Monday, August 2, 2010

1 Kings, Chapter 14

The continuing misadventures of Jeroboam and his evil twin Rehoboam.

So, Jeroboam's son is sick. He asks his wife to disguise herself and go to Ahijah the prophet in Shiloh to ask what's going to happen to him. She goes to Ahijah's house, but god gets there first and whispers in his ear that she's in disguise and he's to ask her why she did that. He tells her to go back to Jeroboam and explain that this is all punishment for not following the covenant like David did. Because David was such a prize.

He finally finally gets around to dunning Jeroboam for the golden calves. We're informed that casting false idols is the worst thing anyone's ever done ever, which says a lot considering the source. He informs the wife that god is going to destroy Jeroboam's male line and their bodies will be eaten by dogs if they live in the city and by birds if they live in the country. He then tells her to go home, telling her that when she enters her own city, her child will die. That's harsh, killing a child for his father's sins. And just a little bit petty.

God's anger still isn't spent. He also outlines his plans to throw the Israelites off their land because they dedicated poles to Asherah. All of this is Jeroboam's fault, by the way.

The wife leaves, and as predicted, as she crosses the threshold of her house, her son dies. The people mourn, and we are informed that the rest of Jeroboam's story can be found in a book called the Chronicles of the Kings of Israel, which didn't quite make the final cut, thank god.

The final word on Jeroboam is that he reigned for 22 years, then died and was succeeded by his son Nadab, which causes one to ponder what all those threats were about.

Meanwhile, over in Rehoboam's kingdom, things are also not going well. The people of Judah are likewise worshipping other gods and men are sleeping with men and it's just a whole big mess. Finally, the Egyptian king comes along and steals all the gold, and Rehoboam replaces it with brass. All of Rehoboam's other deeds are recorded in the book of the kings of Judah, which, alas, also isn't in this version.

Rehoboam and Jeroboam never do make peace, and finally Rehoboam also dies and his son takes over the throne.

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