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Episode 257: Pete Enns – Pete Ruins 1 Kings


Pete

You’re listening to the Bible for Regular Individuals, the one God-ordained podcast on the web. I’m Pete Enns.

Jared 

And I’m Jared Byas.

Intro 

[Intro music begins]

Pete 

Hey of us, we’re actually excited to allow you to all know that John for Regular Individuals, the most recent guide in our commentary sequence is popping out tomorrow, Tuesday, October tenth.

Jared 

On this commentary, Jennifer Garcia Bashaw explores what we’d find out about Jesus after we’re attentive to the textual content and the theological world of John’s gospel.

Pete 

Yeah, completely. And the guide unpacks problems with authorship, relationship, redaction historical past, cultural and social context, historic background, and narrative criticism to uncover Jesus because the writer of John’s gospel, understood him.

Jared 

So you will get it wherever you get your books, however you understand, help your native bookstore, purchase it on-line from a type of locations, bookshop.org or anyplace you get them, actually. Simply ensure you do it tomorrow, which is October tenth, and don’t overlook to depart a evaluation in the event you prefer it—in the event you don’t prefer it, don’t depart a evaluation.

Pete 

Properly of us, it’s simply me, Pete, at the moment on the podcast, and welcome again to our stroll by means of the Deuteronomistic Historical past, particularly, at the moment, we’re going to give attention to 1 Kings, which is the story of the start of the top for Israel’s monarchy.

Pete 

[Teaser clip plays over music] “First and Second Kings are the work of some individuals who had entry to, and have been culling, the royal annals. However not simply to repeat them, slightly they crafted the story as they noticed match. First and Second Kings tells the story of the failed monarchy and most significantly, why it failed, and who the primary figures have been, who have been liable for that failure.”

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Pete 

Now we left off in 2 Samuel with the story of David’s conflicted reign—you understand, he was hardly a poster boy of religion in God. However there was one factor he didn’t do this his successors nearly all did, and that the author right here by no means tires of condemning, and that’s deviant worship of God. Like worshiping different gods or worshiping Yahweh the way in which the gods of Canaan are worshiped, like by means of excessive locations slightly than by means of a centralized temple. That’s the central theme of First and Second Kings. This complete enterprise of what these kings have carried out to not adhere to the strict laws concerning the worship of Yahweh.

Pete 

Now, chances are you’ll recall that the Deuteronomistic Historical past is an instructional title given to the books of Joshua, Judges, First and Second Samuel, and First and Second Kings, as a result of these books replicate sure theological themes which are current in…Properly, the guide of Deuteronomy, therefore Deuteronomistic Historical past. And particularly, the theme that actually is pushed is the significance of, as I simply mentioned, correct worship of God. So which means centralized within the temple slightly than the excessive locations scattered in regards to the land, and actually, which means eradicating the excessive locations so no one’s tempted to worship Yahweh or international gods on sacred land. So the king’s obligation is to uphold that ultimate and lurking behind all of it is a system actually of rewards and punishments for Israel’s obedience and disobedience regarding worship. And people themes discover their means prominently into the Deuteronomistic Historical past.

Pete 

Now, 1 and a pair of Kings brings us to the conclusion of the Deuteronomistic Historical past. And it’s secure to say that Israel’s kings, in keeping with the analysis, at the very least, of the Deuteronomistic historian—you understand, the putative author or editor of this assortment of books—however these kings usually did a really poor job, certainly, of sticking with this system. And what we learn is one after the opposite kings who simply didn’t do their job in the entire worship class factor, and all this takes place within the context of a nationwide tragedy. And that’s the division of the united monarchy after the dying of Solomon, which is a part of the motion of First Kings, after which the division of the monarchy into northern and southern nations, after which the eventual exile of each—and we’ll get to that half in Second Kings.

Pete 

Now the writer—let’s simply name him the writer, it’s actually arduous to inform typically the place authorship begins and modifying ends, however functionally, the one who compiled all these items, we’ll simply need to name this individual an writer, alright?—so the writer recounts the story right here of the northern nation known as Israel, amongst different issues, which went into exile then in 722 BCE by the hands of the Assyrians, by no means to return. These are—you’ve heard the phrase—the misplaced tribes of Israel. That is the northern nation as a result of they went to exile they usually by no means returned, proper?

Now the southern nation is the tribe of Judah, and subsequently the nation is known as Judah, and it met the same destiny however by the hands of the Babylonians in 586 BCE. The large distinction being that the Judahites did return to the land in 539 BCE, about 47 years later, and Second Kings ends with a scene from inside Babylon itself: the discharge from jail of King Jehoiakim, which occurred round 550 BCE, which tells us that First and Second Kings, as we all know them, as we all know these books sitting in our Bibles, these books have been written at the very least after the onset of the Babylonian exile, if not a while maybe lengthy after.

Pete 

Now bear in mind additionally from earlier episodes, that these two books have been initially one guide however obtained divided into two after the Israelites adopted the Greek language—which is round 300 BCE—and finally additionally the approaching into existence of what’s known as the Codex, which is a guide kind slightly than a scroll kind. And for these causes, the Ebook of Kings grew to become too cumbersome and was break up into two. Anyway, these two books take us from the top of David’s life and the rise of Solomon, all the way in which to the discharge of Jehoiachin, so from in regards to the 960s BCE to the 550s BCE, roughly 400 years.

Pete 

Now, in fact, you understand, at the moment we’re gonna give attention to first Kings, like I maintain saying, so let’s get to it, proper—which ends round 850 BC, that’s the place First Kings, that’s the place the motion ends. And so it covers a couple of hundred years, the primary quarter of the divided monarchy. Now, as you understand, I like outlines of books and First Kings is fairly simple to stipulate. The primary 11 chapters cowl the occasions main as much as the top of the united monarchy. So we learn right here about David’s dying, after which the succession of Solomon and his reign and the way that went. In order that’s 1-11. The second half—chapters 12-22—the second half covers the primary 73 years, roughly, of the divided monarchy. And the storyteller usually does this in First and Second Kings, he weaves forwards and backwards between the accounts of northern and southern kings. By the way in which, this is the reason a Bible with subheadings, [Hums], I can’t say this strongly sufficient, of us—particularly in the event you’re new to this—a Bible with subheadings, like little headings contained in the chapters themselves, could be very useful as a result of it might probably make it a bit simpler to skim these chapters and see who all is being talked about. If you understand, coming throughout 40 names in two books is complicated, and it must be [Chuckles], particularly if a variety of the kings begin with J or M or A. Alright, so it’s only a lot to absorb.

Pete 

Anyway, after Solomon’s dying within the 920s BCE, the Northern/Southern kingdoms arose. And with every nation sporting a complete of 20 kings. Which is a suspiciously neat quantity for each nations, however let’s depart that to the facet right here. Every nation had 20 kings, though the North lasted a mere 2 hundred years—bear in mind they’re exiled in 722—whereas the Southern nation held on for about one other 130 years to 586. So the Northern kings usually reign for—name me Captain Apparent—a shorter time period, partly as a result of there have been quite a few violent coups within the North. So in First Kings, we meet eight Northern kings, which includes 4 dynasties, 4 dynasty shifts due to these coups, however solely 4 Southern kings.

Pete 

Now, one other enjoyable reality about these kings, which I simply alluded to, is that the Southern kings have been all of 1 lineage, the home of David, that means descended from David. The North, nevertheless, had its share of army coups, leading to no fewer than 9 dynasties, the longest being a couple of hundred years in size, and the shortest actually a couple of week. So a variety of political turmoil within the North, and far much less within the South, which claimed the Davidic, united form of Davidic lineage. And recall, David is from what tribe? Properly, he’s from the tribe of Judah, and that’s the title by which the nation is referred to.

Pete 

Now, as we’re getting right into a extra detailed have a look at the guide, let me simply point out right here a bit extra about its manufacturing. Its authorship, who wrote First Kings precisely, and when, are questions that I imagine can’t actually be answered with nice confidence, though as I discussed, the individual or individuals accountable are very a lot on Crew Deuteronomy, proper? They’re espousing that theology, they usually lived after the Babylonian exile start, on the very least, proper. The story of Jehoiachin round 550 BCE, and that scene that ends the guide of Second Kings. So to jot down their historical past, these editors and authors, what they did is that they—and that is very clear within the textual content itself—they drew on some early texts that aren’t identified to us, aside from they’re being talked about in first and second Kings. And these texts are courtroom annals, the documentation of the goings on at courtroom and the three courtroom annals which are talked about in First and Second Kings are “The Ebook of the Acts of Solomon,” and different is “The Books of the annals of the Kings of Israel,” after which a 3rd “The Books of the annals of the Kings of Judah.” So every nation had their very own courtroom stenographer copying down what persons are doing, what’s taking place. And naturally, we do this at the moment, America does this, you understand, we have now tapes the Presidents get into hassle with anyway. And “The Ebook of the Acts of Solomon,” clearly, that’s regarding Solomon’s reign. So these are sources of knowledge for the writers of the Deuteronomistic historical past. And now with that, what we’ll do, is we’ll see—I imply, we gained’t see, however in the event you learn the books themselves, you will note—that a few of the narratives of the kings finish was one thing like, you understand, I’m paraphrasing, clearly, however, “Properly, that’s all I’m gonna say about this man. And if you wish to know extra, please seek the advice of “The Books of the Annals of the Kings of Israel,” and so forth.”

Pete 

Now, I’m elevating this to make a hopefully clear level, however I feel an vital one. First and Second Kings are the work of some individual or group of individuals, who had entry to and have been culling the royal annals, however not simply to repeat them, slightly, they crafted the story as they noticed match for his or her wants. They have been telling a narrative, not the one story one might inform of the monarchy, thoughts you. However their story, which to pare it down comes all the way down to this: First and Second Kings tells the story of the failed monarchy, and most significantly, why it failed, and who the primary figures have been, who have been liable for that failure.

Pete 

Now, one factor that’s so complicated about First and Second Kings is that they talked about a variety of names and it’s arduous to maintain monitor of who’s who. You realize, particularly in case you have 40 kings, and actually, I counted 24 that start with the letter A or J. And typically kings from the totally different nations have the identical title, that occurs a pair instances. So let’s simply carry this beneath a little bit of management right here, as a result of I like attempting to make order out of chaos after I learn a few of these issues. However First Kings orbits actually across the actions of 4 important figures, after which half one—once more, that’s chapters 1-11—that important determine there’s Solomon. And he’s the final king, the third and final king of the united monarchy. And it talks about his contribution to the division, issues began off fairly effectively however then they went bitter fairly shortly, as effectively. After which there’s Jeroboam, he’s the primary Northern king. And he’s vastly maligned by this biblical author. And he’s launched partly one, and he will get some vital airtime additionally partly two. Now, David, who’s a giant title within the Bible, he dies in chapter two, however he’s actually a minor character in First Kings. His important job is to form of go on the monarchy to Solomon, one way or the other, that’s his solely function, after which he dies.

Now, partly two, the primary figures are—there are two important figures—a king and a prophet. That’s King Ahab, and his nemesis, his thorn within the facet, the prophet Elijah, one of many extra standard characters, I feel, within the Hebrew Bible. And this author, he clearly has a serious drawback with Ahab, and together with Ahab and Elijah are two minor figures Naboth and Micaiah—I say minor, not as a result of they’re unimportant, they’re all vital from what the writer tries to say, however I’m unsure if we’re gonna have the time to discover these narratives. Possibly that’s a time. There’s a podcast for that at some future time. We’ll see.

Pete 

Anyway, let’s flip to half one, and stroll by means of a few of the key moments. Proper, right here we go. So first, let’s speak about David for a second, though he’s a minor character. He’s very outdated. So outdated, actually—this all the time will get me—{that a} Shunamite girl named Abishag is assigned the function of retaining him heat at night time. Now, the author makes it clear that David didn’t know her sexually and she or he’s actually talked about, I feel, to arrange what comes subsequent within the narrative which is Adonijah’s try to succeed David—Adonijah was one in every of David’s sons and he needed the throne for himself. And in all equity Adonijah is the eldest remaining son of David, at the very least that appears to be the case within the narrative. However Solomon is seemingly the one chosen by David and by God, which predictably doesn’t sit effectively with this different brother, Adonijah. Now I don’t wish to get into form of thick weeds right here however in earlier podcasts, we’ve talked about how the Hebrew Bible has this very fascinating theme that begins all the way in which with the Cain and Abel story about God’s choice for the youthful siblings, form of leapfrogging over the elder siblings. And also you see that with Moses and with Joseph, and right here we see it with, we noticed it with David really, when he was the youngest of seven and but he was capable of turn out to be king. And right here too, Solomon will not be the elder son however he’s the youthful son. So there it’s, once more, the identical theme of God preferring the youthful over the elder, which is form of bucking the system a bit.

Pete 

So anyway, Adonijah, he’s not likely blissful. So what does he do? Properly, he holds a really public spectacle to make himself king, which makes the pro-Solomon faction a bit bit nervous. So David makes it fairly clear to Bathsheba—Solomon’s mom—that “No, no, Solomon might be king,” after which he dies. This opens the door for Adonijah and so he approaches Bathsheba—once more, the Queen and his stepmother—with, you understand, an harmless request. He’d actually wish to take Bathsheba as his personal consort, concubine, no matter. And never simply to maintain him, you understand, platonically heat at night time, because it was with David, by claiming the king’s concubine [Hums], he’s laying declare to the throne. Sure, sir. That’s what he’s doing. And so Bathsheba, for some motive, simply doesn’t get it. She doesn’t detect this little bit of subterfuge and political savviness on the a part of Adonijah. So she consults with Solomon to get his opinion. And his opinion [Chuckles] was to get a bit bit upset of the very thought that Adonijah would request of Bathsheba that he be given David’s concubine and Solomon will get a bit bit snarky, right here he says, you understand, mainly, “Positive, mother, nice thought. You realize, why don’t you simply give him the crown when you’re at it? As a result of that’s what he’s asking for.” So Solomon says, “I’ll deal with this,” and he sends his normal Benaiah to kill his half-brother and the overall Joab. Getting his opposition out of the way in which, and he banishes—doesn’t kill—however he banishes the priest who supported Adonijah, in order that’s Abiathar. So you’ve gotten the overall killed, however the priest is exiled, you simply don’t kill clergymen, however you need to get the opposition out of the way in which. And the 2 important areas of opposition can be army and spiritual. So you bought to get a deal with on that. Proper. So Abiathar was banished and Joab is killed and that is actual Recreation of Thrones stuff right here, of us. And lengthy story brief, all opposition has been handled in Solomon is now within the clear.

Pete 

So regardless of these violent beginnings, Solomon’s reign started on a useful observe. He’s famously identified for his knowledge, and you may see this in chapter three of First Kings and the very well-known story of, bear in mind, the 2 girls who every declare that the infant was theirs and so Solomon mentioned, “Properly, let’s lower it in half so you may every have him,” [Chuckles] Proper? Understanding that this could make the true mom beg for his life. In order that’s an actual present of knowledge to unravel an actual life drawback and kings are identified for his or her knowledge within the historical world. So a smart king is strictly what you need. And that’s how Solomon’s reign begins. It’s marked by knowledge, a main attribute of all good kings, biblical, and elsewhere within the historical world, proper. In actual fact, as chances are you’ll recall, Solomon famously selected knowledge over wealth. Likewise, in chapter three, he was given a selection by God, he says, “I wish to select knowledge, as a result of if I’ve knowledge, wealth will include it. But when I simply select wealth, I don’t have knowledge and I can’t be king.” So very effectively carried out. Solomon, you’re a promising man, so good to get to know you. Let’s see the place this goes.

Pete 

Okay. Right here’s the issue, in contrast to Saul and David earlier than him—bear in mind, Saul was the primary king then David, after which Solomon—in contrast to these two guys who’re extra army leaders… They weren’t- They have been kings, however not likely, not within the full-blown sense of a king over a nation. They have been extra army leaders. Solomon was actually the primary actual king, that means he has an administration—you may examine that in chapter 4 if you need—he has a standing military, he has levied taxes, and different issues. And right here’s the purpose: these are the very issues that we have been warned about all the way in which again in First Samuel, chapter eight. When the folks—proper, that is proper after the interval of the Judges and Samuel is there and the folks needed a King like each different nation, and Samuel learn them the Riot Act by telling them the sorts of issues that kings will impose. Properly, right here with Solomon, the narrator is form of saying it quietly, however he’s demonstrating that we’re seeing, at the very least at this level, a few of these, let’s say excesses are a part of Solomon’s reign. A lot so, once more, I don’t wish to get into this, it’s a bit bit… It could actually get a bit furry. However I actually do assume First Samuel, chapter eight, and the condemnation of those unhealthy issues that kings do, I feel they mirror so intently Solomon’s deeds, particularly in a while, as we’ll get to it, that I don’t assume it’s an accident. I feel the story of First Samuel was written in gentle of the reign of Solomon, and what occurred there. Bear in mind, that is the Deuteronomistic Historical past and we’re studying traditions of tales that have been compiled, after which spun, for lack of a greater phrase, put collectively in a sure method to make a sure level. So already signaling in First Samuel chapter eight that Solomon goes to be an issue is a part of the design of those books, it’s to get you considering.

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Pete 

So anyway, like I mentioned, we’re getting clues early on to the place all that is headed. Once more, in chapter 4, we learn a really boring record of Solomon’s directors, and skip it if you’ll, however simply know that Solomon has a listing of directors. That’s new, proper? That’s as a result of he’s the king. I imply, what might presumably go mistaken with a constructing filled with directors, proper? [Hums]

Subsequent—and we’re nonetheless in chapter 4—we learn of Solomon’s blessed rule, proper? The author introduces this part by saying the next, he says, “Judah and Israel have been as quite a few because the sand of the ocean; they ate and drank and have been blissful. Solomon was sovereign over all of the kingdoms from the Euphrates to the land of the Philistines, even to the border of Egypt; they introduced tribute and served Solomon all the times of his life.” That is most likely an exaggerated account of Solomon, however you understand, it’s not a foul praise. And I feel leaders are alleged to take that critically and say, sure, Solomon was superior.

Pete 

However you gotta learn fastidiously, and typically just a bit bit between the traces, as a result of a couple of verses later, as we examine all of the stuff Solomon has, we learn this, “Solomon additionally had forty thousand stalls of horses for his chariots, and twelve thousand horsemen. These officers equipped provisions for King Solomon and for all who got here to King Solomon’s desk, each on his month; they let nothing be missing.” Now, if we harken again to a different passage that I discussed periodically as we speak in regards to the Deuteronomistic Historical past, and that’s Deuteronomy 17, proper? And after we harken again to that, one factor kings are usually not alleged to have is a variety of horses. Fairly specific there, of all of the issues to say, that’s what’s talked about. Solomon’s acts listed below are bringing him into pressure with Deuteronomy, chapter 17. Additional, these twelve thousand horsemen had the job of bringing to Solomon wanted provides for Solomon and his company. The query is, how did they get them? Stopping off on the grocery retailer? Most likely not. Performing some farming on the facet? Most likely not. Asking folks politely if they might thoughts giving their hard-earned stuff to Solomon? Most likely not. My cash is on there having merely taken what they wanted—which is the very factor that Samuel warns about in First Samuel, chapter eight.

Pete 

Now Solomon’s slide into infamy, which is what’s taking place, it will get a bit clearer as we proceed studying. Now, simply the highlights right here, as a result of there’s loads to do, however simply to get the gist of it—first, Solomon makes provisions for constructing the temple, which is nice and promising and by all counts, the temple winds up being fairly lovely—and one wouldn’t be faulted, nevertheless, for asking, “Yeah, it’s lovely, however when does magnificence cross over to opulence?” See, one other factor Deuteronomy 17 warns about is amassing an excessive amount of gold and silver. However nonetheless, we are able to let that slide for now. He’s obtained a pleasant template, a variety of gold and silver over there. However let’s simply let him slide. Let’s simply maintain going. So we’ll see the place this goes.

On the finish of chapter six, we’re informed it took Solomon a whopping seven years to construct the temple, which is all positive and good. However within the very subsequent verse, chapter seven, verse one, we’re informed that he took 13 years constructing his palace. Now, once more, let’s give the man a break, you understand, the palace most likely must be greater than the temple with all these directors and the courtroom and all that form of stuff. However nonetheless, it’s nearly twice as lengthy taking good care of his personal home slightly than the home of God. And it’s actually, actually opulent. Now, once more, I’m sympathetic as a result of everyone knows that, you understand, a CEO can’t be driving a Chevy Chevette and be taken critically proper? A king wants good digs, however nonetheless, the thought is being planted into the reader’s head is “is that this getting out of hand?” And I feel by chapter seven, the readers must be asking themselves that query. [Hums]

Pete 

So after the temple is devoted, which is topped by a really lengthy and pious prayer by Solomon, God seems to him once more and reminds him that he’s anticipated to steer Israel in all righteousness, particularly the correct worship of God and if not, effectively, guess what? There might be penalties, particularly exile. What follows subsequent is the well-known story of the Queen of Sheba, and her go to of Solomon. And she or he desires to see if the rumors are true, proper. “I heard this man’s superb, he’s improbable.” And you understand, and the rumors are true, she finds what an important king that is. Solomon has a variety of stuff. And he simply couldn’t assist however brag about it to her. See, the strain right here of the story is that kings once more, need to look the half. See, I feel there’s one thing inevitable about kingship within the thoughts of the Deuteronomistic Historian, that makes it an issue. As a result of you need to look the half, kings can’t be dressed as peasants. They need to have workers, they need to have a standing military, they need to have taxes, and kings need to look the half. And that features primarily having stuff, so the author form of drops hints. However there have been additionally praises for Solomon for having all these items. Prefer it’s an indication of God’s favor.

Pete 

So is it proper or is it mistaken for a king to have stuff? And I feel the reply is it relies upon. However it most likely doesn’t finish effectively on the finish of the day. However you understand, such is the paradox of wealth within the Bible as an entire, typically it’s a snare. And typically it’s a blessing. You possibly can learn all about that in Proverbs. However as we attain the story of the Queen of Sheba and the aftermath, I feel ambiguity, I feel it begins to clear up a bit bit. In chapter 10, we get an extended record of Solomon’s stuff. And you may examine this in chapter 10, verses 14-29. And there, the writer claims it’s an indication of God’s blessing. However for anybody who has learn Deuteronomy 17, and First Samuel eight, this record can’t assist however make you a bit nervous. It’s nearly as if the author is placing us ready of seeing the strain, and asking us to make our personal minds about how Solomon is doing.

Pete 

However then subsequent, the lid is blown off. And it’s simply, you may see issues for what they are surely and the place all this has taken Solomon. Proper there, Solomon does the worst factor he might have carried out. He amassed seven hundred wives and 300 concubines, which, in fact, is an exaggeration, however I feel that’s the purpose [Chuckles] that the writer is attempting to make. It is a actually unhealthy dude at this level. He’s obtained seven hundred wives and 300 concubines, who led Solomon astray. Why? As a result of to appease his international wives, he started constructing excessive locations, not tearing them down, however constructing excessive locations in Israel, so his international wives might worship their gods. A lot for the king upholding the Deuteronomistic ultimate of centralized worship to Yahweh alone. And that settled the rating for God. For these acts, what we learn is that God guarantees to tear the dominion away from Solomon and provides it to another person. We’ll get to him in a minute. However it’s for David’s sake, as a result of David was so superior. What made him superior? He didn’t advocate false worship. He didn’t do something like that, proper. So for David’s sake, Solomon, regardless of his issues, Solomon will retain the one tribe of Judah as his kingdom. And that is the place the nations of Israel and Judah have been born.

Pete 

So that is the theological clarification for the division of the monarchy selling false worship. This is the reason the division of the monarchy occurred, due to that act of false spiritual worship.

Now, this follows nevertheless, this story follows with one other clarification, a second, a twin clarification and this one is rather more political in nature. And it considerations a man by the title of Jeroboam, a sure Jeroboam, a Northerner and accountable for Solomon’s laborers, who’re disproportionately Northern, by the way in which, and he rebels in opposition to Solomon and is promised by the prophet Ahijah that he’ll obtain the majority of the dominion for his personal. So Jeroboam, he’s going to be the primary king of the Northern kingdom, proper? So at this level, Solomon dies and his son, Rehoboam—attempt to not get too confused right here, of us [Chuckles]—by the way in which, a bit mnemonic, you understand Jeroboam and Rehoboam, they’re the primary kings of the North and the South, the divided monarchy. Rehoboam of the South and Jeroboam of the North and it could be very nice if a Jeroboam with a J have been the king of Judah, however he’s not. As a result of the Bible simply desires to confuse us. So simply assume that you understand, “Is Jeroboam north or south?” Properly, it could be good if he have been from Judah, however he’s not. So Jeroboam is North, Rehoboam is South, okay, that was only a PSA for you.

Pete 

Anyway, Jeroboam, in a politically tactful transfer, and I might say a slightly mature transfer, he has an viewers with Rehoboam, who remains to be the king of the united monarchy. Proper, the break up hasn’t fairly occurred but. And he goes to Rehoboam and he says, in impact, you understand, “Your dad, Solomon was actually harsh with us Northerners, so how about we determine this out? Let’s make a deal, that in the event you deal with us higher, we are going to work arduous for you.” So Rehoboam, apparently he’s a younger king, he consults with the elder counselors, who inform him, in no unsure phrases, to take the deal. Preserve peace, take the deal, don’t be a jerk. Sadly, [Hums] Rehoboam thought he’d ask his buddies what they thought he ought to do, they usually endorsed that this could be a good time to throw his weight round by telling Jeroboam, “You thought my dad was imply? You haven’t seen something but.” Really, what they informed him to say was, “My little finger is larger than my father’s loins,” which is a Hebrew idiom for mainly—and you understand, younger kids ought to depart the room now, on the rely of three to 1—it means my penis is larger than my dad’s. Not a smart response, trusting his frat buddies slightly than seasoned elders of the courtroom. So predictably, that didn’t go over effectively. Jeroboam mentioned, “Nice, I gave you an opportunity, so I’m going to take all the opposite tribes which have been promised to me by the prophet, and which outnumber you vastly, by the way in which, and we’re simply gonna go do our factor. Good luck, hopefully don’t have too many battles.” And so they do.

Pete 

Now, alert listeners right here, as I’m telling the story, can have seen that in citing Jeroboam and the division of the monarchy, we have now slid over to Half Two of First Kings, the place the primary characters are Ahab, a king of Israel within the line of Omari, and his nemesis, Elijah. However earlier than we get there, we’re form of partly two—Jeroboam straddles each—we see one thing in chapters 12-14 that can colour the remainder of the story.

Pete 

Now, Jeroboam rightly realizes that for his kingdom to have an opportunity, they want their very own type of Yahweh worship, which is an issue. Why? As a result of the temple is in judahite nation. However Jeroboam wants an alternate cult, because it’s known as, now, that’s obtained nothing to do with how we consider cults. It’s a technical time period if you’re learning religions, particularly of antiquity. And cult means something having to do with worship, like a temple, pre sacrifices, symbols, sacred relics, issues like that. So in fact, that transfer, to arrange an alternate cult within the North, that transfer will run afoul of the Deuteronomistic Historian who’s, as I’ve talked about many instances, is useless set in opposition to any form of alternate cult.

See, the Deuteronomistic Historian has Jeroboam in a bind. Jeroboam wants an alternate cult to kind the nation that God gave to him. See, you don’t have a cult-less nation within the historical world. However he’s not allowed to ascertain an alternate cult, as a result of that violates the ideology of those that are writing the story. I imply, do you observe me? It is a horrible state of affairs. We’re getting form of a robust arm model of the story, it appears, as informed by the Deuteronomistic Historian who’s on the facet of Judah as a result of he was a Southerner. Jeroboam might have been given most of Israel as a present from God, however by golly, it has no likelihood however to fail. And this won’t finish effectively for Jeroboam within the North. In actual fact, the Deuteronomistic Historian retains evaluating the Northern kings as having adopted in Jeroboam’s sinful footsteps.

Pete 

So there’s a pressure right here, the place Jeroboam is given these 10 tribes as a northern nation, and when he tries to be king over them, it might probably’t assist however fail, and every thing he did was sinful. And there’s a motive why folks refer to those tales as having a propagandistic component to them, which is one thing we’ve talked about in one other episode. So anyway, to ascertain this alternate cult, what does he do? He units up two calves of gold, one in Dan, which is the northernmost metropolis of the North, after which Beth-el, the southernmost metropolis of the North. Why two? Properly, he’s marking the nation’s territory, saying these golden calves symbolize the northern Yahweh territory.

Pete 

And we must be cautious right here, you understand, we examine somebody establishing calves and we conclude, “Properly, that is false worship.” Properly—which it’s, in keeping with the prophets and the Deuteronomistic Historian, however don’t assume he’s establishing an alternate faith with an alternate God. See, the calves symbolize Yahweh’s presence within the North. Now, hopefully, this may remind a few of you of one other story involving Yahweh and a calf and that’s the story of the golden calf in Exodus 32. Now in each tales, the calves don’t symbolize international gods, however they’re representations of Israel’s God in animal kind, which is a quite common factor within the historical world. However there’s a extra vital overlap between these two tales and I would like to say it as a result of it offers us a way of the intricacies of the modifying of the Hebrew Bible.

Pete 

In line with First Kings 12—that is in verse 28—when Jeroboam arrange the 2 calves, he says to the folks, “You’ve gone as much as Jerusalem lengthy sufficient. Listed below are your gods, O Israel, who introduced you up out of the land of Egypt.” Clearly “gods” is plural, as a result of there are two of them. The odd factor is that in Exodus 32, bear in mind, that’s the golden calf episode, when Aaron builds the calf whereas Moses is up on Mount Sinai. He says to the folks, not “That is your God, O Israel, who introduced you out of the land of Egypt.” He says, “These are your gods, O Israel, who introduced you up out of the land of Egypt.” Be aware the plural, which on this story doesn’t match as a result of there is just one calf. Individuals have contemplated this and it is a quite common conclusion folks come to: these tales are linked in some sense. As if the Bible’s editors needed their readers to have an “aha” second right here studying Exodus, the place one thing is said that is mindless grammatically, which might level them towards the story of Jeroboam’s calves. Okay, I hope that makes some sense. Let me- I can put this a unique means: Jeroboam’s act is tied by the Deuteronomistic Historian to the golden calf story. Jeroboam’s act is as unhealthy as that disastrous incident in Moses’s day that nearly derailed your entire nation. And the editors, they get that concept throughout by placing awkward grammar into Aaron’s mouth, that echoes First Kings chapter 12.

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Pete 

There’s one other second within the Jeroboam story—which by the way in which, spans chapters 11-14—and there’s one other component although, that’s occupied biblical students and that is the incident with the quote, “man of God,” which is a means of speaking a couple of prophet. And this man of God from Judah, David territory, proper. This prophet tells Jeroboam that sooner or later, Josiah, from the road of David will defile these altars that Jeroboam had constructed. Josiah lived about 300 years after the time of Jeroboam and so some learn this as a tremendous instance of prophecy. And I perceive the motivation for studying the story this manner. However there’s one other means that makes rather more sense to me.

Pete 

Bear in mind, the authorship of the Deuteronomistic Historical past. That didn’t come to an finish till at the very least the sixth century, and even later. You might also know that Josiah, who reveals up on the finish of Second Kings, is completely one of the best of the 40 kings of the North and South. He was probably the most Deuteronomic of Kings as a result of he cleaned up the cult, and introduced again strict Deuteronomic practices. He’s the hero of First and Second Kings. My place—and that is the widespread one—is that the exilic, post-exilic editors or authors of the Deuteronomistic Historical past, they injected their hero into this primordial sinful act—Jeroboam’s alternate cult—and thus they’re pointing us to their central character who’s going to scrub all this up, Josiah.

Pete 

Now, Jeroboam, he does have a tough time in First Kings and after being informed that his sinful deeds might be handled by Josiah, he will get a few prophetic forehead beatings, however he refuses to show from his evil methods. And subsequent he meets the Prophet Ahijah, who tells him his dynasty will finish shortly as we are going to discover out with the dying of his son Nadab, that’s the top of the primary lineage, finish of the primary dynasty. And in addition his younger son—that is Jeroboam’s younger son, Abijah, he additionally dies within the story. This isn’t vibe for Jeroboam. It’s a really troubled man with a troubled kingship as depicted by the Deuteronomistic Historian.

Pete 

And as I mentioned, you understand, Jeroboam winds up being the poster baby within the Deuteronomistic Historical past for disobedience to God. Towards the top of the story, we learn the next phrases from the prophet Ahijah, and that is chapter 14, verses 15-16. He says, “The Lord will strike Israel, as a reed is shaken within the water; he’ll root up Israel,” that’s the North proper, “out of this good land that he gave to the ancestors, and scatter them past the Euphrates,” that’s the river. That is speaking in regards to the Assyrian exile in 722. And he’ll scatter them, quote, “as a result of they’ve made their sacred poles,” that are cultic objects of worship, that are upsetting the Lord to anger “He,” the Lord “will give Israel up,” Why? “Due to the sins of Jeroboam, which he sinned during which he induced Israel to commit.” So Jeroboam is the trigger for the exile of the North, just like the story of the person of God and Josiah, right here, too, we’re seeing some modifying work by somebody dwelling after the occasions of 722 and pinning all of it on false worship of Yahweh by the North.

Pete 

Okay, let’s transfer forward a couple of chapters to the story of Ahab and Elijah. And that’s chapter 17 and it takes us to just about the top of First Kings.

Pete 

So first, let’s speak about King Ahab. Properly, he’s the son of Omri, who, at the very least in keeping with hints we get from archaeology, was a very massive deal—Omri, I imply, was a giant deal. Omri is the one who based the northern capital of Samaria, which is like what David did for Jerusalem within the South. In order that’s a giant deal. He’s additionally talked about in extrabiblical sources, sources exterior of the Bible, particularly within the Mesha Inscription, which is a Moabite monument. Moab is a nation to the east of the Jordan River proper throughout from the Israelites, and a relentless drawback for them. However Mesha, it is a Moabite monument that recounts King Mesha’s victories over Israel to regain a few of Moab’s territory. That is like motion taking place within the ninth century BCE. And Mesha’s adversary right here was Jehoram, and Jehoram is Omri’s great-grandson. Okay, simply grasp with me, of us. The factor is that Mesha talks about all this oppression that’s coming from Omri to start with of the dynasty. So solely nonetheless has an affect and impact on the considering of at the very least the Moabites, the North is simply often called “Omri land” or one thing like that he was most likely a fairly large and vital determine.

Pete 

Additionally, one other inscription from the ninth century—that is known as the “Black Obelisk,” which is a monument celebrating the victories of the Assyrian king Shalmaneser III. Who cares? I’m going to let you know why. Particularly, the monument recounts the tribute being paid to him by “Jehu, son of Omri.” Now, we’re gonna get into this extra in Second Kings, however that’s a bit odd since Jehu was undoubtedly not a son of Omri. In actual fact, he worn out Omri’s whole dynasty and took over the kingship for himself. See, by referring although, to Jehu as “son of Omari” it merely means, “Jehu, king of Israe.” See, apparently solely had fairly the repute, a lot in order that his title was related to Israel generations after his time.

Pete 

You’d by no means get that from studying the biblical narrative, as a result of you understand, Omri have been probably the most highly effective and profitable King in Israel’s historical past, from a global perspective, however he will get precisely eight measly verses of protection. Which alludes to some opposition he had initially of his reign, his founding of Samaria, and the way he did extra evil than any king earlier than him. The Deuteronomistic Historian, nevertheless, chooses to spend his time on Omri’s son, Ahab and his 22 12 months reign, and his fixed state of battle with the well-known and righteous and godly prophet, Elijah. And Elijah reveals up in chapter 16, verse 29, and is there by means of chapter 21, once more, nearly to the top of the guide. And in reality, his story actually ends and Second Kings chapter two—that is Elijah—when he ascends into heaven, and Elisha, his protege succeeds him. However that’s one other story.

Pete 

So, because the story goes, this—hearken to this—that is how Ahab is in launched, that is First King 16 beginning in verse 29, and going to verse 34. “Within the thirty eighth 12 months of King Asa of Judah.” By the way in which, that is how the Deuteronomistic Historian offers form of dates of kings. He doesn’t give us dates, however he offers us relative dates. King Asa of Judah, effectively, in his eighth… Within the thirty eighth 12 months of his reign, that’s when Ahab, son of Omri, started to reign over Israel. That’s simply how they do the relationship. “Ahab, son of Omri, reigned over Israel in Samaria 22 years. Ahab, son of Omari, did evil within the sight of the Lord greater than all who have been earlier than him,” which incorporates Jeroboam. “And as if it had been a lightweight factor for him to stroll within the sins of Jeroboam, son of Nebat,” Bear in mind, that’s an vital title Jeroboam. “He took as his spouse Jezebel, a daughter of King Ethbaal of the Sidonians,” and everyone knows Jezebel, proper, “and went and served Baal,” the Canaanite God, “and worshipped him. He erected an altar for Baal in the home of Baal,” yikes, no matter occurred to centrality of worship, proper? However he erected an alter for Baal in the home of Baal, and he constructed that in Samaria, within the capital. So, “Ahab additionally made a sacred pole,” I’m nonetheless studying from the textual content right here, by the way in which. “Ahab additionally made a sacred pole,” a fertility image that’s linked to Ashura worship, and “Ahab did extra to impress the anger of the Lord, the God of Israel, than had all of the kings of Israel who have been earlier than him. In his days, Hiel of Bethel constructed Jericho; he laid his foundations at the price of Abiram, his first born,” so now we have now baby sacrifice taking place, “and he arrange gates at the price of his youthful son, Segub.” Once more, baby sacrifice.

Pete 

Anyway, this isn’t going effectively for him. And Ahab is basically the worst king of the north in keeping with the Deuteronomistic Historian. I feel he’s even worse than Jeroboam. After which enter Elijah the Tishbite, whom God calls to provide Ahab what’s coming to him. And this narrative accommodates some comparatively well-known scenes, like Elijah reviving the son of the widow of a Zeraphath, confronting Ahab straight, fleeing from Jezebel’s, violence, and another incidences. And that’s all nice, however the two I wish to point out are maybe higher identified.

Pete 

And the primary is the story, the well-known story, of Elijah’s confrontation on Mount Carmel, of Ahab’s, quote, “clergymen of Baal.” In order that they have this king had clergymen of Baal and Elijah, the prophet of the true God, Yahweh goes to confront him. So Elijah, not identified for his tact, offers the folks publicly, a selection, whether or not they are going to choose Yahweh’s facet or Baal’s. And to make the purpose, Elijah challenges the clergymen of Baal to quaint duel. So what you do, is ready up two altars, every with a useless lower up bull on it, and let every occasion name upon their respective God to ignite the providing by sending down lightning—Yahweh and Baal, have been each accountable for such issues like climate, for instance. So we’re actually in Baal’s candy spot, this shouldn’t be an issue for Baal to ship down lightning and ignite a sacrifice. Now the clergymen of Baal go first and regardless of crying out to Baal all morning, they obtained no reply. Now at midday, Elijah [Chuckling] simply begins mocking them, accusing Baal of being in any other case occupied, you understand, maybe he’s in meditation or taking a nap or a stroll or—in a line I by no means tire of studying—maybe he has wandered away, which many have taken to imply is an idiom, that means indisposed, taking a leak, we’d say at the moment.

Pete 

So this complete factor simply despatched the clergymen right into a frenzy they usually begin doing issues to evoke Baal’s consideration like slicing themselves with swords till they bled. So after a little bit of that, Elijah says, “Okay, my flip.” So what he does, he has 4 jars of water poured onto the providing and the wooden to the purpose the place it’s overflowing, and Elijah then prays a brief prayer with no slicing, proper, no dancing across the altar the way in which the clergymen of Baal did, however only a brief prayer that God would ship down fireplace and devour the providing—which he does forthwith, together with lapping up the puddle of water. Then Elijah ordered the folks to grab the clergymen and kill them. Okay, that’s how that story ends—however to not be derailed by speaking in regards to the morality of a few of these issues—however all these violent passages and tales, they create up the identical query, “What’s up with this?” However we’ll depart that alone for now.

Pete 

Now, that is the well-known story of the 2 storm Gods duking it out, but it surely was no contest. See, it’s form of like the twin of the ten plagues in Exodus the place Yahweh was contending with the gods of Egypt. And by the way in which, and you may see very clearly that that is what’s taking place, that the plagues are an assault upon the Egyptian pantheon. You possibly can see that in Exodus 12:12, and I’ve a “Pete Ruins Exodus” sequence that got here out a few years in the past, or the Exodus commentary that I wrote for the Bible for Regular Individuals. However anyway, it’s there. Okay? So the result there with the plague tales, as it’s right here with Elijah and Ahab, the result is lopsided, there’s little question about it. It’s full victory for Israel, the opposite gods don’t stand an opportunity.

Pete 

And I carry that up, as a result of talking of Exodus, alright, it is a massive level I haven’t talked about but, however I would like to say it now—Elijah, is one thing of a Moses-revisited form of determine. See, like Moses, Elijah can name upon the weather to make the evil energy submit, proper? That’s the entire thing in regards to the contest with the clergymen of Baal. By the way in which too, only a facet right here, this actually paints Israel’s monarchy as much less Israelite in additional Egypt-like in habits, proper. Proper, so the unleashing of the powers of creation within the Exodus story have been for the defeating of the unhealthy guys. However right here, the unhealthy man that’s being defeated is nothing lower than a king of Israel. Israel is extra Egypt-like than God-like at this level.

Pete 

Now, extra on Elijah and Moses, see the Elijah additionally has a Mount Sinai expertise. Though right here’s known as Horeb, that’s the Deuteronomistic time period for that mountain. They don’t say Sinai, they are saying Horeb. Now, that’s fascinating, he’s on the mountain. Additionally, Elijah is informed by God, to face on the mountain, whereas the Lord passes by, very harking back to that scene involving Moses in Exodus chapter 33. And Elijah experiences a robust wind, an earthquake and a hearth which is perhaps taken because the indicators of God’s presence because it was within the Exodus story. However First Kings really makes it clear that God in contrast, will not be in this stuff. So you understand, right here we have now a distinction between Elijah and Moses story. Right here, God is to be seen not in these convulsions of nature, however within the, quote, “sheer silence” that follows all these items. And sheer silence may very well be translated as “smooth whisper,” or as it’s usually understood, “a nonetheless small voice.” Now the purpose of this trade appears to be that now by means of Elijah, the brand new Moses, God won’t behave as earlier than, by means of pure calamities. And the phrase that Elijah receives from God is to return house. And amongst different issues make plans to rid Israel of the home of Omri, significantly Ahab or its Baal worshippers, and to anoint—a very vital level we’ll get again to within the subsequent, chapter two in our subsequent episode—however he’s additionally informed to anoint Jehu to do that cleaning, eliminating the home of Omri. God’s mountaintop command to Elijah, the brand new Moses, will not be a listing of latest instructions, however a reinforcement of the significance of the correct and centralized worship of God and Israel. Once more, a key Deuteronomic concern.

Pete 

Anyway, there are different tales in First Kings to make sure, and you may examine you understand, Jehoshaphat, of leaping Jehoshaphat, king of Judah who was a fairly good King, one of many higher ones, actually, besides that he left behind locations remaining within the land the place the folks sacrificed and provided incense and, you understand, that’s a fairly widespread analysis of First and Second Kings, you understand, not unhealthy he will get a B, however main factors off for selling false worship or at the very least not doing something about it.

Pete 

Now on that—let me draw this to an in depth right here—one factor that’s me for years about all that is how widespread Canaanite worship practices probably have been among the many widespread on a regular basis Israelites—so widespread actually that the Deuteronomistic Historian and a few of the prophets can’t cease speaking about it, it’s a relentless drawback. And a method of that is to easily condemn it as Israelite disobedience, “They know higher, you understand, it’s proper there within the Bible, however they carry on sinning.” However that raises some questions like, did the widespread folks actually know higher? I imply, might they learn? [Chuckles] Was there even a Bible? Did they hear all this by phrase of mouth? Did it filter in every single place within the kingdom? Did everyone simply know? See, the issue is that we have now a Bible. We will flip again to First Samuel are Deuteronomy. However that may trigger the misunderstanding for us that the traditional Israelites might do the exact same factor, that they have been really very bookish like we’re, however they weren’t. They weren’t massive readers. And it’s not like they might go to their bookshelves and pull out a Bible- Anyway… This is the reason some—I might really say many—have put a unique spin on this dynamic. The Israelites are doing what comes naturally, dwelling as they’re in Canaanite territory and doing Canaanite spiritual practices, you’re certain to get syncretistic.

Pete 

Regardless of the origin of their perception within the God of Israel, it most likely didn’t come from studying Deuteronomy, which didn’t even exist on the time. Like all cultures that blend, there’s assimilation or syncretizing happening. In order for you proof of that, simply take into consideration how a lot of western tradition, American Christianity has absorbed, has been formed by. The Deuteronomistic Historian comes alongside after the actual fact to ascribe a trigger to the Babylonian exile, false worship—extra on that in Second Kings. My level is to not make a price judgment right here, however to level out what has turn out to be an ordinary educational statement. The Bible is the official phrase from Israel’s spiritual leaders and shapers and that stands in pressure with how the plenty follow their faith. In different phrases, the Deuteronomistic Historian is trying to squash standard faith in favor of the unique one. And that’s not as loopy because it might sound to some. Consider secular practices which have turn out to be a part of Western American Christmas, you understand, Santa coming down the chimney, a deer with a pink nostril, adorning a tree with ornaments out of your favourite sports activities groups or trip spots, proper? You realize what I’m saying. After which there are purists who decry the secularization of Christmas. Which may be an analogy to assist make clear what I’m after right here. Possibly the purists expect an excessive amount of of the plenty, that they tow a specific occasion line and maintain their tradition at bay. It’s very, very tough to carry your tradition at bay. None of us does it.

Pete 

Anyway, that’s a giant matter too massive to discover adequately right here on the finish of this episode. However when you see the Bible as… particularly the Deuteronomistic Historical past, as an official, extremely contextual, historical, political, spiritual doc, one which the plenty didn’t learn. It’s simply arduous to unsee it from that angle. And it begins to have some implications for a way we, as fashionable readers, method this guide. And you understand, as fashionable readers of religion, method this guide. Now, we’ll probably come again to this within the subsequent and closing episode of our Deuteronomistic Historical past in Second Kings. However all that is going to have to attend for that. Within the meantime, of us, thanks for listening, and we are going to see you subsequent time with Second Kings.

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Jared 

Properly, due to everybody who helps the present. If you wish to help what we do, there are 3 ways you are able to do it. One, in the event you simply wish to give a bit cash, go to TheBibleForNormalPeople.com/give.     

Pete 

And if you wish to help us and desire a group, lessons, and different nice sources, go to TheBibleForNormalPeople.com/be a part of.  

Jared 

And lastly, it all the time goes a good distance in the event you simply needed to charge the podcast, depart a evaluation, and inform others about our present. As well as, you may tell us what you considered the episode by emailing us at data@TheBibleForNormalPeople.com  

Outro 

You’ve simply made it by means of one other episode of the Bible for Regular Individuals. Don’t overlook you can too catch the most recent episode of our different present, Religion for Regular Individuals, in the identical feed wherever you get your podcasts. This episode was delivered to you by the Bible for Regular Individuals staff: Brittany Prescott, Stephen Henning, Wesley Duckworth, Savannah Locke, Tessa Stultz, Danny Wong, Natalie Weyand, Jessica Shao, and Lauren O’Connell.

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