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Friday, October 29, 2010

Day 58 (Jedi Jehu)

[reaction to One Year Bible's June 24-26 readings]

In Acts, Paul is spreading the word through southern Europe, but avoiding Asia. Acts 16:6 ("Paul and his companions traveled throughout the region of Phrygia and Galatia, having been kept by the Holy Spirit from peaching the word in the province of Asia.") From the OT readings, we have an epic struggle for control of the Holy Land. There are at least three national actors. Judah, Israel and Aram. The tragedy of seige warfare is illustrated in 2 King 6:24-31's discussion of women eating their own children.

Elisha, who seems to be well regarded by kings of all three nations, sends a servant on a secret mission to annoint the new king of Israel, Jehu. Jehu's army rides up on the evil King Joram using what reads to me like the Jedi mind trick. So the king sent out a second horseman. When he came to them he said, "This is what the king says:
When the lookout standing on the tower in Jezreel saw Jehu's troops approaching, he called out, "I see some troops coming."
"Get a horseman," Joram ordered. "Send him to meet them and ask, 'Do you come in peace?' "

The horseman rode off to meet Jehu and said, "This is what the king says: 'Do you come in peace?' "
"What do you have to do with peace?" Jehu replied. "Fall in behind me."
The lookout reported, "The messenger has reached them, but he isn't coming back."

So the king sent out a second horseman. When he came to them he said, "This is what the king says: 'Do you come in peace?' "
Jehu replied, "What do you have to do with peace? Fall in behind me."

The lookout reported, "He has reached them, but he isn't coming back either. The driving is like that of Jehu son of Nimshi—he drives like a madman."

"Hitch up my chariot," Joram ordered. And when it was hitched up, Joram king of Israel and Ahaziah king of Judah rode out, each in his own chariot, to meet Jehu. They met him at the plot of ground that had belonged to Naboth the Jezreelite. When Joram saw Jehu he asked, "Have you come in peace, Jehu?"
"How can there be peace," Jehu replied, "as long as all the idolatry and witchcraft of your mother Jezebel abound?"
Jehu then kills the king with an arrow as he's trying to get away. Once inside the city, Jezebel is all dolled up and calls to him from a window, presumably trying to use some mind tricks of her own, but Jehu tells her guards to "throw her down to me," which means throw her to her death. They do; she dies. Then dogs eat her body.

Should we be letting our children read this book?

4 comments:

Matt Dick said...

What's the point of this story? Is it just that God went to so much trouble to oust the king of Israel because his mother was a whore?

grafter

JimII said...

That's a good question. Based on my breakneck read through, this seems like just a straight folk tale about how awesome God is and how power, evil people will eventually get theirs.

Broader context may be helpful. For example, I've noticed the Elisha and Elijah do stuff like raise kids from the dead, Jesus does that later, and feed people in a miraculous manner, Jesus does that later. So, now I read Jesus' miracles differently--that is, they show he's the new Elijah to some degree.

So, who knows, but maybe the story points to stuff like that which I don't see now.

Matt Dick said...

There's no real question, is there, that Jesus was a recapitulation of the prophets who came before him, right? The parallels are too obvious, and there's also the Jewish tradition of retelling the same miraculous stories on purpose in order to establish the bona fides of a particular prophet or historical figure.

ovein

JimII said...

Yep. At least as far as I am concerned there is no question about this.