Milcom the abomination of the Ammonites. Solomon did what was evil in the sigh of the Lord. Then Solomon built a high place for Molech the abomination of the Ammonites and did the same for all his foreign wives who offered incense and sacrificed to heir gods.
11:19-20 - Hadad (one of the adversaries God raised up against Solomon) found great favor in the sight of Pharaoh, so that he gave him his sister-in-law for a wife, the sister of Queen Tahpenes. The sister of Tahpenes gave birth by him to his son Gerubath, whom Tehpenes weened in Pharaoh's house.
11:33 - God will give ten tribes to Jeroboam "because Solomon has forsake me, worshiped Astarte the goddess of the Sidonians, Chemosh the god of Moab, and Milcom the god of the Ammonites, and has not walked in my ways, doing wat is right in my sight and keeping my statutes and my ordinances, as his father David did."

My Comments

The story of the queen of Sheba is a bit boring. She comes to king Solomon to test him and fails to do so and in the end is so marveled by his wisdom and immense wealth that she loses all spirit (whatever that means). I do find it funny that she doesn't praise him for his wisdom. She understands that Solomon is nothing without God and so rightly praises God for Solomon's wisdom and wealth. She is basically just impressed by Solomon's ability to channel God's wisdom and infinite knowledge (would be like me being impressed by my radio for giving me the news every morning). Honestly if I was Solomon I would be a bit miffed that God got all the credit, but then again I guess if you know you're getting everything good in your life straight from God you wouldn't piss him off by taking away his praise. I mean, after all, that is God's main purpose for the people he created, to spend all their time telling Him how awesome He is.

Side note: I think it's funny that the queen of Sheba says, "Happy are your wives! Happy are these servants who continually attend you and hear your wisdom!" Because getting to hear Solomon talk and be wise TOTALLY makes up for the fact that he owns their lives and they are his property. Yeah, I bet the servants and wives are just thrilled.

Onto Solomon's "Errors." And by "errors" the Bible means women. Seriously. The entire section subtitled "Solomon's Errors" talks solely about the foreign women Solomon takes as wives and who lead him away from God. Nice.

First, how the hell are there even 700 princesses to take as wives? I doubt there were even that many territories at the time since they haven't explored that much and there haven't even been that many tribes listed off in the Bible. And if he's taking all the princesses who are the other higher up men marrying? And after the 700 princesses he still needs 300 concubines apparently. I mean holy shit, how many women does one man really need? How can he even have that much stamina? I still hold that the earth must be 3/4 women and 1/4 men because every man in the Bible gets at least 2 wives with added concubines for good measure. These numbers really make no logical sense whatsoever. If this is trying to be historically accurate I call bullshit.

Second, why is it not Solomon's fault that he turned away from God? Why is it the foreign women's fault? It says, "And his wives turned away his heart." Not Solomon turned away his heart, but the wives turned it away. As shown many times, women in the Bible typically did not get a choice in marriage. Men "take" their wives in marriage and it doesn't matter one bit whether the woman wants to marry the man or not. So the women did not even choose to marry Solomon so why is it their fault that Solomon married them and worshiped their gods? Seriously, Bible, we need to have a sit down talk about this. These women do not cause the men to do "evil" things, it is the men who choose to do these acts. The men don't even respect the women enough to consider them to more than property, so why would women be able to influence them enough to get them to act out against God. If someone I respected said, "Hey, why don't you go punch your dad in the face." I would probably not go punch my dad in the face because I love my dad and wouldn't do something like that especially if the person telling me to do it is someone I consider beneath me. Now I may punch my dad if I already dislike him and feel like punching him anyway, but it's still not the person's fault if I punch my dad in the face.

But the men have to blame someone, right? Why not blame those lesser than you because it's not like they have any power to dispute you or fight back. It's so easy to make yourself out to be the perfect sex when you can just pass on your faults to the women. Yay for scapegoats.

And I love how it doesn't even matter that Solomon took all these foreign wives. God may have sent adversaries after him and given some of Solomon's kingdom away (not even Solomon's kingdom, God gave away Solomon's son's bit of the kingdom), but God made sure Solomon still had some kingdom to rule for the rest of Solomon's life. All because David was such a great guy. So Solomon does something bad, the women take all the blame, Solomon gets kinda punished but still gets to be an awesome fancy pants ruler. How's that for logic?

Monday: 1 Kings 12-14

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