Saturday, October 30, 2010

2 Chronicles, Chapters 17-24

Chapter 17

In a nice bit of historical revisionism, Jehosephat the king suddenly removed the pagan altars. He also made an effort to teach the Torah to the people, and got lots of goodie bags from other kings.

Chapter 18

Jehosephat goes to meet his Israelite counterpart, Ahab. They have a barbecue, and as happens so often when there is too much meat, beer and testosterone in one place, they plot to overthrow the leadership of Ramothgilead. But Jehosephat is already sobering up, so he asks if maybe they should consult the prophets before going off half-cocked and starting another war. Would that George W. Bush had been so sensible.

The first 400 prophets all say the same thing: invade, because god promises a win. Also, they were all still out by the keg while the kings were discussing their invasion plans. That might not be in the text. But somehow that's still not enough to satisfy Jehosephat, he wants one more confirmation. So they seek out Micaiah, who says go, but Jehosephat keeps hounding him, asking if he's saying the whole truth, until he says he had a vision of the Israelites as sheep with no shepherd. Ahab's all 'Party foul!' But Micaiah keeps killing the buzz, saying god had all his minions lined up in front of them and one volunteered to make all the prophets lie to get Ahab to invade a country foolishly. Exactly like what happened in 2001 and 2003!

Anyway, Jehosephat is so angry at Micaiah's wrecking his party that he sends him to prison for the duration of the war. Jehosephat goes to battle in disguise but is recognized anyway. Fortunately, god remembers the groves and saves him by making his disguise even better. The evil Ahab, on the other hand, is struck between the shoulders by an arrow and dies.

Chapter 19

Jehosephat goes home and is immediately set upon by a prophet's obnoxious teenage son who tells him not to be nice to heathens because it makes god angry. He sets the court system back up and the temples.

Chapter 20

The Moabits, Ammonites and Edomites all invade, but never fear! God is here! He turns them on each other and kills them all. Then the people of Judah go and rob the corpses. Classy.

Chapter 21

Jehoram, Jehosephat's son, starts his reign off right by killing his brothers and any other potential rivals to the throne. He's evil in other ways, building temples and causing the inhabitants of Jerusalem to commit fornication (v. 11) until Elijah the prophet gets fed up and threatens him with god's wrath of disease of thy bowels until thy bowels fall out (v. 15). The Philistines and the Arabians invade and carry off his wives and children, and he does indeed die of intestinal illness.

Chapter 22

The Arabians killed all his older brothers, so Ahaziah, Jehoram's youngest son, takes over. Somehow, even though we were told that Jehoram was 40 when he died, Ahaziah is 42 already. Some infallible book this. Anyway, he takes bad advice from his mother and Ahab and is killed as a result. In vengeance, his mother kills all his heirs, which doesn't seem very well thought out. However, one of his daughters manages to save her brother and hide him while her crazy grandmother reigns for 6 years.

Chapter 23

The son, Joash, is put on the throne. His grandmother rends her clothes. She's killed outside the city walls. Then they barbecue to celebrate her death.

Chapter 24

Joash grows up, marries two women, and starts a collection to 'repair the temple.' Then they have a barbecue. Then it all goes wrong. First, Jehoida dies and Joash kills his son. Then some princes come along and tempt Joash to sin. Zechariah the priest tries to tell them it's wrong, but they stone him to death. He curses them, which causes the Syrians to invade and enslave Joash's sons. Finally his servants kill him and don't even bury him in the temple of the kings. The humanity! Amaziah takes over.

No comments:

Post a Comment