2022 Study Summary 26: Thy Kingdom Shall Be Established Forever
2 Samuel 5-7; 11-12; 1 Kings 3; 8; 11
“Thy Kingdom Shall Be Established Forever”
2 Samuel 5. All Israel anoints David king—He takes Jerusalem and is blessed of the Lord—He conquers the Philistines.
2 Samuel 6. David takes the ark to the city of David—Uzzah is smitten for steadying the ark and dies—David dances before the Lord, causing a breach between him and Michal.
2 Samuel 7. David offers to build a house for the Lord—The Lord, through Nathan, says He has not asked David to do so—The Lord will establish David’s house and kingdom forever—David offers a prayer of thanksgiving.
2 Samuel 11. David lies with Bathsheba, and she conceives—He then arranges for the death in battle of her husband, Uriah.
2 Samuel 12. Nathan tells David the parable of the ewe lamb—The Lord gave many wives to David, who is now cursed for taking Bathsheba—David fasts and prays for his son, but the Lord takes him—Solomon is born—David conquers the royal city of the Ammonites.
1 Kings3. Solomon loves the Lord and keeps His commandments—The Lord appears to Solomon and promises him a wise and an understanding heart—He judges between two harlots and determines who is the mother of a child.
1 Kings 8. The ark, containing the two tablets of stone, is placed in the holy of holies—The glory of the Lord fills the temple—Solomon offers the dedicatory prayer—He asks for temporal and spiritual blessings upon repentant and prayerful Israel—The people sacrifice and worship for fourteen days.
1 Kings 11. Solomon marries non-Israelite women, and his wives turn his heart to the worship of false gods—The Lord stirs up adversaries against him, including Jeroboam, the son of Nebat—Ahijah promises Jeroboam that he will be the king of the ten tribes—Solomon dies and Rehoboam reigns in his stead.
How can I interpret the return of a “Latter-day David?”
The Jews expect an appearance of a “latter-day” David. He would be like the former David in that he would be militarily, politically and spiritually capable. Jews choose to reflect on David’s good characteristics rather than on his grievous mistakes. His repentance is recognized. Yet, many feel that the payment for his immorality and murderous conspiracy extends into the eternities. In comparing Saul of Tarsus (Paul) with David, President Joseph F. Smith said the following. “. . . and yet this man (Saul) committed no unpardonable sin, because he knew not the Holy Ghost” (Acts 8:3; 9:1; 22:4; 26:10, 11); while, for the crime of adultery with Bathsheba, and for ordering Uriah to be put in the front of battle in a time of war, where he was slain by the enemy, the Priesthood, and the kingdom were taken from David, the man after God’s own heart, and his soul was thrust into hell. Why? Because “the Holy Ghost spake by the mouth of David”—or, in other words, David possessed the gift of the Holy Ghost, and had power to speak by the light thereof. But even David, though guilty of adultery and murder of Uriah, obtained the promise that his soul should not be left in hell, which means, as I understand it, that even he shall escape the second death.” (Gospel Doctrine, Joseph F. Smith, page 433) There is a tradition in anticipation of the expected latterday David. This is done in joyful singing at a Bar Mitzvah celebration when a boy is thirteen years old. (Some do it at twelve years if the boy has no father.) That is the age Jewish tradition says the ancient David was chosen and ordained by the Prophet Samuel to be the King of Israel. The transliteration of the Hebrew folk song of David has even become a popsong: “David, Melech Israel, hai, hai ve kayam.” “It is interesting that in an absolute monarchy such as David’s, Nathan was able to publicly criticize the king without being killed immediately; what is even more remarkable is that David apparently realized his transgression and repented his act. Nathan subsequently became a partisan of Bath-Sheba and prophesied that her son Solomon would become king.” (Encyclopedia Judaica Jr.) The following selection from the book Israel Revealed includes a scriptural background for the Jewish tradition of expectations of Latter-day Joseph and David: “There are rabbinic suggestions of expected heaven-sent visitors that include a latterday Messiah, Ben- Joseph, who will receive the keys of the gathering of Israel and restore temple worship. This was referred to by the Chief Rabbi Abraham HaCohen Kook when he explained that the temple could not be built right away because there was no priesthood. There are other versions of the tradition of a Joseph of latter days. A latter-day David is also expected. (This is implied at almost every Bar Mitzvah as the congregants sing “David King of Israel” to the young lad.) Their expectation is of a David who will emerge from obscurity to be a great king or leader in these last days. “But they shall serve the LORD their God, and David their king, whom I will raise up unto them.” (Jeremiah 30:9) “And I the LORD will be their God, and my servant David a prince among them; I the LORD have spoken it.” (Ezekiel 34:24) “Afterward shall the children of Israel return, and seek the LORD their God, and David their king; and shall fear the LORD and his goodness in the latter days.” (Hosea 3:5) The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints scripture refers to the Lord and to the Lord’s servant (possibly a latter-day David), and to another latter-day servant (Joseph Smith). These servants are of dual tribal descendancy. These ideas are seen in the answers given to questions from Isaiah 11. “Who is the stem of Jesse? . . . It is Christ. What is the rod? . . . It is a servant in the hands of Christ, who is partly a descendant of Jesse as well as of Ephraim . . . What is the root of Jesse? . . . it is a descendant of Jesse, as well as of Joseph, unto whom rightly belongs the priesthood, and the keys of the kingdom, for an ensign, and for the gathering of my people in the last days.” (Doctrine & Covenants 113:1-6)”
What is Judeo/Christian concept on repentance?
Again, David’s righteous life is the model. The sinful part of his life is considered to be something he must work out with God. About repentance, Jewish thought includes the following. “Also to be learned is the fact that true repentance is accepted by God and earns His pardon for almost any sin. Because of its theme of sin, repentance, and forgiveness the Book of Jonah is read every Day of Atonement at the Minhah (Jewish afternoon service) service.” “SIN AND REPENTANCE – the very fact that Judaism has a doctrine of mitzvot (commandments and blessings) means that it must also take sin into consideration. Performing a mitzvah (commandment or a blessing) is doing God’s will; sin is doing something which is against God’s will. In biblical Hebrew there are about 20 different words which denote sin which range from a deliberate act in defiance of what God has forbidden to accidental, unwilling transgression. The Bible is therefore very much aware of sin.” “Sins can be divided into two categories—those of commission and those of omission. The former are more serious insofar as they involve a positive action—doing something which is forbidden. The latter consist of the failure to perform mitzvot. As far as the rabbis were concerned, the three most serious sins are murder, idolatry, and adultery or incest. They ruled that rather than commit these, a person must give up his life. In order to save his life, a person is allowed to commit the other sins.” (Encyclopedia Judaica Jr.) On the subject of moral cleanliness, Judaism is strong in its standard for Jews and non-Jews. Since there is an inclination for sinful drives, a purposeful effort to replace them is necessary. “Feelings of hatred, envy, self-indulgence, sexual drives, greed are woven into man’s nature as God created him. But these impulses can be re-directed by the yezer ha-tov, guided and disciplined by the laws of the Torah, so that instead of destructive forces they become creative powers for good. The sages taught that studying the Torah and living according to its commandments are the best way to assure this good. Men then marry, have children, develop commerce, act against injustice and persecution in a spirit of responsibility and high purpose. One need only look at the world around us to see the tragic results when the yezer ha-ra (bad inclination) is irresponsible and unrestrained.” “Neither great personalities nor simple folk are immune to the power of the yezer ha-ra, which in rabbinic literature, is usually depicted as the influence of Satan. The function of Satan is to tempt all humanity and to test a person’s sincerity. The rabbis taught that one must therefore always be aware of the power of temptation, for the yezer ha-ra can grow and become a bad habit. At first it resembles the thread of a spider’s web, the wise men tell us—fragile and barely visible. lf not controlled it will become as strong as a stout rope. Judaism places a high value on the good that results from man’s victory over his evil inclinations. “Who is mighty?” ask the sages. “One who subdues his inclinations.” (Encyclopedia Judaica Jr.)
What is in the legacy of Solomon?
Recent developments in Israel have brought the name of King Solomon to the foreground again. One news item is that various archaeologists feel that many building projects attributed to him may have been constructed by someone else. This kind of controversy is typical among archaeologists and has not been proven beyond doubts. The most interesting development is the influx of tens of thousands of black Jews from Ethiopia. They feel they are descendants of King Solomon through one of his wives, the Queen of Sheba. “In Ethiopia, members of this group refer to themselves as Beta Israel . . . They practice an early form of Judaism; the chief rabbis of Israel have recognized them as Jews. Until brought to Israel, they lived in the provinces around Lake Tana. According to their tradition, their ancestors were Jerusalem notables who came with Menelik, the son of King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba, when he returned home.” “They said that he brought Judaic customs and civil law to Ethiopia. The lion of Judah was the symbol of the emperor of Ethiopia.” (Encyclopedia Judaica Jr.) “Operation Solomon” was the name of a remarkable plan to bring these Jews to Israel. In the early 90s, fifteen thousand Ethiopian Jews were airlifted to Israel in thirty-one hours. One 747 Jumbo had more than eleven hundred of them on one flight. In order to keep count, each had a number stuck to his clothing. When they landed, there were two unnumbered, newborn babies! Today, Israel is home to the largest Ethiopian Israel community in the world, with about 160,500 citizens with Ethiopian descent in 2021. The Ethiopian’s Judaism differs from the Western Rabbinical Judaism that most Jews relate to. It is possible, through anthropological studies, to catch a closer glimpse of Judaism as it might have been three thousand years ago. Because of Solomon’s fame as a wise king, a wide variety of poetry and wisdom has been attributed to him. “The Song of Songs, a joyous tribute to life and love, was written in his youth; Proverbs, a more serious and scholarly work, was produced in his middle age, and Ecclesiastes, on the surface a very cynical book, was written by Solomon in his final years.” (Encyclopedia Judaica Jr.) Traditionally, Ecclesiastes has been with Solomon because of the information given in the first two verses of the book. It is suggested that no one else was son of David, king in Jerusalem. Yet, it might be conceded that the designation “son of David” could be used to refer to anyone in the line of David. The Solomonic flavor of verses like Ecclesiatstes 2:1–11 leave little doubt that the author intended the reader to think of Solomon’s experiences. “ECCLESIASTES or Kohelet, is one of the five Megillot (the five Megillot are parts of the “writings” of the prophets, the third major section of the Old Testament. They are the Song of Songs, the Book of Ruth, the Book of Lamentations, Ecclesiastes and the Book of Esther). It has won enduring popularity because of its wise maxims and its counsel on life. “Ecclesiastes” from the Greek and “Kohelet” in Hebrew, mean leader or teacher of a group.” “Traditionally, the Book is ascribed to King Solomon, and is included among the writings of the Bible. Its wisdom has been a continuing source of inspiration. Some of the maxims are: He that loveth silver shall not be satisfied with silver; Sweet is the sleep of a laboring man… To everything there are a season and a time to every purpose under the heaven. A time to be born and a time to die . . . a time to weep and a time to laugh . . . a time to love and a time to hate . . . a time for war and a time for peace.” (Encyclopedia Judaica Jr.)
What are symbols or emblems of Solomon and David?
There are symbols in modern Judaism that purportedly date back to David’s and Solomon’s times. One of the most popular is known by non-Jews as The Star of David. Those of the House of Israel call it the Magen David, the sign or shield of David. “MAGEN DAVID (“Shield of David”), the six-pointed star, has become the generally accepted emblem of the Jewish people. Tradition tells us that King David wore a Magen David on his shield, and that King Solomon had the symbol inscribed on his ring in place of the name of God to give him dominion over demons. In spite of its long history, it is however only recently that the Magen David has become an exclusively Jewish symbol.” “During the early Middle Ages, Christians decorated their churches and cathedrals with the Magen David. For Muslims it was a magical sign; in Arabic sources the magen David was also known as the “seal of Solomon” and this alternative name was taken over by Jewish groups as well.” (Encyclopedia Judaica Jr.) The Magen David is always shown as two interwoven triangles. One possible explanation is that the two triangles represent a characterization of the Urim and Thummim. According to statements by Joseph Smith, the Urim and Thummim were two triangular stones connected by a silver bow. One pointed up and the other pointed down. Superimposed, they make a fascinating Magen David! According to a paper given at Hebrew University by John Tvedtnes, late Senior Researcher at FARMS (BYU), the words Urim and Thummim may come from Egyptian words similar to “RMMM” and “TMMM,” one meaning ‘yes or act upon it’ positive, the other a more negative, meaning ‘leave it alone.’ Since the Urim and Thummin were revelatory tools, it is possible that they represent or operate on a simple principle of revelation. The answer is yes or no. “But, behold, I say unto you, that you must study it out in your mind; then you must ask me if it be right, and if it is right I will cause that your bosom shall burn within you; therefore, you shall feel that it is right.” (Doctrine & Covenants 9:8) As popular as the Magen David is, the official symbol of the State of Israel is the seven-branched Menorah. “God showed Moses the prototype of the Menorah when He handed down the Torah on Mount Sinai: from the central shaft of the Menorah six branches, three on either side, curved upwards, making seven branches in all; it was carved from one solid piece of gold. It was a sacred object to be used only in the Tabernacle and later in the Temple, and no imitation was permitted.” “The original Menorah was 18 handbreadths high and burned in the Tabernacle as a perpetual light. When Solomon built the Temple in Jerusalem, he placed ten golden menorot inside it, probably in addition to the menorah of Moses. Both these and the original menorah were destroyed completely when the First Temple was desecrated in 586 B.C.E.” (Encyclopedia Judaica Jr.)
What Biblical holiday is attributed to Solomon?
After Solomon built the Temple, the holiday of Sukkoth was used to keep the remembrance of the building and dedication of the temple. “SUKKOTH (Hebrew for “huts” or “tabernacles”), a seven-day festival beginning on the 15th day of the month of Tishrei, which falls in September or October. (In the Diaspora an extra eighth day is celebrated.) One of its main observances is living temporarily in huts, called Sukkoth, resembling those in which the Children of Israel dwelt during their forty years in the wilderness after the Exodus from Egypt.” “This autumn festival was the last of the three “pilgrim” festivals connected with the farming year. From all corners of the Land of Israel throngs of pilgrims used to make their way up to Jerusalem carrying the gaily decorated baskets of fruit and grain which they brought to the Temple as a thanksgiving offering. At the gates of the city the townsfolk greeted them with music. The pilgrims then ascended the broad marble staircase that led from the City of David to the summit of the Temple Mount, where they would present their offerings to the Priests.”
What other historical events occurred on Sukkoth?
“This holiday was also the occasion for the consecration of the Temple built by Solomon and every seventh year on Sukkoth, the Torah was read by the king before the assembled people. In his vision of the end of days, the prophet Zechariah foretells that all the nations of the world will assemble for the festival of Sukkoth in Jerusalem to worship God.” (Encyclopedia Judaica Jr.) It was on this high-day Sabbath, in 1982, that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints branch meeting facility, then referred to as “Mormon House,” in Jerusalem was dedicated by the Branch President, Daniel Rona, a descendant of Solomon. There is another holiday that is a reminder of the destruction of Solomon’s temple. Later, after Herod rebuilt the temple, it was destroyed on almost precisely the same date. “TISH’AH BE-AV (the ninth day of the Hebrew month of Av, usually falling within the first week of August) is the traditional day of mourning for the destruction of the temples in Jerusalem. It is the culmination of three weeks of mourning that start on the 17th of Tammuz. On Tish’ah be-Av in the year 586 B.C.E., the Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar stormed the great temple built by Solomon, turned its marbled columns and gilded rooms into a useless pile of rubble, and exiled Jerusalem’s inhabitants.” “After long years of suffering and effort, the Jews managed to rebuild the Temple, which stood for more than 600 years as a symbol of spiritual and national unity. But on the ninth of Av, in the year 70 C.E., the walls of the Temple were once again broken through—this time by the Romans—and the Temple and all its structures were completely razed.” (Encyclopedia Judaica Jr.) Since members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have such an intense interest in temple culture and its procedural symbolism, a few comments about the temple may be interesting. There were curtains in the temple that the Sanhedrin positioned themselves behind when speaking with participants in the temple. “. . . the Great Sanhedrin was the name of the unique court consisting of . . . judges which sat in a special part of the Temple in Jerusalem. These judges had to know a great many languages in order to understand the witnesses and the litigants without an interpreter (who might change— ever so slightly the original statement). They never saw the litigants or the accused, in case their judgment might be influenced by their appearance.” (Encyclopedia Judaica Jr.)
How were ancient temple “judgements” carried out?
Nowadays, a curtain or cloth is used to create a canopy (huppah) under which marriages are performed. This cloth is usually a “tallith,” a garment that represents the clothing used in temple times with marks (four sets of strings with knots) that represent binding ourselves to keep the commandments. “. . . it was customary for the groom to cover the bride’s head with his tallith as a symbol of sheltering her; and in modern-day Israel, for weddings of soldiers on active duty, it is not unusual to see a huppah (canopy) constructed of a tallith supported by four rifles . . . (or) friends of the bride and groom . . . among Orthodox Jews, the preferred custom is to erect the huppah outside, or at least in a spot open to the sky, underneath the stars.” (Encyclopedia Judaica Jr.) A festive meal is always a part of a Jewish wedding, it being a connection to the temple, as well. “With the destruction of the Second Temple sacrifices were no longer made. It was then said: “Now that there is no altar, a man’s table . . . and prayer takes the place of the sacrifices.” “The Talmud describes in detail the various modes of conduct to be observed at meals. For example, persons should engage in a discussion of Torah during the meal so that they will be “as though they had eaten at the table of God” Furthermore, the table is regarded as a substitute for the altar in the Temple, and therefore, it must be treated with reverence. Before any meal, the hands must be washed pronouncing the appropriate blessing over the washing, after which bread is eaten. The meal is concluded with the Grace after Meals.” “. . . (a) benediction (after meals), called Boneh Yerushalayim . . . asks God to have mercy on Israel and to restore the Temple and the Kingdom of David. It includes a plea that He may always sustain and support Israel.” (Encyclopedia Judaica Jr.)
Who else spoke about a latter-day temple?
The Dead Sea “Temple Scroll” describes a temple to be built in latter-days. The Essenes believed that they were in the latter-days and referred to themselves as “saints.” The dimensions of the temple they planned were similar to the dimensions described by Ezekiel. However, the outer dimension seems to include the entire walled city of Jerusalem. Temples and temple ordinances are essential to the (true) faith and are well established in the Bible. Malachi predicted the coming of the Lord suddenly to his temple, in the day of vengeance, in the latter times, as a refiner and purifier. Ezekiel predicted the building of a temple in Jerusalem which will be used for ordinance work after the gathering of Israel from their long dispersion and when they are cleansed from their transgressions. John the Revelator saw the day when, after the earth is sanctified and celestialized, the presence of the Father and the Son in the New Jerusalem would take the place of the temple, for the whole city, due to their presence, would become a temple. (Doctrines of Salvation–Joseph Fielding Smith–Vol.2, Pg.244)
What was the Ark of the Covenant?
As we read in the Book of Exodus, God schooled Moses to build the Ark during his 40-day stay on Mount Sinai. He was shown the pattern for the tabernacle and furnishings of the Ark which was Made of shittim wood (acacia). Its golden lid, the kapporet (mercy seat or cover), was ornamented with two golden cherubim (celestial winged beings who function as throne bearer of the Deity), one was referred to as Justice and the other as Mercy. They were placed on the Ark’s lid and were spaced for the Lord to have a place to speak from. In Judaism, books, words and letters have a distinctive value and are afforded great respect. It is completely irreverent to place any kind of writing on the floor or the ground. The scriptures are kept in special cabinets (reminiscent of the Ark in temple times) and are often covered with silk or other precious cloths. If a book falls to the floor, it is the habit to pick it up, render a kiss, and return it to its place. Since Biblical Hebrew (the Old Testament) was written with fewer than nine thousand root words, the value of the words as they created illustrations and images was important. Ancient scripture writers used imagery that extended into related meanings. In some cases, the sayings reflected the times they were written in as well as views of the future.