"Psalm 23," John August Swanson. Used by permission from the artist.
Image © by John August Swanson. Artwork held in the Luther Seminary Fine Arts Collection, St. Paul, Minn.
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Solomon building the Temple
1 Kings 5:1-5, 12-13; 8:1-6, 27-30 Commentary
by Mark Throntveit
It was common in the ancient Near East for kings (in imitation of the gods in the mythic tradition) to erect a temple early in their reign, and for very good reasons.
Politically speaking, building a temple following the events that led to the king's investiture drew attention to those successful, often military exploits and established royal authority. Religiously speaking, temples were dedicated to the glory of the king's patron deity, thereby securing continued divine patronage and enhancing royal prestige.
Early in his reign, David had tried to build a temple as a permanent house for the ark (2 Samuel 7:1-17). God had not allowed this, and David had to be content with securing a site (2 Samuel 24:18-25) and amassing huge amounts of materials for the Temple's future construction and furnishing. The actual construction of the Temple, however, was left to Solomon, David's son.
First Kings 3-11 recount the story of Solomon from his succession to his tragic apostasy. These days Solomon's actual existence is contested; but even those holding a minimalist position agree that 1 Kings 8, Solomon's dedication of the Temple, is the focal point of the ...
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The narrative lectionary is a four-year cycle of readings. Read more.
Narrative Lectionary 008: Solomon building the Temple
October 30, 2011
Join Profs. Rolf Jacobson, Kathryn Schifferdecker, and Craig Koester for "I Love to Tell the Story," a weekly conversation on the narrative lectionary. This week's reading is Solomon building the Temple, 1 Kgs 5:1-5, 12-13; 8:1-6, 27-30.