Month: March 2019

March 1, 2019

1 Kings 15 – 2019-03-01

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  • Bible Text:  1 Kings 15-16 (ESV)1 Now in the eighteenth year of King Jeroboam the son of Nebat, Abijam began to reign over Judah. 2 He reigned for three years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Maacah the daughter of Abishalom. 3 And he walked in all the sins that his father did before him, and his heart was not wholly true to the Lord his God, as the heart of David his father.

    4 Nevertheless, for David’s sake the Lord his God gave him a lamp in Jerusalem, setting up his son after him, and establishing Jerusalem, 5 because David did what was right in the eyes of the Lord and did not turn aside from anything that he commanded him all the days of his life, except in the matter of Uriah the Hittite. 6 Now there was war between Rehoboam and Jeroboam all the days of his life. 7 The rest of the acts of Abijam and all that he did, are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Judah? And there was war between Abijam and Jeroboam. 8 And Abijam slept with his fathers, and they buried him in the city of David. And Asa his son reigned in his place.

    9 In the twentieth year of Jeroboam king of Israel, Asa began to reign over Judah, 10 and he reigned forty-one years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Maacah the daughter of Abishalom. 11 And Asa did what was right in the eyes of the Lord, as David his father had done. 12 He put away the male cult prostitutes out of the land and removed all the idols that his fathers had made. 13 He also removed Maacah his mother from being queen mother because she had made an abominable image for Asherah. And Asa cut down her image and burned it at the brook Kidron. 14 But the high places were not taken away. Nevertheless, the heart of Asa was wholly true to the Lord all his days. 15 And he brought into the house of the Lord the sacred gifts of his father and his own sacred gifts, silver, and gold, and vessels.

    16 And there was war between Asa and Baasha king of Israel all their days. 17 Baasha king of Israel went up against Judah and built Ramah, that he might permit no one to go out or come in to Asa king of Judah. 18 Then Asa took all the silver and the gold that were left in the treasures of the house of the Lord and the treasures of the king’s house and gave them into the hands of his servants. And King Asa sent them to Ben-hadad the son of Tabrimmon, the son of Hezion, king of Syria, who lived in Damascus, saying, 19 “Let there be a covenant between me and you, as there was between my father and your father. Behold, I am sending to you a present of silver and gold. Go, break your covenant with Baasha king of Israel, that he may withdraw from me.” 20 And Ben-hadad listened to King Asa and sent the commanders of his armies against the cities of Israel and conquered Ijon, Dan, Abel-beth-maacah, and all Chinneroth, with all the land of Naphtali. 21 And when Baasha heard of it, he stopped building Ramah, and he lived in Tirzah. 22 Then King Asa made a proclamation to all Judah, none was exempt, and they carried away the stones of Ramah and its timber, with which Baasha had been building, and with them King Asa built Geba of Benjamin and Mizpah. 23 Now the rest of all the acts of Asa, all his might, and all that he did, and the cities that he built, are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Judah? But in his old age he was diseased in his feet. 24 And Asa slept with his fathers and was buried with his fathers in the city of David his father, and Jehoshaphat his son reigned in his place.

    25 Nadab the son of Jeroboam began to reign over Israel in the second year of Asa king of Judah, and he reigned over Israel two years. 26 He did what was evil in the sight of the Lord and walked in the way of his father, and in his sin which he made Israel to sin.

    27 Baasha the son of Ahijah, of the house of Issachar, conspired against him. And Baasha struck him down at Gibbethon, which belonged to the Philistines, for Nadab and all Israel were laying siege to Gibbethon. 28 So Baasha killed him in the third year of Asa king of Judah and reigned in his place. 29 And as soon as he was king, he killed all the house of Jeroboam. He left to the house of Jeroboam not one that breathed, until he had destroyed it, according to the word of the Lord that he spoke by his servant Ahijah the Shilonite. 30 It was for the sins of Jeroboam that he sinned and that he made Israel to sin, and because of the anger to which he provoked the Lord, the God of Israel.

    31 Now the rest of the acts of Nadab and all that he did, are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Israel? 32 And there was war between Asa and Baasha king of Israel all their days.

    33 In the third year of Asa king of Judah, Baasha the son of Ahijah began to reign over all Israel at Tirzah, and he reigned twenty-four years. 34 He did what was evil in the sight of the Lord and walked in the way of Jeroboam and in his sin which he made Israel to sin.

    16 1 And the word of the Lord came to Jehu the son of Hanani against Baasha, saying,

    2 “Since I exalted you out of the dust and made you leader over my people Israel, and you have walked in the way of Jeroboam and have made my people Israel to sin, provoking me to anger with their sins, 3 behold, I will utterly sweep away Baasha and his house, and I will make your house like the house of Jeroboam the son of Nebat. 4 Anyone belonging to Baasha who dies in the city the dogs shall eat, and anyone of his who dies in the field the birds of the heavens shall eat.”

    5 Now the rest of the acts of Baasha and what he did, and his might, are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Israel? 6 And Baasha slept with his fathers and was buried at Tirzah, and Elah his son reigned in his place. 7 Moreover, the word of the Lord came by the prophet Jehu the son of Hanani against Baasha and his house, both because of all the evil that he did in the sight of the Lord, provoking him to anger with the work of his hands, in being like the house of Jeroboam, and also because he destroyed it.

    8 In the twenty-sixth year of Asa king of Judah, Elah the son of Baasha began to reign over Israel in Tirzah, and he reigned two years. 9 But his servant Zimri, commander of half his chariots, conspired against him. When he was at Tirzah, drinking himself drunk in the house of Arza, who was over the household in Tirzah, 10 Zimri came in and struck him down and killed him, in the twenty-seventh year of Asa king of Judah, and reigned in his place.

    11 When he began to reign, as soon as he had seated himself on his throne, he struck down all the house of Baasha. He did not leave him a single male of his relatives or his friends.

    12 Thus Zimri destroyed all the house of Baasha, according to the word of the Lord, which he spoke against Baasha by Jehu the prophet, 13 for all the sins of Baasha and the sins of Elah his son, which they sinned and which they made Israel to sin, provoking the Lord God of Israel to anger with their idols. 14 Now the rest of the acts of Elah and all that he did, are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Israel?

    15 In the twenty-seventh year of Asa king of Judah, Zimri reigned seven days in Tirzah. Now the troops were encamped against Gibbethon, which belonged to the Philistines, 16 and the troops who were encamped heard it said, “Zimri has conspired, and he has killed the king.” Therefore all Israel made Omri, the commander of the army, king over Israel that day in the camp. 17 So Omri went up from Gibbethon, and all Israel with him, and they besieged Tirzah. 18 And when Zimri saw that the city was taken, he went into the citadel of the king’s house and burned the king’s house over him with fire and died, 19 because of his sins that he committed, doing evil in the sight of the Lord, walking in the way of Jeroboam, and for his sin which he committed, making Israel to sin. 20 Now the rest of the acts of Zimri, and the conspiracy that he made, are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Israel?

    21 Then the people of Israel were divided into two parts. Half of the people followed Tibni the son of Ginath, to make him king, and half followed Omri. 22 But the people who followed Omri overcame the people who followed Tibni the son of Ginath. So Tibni died, and Omri became king. 23 In the thirty-first year of Asa king of Judah, Omri began to reign over Israel, and he reigned for twelve years; six years he reigned in Tirzah. 24 He bought the hill of Samaria from Shemer for two talents of silver, and he fortified the hill and called the name of the city that he built Samaria, after the name of Shemer, the owner of the hill.

    25 Omri did what was evil in the sight of the Lord, and did more evil than all who were before him. 26 For he walked in all the way of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, and in the sins that he made Israel to sin, provoking the Lord, the God of Israel, to anger by their idols. 27 Now the rest of the acts of Omri that he did, and the might that he showed, are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Israel? 28 And Omri slept with his fathers and was buried in Samaria, and Ahab his son reigned in his place.

    29 In the thirty-eighth year of Asa king of Judah, Ahab the son of Omri began to reign over Israel, and Ahab the son of Omri reigned over Israel in Samaria twenty-two years. 30 And Ahab the son of Omri did evil in the sight of the Lord, more than all who were before him. 31 And as if it had been a light thing for him to walk in the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, he took for his wife Jezebel the daughter of Ethbaal king of the Sidonians, and went and served Baal and worshiped him. 32 He erected an altar for Baal in the house of Baal, which he built in Samaria. 33 And Ahab made an Asherah. Ahab did more to provoke the Lord, the God of Israel, to anger than all the kings of Israel who were before him. 34 In his days Hiel of Bethel built Jericho. He laid its foundation at the cost of Abiram his firstborn, and set up its gates at the cost of his youngest son Segub, according to the word of the Lord, which he spoke by Joshua the son of Nun.

  • Reflection & Application: 1 Kings 15:1–8 

    Abijah of Judah. From this point onwards until the destruction of Israel (2 Ki. 17) the writer presents us with two parallel histories. The present chapter provides us with a good example of his method. First he treats the history of Judah during the reigns of Abijah and Asa (15:1–24), but mentions the contemporary rulers of Israel (Nadab and Baasha) wherever they impinge on the narrative. Then he backtracks to relate the reigns of Nadab and Baasha (15:25–16:7). This method can be confusing for the modern reader (particularly in sections where the rulers of Aram and Assyria also enter the arena, and unfamiliar names are scattered across the pages in bewildering profusion). In the present instance, for example, it means that Baasha appears in the narrative of Judah’s history before we know where he fits into the history of Israel. When he is first mentioned in 15:16 we do not know whether he is the son and successor of Jeroboam or a later king. Only in vs 27–28 is his role explained. However, the method suits the aims of the writer of Kings because it allows him to present each king’s reign in a self-contained narrative.[1] 

    1 Kings 15:11-14

    • What challenges and obstacles did Asa confront in order to do what was “right in the eyes of the Lord”?  What are some difficulties that I must overcome in order to live a life that is upright before God?

    1 Kings 16

    • Think about the chain of intrigue, betrayals, assassinations described in this and the previous chapter.
    • What are some warnings from these events that I need to heed?

    1 Kings 16:21

    A new section begins with 16:21. See below on the overall strcture of 1 Kings – 2 Kings.

    If there is a careful arrangement of the material in 1 and 2 Kings, it is not immediately obvious, and the structure of the work has been discerned in a variety of ways.

    It is perhaps most helpful to see a basic threefold structure. The first part deals with Solomon’s accession and reign (1 Ki. 1–11); the second deals with the period of the two separate kingdoms, Israel and Judah (1 Ki. 12–2 Ki. 17); and the third deals with the time after the fall of Israel when Judah survived alone (2 Ki. 18–25). There is a clue that the writer himself may have had some such division in mind, in that the first two parts conclude with extended theological comments (1 Ki. 11:1–13; 29–39; 2 Ki. 17:7–23, 34–41).

    The middle section is by far the longest (twenty-eight chapters) and can itself be divided helpfully into three parts. The first, 1 Ki. 12:1–16:28, deals with the kings of Israel and Judah from Solomon’s death to the reign of Omri in Israel. The second, 1 Ki. 16:29–2 Ki. 10:36 deals with the dynasty of Omri and its horrific downfall and is concerned almost exclusively with events in Israel. There are only two brief interludes about Judah in the whole of this section (1 Ki. 22:41–50 and 2 Ki. 8:16–29), i.e. a total of only twenty-four verses out of more than sixteen chapters. The treatment of Omri’s dynasty has been extended by the inclusion of stories concerning Elijah and Elisha. Elijah dominates 1 Ki. 17–19 and 21 and 2 Ki. 1:1–2:18; Elisha is the major prophetic figure in 2 Ki. 2:19–8:15 (with further appearances in 9:1–3 and 13:14–21, the latter being outside the section we are discussing). Stories of other prophets also help to swell the account of this period (1 Ki. 20:13–43; 22:1–28). The third part consists of 2 Ki. 11–17 and once again deals with kings of Israel and Judah.[2]

    16:23–28 Omri restores stability in Israel. The events leading up to Omri’s reign (16:15–22) were not directed by prophecy (in striking contrast to the events of 15:25–16:14). No prophet appears to announce the end of Zimri’s reign or to designate Omri as the one raised up by Yahweh to be king over his people. We are therefore left wondering whether Omri’s seizure of the throne is God’s will. The question is never answered, but in subsequent chapters it becomes very clear that the rule of Omri’s dynasty is certainly not beyond God’s control. This is illustrated, as always in Kings, through the work of God’s prophets.

    The standard summary of Omri’s reign, concluding with the fact that his son succeeded him, signifies Israel’s return to dynastic stability.

    The writer tells us nothing of Omri’s political stature, which we glimpse only from Assyrian inscriptions and the Moabite stone. The only achievement singled out for mention is his creation of Samaria as Israel’s new capital (24). Otherwise, he is noted only for sinning more than his predecessors and walking in the ways of Jeroboam (25–26).[3]

    Israel’s King Omri (885–874 BC) achieved considerable international standing, though we learn nothing of this from the biblical account. On the Moabite Stone (or Mesha Stele), an inscription by King Mesha of Moab c. 850 BC to commemorate his successful rebellion against Israel (see 2 Ki. 3:4–27), Omri is named as the king who had earlier conquered Moab and made it Israel’s vassal. As late as 722 BC, Israel is referred to in Assyrian sources as ‘the land of Omri’.[4]

    1 Kings 16:23-26

    • What can I learn about what is important to God in human history from the brief description and summary of Omri’s reign in spite of his political and military achievements?  In God’s eyes, who would be the true heroes of history?

    [1] Bimson, J. J. (1994). 1 and 2 Kings. In D. A. Carson, R. T. France, J. A. Motyer, & G. J. Wenham (Eds.), New Bible commentary: 21st century edition (4th ed., p. 355). Leicester, England; Downers Grove, IL: Inter-Varsity Press.

    [2] Bimson, J. J. (1994). 1 and 2 Kings. In D. A. Carson, R. T. France, J. A. Motyer, & G. J. Wenham (Eds.), New Bible commentary: 21st century edition (4th ed., p. 336). Leicester, England; Downers Grove, IL: Inter-Varsity Press.

    [3] Bimson, J. J. (1994). 1 and 2 Kings. In D. A. Carson, R. T. France, J. A. Motyer, & G. J. Wenham (Eds.), New Bible commentary: 21st century edition (4th ed., p. 336). Leicester, England; Downers Grove, IL: Inter-Varsity Press.

    [4] Bimson, J. J. (1994). 1 and 2 Kings. In D. A. Carson, R. T. France, J. A. Motyer, & G. J. Wenham (Eds.), New Bible commentary: 21st century edition (4th ed., p. 336). Leicester, England; Downers Grove, IL: Inter-Varsity Press.

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