Day 144: David's Last Words
1 Kings 2:1-12 Before David died, he emphasized to Solomon the importance of fidelity to God and the Commandments. He also advised him in ways of prudence in ruling his kingdom justly. Through the gift of sanctifying grace gratuitously received in Baptism, our good works are meritorious.
Sheol: This is the Hebrew term for the place of the dead. Israel believed in an afterlife, but it was not well defined at this point in salvation history.
Slept with his fathers: This is a euphemism for death. (CCC 2025)
2 Chronicles 2:1-18 Solomon made arrangements with Huram, king of Tyre, for a shipment of cedar wood and expert artisans to craft the Temple’s finery, and he gathered his labor force from among the non-Israelites living in the Promised Land.
Ch 2:4-6 The construction and care of a suitable and inviting place of worship draws the faithful to prayerful adoration as they worship God as a community. The beauty of the building and its sacred art should elevate the hearts of the faithful to God and move them to contemplate his greatness through the humanity of his Son, Jesus Christ. (CCC 1179-1181, 1186, 2500-2503, 2513)
Ch 3-4 These chapters describe the process of building the Temple and its furnishings. The emphasis here is on the meticulous care and attention to detail on the part of the builders that gave the Temple its beauty and splendor.
Mount Moriah: This was the site of Abraham’s near-sacrifice of his son Isaac; this is the only time Scripture identifies Mt. Moriah as the site of the Temple, thus connecting it with Abraham’s generosity to make the ultimate sacrifice of his son in obedience to God’s will.
Psalm 62 The psalm speaks about an idolatry consisting of trust in the false gods of violence, injustice, and riches. The human person declines morally when God, who is the universal good, is supplanted by those deceptive gods. Such idols are illusory, promising security without actually delivering it. As St. John Paul II said, “Serving this diabolical triad, man forgets that idols are unreliable: They are, indeed, harmful...If we were more aware of our fallen nature and of the limits to which creatures are subject, we would shun the path of trust in idols and would not program our lives based on a scale of fragile and inconsistent pseudo-values...This appeal to reject misplaced trust and to choose that which leads us to God is relevant to everyone and must become our guiding star in our daily behavior, moral decisions, and lifestyle” (St. John Paul II, General Audience, November 10, 2004)
Trust in God assures us of faithful perseverance in fulfilling God’s will and consequently of the blessings of lasting joy.
If riches increase, set not your heart on them: There is no condemnation of prosperity here as much as a warning against according wealth an absolute or central importance in our lives. Christ warned his listeners along these lines when he said, “Do not lay up yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust consume and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust consumes and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also” (Mt. 6:19-21).
You repay...his work: A constant theme throughout Scripture, our faith must express itself through our actions. (CCC 1021, 1697-1698, 1815, 2044)
(*The Didache Bible RSV-CE Ignatius Edition, 2006)
As he lies dying, David summons Solomon and gives him a final charge.
Mindful that the kingdom depends not on military might or political strategy but on the king’s fidelity to God and to his Torah, David solemnly reminds his son to walk in the ways of God and to keep the commandments given to Israel through Moses:
“...Be strong, and show yourself a man, and keep the charge of the Lord your God...that the Lord may establish his word which he spoke concerning me, saying, ‘If your sons take heed to their way, to walk before me in faithfulness with all their heart and with all their soul, there shall not fail you a man on the throne of Israel’.” (1 Kgs 2:2,4)
Here is another reminder that the kingship is a gift and not an absolute right of the sons of David.
Should the king fail to obey God, he will be chastised “with the rods of men, with the stripes of the sons of men” (2 Sam 7:14), and his people along with him.
This will be key to interpreting the events that will follow in 1 and 2 Kings.
When David dies, Adonijah attempts a second grab for power.
He asks Bathsheba to intercede for him before Solomon and request the hand of Abishag the Shunammite, David’s virgin concubine, in marriage.
Though Bathsheba appears unaware of Adonijah’s scheme, Solomon sees it clearly.
Since possession of the royal harem was regarded as the right of the king, giving Adonijah his late father’s concubine would be tantamount to legitimizing Adonijah’s claims to kingship.
For this brazen attempt, Adonijah was executed.
Earlier, when confronted by the prophet Nathan for his sin with Bathsheba and the murder of Uriah, David pronounced the verdict that the rich man in Nathan’s parable should “restore the lamb fourfold, because he did this thing, and because he had no pity” (2 Sam 12:6).
For his murder of Uriah, David lost four sons: the son born from his adultery, Amnon, Absalom, and now Adonijah.
David’s restitution had been fourfold. 🤯🤯🤯
While Adonijah was deceptive, the manner of his request reveals an important aspect of the royal court.
In order to better approach the king, Adonijah entreats the intercession of Bathsheba, the queen mother (in Hebrew, gebirah) (1 Kgs 2:19-20).
Unlike medieval courts, where the WIFE of the king ruled as queen, in the ancient Davidic court, as in many other Ancient Near East kingdoms, it was the MOTHER OF THE KING who ruled alongside her son.
This resulted from the practical problem of ancient kings having many wives and only one queenship to bestow.
The solemnity of the queen mother’s office is manifested in the fact that the king rises and bows before her-a stunning gesture of reverence from the sovereign of the land-and seats her at his right hand, the position of favor.
Additionally, whenever a king is first named in the books of Kings and Chronicles, his MOTHER is also named.
In other words, the queen mother helped identify the new king (1 Kgs 14:21; 2 Chron 13:1-2, 20:31, 22:2).
Adonijah’s request to Bathsheba shows the queen mother’s role as a DESIGNATED INTERCESSOR for the people before the king.
This role is also seen in Proverbs 31, where a king recounts the instruction of his mother to maintain the rights of the poor and needy of his kingdom (Prov 31:9).
This role of the Davidic queen mother prefigures its fulfillment in Mary, the mother of the King of kings, Jesus Christ, who will be an intercessor for all those in Christ’s kingdom (TYPOLOGY!!).
Elizabeth SPECIFICALLY IDENTIFIES Mary in just this role of the QUEEN MOTHER when she refers to her as “THE MOTHER OF MY LORD” (Lk 1:43).
(*Walking With God: A Journey Through The Bible by Tim Gray and Jeff Cavins)
So here we are at the end of David’s life
These are David’s FINAL WORDS that he gives to his son, Solomon
There are a couple of things to pay attention to
David’s last words are (paraphrased) “Hey, make sure you kill these people. Make sure you show some kind of leniency, some kind of clemency to others.”
What is David doing?
David is imparting his hard earned WISDOM and KNOWLEDGE on to Solomon
Adonijah turned against Solomon and David and gathered a number of people to himself
Some of these people will want to get close to Solomon as well
People like Joab
People like Shimei who cursed David when he was on the run from Absalom
David is telling Solomon that it is his job to deal with these people in a way that is just after David is gone
The rest of the 1 Kings Ch 2 is spent with Solomon trying to essentially dole out justice that David advised him to do
On the last day of David’s life when he is talking to King Solomon, he gives him some advice
When it comes to parenting, children pay more attention to the EXAMPLE that we set rather than the ADVICE that we offer
Does that make sense? (looking back on my own life, that certainly seems to be true 😉)
So David is ADVISING Solomon to keep God’s Commandments, His judgements, his statutes, his testimonies
That is GREAT ADVICE
David’s life was not always perfect, was it?
Yes, David kept God’s Commandments in many ways
Yes, David also broke God’s Commandments and he DID REPENT
That is why he was a man after God’s own heart
But what Solomon saw in his father, David, was that his father was DISTANT
His father was NOT ENGAGED in the affairs of the family
His father’s heart in many ways did BELONG TO THE LORD
In many ways, his father’s heart WAS DIVIDED when it came to the Lord
Love the Lord your God with your WHOLE HEART
Love the Lord your God with your WHOLE SOUL
Prove yourself A MAN
This is all GREAT ADVICE
David’s EXAMPLE was a DIVIDED HEART
We have a sense that David BELONGED TO THE LORD, this is TRUE
But we also know that David didn’t necessarily WITNESS to that to his family
David did not DISCIPLINE his children like that meanie Amnon
David did not MENTOR his children
David was not a good FATHER to his children
David was a pretty distant father
We will find out soon that Solomon is going to follow his father’s EXAMPLE rather than follow his father’s ADVICE
That is going to be a KEY THING
Now we have a remarkable story where Adonijah goes to Bathsheba with a teensy weensy request
He wanted Bathsheba to go to King Solomon and ask for Abishag the Shunammite as a wife
This is NOT a teensy weensy request at all
Why would Adonijah want to have Abishag as a wife?🤔
She was one of King David’s “platonic concubines”
Remember, David didn’t have sexual relations with her
But here is a POWER PLAY by Adonijah
He thought if he could make as his wife one of the KING’S CONCUBINES, then he could USURP THE THRONE of his BROTHER
Since only the KING could have CONCUBINES
There are commentaries that say Bathsheba would CLEARLY KNOW THIS
She is going to make this request of King Solomon on behalf of Adonijah
She KNOWS how things in court are run
She knows who to talk to
Remember, she conspired with Nathan the Prophet to make sure Solomon would be made king
So Bathsheba is going to her son, King Solomon, because she knows that Solomon NEEDS TO KNOW that Adonijah is STILL PLOTTING AGAINST HIM
So on the surface, the text in Scripture makes it seem that she is carrying out this request ignorant to Adonijah’s plot
That is VERY UNLIKELY to be the case
More likely, Bathsheba KNOWS that Adonijah thinks she will do his dirty work for him
Bathsheba knows that when she asks King Solomon, he will KNOW that Adonijah is plotting against him
After all, Solomon was WISE 🤓
Now here is something that is SO IMPORTANT to pay attention to
In the previous chapter, when Bathsheba went into the presence of her HUSBAND, King David, what did she do?
She bowed down to him in obeisance
Then she rose when he told her to rise
But when Bathsheba goes in the presence of her SON, King Solomon, what happens?
King Solomon rises up to meet her and BOWS DOWN TO MEET HER
She then sat at his RIGHT HAND
Think about this 🤔
In the ancient kingdom, WHO IS THE QUEEN?
The queen IS NOT THE WIFE OF THE KING
Because the king had MANY WIVES
The QUEEN is the MOTHER OF THE KING
Because the king had ONLY ONE MOM
The king had MANY WIVES but ONLY ONE MOM
Therefore, the MOTHER OF THE KING WAS THE QUEEN (Ok now, I know some of you are going to wonder then why wasn’t David’s mother, Nitzevet the queen? 🤔 The best I can do is point you in this direction to read about why Mary’s queenship is Biblical: https://www.catholic.com/magazine/print-edition/is-marys-queenship-biblical )
Your other best bet is to #askjeffcavins 😉
When she came before King David, SHE BOWED DOWN
When she came before King David, SHE DID OBEISANCE
When she came before her SON, King Solomon, HE gets up and does HER honor
He makes her to sit AT HIS RIGHT HAND
This is going to be IMPORTANT
That is the role of the GEBIRAH, which means QUEEN MOTHER in Hebrew
What we have in the New Testament, the New Kingdom is similar
People often wonder, WHY DO WE HONOR MARY?
For a number of reasons
One of the reasons is because this is how God “baked it in” (for our international brothers and sisters, to “bake it in” means TO BE INCLUDED 😁) for the Kingdom of Israel
Keep in mind…
The Church is the New Kingdom of Israel on Earth and in Heaven
The Church is meant to be the FULFILLMENT of the ANCIENT KINGDOM OF ISRAEL
There is ONE KING and ONE QUEEN, the MOTHER OF THE KING, in the ancient kingdom of Israel
So in the NEW KINGDOM, who is the KING?
The KING is JESUS CHRIST HIMSELF FOR ALL ETERNITY
Jesus is the FULFILLMENT
That’s why Chronicles keeps pointing to David and Solomon as PROTOTYPES
JESUS HAS A MOM!!!
That MOM is the QUEEN
We see this in Revelation Ch 12
John looks into Heaven and he sees a WOMAN CLOTHED WITH THE SUN WITH THE MOON AT HER FEET AND A CROWN OF 12 STARS ON HER HEAD
What The Church has CONSISTENTLY BELIEVED is that John’s vision of Heaven is of the QUEEN MOTHER!!
Now OBVIOUSLY the QUEEN is NOT at the same HEIGHT or AUTHORITY as the KING at all
IN NO WAY, SHAPE, OR FORM
Because our KING is JESUS HIMSELF
And Mary is a mere HUMAN BEING
Just like we see King Solomon ARISE to meet his mom, the QUEEN MOTHER
HE BOWS DOWN TO HER AND SITS HER AT HIS RIGHT HAND
There is an element here where in the New Covenant, in the New Kingdom, here is Jesus who has a ROLE OF HONOR, NOT A ROLE OF WORSHIP AT ALL, FOR THE QUEEN MOTHER
As Jesus gives his Mother HONOR, WE GIVE HER HONOR
So people ask, “Why do you pay so much attention to Mary?”🤔
We can say, “Just as the king in the Old Testament would give his QUEEN MOTHER honor, so we in the New Testament know that the KING, JESUS CHRIST OUR LORD AND GOD HIMSELF, would give His Mom, the QUEEN MOTHER, HONOR.”
WORSHIP IS A COMPLETELY DIFFERENT THING
So that’s what we do!!
We are cruising right along, footloose and fancy free 😉
It is SUCH A GIFT today to be able to hear these words TOGETHER about the advancement of the KINGDOM
The Kingdom is going to BREAK soon
BUT IN THE MEANTIME....
We can take some lessons from Solomon
We can see what’s happening in his BUILDING OF THE TEMPLE
We can see what’s happening in his EXERCISE OF WISDOM
KEEP PRAYING FOR EACH OTHER
KEEP PRAYING FOR FR. MIKE
Prayer by Fr. Mike: “Father in Heaven we give you praise and we do thank you. Yes, to you Lord God belongs steadfast love. To you belongs power. You love us with a love that doesn’t change. You love us with a love that is constantly dynamic and constantly activated. Lord God, you are not a God of potency, you are a God of actuality. You are not a God of dreams, you are a God of reality. And in all things we trust you. In all things we praise you. And this day, as you speak to us once again, we continue to trust in you. Please hear our prayer and please make yourself known by every one of us. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.”
1 Kg. 2:
2:19 Bathsheba is the Gebirah (Queen Mother) of Israel, a type which the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Mother of God, later fulfils.
2 Chron. 2:
2:3 Keeping this perpetual obligation in mind always, the Church continues doing these things to this very day.
2 Chron. 3:
3:4 Pure gold prefigures the purity of the Mother of God.
3:5, 16 The horticultural imagery intends to convey that the Temple is the new Garden of Eden, which was the original primordial garden temple in which man communed with his Creator.
3:14 The veil which marked the entrance of the Holy of Holies, in some way, prefigures the veil which the Most Holy Theotokos wears. As the veil once covered the Holy of Holies to protect the mystery of the presence of God among men, so, too, does Mary’s veil signify that she is the true “bridal chamber” of God (Akathist to the Theotokos, Oikos 10).
3:16 Cf. Sg. 4:13. The pomegranates signify that the garden of the Song of Songs is the very Temple of God, an antitype of the Garden of Eden, and, ultimately, the Catholic Church. Interestingly, pomegranates also lined the hem of the High Priest’s vestments as a symbol of the abundance of the Promised Land. The primary function of the Garden of Eden, just like the Temple in Jerusalem, is liturgical: the meeting place of Heaven and Earth.
My Study Color Code
■ Suffering, Martyrdom ■ Places ■ The Church, Sacraments, Divinity ■ Horticultural Imagery ■ People ■ Messianic Kingship ■ Sin, Death, Decay