Nathan, David, and Solomon
1After him came NATHAN*
who served in David’s presence.a
2Like the choice fat of sacred offerings,
so was DAVID in Israel.b
3He played with lions as though they were young goats,
and with bears, like lambs of the flock.c
4As a youth he struck down the giant
and wiped out the people’s disgrace;
His hand let fly the slingstone
that shattered the pride of Goliath.d
5For he had called upon the Most High God,
who gave strength to his right arm
To defeat the skilled warrior
and establish the might of his people.
6Therefore the women sang his praises
and honored him for “the tens of thousands.”
When he received the royal crown, he battlede
7and subdued the enemy on every side.
He campaigned against the hostile Philistines
and shattered their power till our own day.f
8With his every deed he offered thanks
to God Most High, in words of praise.
With his whole heart he loved his Maker
9and daily had his praises sung;
10He added beauty to the feasts
and solemnized the seasons of each year
9bWith string music before the altar,
providing sweet melody for the psalmsg
10bSo that when the Holy Name was praised,
before daybreak the sanctuary would resound.
11The LORD forgave him his sins
and exalted his strength forever;
He conferred on him the rights of royalty
and established his throne in Israel.h
12Because of his merits he had as successor*
a wise son, who lived in security:i
13SOLOMON reigned during an era of peace,
for God brought rest to all his borders.
He built a house to the name of God,
and established a lasting sanctuary.j
14How wise you were when you were young,
overflowing with instruction, like the Nile in flood!k
15Your understanding covered the whole earth,
and, like a sea, filled it with knowledge.
16Your fame reached distant coasts,
and you were beloved for your peaceful reign.
17With song and proverb and riddle,
and with your answers, you astounded the nations.
18You were called by that glorious name
which was conferred upon Israel.*
Gold you gathered like so much iron;
you heaped up silver as though it were lead.
19But you abandoned yourself to women
and gave them dominion over your body.l
20You brought a stain upon your glory,
shame upon your marriage bed,
Wrath upon your descendants,
and groaning upon your deathbed.
21Thus two governments came into being,
when in Ephraim kingship was usurped.m
22But God does not withdraw his mercy,
nor permit even one of his promises to fail.
He does not uproot the posterity of the chosen,
nor destroy the offspring of his friends.
So he gave to Jacob a remnant,
to David a root from his own family.n
Rehoboam and Jeroboam
23Solomon finally slept with his ancestors,
and left behind him one of his sons,
Broad* in folly, narrow in sense,
whose policy made the people rebel.
Then arose the one who should not be remembered,
the sinner who led Israel into sin,o
Who brought ruin to Ephraim
24and caused them to be exiled from their land.
Elijah and Elisha
25Their sinfulness grew more and more,
and they gave themselves to every evil*
* [47:1–11] An idealized portrait of David; cf. 1 Chronicles.
* [47:12–24] The standard view of Solomon is echoed by Ben Sira, but he affirms the divine promise (v. 22) to David’s line.
* [47:18] Cf. 2 Sm 12:25, where Solomon is called Jedidiah, “beloved of the Lord.” A similar term is used of Israel in Jer 11:15.
* [47:23] Broad: the name Rehoboam means “the people is broad, or expansive,” that is, widespread. The sinner: Jeroboam; cf. 1 Kgs 12:1, 20, 26–32.
* [47:25–48:11] The prophetic ministry of Elijah amid widespread idolatry is here described as a judgment by fire (48:1). Through his preaching, marvels, and acts of vengeance against God’s enemies, he succeeded for a time in restoring faith in and worship of the Lord (vv. 2–8). His mysterious departure from this life gave rise to the belief that he did not die but would return before the day of the Lord. Cf. Mal 3:23–24; Mt 17:9–13.
b. [47:2] 1 Sm 16:11–13.
c. [47:3] 1 Sm 17:34–36.
d. [47:4] 1 Sm 17:49.
g. [47:9] 1 Chr 16:4–37; 23:5; 25:1–7.
h. [47:11] 2 Sm 12:13; 7:12–16.
i. [47:12] 1 Kgs 2:12.
j. [47:13] 1 Kgs 5:1, 5; 6:2–38.
k. [47:14–18] 1 Kgs 5:9–14; 10:14–29.
l. [47:19] 1 Kgs 11:1–10.
m. [47:21] 1 Kgs 12:1–25.
n. [47:22] 2 Sm 7:15; Ps 89:34–38.
o. [47:23] 1 Kgs 11:43; 12:13, 21; 13:34; 2 Kgs 17:6–22.