Week 43 January 20, 2023
What we are reading this week (beginning Friday, January 20, 2023):
• 1 Kings 4-10
• Job 12-18
• 1 Chronicles 4-10
Something utterly amazing that I found this week… in 1 Chronicles, in the genealogies of all places. You can read about it at the end. But please help yourself to the rest of this, as well.
Notes on 1 Kings
Zabud the son of Nathan had the greatest job in David’s administration: “The King’s Friend” (4.5). However, any leader would be greatly encouraged to have such a person close by. Before the famous dream where he could have whatever he wanted, God had already given Solomon great wisdom (4.29). The king’s specific request in that incident was to have wisdom to lead God’s people (9.1).
Preparations for the construction of the majestic Temple are given in chapter five. The honor and respect of the place is reflected in what we find in 6.7: “ In building the temple, only blocks dressed at the quarry were used, and no hammer, chisel or any other iron tool was heard at the temple site while it was being built.”
The Temple was primarily a housing for the Ark of the Covenant (6.19, 8.21). However, the last time we ever read about the ark was in 8.8. It apparently disappeared soon after, most likely during Solomon’s reign. The ark initially contained the Ten Commandments (original stone tablets), a jar of manna, and Aaron’s rod that had bloomed (Hebrews 9.4). But apparently by this time two of the three were gone (8.9). I never really get the connection between “gold, silver…, ivory…, apes and baboons” in 10.22.
Notes on Job
Job mentions priests in 12.19. This account most likely happened a thousand years before Moses. We really don’t know much about how God was worshiped during this time.
It’s so easy to be the expert critic when someone else is in trouble. Job addresses this: “Those who are at ease have contempt for misfortune as the fate of those whose feet are slipping” (12.5). Job is very impatient with God, and really loses it with his friends. I love his rebuke: “You, however, smear me with lies; you are worthless physicians all of you! If only you would be altogether silent! For you, that would be wisdom” (13.4-5. See also 7-12). Some of Job’s best words, and best spiritual counsel to us, in terms of example, is found in 13.15: “Though he slay me, yet will I hope in him.” Job does understand the basics of grace, the part about how God covers our sin, and that because of his undying love for us (14.15-17). “You are miserable comforters, all of you!” (16.2).
Pictures of the Messiah in 16.19-21: “Even now my witness is in heaven; my advocate is on high. My intercessor is my friend… on behalf of a man he pleads with God as one pleads for a friend.”
Notes on 1 Chronicles
I encouraged you to read the genealogies carefully to see what “little” things you may find along the way. Well, this week—after reading through this nearly forty times, I found something astounding in chapter three (though this was from last week’s reading):
Zerubbabel was the last king of Israel and we read about him in Ezra, Nehemiah, Zechariah, and Haggai. Following him (and he was at the very end of the Old Testament record), there are fourteen generations. This is the same number as in Matthew’s list. Matthew’s ends with Jesus. This list ends with the name Anani.
The Targum is “the Aramaic translation of the Bible. It forms a part of the Jewish traditional literature, and in its inception is as early as the time of the Second Temple.” (From https://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/articles/14248-targum).
Here is the translation of 1 Chronicles 3.24 in The Targum:
And the sons of Elyo'enai: Hodavyahu and Elyashiv and F'laya and Aquv and Yoḥanan and D'laya and Anani, he is the King Messiah who in the future will be revealed — altogether seven.
Prayer of Jabez in 4.9-10. I pray this four-part prayer every day for myself: “Lord bless me; extend my (spiritual) territory; let your hand be on me; keep me from harm”.
In 4.17, we read about a guy named Mered who apparently married the daughter of the Egyptian king (Pharaoh). We do not know who he is, but by virtue of this marriage, he had to have been influential. This is the only verse in the Bible with his name. Even among genealogies, neither his father nor any offspring are given.
Chapter five gives us some more information about the history—and downfall—of the two-and-a-half renegade tribes of Israel.
The Levites were scattered among the other tribes. In 6.62-65, the three divisions of Levites (by family: Kothath, Gershon, and Merari) are allotted towns throughout the other tribal regions.
Divorce was very rare, but still occurred. In 8.8, a guy named Shararaim divorced two of his wives.
We return in chapter ten to the narrative. Saul takes his own life. The stage is set for David to begin his fruitful and prosperous tenure as king.
The story line of the Chronicles will be the same basic narrative as 1 Samuel through 2 Kings. In our reading, it will trail behind chronologically.