1 Kings 4; Prov 1-2; Psalm 43; Romans 9
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The following text is from the English Standard Version.
1 Kings 4
King Solomon was king over all Israel,
and these were his high officials: Azariah the son of Zadok was the priest;
Elihoreph and Ahijah the sons of Shisha were secretaries; Jehoshaphat the son of Ahilud was recorder;
Benaiah the son of Jehoiada was in command of the army; Zadok and Abiathar were priests;
Azariah the son of Nathan was over the officers; Zabud the son of Nathan was priest and king’s friend;
Ahishar was in charge of the palace; and Adoniram the son of Abda was in charge of the forced labor.
Solomon had twelve officers over all Israel, who provided food for the king and his household. Each man had to make provision for one month in the year.
These were their names: Ben-hur, in the hill country of Ephraim;
Ben-deker, in Makaz, Shaalbim, Beth-shemesh, and Elonbeth-hanan;
Ben-hesed, in Arubboth (to him belonged Socoh and all the land of Hepher);
Ben-abinadab, in all Naphath-dor (he had Taphath the daughter of Solomon as his wife);
Baana the son of Ahilud, in Taanach, Megiddo, and all Beth-shean that is beside Zarethan below Jezreel, and from Beth-shean to Abel-meholah, as far as the other side of Jokmeam;
Ben-geber, in Ramoth-gilead (he had the villages of Jair the son of Manasseh, which are in Gilead, and he had the region of Argob, which is in Bashan, sixty great cities with walls and bronze bars);
Ahinadab the son of Iddo, in Mahanaim;
Ahimaaz, in Naphtali (he had taken Basemath the daughter of Solomon as his wife);
Baana the son of Hushai, in Asher and Bealoth;
Jehoshaphat the son of Paruah, in Issachar;
Shimei the son of Ela, in Benjamin;
Geber the son of Uri, in the land of Gilead, the country of Sihon king of the Amorites and of Og king of Bashan. And there was one governor who was over the land.
Judah and Israel were as many as the sand by the sea. They ate and drank and were happy.
Solomon ruled over all the kingdoms from the Euphrates to the land of the Philistines and to the border of Egypt. They brought tribute and served Solomon all the days of his life.
Solomon’s provision for one day was thirty cors of fine flour and sixty cors of meal,
ten fat oxen, and twenty pasture-fed cattle, a hundred sheep, besides deer, gazelles, roebucks, and fattened fowl.
For he had dominion over all the region west of the Euphrates from Tiphsah to Gaza, over all the kings west of the Euphrates. And he had peace on all sides around him.
And Judah and Israel lived in safety, from Dan even to Beersheba, every man under his vine and under his fig tree, all the days of Solomon.
Solomon also had 40,000 stalls of horses for his chariots, and 12,000 horsemen.
And those officers supplied provisions for King Solomon, and for all who came to King Solomon’s table, each one in his month. They let nothing be lacking.
Barley also and straw for the horses and swift steeds they brought to the place where it was required, each according to his duty.
And God gave Solomon wisdom and understanding beyond measure, and breadth of mind like the sand on the seashore,
so that Solomon’s wisdom surpassed the wisdom of all the people of the east and all the wisdom of Egypt.
For he was wiser than all other men, wiser than Ethan the Ezrahite, and Heman, Calcol, and Darda, the sons of Mahol, and his fame was in all the surrounding nations.
He also spoke 3,000 proverbs, and his songs were 1,005.
He spoke of trees, from the cedar that is in Lebanon to the hyssop that grows out of the wall. He spoke also of beasts, and of birds, and of reptiles, and of fish.
And people of all nations came to hear the wisdom of Solomon, and from all the kings of the earth, who had heard of his wisdom.
The proverbs of Solomon, son of David, king of Israel:
To know wisdom and instruction, to understand words of insight,
to receive instruction in wise dealing, in righteousness, justice, and equity;
to give prudence to the simple, knowledge and discretion to the youth–
Let the wise hear and increase in learning, and the one who understands obtain guidance,
to understand a proverb and a saying, the words of the wise and their riddles.
The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction.
Hear, my son, your father’s instruction, and forsake not your mother’s teaching,
for they are a graceful garland for your head and pendants for your neck.
My son, if sinners entice you, do not consent.
If they say, ”Come with us, let us lie in wait for blood; let us ambush the innocent without reason;
like Sheol let us swallow them alive, and whole, like those who go down to the pit;
we shall find all precious goods, we shall fill our houses with plunder;
throw in your lot among us; we will all have one purse”–
my son, do not walk in the way with them; hold back your foot from their paths,
for their feet run to evil, and they make haste to shed blood.
For in vain is a net spread in the sight of any bird,
but these men lie in wait for their own blood; they set an ambush for their own lives.
Such are the ways of everyone who is greedy for unjust gain; it takes away the life of its possessors.
Wisdom cries aloud in the street, in the markets she raises her voice;
at the head of the noisy streets she cries out; at the entrance of the city gates she speaks:
‘How long, O simple ones, will you love being simple? How long will scoffers delight in their scoffing and fools hate knowledge?
If you turn at my reproof, behold, I will pour out my spirit to you; I will make my words known to you.
Because I have called and you refused to listen, have stretched out my hand and no one has heeded,
because you have ignored all my counsel and would have none of my reproof,
I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when terror strikes you,
when terror strikes you like a storm and your calamity comes like a whirlwind, when distress and anguish come upon you.
Then they will call upon me, but I will not answer; they will seek me diligently but will not find me.
Because they hated knowledge and did not choose the fear of the LORD,
would have none of my counsel and despised all my reproof,
therefore they shall eat the fruit of their way, and have their fill of their own devices.
For the simple are killed by their turning away, and the complacency of fools destroys them;
but whoever listens to me will dwell secure and will be at ease, without dread of disaster.”
My son, if you receive my words and treasure up my commandments with you,
making your ear attentive to wisdom and inclining your heart to understanding;
yes, if you call out for insight and raise your voice for understanding,
if you seek it like silver and search for it as for hidden treasures,
then you will understand the fear of the LORD and find the knowledge of God.
For the LORD gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding;
he stores up sound wisdom for the upright; he is a shield to those who walk in integrity,
guarding the paths of justice and watching over the way of his saints.
Then you will understand righteousness and justice and equity, every good path;
for wisdom will come into your heart, and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul;
discretion will watch over you, understanding will guard you,
delivering you from the way of evil, from men of perverted speech,
who forsake the paths of uprightness to walk in the ways of darkness,
who rejoice in doing evil and delight in the perverseness of evil,
men whose paths are crooked, and who are devious in their ways.
So you will be delivered from the forbidden woman, from the adulteress with her smooth words,
who forsakes the companion of her youth and forgets the covenant of her God;
for her house sinks down to death, and her paths to the departed;
none who go to her come back, nor do they regain the paths of life.
So you will walk in the way of the good and keep to the paths of the righteous.
For the upright will inhabit the land, and those with integrity will remain in it,
but the wicked will be cut off from the land, and the treacherous will be rooted out of it.
Vindicate me, O God, and defend my cause against an ungodly people, from the deceitful and unjust man deliver me!
For you are the God in whom I take refuge; why have you rejected me? Why do I go about mourning because of the oppression of the enemy?
Send out your light and your truth; let them lead me; let them bring me to your holy hill and to your dwelling!
Then I will go to the altar of God, to God my exceeding joy, and I will praise you with the lyre, O God, my God.
Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God.
I am speaking the truth in Christ–I am not lying; my conscience bears me witness in the Holy Spirit–
that I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart.
For I could wish that I myself were accursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my brothers, my kinsmen according to the flesh.
They are Israelites, and to them belong the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the worship, and the promises.
To them belong the patriarchs, and from their race, according to the flesh, is the Christ who is God over all, blessed forever. Amen.
But it is not as though the word of God has failed. For not all who are descended from Israel belong to Israel,
and not all are children of Abraham because they are his offspring, but ”Through Isaac shall your offspring be named.”
This means that it is not the children of the flesh who are the children of God, but the children of the promise are counted as offspring.
For this is what the promise said: ”About this time next year I will return and Sarah shall have a son.”
And not only so, but also when Rebecca had conceived children by one man, our forefather Isaac,
though they were not yet born and had done nothing either good or bad–in order that God’s purpose of election might continue, not because of works but because of his call–
she was told, ”The older will serve the younger.”
As it is written, ”Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.”
What shall we say then? Is there injustice on God’s part? By no means!
For he says to Moses, ”I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.”
So then it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God, who has mercy.
For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, ”For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I might show my power in you, and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.”
So then he has mercy on whomever he wills, and he hardens whomever he wills.
You will say to me then, ”Why does he still find fault? For who can resist his will?”
But who are you, O man, to answer back to God? Will what is molded say to its molder, ”Why have you made me like this?”
Has the potter no right over the clay, to make out of the same lump one vessel for honored use and another for dishonorable use?
What if God, desiring to show his wrath and to make known his power, has endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction,
in order to make known the riches of his glory for vessels of mercy, which he has prepared beforehand for glory–
even us whom he has called, not from the Jews only but also from the Gentiles?
As indeed he says in Hosea, ”Those who were not my people I will call ‘my people,’ and her who was not beloved I will call ‘beloved.”’
‘And in the very place where it was said to them, ‘You are not my people,’ there they will be called ‘sons of the living God.”’
And Isaiah cries out concerning Israel: ”Though the number of the sons of Israel be as the sand of the sea, only a remnant of them will be saved,
for the Lord will carry out his sentence upon the earth fully and without delay.”
And as Isaiah predicted, ”If the Lord of hosts had not left us offspring, we would have been like Sodom and become like Gomorrah.”
What shall we say, then? That Gentiles who did not pursue righteousness have attained it, that is, a righteousness that is by faith;
but that Israel who pursued a law that would lead to righteousness did not succeed in reaching that law.
Why? Because they did not pursue it by faith, but as if it were based on works. They have stumbled over the stumbling stone,
as it is written, ”Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offense; and whoever believes in him will not be put to shame.”