I Kings 16: Some Kings in Israel

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).

II Samuel 17

Ahithophel also told Absalom that while he was busy with the concubines, Ahithophel would take 12,000 warriors and go kill David and bring the rest of the people back to Jerusalem. But Hushai was all, If I may, Sire, that’s a stupid plan. Your father and his men are seasoned warriors who cut their teeth hiding in the wilderness from Saul. This ass is not likely to find them, and if he does, he will find an enraged host that will decimate your forces. And when the people hear of your loss, they will lose heart and abandon you. No, you should wait until you gather all the Hebrews, from Dan to Beersheba, and attack David en masse and wipe his forces out.

Absalom was all, I like Hushai’s plan best. We’ll do that. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have some concubines to rape.

At this Ahithophel realized Absalom’s coup was doomed. He traveled back to his home, set his affairs in order and committed seppeuku. Hushai, on the other hand, hurried to Zadok and told him to get word to David to cross the Jordan as soon as possible. So Zadok’s sons set off, but someone saw them and pursued, so they stopped at the house of a sympathizer, whose wife hid them in a well and set their pursuers on a wild goose chase. When the coast was clear, they made it to David and gave him the message. David spent all night getting his followers across the Jordan. They camped in Mahanain at Shohi’s house.

The next day Absalom pursued. He put Amasa, an Ishmaelite married to Joab and Abishai’s first cousin, in charge of his forces.

I Samuel 31: The Death of Saul

Meanwhile, Saul was fighting the Philistines and losing. Jonathan and his brothers Abinadab and Malchi-shua had been killed and Saul was badly wounded by an arrow. He asked his armor bearer to finish him off so that he didn’t die by the hands of the uncircumcised, but his armor-bearer refused. So Saul took his sword and committed seppuku. His armor-bearer followed suit.

Many Hebrew died that day and the Philistines occupied many Hebrew cities. They also cut off Saul’s head and placed it and his armor in a temple of Ashtaroth. They hung his body and those of his sons on the wall of Beth-shan. But the inhabitants of Jabesth-gilead snuck out at night and recovered the bodies and buried them under a tamarisk tree.

And so ends I Samuel, but not the saga of David, soon to be king.