The Facts (Chapter number: Verse)
1 Kings 8 - No mention of any women.
9:16 - Pharaoh had gone up and capture Gezer and burned it down, had killed the Canaanites that lived in the city, and given it as a dowry to his daughter, Solomon's wife.
9:24 - Pharaoh's daughter went up from the cit of David to her own house that Solomon had built for her.
It's still amazing to me how much slavery is condoned in the Bible. Here we have Solomon using gifted slaves to build his home, the Millo and the wall of Jerusalem. This "forced labor" is made up of the people of Hazor, Megiddo and Gezer, a conquered people that obviously were not on God's side. It is definitely not okay to use God's chosen people as slaves (you know, unless He says it's okay) but please, anyone who is a foreigner is totally fair game. Which, you know, makes sense socially. You're much less likely to shit on your own people since they are part of your group and you need your group to survive. But it definitely does not make sense MORALLY, especially when we're talking about God who is the creator of our morals. If God is perfect then he must have created perfect morals. So why then are our modern morals (ie. we commonly consider forced slavery to be not okay) better than God's "perfect" morals? And I don't buy the "it was the culture at the time" argument. Yeah, people had slaves back in those days but that does not excuse a perfect God from condoning them. Why didn't he take the opportunity to change that part of ancient culture? Or is it reinforced so much in the Bible because the men who wrote it wanted their actions to be moral (or wanted a really good justification for enslaving people), so they wrote it this way so that God would be on their side?
I guess we may never know. But now I can see that it really wasn't hard to justify American slavery using the Bible. I always figured there was some hoop jumping to justify slavery but you really don't need to stretch the meaning of the Bible to see that God is A-okay with owning people as your own property.
Also curious as to why Pharaoh's daughter is moved away from Solomon. She isn't even in the same city anymore. Was this common for husbands to do with their wives? Was this just something richer men did because they could afford to build a separate house for their wives? Did this have any sort of benefit for the marriage? It's just weird since this is the first instance we've had of a husband housing his wife away from him. What purpose could this serve other than maybe keeping an annoying wife away from a husband who doesn't want to deal with her? I guess we may never know.
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Friday: 1 King 10-11