1 Kings 11-12

1 Kings 11-12

Chapter 11: Solomon Worships False Gods

Solomon loved many different women; altogether Solomon has 700 wives and 300 concubines. Because of his many wives and from many different lands, his wives start to bring him over to their teachings and gods. Solomon in his older years did not pursue the Lord in his heart, but instead went after gods like; Ashtoreth, Milcom, Chemosh, Molech and other false gods.

Because of this, the Lord decides to send Solomon some adversaries. The Lord sends Jeroboam, who decides he wants to be king of the 10 tribes. When King Solomon dies, Jeroboam reigns in his stead.

An interesting verse in this chapter is verse 41; “And the rest of the acts of Solomon, and all that he did, and his wisdom, are they not written in the book of the acts of Solomon?” (1 Kings 11:41). This is one more book that can be added to the “Lost Books” list. Some people say that the Bible as we know it today is the word of God and no more can be had. I would argue that anyone who would so confidently state that the Bible is complete and no more “bible” is to be added, really does not understand the works contained therein and are unaware of the true meaning behind God and his teachings. In that single verse we learn that there are more books than the Bible! God reveals his words through prophets, who then write down the teachings, spread and teach them. So if God did this in old days, why has he ceased to communicate with us now? He hasn’t. That is why we must not have our minds closed and realize that the Bible is not the complete work of God. If so, God is only giving us a summary of the cliff notes of what really is intended for us (his children) to learn!

Chapter 12: The 10 Tribes Revolt

Rehoboam went to Shechem to make him King, because Rehoboam was the son of Solomon. The 10 tribes tell Rehoboam that he would become their next king, but he would have to change a few things that his father had done to them… mainly heavy taxation and other burdens that the people did not like. Rehoboam goes to his father’s advisors and asks them what they think about that. His advisors tell him that if he becomes a servant to them, then they will in turn become his servants forever. This was some very fitting advice and something that all leaders (no matter how big or small) need to show that example and show that kindness so that they may receive that same support and love back.

Rehoboam listened to his father’s elders, but quickly after hearing them, he decided to reject the advice and seek the counsel of younger advisors… who were his age. The younger advisors tell Rehoboam to go at it a completely opposite way… their approach is a fear tactic.

“…Now wheras my father did lade you with a heavy yoke, I will add to your yoke: my father hath chastised you with whips, but I will chastise you with scorpions” (1 Kings 12:11).

Rehoboam was simply shopping for the advice that he wanted to hear. He wasn’t interested in any sort of counsel, except to look good and convince himself that what he was doing was the right thing.

Naturally, Rehoboam is not very welcomed and the 10 northern tribes reject him as king! Rehoboam not only lost his chance at being a king, but also ruined it for the Dynasty of David, who was one of the greatest kings over Israel. Rehoboam decides to rule over the people anyways, and send out his tax collector, who the people stone to death. Rehoboam decides that Israel is serious and decides to make a break for it… grabs his chariot and rides out of Jerusalem.

Rehboboam nevertheless decides to reunite Israel by force and a man of God came to Shemaiah and tells Rehoboam that he was sent of God to tell him that he must not attack the seceding nations. Rehoboam (probably out of fear) actually listens and decides to not attack the seceding nations.

Because of this, Jeroboam is called in and is declared the new king. Jeroboam gets off to a quick start and works on building his new capital city; Shechem. Which he built in the mountains of Ephraim, this became the capital city of the northern kingdom of Israel. Jeroboam was now worried that having his people travel once a year to Jerusalem to worship, could cause some political backlash and in his eyes, could even mean the loss of his kingdom to Rehoboam. So Jeroboam decides to start a new state religion. He incorporates the same religious ideas that they all preserved, but by making it more convenient to them and him, by having them worship idols in his city and not to travel to Jerusalem. Jeroboam was slowly leading himself and his people into sin.

1 Samuel 7-8

1 Samuel 7-8

Chapter 7: Put Away False gods

So we know that the men took the Ark to Kirijath-jearim to be safe. The Ark rested there for a space of more than 25 years, before the people of Israel began to fall into darkness. Samuel goes before the people and exhorts them to return to the Lord and put away the false gods of Ashtaroth. So the children of Israel put away both Ashtaroth and Baalim the false gods and served only the Lord God.

Samuel gathers all of Israel to Mizpeh where he prays to God on their behalf, while there in Mizpeh the children of Israel fast. The Philistines find out that Israel is gathered in Mizpeh and sends an army to destroy them. The Israelites see them approaching and get worried, so Samuel sacrifices a lamb unto God and God causes thundering to scare the Philistines away. Samuel becomes a judge over Israel.

Chapter 8: Evils of Kings

Samuel’s sons do evil and take bribes and pervert the Judgment in the land of Israel. Israel seeks a king to rule over them, Samuel tells Israel of the evils of having a king. How they can take power too far. But the Lord gives his consent to them having a king, if they really want one.

Judges 9-10

Judges 9-10

Chapter 9: Fable of Trees

Abimelech (one of Gideon’s 70 sons) goes to his brothers and convinces them to go to the people of Shechem and convince them that Abimelech should be their ruler. The people of Shechem agree and the people go into their temple to get Abimelech money.

Once Abimelech had the money, his next action as ruler was to hire some lazy reckless people to be his followers. He pays them ten pieces of silver each. Now that he has a good following base, he takes his brothers and kills them one by one using the SAME STONE! The people crown Abimelech as their king. Abimelech however did not know that his youngest brother (Jotham) escaped the mass murder.

When Jotham hears that Abimelech has been crowned king, he climbs to the top of Mount Gerizim and shouts to the people of Shechem…

“…Hearken unto me, ye men of Shechem, that God may hearken unto you.’

” The trees went forth on a time to anoint a king over them; and they said unto the olive tree, Reign thou over us. But the olive tree said unto them, Should I leave my fatness, wherewith by me they honour God and man, and go to be promoted over the trees?’

“And the trees said to the fig tree, Come thou, and reign over us. But the fig tree said unto them, Should I forsake my sweetness, and my good fruit, and go to be promoted over the trees?’

” Then said the trees unto the vine, Come thou, and reign over us. And the vine said unto them, Should I leave my wine, which cheereth God and man, and go to be promoted over the trees?’

” Then said all the trees unto the bramble, Come thou, and reign over us, And the bramble said unto the trees, If in truth ye anoint me king over you, then come and put your trust in my shadow: and if not, let fire come out of the bramble, and devour the cedars of Lebanon.’

“Now therefore, if ye have done truly and sincerely, in that ye have made Abimelech your king, and if ye have dealt well with Jerubbal and his house… for my father fought for you…and delivered you out of the hand of Midian… ye are risen up against my father’s house… and have slain his sons… If ye have dealt truly and sincerely with Jerubbaal and his house this day, then rejoice in Abimelech and let him rejoice in you: But if not, let fire come out from Abimelech and devour the men of Shechem…” (Judges 9:8-20)

After delivering this address Jotham flees and goes to live in Beer. The address is also known as a curse that Jotham put on the people of Shechem. We will find out why towards the end of the chapter.

For a period of 3 years Abimelech rules over Israel until God sends an “evil spirit” (23) to deal treacherously between him and the people. The people of Shechem start to hide on the tops of hills and rob anyone who passes by. During this time a man named Gaal moves in and starts to get the people fired up… by saying: “…Who is Abimelech… that we should serve him?” (Judges 9:28). Gaal promises that if everyone follow him, that he will get rid of Abimelech. Zebul however is loyal to Abimelech, and after he hears this he goes to Abimelech and tells him that there is a “troublemaker” in the city. So Abimelech gets some men to go and meet Gaal.

Gaal and his men along with Abimelech and his men fight. Gaal runs away with his people. Abimelech wins. The next day some of the people return and Abimelech goes crazy and kills everyone around him. He then sprinkles salt all throughout the town and the remaining people hid in the temple tower.

Abimelech cuts down some trees and throws the branches over his shoulder. He commands his men to do the same thing. They pile all the wood outside the temple and burn all of them hiding inside ALIVE. About 1,000 men and women die.

Abimelech then goes to the town of “Thebez” and causes the people there to hid in a strong tower to get away from Abimelech. Abimelech goes to the door of the tower and tries to break it down. When he does this a woman above drops a millstone on his head and cracks his skull open. The funniest part is that Abimelech calls one of his soldiers over as he is dying and commands that he kill him. But why? Because he didn’t want people to say that he was killed by a woman!

Thus we see that the curse of Jotham came true and the evil men of Shechem were killed just as Jotham had said. This was to repay for the death of his 69 brothers.

Chapter 10: False gods

Following the death of Abimelech, Tola rose as a judge to Israel for 23 years before dying and passing the judgment seat to Jair who judged for 22 years. After the death of Jair the children of Israel begin to be wicked again and follow after false gods. They served Baalim, Ashtaroth and the gods og Moab, the gods of the Phillistines and “forsook the Lord”.

“…the anger of the Lord was hot against Israel, and he sold them into the hands of the Phillistines, and into the hands of the children of Ammon.” (Judges 10:7)

The children of Ammon passed over the river to fight against Judah, Benjamin and Ephraim. Israel was distressed. The children of Israel cried unto the Lord admitting that they had sinned and asking to be freed from the oppression.

“…the Lord said unto the children of Israel, Did not I deliver you from the Egyptians, and from the Amorites… the children of Ammon, and from the Philistines? …ye cried to me and I delivered you out of their hand. Yet ye have forsaken me, and served other gods: wherefore I will deliver you no more. Go and cry unto the gods which ye have chosen; let them deliver you in the time of your tribulation.” (Judges 10:11-14).

However, the Israelites put away the false gods and start to worship God. God starts to grieve for the misery of Israel. The Israelites prepare for war.

Judges 3-4

Judges 3-4

Chapter 3: Worshiping False Gods

Israel intermarries with the Canaanite people, they begin to worship false gods, like Baalim and the groves and get sold into a form of slavery under the rule of Chushanrishathaim, who was the king of Mesopotamia. The children of Israel were under his control for eight years. During this time the Israelites cried to God for help and God delivered them and then guess what the Israelites did? They started to disobey the commandments of God and started to do evil in his sight.

Israel gets enslaved again by Moab, but through Ehud they are freed when he kills Eglon with a dagger.

Chapter 4: Deborah Prophetess

After Ehud dies the Israelites again commit sins and are placed under enslavement by Jabin, king of Canaan. During this time Israel was again crying to God for his help from their bondage. The Judge over the people of Israel at this time was a Prophetess by the name of Deborah.

Jabin is a cruel leader, who oppresses the Israelites for twenty years. The leader of his army is named Sisera. Deborah calls for a man named Barak to lead an army to kill Jabin, the leader of the army and all who oppress the Israelites. Deborah and Barak defeat the armies of Sisera. Sisera flees on foot to a tent of a woman named Jael, who is Heber’s wife. Jael promises to hide him and covers him with a blanket, gives him milk and tells him that she will stand watch and when someone comes, she will tell them that no one is in the tent. Jael however (once Sisera is fast asleep) grabs a stake from the tent and hammers the stake through the temple, into the head and into the ground of Sisera. This of course kills him and the Israelites become stronger.

Numbers 25-26

Numbers 25-26

Chapter 25: Worshiping False Gods

While Israel was camped in a place called Shittim, a group of Israelites (about 24,000 of them), begin committing whoredoms with the daughters of Moab. They also started to worship false gods and bowed down to them. The Lord gets very angry with this and commands Moses to slay all of the people who worshiped these false gods in Baal-peor (the idol at peor, a mountain in Moab).

God is very specific when he speaks to Moses, he tells him to slay all the people and hang their heads facing the sun. This would kindle the fire of anger that was building from all the sinning.

Meanwhile the congregation of Israel is gathered at the opening of the Tabernacle, when a man brings a Midianitish woman (in plain view of everyone) to his tent. The congregation is “weeping” at the Tabernacle over the sins of the people, and here comes a man sinning in front of them. So, Phinehas (the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest) runs into the tent and drives a spear through both of them, including an unborn child so that the plague will not continue in Israel.

The Lord is pleased by what Phinehas had done and makes a covenant with him, that his priesthood should be an everlasting one throughout all the generations of his children.

The Lord then commands Israel to treat Moab as an enemy, because by deceiving and seducing the Israelites they too had treated them as enemies.

Chapter 26: The People in Moab

After the plague is over, Moses and Eleazar are commanded to take all the men (20 years and older) and are able to go to war and number them.

  • Reuben: 43,730
  • Simeon: 22,200
  • Gad: 40,500
  • Judah: 76,500
  • Issachar: 64,300
  • Zebulun: 60,500
  • Joseph:
    • Manasseh: 52,700
    • Ephraim: 32,500
    • Benjamin: 45,600
    • Dan: 64,400
    • Asher: 53,400
    • Naphtali: 45,400

This is a total of 610,730, which is very similar number to that of the first census done in Numbers 1: 4-51.

The Levites are not included in this census, they are numbered separately at 23,000 Levites. The reason for this, is that the Levites do not receive the same inheritance.

The Lord then speaks to Moses and explains a little about the inheritance the Israelites will receive:

“Unto these the land shall be divided for an inheritance according to the number of names. To many thou shalt give the more inheritance, and to few thou shalt give the less inheritance: to every one shall his inheritance be given according to those that were numbered of him. Notwithstanding the land shall be divided by lot: according to the names of the tribes of their fathers they shall inherit. According to the lot shall the possession thereof be divided between many and few.” (Numbers 26:53-56)