2 Kings 10 – Jehu Strikes Down the Prophets of Baal

Jehu-on-black-obelisk

Jehu-on-black-obelisk (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Ahab had seventy sons in Samaria.  So Jehu sent letters to the rulers of the city to prepare to fight him.  But after he had killed the two kings, they were afraid and so he told them to send him the heads of Ahab’s sons.  After this was done, he struck down all that remained in the house of Ahab at Jezreel (verse 11).  On the way to Samaria, he did the same with all the relatives of Ahaziah; and after reaching Samaria, he dealt with the remainder of the house of Ahab.  So now it was fulfilled as Lord had spoken to Elijah (verse 17).

Verses 18-26 detail brilliant planning and execution (literally) on Jehu’s part to exterminate the prophets of Baal in the land.  But although verse 28 says that he wiped out Baal from Israel, but verse 29 says that he left the golden calves in Bethel and Dan and “did not turn aside from the sins of Jeroboam.” And as Assyria grows stronger, the Lord had already begun (verse 32) to “cut of parts of Israel.”  After the demonstration in the last few chapters of the Lord’s power and His will always coming to pass, it is no surprise to see Hazael of Syria beginning to defeat them throughout Israel territory, as prophesied in 1 Kings 19:15-18. verse 38 tells us that Jehu reigned 28 years before his death, and then Jehoahaz, his son, reigned in his place.

Read or listen to audio of ESV version of this selection from this link.

/Bob’s boy
___________________
some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

Please note: I did not design the reading plan that I am following in my blog.  All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility.  When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Bible Reading Schedules” page of my website at http://graceofourlord.com.  For questions and help, please see the “FAQ” and “Summaries” pages there.

2 Kings 9 – Jehu Anointed King of Israel

English: Jezabel and Ahab Meeting Elijah in Na...

English: Jezabel and Ahab Meeting Elijah in Naboth’s Vineyard Giclee. Print by Sir Frank Dicksee. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

God has ordained that Elisha will anoint Jehu (son of Jehoshaphat, son of Nimshi) as king over Israel.  The servant of the prophet, at Elisha’s instructions, anointed him in secret chambers (reminiscent of Samuel’s anointing of Saul in 1 Samuel 9:27-10:1).   As he anointed him, the servant gave him the instructions of the Lord as given to Elisha (verses 6-10).  He is to carry out the prophecy of 1 Kings 21:21-4 that Elijah had spoken to Ahab, declaring the death and destruction of Ahab’s house, that Jezebel would be eaten by dogs (we learn later that this is for killing the Lord’s prophets), and that Ahab’s blood would be shed in the very same place where he and Jezebel had caused Naboth to be stoned to death for his vineyard (1 Kings 21:19).  Because of Ahab’s repentance in 1 Kings 21:25-29, the Lord relents on Ahab himself, and has Elijah wait for his son to come to power.

Jehu wastes no time in assuming power (verses 12-13), and heads to Jezreel to deal with Ahab’s son, Joram and his mother Jezebel.   The tension of the story mounts while Jehu furiously approaches, as one by one, messengers sent to inquire of Jehu’s intentions fail to return – instead turning to ride with Jehu!    Ahaziah, the king of Judah, had come to visit Joram, so at first reading, one might think that it was just his bad luck to be there.  But another account of this event with more details is in 2 Chronicles 22 (especially 2 Chronicles 22:7-9), making it clear that Ahaziah’s death was ordained by God.

English: Jehu was king of Israel, the son of J...

English: Jehu was king of Israel, the son of Jehoshaphat [1], and grandson of Nimshi. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

After Jehu, kills Joram, he has his body taken to be thrown on the ground of Naboth’s vineyard.  He then pursues Ahaziah and has him shot near Ibleam; and Ahaziah makes it to Megiddo before dying.   Back in Jezreel, he had Jezebel tossed out the window; and when he sat down to eat, he gave instructions to have her buried.  But when they went to get her, there was not much left of her body (verses 35-37), just as God had said.

This chapter shows us once again that when God’s will is made known, you can count on it coming to pass – in His time.

Side notes:

This link to an interesting article about excavations in Tel Jezreel has a lot of great information and pictures, and interesting bits of history, such as a reference that “shortly before Jehu’s revolt in 842 BCE King Joram and the dowager Queen Jezebel were in residence in Jezreel.”

Also, this link to the British Museum is about an Assyrian exhibit of a find in an 1846 excavation containing the Black Obelisk of Shalmanesar III (a public monument erected about 825 BCE), which both mentions and pictures Jehu (the earliest known picture made of an Israelite) and Ahab’s father Omri.  It has an inscription about tribute the Assyrian king received from Jehu when he was king (dated about 841 BCE) written in Assyrian cuneiform:

“The tribute of Jehu, son of Omri: I received from him silver, gold, a golden bowl, a golden vase with pointed bottom, golden tumblers, golden buckets, tin, a staff for a king [and] spears.”

Read or listen to audio of ESV version of this selection from this link.

/Bob’s boy
___________________
some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

Please note: I did not design the reading plan that I am following in my blog.  All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility.  When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Bible Reading Schedules” page of my website at http://graceofourlord.com.  For questions and help, please see the “FAQ” and “Summaries” pages there.

1 Kings 18 – The Prophets of Baal Defeated

Verse one says it has been three years since it rained (James confirms in James 5:17) since Elijah proclaimed that the Lord would shut the heavens up; and the Lord sent word to Elijah to go to Ahab and he would make it rain.  Obadiah was the head of the house of Ahab and Jezebel, but he feared the Lord, and had hidden a hundred prophets from them.  But he is afraid that Elijah is setting a trap for him.  Elijah reassures him, and Obadiah tells Ahab of Elijah’s requested meeting.  Elijah lets him know in verse 18 that the crisis they are in is the result of his abandonment of the Lord to worship Baal.  He then challenges Ahab to meet him at Carmel with their Baal prophets.

University of Haifa atop Mount Carmel in 1996

University of Haifa atop Mount Carmel in 1996 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

At Mount Carmel Elijah challenges the people and the prophets of Baal, as he points out that it only he against the 450 of them.  The challenge is for each side to be given a bull and some wood but they may use no fire themselves.  Instead, Elijah will call upon the Lord, and they will call upon Baal; and the God who answers by fire is God.  The people agree that this is a worthy challenge, and they begin.  Notice Elijah’s rebuke of the people “limping” between serving God and Baal (trying to hedge their bets?) in verse 21.  Then in verse 26, the Baal prophets were described as “limping” their altar, as they call out to a god that does not exist.  Elijah’s mockery and taunting of the false prophets efforts in verses 26-27 is amusing.

Elijah builds an altar with twelve stones (for the twelve tribes of Israel that God would rather be still united), and digs a trench around it.  Then he has the people pour water from 4 jars onto the sacrifice three times, filling the trench with water.  Then, Elijah called upon God and fire consumed the bull, the wood, the stones, and the water (verse 38).  The people fell on their faces as they realized the true God was the Lord, and Elijah had them seize all the prophets. The fact that Elijah slaughtered the prophets of Baal in verse 40 was necessary, and is best explained by the law in Deuteronomy 13:13-15.

(Side note: There are good photos of the area around Mount Carmel in this article at Ferrell’s Travel Blog)

Read or listen to audio of ESV version of this selection from this link.

/Bob’s boy
___________________
some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

Please note: I did not design the reading plan that I am following in my blog.  All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility.  When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Bible Reading Schedules” page of my website at http://graceofourlord.com.  For questions and help, please see the “FAQ” and “Summaries” pages there.3

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1 Kings 16:30-17:24 – Elijah and the Widow of Zarephath

English: Elijah Resuscitating the Son of the W...

English: Elijah Resuscitating the Son of the Widow of Zarephath (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Since Jeroboam, there were a few other kings in the scripture since chapter 12.  At the end of chapter 16, Ahab is king; and he marries a foreign woman, Jezebel.  Then he erects an altar for the idol Baal, and worships it.    So under his reign, the people are turned from the perverse worship of the Lord through idols into the outright worship of Baal.  The lines of loyalty to the Lord have gone from blurred to blind, and worse.  Baal worship was appealing in the dry regions of Canaan when the Israelites first came because Baal was the “god” of rain.  This is fitting, just as the plagues in Egypt in Exodus were a mockery of their gods (see blog on Exodus 7).

In chapter 17, we meet the prophet Elijah – arguably the most important prophet since Samuel.  Right away, in verse 1, we find him telling Ahab “there shall be neither dew nor rain these years, except by my word” because of this Baal worship.  This is exactly what God had told them would happen in Deuteronomy 11:16-17.  God then sends Elijah to the brook at Cherith, where he commanded the ravens to feed him; and he remained there until the brook dried up from the lack of rain.  He then sends him to Zarephath, where he has commanded a widow to feed Elijah.

But Elijah finds that the widow is expecting that she and her son will die, saying that she only has a handful of flour in a jar and a little oil in a jug.  Elijah tells her that until it rains, the jar and the jug both will never be empty, and God made it so (verse 16).  Then, her son becomes so severely ill “that there was no breath left in him,” and she believes that Elijah has brought that upon her because of her sins.  In verse 21, it is Elijah’s prayer to God that revives the boy – not the physical ritual described that the prophet did.

Read or listen to audio of ESV version of this selection from this link.

/Bob’s boy
___________________
some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

Please note: I did not design the reading plan that I am following in my blog.  All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility.  When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Bible Reading Schedules” page of my website at http://graceofourlord.com.  For questions and help, please see the “FAQ” and “Summaries” pages there.