Matthew 17: Shiny

Jesus took Rocky, John and his brother James, and the other James up into the mountains with him. When they got there, he started glowing and Moses and Elijah appeared to have a chat. When Rocky, who wasn’t the brightest, saw them, he was all, It’s a good thing you brought us Jesus! We’ll make three tents for you! Then a voice boomed from the sky, This is my son and I’m a proud dad! At which, the four humans fell on their faces in fear. When they finally looked up, only Jesus was standing there, as matte as usual.

On their way back down the mountain, Jesus was all, Don’t tell anybody what happened until after I rise from the dead. The four groupies looked a little puzzled but nodded. Then they were all, But, wasn’t Elijah supposed to come back before the messiah? Jesus answered, He did, and they chopped off his head!  Continue reading “Matthew 17: Shiny”

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Matthew 16: Rocky and Jesus

Some of the Pharisees and Sadducees were all, Hey Jesus, if you’re really sent from God, show us a sign. Jesus was all, Look around you, dude. And shaking his head, he left.

Later some of the groupies started freaking out because they realized they forgot to pack any food for this trip, but Jesus was all, Are you stupid? Don’t you remember all the times I miraculously fed thousands with a couple loaves of bread?

Then when they got to Caesarea Philippi, Jesus asked his groupies, Who do people thing the messiah is? And they were all ,Well, some people think it was Elijah, and some people think John the Baptist made a good candidate. And some say Jeremiah or some other prophet. Then Jesus was all, Who do you think I am? And most of them just looked at the ground, but Rocky piped up, You’re the messiah, Jesus! And Jesus looked at him and said, I guess you’re not so dumb after all, Simon bar-Jonah! Rocky, I’ll build my church on a rock as sound as you! Now, the rest of you, keep my identity secret, ok? Don’t tell anyone until after I]m arrested, tortured, and executed in Jerusalem. Rocky was all, No, Jesus! We won’t let that happen to you. But Jesus was all, Shut up, Rocky, or I’ll change your name to Satan! Now, if y’all are ready for a life of hardship, then follow me!

Matthew 11: Johnny boy

Shortly after the entourage had left to proselytize, John the Baptist, who was still in jail, sent a message to Jesus, praising Jesus and asking for confirmation that he was the messiah. Jesus told the messengers, Well, I’ve healed people and raised the dead, but why don’t you stick around for the show and then tell John your opinion? Then he went before the crowd and started expostulating:

So I know many of y’all used to go see John out in the wilderness. Why? To listen to a prophet from God? Or to make fun of the homeless, starving guy? And now you come to see me, who wears always nice threads. Well, I’ll tell you what. Ain’t nobody–no human, anyway–better than John. John is a latter-day Elijah! And he’s been treated like shit. Y’all made fun of him, out there, alone and scrawny in his hair shirt, the bugs and honey clinging to his scraggly beard. Said he was demon-possessed. Didn’t care when he got arrested. And then I come along, and you come to see me, but then you complain I dress too flashy, that I eat too much. That I drink too much. That my friends are no good. Y’all just dumb!

You think I come to heal and cleanse and shit. But woe! Woe to all those who don’t believe me! Woe to entire fucking cities! Woe to Bethsaida and Chorazin, Tyre and Sidon! And woe to you Capernaum! You don’t want me there?! Well fuck you, cuz I will literally see you in hell!

Y’all need to thank God that I’m here. Thank you, Dad, for finally sending me to set these humans straight! Cuz if they listen to me and do what I say, then you’ll be happy and not smite them. Y’all hear me?

Malachi 4: The final chapter (with notes)

Malachi’s final message from God:

The end of the world is fast approaching, when I will burn all bad people and save all the righteous people who followed the laws that I told Moses several thousand years ago. So get ready! But don’t panic! You’ll know the day is nigh because I will send Elijah back to get you all ready!

And so ends (most Protestant versions of ) the Old Testaments. Some commentary and observations gleaned from this most careful read through. The most common denunciations that showed up again and again in most of the books (aside from cheating on god with other gods) were 1) Don’t oppress poor people, especially widows and fatherless children; 2) Don’t oppress “sojourners” (i.e. immigrants); and don’t lie, cheat, or bamboozle for your own gain. Sure there was lots of genocide, war, rape, rampant misogyny, insane family dramas, two long-ass books of obscure and often contradictory laws, and wacky prophets who we would totally medicate when/if they weren’t free-range homeless men, but Israel/Judah’s most common sin (aside from cheating) was allowing the powerful to unjustly oppress the powerless and poor. 

I’m travelling next week, but when I get back, I guess I will start the New Testament (still using the ESV translation). I might as well see this thing through!  

II Chronicles 21

As we learned in II Kings 8, Jehoshaphat’s eldest son Jehoram inherited the throne, and his wife Athaliah converted him to the worship of Baal and Asherah. But Jehoshaphat was a considerate father and left all of his sons wealthy and in charge of their own cities. This made Jehoram uneasy, so as soon as he had solidified his power in Jerusalem, he  murdered all of his brothers and a few Israelite princes (relatives of his wife) just to safe.

Unfortunately, this didn’t bring stability, because Edom rebelled against Judah, and so did other tribute nations, and Judah lost.

Then Elijah sent Jehoram a letter informing him that God was pissed he was cheating on It–and that he had killed his brothers, too–but mostly for cheating on It! so God would visit a plague on Judah that would cause Jehoram to shit his guts out.

And lo, first the Philistines and Arabians invaded Judah and plundered Jerusalem and killed all but one of Jehoram’s sons. Then some horrible GI plague attacked the land, and Jehoram was not spared. He suffered for two years before he finally shit his guts out and died. His reign was a mere 8 years long. No one was sad to see him go. In fact, he was so despised that there were no mourning ceremonies and his body was not entombed with the kings.

II Kings 2: Elijah, Elisha, whatever

So this other time, Elijah and Elisha were in Gilgal doing prophet stuff when Elijah was all, Look, Elisha, I have to go to Bethal. You should just stay here. But Elisha was all, Never! I will follow you, wherever you may lead!

In Bethel, the other holy men were all, Hey, Elisha, we hear that Elijah’s going to be taken by God soon? And Elisha was all, Shut up about it! I know!

Then Elijah was all, Well, now it looks like I have to go to Jericho. Really, Elisha, just stay here. But Elisha was all, I will will follow you, wherever you may lead!

So they went to Jericho. The holy men there were all, Pssst. Elisha! God’s going to take Elijah today! Elisha was all, I know! SShhhhh…here he comes!   Continue reading “II Kings 2: Elijah, Elisha, whatever”

II Kings 1

King Ahaziah fell out of an upper-story window of his house and was badly injured, so he sent some servants to go inquire about his chance of recovery at the shrine of Baal-zebub in Ekron. However, the servants returned in just a couple hours and were all, So we were on our way to Ekron, but this dude stopped us and told us to come back and tell you that the Hebrew God is pissed that you were going to inquire of Baal-zebub instead of It, so you will die of your injuries.

Ahaziah was all, What did this guy look like? The servants answered that he was wearing this weird ratty hair cloak held together with a leather belt. Ahaziah was all, Figures it’s Elijah. He was always taunting and bothering my father. So he sent a captain with fifty soldiers to capture Elijah. Continue reading “II Kings 1”

I Kings 21: Ahab pouts until he gets what he wants

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.

I Kings 19

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”

I Kings 18: Elijah ends the drought and gets some people dead

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”