2 Chronicles 1:1
We’re back to Solomon. In this book, more detail is given to just how fucking rich Solomon was. It says that during this time “silver and gold were as common as stones,” if that helps you picture it. Like Donald Trump’s house, only you’re far less likely to be accosted by a creepy, orange dude.
It also explains who actually built Solomon’s temple. Solomon had a census taken of all of the foreigners in Israel. Turns out, there were 153,600 of them. And as it turns out, every single stinking one of them was a slave. They were each assigned to different tasks dedicated to building the temple. So yes, Solomon’s temple (and his palace) were built by slave labor. Funny how I’ve never seen that in a Charlton Heston movie. “Let my people go! So that we can go enslave some other people, thereby continuing the grim tradition crushing the souls of innocent people into dust.”
Interestingly, when describing the temple and what all was done to build/adorn it, the text always says “He made,” meaning Solomon. But as we’ve just seen, he didn’t “made” shit. Slaves did. And if you’ll also remember, Solomon didn’t even design the place, David/God did. Solomon “made” the temple in the same way white Southerners “picked” all of that cotton.
Then the Ark thing is brought in and everybody parties! Solomon makes a long speech to God about how awesome He is. In the speech, Solomon also pleads that if the people sin against God, and they are taken to a foreign land to be slaves, that God will eventually forgive them and bring them back to the temple. It was a good bit a foresight for Solomon to ask for that, because we all know the Israelites are gonna screw up. Hard. Then, they dedicated a part of the temple, sacrificed stuff and partied for seven days. Then they dedicated another part of the temple, sacrificed stuff and partied for seven more days. Because the Israelites knew how to party. And how to find an excuse to keep partying.
After the party was over, God spoke to Solomon. He promised to take care of his people, keep David’s line in power and to continue to live within the temple. Unless the people do that thing you and I both know that they’re going to do. If they do that thing, God will destroy everyone. As He does when they do that thing continuously for generations.
Then we talk about how freaking rich Solomon was. Everything the guy touched was gold. Everything. Probably even his dick. Gold condoms for all his crazy sex. Those ladies in the picture above? His ladies. Not gratuitous nudity. Although his ladies probably all looked like that chick from the beginning of The Mummy. The Queen of Sheba comes up again. And he dies.
Solomon’s son, Rehoboam, is an ass and Israel splits in two as the Israelites rebel against Rehoboam. We already knew this, but this book goes into a little bit more detail about it than the last one did. According to Chronicles, Rehoboam ruled over the tribes of Judah and Benjamin. He also kicked out all of the Levite priests living within his land and appointed his own priests. God’s wishes be damned.
Unlike Kings, Chronicles follows mostly just the kings of Judah, not Israel. Which is cool, because switching back and forth between the two was dizzying. Beyond that, the stories are pretty much the same. This one focuses far more on how much the kings did to fortify their country and how many hundreds of thousands of people they killed in war.
There is also a stark contrast between the two books in what each has to say about what really gets God’s goat. In Kings, it mostly talks about the people serving others gods and stuff. In this book that is still a horrible offense, but even if you are serving only God, you can still seriously piss him off. How? Seek the help of someone else, instead of trusting to God alone. Kings who sought help from doctors instead of God in sickness=naughty. Kings who sought outside help to win a war instead of trusting to God to just kill their enemies=naughty. And that seems to be the larger arc in Chronicles. Serving God and only God matters, but trusting in Him and only Him also matters.
And then we get to King Jehoram of Judah. He, as you might remember from Kings, is a departure from the previous kings of Judah. He is evil. He slaughtered his brothers, married a woman from another tribe, and worshipped foreign gods. This much we know, however the description of what happens to him because of this is a bit more specific than it was in Kings: “You yourself will be very ill with a lingering disease of the bowels, until the disease causes your bowels to come out.” So that’s graphic and awful. I mean, bring back the carcass-eating dogs, because it sounds better than the bowel thing. He dies later in “great pain” and “to no one’s regret.”
So I’m cutting this one kind of short, because this book is an awkward length, and it needs to be two short pieces or one really long piece. I’m doing everyone a favor here. Plus, I can’t top the bowel thing. I just can’t. The rest of 2 Chronicles, next time.