Good afternoon Saints~
OK… it is going to start getting confusing now. (“Ha,” you say, “it already has been confusing.)
Up until today we have pretty much had one big ol’ group to remember and think about. Not any more. Just before Solomon dies, we read of his foibles. Because of his chasing after foreign women and consequently the gods they serve, Father says, ”I am going to tear the kingdom from Solomon’s hands and give you (Jeroboam) ten tribes.”
First Kings 12 begins a new era. Solomon’s son Reheboam is going to make life in the neighborhood really rough, so the North rebels and revolts. However, in the split, the North doesn’t just take what they knew about Yahweh and keep to the commands and statutes. They go even farther away from what Father instituted. The set up their own capital, high place, priests, idols (two gold calves), sacrificial system, et al.
Now will need to recognize which kingdom, king, and region the author is talking about. It is the North or the South? Is it the Ten or the Two? Which prophet is speaking and to which kingdom is he talking? There are differences. There are different attitudes. There are different kings. There are different foreign alliances. There are different invading superpowers.
I know I said not to read the footnotes, commentaries, or anything like that… however, if you can get a hold of a chart that can help you sift the different kings and kingdoms, that may help keep it more clear.
On a different note, the word “siege” has shown up twelve times so far in our reading. When I was in seminary, I took an OT survey class. We had to do a paper on something… well, old. So I picked siege warfare. I wanted to understand what this was as the word shows up without much elaboration. The other day, for fun, I found it and read it. One of my earlier works. It probably would look and sound different today. Anyway, I am attaching it for your reading pleasure. It should provide some background on the offensive side of things since that is usually the context in which the Bible is referring. If you have time to read it, it may help.
Stay at it. Grow in Jesus and the word. Pastor Mark.