The afternoon sun beat on the clods and the sticks,
Birds flew to the shade and rested, ignored,
While the peasants worked the field, a crew of four.
“We will take the wealth and pride from the rich,
Give their gold and silver to the sick and the poor,”
Boasted the peasants as they hoed the rows.
So they grabbed machetes and took from the rich,
And the neighbors and families had more, much more.
Crowed the peasants, “We’ve hit it in the core.”
“And we won’t invest and wait like the rich;
We will break the windows, raid the liquor stores,”
Vowed the peasants before they passed out on floors.
Prices rose like parrot screams to high pitch,
Not a man or woman worked anymore,
And the bosses burned down the house of the Lord.
The bosses took peasants from the floors and the ditches,
Strapped packs on their backs and gave them bright swords
And ordered them to march, march, march to war.
A few straggled back in tatters and stitches
To the crumbled village square, where they roared,
“We clobbered them in front, knocked them down before,
And left only a handful of rebels who twitched–
How the blood spattered their doors and their floors . . .
Our names will go down in this country’s lore.”
And a crippled child asked, “What of the rich?
Have they been destroyed, gone forevermore?
Do peasants control the whole country’s stores?”
A soldier chuckled and said, “What of the rich?
They backed both sides in our bloody war
And they control the whole country’s stores.”
And he hitched his pants and scratched an itch,
Picked up a hoe in the dust by the door
And hobbled toward fields to start on his chores.
(Psalm 7:17, Psalm 118:25)
Praise the Lord
Praise the Lord for
Save us, O Lord,
Grant us success.
1 The Queen of Sheba heard how famous was
Solomon, so her undertook a trip
Up to Jerusalem to test him with
Hard questions, and she took along with her
A number of officials, and she loaded
Her camels with some gifts of spices, gold,
And jewels, then when she arrived, both she
And Solomon talked of all subjects she
Could think of. 2 He replied to every question,
No matter how demanding it was, 3-4 and
The Queen was stunned how wise he was. She was
Breathless when she had seen his palace, food
Upon his table, his officials, all
His servants in their uniforms, and what
He offered for his sacrifices at
God’s temple. 5 She said: “Solomon, in my
Own country I had heard about your wisdom
And all you’ve done, 6 but I did not believe
It ‘til I saw it with my own eyes! And
There’s much I did not hear about. You are
Greater than I was told. 7 Your people and
Officials are much favored to be here
Where they can listen to the wise things
You say. 8 I praise the Lord your God; he’s pleased
With you: He’s made you king of Israel.
God loves the people of this country and
Never will leave them, so he’s given them
A king to govern them with fairness and
With honesty.” 9 The Queen of Sheba gave
King Solomon not quite five tons of gold,
A large amount of jewels, and some spices–
The best that anyone had ever seen,
10–12 And in exchange, King Solomon gave her
All that she wanted—even more than she
Had given him, then she and her officials
Went back to their own country. Hiram’s and
Solomon’s sailors brought some juniper
Wood, gold, and jewels from the land of Ophir.
Solomon used the wood to make some steps
For both the temple and the palace, and
Harps and the other stringed instruments
For the musicians. Nothing like these had
Ever been made in Judah. 13 Solomon
Received some gold–approximately twenty-
Five tons each year, 14 not counting what the merchants
And traders brought him. Arab kings and leaders
Of Israel gave gold and silver to
Him, also. 15 Solomon constructed two
Hundred gold shields that weighed in at
About seven and a half pounds each, 16 and
He made three hundred smaller gold shields that
Weighed almost four pounds, and he put these shields
Inside his palace in the Forest Hall.
17 His throne was made of ivory and it
Was covered with pure gold; 18 attached to it
Was a gold footstool and on every side
Were armrests, and there was a statue of
A lion by the throne upon each side,
19 And on each one of the six steps that led
Up to the throne there were two lion statues.
No other throne in the whole world was like
King Solomon’s. 20 His cups and dishes in
The Forest Hall were made of pure gold, for
Silver was nearly worthless in those days.
21 Solomon had seagoing ships–
A lot of them, and every three years he
Sent them with Hiram’s ships to bring back gold,
Silver, and ivory, as well as monkeys
And peacocks. 22 Of all kings, King Solomon
Was wealthiest and wisest in the world.
23–24 Year after year, the other kings came in
To hear the wisdom God had given him,
And they brought gifts of gold and silver, and
Clothes, weapons, spices, horses, and some mules.
25 Solomon had four thousand stalls for his
Horses and chariots; he also owned
Twelve thousand horses that he kept within
Jerusalem and other towns. 26 He ruled
All nations from th’Euphrates River in
The north down to Philistia’s land in
The south, as far as Egypt’s border. 27 While
Solomon was the king, Jerusalem
Had silver everywhere, and cedar was
As common as the sycamore trees in
The western foothills, 28 and the horses of
Solomon were brought in from other countries,
Including Musri. 29 Everything else that
Solomon did while he was king is written
In records of the prophet Nathan and
Of Shiloh’s prophet named Ahijah, and
Iddo the prophet who had written of
Jeroboam the son of Nebat. 30 After
Solomon had ruled forty years out of
Jerusalem, 31 he died and he was buried
Within the city of his father David.
Son Rehoboam reigned then in his place.