In these chapters, “the golden age” of Israel comes to an end as United Kingdom of David splits into the Divided Kingdom, and things generally start going downhill. No one remembers the names of all the kings that follow Solomon, and there are two parallel kingdoms to keep track of. The way the lesson’s stated purpose frames these chapters, you might expect that Solomon is the ideal leader but then his son goes bad. And indeed, in many ways, Solomon… Read more

We skip chapters to move into Kings today, but it’s useful to recap the history. David virtually passes sentence upon himself and his house in 2Sa 12:5-6, “As the LORD lives [an oath], the man who has done this deserves to die.” (NRSV) When Nathan says to him, “Now the LORD has put away your sin; you shall not die” he’s not absolving him of adultery and murder per se (as the JST would take it), as much as “look,… Read more

Psalms is one of the most-often quoted books in the New Testament. Psalm 110, in fact, is the most alluded-to passage in the New Testament. (The other two books quoted most often are Deuteronomy and Isaiah.) For Mormons, Psalms is one of those many books we have a strong tradition… of ignoring.  Yet, said President Benson, “The psalms in the Old Testament have a special food for the soul of one in distress.” Psalms are often prayers, songs, or both…. Read more

As I gather most people are past these chapters, and I happen to be crazy busy, I am not updating them as much as I (and perhaps you) hoped. First, take a look at my separate post on Psalm 51. Second, here is my podcast on these chapters. I strongly recommend taking a listen/look, because it’s the counterbalance to what is below. (more…) Read more

Here’s the podcast on these chapters, with some useful notes. The purpose of this lesson is to focus on the friendship between David and Jonathan, but the narrative is primarily about David trying to avoid being killed. The guy trying to kill him is no other than his father-in-law Saul (since he married Michal), who is also Jonathan’s father.  Your in-laws don’t seem so bad now, eh? Along the lines of “friendship” it’s worth pointing out that Joseph Smith said “Friendship is… Read more

First off,  go listen to my old podcast here where I talk about David, Goliath, and the Philistines. (more…) Read more

Today, we’re focusing entirely on Ruth, and then just on a small section of Ruth. (I’d really like to write a long article for Ruth as I did for Judah and Tamar, but my list of projects is long.) Ruth is a short and masterful novella. If you haven’t read it yet, give it a quick read. It’s four chapters, minimal characters. I’ll assume you know the story for the rest of this post. I do have a podcast on Ruth… Read more

First, here is my podcast for this lesson. Now, as we move into books like Samuel and Kings that are more historical in nature, we need to discuss just what that means. How should we read and understand these? (more…) Read more

The Book of Judges begins with the death of Joshua, and is arranged in very distinct and obvious cycles: Israel prospers, forgets God and embraces idolatry, is allowed to be enslaved/captured by its neighbors until it repents, and then God raises up a charismatic military leader or “judge” who delivers Israel from captivity. Wash, rinse, repeat. (more…) Read more

We are now out of the Pentateuch, into what’s called the Deuteronomistic History, or DH. This refers to the books of Deuteronomy, Joshua, Judges, Samuel, and Kings. (more…) Read more

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