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The Bible In A Year: Day 143

1 Kings 9-10
Ecclesiastes 2
Acts 25

1 Kings 9-10

God responds directly to Solomon’s prayer of dedication when he appears to him and promises to keep Solomon and his descendants on the throne forever, and he promises to keep Israel safe in the land forever. But there’s a clause in this promise, that should be easy enough for them to keep, but if their not too distant past is any indication, they’ll not live up to this caveat soon enough.

The qualifying terms of this promise is ‘don’t worship other gods’ that’s pretty much it. If they don’t live up to their obligations he’ll cast them out of the land and tear down the houses Solomon built into piles of rubble.

Solomon goes on a twenty year long building spree where he builds cities and storehouses, he builds palaces around the country, and he builds a Red Sea fleet of ships that his friend Hiram king of Tyre sends sailors for him to use.

All this building and his famed wisdom reaches as far as Sheba, a kingdom either in the southwest corner of the Arabian peninsula or around the Horn of Africa. Regardless, it’s a good distance from Jerusalem and yet the queen is so impressed she leaves her kingdom to go meet this Solomon.

She was thoroughly impressed by his wisdom and by the riches of the kingdom. She stayed a while and then went back to her kingdom and Solomon only increased in wealth for both himself and his nation. It says that silver was as common as stone and wasn’t even considered a precious metal in the days of Solomon.

Acts 25

Festus comes to his new province and takes a tour up to Jerusalem where he meets with the Jewish leaders who ask that Paul be sent to them in Jerusalem for trial. They planned to ambush and kill him on the way, so even after two years I’m jail they still hated Paul enough to plot his murder. Festus declines and says he will be tried in Caesarea and they’re welcome to come down and prosecute him.

About a week later the trial is held, but Festus is completely unconvinced by their accusations, but after Paul’s denial of all charges he asks if he’d like to go to Jerusalem with these fine gentleman for a trial there. He was new and wanted to get in good with the Jews so he made this offer, I doubt he knew of their assassination plot or he probably would’ve just issued a verdict then and there.

Paul knows what’s up with their plan for him to go to Jerusalem, he knows he’ll never get a fair trial, if he even made it to Jerusalem alive, and so he exercises a right that was reserved to every citizen of Rome. Paul appeals directly to Caesar. This provision was written into Roman law during the early part of the reign of Augustus and was in force until the end of the first century.

… Indeed the right to appeal was re-affirmed by the promulgation in Augustus’ reign of the Lex Iulia de vi publica et privata. This law basically forbade an official holding the imperium to bind, torture, or kill a Roman citizen who had appealed to Rome. The importance of the Lex Iulia de vi publica et privata lay in the fact that from the date of its promulgation “the Roman citizen was protected throughout the Roman Empire from the capital jurisdiction and violent coercitioof provincial governors. …

The Trial of St. Paul: A Juridical Exegesis of the Second Half of the Acts of the Apostles, Harry W. Tajra

Festus had no choice to deny this appeal to a citizen of the empire, but he also didn’t want to look like he just got a job that he’s unable to perform, so he writes a letter to go with Paul to cover himself. To help him do this he enlists the assistance of Agrippa, the king of Galilee and great grandson of Herod the Great. They bring Paul out and have him tell his side of the story. That we’ll read tomorrow…

Tomorrow’s Readings:
1 Kings 11-12
Ecclesiastes 3
Acts 26

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