Wednesday, December 16, 2009

102: Solomon, a New Tyrant

1 Kings 1-2
"Adonijah shall be put to death today!" So King Solomon gave orders to Benaiah son of Jehoiada, and he struck down Adonijah and he died. - 1 Kings 2:25

David get's old and cannot stay warm no matter how many blankets his servants put on him. The solution that his servants come up with is to find a young virgin to be his personal heater. It's good to be king.

Adonijah, the eldest son of David (besides Absalom, who is dead) decides that he should be king without the blessing of David. He gains a following, including Joab and Abiathar the priest. David had apparently promised Solomon the throne, so when David hears that Abiathar has taken the kingship for himself he immediately appoints Solomon the official king.

As David is dying, he tells Solomon to kill Joab and Shimei (the guy that was cursing David while he fled Jerusalem). I'm not sure why David didn't do these things himself. I guess he promised that he wouldn't kill them. He never said that he wouldn't tell the next king to kill them. Is he finding a loophole in his own promise?

Adonijah asks his mother (also king Solomon's mother) to ask Solomon if he can marry Abishag. Fun fact: Abishag just so happens to be the virgin that kept king David warm. Seems like a simple request to me. Solomon not only says no, but has Adonijah put to death for making the request. Why would Solomon kill his own brother for wanting a wife?

When Joab hears about Adonijah's death he hides in God's tent (yes, God has a tent). This doesn't deter Solomon, he has one of his servants go into the tent and kill Joab. I can only assume that Shimei is next to be killed. Solomon calls Shimei to him and says that he can build a house in Jerusalem and live, but if he ever leaves Jerusalem that he will be killed. I don't understand the reasoning. If he leaves the city he is somehow more guilty of his "crime"?

Three years later some of Shimei's slaves run off and he follows them into another city (oops). When Solomon hears about this, Shimei is put to death. Great, another crazy king. At least I won't run out of things to write about.

*News*
Jack Summers, a Newton South High School (near Boston) student refuses to read the bible for a school assignment. He actually didn't have to sue to have the reading requirement dropped.

I'm torn on this one. On one hand I don't think anyone should be forced to read religious texts. On the other hand it's apparent to me that the school was not proselytizing, but teaching the bible so that other literary references could be understood. Summers said this:
This is the word of God. People take this literally ... I don’t want to read about what they believe to be true
He goes on to say that if he were able to read a summary of the bible rather than the actual text, he would have no objection. Thus he would understand the references but not have to read the holy text. I think I remember seeing a blog that was reviewing the bible in 365 days. Maybe he should check that out.

(via Newton)

1 comment:

  1. That just seems silly. I had to read parts of the Bible for Ancient World Lit in high school, and I didn't have any problem with it.

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