Some more chants and outlines of the Old Testament. The books of Judges and 1-2 Samuel narrate the transition from the Mosaic to the Davidic covenants, from the age of priests to the age of kings, from the age of the ox to the age of the lion. As so often in the Bible:
God tears down the world so He can build another.
Bad as the time of Judges was, it was not the end of the age of the ox. At the end of Judges, the tabernacle stll stands at Shiloh. The early chapters of 1 Samuel describe the end of the priestly age.
1-2 Samuel has a whole can be outlined simply with the three major characters of the book:
Samuel, Saul, and David
The age of the ox comes to an end because of the sins of the priests:
Hophni and Phinehas sleep with the women and steal from God; and Eli does not stop them
With the tabernacle in disarray, Israel demands a king from God, and they get Saul. He begins well, but he sins and his three sins correspond to the three areas of the original creation: garden, land and world.
Saul sins in the garden, Saul sins in the land, Saul sins in the world
What are Saul’s three sins? He sins against God and Samuel by not waiting to offering sacrifice, against his “brother” Jonathan when he tries to kill him, and in his relation to the Gentiles when he refuses to kill the Amalekite king Agag.
He doesn’t wait to sacrifice, he tries to kill Jonathan, he doesn’t kill Agag
David, on the other hand, reverses these sins of Saul. He trusts his Father to fight Goliath; he doesn’t try to kill Saul, even though Saul is trying to kill him; and just before he ascends to the throne, he beats the Amalekites that Saul failed to defeat fully. David shows faithfulness to God, to his “brother” Saul, and in his relation to the Gentiles. He rises to the throne because he is faithful in the garden, in the land, and in the world.
David trusts in Yahweh; David saves king Saul; David beats Amalekites
I haven’t figured out a decent chant for the reign of David yet.
1-2 Kings is organized into two halves. The first half describes the establishment of three principal dynasties/kingdoms, the continuation of the Davidic dynasty with Solomon, the establishment of the northern kingdom by Jeroboam, and the northern dynasty of Omri (that includes Ahab):
Solomon, Jeroboam, Omri
Solomon builds the temple. This is the kingly/lion reestablishment of the house of God. It’s like the tabernacle, but is bigger and permanent. Besides, it has several new pieces of furniture:
Water chariots, great bronze sea, two huge cherubim
Solomon violates all the laws of kingship. In Deuteronomy 17, Yahweh instructed Israel’s kings not to multiply horses and chariots, gold and silver, or wives. With my own children, I’ve tried to come up with a variation of this list for every letter of the alphabet. Here is a sampling:
Bombs, baubles, bimbos
Guns, gold, girls
Weapons, wealth, women
The founder or some prominent member of each of the dynasties/kingdoms sins and causes the eventual downfall of the kingdom. Each successive dynasty is worse than the previous one.
Solomon’s heart turns to idols; Jeroboam makes golden calves; Ahab worships Baal
In the second half of kings, these three dynasties/kingdoms fall in reverse order: The Omride dynasty, Jeroboam’s northern kingdom, Solomon’s kingdom of Judah. Each time a dynasty falls, a temple is destroyed and the Davidic kingdom is threatened. But each time Yahweh rescues the Davidic king and the Davidic dynasty from final destruction. We can summarize this with:
Joash is hidden in the temple at the end of Omri’s kingdom
Hezekiah is saved from Assyria after the fall of the northern kingdom
Jehoiachin is enthroned in Babylon
posted by Peter J. Leithart on Tuesday, June 19, 2012 at 10:42 am
Permission is given to use material on this site, provided the source is cited, blog entries are republished in full, and the author is notified in advance.