Back in Judah, King Jehoshaphat continued in his godly ways and even stamped out the last of the male prostitutes. He also made peace with Ahab. He and Ahab were good friends and allies and sealed their truce through the exchange of daughters, as people did in the Bronze Age.
One spring, Ahab decided he wanted to reclaim Ramoth-gilead from the Syrians and asked Jehoshaphat to aid him. Jehoshaphat was all, Of course, friend! But let us consult some prophets about our chances first!
So Ahab gathered 400 prophets of his own choosing and they each and all augured victory. But Jehoshaphat wasn’t convinced of their godliness–something didn’t seem particularly…canonical about their prophesying. So he asked Ahab if there wasn’t any other, more Hebrew, prophets they could consult? Ahab was all, yeah, there’s this one nearby, but I hate him! If never has anything good to tell me. Nevertheless, Jehoshaphat insisted, and Micaiah was called. Continue reading “I Kings 22: The End of Ahab”
Another time, Ahab went to his neighbor Naboth and asked to buy his vineyard, but Naboth wasn’t in the market to sell. so Ahab stormed back home and crawled into his bed and pouted. He refused to eat or talk to anyone. Eventually, Jezebel came and was all, Why are you pouting? So he told her that Naboth wouldn’t sell him the vineyard next door. Jezebel was all, Grow a pair! You’re the king! Fine, you want the vineyard. I’ll get you the vineyard. And she wrote letters in the king’s name to the elders of Naboth’s town and told them to frame him for treason and make sure he was executed.
When word came that Naboth was dead, Ahab gleefully went to claim his property. While he was celebrating in his new garden, Elijah came by and was all, For murdering the man for his vineyard, God has decreed that you and all your male relatives will die and be eaten by scavengers. Moreover, you and your wife will be eaten by dogs!
At this Ahab wailed and repented so piteously that God was all, Fine. I won’t commence the elimination of his family until his son comes to the throne. But it will happen soon.
When Ahab wasn’t dealing with Elijah, he did other things. Like war with neighboring kingdoms. For instance, this one time, King Ben-hadad of Syria decided he would go kick some Hebrew ass, so he gathered his 32 best king/warlord pals and marched on Samaria. He sent a message in to Ahab, saying Give us your best women and all your gold.
Ahab looked out from the city walls at the immense army stretching as far as the eyes could see, and was all, Oh fuck. And he sent a message back saying, Sure, whatever. Women and gold, how much exactly?
Now, Ben-hadad was really just looking for a fight, so he sent back the message, We don’t know. Let us come in and take what we want! Continue reading “I Kings 20: Ahab’s other activities”
When Ahab told Jezebel that Elijah got all the other prophets killed, she was pissed. She sent him a message saying as Baal as her witness, she would see Elijah dead. This freaked Elijah out pretty badly and he fled into the desert. Eventually he flopped down underneath a broom tree and was all, God, I have done thy bidding. Please let me die now! Then he fell asleep.
Some time later, an angel shook him awake and was all, eat this. So Elijah ate, and then passed back out. A bit later the angel woke him up to eat again and then again a third time, saying, You’ll need your strength because this is the last food you’ll see til Mount Horeb, which will take you, like, forty human days to get there or something. Mortals are so limited.
On Mount Horeb, Elijah crawled into a cave to hide, but God was all, Yo, Elijah, what are you doing on my mountain? Shouldn’t you be in Israel or someplace prophesying? Continue reading “I Kings 19”
The famine and drought were terrible. After three years there wasn’t even enough weeds or scrub brush to feed the livestock. Ahab and his head bureaucrat Obadiah decided to divide the land to scour it for any vegetation to sustain at least some of the animals.
On his journey, Obadiah met Elijah who was coming to confront Ahab again. Elijah was all, Go inform your master that I have come.
But Obadiah was all, What! Why do you want me dead? Don’t you know that I’m the guy who hid and sheltered, like, 100 prophets when Jezebel was on the warpath looking for you? Yeah, I mean she killed like all the prophets, but I saved as many as I could for as long as I could. Now you want me to go tell Ahab that I’ve found you? What if God whisks you away in the meantime? He’ll totally kill me.
Elijah answered, Never fear, my good man. God will do no such thing. Go inform Ahab! Continue reading “I Kings 18: Elijah ends the drought and gets some people dead”
Elijah, a prophet from Tishbe, went to Ahab to tell him that God was pissed, so It was going to cause a horrible drought and famine until the time Elijah said it would rain. Then Elijah went to hide out near Cherith Creek because Jezebel and Ahab were searching for him and killing every prophet they came across. The creek gave him water and ravens brought him food morning and evening.
Eventually, though, Cherith dried up. God was all, Yo, Elijah, go to Zarapeth. I’ll arrange for this widow woman to feed you there.
So Elijah went to Zarapeth and sat outside the city gates on the lookout for this widow. Finally, he spied her gathering firewood. He was all, Excuse me, madam, please bring me some water. She sighed and turned to do his bidding, but then Elijah was all, And bring me some food too. Continue reading “I Kings 17:Elijah enters the story”
Eventually the prophet Jehu went to Baasha and was all, God says that since you haven’t followed It, Its going to crush your house and all your male relatives will be eaten by scavengers.
When Baasha died, his son Elah came to the throne. He reigned for two years before one of his commanders assassinated him while he was drunk. General Zimri only lasted seven days before General Omri marched against him. When Zimri saw all hope was lost, he set his house on fire and burned himself alive.
Omri set himself up as king, but half the kingdom rallied behind this other dude named Tibni. Civil war ensued, and eventually Omri killed Tibni.
About midway through his twelve year reign, Omri bought this hill and built the fortified city of Samaria upon it, which then became the capital of Israel.
When Omri died, his son Ahab became king and ruled for 22 years. Ahab married a Sidonian princess named Jezebel, and they not only built temples to Baal, and worshiped in them, Ahab also ordered Jericho rebuilt (which had been destroyed by God’s command by Joshua way back centuries before).
In Judah, Abijam ruled for three years. His mother or possibly wife was Maacah, a high priestess of Ashtaroth. When he died, Asa, who was either his son or his brother, became king. Asa removed Maacah from any influence in government and destroyed her asherim. He also destroyed as many other idols as he could and he outlawed male prostitution.
When Asa died, his son Jehoshapat became king.
Back in Israel, Nadab only held the throne for two years before one of his generals, Baasha, conspired against him and murdered him. Then Baasha murdered all of Nadab’s male relatives, just as Ahijah had prophesied.
Baasha reigned for 24 years. He and Asa were at war the entire time. At one point, he tried to build a fortress on the Judaean border, but Asa hired King Ben-hadad of Syria to come defeat Baasha. Not only did Ben-hadad stop construction on the fortress, but he also captured many cities in Dan and all of the territory of Naphtali.
Asa used the abandoned building materials to refurbish Geba and Mizpah.
Rehoboam reigned in Judah for 17 years. His mother was an Ammonite princess, and he continued in all his father’s heretical practices of worshiping the Baals and Ashtaroth and other gods. He even allowed male cult prostitution to flourish.
In the fifth year of his reign, King Shishak of Egypt came and raided Jerusalem and robbed the Temple.
Rehoboam was also at constant war with Jeroboam.
When Rehoboam died, his son Abijam became king.
Over in Israel, Jeroboam ruled 22 years. Sometime after Abijam came to the other throne, one of Jeroboam’s sons got really sick, so he told his wife to put on a disguise and go consult the prophet Ahijah. The prophet, though old and blind, was unfooled by her disguise and was all, Oh wife of Jeroboam, tell your husband that his heresies have so angered God that It will smite every male in his family! Dogs and birds shall pick their corpses. Moreover, the ill child will die as soon as you step foot in Tirzah!
When Jeroboam died, his son Nadab ascended the throne.
Later a prophet from Judah traveled over to Israel to tell Jeroboam that God was really angry about all the idols and altars and new feast days and whatnot–so angry in fact that God had decided that Jeroboam was not the sort of dude It wanted to create a lasting dynasty from. While Jeroboam would get to keep the throne while he lived, his offspring would not sit upon it.
Upon hearing this, Jeroboam reached out his hand to order his men to seize the prophet. But his hand shriveled up like the hand of body found buried in the sands of the Negev. Jeroboam freaked out and begged the prophet to heal him. So the prophet prayed and the hand was restored. Then Jeroboam was all, well, uh, why don’t you stay for dinner then? But the prophet was all, Nay! God commanded that I neither eat nor drink until my foot stepped again in Judah!
On his way home, this prophet met a second prophet. This new guy was all, hey, come to my place and kick it for a few! I got some mellow wine and the wife makes a mean kid stew! But the first prophet was all, Nay, my brother, God has bid that I neither eat nor drink in your land. The first prophet was all bummed for a bit, but then was all, So hey, I forgot to tell you! An angel…yeah, angel came and told me that God changed Its mind and that it’d be okay if you came to my place for dinner! Continue reading “I Kings 13: A Prophet Comes to No Good End”