Mark 12:28-44; 1 Kings 4; 1 Kings 5; Hosea 7:3-16

Mark 12:28-44

The Primary Commandments

28 One of the scribes approached. When he heard them debating and saw that Jesus answered them well, he asked Him, "Which commandment is the most important of all?" 29 "This is the most important," Jesus answered: Listen, Israel! The Lord our God, the Lord is One. 30 Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength. 31 "The second is: Love your neighbor as yourself. There is no other commandment greater than these." 32 Then the scribe said to Him, "You are right, Teacher! You have correctly said that He is One, and there is no one else except Him. 33 And to love Him with all your heart, with all your understanding, and with all your strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself, is far more [important] than all the burnt offerings and sacrifices." 34 When Jesus saw that he answered intelligently, He said to him, "You are not far from the kingdom of God." And no one dared to question Him any longer.

The Question about the Messiah

35 So Jesus asked this question as He taught in the temple complex, "How can the scribes say that the Messiah is the Son of David? 36 David himself says by the Holy Spirit: The Lord declared to my Lord, 'Sit at My right hand until I put Your enemies under Your feet.' 37 David himself calls Him 'Lord'; how then can the Messiah be his Son?" And the large crowd was listening to Him with delight.

Warning against the Scribes

38 He also said in His teaching, "Beware of the scribes, who want to go around in long robes, and who want greetings in the marketplaces, 39 the front seats in the synagogues, and the places of honor at banquets. 40 They devour widows' houses and say long prayers just for show. These will receive harsher punishment."

The Widow's Gift

41 Sitting across from the temple treasury, He watched how the crowd dropped money into the treasury. Many rich people were putting in large sums. 42 And a poor widow came and dropped in two tiny coins worth very little./ 64 of a daily wage, was the smallest Roman coin. 43 Summoning His disciples, He said to them, "I assure you: This poor widow has put in more than all those giving to the temple treasury. 44 For they all gave out of their surplus, but she out of her poverty has put in everything she possessed-all she had to live on."

1 Kings 4

Solomon's Officials

1 King Solomon ruled over Israel, 2 and these were his officials: Azariah son of Zadok, priest; 3 Elihoreph and Ahijah the sons of Shisha, secretaries; Jehoshaphat son of Ahilud, historian; 4 Benaiah son of Jehoiada, in charge of the army; Zadok and Abiathar, priests; 5 Azariah son of Nathan, in charge of the deputies; Zabud son of Nathan, a priest and adviser to the king; 6 Ahishar, in charge of the palace; and Adoniram son of Abda, in charge of forced labor. 7 Solomon had 12 deputies for all Israel. They provided food for the king and his household; each one made provision for one month out of the year. 8 These were their names: Ben-hur, in the hill country of Ephraim; 9 Ben-deker, in Makaz, Shaalbim, Beth-shemesh, and Elon-beth-hanan; 10 Ben-hesed, in Arubboth (he had Socoh and the whole land of Hepher); 11 Ben-abinadab, in all Naphath-dor (Taphath daughter of Solomon was his wife); 12 Baana son of Ahilud, in Taanach, Megiddo, and all Beth-shean which is beside Zarethan below Jezreel, from Beth-shean to Abel-meholah, as far as the other side of Jokmeam; 13 Ben-geber, in Ramoth-gilead (he had the villages of Jair son of Manasseh, which are in Gilead, and he had the region of Argob, which is in Bashan, 60 great cities with walls and bronze bars); 14 Ahinadab son of Iddo, [in] Mahanaim; 15 Ahimaaz, in Naphtali (he also had married a daughter of Solomon-Basemath); 16 Baana son of Hushai, in Asher and Bealoth; 17 Jehoshaphat son of Paruah, in Issachar; 18 Shimei son of Ela, in Benjamin; 19 Geber son of Uri, in the land of Gilead, the country of Sihon king of the Amorites and of Og king of Bashan. There was one deputy in the land of Judah.

Solomon's Provisions

20 Judah and Israel were as numerous as the sand by the sea; [they were] eating, drinking, and rejoicing. 21 Solomon ruled over all the kingdoms from the Euphrates River to the land of the Philistines and as far as the border of Egypt. They offered tribute and served Solomon all the days of his life. 22 Solomon's provisions for one day were 150 bushels of fine flour and 300 bushels of meal, 23 10 fattened oxen, 20 range oxen, and 100 sheep, besides deer, gazelles, roebucks, and pen-fed poultry, 24 for he had dominion over everything west of the Euphrates from Tiphsah to Gaza and over all the kings west of the Euphrates. He had peace on all his surrounding borders. 25 Throughout Solomon's [reign], Judah and Israel lived in safety from Dan to Beer-sheba, each man under his own vine and his own fig tree. 26 Solomon had 40,000 stalls of horses for his chariots, and 12,000 horsemen. 27 Each of those deputies for a month in turn provided food for King Solomon and for everyone who came to King Solomon's table. They neglected nothing. 28 Each man brought the barley and the straw for the chariot teams and the other horses to the required place according to his assignment.

Solomon's Wisdom and Literary Gifts

29 God gave Solomon wisdom, very great insight, and understanding as [vast] as the sand on the seashore. 30 Solomon's wisdom was greater than the wisdom of all the people of the East, greater than all the wisdom of Egypt. 31 He was wiser than anyone-wiser than Ethan the Ezrahite, and Heman, Calcol, and Darda, sons of Mahol. His reputation extended to all the surrounding nations. 32 Solomon composed 3,000 proverbs, and his songs numbered 1,005. 33 He described trees, from the cedar in Lebanon to the hyssop growing out of the wall. He also taught about animals, birds, reptiles, and fish. 34 People came from everywhere, [sent] by every king on earth who had heard of his wisdom, to listen to Solomon's wisdom.

1 Kings 5

Hiram's Building Materials

1 Hiram king of Tyre sent his servants to Solomon when he heard that he had been anointed king in his father's place, for Hiram had always been friends with David. 2 Solomon sent [this message] to Hiram: 3 "You know my father David was not able to build a temple for the name of the Lord his God. This was because of the warfare all around him until the Lord put his enemies under his feet. 4 The Lord my God has now given me rest all around; there is no enemy or crisis. 5 So I plan to build a temple for the name of the Lord my God, according to what the Lord promised my father David: 'I will put your son on your throne in your place, and he will build the temple for My name.' 6 "Therefore, command that cedars from Lebanon be cut down for me. My servants will be with your servants, and I will pay your servants' wages according to whatever you say, for you know that not a man among us knows how to cut timber like the Sidonians." 7 When Hiram heard Solomon's words, he greatly rejoiced and said, "May the Lord be praised today! He has given David a wise son to be over this great people!" 8 Then Hiram sent [a reply] to Solomon, saying, "I have heard your message; I will do everything you want regarding the cedar and cypress timber. 9 My servants will bring [the logs] down from Lebanon to the sea, and I will make them into rafts to go by sea to the place you indicate. I will break them apart there, and you can take them away. You then can meet my needs by providing my household with food." 10 So Hiram provided Solomon with all the cedar and cypress timber he wanted, 11 and Solomon provided Hiram with 100,000 bushels of wheat as food for his household and 110,000 gallons of beaten oil. Solomon did this for Hiram year after year. 12 The Lord gave Solomon wisdom, as He had promised him. There was peace between Hiram and Solomon, and the two of them made a treaty.

Solomon's Work Force

13 Then King Solomon drafted forced laborers from all Israel; the labor force numbered 30,000 men. 14 He sent 10,000 to Lebanon each month in shifts; one month they were in Lebanon, two months they were at home. Adoniram was in charge of the forced labor. 15 Solomon had 70,000 porters and 80,000 stonecutters in the mountains, 16 not including his 3,300 deputies in charge of the work. They ruled over the people doing the work. 17 The king commanded them to quarry large, costly stones to lay the foundation of the temple with dressed stones. 18 So Solomon's builders and Hiram's builders, along with the Gebalites, quarried [the stone] and prepared the timber and stone for the temple's construction.

Hosea 7:3-16

Israel's Corruption

3 They please the king with their evil, the princes with their lies. 4 All of them commit adultery; [they are] like an oven heated by a baker who stops stirring [the fire] from the kneading of the dough until it is leavened. 5 On the day of our king, the princes are sick with the heat of wine- there is a conspiracy with traitors. 6 For they-their hearts like an oven- draw him into their oven. Their anger smolders all night; in the morning it blazes like a flaming fire. 7 All of them are as hot as an oven, and they consume their rulers. All their kings fall; not one of them calls on Me. 8 Ephraim has allowed himself to get mixed up with the nations. Ephraim is unturned bread, baked on a griddle. 9 Foreigners consume his strength, but he does not notice. Even his hair is streaked with gray, but he does not notice. 10 Israel's arrogance testifies against them, yet they do not return to the Lord their God, and for all this, they do not seek Him. 11 So Ephraim has become like a silly, senseless dove; they call to Egypt, and they go to Assyria. 12 As they are going, I will spread My net over them; I will bring them down like birds of the sky. I will discipline them in accordance with the news that reaches their assembly.

The Lord's Second Lament

13 Woe to them, for they fled from Me; destruction to them, for they rebelled against Me! Though I want to redeem [them], they speak lies against Me. 14 They do not cry to Me from their hearts; rather, they wail on their beds. They slash themselves for grain and wine; they turn away from Me. 15 I trained and strengthened their arms, but they plot evil against Me. 16 They turn, but not to what is above; they are like a faulty bow. Their leaders will fall by the sword because of the cursing of their tongue. They will be ridiculed for this in the land of Egypt.
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