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Episode 265: Pete Enns – Pete Ruins 2 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.

[Music plays]

Pete: Hey everyone, Pete right here to remind you that that is the final name to pay-what-you-can for our March class taught by yours really. That might be me. So it’s referred to as Origin of the Outdated Testomony and it’s going to cowl issues like: main assumptions of the origins of the Outdated Testomony/Hebrew Bible and why they are often generally problematic; the historic messiness of the canonization of the Outdated Testomony/Hebrew Bible; and the event of canonical consciousness—no matter meaning—and extra.

So, our pay-what-you-can window closes in a couple of days on March fifteenth after which it would price $25 to buy the recording. Now what’s thrilling is that as a part of our Spring Semester within the Outdated Testomony, our March class is definitely pre-recorded and comes with a examine information, that means you should purchase it and watch it on the identical day no matter your schedule. There’s going to be a reside Q&A with me in Could to speak about all three of our Outdated Testomony lessons.

When you’re a member of our on-line neighborhood The Society of Regular Individuals, you’ll get automated entry to the category and examine information on March 1st, PLUS a bonus roundtable video that includes our superb Nerds in Residence. We had a lot enjoyable recording that, of us, you don’t wish to miss it. So for extra data and to join the category, head to thebiblefornormalpeople.com/origin.

[Intro music fades]

Pete: Properly of us, I’m again to my antics of ruining books of the Bible, and this season we’re increasing our Pete Ruins collection which suggests that is the primary of eight episodes throughout which I’ll destroy a e book of the Bible for you. And what I like about these episodes is I simply love moving into books of the Bible and instructing them. , that’s why I bought into this enterprise to start with. I like feeling like I’ve a deal with on the large image of particular person books of the Bible. Proper? And I’ve discovered that that is the sort of simply breakdown that individuals simply don’t get in church settings fairly often. They get bits and items and verses, however not at all times the entire image, and positively not in making biblical scholarship accessible to individuals as effectively. So I like recording these episodes.

So anyway, sufficient about me, let’s discuss my episode! Final season we left off with 1 Kings, episode 257, which suggests at the moment I’ll be taking us by way of 2 Kings. So with out additional ado, let’s get into the episode.

[Jaunty music plays over clip of Pete speaking]

Pete: “We should always not overlook that the biblical account of the centuries coated in 1 and a couple of Kings are additionally not goal accounts of the previous, however they’re nationalistic theological interpretations of occasions. We’re not studying in any manner an goal account of the previous, in actual fact, we must always not even presume that that was their intention to write down an goal account. The exile needed to be defined.”

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[Intro music plays briefly]

Pete: Properly, hi there, of us. , it looks as if ages, doesn’t it? Like ages since we’ve coated 1 Kings. So, let’s take a couple of moments to get again in control, okay? So, 1 Kings covers the interval from David’s demise round 970 BCE to about 850 BCE, and on the finish of 1 Kings, we’ve gone by way of the primary 4 kings of the southern kingdom of Judah and the primary eight kings of the northern kingdom of Israel. Why so many extra northern kings throughout the identical time interval? Properly, recall, the southern kingdom is one dynasty, the road of David. Within the north, there are some bloody coups, three at this level, extra to return. And that generated higher turnover. So once we flip to 2 Kings, we’re across the 12 months 850 BCE, the nation of Israel has already been divided into two nations North and South.

First and Second Kings, which have been initially one e book, as it’s possible you’ll keep in mind from earlier podcasts. First and Second Kings as a complete is the story of the autumn of those two kingdoms, which suggests the exile of those two kingdoms. The North was exiled by the mighty Assyrians, it’s possible you’ll recall, in 722 BCE, and the South, effectively, they have been exiled by the Babylonians 136 years later in 586 BCE.

Each of these exiles happen in 2 Kings. These exiles have been seen by the author as, not simply something, however divine punishment for every nation’s persistence in doing what? Properly, in worshiping different gods, or on the very least, worshiping Israel’s God in unauthorized methods. Most each king of those kingdoms both advocated for or supported these practices, which is what ran them into hassle.

Now, it’s possible you’ll additional recall from earlier episodes that the books of Joshua, Judges, First and Second Samuel, First and Second Kings are referred to in biblical scholarship because the Deuteronomistic historical past. Why? Properly, as a result of these books mirror sure theological themes which are outstanding within the e book of Deuteronomy, therefore, Deuteronomistic historical past.

And specifically, the theme that actually is pushed is, as I simply talked about, the correct worship of God. To be extra particular, meaning worship that’s centralized within the temple and the temple alone, moderately than the so-called excessive locations, which is a collection of altars scattered concerning the land, that are a vestige of Canaanite follow. And that must be eradicated, in accordance with the Deuteronomistic historian. The kings have been alleged to tear down the excessive locations so no person could be tempted to interact in false worship on sacred land. However these kings, for probably the most half, didn’t do this. And that’s the saga that 2 Kings is bringing to a conclusion.

To place all this one other manner, 1 and a couple of Kings asks the query, why did we lose our ancestral land that God gave us? The reply, disobedience to the command to worship Yahweh alone.

So, with that recap, let’s transfer on to 2 Kings. This e book covers the interval from about 850 BCE to the discharge of King Jehoiachin. I have to pause there for a second. Numerous J names we’re going to return throughout right here in 2 Kings they usually get actually complicated they usually sound the identical, however that is King Jehoiachin and his identify ends with a C H I N. Simply maintain that behind your mind for a second as a result of we’ll provide you with any individual else with a really related identify. Okay. However anyway, King Jehoiakin was launched from a Babylonian jail in 560 BCE. which is 37 years after he was deported.

Now let’s get into this. When you do the mathematics, that signifies that this King Jehoiachin, keep in mind C H I N, he was deported round 597 BCE. And that’s not a typo. You see, the exile of 586, [sighs] see, it was preceded by a decade of unrest. Due to the Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar. And there are a number of transferring elements to this a part of the story, however right here’s the gist. Jehoiachin’s father, Jehoiakim, spelled confusingly Okay I M on the finish, not C H I N, not even C H I M, however Okay I M, proper? That’s Jehoiachin’s father. He was king of Judah, the southern nation, however he was additionally a vassal to Egypt who held sway within the area on the time.

The Babylonians, underneath Nebuchadnezzar, well-known king who’s talked about rather a lot, he defeated the Egyptians in 605, which suggests Jehoichin, at that time grew to become actually a vassal of King Nebuchadnezzar, however Egypt—see, although it bought spanked by the Babylonians, effectively, they weren’t executed but. The combating continued between Egypt and Babylon throughout which period Jehoiakim determined to insurgent in opposition to Nebuchadnezzar, and you may think about that this didn’t sit effectively with the Babylonian king. Not lengthy after this, Jehoiakim died. And his son, whom he met already, Jehoiachin, he grew to become king, who principally noticed the handwriting on the wall and surrendered to Nebuchadnezzar in 597. Properly, why would he do this? Properly, to spare Jerusalem from destruction.

See, at this level, Jerusalem already belongs to Babylon. Ten years earlier than the exile, 11 years earlier than the exile, and Jehoiachin is deported. And it could take one other 10 years or so earlier than Nebuchadnezzar really tore down the temple and deported not simply the king on the time, whose identify was Zedekiah. He’s the final Judahite king. But additionally the higher class. So that you didn’t deport everybody, however simply, simply the actually necessary individuals, which incorporates individuals like clergymen, landowners, army commanders, blacksmiths, why? As a result of they made the weapons, proper?

And so, by the way in which, whereas we’re coping with names right here, Zedekiah, who I simply talked about, the final king of Judah, he was Jehoiachin’s uncle. And his identify was really Mataniah, however Nebuchadnezzar modified his identify to Zedekiah. See, he modified his identify, and that alone tells you who is de facto in cost right here. It’s not the individuals of Judah, it’s Babylon. They’re in cost. Anyway, all that is simply to clarify how Jehoiachin may very well be launched from jail in Babylon in 560 on this thirty seventh 12 months of his captivity. The reason being, is as a result of his captivity began in 597. And with that, of us, we’ve jumped all the way in which to the tip of two Kings, [huffs] so let’s now again up and do that so as.

And for me, a part of this, an enormous a part of making an attempt to clarify these biblical books, as you already know, means some large image overview sorts of issues.

So first, a type of large overview elements is 2 Kings covers the remaining 16 kings of Judah of the southern kingdom and 11 kings of Israel of the north. For the North, we start on the finish of the dynasty of the highly effective King Omri with one other 5 dynasties to go.

Second level, 2 Kings is 25 chapters lengthy. The autumn of the North is available in chapter 17 and the autumn of the South happens in chapters 24-25, the very finish of the e book. And with that in thoughts, let’s create a quick three half define of the e book.

Half one, right here’s a great way to divide half one. It’s concerning the exploits of the prophet Elisha, who’s the successor of Elijah after Elijah ascends into heaven, and that occurs in chapter two of two Kings. His focus, Elisha’s focus, as was Elijah, his predecessor, the main target is on the Northern Kingdom. Now, Elisha, he dies in chapter 13. He actually stops dominating the narrative round chapter eight. And after chapter 8, what we examine is, for instance, a bloody coup of King Jehu of the North, which covers two chapters, chapters 9 and 10, after which adopted by some extra political intrigue in chapters 11 to 12. So chapters 1 by way of 13, half one in my define right here, it’s not all about Elisha, however his life gives a pleasant manner of dividing 2 Kings. His life spans chapters 1 by way of 13.

Half one covers about 50 years, into the early eighth century BCE, and the reign of the northern king Joash, who’s also referred to as Jehoash. [Chuckles in frustration] What’s it with the identify of those kings? See, maintaining with the names is difficult as a result of there are variations on names like we simply noticed, Joash or Jehoash, they usually’re used interchangeably. And a few Northern and Southern kings even have the identical names, which is like, who am I coping with right here? Proper? So apologies on the outset, however that is what we’re coping with right here. Only a mass of names that may be complicated, no less than the primary time you’re uncovered to it. Okay. In order that was half one.

Half two, this covers chapters 14 by way of 17, really a part of 13 by way of 17. And this recounts the autumn of the Northern Kingdom with the tales of the Southern kings who overlapped this era woven in. Proper? See, that’s, that’s how—you’ve most likely seen this already in 1 Kings, however that is how 1 and a couple of Kings function. These tales transfer chronologically, flipping backwards and forwards between these two kingdoms. And this part covers about 78 years, from about 800 to the tip of the North, which is 722 BCE.

Half three, that is chapters 18 to 25, recounts the remaining 136 years or so. It’s a number of fast motion right here, isn’t it? It’s 136 years coated in what, seven chapters or so. That recounts the tip of the southern kingdom, the motion in direction of its personal demise, its personal exile. And right here we meet two very upright kings, really one of the best kings you’re going to see in your entire Hebrew Bible, and that’s Hezekiah after which his descendant Josiah. And we additionally meet one absolute epitome of evil, and that is King Manasseh.

So, with that tough define, let’s do a deeper dive into some highlights of every of those sections. All proper?

Half one, let’s discuss Elisha. In chapter two, the good prophet Elijah, as I discussed earlier than, is taken up into heaven in a whirlwind, and his protege Elisha asks for a double portion of Elijah’s spirit. And in addition his mantle. That’s the place we get the expression down, taking up any individual’s mantle, which we use on a regular basis. Okay. His energy, Elisha’s energy is seen within the miracles that he performs. A few of which individuals have seen are very Jesus-y sorts of miracles. So briefly order, he raises from the lifeless the Shunammite lady’s son—so elevating the lifeless. He miraculously feeds a bunch of 100 males—so feeding a large number. And he heals Naaman, the commander of the military of Aram, and he heals him of his leprosy, which once more sounds very Jesus y. It’s attainable Jesus was modeled, and a number of the issues he did was modeled, in opposition to the ministry of Elijah, however that may be a large subject about Jesus research that we’re not going to get into right here.

Anyway, Elijah and Elisha are outstanding within the story of the Northern kings. Elijah in 1 Kings, primarily, and Elisha in 2 Kings. And for the Deuteronomistic historian, the northern kings are the really corrupt ones. He has nothing good to say about them in any respect, proper? Don’t overlook, the Deuteronomistic historian, he’s writing from a southern perspective. And the ending touches on the Deuteronomistic historical past didn’t occur till the Babylonian exile, and even later than that, after the individuals of Judah returned considerably triumphantly again into the land. That is the attitude we’re getting in 1 and a couple of Kings, proper?

Anyway, Elijah’s ascent to heaven isn’t a non-public affair. He and Elisha are literally accompanied by a bunch of individuals referred to as “an organization of the prophets”, and this phrase pops up a couple of occasions in 2 Kings. Now, prophets, you may wish to know, in these days, they fashioned one thing like a guild, prefer it was a job title, and never simply an occasional zap of the spirit to people. It was a bunch of them. We would get the impression, proper, and I wouldn’t blame us for doing that, however we would get the impression that the one prophets in Israel have been these we examine: both the so-called writing prophets like Isaiah and Jeremiah and Ezekiel, or the non, so-called non-writing prophets like Nathan, proper, who’s a prophet of David, or Elijah, or Elisha, and a few others. And there have been others that weren’t named in any respect.

And you’ve got Amos, for instance, he’s one of many writing prophets, and he famously mentioned, I’m not a prophet, nor a son of a prophet, which once more signifies that he’s not a part of the guild. He’s kind of an outsider. He has a special sort of anointing. However the level right here is solely that prophecy was not only a loner sort of factor. There was a bunch of them, like a college.

Now we noticed in 1 Kings that Elijah acts very Moses-like. Bear in mind, he ascends Mount Horeb, which is how the Deuteronomistic historian refers to Mount Sinai. That’s his time period, which is a complete different factor, anyway. However Elijah, he ascends Mount Horeb/Sinai. And we see right here in 2 Kings 2, the place he elements the Jordan River together with his mantle, which is reminiscent, in fact, of Moses parting the Purple Sea together with his employees. It’s additionally harking back to the Jordan River dividing throughout the time of Joshua. Anyway, equally, Elisha does some Moses-like issues. In chapter 2, he makes unhealthy water drinkable by throwing salt right into a spring, which is harking back to Moses making the bitter waters candy proper after the crossing of the Purple Sea in Exodus. And by the way, in chapter 4, Elisha does one thing related when he makes a toxic stew edible by mixing in some flour. Unsure how that works, however that’s not the purpose. The tales of Elijah and Elisha, effectively, they name upon well-known photographs from the Hebrew Bible, particularly the Exodus story.

You see, each prophets are Moses amongst us. And such a presence is required in mild of the godless disobedience of the Northern kingdom. So the query does come up, did these prophets reside? And it’s at all times onerous to reply a query like this traditionally, as a result of, you already know, how do you actually know if individuals lived or not? A typical tutorial remark is that no less than Elijah has historic roots, most likely extra so than Elisha.

And in each circumstances, you already know, no matter whether or not they have historic roots, the tales informed about them are usually thought of to be, let’s say, lower than traditionally believable. And I’m simply going to depart that there. That is one thing we will all resolve for ourselves. I don’t actually lose a lot sleep over this kind of factor. I feel tales will be informed which have an incredible affect. However I don’t wish to deny the historic connections with these tales both. I don’t suppose there’s an actual want to do this. So let’s simply go away that alone. That’s a complete different subject, the character of historical past within the Bible.

The purpose is that the tales of each prophets most likely arose in Northern circles, which is why they’re so centered on the North. And so they appear to have been carried south into Judah throughout the time of the Assyrian disaster, which we’ll see in a minute that begins within the 730s, roughly. That’s when individuals began fleeing from the north to Judah for security. And that’s how these northern traditions got here to be part of the writing of this Hebrew Bible that was largely executed by the Southerners, the Judahites.

Proper? So these, let’s name them unbiased literary creations, have been solely later edited collectively after which embedded within the Deuteronomistic historical past within the kind we see them in our Bibles. Now I wish to remark briefly on this—we’re in part one nonetheless, of us. I wish to remark briefly on three tales from this part of two Kings that are likely to get some consideration they usually’re price no less than commenting on.

So the primary is the moderately weird story in chapter two, when some younger boys come out to taunt Elisha. They chant, “Go away bald head, go away bald head!” Hmmm. In response, what does Elisha do? Properly, he calls upon the Lord, whereupon two she bears come out of the woods and maul, actually in Hebrew, like “tear to items” forty two of them. Now, this implies that there could have been greater than forty two younger boys current, and so, might need posed an precise bodily risk to Elisha, who is aware of? However as a prophet, there’s bought to be different methods of getting out of this. Some additionally argue, I don’t suppose this works in any respect, however some argue that these “younger boys” have been really older. So not possibly center college or junior highschool or one thing, possibly older, like highschool, even faculty age, proper? That sort of factor. Nevertheless it’s actually troublesome to justify that on the premise of the Hebrew. I’m going to say it’s not possible to justify that as a result of we learn that they have been, nə-‘ā-rîm qə-ṭan-nîm. Now these two phrases, nə-‘ā-rîm qə-ṭan-nîm—nə-‘ā-rîm is a phrases for “boys” and it actually doesn’t designate age or something like that by itself.

I imply, even Moses as an toddler in Exodus is known as a na’ar, so the phrase itself doesn’t imply something, however it says nə-‘ā-rîm qə-ṭan-nîm, which suggests small or younger boys. I assume I wish to simply disabuse us of the notion that Elisha is coping with some military of West Facet Story thugs exhibiting up with switchblades. Nevertheless it’s a very odd story that occurs nearly as quickly as Elisha is empowered by the Spirit. Now, I don’t imply to indicate that it is a frivolous story, although. For my part, it’s meant on the very least to clarify Elisha’s uncompromising prophetic position at this critical second when the dominion of the North is simply teetering on destruction. However irrespective of how we slice it, it’s an odd and morally problematic story.

Okay, the second bizarre story on this part is in chapter three, and this entails a battle between the Moabites—these are a individuals east of the Jordan River. Nevertheless it’s a battle between these Moabites and a coalition of armies from the north, Israel, from the south, Judah, and from the nation of Edom. Now, Elisha, the prophet, he guarantees victory for them over Moab, however not as a result of he likes them, solely due to the presence of the king of Judah within the south. That’s Jehoshaphat. So he’s not eager on the North. He’s not eager on the Edomites, however he’s eager on the South. They wage conflict they usually, they’ve King Mesha of Moab pinned in a metropolis and within the hope of turning the tide, what does Mesha do? Properly, he’s kind of caught there. He doesn’t wish to die. So he sacrifices his firstborn son on town wall in an try to appease his god, Chemosh, and provides him victory.

And people, with that we’ve one of many odder traces within the Hebrew Bible. After sacrificing his son, we learn the next, “And an incredible wrath came across Israel, so that they withdrew from him,” that’s from Mesha, “and returned to their very own land.” So it seems just like the sacrifice labored. And what are we to make of that? What precisely is the wrath, to begin with, that came across the three-nation coalition? , unhealthy head chilly, leprosy, no matter, or only a sense you bought to depart. Anyway, the story ends abruptly, with out rationalization, and that’s a part of the issue. It simply ends there, an incredible wrath, they usually scattered.

However see, maybe it actually wanted no rationalization, and I by no means develop bored with saying that these tales come from historical Israel. And in these historical days, the Israelites believed within the existence of a number of deities. They have been to not worship any of them, however they actually existed. They weren’t monotheists in our sense of the phrase. Fairly, that is referred to as monolatry. And I discuss that in weblog posts, I’m certain a number of different podcasts and in a e book or two. Simply search monolatry on our web site. It’s the notion that though different deities exist, you solely worship one. That’s what monolatry means. Mono, one, lotry is a root meaning worship, the place we get liturgical from, issues like that. Anyway, the factor is that the sacrifice labored. That’s all we all know, and any rationalization as to why is solely speculative on our half, however it’s only a bizarre story.

Okay, yet another associated level. A Moabite model of the tensions between Moab and Israel is understood to us. It’s referred to as the Mesha inscription, or the Mesha stele, which is sort of a monument, or the Moabite stone, and it’s dated to about 840 BCE. And it mentions certainly one of Israel’s kings, King Omri, mentions him by identify. And in addition certainly one of his sons, which most likely doesn’t imply his fast son, however a descendant. The stele talks about these tensions and the triumph of Moab over the Israelites and blah, blah, blah. However that is a type of moments in biblical scholarship the place we’ve some corroborating archaeological proof, no less than typically talking, corroborating proof for a biblical story.

They don’t say the identical factor. They’re not even essentially speaking about the identical factor. However you possibly can see the tensions between these individuals from the Moabite stone, which actually corroborates properly with 2 Kings 3, that there are tensions between the Moabites and these different individuals.

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Okay, the third odd story is the miracle of the floating ax head in chapter 6. And this does appear to be a frivolous act. Hardly the sort of factor you may count on such a serious prophet to be involved with. See, because the story goes, the corporate of the prophets, there they’re once more, they’re felling logs to construct a much bigger place for them. And an ax head of one of many employees slips off and falls into the water and sinks. And he freaks out. See, essential right here although, is the truth that this iron ax head was borrowed, which might probably have created an financial hardship to exchange, proper? These prophets weren’t wealthy individuals. And so Elisha threw a stick within the water to make it float.

The purpose of this and different miracle tales may very well be that, you already know, Elisha’s ministry is for the good thing about everybody. It’s for kings, it’s for military commanders with leprosy, it’s for a Shunammite lady, and it’s for poor prophets. This will not be a frivolous story, however only a touch upon the character of Elisha’s ministry. Many of the remainder of the Elisha story considerations northern dealings, although the Deuteronomistic historian weaves in tales of the kings of Judah who reigned throughout Elisha’s prophetic exercise. A type of tales of the north, which we have to discuss, goodness gracious, considerations the bloody coup of a man named Jehu, J E H U. He was the commander of the military of the north, and Elisha despatched one of many prophets underneath his cost, one of many firm of the prophets to anoint Jehu for a really grim process. And that is to strike down, to annihilate the home of Ahab, which is a depraved dynasty that amongst different issues has a historical past of killing prophets.

And by the way in which, that’s the place the well-known spouse of Ahab, Jezebel, seems on this story. Ahab is 1 Kings, Jezebel pops up once more in 2 Kings. Now the blood of the prophets needs to be avenged, interval. No dialogue. So after being anointed, Jehu is hailed as king, and his first act is to conform together with his orders and start killing the descendants of Ahab. Starting with the present king, Joram, aka Jehoram, aka additionally the identify of a southern king, individuals please attempt to sustain. Anyway, he additionally had in his sights the king of Judah on the time, Ahaziah, who had teamed up with Joram to struggle Jehu. Ahaziah can also be the identify of an earlier northern king. So subsequent, what occurs?

Jehu kills depraved Jezebel within the city of Jezreel by having her eunuchs throw her down from town wall. After which he wrote letters to the elders and guardians of who? Of the 70 sons of Ahab to have them massacred, which they did, gladly, I assume, by beheading them and sending their heads to Jehu in a basket in Jezreel. I maintain mentioning Jezreel. Do not forget that phrase? It’s going to return up in a second in a vital manner.

Anyway, when Jehu himself lastly rides out to Samaria, which is the capital of the Northern Kingdom, he meets alongside the way in which the family members of Ahaziah of Judah, whom he already killed. And he killed all 42 of his family members. The carnage not being executed, he slaughters the worshipers of the Canaanite god Baal by tricking them into considering he needed to worship Baal, too. As a substitute, he has all of them killed after which he raises the temple to Baal, tears it down, and makes it right into a latrine. By the way in which, only a aspect subject right here as a result of it annoys me to no finish, the Canaanite god spelled B A A L is often pronounced in English “bail”, however I don’t know, no language that I do know are two A’s subsequent to one another pronounced like a protracted A.

And truly in Hebrew it’s really not B A A L however B A after which a letter that we don’t actually pronounce in English after which A L. So there’s a consonant in between the 2 A’s. And it’s referred to as a guttural consonant, and Baal might be greatest pronounced Ba’al. Little, hear that little cease there? Ba’al. And you may impress individuals in church by saying it’s not Baal, it’s Ba’al, after which run away.

Anyway, okay, for his deeds, Jehu is with out qualification recommended by the Lord, and we learn this in chapter 10 verse 30. Take heed to what it says. “As a result of you’ve got executed effectively in finishing up what I take into account proper,” I that means the Lord, “and in accordance with all that was in my coronary heart, have handled the home of Ahab, since you’ve executed this, your sons of the fourth technology shall sit on the throne of Israel.”

Properly, to begin with, why the fourth technology? Properly, for my part, as a result of these tales have been written after, lengthy after the demise of the Northern Kingdom. And the story is informed in such a option to adjust to these later details as a result of three of Jehu’s descendants would develop into king in a dynasty that lasted nearly 100 years.

So it is a manner of kind of speaking about, forgive me, it makes it appear to be it’s one thing of a prediction when in actual fact it’s most likely a retrospective. Now I do know many individuals would take subject with that and if that bothers you, simply ignore it. It’s not the principle a part of this episode. However that’s how I see it. These tales are written in such a option to keep in mind issues that already occurred from the attitude of the author.

You is perhaps troubled, and also you most likely needs to be, with the concept God will order such a bloodbath and be happy with it. And if that bothers you, you aren’t alone. What’s fascinating to me in all of that is that the Lord, by way of the prophet Hosea, condemns Jehu for the very act for which he’s praised in 2 Kings. And just a bit background right here, Hosea is among the earliest writing prophets. He and Amos are eighth century prophets, most likely the 2 first ones that pop up, they usually’re all concerning the fall of the Northern Kingdom. They pop up proper round, you already know, a decade or two earlier than the autumn of the North in 722.

So Hosea has this to say, and once more, he’s talking for the Lord, he says this. “In a short while, I’ll punish the home of Jehu for the blood of Jezreel.” Bear in mind, Jezreel is the place these massacres occurred. “And I’ll put an finish to the dominion of the home of Israel.” That’s Hosea 1:4. See, not solely is Jehu’s act out of alignment with God’s will right here, in accordance with Hosea, however it’s worse than that. It appears to be the very cause why the North went into exile, proper? That’s how this prophecy ends. I’ll put an finish to the dominion of the home of Israel. Evidently the rationale that the Deuteronomistic historian is so sure of God’s want to kill off a line of northern kings, is as a result of he sees the North as one large drawback.

And Hosea, though he has many harsh phrases for the North, he doesn’t share that very same perspective. The Bible is, as many together with myself put it, multivocalic. We learn within the Bible completely different views about the identical matters, and that is one instance.

Okay, one final phrase on Jehu. We have now from his reign a most attention-grabbing archaeological discover. It’s been dubbed the Black Obelisk as a result of it’s fabricated from black limestone and it’s about six toes excessive. It’s dated to 825 BCE. Just a little bit after the Moabite stone. And it depicts the Assyrian King, Shalmaneser III and a few of his defeated foes. Proper? Shalmaneser is an Assyrian king. And certainly one of these defeated foes that’s depicted is Jehu. Sure. Throughout Jehu’s reign, the Assyrians began throwing their weight round in that space—and by the way in which, the Assyrians could be a hostile presence for North and South for concerning the subsequent 200 years, lengthy after the demise of the Northern Kingdom. They’re a persistent drawback.

Anyway, the monument depicts, amongst different issues, Jehu bowing earlier than Shalmaneser III, paying him tribute. He’s submitting himself to the facility of the Shalmaneser III as a result of he doesn’t wish to die or have his individuals massacred. So the importance and that means of this monument is considerably debated. I imply, welcome to biblical scholarship, they don’t all agree on stuff, however this monument is regardless only a great overlap between the biblical story and proof from outdoors of the Bible. And we’ve right here not solely a reference to historic figures identified to us from the Bible, but additionally the earliest depiction, in actual fact, the solely historical depiction from the time of the traditional Israelites. of what they appeared like, no less than when dressed as much as pay tribute to a mighty king. And attention-grabbing. So anyway, when you’re , simply Google Black Obelisk, and you may see the aid for yourselves. And it’s, it’s fairly cool.

Again to the motion. Rounding out half one, amid extra ups and downs of Judah and Israel, Elisha dies after giving King Joash of Israel assurance that he’ll defeat the Arameans. Nice. So Elisha dies and is buried. And someday later, a person’s physique is thrown into Elisha’s grave, and no sooner did he contact Elisha’s bones than he got here to life and stood at his toes. One other Jesus-y sort of factor. And in addition, I feel the principle level right here is demonstrating that God’s energy is with Elisha, even after his demise. You may’t simply ignore Elisha. He’s nonetheless there, in a way.

Okay, transferring to half two, that is chapters 13 by way of 17. We discover a fast-paced narrative of the autumn of Samaria, which is the northern capital. Tales are informed of the final seven kings of Israel and of 4 Judahite kings. Certainly one of which is Ahaz, who figures prominently in Isaiah, for instance, in chapter 7 of Isaiah. And this takes us from about 800 BCE to the autumn of Samaria in 722. These seven kings of the north characterize 5 separate dynasties. In different phrases, once more, we’ve extra turnover within the king division right here within the north due to these, you already know, bloody coups.

So, Zechariah, we’ll learn, he killed the final king of Jehu’s dynasty, referred to as Jeroboam II. Jeroboam I used to be the primary king of the north, and this man’s Jeroboam II. And he reigned for six months earlier than he was killed by Sholom, who reigned one complete month earlier than him being killed by Menachem, who managed to hold on for 10 years after which his son Pekahiah, who reigned two years and was reduce down by Pekah, who reigned for 20 years in accordance with the story. And with that, we’re practically on the finish of the Northern Kingdom, however a number of turnover as you possibly can see.

Now if I could, of us, only a fast industrial break, identical to pause for a second right here. That is pretty much as good a spot as any to say that the years assigned to the varied kings of Judah and Israel are very troublesome to trace, they usually don’t at all times add up. This can be a infamous drawback with the years given of the Hebrew kings. So, for instance, Pekah, who I simply talked about, the final of the kings I simply talked about, he reigned, we’re informed, 20 years, however to make it add up with some established dates, like the autumn of Samaria in 722, his reign must be adjusted to about two years in size.

Now, it’s typically instructed that this isn’t actually a mistake within the textual content. However extra a sign of coregency, the place father and son dominated on the identical time, and the years of the son’s reign, effectively, it may mirror both your entire son’s reign with dad that overlap, or simply his solo years. So, possibly, Pekah’s 20 12 months reign was, effectively, 18 with dad and a couple of solo. It’s complicated, however there are some well-known issues, once more, with the dates of the biblical kings, and it’s greatest to have charts and a calculator with you when you’re going to actually take a deep dive and attempt to determine all this out. All I can say is nice luck. Once more, Pekah—whether or not his reign was 20 years or two years—he was on the throne when the Assyrian invasion started. That is within the 730s and it’s led by the warring Assyrian king Tiglath Pileser, which by the way in which, right here we’ve one other level of corroboration with additional biblical sources, sources outdoors of the Bible. Um, on this case, it’s the annals of Tiglath Pileser that mentions these, you already know, warring issues that he did.

Anyway, subsequent is Hoshea, he conspires in opposition to Pekah, and thus he turns into the final king of the North. And he was on the throne in 722 when Samaria was captured by Shalmaneser V. We met III, now right here we’ve V. And Shalmaneser V died quickly thereafter, and his successor, Sargon II, was answerable for the precise deportation, the precise exile.

In 2 Kings 17, beginning in verse 7, like verses 7 and eight, he places a decidedly Deuteronomistic stamp on the telling of those occasions. Take heed to what he says. This, the autumn of the north, “This occurred as a result of the individuals of Israel had sinned in opposition to the Lord their God, who had introduced them up out of the land of Egypt from underneath the hand of Pharaoh, king of Egypt. They’d worshiped different gods and walked within the customs of the nations whom the Lord drove out earlier than the individuals of Israel, and within the customs that the kings of Israel had launched.” Now it retains on going for a few extra verses, and naturally, that is attributing a theological trigger to the autumn of Samaria, which is the entire level of the Deuteronomistic historical past, to clarify religiously why the North, which is the majority of the nation, it’s each tribe aside from one, the tribe of Judas within the South, everyone else is related to the North, proper? It has to clarify why the majority of the promised individuals within the promised land was misplaced to historical past. Why? Properly, it was punishment from God.

Now, it from a non-Israelite perspective, possibly a historian’s perspective, another excuse why this occurred is solely that Tiglath Pileser was a warmonger who needed to seize as a lot territory between him and Egypt after which his successors, they adopted go well with. See, the Assyrians, they have been, as I discussed earlier than, a thorn within the aspect of the North and later the South, however not as a result of they only felt like giving these individuals a tough time. They have been giving everybody a tough time who stood between them and the opposite superpower of the day, which is the Egyptians. See, Israel was located in prime actual property that gave the Assyrians a direct line to Egypt. Management that space and you’ve got clean crusing.

Geopolitically talking, Israel’s misfortunes by the hands of the Assyrians and later the Babylonians have been on account of their being in the course of an influence battle between two large highly effective nations. That’s the reason Assyria’s sights have been on taking territory from Israel and deporting their inhabitants. It was to provide them a buffer zone. The Israelites, nevertheless, interpreted all of this from inside themselves and their very own expertise. They interpreted all this theologically moderately than merely geopolitically.

Now, one may say that the 2 explanations, proper, the theological and the geopolitical should not mutually unique, and I agree. You may not want to choose one over the opposite. The one distinction is that a type of explanations, the geopolitical one, is traditionally verifiable—no less than typically so—and the opposite, the theological, isn’t. That doesn’t imply it’s not true, solely that it’s an evidence that’s outdoors of historic investigation.

And all this brings us to half three and the demise of the southern kingdom of Judah. Come a great distance right here, of us. The motion right here begins in chapter 18. And Hezekiah is the king of Judah, he’s on the throne, and he’s an excellent king by Deuteronomistic requirements. We learn in verse 5, for instance, “he trusted within the Lord, the God of Israel, in order that there was nobody like him amongst all of the kings of Judah after him or amongst those that have been earlier than him.” See, nobody has gotten an analysis like this and none will except Josiah, whom we’ll meet in a couple of chapters.

Anyway, throughout Hezekiah’s reign, one thing occurred, and that is in 701, one other splendidly documentable date from an archaeological standpoint. However anyway, we’ll get to that in a second. In 701, the Assyrian king Sennacherib, he invaded Judah to tame it, as his predecessors had tamed the north 20 years earlier. However he didn’t reach conquering Jerusalem. The account of the failed sack

of Jerusalem takes two chapters to inform, and different occasions of Hezekiah’s reign are recounted in chapter 20. So he will get like three complete chapters. Additionally, the failed sack of Jerusalem and the opposite occasions of Hezekiah’s reign are additionally recounted elsewhere within the Hebrew Bible. That is certainly one of these tales that will get kind of a double point out, and that is in Isaiah 36-39. And, in fact, as you may count on, we see some variations there in Isaiah in comparison with 2 Kings, however it’s the identical primary story. And it’s probably, for what that is price, it’s probably that the model in 2 Kings is older and Isaiah tailored it for an additional goal. However that’s a narrative for the e book of Isaiah, not for two Kings.

So anyway, right here’s a fast breakdown of Hezekiah’s reign. Sennacherib, the Assyrian king, he’s on the transfer, and he has already sacked cities in Judah, certainly one of which is town of Lachish to the south of Jerusalem. A large Assyrian aid was discovered archaeologically, and it depicts the autumn of Lachish, and the images there are fairly grim. You could find it by googling Lachish reliefs or one thing related. It depicts grotesque scenes of, amongst different issues, a number of beheadings and folks being tortured. See, that’s what occurs when you don’t give up to the Assyrians. They make you pay. And after the siege of Lachish, Sennacherib’s officers are despatched north to Jerusalem to provide them an ultimatum, and we think about that is what occurred each time he went from one city to a different.

The ultimatum was give up otherwise you’re going to get it. And particularly for Jerusalem, it’s give up or what occurred to Lachish goes to occur to you. So the query for Hezekiah is clearly, effectively, what do I do? So he consults Isaiah, who tells him to not fear. God will put a rumor in Sennacherib’s head, inflicting him to return house the place he’ll die by the sword. And so, after receiving one other risk, Hezekiah makes a pious prayer, after which he’s reassured that Sennacherib will be unable to return into town, “for my very own sake,” that is God speaking, “for my very own sake and for the sake of my servant David.” That’s in chapter 19 verse 34.

Now, this occasion is one other gem from an archaeological standpoint. Not solely the Lachish aid, that depicts the sorts of issues the Assyrians did to the individuals of Judah. But additionally, we’ve right here an Assyrian document that additionally recounts the siege of Jerusalem, referred to as the Sennacherib Prism, as a result of it’s, it’s a six sided monument with writing on all sides, which when you can think about this, it permits extra textual content to be written in a smaller space.

Anyway, Sennacherib right here admits that he didn’t breach the partitions of Jerusalem, however in a chunk of pure political propaganda, he turned that defeat right into a victory, saying that, wow, he trapped Hezekiah in Jerusalem and held him there like a caged chook. Um, Sennacherib, you didn’t breach the partitions? “No, no, I meant to not do this. I simply needed to maintain him caught in there.” Anyway, the biblical and Assyrian accounts are two variations of the identical story. Each of which interact in nationalistic propaganda of questionable historic worth. You see, every nation’s document is telling the story from their very own ideological perspective. For Judah, the story of Jerusalem’s miraculous survival helped gasoline what’s sometimes called the theology of the inviolability of Jerusalem—the concept Jerusalem can’t be conquered as a result of God is clearly defending his holy metropolis. , frankly, in a manner, it’s onerous, you already know, responsible them for coming to this conclusion primarily based on the occasions of 701. I imply, Jerusalem survived. The Assyrians didn’t get in.

However you see, over time, the individuals would develop into a bit smug about it. See, a century later, simply earlier than the Babylonian assault, Jeremiah, the prophet Jeremiah, he chides the Judahites for considering that God will defend town it doesn’t matter what, even from the Babylonian risk. However Jeremiah assured them that the Babylonians have been coming, they usually have been coming as God’s instrument of punishment for his or her failure to obey the covenant.

Yet another factor about Hezekiah. His demise discover on the finish of chapter 20 mentions a pool and conduit that Hezekiah had constructed to provide water to town throughout the siege. Properly, guess what? There may be an inscription from the time of Hezekiah commemorating the occasion. And that may be seen at the moment on the entrance to the conduit. That is simply Googleable. You could find it. It’s been dubbed the Salome Tunnel inscription. So as well as, you already know, it’s, it’s additionally one of many earliest bits of Hebrew writing we’ve. In reality, for some individuals, it’s the earliest little bit of Hebrew writing we’ve. There’s some stuff a bit of bit older, however some debate whether or not it’s really Hebrew or not. However that’s irrelevant.

We’re again right here across the 12 months 700 and we’ve Hebrew writing. And we’ve this archeological discover, which corroborates issues very, very properly. It’s one of many clearest bits of corroboration, for my part, that we’ve between archeology and the Hebrew Bible.

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The final two kings of notice that we’re going to speak about right here, no less than, are the reigns of Manasseh and Josiah, they usually couldn’t be extra completely different. See, Manasseh was the worst king of the southern kings. By far. He reversed Hezekiah’s non secular reforms by, you already know, actively selling false worship, which in Manasseh’s case included the sacrifice of youngsters. Paradoxically, and that is very problematic from a theological standpoint, however mockingly, Manasseh has the longest reign of any Judahite king. It’s 55 years. So, you already know, why would God let a nasty king reside so lengthy? It doesn’t appear honest. It doesn’t appear simply. Why do this? Why reward a nasty king with lengthy life? Proper? That’s kind of the concept.

Now, in accordance with the Deuteronomistic historian, Manasseh is essential. Right here’s why. It’s due to Manasseh that Jerusalem will endure the identical destiny as Samaria.

In an exquisite flip of phrase, right here’s what we learn in chapter 21. That is verses 12 to 13. God says, “I’m bringing upon Jerusalem and Judah such evil that the ears of everybody who hears of it would tingle. I’ll stretch over Jerusalem the measuring line for Samaria and the plummet for the home of Ahab. I’ll wipe Jerusalem as one wipes a dish, wiping it and turning it the wrong way up.” That is only a stunning piece of rhetoric as a result of, you already know, simply the entire thought of wiping a dish and turning it the wrong way up, like we’re executed. But additionally it reverses the systematic imagery of cautious constructing, proper? He’ll stretch the measuring line of Samaria over Jerusalem. It’s, it’s, you already know, it’s a tape measure or one thing like that. Proper? However that’s often meant for constructing, however right here it’s meant for systematic dismantling. I’m going to be as cautious to dismantle it as we have been to construct it. And in addition he’ll stretch over the plummet for the home of Ahab. And naturally, Ahab, what occurred to them? Properly, they have been destroyed, however a plummet, if you already know what that’s, a plummet is principally most likely an iron object that has rounded and it’s bought a tip on the finish and on the reverse finish, there’s a string and the string, you already know, nevertheless lengthy it’s, you maintain that plummet by the string. And gravity takes over, and the plummet offers you an entire straight edge for, say, the aspect of a constructing. Now we do this with lasers, however again then that’s what they did. Till pretty not too long ago, you’ve got a plummet line. Once more, it’s one other imagery for constructing that’s now reversed and for dismantling. Like, boy, am I going to be systematic about tearing this place aside, proper? And it’s all due to Manasseh.

So anyway, Manasseh was adopted by his son, Ammon, who was no higher than his dad. However subsequent in line got here Josiah. And with Josiah, we’re very a lot towards the center and latter a part of the seventh century. I didn’t provide you with some dates, however transferring again, Manasseh, his father’s dates are 687 to 642. When you do the mathematics, that’s 45 years, I mentioned earlier than he reigned 55 years, effectively, once more, in accordance with the Deuteronomistic historian, the date is given as 55 years, however for it to work out mathematically, it must be shifted a bit. And so Manasseh and Hezekiah had most likely some kind of a co-regency, they reigned on the identical time.

Anyway, don’t let the mathematics hassle you. However he reigned an excellent very long time, even when it’s 45 years it’s longer than anyone else. So then Ammon, his son, had a shorter reign. He was like 642 to 640. After which Josiah, 640 to 609, not unhealthy, proper? 31 years or so. Fairly good reign. Josiah’s reign is taken up right here towards the tip of two Kings and two moderately longish chapters giving him about as a lot airtime as Hezekiah. And he’s actually one of the best king, though the Deuteronomistic historian was all gushy about Hezekiah and “no person’s higher since or earlier than”, however Josiah is even higher, proper? And he’s one of the best king of Judah. And subsequently, clearly of all of the kings of both nation, as a result of the northern kings by no means did something price commending.

And, you already know, once more, simply to not beat a lifeless horse, however that’s as a result of you’ve got a Southern perspective right here, not a Northern perspective. Anyway, the Northern kings can do no good, simply the Southern ones have the potential for that, and people two are Hezekiah and Josiah, and Josiah is one of the best. , at any price, Josiah did no incorrect, and he got here on the scene and swept away all of the harm that Manasseh had executed, and the writer simply can’t say sufficient good about him.

Now, it was throughout his reign that the excessive priest Hilkiah, apparently rummaging round within the temple, stumbled upon a replica (heretofore undiscovered copy) of the E-book of the Legislation. Now, by saying E-book of the Legislation, the Deuteronomistic historian isn’t referring to your entire Torah (Genesis by way of Deuteronomy) however solely the E-book of Deuteronomy, or higher, an early model of it. Now, this occasion is dated to 622 BCE. Now, to not get too deep within the weeds right here, however many students suppose that this story information probably not the discovering of a legislation that had been there and by some means misplaced in a temple, which appears a bit uncommon, I feel, however it was referring extra to the precise composition of the E-book of the Legislation, which is just mentioned to have been discovered to provide it extra gravitas, to assist the Josianic reforms and his motion of the faith of Judah ahead.

And to not get off monitor right here, however the scholarly consensus is that Deuteronomy, just like the Deuteronomistic historian, is a seventh century textual content partly for, due to the story that we learn right here. And it was revised then over, you already know, the subsequent century or two. And I discussed this as effectively in my Deuteronomy episode, so I’m not going to belabor all that right here. However Josiah, we learn on the discovering of this legislation, is simply beside himself with concern. When he heard the phrases of the e book, it’s clear to him that Judah had not been following it. So he and his internal circle seek the advice of the prophetess Huldah, who, by the way in which, sure, is a girl, for a few of you let that sink in. A prophetess is talking the authoritative phrase of God to the king in a pivotal second in Israel’s historical past, and that didn’t should be defined or defended.

Anyway, she pronounces that catastrophe will certainly stumble upon Jerusalem for its neglect of the covenant all these lengthy years. Josiah responds by, okay, hear, he enacts a protracted listing of reforms, though the doom’s coming. He enacts a protracted listing of reforms, all of that are geared toward countering Manasseh’s shenanigans. And he then institutes the celebration of the Passover, which apparently had not been celebrated because the days of the judges. And but, you already know, consistent with what Huldah mentioned, for all of Josiah’s efforts, we learn the next in chapter 23, and that is verses 25 by way of 27. “Earlier than him,” Josiah, “there was no king like him who turned to the Lord with all his coronary heart, with all his soul, and with all his may, in accordance with all of the legislation of Moses. Nor did any like him come up after him. Nonetheless, the Lord didn’t flip from the fierceness of his nice wrath, by which his anger was killed in opposition to Judah, due to all of the provocations with which Manasseh had provoked him. The Lord mentioned, I’ll take away Judah additionally out of my sight, as I’ve eliminated Israel, and I’ll reject this metropolis that I’ve chosen, Jerusalem. And the home of which I mentioned, my identify shall be there.”

This remark right here appears to me, because it does to different biblical students, to have been written to account for the very fact, simply take heed to the logic right here, to account for the truth that regardless of Josiah’s reforms, Judah was taken into exile anyway, it needed to be defined by some means. And so we’ve the Deuteronomistic historian giving an evidence for why the Josianic reforms have been surprisingly ineffective. Manasseh’s sins have been simply an excessive amount of that God couldn’t overlook them, and thus, he despatched the Babylonians to take the individuals into exile.

Now, one wonders, theologically, why God would act this manner, why the sins of 1 king would’ve such an impact, however one other king’s obedience wouldn’t. The exile needed to be defined. Now, to make issues worse, Josiah’s demise is by no means peaceable as one may count on from such a trustworthy king and mentioned he dies in battle. And that’s the battle of Megiddo, which is a metropolis to the north. Right here’s kind of what occurred. Pharaoh Neco feels like a sweet. I do know Pharaoh Neco of Egypt, proper? He was heading north. by way of Israel, as a result of that’s the way you go north, headed north to assist the Assyrians. Now, they have been limping at this level—however to assist them fend off the Babylonians, as a result of they have been starting to make their presence felt within the area. And by the way in which, that is across the 12 months 609. That is three years after the autumn of the Assyrian capital of Nineveh. The Assyrians are nonetheless there, however they’re limping, proper? They’re making an attempt to get their kingdom again. They’re making an attempt for a resurgence.

And so Neco went up there to assist them do this in opposition to the Babylonians. Josiah went up there for a really completely different cause, to maintain Neco from serving to out the Assyrians. See, with respect to Josiah, apparently the logic was that Judah had had sufficient of the Assyrians. You may’t actually blame them, are you able to? And so Josiah was keen to aspect with the Babylonians, which meant stopping Neco from serving to the Assyrians. And, you already know, once more, Josiah, you already know, politically it’s a fairly sensible transfer, I assume. I don’t know. You don’t need the Assyrians round, however the Babylonians additionally at the moment, they have been kind of the percentages on favourite to develop into the superpower of the area anyway. So may as effectively again a winner moderately than irritate them, have them wipe you out.

So he needed to intercept Neco, however Josiah was tragically killed in 609 by Neco, after which his son Jehoahaz was named king. And now issues shortly unravel. He reigned for a mere three months in Jerusalem earlier than Neco moved him to town of Riblah, which is within the land of Hamath, about 200 miles north. Then Neco makes Josiah’s different son, Eliakim, king, most likely as a result of he was extra compliant with Egyptian methods. And Neco modified his identify to Jehoiakim, who reigned from 609 to about 598. And he was an excellent Egyptian vassal, this King Jehoiakim, however issues are getting politically sophisticated, very sophisticated time.

The Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar, he wound up defeating Neco a couple of years later in 605, and that is referred to as the Battle of Carchemish. And now the Egyptians are out of the image. That’s the end result. So that you solely have the Babylonians to take care of, there are not any alliances at this level. And Jehoiakim rebelled in opposition to Nebuchadnezzar. However after he died, his son Jehoiachin grew to become king in 598, and he surrendered Jerusalem to Nebuchadnezzar, and that’s the place he’s taken captive to Babylon in 597. And with that, of us, we’re again to the place, oh gosh, we started this podcast about seven hours in the past with the occasions main as much as the autumn of Jerusalem and the ultimate blow being the riot of the final king, Zedekiah, in opposition to the Babylonians in 586.

All proper, so let’s draw this to a fast shut right here. I feel it’s clear that there are a number of transferring elements to this a part of the story and a number of names and dates that contain not solely Israel and Judah, however Assyria, Egypt, and Babylon. And it is because once we give attention to this era of the biblical story, we’ve a number of corroboration with different sources outdoors of the Bible. We start seeing this corroboration with the reign of Jehu and his depiction on the ninth century Black Obelisk.

However once more, corroboration doesn’t imply all of the sources agree. They don’t. It solely signifies that they corroborate the existence of issues like battles and kings. And we must always not overlook that the biblical account of the centuries coated in 1 and a couple of Kings are additionally not goal accounts of the previous. However, they’re nationalistic, theological interpretations of occasions. We’re not getting the straight occasions, we’re getting interpretations of them. And a pair of Kings 24, and that is verses 3 and 4, this places the ultimate stamp on it, referring to Nebuchadnezzar’s conquest of Jerusalem, that is what the Deuteronomistic historian says.

“Absolutely, this came across Judah on the command of the Lord. To take away them out of his sight for the sins of Manasseh, for all that he had dedicated, and in addition for the harmless blood that he had shed, for he stuffed Jerusalem with harmless blood, and the Lord was not keen.”

See, that is how the biblical author understood the historical past of his individuals. Although the historical past itself as historical past is liable to be, proper, It’s far more sophisticated. However for many who wish to perceive this historical past, I feel the Bible now turns into extra a supply that needs to be interrogated and investigated, and its feedback should be discerned for his or her attainable historic worth. And the consensus of the educational world, no less than, is that the occasions of the monarchy as described manner again to 1 Samuel and now by way of 2 Kings, It displays the theological requirements of the Deuteronomistic custom and their interpretation of the historical past. In different phrases, of us, and to not beat a lifeless horse, however we aren’t studying in any manner an goal account of the previous. In reality, we must always not even presume that that was their intention, to write down an goal account. What did that even imply in antiquity? , they don’t have trendy kind of requirements for writing historical past. It’s a special world. Fairly, what we’ve, particularly in 1 and a couple of Kings, is a solution to the query, “why did God abandon our individuals into exiles?” The reply: “it was not abandonment. It was punishment.”

Now, the books of 1st and 2nd Chronicles will revisit this story from a a lot later and far completely different perspective, and it’ll ask of it a really completely different query and provide a really completely different reply. However that’s for subsequent time.

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Outro: You’ve simply made it by way of one other episode of the Bible for Regular Individuals! Don’t overlook you possibly can catch our different present Religion for Regular Individuals in the identical feed wherever you get your podcasts. This episode was dropped at you by the Bible for Regular Individuals staff: Brittany Hodge, Stephen Henning, Wesley Duckworth, Savannah Locke, Tessa Stultz, Danny Wong, Natalie Weyand, Lauren O’Connell, Jared Cazel, Jessica Shao, and Naiomi Gonzalez.

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