Epistles of Thomas

August 25, 2009

2 Kings 1-3

Filed under: Old Testament — Thomas @ 11:59
Tags: , , , , ,

2 Kings begins with the wickedness of Ahaziah who sought help from Baal-Zebub instead of the Lord. When informed of his error he demanded that Elijah appear before him. His arrogant soldiers attempted to order Elijah around, disbelieving that he was truly a prophet and the first two groups were consumed by fire from heaven. A third group was led by a captain who feared the repercussions of mistreating Elijah and brought him back to the king where he pronounced the same judgement as before. As announced, Ahaziah died from his injuries.

In chapter 2 Elijah is taken up to heaven in a fiery chariot and Elisha inherits a double portion of the spirit of the Lord. The other prophets recognise that Elisha has inherited the spirit of Elijah but they still insist on sending 50 men to look for him (At least no one can accuse Elisha of killing Elijah and hiding the body.) The chapter ends with 42 boys being mauled by two bears after they jeered Elisha saying, “Get out of here, baldy!” Some have used this story as evidence that the OT contains terrible stories of vengeance. Critics fail to consider that Elisha represented the Lord God and to tell him to get lost was tantamount to telling God Almighty to get lost. May died in the wilderness during the Exodus for this attitude and this chapter links with the Exodus in that Elisha has just inherited the Spirit of the Lord and used Elijah’s cloak to divide the Jordan (v14).

The third chapter recounts how Moab revolted and the kings of Israel, Judah, and Edom went to fight against the Moabites. However, they were soon running low on water and inquired of Elisha over what to do. He respected the king of Judah so he replied that the Lord would provide both water and victory in the morning. The water came and the Moabites saw it gleaming and thought the three kings’ armies had fought and left the ground bloody. They were therefore surprised to find their enemy waiting for them and were soundly defeated. The king of Moab offered his firstborn son as a sacrifice on the city wall (something which demonstrated their debauchery).

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