The symbolic history of Jerusalem (Ezek 16:1-16:3)

“The word of Yahweh

Came to me.

‘Son of man!

Make known

To Jerusalem

Her abominations!

Say!

Thus says Yahweh God

To Jerusalem.

Your origin,

Your birth

Were in the land

Of the Canaanites.

Your father was

An Amorite.

Your mother was

A Hittite.’”

Once again, Yahweh came to Ezekiel, the son of man. This time, it was about the origins and symbolic history of Jerusalem. The context was a berating of Jerusalem and her abominations. Unlike most stories of Israel that talk about Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob or the Egyptian experience under Moses, this history of Jerusalem starts with the Canaanites. This has led many to believe that there may be some validity to this history. Of course, this is specifically aimed at the inhabitants of Jerusalem. They were Canaanites whose mother was a Hittite with their father an Amorite. The Amorites were an ancient Syrian tribe with a Semitic language that also lived in Canaan from about 1700 BCE. From a biblical perspective based on Genesis, chapter 10, they were the descendants of Canaan and Ham. Amorite and Canaanite were interchangeable. They were definitely there before the Moses-Joshua experience. The Hittites were another Canaanite group that seemed to be friendly in many of the Genesis stories.

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King Solomon has many horses (2 Chr 1:13-1:17)

“King Solomon came from the high place at Gibeon, from before the tent of meeting, to Jerusalem. He reigned over Israel. King Solomon gathered together chariots and horses. He had fourteen hundred chariots and twelve thousand horses, which he stationed in the chariot cities and with the king in Jerusalem. The king made silver and gold as common in Jerusalem as stones. He made cedar as plentiful as the sycamores of the Shephelah. King Solomon’s horses were imported from Egypt and Kue. The king’s traders received them from Kue at the prevailing price. They imported them from Egypt, and then exported them for six hundred shekels of silver. A horse could be imported for one hundred and fifty shekels of silver. So thorough them these were exported to all the kings of the Hittites and the kings of Aram.”

Interesting enough, this biblical chronicler skipped all the great wisdom stories and the many wives of King Solomon. He went straight to his horses and chariots which can be found in 1 Kings, chapter 10, after he left Gibeon. In fact, it is almost word for word the same except for the opening sentence. King Solomon had a great collection of horses and chariots, 1,400 chariots and 12,000 horses. Thus he had 8 or 9 horses for each chariot. He even had chariot cities, where they were stationed, besides Jerusalem itself. Silver and cedar were common. Here, however, this biblical chronicler added that gold also was as common as stones. The Shephelah was the lowlands and hill country around Jerusalem. Sycamore trees must have been common there. King Solomon was a big trader with Egypt. In fact, he had professional traders. It is unclear where this Kue was. A silver shekel was worth about a quarter in USA currencies today. Thus a chariot of 600 silver shekels was worth $150.00 each. A horse worth 150 silver shekels was worth about $37.50 each. Thus he bought the horses for about $37.50 and sold them at a 500% profit of around $150.00 each. He sold some of these horses to the north eastern people, the Hittites and those in the Aram area, present day Syria or Iraq. The Hittites were in that area around Damascus and the Euphrates River. King Solomon was a big time horse trader.