Monday, August 16, 2010

1 Kings, Chapter 22

Finally, the end of 1 Kings. Although, as the book's title suggests, we aren't done with these bloody civil wars, as there is another book of them coming up afterwards.

There has been peace between Israel and Syria for three years, a record that probably still stands in that region. The king of Syria, Jehosephat (of Jumping Jehosephat fame? I sincerely hope we find out), comes down to make a treaty with Ahab to fight the king of Gilead, Ramoth. He also suggests that Ahab check with his prophets as to god's feeling about this. They tell him god is all for it. Jehosephat still isn't satisfied, and asks if there's another prophet around. He's like those people who check their horoscopes out in 4 different papers and decide which one they like best. Ahab then remembers Micaiah, but says he hates him because he always prophesies evil. Who wouldn't hate someone who always tells you god's going to kill you?

Micaiah is sent for and the two kings just sort of hang out on their thrones, in their royal robes, with the prophets prophesying in front of them. One of them gets bored and fashions a pair of horns out of iron, saying they'll use them to defeat Ramoth. Finally, Macaiah is located and he advises the same as the others. Ahab reminds him how many times he's predicted doom and gloom and Macaiah dishes out a little more, saying he had a vision of the Israelites like sheep without a shepherd.

This unleashes a torrent of bad tidings: Macaiah saw god hanging out wherever he lives with his minions, and he asked one of them to volunteer to persuade Ahab to attack Ramoth. Finally one of them agreed to go and put lies in the mouths of the prophets.

Zedekiah, the prophet who made the horns, is justifiably offended and slaps Macaiah and asks him where the spirit of the lord went when it left. Macaiah babbles some nonsense about hiding in a room. Ahab tires of the bickering and orders Macaiah arrested. Then he and Jehosephat attack Ramoth.

Ahab is fighting in disguise but Ramoth cottons on and tells his soldier to ignore all the fighters and only go for the king, which strikes me as a spectacularly stupid battle strategy but hey, consider the source. There is some confusion as to whether that means Ahab or Jehosephat but eventually an archer manages to get between the chinks of Ahab's armour. He dies and is buried in Samariah. Just as predicted, dogs lick the blood off the chariot he bled to death in. His son Ahaziah takes over the throne and makes peace with Jehosephat. Jehosephat is pretty good as a king, even kicking out those dirty sodomites.

Jehosephat later tries to send some ships to find gold, and Ahaziah offers to go with him, but is rebuffed. The ships perish at sea. Then Jehosephat dies. His son Jeroham takes over and is also a good king. Ahaziah, on the other hand, worships Baal and is therefore doomed.

No comments:

Post a Comment