The Book of Kings

Exegesis has its origins from Greece, and it highlights a critical explanation of a text, notably, a religious text. It includes a wide range of discipline, analysis and classification of the literal genres in the text. Theology refers to a systematic and rational study on religion. This includes its various influences on those who follow it and the nature of religious truths governed in it.

David and Bethsaida were Solomon’s parents. Although, he was not David’s oldest son, David promised Bathsheba that Solomon would be the next king. Solomon succeeded King David his father as king of Israel when he was twenty years old. His rise met widespread approval from the people he was about to govern. Moreover, he assumed leadership at a period of great material and spiritual prosperity.

The book of kings described Solomon as a man who loved God. This is because he followed his father's footsteps. According to the writers of the book of Kings, a king who loved God was a person who governed in the steps of the Israelites ancestor, King David. It did not matter how prosperous he made the land if he worshipped idols and failed to follow the steps drafted by King David (Siegfried 45). However, the book also shows us the greatest sins committed by King Solomon.

The beginning of the chapters gives us a hint of these sins. He broke God’s commandment by marrying foreign wives. He did this to cement alliances between him and other nations. Although he did not worship idols, his wives brought with them their customs. The first alliance that King Solomon made was with the Egyptian pharaoh. In order to do this, he married his daughter.

The daughter of pharaoh is a character in Hebrew’s scriptures. King Solomon’s marriage with her is an attest to establish a political alliance with Egypt. The transition from kings has no disapproval of the marriage. On the contrary, the content literary implies that marriage and the events that associated with it are achievements belonging to the reign of Solomon. However, the alliance is deemed sinful since it led to idolatry. It was a break of what God had commanded the Israelites. The book of Kings condemns this marriage just as other foreign marriages are condemned. 

The marriage alliance with the royalty of Egypt presupposes the fact that Egypt and Israel had desirous and cultivating friendly relations.  The marriage between Solomon and an Egyptian princess was not a transgression of the law as were marriages with women from Canaan that were expressly prohibited (Exodus 3:4-16).

The historian’s condemn Solomon’s marriage to Pharaoh’s daughter. This condemnation is linked to Deuteronomy 23:4-9, which prohibits an Egyptian from entering into the congregation of the Lord. The original prohibition meant obscure, but Kings assumed that it was marital, based on the fear of idolatry. The final stages of Kings include Pharaoh’s daughter among the highlights that led Solomon astray.

The impurity associated with the Egyptian princess was argued to make her demand for a palace of her own. In other books, it is explained that King Solomon argued that his wife would not live in the house of David (2 Chronicles 8:11). By enabling to acquire a separate place would induce her to bring in all her foreign practices to God’s Holy land.

Various theories have attested the reason behind the occurrence of the marriage. Pharaoh’s daughter did not often marry outside her people. However, due to the possibility of increase in trade between the two countries, pharaoh formed an alliance with Solomon. He also set a challenge for himself. He was to have an extra ordinary vigilance to protect his subjects’ form of the moral pollution that was likely to present itself. This was to be for the reason of the union between his nation and a pagan nation.

In 1 Kings 3:3-5, we see Solomon’s love toward God. These words form powerful statements about young king’s love towards God. Love is used to show an affectionate concern and faithfulness. Solomon burned and sacrificed incense on the high places.  At this point, his actions are not reprimanded since the worship center at Shiloh had been destroyed, and the temple was not yet built. At Gibeon, Solomon sacrificed 1000 burnt offerings on the altar. The 1000 sacrifices showed a display of the wealth and abundance (Day, 73). His display to the Lord pleased Him, and at night, the Lord appeared to Solomon just as he had done to Jacob. The appearance of God affirms the rightness of Solomon’s actions.

When he was asked to mention anything that he wanted the Lord to do for him, Solomon responded by recognizing the outstanding covenant that existed between the Lord and his father, David (1 Kings 3:6-8). He answered through realizing the Lord’s faithfulness and love. Hence, covenantal words saturate the passage.

He was acknowledging that as a king of Israel, he was to be in a constant relationship with the Lord. The stability and strength of his reign was to be bound by his faithfulness to the covenant. When he was asked what he wants, the king chose wisdom. Solomon’s answer pleased the Lord and He explained the reason of his choice. The young king could have asked for riches, long-life and wealth, but he did not.

Richness, wealth and long-life have two aspects in common. First of all, they all portray the logical forms of human beings. Secondly, they leave dependence on the Lord out. His response not only catered for His well-being, but also the well-being of those he governed (Frank 60). It also involved the Lord’s intervening in the governing process. God was pleased that He granted his request and others that he had not asked for. In addition, He made a conditional promise to Solomon that if he followed his father lead in God’s ways, he would give him long life.

The writer of 1 Kings also tells us about the spiritual atmosphere which was presented at the time. People prayed and sacrificed at the high places. This was because construction of the house of God had not yet taken place. Alters and Sanctuaries existed on these high places.

The judgment portrayed by Solomon’s rule on two women who claimed to be both the mother of a child, best portrays God’s promise to him. This judgment has become a metaphor in today’s world that refers to a wise judge with the ability to use stratagem. The stratagem used in this case determines the truth, tricking their parties to reveal their true feelings. 1 Kings 3:16-28 recounts this story.

When the king asked for a sword, the people at first thought that this idea is foolish. The wisdom of this approach was understood latter when the matter was solved already. God’s ways are also not understandable to everyone. The true mother of the child was identified by the compassion she had when her child was about to be split into two.

The woman had love and companion towards her son and desperately wanted her son to stay alive. However, the other woman was jealous of her housemate and wanted the child to be split into two, so that the housemate could also lose her child. The true parental relationship was proved by love. King Solomon knew that the offer he had made to cut the child into two would reveal the true mother. He therefore rewarded the mother’s love accordingly.

Such a wise decision that the king had made could not be hidden, and the matter was soon known throughout the kingdom. The people as a result feared the king since the wisdom of the Lord was clearly with him to aid him in administering justice. Solomon detached going to pray in the high place outside of Jerusalem, other than to a local place of worship. The tale on his judgment could be a possible amalgamation of many witnesses’ account. The inclusion of the Kings’ judgment shows a consensus to the trial presented by him as having a degree of significance.

It is said that the prostitutes who presented themself to the king were of little significance to the society. The kings did not handle and judge all cases the people presented to them. Solomon’s choice to answer to the case showed his concern for the plight of his subjects, regarding their professions. This presented the reason as to why the case is still remembered. Nonetheless, the crucial aspect of the trial could be the manner by which Solomon rendered his judgment (David 93).

Unlike today’s lawyers, Solomon does not indulge in asking questions. His choice on deciding the true mother for the child shows that he does not use the trick on a whim. The efficiency of his ploy does not solve the problem at hand only, but it also provides a solid evidence for him to claim to be God’s chosen leader for his people. The doubters among the people of Israel on whether Solomon ought to succeed David were perhaps convinced through this trial that he was the right leader to govern them.

The selection of the sword is an important element that Solomon made in his decision. This provides further evidence of Solomon’s dedication to a conception of justice that would be not only governed by strength but also by wisdom. He could have employed his judgment, by either burning up the child or cutting him up using an axe in many ways. However, his choice of the sword showed a reminiscent of his bloody rise to authority (David 49).

The story of the king judging the maternity of the child survives to present day. This judgment presents a turning point in the reign of Solomon and in the history of the Israelites.

It shows that God’s leader would lead by the sword and that the sword and its wielder would be guided by the wisdom of God and not by man’s thirst for blood. In the instance presented, a trial helps in settling feuds as it also does to charting new directions in governance and jurisprudence.

The analysis of the chapter clearly defines how God’s purpose in one’s life can result to his success. His promises to Solomon showed how he was able to judge and lead God’s people. Solomon’s strive to assume the role of his father and make alliances with his neighbors was an attributed plus in his reign. However, his marriage to the Egyptian princess would latter result in the collapse of his reign and the entire kingdom of Israel. King Solomon is the most influential leader that is recognized among the kings of Israel. He remains relevant to today’s society and acts as a role model to other leaders.

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