Ahaziah’s Reign in Judea – 2 Chronicles 22

English: Athalia was the queen of Judah during...

English: Athalia was the queen of Judah during the reign of King Jehoram, and later became sole ruler of Judah for six years. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

At the end of chapter 21, we are told of the raid made by the Arabians, who killed all of Jehoram’s sons except for one — Jehoahaz. Now in chapter 22, we find that after Jehoram’s death, his son Ahaziah was made king. They are, of course, names for the same person. He was twenty-two when he became king. His mother, Athaliah, was the granddaughter of Omri, and she encouraged him do evil in the sight of the Lord. So it was ordained by God that when he went to visit Joram, he was captured and brought before Jehu and put to death.

Athaliah killed all of the royal family after her son’s death, but Jehoshabeath, rescued Ahaziah’s son and stole him away from danger. Athaliah made herself ruler. But Jehoshabeath,the daughter of King Jehoram and wife of Jehoiada the priest, because she was a sister of Ahaziah,” kept the child, whose name was Joash, and hid him away from Athaliah for six years, while she reigned as self-proclaimed queen. So in this way, God kept the line of David alive for the future.

(This year’s reading plan for Luke, Acts, and 1 and 2 Chronicles averages just 15 verses per day – 5 days per week!)
Schedule for this week

/Bob’s boy
___________________

some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

Please visit this site’s menu item “The Author’s Books” for info on the author’s books, website, and Facebook page.

All of my comments in this blog are solely my responsibility. When reading any commentary, you should always refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word.

 


 

 

 

 

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Digging Up the Past – The House of David

We’ve written recently of some glaring examples of the secular world being so desperate to prove the Bible wrong that non-believing scholars often stick their feet in their mouths about the Bible’s historical accuracy. This post about the Hittites, and this one about the “camel fallacy” demonstrate this quite well. The March/April 2014 issue of Biblical Archaeology Review proclaimed that “Archaeology Confirms 50 Real People in the Bible.” This is fascinating reading, and it is especially satisfying that before the evidences were found, several of these real people were claimed by skeptics to have been merely mythological.

One such person was King David himself. Now don’t get us wrong. The evidence for a Davidic empire is not so overwhelming that all skeptics concede the point (it is the opinion of this blogger that some of those could not ever be given enough evidence to do so). But if this evidence was related to a historical king that was not written about in the bible, we would wager that there would be no doubters. The issue is presupposition – pure and simple.

The Tel Dan Stele resides in the Israel Museum

The Tel Dan Stele resides in the Israel Museum

Israeli archaeologist Avraham Biran began digging at Tel Dan in Israel in 1966. From 1993 – 1994, after nearly 30 years of excavations, his expedition uncovered a basalt (an igneous rock) stone with an inscription in Aramaic.  It has been dated to about the mid-800’s B.C. The inscription described military victories by an Aramaean king (almost certainly Hazael of Damascus). In the inscription, the king bragged about killing the king of Israel (Joram) and the king of Judah (Ahaziah) in one of his campaigns. Later, once the occupying forces were finally defeated at Dan, they broke the stone up and used the pieces in construction of their city gate; and this is how the expedition found it in the dig.

In 2 Kings 9, it was actually Jehu that assassinated these two kings. But the text does detail Hazael’s extensive fighting against both kings (2 Kings 9:14-16). It is not surprising that Hazael would erect this inscribed stone in Dan, which he occupied, taking credit for these assassinations in order to show his “bright feathers” for all men there to see. Though Jehu did the assassinations, Hazael was nonetheless responsible for the demise of their reigns in every other respect. More than one biblical passage make that clear, including 2 Chronicles 22:1-9, and 2 Kins 8:7-15, and 28. And in 1 Kings 19:15-17, God told Elisha:

“Go, return on your way to the wilderness of Damascus. And when you arrive, you shall anoint Hazael to be king over Syria. And Jehu the son of Nimshi you shall anoint to be king over Israel, and Elisha the son of Shaphat of Abel-meholah you shall anoint to be prophet in your place. And the one who escapes from the sword of Hazael shall Jehu put to death, and the one who escapes from the sword of Jehu shall Elisha put to death.”

Mesha Stele: stele of Mesha, king of Moab, rec...

Mesha Stele: stele of Mesha, king of Moab, recording his victories against the Kingdom of Israel. Basalt, ca. 800 BC. From Dhiban, now in Jordan. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A huge significance of the find in this dig is that the inscription refers to the kingdom of Judah as the “House of David.” It is the earliest known reference to it outside the Bible. A few naysayers, of course, say that all it proves is that there was a tribe of Israel and that they had a leader named David at one time. But they come off like whiny children who just cannot stand not getting their way. It is highly unlikely that this Aramaean king would be so proud as to erect this monument to boast about defeating relatives of a small tribal sheep-herder.

But there is more. The Moabite Stone or “Mesha Stele,” first discovered in 1868 contains the words “House of David” in the Moabite language, meaning that he was the beginning ruler of the dynasty. It is a ninth century B.C. inscription that the Moabite king Mesha had erected as bragging rights for his victory over the king of Israel and his accompanying armies. Though his boasting differs greatly from what the Bible tells us in 2 Kings 3, it is nonetheless important for several reasons beyond the confirmation it gives us from the “house of David” reference.

The Stele (now housed in the Louvre in France) also confirms by name two other kings written about by scripture (Mesha himself, and King Omri of Israel), the tribute extracted from the Moabites by Israel, and the tribe of Gad. It is also the oldest secular evidence we have of the Tetragrammaton YHWH (Yahweh) as the name that God revealed to Moses in Exodus 3:14. But it also was the best confirmation at the time of the existence of Moab itself – yet another factual place that skeptics had long doubted.

(This year’s reading plan for Luke, Acts, and 1 and 2 Chronicles averages just 15 verses per day – 5 days per week!)
Schedule for this week

/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.

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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.