1986.) 2 Kings 15

December 12, 2016

“The King Uzziah Striken with Leprosy” by Rembrandt, 1635 (Duke of Devonshire, Chatsworth House, Derbyshire)

2 Kings 15   (NIV)

Azariah King of Judah

1 In the twenty-seventh year of Jeroboam king of Israel, Azariah (also known as Uzziah) son of Amaziah king of Judah began to reign. 2 He was sixteen years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem fifty-two years.

Azariah became king at a tough time.  The city had recently been attached, walls were in disarray, temple treasures stolen, some of the residents taken hostage. And the new king is only a teenager!

His mother’s name was Jekoliah; she was from Jerusalem. 3 He did what was right in the eyes of the LORD, just as his father Amaziah had done.

2 Chronicles 26 (which we will read tomorrow) tells us much more about the successful reign of Azariah (also known as Uzziah):

  • He began his reign when he was only 16 years old (26:3).
  • He reigned during the ministry of Zechariah the prophet (26:5).
  • He defeated the Philistines and took many of their cities, and also kept the Ammonites in tribute (26:6-8).
  • He was internationally famous as a strong king (26:8).
  • He was an ambitious builder and skilled in agriculture (26:9-10).
  • He built up and organized the army, introducing several new items of military technology (26:11-15).

–David Guzik

4 The high places, however, were not removed; the people continued to offer sacrifices and burn incense there.

5 The LORD afflicted the king with leprosy until the day he died, and he lived in a separate house. Jotham the king’s son had charge of the palace and governed the people of the land.

6 As for the other events of Azariah’s reign, and all he did, are they not written in the book of the annals of the kings of Judah? 7 Azariah rested with his ancestors and was buried near them in the City of David.

“Coals on the Altar” by Vicky Glisson

Isaiah 6:1-8  (KJV)

In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the LORD sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple.

Above it stood the seraphims: each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly.

And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory.

And the posts of the door moved at the voice of him that cried, and the house was filled with smoke.

Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts.

Then flew one of the seraphims unto me, having a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with the tongs from off the altar:

And he laid it upon my mouth, and said, Lo, this hath touched thy lips; and thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin purged.

Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me.

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And Jotham his son succeeded him as king.

Zechariah King of Israel

This section of this chapter looks at five of the last six kings of Israel and “anticipates the final overthrow of this kingdom of the tribes. It describes the corruption and disorganization that made them the easy prey of Assyria,” –F. B. Meyer. As you read, notice how short their reigns are, and how often the changes in monarchy come because of murder. Mark the brutality of the kings and the idolatry of the people that leads, inevitably, to civil chaos.

8 In the thirty-eighth year of Azariah king of Judah, Zechariah son of Jeroboam became king of Israel in Samaria, and he reigned six months. 9 He did evil in the eyes of the LORD, as his predecessors had done. He did not turn away from the sins of Jeroboam son of Nebat, which he had caused Israel to commit.

10 Shallum son of Jabesh conspired against Zechariah. He attacked him in front of the people, assassinated him and succeeded him as king. 11 The other events of Zechariah’s reign are written in the book of the annals of the kings of Israel. 12 So the word of the LORD spoken to Jehu was fulfilled: “Your descendants will sit on the throne of Israel to the fourth generation.”

Shallum King of Israel

13 Shallum son of Jabesh became king in the thirty-ninth year of Uzziah king of Judah, and he reigned in Samaria one month. 14 Then Menahem son of Gadi went from Tirzah up to Samaria. He attacked Shallum son of Jabesh in Samaria, assassinated him and succeeded him as king.

15 The other events of Shallum’s reign, and the conspiracy he led, are written in the book of the annals of the kings of Israel.

16 At that time Menahem, starting out from Tirzah, attacked Tiphsah and everyone in the city and its vicinity, because they refused to open their gates. He sacked Tiphsah and ripped open all the pregnant women.

Menahem King of Israel

17 In the thirty-ninth year of Azariah king of Judah, Menahem son of Gadi became king of Israel, and he reigned in Samaria ten years. 18 He did evil in the eyes of the LORD. During his entire reign he did not turn away from the sins of Jeroboam son of Nebat, which he had caused Israel to commit.

19 Then Pul king of Assyria invaded the land, and Menahem gave him a thousand talents of silver to gain his support and strengthen his own hold on the kingdom. 20 Menahem exacted this money from Israel. Every wealthy person had to contribute fifty shekels of silver to be given to the king of Assyria.

Just so you don’t feel too sorry for the rich people, here the prophet Amos describes them:

Amos 8:4-6 (ESV)

Hear this, you who trample on the needy
and bring the poor of the land to an end,
saying, “When will the new moon be over,
that we may sell grain?
And the Sabbath,
that we may offer wheat for sale,
that we may make the ephah small and the shekel great
and deal deceitfully with false balances,
that we may buy the poor for silver
and the needy for a pair of sandals
and sell the chaff of the wheat?”

The money was used to buy the backing of the Assyrian king. Israel is now a vassal of Assyria.

So the king of Assyria withdrew and stayed in the land no longer.

21 As for the other events of Menahem’s reign, and all he did, are they not written in the book of the annals of the kings of Israel? 22 Menahem rested with his ancestors. And Pekahiah his son succeeded him as king.

Pekahiah King of Israel

23 In the fiftieth year of Azariah king of Judah, Pekahiah son of Menahem became king of Israel in Samaria, and he reigned two years. 24 Pekahiah did evil in the eyes of the LORD. He did not turn away from the sins of Jeroboam son of Nebat, which he had caused Israel to commit. 25 One of his chief officers, Pekah son of Remaliah, conspired against him. Taking fifty men of Gilead with him, he assassinated Pekahiah, along with Argob and Arieh, in the citadel of the royal palace at Samaria. So Pekah killed Pekahiah and succeeded him as king.

26 The other events of Pekahiah’s reign, and all he did, are written in the book of the annals of the kings of Israel.

Pekah King of Israel

27 In the fifty-second year of Azariah king of Judah, Pekah son of Remaliah became king of Israel in Samaria, and he reigned twenty years. 28 He did evil in the eyes of the LORD. He did not turn away from the sins of Jeroboam son of Nebat, which he had caused Israel to commit.

29 In the time of Pekah king of Israel, Tiglath-Pileser king of Assyria came and took Ijon, Abel Beth Maakah, Janoah, Kedesh and Hazor. He took Gilead and Galilee, including all the land of Naphtali, and deported the people to Assyria. 30 Then Hoshea son of Elah conspired against Pekah son of Remaliah. He attacked and assassinated him, and then succeeded him as king in the twentieth year of Jotham son of Uzziah.

This Assyrian king was not content with tribute payment. He came and took some of the best land, a sizable portion of the Northern Kingdom. And he deported a significant number of the Israelites. These are dark days for the Northern Kingdom:  They have not listened to God, and there are tragic consequences.

Hoshea will be the final king of Israel.

31 As for the other events of Pekah’s reign, and all he did, are they not written in the book of the annals of the kings of Israel?

Jotham King of Judah

32 In the second year of Pekah son of Remaliah king of Israel, Jotham son of Uzziah king of Judah began to reign. 33 He was twenty-five years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem sixteen years. His mother’s name was Jerusha daughter of Zadok. 34 He did what was right in the eyes of the LORD, just as his father Uzziah had done. 35 The high places, however, were not removed; the people continued to offer sacrifices and burn incense there. Jotham rebuilt the Upper Gate of the temple of the LORD.

This is a good sign — the king working to repair the temple of the Lord.

36 As for the other events of Jotham’s reign, and what he did, are they not written in the book of the annals of the kings of Judah? 37 (In those days the LORD began to send Rezin king of Aram and Pekah son of Remaliah against Judah.)

God is sending trouble to Judah and giving the people an opportunity to put their trust whole-heartedly in the Lord.

38 Jotham rested with his ancestors and was buried with them in the City of David, the city of his father. And Ahaz his son succeeded him as king.

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Music:

This song will carry you through whatever may come. After the recent readings of disobedience and death in Israel and Judah, here is a cheerful way for us to say YES to the Lord in our own little worlds!

HERE,  by Darrell Evans — “Trading My Sorrows.”

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New International Version, ©2010 (NIV) Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2010 by Biblica
Images courtesy of:
Rembrandt.    http://www.abcgallery.com/R/rembrandt/rembrandt15.html
Glisson.     https://dwellingintheword.files.wordpress.com/2011/03/isaiha6coalsonthealtar1.jpg
The end is near.   http://kaylasaid.files.wordpress.com/2010/08/the-end-is-near.jpg

1964.) 2 Kings 14

November 10, 2016

Just to keep our geographical bearings: a map of Israel, Judah, and the surrounding nations. (See the city of Petra in the south of Edom.)

2 Kings 14   (NIV)

Amaziah King of Judah

1 In the second year of Jehoash son of Jehoahaz king of Israel, Amaziah son of Joash king of Judah began to reign. 2 He was twenty-five years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem twenty-nine years. His mother’s name was Jehoaddan; she was from Jerusalem. 3 He did what was right in the eyes of the LORD, but not as his father David had done. In everything he followed the example of his father Joash. 4 The high places, however, were not removed; the people continued to offer sacrifices and burn incense there.

Again, we see the half-hearted allegiance towards God.

5 After the kingdom was firmly in his grasp, he executed the officials who had murdered his father the king. 6 Yet he did not put the children of the assassins to death, in accordance with what is written in the Book of the Law of Moses where the LORD commanded: “Parents are not to be put to death for their children, nor children put to death for their parents; each will die for their own sin.”

7 He was the one who defeated ten thousand Edomites in the Valley of Salt and captured Sela in battle, calling it Joktheel, the name it has to this day.

2k14-petra

Some Bible scholars believe that Sela was the ancient stronghold of Petra, now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Go to Jordan and see it — it is worth the effort!

8 Then Amaziah sent messengers to Jehoash son of Jehoahaz, the son of Jehu, king of Israel, with the challenge: “Come, let us face each other in battle.”

9 But Jehoash king of Israel replied to Amaziah king of Judah: “A thistle in Lebanon sent a message to a cedar in Lebanon, ‘Give your daughter to my son in marriage.’ Then a wild beast in Lebanon came along and trampled the thistle underfoot. 10 You have indeed defeated Edom and now you are arrogant. Glory in your victory, but stay at home! Why ask for trouble and cause your own downfall and that of Judah also?”

Had Amaziah become proud because of his recent victory? Did he feel invincible? There is no indication that this challenge was given by the Lord.

11 Amaziah, however, would not listen, so Jehoash king of Israel attacked. He and Amaziah king of Judah faced each other at Beth Shemesh in Judah. 12 Judah was routed by Israel, and every man fled to his home. 13 Jehoash king of Israel captured Amaziah king of Judah, the son of Joash, the son of Ahaziah, at Beth Shemesh. Then Jehoash went to Jerusalem and broke down the wall of Jerusalem from the Ephraim Gate to the Corner Gate—a section about four hundred cubits long. 14 He took all the gold and silver and all the articles found in the temple of the LORD and in the treasuries of the royal palace. He also took hostages and returned to Samaria.

Amaziah paid a high price for his foolishness. He lost his freedom, being captured by the king of Israel. He lost the security of his capital city when part of the city walls were destroyed. And he lost the gold and silver items which were stolen from the temple.

15 As for the other events of the reign of Jehoash, what he did and his achievements, including his war against Amaziah king of Judah, are they not written in the book of the annals of the kings of Israel? 16 Jehoash rested with his ancestors and was buried in Samaria with the kings of Israel. And Jeroboam his son succeeded him as king.

17 Amaziah son of Joash king of Judah lived for fifteen years after the death of Jehoash son of Jehoahaz king of Israel. 18 As for the other events of Amaziah’s reign, are they not written in the book of the annals of the kings of Judah?

19 They conspired against him in Jerusalem, and he fled to Lachish, but they sent men after him to Lachish and killed him there. 20 He was brought back by horse and was buried in Jerusalem with his ancestors, in the City of David.

An ignoble ending . . .

21 Then all the people of Judah took Azariah, who was sixteen years old, and made him king in place of his father Amaziah. 22 He was the one who rebuilt Elath and restored it to Judah after Amaziah rested with his ancestors.

Jeroboam II King of Israel

23 In the fifteenth year of Amaziah son of Joash king of Judah, Jeroboam son of Jehoash king of Israel became king in Samaria, and he reigned forty-one years. 24 He did evil in the eyes of the LORD and did not turn away from any of the sins of Jeroboam son of Nebat, which he had caused Israel to commit.

Jereboam son of Nebat was the first king of Israel. He erected the two golden calves, and is often referred to in Scripture as Jereboam-who-caused-Israel-to-sin.

25 He was the one who restored the boundaries of Israel from Lebo Hamath to the Dead Sea, in accordance with the word of the LORD, the God of Israel, spoken through his servant Jonah son of Amittai, the prophet from Gath Hepher.

Hello, Jonah!  Wall mural by Jerry Wallace.

Hello, Jonah!  Wall mural by Jerry Wallace.

26 The LORD had seen how bitterly everyone in Israel, whether slave or free, was suffering; there was no one to help them. 27 And since the LORD had not said he would blot out the name of Israel from under heaven, he saved them by the hand of Jeroboam son of Jehoash.

28 As for the other events of Jeroboam’s reign, all he did, and his military achievements, including how he recovered for Israel both Damascus and Hamath, which had belonged to Judah, are they not written in the book of the annals of the kings of Israel? 29 Jeroboam rested with his ancestors, the kings of Israel. And Zechariah his son succeeded him as king.

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Music:

Do you feel your frustration mounting just a little as you read, over and over again, that they did not tear down the high places or the golden calves? And so they continued to break the First Commandment which says, “You shall have no other gods before Me.” Let’s join together now in worshiping and praising the Lord, the Almighty, the King — “our maker, defender, redeemer, and friend”!

HERE  is Chris Tomlin and “Oh Worship the King” — an old hymn (the words from 1833, the tune from 1708) made new in this arrangement.

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New International Version, ©2010 (NIV) Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2010 by Biblica
Images courtesy of:
Israel and Judah map.    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/b/bd/Kingdoms_of_Israel_and_Judah_map_830.svg/502px-Kingdoms_of_Israel_and_Judah_map_830.svg.png
Petra.   https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/b/b7/The_Monastery,_Petra,_Jordan8.jpg
Fragonard.    http://www.fineartprintsondemand.com/artists/fragonard/jeroboam_sacrificing_to_the_golden_calf-400.jpg
Jonah.     https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/originals/b5/62/2c/b5622ce4731e47061448c957e82cbf16.jpg

1962.) 2 Kings 13

November 8, 2016

The hand bones of St. John the Baptist, on display at the Topkapi Palace in Istanbul. In the text today we read that Elisha’s dead bones brought a man back to life, a story often cited as one of the earliest sources to show the efficacy of relics.  I have seen John the Baptist’s head in two (yes, two!)  places:  Topkapi and San Silvestro in Capite in Rome!

2 Kings 13   (NIV)

Jehoahaz King of Israel

In the twenty-third year of Joash son of Ahaziah king of Judah, Jehoahaz son of Jehu became king of Israel in Samaria, and he reigned seventeen years. 2 He did evil in the eyes of the LORD by following the sins of Jeroboam son of Nebat, which he had caused Israel to commit, and he did not turn away from them. 3 So the LORD’s anger burned against Israel, and for a long time he kept them under the power of Hazael king of Aram and Ben-Hadad his son.

4 Then Jehoahaz sought the LORD’s favor, and the LORD listened to him, for he saw how severely the king of Aram was oppressing Israel. 5 The LORD provided a deliverer for Israel, and they escaped from the power of Aram. So the Israelites lived in their own homes as they had before.

Shades of the book of Judges! Remember the “sin cycle” Israel fell into? The Walk Thru the Old Testament seminar explains it this way:  Sin (always idolatry) — servitude  (by neighboring tribes who worshiped false gods) — supplication (when all else fails, pray!) — salvation (at the hands of a military leader, known as a judge) — silence (peace for a time). Here is the same pattern, with a nameless deliverer, bless him!

6 But they did not turn away from the sins of the house of Jeroboam, which he had caused Israel to commit; they continued in them. Also, the Asherah pole remained standing in Samaria.

7 Nothing had been left of the army of Jehoahaz except fifty horsemen, ten chariots and ten thousand foot soldiers, for the king of Aram had destroyed the rest and made them like the dust at threshing time.

8 As for the other events of the reign of Jehoahaz, all he did and his achievements, are they not written in the book of the annals of the kings of Israel? 9 Jehoahaz rested with his ancestors and was buried in Samaria. And Jehoash his son succeeded him as king.

Jehoash King of Israel

10 In the thirty-seventh year of Joash king of Judah, Jehoash son of Jehoahaz became king of Israel in Samaria, and he reigned sixteen years. 11 He did evil in the eyes of the LORD and did not turn away from any of the sins of Jeroboam son of Nebat, which he had caused Israel to commit; he continued in them.

12 As for the other events of the reign of Jehoash, all he did and his achievements, including his war against Amaziah king of Judah, are they not written in the book of the annals of the kings of Israel? 13 Jehoash rested with his ancestors, and Jeroboam succeeded him on the throne. Jehoash was buried in Samaria with the kings of Israel.

14 Now Elisha had been suffering from the illness from which he died. Jehoash king of Israel went down to see him and wept over him. “My father! My father!” he cried. “The chariots and horsemen of Israel!”

“Dear friends, let us seek so to live that even ungodly men may miss us when we are gone.”
–C. H. Spurgeon

15 Elisha said, “Get a bow and some arrows,” and he did so. 16 “Take the bow in your hands,” he said to the king of Israel. When he had taken it, Elisha put his hands on the king’s hands.

2k13-arrow

17 “Open the east window,” he said, and he opened it. “Shoot!” Elisha said, and he shot. “The LORD’s arrow of victory, the arrow of victory over Aram!” Elisha declared. “You will completely destroy the Arameans at Aphek.”

18 Then he said, “Take the arrows,” and the king took them. Elisha told him, “Strike the ground.” He struck it three times and stopped. 19 The man of God was angry with him and said, “You should have struck the ground five or six times; then you would have defeated Aram and completely destroyed it. But now you will defeat it only three times.”

When I was in my mid-teens, I played on an organized baseball team. Generally I played first base, but occasionally I was directed to a position in the outfield. Although I was far from being a superstar, I had a lot of fun, and I always gave the game my very best effort.

After all these years, one particular game is still vivid in my mind. I was in the unfamiliar position of centerfielder when a long fly ball was hit over my head. I turned backward and ran as fast as I could, pushing with every muscle in my body to position myself so I could snag that ball. At the last moment I reached out as far as I could, and — wonder of wonders — I caught it! Of all the surprised people on the field that day, I undoubtedly was the most surprised of all!

Amazing things can happen when we give our best. In our text today, however, King Jehoash did not give that kind of effort. Jehoash was visiting the Prophet Elisha, who was on his death bed, and Elisha instructed the king to do a couple of unusual things. First, they together shot an arrow out of the open window. Elisha explained that this was prophetic of how God would deliver the Israelites from their oppressor, the Syrians. Next, Jehoash was instructed to take a handful of arrows and hit them against the ground, symbolic of Israel thrusting down Syria. Instead of following through vigorously, however, Jehoash responded in a half-hearted manner. By responding in this way, he forfeited the opportunity to win lasting victory over Syria. Israel would win some individual victories, but long-term peace would be denied them.

Today, we can learn a lesson from Jehoash’s half-heartedness. Whatever God asks us to do, let us be sure to do it with all of our might. Let’s not stop with a cursory effort, but invest ourselves wholeheartedly! We will receive the blessing for seizing that golden opportunity and speaking up at the right time, or for remaining on our knees in prayer a little longer — until the answer comes!

Our best may not seem like much, but it is of great value in God’s eyes! Let’s determine today to give it to God — in whatever we do. In the long run, we will be glad that we did.

–unknown

20 Elisha died and was buried.

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Music:

Recently I attended the funeral of a friend of mine. Linda was only 61 and died of cancer. But as the pastor said at her service, “It took her life, but never her spirit and faith.” She did not lose her belief in the efficacy of prayer and the goodness of God. She knew Christ had prepared a place for her and she found comfort in that. Like Elisha, Linda leaves behind a legacy of faith in God and obedience to her Lord. She is a model for me, and I look forward to seeing her lovely smile again in Heaven.

HERE  is Steve Green and “Find Us Faithful.”

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Now Moabite raiders used to enter the country every spring. 21 Once while some Israelites were burying a man, suddenly they saw a band of raiders; so they threw the man’s body into Elisha’s tomb. When the body touched Elisha’s bones, the man came to life and stood up on his feet.

“The Tomb of Elisha” by David C. Hancock, 2005

22 Hazael king of Aram oppressed Israel throughout the reign of Jehoahaz. 23 But the LORD was gracious to them and had compassion and showed concern for them because of his covenant with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. To this day he has been unwilling to destroy them or banish them from his presence.

24 Hazael king of Aram died, and Ben-Hadad his son succeeded him as king. 25 Then Jehoash son of Jehoahaz recaptured from Ben-Hadad son of Hazael the towns he had taken in battle from his father Jehoahaz. Three times Jehoash defeated him, and so he recovered the Israelite towns.

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New International Version, ©2010 (NIV) Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2010 by Biblica
Images courtesy of:
St. John’s hand.    http://25.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_lehrjntsQI1qahuhjo1_500.jpg
sin cycle diagram.    http://www.jesusplusnothing.com/studies/images/cycle.gif
Elisha, the king, the arrow.   https://dwellingintheword.files.wordpress.com/2016/11/faca5-5.jpg
boy playing baseball.   http://cache.boston.com/bonzai-fba/Globe_Photo/2009/06/06/baseball329__1244263489_8364.jpg
Hancock.    https://dwellingintheword.files.wordpress.com/2011/03/hancock-elisha.jpg

1961.) 2 Kings 12

November 7, 2016

What King Joash was unable to do —

2 Kings 12   (NIV)

Joash Repairs the Temple

1 In the seventh year of Jehu, Joash became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem forty years. His mother’s name was Zibiah; she was from Beersheba. 2 Joash did what was right in the eyes of the LORD all the years Jehoiada the priest instructed him.

This implies that when Jehoiada died, Jehoash no longer did what was right in the sight of the Lord. 2 Chronicles 24:15-23 tells us that he turned to idolatry when Jehoiada died, and judgment followed.

3 The high places, however, were not removed; the people continued to offer sacrifices and burn incense there.

How they loved their sin! What “high places” are in our lives, that we continue to worship at the cost of our own faithfulness?

4 Joash said to the priests, “Collect all the money that is brought as sacred offerings to the temple of the LORD—the money collected in the census, the money received from personal vows and the money brought voluntarily to the temple. 5 Let every priest receive the money from one of the treasurers, then use it to repair whatever damage is found in the temple.”

The temple needed restoration because it had been vandalized by Athaliah and her sons (2 Chronicles 24:7). And should we wonder at the king’s attention to the temple, when it had been his home during his earliest years?

6 But by the twenty-third year of King Joash the priests still had not repaired the temple. 7 Therefore King Joash summoned Jehoiada the priest and the other priests and asked them, “Why aren’t you repairing the damage done to the temple? Take no more money from your treasurers, but hand it over for repairing the temple.” 8 The priests agreed that they would not collect any more money from the people and that they would not repair the temple themselves.

9 Jehoiada the priest took a chest and bored a hole in its lid. He placed it beside the altar, on the right side as one enters the temple of the LORD. The priests who guarded the entrance put into the chest all the money that was brought to the temple of the LORD. 10 Whenever they saw that there was a large amount of money in the chest, the royal secretary and the high priest came, counted the money that had been brought into the temple of the LORD and put it into bags.

11 When the amount had been determined, they gave the money to the men appointed to supervise the work on the temple. With it they paid those who worked on the temple of the LORD—the carpenters and builders, 12 the masons and stonecutters. They purchased timber and blocks of dressed stone for the repair of the temple of the LORD, and met all the other expenses of restoring the temple.

13 The money brought into the temple was not spent for making silver basins, wick trimmers, sprinkling bowls, trumpets or any other articles of gold or silver for the temple of the LORD; 14 it was paid to the workers, who used it to repair the temple. 15 They did not require an accounting from those to whom they gave the money to pay the workers, because they acted with complete honesty. 16 The money from the guilt offerings and sin offerings was not brought into the temple of the LORD; it belonged to the priests.

So Joash gets to the heart of the problem — not a lack of money, but a lack of good financial management. The temple repairs were completed at no expense to the priests, with trustworthy workers and generous offerings from the people.

17 About this time Hazael king of Aram went up and attacked Gath and captured it. Then he turned to attack Jerusalem. 18 But Joash king of Judah took all the sacred objects dedicated by his predecessors—Jehoshaphat, Jehoram and Ahaziah, the kings of Judah—and the gifts he himself had dedicated and all the gold found in the treasuries of the temple of the LORD and of the royal palace, and he sent them to Hazael king of Aram, who then withdrew from Jerusalem.

Why didn’t he trust God for deliverance? Instead, he traded away sacred treasure for a temporary stay.

19 As for the other events of the reign of Joash, and all he did, are they not written in the book of the annals of the kings of Judah? 20 His officials conspired against him and assassinated him at Beth Millo, on the road down to Silla. 21 The officials who murdered him were Jozabad son of Shimeath and Jehozabad son of Shomer. He died and was buried with his ancestors in the City of David. And Amaziah his son succeeded him as king.

Joash — his reign began with such promise, and ended with such disgrace.

There are two kinds of mediocre lives.

(1) Those that just never really pursue a godly life. They tolerate sins within and without.

(2) Those that do well for a while. They are motivated, one way or the other, to excel in doing what is right and good. But when that influence is gone, like Jehoiada in Joash’s life, he was easily influenced by others.

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Music:

Let us learn a lesson from Joash’s negative example not to live a mediocre life! Let us resolve to remain diligently faithful to the end, to honor the Lord in both life and death.

This hymn, about those who finished strong and are now “with angels shining bright,” is one of my Top Five Hymns.  It was sung at my mother’s funeral in both English and Norwegian.  “Behold A Host Arrayed in White,”  sung  HERE  by the Mandel Kantori from Norway.

  1. Behold a host, arrayed in white,
    Like thousand snow-clad mountains bright!
    With palms they stand;
    Who is this band
    Before the throne of light?
    Those are the saints of glorious fame,
    Who from the great affliction came
    And in the flood
    Of Jesus’ blood
    Are cleansed from guilt and shame.
    They now serve God both day and night;
    They sing their songs in endless light.
    Their anthems ring
    As they all sing
    With angels shining bright.
  2. Despised and scorned, they sojourned here;
    But now, how glorious they appear!
    Those martyrs stand,
    A priestly band,
    God’s throne forever near.
    On earth they wept through bitter years;
    Now God has wiped away their tears,
    Transformed their strife
    To heav’nly life,
    They now enjoy the Sabbath rest,
    The heav’nly banquet of the blest;
    The Lamb, their Lord,
    At festal board
    Himself is host and guest.
  3. O blessed saints in bright array
    Now safely home in endless day,
    Extol the Lord,
    Who with His Word
    Sustained you on the way.
    The steep and narrow path you trod;
    You toiled and sowed the Word abroad;
    Rejoice and bring
    Your fruits and sing
    Before the throne of God.
    The myriad angels raise their song;
    O saints, sing with that happy throng!
    Lift up one voice;
    Let heav’n rejoice
    In our Redeemer’s song!

_________________________

New International Version, ©2010 (NIV) Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2010 by Biblica
Images courtesy of:
Finish strong.    http://stephenwaring.files.wordpress.com/2010/03/finish-strong.jpg
the box at the temple.    http://www.lavistachurchofchrist.org/Pictures/Divided%20Kingdom%20Artwork/target0.html

1956.) 2 Kings 11

October 31, 2016

The Boy King, Joash

2 Kings 11   (NIV)

Athaliah and Joash

1 When Athaliah the mother of Ahaziah saw that her son was dead, she proceeded to destroy the whole royal family.

Athaliah was the daughter of wicked Ahab and Jezebel, and had been given to King Jehoram of Judah as a bride. Both her husband and her son were kings of Judah. New King Jehu had killed her mother and all of Ahab’s line, so Athaliah decided to return the favor and tried to kill all of David’s line.

2 But Jehosheba, the daughter of King Jehoram and sister of Ahaziah, took Joash son of Ahaziah and stole him away from among the royal princes, who were about to be murdered. She put him and his nurse in a bedroom to hide him from Athaliah; so he was not killed. 3 He remained hidden with his nurse at the temple of the LORD for six years while Athaliah ruled the land.

2 Chronicles 22:11 tells us that Jehosheba was the wife of Jehoiada, the high priest. Josephus says that the child and his nurse were hidden in a room where spare mattresses were kept!

4 In the seventh year Jehoiada sent for the commanders of units of a hundred, the Carites and the guards and had them brought to him at the temple of the LORD. He made a covenant with them and put them under oath at the temple of the LORD. Then he showed them the king’s son. 5 He commanded them, saying, “This is what you are to do: You who are in the three companies that are going on duty on the Sabbath—a third of you guarding the royal palace, 6 a third at the Sur Gate, and a third at the gate behind the guard, who take turns guarding the temple— 7 and you who are in the other two companies that normally go off Sabbath duty are all to guard the temple for the king. 8 Station yourselves around the king, each of you with weapon in hand. Anyone who approaches your ranks is to be put to death. Stay close to the king wherever he goes.”

Jehoiada chose the Sabbath for the day of the coup, because that was the day when the guards changed their shifts and they could assemble two groups of guards at the temple at the same time without attracting attention.
–David Guzik

9 The commanders of units of a hundred did just as Jehoiada the priest ordered. Each one took his men—those who were going on duty on the Sabbath and those who were going off duty—and came to Jehoiada the priest. 10 Then he gave the commanders the spears and shields that had belonged to King David and that were in the temple of the LORD. 11 The guards, each with weapon in hand, stationed themselves around the king—near the altar and the temple, from the south side to the north side of the temple.

12 Jehoiada brought out the king’s son and put the crown on him; he presented him with a copy of the covenant and proclaimed him king.

King George VI on May 12, 1937, United Kingdom

Deuteronomy 17:18 says that the king should have his own copy of the Scriptures, and here we see that Joash got his. This is the basis for the British practice of presenting the monarch with a copy of the Bible during the coronation service.

They anointed him, and the people clapped their hands and shouted, “Long live the king!”

Josiah is Made King II KIngs 22:1

13 When Athaliah heard the noise made by the guards and the people, she went to the people at the temple of the LORD. 14 She looked and there was the king, standing by the pillar, as the custom was. The officers and the trumpeters were beside the king, and all the people of the land were rejoicing and blowing trumpets. Then Athaliah tore her robes and called out, “Treason! Treason!”

Remember, the new king is her own grandson!

15 Jehoiada the priest ordered the commanders of units of a hundred, who were in charge of the troops: “Bring her out between the ranks and put to the sword anyone who follows her.” For the priest had said, “She must not be put to death in the temple of the LORD.” 16 So they seized her as she reached the place where the horses enter the palace grounds, and there she was put to death.

Her epitaph could be similar to this one from the Old West:

“He had six bullets but he needed seven.”

Or perhaps something on this order:

Erected to the memory of

John Macfarlane

Drowned in the Waters of Leith

By a few affectionate friends.

Or:

“Here’s all we have to say about her–
The world is better off without her.”

17 Jehoiada then made a covenant between the LORD and the king and people that they would be the LORD’s people. He also made a covenant between the king and the people. 18 All the people of the land went to the temple of Baal and tore it down. They smashed the altars and idols to pieces and killed Mattan the priest of Baal in front of the altars.

Then Jehoiada the priest posted guards at the temple of the LORD. 19 He took with him the commanders of hundreds, the Carites, the guards and all the people of the land, and together they brought the king down from the temple of the LORD and went into the palace, entering by way of the gate of the guards. The king then took his place on the royal throne. 20 All the people of the land rejoiced, and the city was calm, because Athaliah had been slain with the sword at the palace.

21 Joash was seven years old when he began to reign.

2k11-joash-crowned

Isaiah 11:6 (ESV)

The wolf shall dwell with the lamb,
and the leopard shall lie down with the young goat,
and the calf and the lion and the fattened calf together;
and a little child shall lead them.

_________________________

Music:

HERE  is “I’m a Child of the King” sung by The Happy Goodmans. Sorry, I just can’t help it! Every so often I have to have some good old gospel music — and who better than the Goodmans?

_________________________

New International Version, ©2010 (NIV) Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2010 by Biblica
Images courtesy of:
The Boy King.    http://www.bibleschoolresources.net/southernkingdom/joashcrownedking-cp.gif
coronation Bible.   https://dwellingintheword.files.wordpress.com/2011/02/coronation-bible.jpg
Joash crowned king, priest in red robe.    http://lavistachurchofchrist.org/Pictures/Divided%20Kingdom%20Artwork/images/joash_crowned_king.jpg
tombstone.    http://www.spraypaintstencils.com/a-zlistings/tombstone-stencil.gif
Joash crowned, priest in blue tunic.   http://ubdavid.org/bible/know-your-bible4/graphics/6_joash-crowned.jpg
  http://www.jesuslovesyoutoday.org/yahoo_site_admin/assets/images/2_Kings_11.197151930_std.jpg

1954.) 2 Kings 10

October 27, 2016

2k10-ahab-blood

2 Kings 10   (NIV)

Ahab’s Family Killed

1 Now there were in Samaria seventy sons of the house of Ahab. So Jehu wrote letters and sent them to Samaria: to the officials of Jezreel, to the elders and to the guardians of Ahab’s children.

These seventy descendants of Ahab are no doubt eager to keep the throne in the family! And they are in the capital city; Jehu is not.

He said, 2 “You have your master’s sons with you and you have chariots and horses, a fortified city and weapons. Now as soon as this letter reaches you, 3 choose the best and most worthy of your master’s sons and set him on his father’s throne. Then fight for your master’s house.”

4 But they were terrified and said, “If two kings could not resist him, how can we?”

Jehu:  he who is to be feared. He had already killed King Joram of Israel and King Ahaziah of Judah.

5 So the palace administrator, the city governor, the elders and the guardians sent this message to Jehu: “We are your servants and we will do anything you say. We will not appoint anyone as king; you do whatever you think best.”

6 Then Jehu wrote them a second letter, saying, “If you are on my side and will obey me, take the heads of your master’s sons and come to me in Jezreel by this time tomorrow.”

Now the royal princes, seventy of them, were with the leading men of the city, who were rearing them. 7 When the letter arrived, these men took the princes and slaughtered all seventy of them. They put their heads in baskets and sent them to Jehu in Jezreel.

After the despicable affair of Naboth’s vineyard, Elijah went to King Ahab and announced to him that every male of his descendants would be killed. Ahab repented and God postponed the fulfillment of that promise until the time of Ahab’s son.

8 When the messenger arrived, he told Jehu, “They have brought the heads of the princes.”

Then Jehu ordered, “Put them in two piles at the entrance of the city gate until morning.”

9 The next morning Jehu went out. He stood before all the people and said, “You are innocent. It was I who conspired against my master and killed him, but who killed all these? 10 Know, then, that not a word the LORD has spoken against the house of Ahab will fail. The LORD has done what he announced through his servant Elijah.” 11 So Jehu killed everyone in Jezreel who remained of the house of Ahab, as well as all his chief men, his close friends and his priests, leaving him no survivor.

This is one of the cases where the term “overkill” really does apply. The prophet Hosea says so:

Hosea 1:4-5 (New Living Translation)

And the Lord said, “Name the child Jezreel, for I am about to punish King Jehu’s dynasty to avenge the murders he committed at Jezreel. In fact, I will bring an end to Israel’s independence. I will break its military power in the Jezreel Valley.”

12 Jehu then set out and went toward Samaria. At Beth Eked of the Shepherds, 13 he met some relatives of Ahaziah king of Judah and asked, “Who are you?”

They said, “We are relatives of Ahaziah, and we have come down to greet the families of the king and of the queen mother.”

14 “Take them alive!” he ordered. So they took them alive and slaughtered them by the well of Beth Eked—forty-two of them. He left no survivor.

15 After he left there, he came upon Jehonadab son of Rekab, who was on his way to meet him. Jehu greeted him and said, “Are you in accord with me, as I am with you?”

“I am,” Jehonadab answered.

“If so,” said Jehu, “give me your hand.” So he did, and Jehu helped him up into the chariot. 16 Jehu said, “Come with me and see my zeal for the LORD.” Then he had him ride along in his chariot.

17 When Jehu came to Samaria, he killed all who were left there of Ahab’s family; he destroyed them, according to the word of the LORD spoken to Elijah.

"The Destruction of the House of Ahab" by Michelangelo, 1511 (Sistine Chapel, Vatican)

“The Destruction of the House of Ahab” by Michelangelo, 1511 (Sistine Chapel, Vatican)

Servants of Baal Killed

18 Then Jehu brought all the people together and said to them, “Ahab served Baal a little; Jehu will serve him much. 19 Now summon all the prophets of Baal, all his servants and all his priests. See that no one is missing, because I am going to hold a great sacrifice for Baal. Anyone who fails to come will no longer live.” But Jehu was acting deceptively in order to destroy the servants of Baal.

20 Jehu said, “Call an assembly in honor of Baal.” So they proclaimed it. 21 Then he sent word throughout Israel, and all the servants of Baal came; not one stayed away. They crowded into the temple of Baal until it was full from one end to the other. 22 And Jehu said to the keeper of the wardrobe, “Bring robes for all the servants of Baal.” So he brought out robes for them.

23 Then Jehu and Jehonadab son of Rekab went into the temple of Baal. Jehu said to the servants of Baal, “Look around and see that no one who serves the LORD is here with you—only servants of Baal.” 24 So they went in to make sacrifices and burnt offerings. Now Jehu had posted eighty men outside with this warning: “If one of you lets any of the men I am placing in your hands escape, it will be your life for his life.”

25 As soon as Jehu had finished making the burnt offering, he ordered the guards and officers: “Go in and kill them; let no one escape.” So they cut them down with the sword. The guards and officers threw the bodies out and then entered the inner shrine of the temple of Baal. 26 They brought the sacred stone out of the temple of Baal and burned it. 27 They demolished the sacred stone of Baal and tore down the temple of Baal, and people have used it for a latrine to this day.

“Demolition of the sacred stone of Baal” by Michelangelo, 1511 (Sistine Chapel, Vatican)

28 So Jehu destroyed Baal worship in Israel. 29 However, he did not turn away from the sins of Jeroboam son of Nebat, which he had caused Israel to commit—the worship of the golden calves at Bethel and Dan.

He got rid of Baal, but he kept the golden calves. Spurgeon says of Jehu here — “Hating one sin, he loved another.”

30 The LORD said to Jehu, “Because you have done well in accomplishing what is right in my eyes and have done to the house of Ahab all I had in mind to do, your descendants will sit on the throne of Israel to the fourth generation.” 31 Yet Jehu was not careful to keep the law of the LORD, the God of Israel, with all his heart. He did not turn away from the sins of Jeroboam, which he had caused Israel to commit.

32 In those days the LORD began to reduce the size of Israel. Hazael overpowered the Israelites throughout their territory 33 east of the Jordan in all the land of Gilead (the region of Gad, Reuben and Manasseh), from Aroer by the Arnon Gorge through Gilead to Bashan.

34 As for the other events of Jehu’s reign, all he did, and all his achievements, are they not written in the book of the annals of the kings of Israel?

35 Jehu rested with his ancestors and was buried in Samaria. And Jehoahaz his son succeeded him as king. 36 The time that Jehu reigned over Israel in Samaria was twenty-eight years.

_________________________

Music:

Time for something a little more uplifting than the deaths of kings and queens and false prophets!  HERE  — Let’s sing about God!

“How Great Thou Art”  sung here by Daniel O’Donnell.

_________________________

New International Version, ©2010 (NIV) Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2010 by Biblica
Images courtesy of:
Ending Ahab’s Line.    http://www.elimbcc.ie/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/blood1.jpeg
heads in baskets.     http://www.bible-topten.com/murder7.jpg
Michelangelo — Ahab.    http://www.christusrex.org/www1/sistine/16-Ahab.jpg
Michelangelo — Baal.    http://www.wga.hu/art/m/michelan/3sistina/8medalli/03_61ms.jpg

1952.) 2 Kings 9

October 25, 2016

“Queen Jezebel being punished by Jehu” by Andrea Celesti

2 Kings 9   (NIV)

Jehu Anointed King of Israel

1 The prophet Elisha summoned a man from the company of the prophets

According to Jewish tradition, this young prophet was Jonah.

and said to him, “Tuck your cloak into your belt, take this flask of olive oil with you and go to Ramoth Gilead. 2 When you get there, look for Jehu son of Jehoshaphat, the son of Nimshi. Go to him, get him away from his companions and take him into an inner room. 3 Then take the flask and pour the oil on his head and declare, ‘This is what the LORD says: I anoint you king over Israel.’ Then open the door and run; don’t delay!”

The current king Joram is the son of Ahab; Ahab’s dynasty is about to come to an end.

4 So the young prophet went to Ramoth Gilead. 5 When he arrived, he found the army officers sitting together. “I have a message for you, commander,” he said.

“For which of us?” asked Jehu.

“For you, commander,” he replied.

6 Jehu got up and went into the house. Then the prophet poured the oil on Jehu’s head

2k9-jehu-anointed

Jehu was a commander in the army of Israel, under King Ahab and his son, King Joram. Jehu was previously anointed as a future king of Israel, who would overthrow the dynasty of Omri and Ahab (1 Kings 19:16-18).  Yet that was a long time previous to this, and now he is anointed again to show that the time of fulfillment of the previous prophecy was now at hand.  He was anointed, but was not to take the throne immediately.  Both Saul and David were anointed as King over Israel before they actually possessed the throne.
–David Guzik

and declared, “This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: ‘I anoint you king over the LORD’s people Israel. 7 You are to destroy the house of Ahab your master, and I will avenge the blood of my servants the prophets and the blood of all the LORD’s servants shed by Jezebel. 8 The whole house of Ahab will perish. I will cut off from Ahab every last male in Israel—slave or free. 9 I will make the house of Ahab like the house of Jeroboam son of Nebat and like the house of Baasha son of Ahijah. 10 As for Jezebel, dogs will devour her on the plot of ground at Jezreel, and no one will bury her.’”

As my mother used to say, “What you put into the lives of others — comes back into your own.” That is bad news for Ahab and Jezebel.

Psalm 7:14-16 (NLT)

The wicked conceive evil;
they are pregnant with trouble
and give birth to lies.
They dig a deep pit to trap others,
then fall into it themselves.
The trouble they make for others backfires on them.
The violence they plan falls on their own heads.

Then he opened the door and ran.

11 When Jehu went out to his fellow officers, one of them asked him, “Is everything all right? Why did this maniac come to you?”

“You know the man and the sort of things he says,” Jehu replied.

12 “That’s not true!” they said. “Tell us.”

Jehu said, “Here is what he told me: ‘This is what the LORD says: I anoint you king over Israel.’”

13 They quickly took their cloaks and spread them under him on the bare steps. Then they blew the trumpet and shouted, “Jehu is king!”

Jehu Kills Joram and Ahaziah

14 So Jehu son of Jehoshaphat, the son of Nimshi, conspired against Joram. (Now Joram and all Israel had been defending Ramoth Gilead against Hazael king of Aram, 15 but King Joram had returned to Jezreel to recover from the wounds the Arameans had inflicted on him in the battle with Hazael king of Aram.) Jehu said, “If you desire to make me king, don’t let anyone slip out of the city to go and tell the news in Jezreel.” 16 Then he got into his chariot and rode to Jezreel, because Joram was resting there and Ahaziah king of Judah had gone down to see him.

17 When the lookout standing on the tower in Jezreel saw Jehu’s troops approaching, he called out, “I see some troops coming.”

“Get a horseman,” Joram ordered. “Send him to meet them and ask, ‘Do you come in peace?’”

18 The horseman rode off to meet Jehu and said, “This is what the king says: ‘Do you come in peace?’”

“What do you have to do with peace?” Jehu replied. “Fall in behind me.”

I have read a couple of different ways to interpret Jehu’s response:
1)  What difference does it make to you?  Why do you care?
2)  How can you talk peace when it is obviously time for war and revolt?

The lookout reported, “The messenger has reached them, but he isn’t coming back.”

19 So the king sent out a second horseman. When he came to them he said, “This is what the king says: ‘Do you come in peace?’”

Jehu replied, “What do you have to do with peace? Fall in behind me.”

20 The lookout reported, “He has reached them, but he isn’t coming back either. The driving is like that of Jehu son of Nimshi—he drives like a maniac.”

My father used the expression “driving like Jehu” to describe anyone driving too fast!

21 “Hitch up my chariot,” Joram ordered. And when it was hitched up, Joram king of Israel and Ahaziah king of Judah rode out, each in his own chariot, to meet Jehu. They met him at the plot of ground that had belonged to Naboth the Jezreelite. 22 When Joram saw Jehu he asked, “Have you come in peace, Jehu?”

“How can there be peace,” Jehu replied, “as long as all the idolatry and witchcraft of your mother Jezebel abound?”

Jehu is overthrowing the current king for the right reasons.

23 Joram turned about and fled, calling out to Ahaziah, “Treachery, Ahaziah!”

24 Then Jehu drew his bow and shot Joram between the shoulders. The arrow pierced his heart and he slumped down in his chariot. 25 Jehu said to Bidkar, his chariot officer, “Pick him up and throw him on the field that belonged to Naboth the Jezreelite. Remember how you and I were riding together in chariots behind Ahab his father when the LORD spoke this prophecy against him: 26 ‘Yesterday I saw the blood of Naboth and the blood of his sons, declares the LORD, and I will surely make you pay for it on this plot of ground, declares the LORD.’ Now then, pick him up and throw him on that plot, in accordance with the word of the LORD.”

Jehu sees himself as fulfilling the word of the Lord against the house of Ahab. And so, at last, Naboth receives justice.

27 When Ahaziah king of Judah saw what had happened, he fled up the road to Beth Haggan. Jehu chased him, shouting, “Kill him too!” They wounded him in his chariot on the way up to Gur near Ibleam, but he escaped to Megiddo and died there. 28 His servants took him by chariot to Jerusalem and buried him with his ancestors in his tomb in the City of David. 29 (In the eleventh year of Joram son of Ahab, Ahaziah had become king of Judah.)

So Jehu has killed the kings of both the Northern Kingdom/Israel and the Southern Kingdom/Judah. All in a day’s work.

Jezebel Killed

30 Then Jehu went to Jezreel. When Jezebel heard about it, she put on eye makeup, arranged her hair and looked out of a window.

Vanity working on a weak head, produces every sort of mischief.
–Jane Austen

31 As Jehu entered the gate, she asked, “Have you come in peace, you Zimri, you murderer of your master?”

32 He looked up at the window and called out, “Who is on my side? Who?” Two or three eunuchs looked down at him. 33 “Throw her down!” Jehu said.

So they threw her down, and some of her blood spattered the wall and the horses as they trampled her underfoot.

The desecration of her body shows their complete disrespect for her.

34 Jehu went in and ate and drank. “Take care of that cursed woman,” he said, “and bury her, for she was a king’s daughter.” 35 But when they went out to bury her, they found nothing except her skull, her feet and her hands. 36 They went back and told Jehu, who said, “This is the word of the LORD that he spoke through his servant Elijah the Tishbite: On the plot of ground at Jezreel dogs will devour Jezebel’s flesh. 37 Jezebel’s body will be like dung on the ground in the plot at Jezreel, so that no one will be able to say, ‘This is Jezebel.’”

_________________________

Music:

From Revelation 2:20, we learn that Jezebel’s name is used as a synonym for great evil:

Nevertheless, I have this against you: You tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophet. By her teaching she misleads my servants into sexual immorality and the eating of food sacrificed to idols.

From Wikipedia:

The name Jezebel came to be associated with false prophets, and further associated by the early 20th century with fallen or abandoned women. In Christian lore, a comparison to Jezebel suggested that a person was a pagan or an apostate masquerading as a servant of God.  By manipulation and/or seduction, she misled the saints of God into sins of idolatry and sexual immorality, sending them to hell.   In particular, Jezebel has come to be associated with promiscuity.  In modern usage, the name of Jezebel is sometimes used as a synonym for sexually promiscuous and sometimes controlling women.  In his two-volume Guide to the Bible (1967 and 1969), Isaac Asimov describes Jezebel’s last act: dressing in all her finery, make-up and jewelry, as deliberately symbolic, indicating her dignity, royal status and determination to go out of this life as a Queen.

From 1951, Frankie Laine sings “Jezebel.”  HERE.

If ever the devil was born,
Without a pair of horns
It was you,
Jezebel, it was you.

If ever an angel fell,
Jezebel,
It was you.
Jezebel, it was you.

If ever a pair of eyes,
Promised paradise.
Deceiving me, grieving me,
Leavin’ me blue.
Jezebel, it was you.

If ever a devil’s plan,
Was made to torment man,
It was you,
Jezebel, it was you.

It would be better I had I never known,
A lover such as you.
Forsaking dreams and all,
For the siren call of your arms.

Like a demon, love possessed me,
You, obsessed me constantly.
What evil star is mine,
That my fate’s design,
Should be…. Jezebel?

If ever a pair of eyes,
Promised paradise.
Deceiving me, grieving me,
Leavin’ me blue.
Jezebel, it was you.

If ever a devil’s plan,
Was made to torment man,
It was you,
Night an’ day, every way.
Jezebel, Jezebel,
Jezebel.

_________________________

New International Version, ©2010 (NIV) Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2010 by Biblica
Images courtesy of:
Celesti.    http://www.wga.hu/art/c/celesti/qjezabel.jpg
Jehu anointed king.   http://www.howgodprovides.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/jehu-anointed-king.jpg
A time for war . . .     http://images.wikia.com/memoryalpha/en/images/4/43/A_Time_for_War_A_Time_for_Peace_cover.jpg
Jehu riding his horse.    https://dwellingintheword.files.wordpress.com/2011/02/jehu2.jpg
eye makeup.    http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2654/3757478700_81d2ae79f2_o.jpg
Jezebel being pushed.     http://www.free-stories.net/images/jezebelbiblestory.jpg