Primitive Christianity Revived, Again
2 Kings 24 – King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon. Jerusalem Bible says Nabu-kudur-usur, founder of the Neo-Babylonian or Chaldean Empire, which succeeded Assyria from 605-562. This expedition to Palestine took place around 602. He defeated Pharaoh at Carchemish in 605. He comes to dominate Judah. Jehoiakim “became his servant for three years,” but then Jehoiakim rebels. “The Lord” sent against them bands of Chaldeans, Arameans, Moabites and Ammonites “to destroy” Judah…Continue
Added by Irene Lape on 6th mo. 10, 2012 at 5:48am — No Comments
2 Kings 22 – Josiah is just eight years old when he comes to the throne. He will serve 31 years (640-609), and he will do “what [is] right in the sight of the Lord” (22:2). He begins another restoration of the temple (the last was done by Joash of Judah during his reign about two hundred years earlier). Hilkiah reports that (in the process of restoration?) they have found in the Temple the book of the law.
This is almost certainly the book of…Continue
Added by Irene Lape on 6th mo. 9, 2012 at 6:58am — No Comments
2 Kings 20 – Hezekiah becomes sick—he has some kind of boil—and Isaiah comes to tell him he should set his house in order; he is going to die. He turns “his face to the wall” and prays that the Lord will “remember . . . how I have walked before you in faithfulness with a whole heart, and have done what is good in your sight” (20:3).
As Isaiah is leaving, the Lord comes to him and tells him to go back and say to Hezekiah that He has heard Hezekiah’s…Continue
Added by Irene Lape on 6th mo. 8, 2012 at 8:35am — No Comments
2 Kings 18 – Hezekiah (715-686 BC), begins his reign in Judah. He is 25. His mother was Abijah, daughter of Zechariah. He did what was right in the sight of the Lord. He removes the high places (finally), breaks down the sacred pillars and cuts down the sacred poles. He breaks the bronze serpent Moses was said to have made in the desert (it was called Nehushtan or “thing of brass”); it had become an idol over the years. It is interesting to ponder the thought that even in…Continue
Added by Irene Lape on 6th mo. 7, 2012 at 7:58am — No Comments
2 Kings 16 – King Ahaz of Judah is 20 when he becomes king and rules for 16 years (732-715). He does what is not right, walking “in the ways of the kings of Israel. He even sacrifices his own son as a burnt offering, imitating the practices of the ancient Canaanite people of the region (16:3-4). During Ahaz’ reign, the kings of Syria (Rezin) and Israel (Pekah) join in an alliance against him – they are angry that he would not join with them in an alliance against Assyria - but…Continue
Added by Irene Lape on 6th mo. 6, 2012 at 8:43am — No Comments
1 Kings 12 – Joash (Jehoash) of Judah reigns 40 years (837-800). His mother is Zibiah of Beer-sheba. He “did what was right in the sight of the Lord all his days, because the priest Jehoiada instructed him” (12:2). They kept the high places, but that appears to have been seen as a shortcoming of a different order than the Baal worship, etc.
Joash set about trying to set up a revenue fund to make repairs on the house of the Lord. The money from the assessment of…Continue
Added by Irene Lape on 6th mo. 4, 2012 at 10:04am — No Comments
2 Kings 10 – Jehu sends letters to the people responsible for overseeing the 70 sons of Ahab (Jerusalem Bible notes 70 is the number indicating “entire” and that sons here means all males heirs, particularly the sons of Joram) asking them to select one of them as king and get ready to “fight for your master’s house” (10:3). But they all respond that if he could beat the two kings he has already beaten – Jehoram and Ahaziah -- there is not much chance they will prevail against…Continue
2 Kings 8 – Elisha warns the woman who has provided him with a place to stay for years and whose son he had raised from death that a famine is coming, that they should go and settle elsewhere for a while. So she goes to the land of the Philistines for seven years. At the end of this time, she returns and asks the king for her house and land back. When she approaches the king (King Joram), he is talking to Elisha’s servant Gehazi about all the amazing things Elisha has done, and…Continue
Added by Irene Lape on 6th mo. 2, 2012 at 7:26am — No Comments
2 Kings 6 – The prophets in Elisha’s company feel crowded and suggest that they go to the Jordan to collect logs for a new dwelling (one log per prophet). He goes with them at their request. They cut the tree down and one of the men loses an ax head – it falls into the water (6:5). They want to get it since it was borrowed from someone. Elisha performs a miracle by cutting off a stick and throwing it into the water; this makes the ax head float…Continue
Added by Irene Lape on 6th mo. 1, 2012 at 9:44am — No Comments
Summer is coming and there will be a few weeks - about three - in late June and July when I will not be able to post daily Bible reading notes. So, in order not to lose my place in the schedule I am following, I will be posting two days of reading each day through June 23rd and then pick up with it again on July 16th.
2 Kings 4 – The widow of one of the company of prophets comes to Elisha and tells him that a creditor is trying to take her two children…Continue
Added by Irene Lape on 5th mo. 31, 2012 at 8:12am — No Comments
2 Kings 3 – Joram [or Jehoram in some versions], Ahab’s son, becomes king in Samaria and reigns 12 years [Jerusalem Bible notes says it was really only eight years—849 to 842 BC]. He did what was evil “though not like his father and mother, for he removed the pillar of Baal that his father had made” (3:2). Still, he “clung to the sin of Jeroboam” (3:3). It doesn’t say how – golden calves? high places?
King Mesha of Moab, a sheep breeder, used to…Continue
Added by Irene Lape on 5th mo. 30, 2012 at 6:57am — No Comments
Added by Irene Lape on 5th mo. 29, 2012 at 8:11am — No Comments
1 Kings 22 - Israel and Syria (Aram) continue at war. Jehoshaphat of Judah, Asa’s son and another good king, comes to confer with Ahab; he wants their help in reclaiming Ramoth-gilead from the Syrians. JB note says this town was captured by the Syrians (same as Aramaeans) during or before the reign of David and had not been handed back in the Treaty of Aphek (chapter 20).
Jehoshaphat agrees, but wants Ahab first to consult the Lord. Ahab gathers 400 of the Lord’s…Continue
Added by Irene Lape on 5th mo. 26, 2012 at 8:08am — No Comments
1 Kings 21 - Naboth the Jezreelite has a vineyard next to Ahab’s palace. Ahab wants it for a vegetable garden and tells Naboth he will pay for it; but Naboth does not want to sell it. It is his family’s ancestral home. Ahab becomes “resentful and sullen” again over this and will not eat (21:4). Jezebel can’t understand why he doesn’t just take the land. “Do you now govern Israel?” (21:7) So she decides she will handle the matter. She plans to have Naboth falsely…Continue
1 Kings 20 – It is around 868 BC. Ben-hadad II, is king of Syria (Aram). He gathers 32 kings [Jerusalem Bible note says they were princely vassals] to march against the kingdom of Israel under king Ahab’s rule.
He sends a message to Ahab saying, “Your silver and gold are mine; you may keep your wives and children.” This is the Jerusalem Bible translation. The NRSV version is, “Your silver and gold are mine; your fairest wives and children also are mine”…Continue
1 Kings 19 – When Ahab tells Jezebel what Elijah did to all the prophets of Baal, she sends a threatening note to Elijah, and he becomes afraid. He flees to Beersheba, goes past there and into the wilderness. He asks God to let him die: “O Lord, take away my life, for I am no better than my ancestors” (19:4). An angel appears and encourages him to eat—leaves him a cake and some water. A second time the angel comes and tells him to eat again “otherwise the journey will be too much…Continue
Added by Irene Lape on 5th mo. 23, 2012 at 7:59am — No Comments
1 Kings 18 – Three years after the drought begins, the Lord sends Elijah to Ahab. Now Ahab’s man in care of the palace is Obadiah, a man who reveres the Lord greatly; he has hidden 100 of the Lord’s prophets in a cave to protect them from Jezebel, who wants to kill them.
Ahab goes off with Obadiah in search of grass to sustain his horses and mules; they go off in different directions to look. Obadiah meets Elijah and recognizes him. and tells him to go and…Continue
Added by Irene Lape on 5th mo. 22, 2012 at 8:42am — No Comments
1 Kings 16 – For modern readers, the cast of characters in Kings can be very challenging. We have Ahijah the prophet from Shiloh – a good man who prophesies against Jeroboam and his line because of their unfaithfulness to the one God. Then there is the Ahijah from the tribe of Issachar – a different man apparently – whose son Baasha takes over the northern kingdom and has all of Jeroboam’s line killed. It is tempting to think they might have been related Ahijahs but…Continue
1 Kings 15 – In Judah, Abijah (also called Abijam) takes over and reigns for three years. “He committed all the sins that his father did before him; his heart was not true to the Lord his God, like the heart of his father David” (15:3). It is for David’s sake (memory of his devotion) that the monarchy is permitted to continue. The writer speaks of how David pleased the Lord in everything except the “matter of Uriah the Hittite” (15:5). This last “gloss,” the Jerusalem Bible…Continue
Added by Irene Lape on 5th mo. 19, 2012 at 8:05am — No Comments
1 Kings 14 – Jeroboam’s son, Abijah, becomes ill and Jeroboam sends the mother to Shiloh to consult with the prophet Ahijah (the one who told him he should be king). Ahijah can’t see but when the woman comes to him, he knows it is she even though she pretends to be someone else. He gives her the following message—the Lord is not pleased with Jeroboam because he has not been like David. He has made idols and provoked God, so God will bring evil on Jeroboam’s…Continue
Added by Irene Lape on 5th mo. 18, 2012 at 8:34am — No Comments