This Week’s Readings
Monday, June 11: 2 Kings 1-5
Tuesday, June 12: 2 Kings 6-10
Wednesday, June 13: 2 Kings 11-15
Thursday, June 14: 2 Kings 16-20
Friday, June 14: 2 Kings 21-25
Next week we will read Ecclesiastes and Song of Solomon.
The overall year’s plan is here.
2 Kings 6
The Lord was apparently giving the king of Israel (probably Jehoram) an opportunity to choose the right path. The first time the king of Aram came to Israel, God helped the king through Elisha even without the king asking. The next time, the king got no help at all. Amazingly, he wanted to blame Elisha for that!!!
The circumstances of the siege were horrifying. I won’t repeat any of them here.
2 Kings 7
God delivers Samaria again through Elisha. In this case, the king had to go to Elisha and appeal to him. He appealed in an unusual way, threatening Elisha’s life, but God decided to answer.
2 Kings 8
God answered the king in chapter 7, but he put a 7-year famine on the land in this chapter. It didn’t cause Jehoram of Israel to repent at all.
Ahaziah of Judah starts his reign in this chapter and reigns for one year. The year is 843 B.C. or something very close to that. Just over 150 years have passed since David began to reign.
2 Kings 9
It’s interesting to note that the captains who were with Jehu referred to the prophet as a madman (v. 11). I have always wondered about the appearance of Israelite prophets. We simply see black and white words on a page, printed in a professional font and professionally bound. The Israelites saw prophets who laid on one side for almost a year (Ezekiel 4:4-6) and walked naked for three years prophesying that Israel would go into captivity "with their buttocks uncovered" (Isaiah 20:4).
Jehu assassinates both the king of Judah and the king of Israel, but he only ascends to the throne of Israel.
2 Kings 10
Jehu calls himself zealous for Yahweh, and he kills all the worshipers of Baal. He destroys the temple of Baal. But he kept the golden calves at Dan and Bethel. He’s the closest thing to a righteous king that Israel had, despite the vast amount of assassinations at the start of his reign.
In ancient Jewish culture, the word "zeal" or "zealous" is tied to violence. Jehu was zealous for Yahweh by killing Yahweh’s enemies. The Maccabees (from the Apocrypha, found in Catholic Bibles) were zealous by fighting against Greek kings. Even Paul said that before he was a Christian he was zealous because he persecuted the church (Php. 3:6).