David Among The Phoenicians

David was in his 20s when he met and became friends with the Phoenicians in Saul’s court. When David finally fled from Saul, the first thing he did was retrieve Goliath’s sword from his cousin, the priest. The second thing he did was take his biological mother and his father, Jesse, to the Phoenician city-state of Tyre and entrust them to the king for safe-keeping from Saul. This trust was misplaced, however, as the king waited a respectable time, then executed Jesse, possibly at the request of Saul, and to keep their trading relationship from suffering.

David seems not to have placed blame on the king of Tyre, however, and possibly received support from him during his 20-year flight from Saul.

We are told that David laid up gold, silver, copper, iron, cedar wood and other precious building supplies for the building of the temple by Solomon. Israel has no local metals, and definitely no cedars like those in the mountains around Tyre. In order to have amassed this much wealth, David would have been deeply involved in the trade carried on by Hiram, as was stated in the transition of the kingdom to Solomon, when Hiram contacted Solomon to establish friendship with him “as he had been with his father, David”. Further, Solomon built ships at Elait to sail with those of Phoenicia, but the entire fleet and all the crews were lost in one of the severe storms that frequent the Gulf of Aqaba. After that loss, Solomon provided crew members for Hiram’s ships, but built no more ships of his own.

The reputation among the Jews is that Solomon was involved in controlling the Jinn, the demons of that area, to make them help build the temple, and one of them got control of Solomon, had him thrown out of the palace and replaced him on the throne for many years, doing all kinds of forbidden acts that infuriated the Hebrews. During his wanderings, Solomon became the cook for the king of Ammon and married his daughter, Naamah, who was disinherited by her father for marrying him. It was their son, Rheoboam, who inherited the throne, not the daughter of Hiram, whom Solomon had married earlier, a marriage that changed the course of the kingdom.

David had united the 12 tribes into one cohesive nation, but it came apart again after Solomon’s death. The actions of Solomon, or the pretender-Solomon, was part of the dividing events that caused the split.

Solomon was 12 years old when David died. He married an Egyptian princess shortly afterwards and also began building the temple about the same time. This building was finished when he was 19 years old, but by this time Solomon had become habituated to building, so he built himself a house on the temple mount, which is forbidden, and then the Hall of Cedars of Lebanon where he conducted the affairs of the kingdom, also on the temple mount. All this was before he was replaced by an impostor. At some point not specifically specified elsewhere, Solomon married Hiram’s daughter, princess in Tyre, and, at the instigation of Hiram, also placed a chariot of the sun over the eastern gate that only the king was allowed to use, and changed the official national calendar to the moon-based model introduced by the queen of the first Babylon and commonly used by the nations that traded with Hiram. That calendar has been a bone of contention to this day between the Jews and Israelites.

The unintended consequences of Solomon’s marriage to a Phoenician woman was the stipulation that it was permitted only if the woman consented to follow the laws and rituals laid down by Moses. The opposite happened, and idolatry of the most obdurate kind was embedded into the nation of northern Israel, which resulted in them being exiled from the land.

As can be readily expected, the sun-based calendar with its holy days and commanded assemblies were rejected and reviled by the Phoenicians. This set of observances had been established by Moses, and were unknown by the people who had descended from the culture established by Nimrod, with its carved idols and human sacrifice. The teachings of Moses were scheduled to be read on all seven intercalated days during the year of the Land Sabbath, but this had not been done since the Ark of the Covenant had been taken into the house of a priest because the Tabernacle made in the wilderness had rotted to shreds and not been replaced. It was this deficit that Ezra corrected by adding an eighth day to the annual feast of tents and demoting the feast of barley to a level C observance. By the time the Babylonians took the Jews captive the land required 70 years to keep the Land Sabbaths required by the laws Moses gave the people. With 7 land Sabbaths every 50 years, the people had not observed this law for 490 years. It’s no wonder that none of the common people knew anything about land Sabbaths, and it can all be laid on the doorsteps of Solomon’s decision to adopt the calendar Hiram was using. He didn’t understand (as wise as he was, he wasn’t very smart) that each calendar has its own God(s) attached, and Solomon fired the God of Israel and set the gods of Babylon in positions of power. The situation became a problem when all the gods of Babylon died but the God of Israel lives forever, and his promise of exile made at Mt. Sinai was activated.

That exile has come to its conclusion for both Israel and Judah. It’s time to move on into the future.