Ecclesiastes 3-4

Ecclesiastes 3-4

Chapter 3: Everything Has its Season

In short; Solomon believed that there is a time and place for everything, whether it be good or bad. He believes that you must seek guidance from God to truly know what your path in life is.

“To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:” (Ecclesiastes 3:1) and then Solomon goes on to list all of the things that have a time and season…

“A time to be born… a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted; A time to kill and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance… A time to rend, and time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; A time to love, and a time to hate; a time to war and a time of peace.” (Ecclesiastes 3:2-7)

                EVERYTHING has its own time and place. We need to always remember that and take Solomon’s advice that the only thing that a man/woman needs to do is “…to rejoice, and to do good in his [or her] life.” (Ecclesiastes 3:12)

                Solomon’s knowledge and wisdom was a gift from God, Solomon knew that “…whatsoever God doeth, it shall be forever: nothing can be put to it, nor anything taken from it: and God doeth it, that men should fear before him.” (Ecclesiastes 3:14)

This is yet again another unique LDS doctrine… the idea that anything God does, He does forever. In LDS temples throughout the world we perform sacred sealing ordinances that seal husbands, wives and families together FOREVER. When you marry someone, you marry them for ETERNITY, not just “until death do you part”

Another interesting point that is made is in verse 15; “That which hath been now; and that which is to be hath already been; and God required that which is past.” (Ecclesiastes 3:15) I think this verse does the best at explaining what ETERNITY IS. Everything has its TIME and PLACE, right? Well we perceive time differently than God does. To us, Time is relative… From point A to B… whereas Time to God is really a full circle, there is no point A or B… or in other words NO beginning and NO end.

Chapter 4: Strength of 2 Is Better

Solomon believed that going to the extremes of being lazy or a workaholic is foolish and irresponsible. “…yet is there no end of all his labour; neither is his eye satisfied with riches…” (Ecclesiastes 4:8) The answer is to work hard but with moderation. He believed that you should take time to enjoy God’s other gifts and realize that he gives us assignments and rewards, not man. Solomon believed that a person should seek God’s approval above all and not recognition from man.

Solomon also tells us that “Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour. For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up. Again, if two lie together, then they have heat: but how can one be warm alone?” (Ecclesiastes 4:9-11)

 

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Summary of 2 Chronicles

Summary of 2 Chronicles

Chapter by Chapter:

2 Chronicles 1-2: Solomon Chooses Wisdom/Solomon Builds a Temple
2 Chronicles 3-4: Solomon Builds a Temple/Solomon’s Temple
2 Chronicles 5-6: The Temple is Finished/Dedicatory Prayer for the Temple
2 Chronicles 7-8: The Lord Appears Unto Solomon/Solomon Builds Cities
2 Chronicles 9-10: Queen of Sheba and Solomon/Rehoboam is an Idiot
2 Chronicles 11-12: Jeroboam does wickedly/Rehoboam forsakes the Lord
2 Chronicles 13-14: The Lord Kills Jeroboam/Asa Reigns in Judah
2 Chronicles 15-16: Judah Shall Prosper/Asa Lacks Faith
2 Chronicles 17-18: The Book of the Law of God/Ahab’s False Prophets
2 Chronicles 19-20: Jehoshaphat Rebuked/Jehoshaphat Prays and Fasts
2 Chronicles 21-22: Jehoram Slays His Brothers/Ahaziah Reigns in Wickedness
2 Chronicles 23-24: Athaliah is Slain/Re-building the Temple
2 Chronicles 25-26: Amaziah is Slain/Uziah Reigns & Leprosy
2 Chronicles 27-28: Jotham Reigns/Ahaz Reigns in Wickedness
2 Chronicles 29-30: Hezekiah Reigns in Reighteousness/Hezekiah Invites all to the Passover
2 Chronicles 31-32: Overthrowing FalseWorship/Sennacherib Invades Judah
2 Chronicles 33-34: Manasseh Reigns in Wickedness/Josiah does Good

2 Chronicles 35-36: Josiah is Slain/The People Reject the Prophets

The Book of 2 Chronicles is mainly an evaluation of a nation’s religious history. It is a historical record of the Southern Kingdom of Judah, from King Solomon’s reign to the Babylonian exile. The fall of Judah is sad, but there are many who attempt to turn the people back to God. The entire book stresses a lot on the destruction of people who do not follow God. The worship of false gods and the failure to follow the law of God will never end well. The end of Chronicles details the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple.

In essence; here is a very quick outline of events:

  • Solomon made offerings. God said, “What shall I give you?” Solomon said, “Wisdom to rule this people.” So Solomon ruled over Israel.
  • Solomon sent to King Hiram: “Send me cedars and a craftsman for the temple.” Hiram replied, “The Lord has given David a wise son.”
  • Solomon started work on the temple. He built the portico, the main hall, the Most Holy Place, two cherubim, the veil and two pillars.
  • Solomon made an altar, the Sea, ten lavers, ten lampstands, ten tables and the courts for the temple. Huram made the furnishings.
  • The priests brought the ark into the Most Holy Place. The singers praised the Lord and the glory of the Lord filled the temple.
  • Solomon said, “The Lord has kept his promise.” He prayed, “O Lord, if anyone prays toward this place then hear from heaven and act.”
  • Fire came from heaven and the Israelites worshipped. The Lord said to Solomon, “If you walk in my ways I will establish your throne.”
  • Solomon built cities. He did not make slaves of the Israelites. He appointed the divisions of priests and Levites to their duties.
  • The queen of Sheba came to test Solomon and gave him gold and spices. Solomon excelled all the kings of the earth. Then he died.
  • Jeroboam and all Israel asked Rehoboam to reduce the labour demands. He refused. Rehoboam still ruled Judah but Israel rebelled.
  • The Lord told Rehoboam not to attack Jeroboam. All the Levites came to Judah because Jeroboam set up idols. Rehoboam had sons.
  • Rehoboam was unfaithful to the Lord so Shishak attacked Jerusalem. Rehoboam humbled himself and the anger of the LORD turned away.
  • Abijah became king of Judah. He drew up battle lines against Jeroboam and said, “The Lord is our God”. The Lord routed Jeroboam.
  • Asa became king. He did right in the sight of the Lord. Zerah the Ethiopian brought an army against Judah but the Lord routed them.
  • Azariah said to Asa, “The Lord is with you when you are with Him. Do not give up.” The people made a covenant to seek the Lord.
  • Baasha fortified Ramah so Asa made a treaty with Ben-hadad. Hanani said, “You relied on Aram not the Lord.” Asa became ill and died.
  • Jehoshaphat became king and was devoted to the Lord. He sent his officials to teach the law. He grew greater and built fortresses.
  • Ahab and Jehoshaphat planned for war. Micaiah said, “I saw Israel scattered. Your prophets are lying.” Ahab was killed in battle.
  • Jehoshaphat returned to Jerusalem. He appointed judges and said to them, “Judge carefully, for with the Lord there is no injustice.”
  • An army came against Jehoshaphat so he sought the Lord. Jahaziel said, “The battle is not yours but God’s.” The Lord set ambushes.
  • Jehoram ruled and did evil. Elijah wrote saying, “The LORD will send a plague.” The Lord struck Jehoram with a disease and he died.
  • The people made Ahaziah king. He did evil and was killed by Jehu. Athaliah destroyed the royal family but Jehoshabeath hid Joash.
  • Jehoiada gathered the Levites and anointed the king’s son as king. Athaliah was killed. The people tore down the temple of Baal.
  • Joash ruled and did right while Jehoiada lived. The priests collected money to repair the temple. Joash was killed by his servants.
  • Amaziah ruled in Jerusalem. After he slaughtered the Edomites he bowed down to their gods. He challenged Jehoash and was defeated.
  • The people made Uzziah king. He did right and became powerful. But he went to burn incense on the altar and was struck with leprosy.
  • Jotham became king and did right in the sight of the Lord. He built fortresses in the hills and conquered the Ammonites.
  • Ahaz became king. He made idols, so the Lord gave him to Aram and Israel. He shut the temple of the Lord and sacrificed to other gods.
  • Hezekiah became king and did right. He told the Levites to cleanse the temple. He assembled the officials and they made offerings.
  • Hezekiah sent couriers throughout Judah and Israel saying, “Return to the Lord.” Many gathered in Jerusalem to celebrate Passover.
  • Hezekiah assigned the priests and Levites to their duties. The Israelites gave a tithe. Conaniah was in charge of the offerings.
  • Sennacherib besieged Judah. Hezekiah and Isaiah cried out to the Lord and the Assyrians were struck dead. Hezekiah had great riches.
  • Manasseh became king. He did much evil and was captured by the Assyrians. Then he sought the Lord. Amon became king and did evil.
  • Josiah became king. He repaired the temple and had the law read out. Huldah said, “The Lord says: You will be buried in peace.”
  • Josiah celebrated the Passover. He appointed priests to their duties and provided offerings. Then he attacked Neco and was killed.
  •  Jehoahaz, Jehoiakim, Jehoiachin and Zedekiah ruled. Then Nebuchadnezzar burned the temple and took Judah captive for seventy years.

Summary of 2 Kings

Summary of 2 Kings

Chapter by Chapter:

2 Kings 1-2: “John the Baptist” – Elijah Prophesies the Death of Ahaziah/Elijah and Elisha
2 Kings 3-4: The Moabites are Defeated/Elisha Raises a Boy from Death
2 Kings 5-6: Naaman Washes in the Jordan River/Floating Axe
2 Kings 7-8: Israel Takes Spoil/Elisha Prophesies a Seven Year Famine
2 Kings 9-10: Jezebel Slain and Eaten by Dogs/Ahab’s 70 Sons Are Slain
2 Kings 11-12:  Jehiada Destroys the House of Baal/Jehoash (Joash) Reigns in Righteousness
2 Kings 13-14: Jehoahaz Reigns in Wickedness/Jeroboam Reigns in Wickedness
2 Kings 15-16: Israel and Judah in Wickedness/Ahaz Reigns in Wickedness
2 Kings 17-18: The Catholic Church?/Hezekiah Reigns in Righteousness
2 Kings 19-20: Hezekiah Seeks Counsel from Isaiah/Hezekiah Pleads with the Lord
2 Kings 21-22: Manasseh Does Evil/Josiah Reigns in Righteousness
2 Kings 23-25: The Book of the Covenant/Jerusalem Taken by Nebuchadnezzar/The Fall of Jerusalem

The Second Book of Kings (2 Kings) is a narrative History and Prophecy of the affairs and dealings of the divided nations/kingdoms. The book was written around 550 B.C. and it’s author is unknown, although it has been rumored that Jeremiah might have written it. We learn about many characters including; Elijah, Elisha, Naaman, Jezebel, Jehu, Joash, Hezekiah, Sennacherib, Isaiah, Manasseh, Josiah, Jehoiakim, Zedekiah and Nebuchadnezzar. Some things that we can learn or take from this book is that those who obey God, will be blessed and those who do not obey him will not be blessed and are usually cursed. Love GOD!

In the first chapters we read about the miracles of Elijah and his apprentice of sorts “Elisha”. Elijah is taken up to heaven in a whirlwind  and because of this Elisha asks God for a double portion of Elijah’s spirit that he might be able to carry on with the work of the Lord as His prophet. The remaining chapters tell of the violence and wars that occurred between the kingdoms. We learn that the last evil king Hoshea, because of his evil ways he and his kingdom are taken in under the Assyrian Empire who take them into captivity!

Summary of 2 Samuel

Summary of 2 Samuel

Chapter by Chapter:

2 Samuel 1-2: David Kills the Amalekite Who Killed Saul/David is King of Judah
2 Samuel 3-4: David and Saul Wage War/Saul’s Captains are Slain
2 Samuel 5-6: David: King of Jerusalem/The Ark of the Lord in the City of David
2 Samuel 7-8: A House of the Lord/David Defeats Many
2 Samuel 9-10: Restoration of the Land of Saul/Israel Defeats: Amonites and the Syrians
2 Samuel 11-12: David Lies with Bath-sheba/Plural Marriage
2 Samuel 13-14: Ammon Rapes his Sister Tamar/Absalom Sees the King after Years
2 Samuel 15-16: Absalom Conspires Against David/Ahithophel Counsels Absalom
2 Samuel 17-18: Ahithophel’s Counsel is overthrown/Joab Slays Absalom
2 Samuel 19-20: David Returns to Jerusalem/Sheba Leads Away the Tribes
2 Samuel 21-22: The Lord Sends a Famine/The Lord Blesses Those Who Trust Him

2 Samuel 23-24: Rulers Must be Just/David Sins; The Lord Sends Pestilence

 

After learning of Saul’s defeat by the Philistines, David sings a song lamenting over the deaths of Saul and his friend Jonathan. David travels back to Hebron where his followers and the tribe of Judah anoint him as king. During this time, Saul’s chief commander, Abner starts a sort of insurrection and instates Saul’s son, Ish-Bosheth as King of Israel. War follows between Abner’s men and the army of Joab (David’s general). Ish-Bosheth falsely accuses Abner of sleeping with one of his concubines, Abner decides to defect and go to the side of David. David welcomes Abner, and Abner convinces the other tribes of Israel to recognize David as king of Israel. Two of Ish-Bosheth’s men betray their ruler and cut his head off to present to David. David is horrified that these men committed such a crime and have both of them publicly executed. The tribes declare David, King.

David leads the Israelites onward into battle, conquering the city of Jerusalem. He builds a palace there and calls the area the “City of David” aka “Zion”. David takes care of a massive Philistine threat and manages to bring the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem.  The Ark is brought in an elaborate procession with singing and dancing. Michal (David’s wife) is upset over his embarrassing act of dancing and singing. David’s prophet Nathan receives a message from God, the message is good.  Israel will be granted rest from opposition and promises that the kingdom of David will last forever. David continues in enlarging his borders and making diplomatic relations with surrounding foreign nations.

One day, from the roof of David’s palace he sat and watched a woman bathing. Her name was Bathsheba, David summons for the woman and brings her into his bedroom and sleeps with her. He finds out shortly later that she became pregnant as a result of this lustful act. David, to try and cover up his sin calls for Bathsheba’s husband Uriah to be sent to the front lines, so he will die on the battle field. Uriah is killed on the battlefield and David marries Bathsheba. Nathan (David’s prophet) confronts David about this and tells him a parable. The parable is about a wealthy man who steals a poor man’s only prized sheep. David is outraged over this act of selfishness and that is when Nathan tells David that the story is about HIM! Nathan predicts that God will come down on David and his household for his sin. David repents and fasts for many days, but still when his son is born he dies during childbirth! Afterward David is forgiven and Bathsheba bares another son, Solomon.

David’s older son Amnon falls in love with his half-sister Tamar and rapes her. David is furious but does nothing. Tamar’s brother Absalom however is very unhappy and wants to do something about it. So he invited Amnon out to the country, where he and David’s other sons murder Amnon. Absalom flees to a city of refuge for 3 years. David, after having mourned for Amnon, allowes his son Absalom back to Jerusalem.

After coming back, Absalom plots a conspiracy to overthrow David and his throne. Through warmth and kindness and deceit he is pronounced King by his followers and David is forced to flee Jerusalem with his men and the people of the country side weep as they see him flee. One of Saul’s family members sees them and screams/shouts obscenities while throwing rocks at David and his men. David tells his men to just let him be. Absalom enters Jerusalem and in a display of defiance, rapes David’s concubines.  Absalom’s aides advise him to attack David immediately, while another aide (a spy for David) convinces Absalom to wait and Absalom takes that aides advice. With this delay, David manages to get an army built up large enough to kill 20,000 of Absalom’s men in the forests of Ephraim. Absalom while riding through the forest in battle is caught by a branch and hangs. Joab finds him hanging in the tree and ignores David’s instructions to treat Absalom gently and drives three spears into Absaloms hanging body. When David finds out about the death he screams for his son.

To the frustration of his officials, David shows mercy to all of Absalom’s supporters who approach him for forgiveness, especially Absalom’s commander Amasa. David sends messengers to the leaders of Judah, and the tribe welcomes him back to Jerusalem. The remaining tribes (Absalom’s chief supporters) fear that David will be angry at them. An uprising follows, but Joab traps the rebels in a city and the city’s residents hand over the severed head of the rebel leader. Angered that David has shown mercy to Amasa, Joab stabs Amasa one day while pretending to greet him.

David rebuilds his throne with continued acts of local diplomacy and with military victories over the Philistines. He composes a song praising God as a loving and kind deliverer, and the narrator briefly recounts the feats of David’s most famous fighting men.