1 Kings 15-17
Blah blah blah…. same old. Judah is constantly at war with the rest of Israel. We keep hearing over and over how nobody is ever as good as David was. The `bad’ people erect pagan shrines and worship idols. The `good` people worship Yahweh, destroy the idols, and drive out the temple prostitutes (v 11-15). It doesn`t seem to matter much what else they do – only allegiance to Yahweh qualifies someone as good or bad. The wars and double-crossing continue and lots of people die. Eventually Jeroboam`s whole family is slaughtered (v 29), as promised in chapter 14. But that solves nothing; still the war continues.
The only other issue of interest in this chapter is a contradiction about whether a king named Asa married his own mother, or whether, instead, the author of the infallible bible just got names and/or genealogies mixed up.
More of the same. This whole series of kings is evil. In fact, one of the kings lasted only a week! God curses them with threats of feeding their remains to the dogs and vultures. And a contradiction between the history related here and repeated in 2 Chronicles 16 has a king named Baasha going to war 10 years after his own death.
Near the end of the chapter (v 29) we get to Ahab – the most evil king yet. Why? Because he marries Jezebel, daughter of the Sidonian king, and she leads him to worship her god, Baal. Also during the reign of Ahab, the city of Jericho is rebuilt, with two of the builder’s sons losing their lives during the process (v 34). This is to fulfill prophesy made by Joshua 500 years before (Joshua 6:26).
Here come the magic tricks! (er… miracles). Introducing the prophet Elijah – clearly, as described in this chapter, the forerunner of Jesus. First he hides out in the wilderness and is fed by ravens; second he performs the ‘loaves and fishes’ trick – except in this variation, it’s oil and flour; and for the grand finale, he raises a poor woman’s son back from the dead. So how come we’re not all praying to Elijah – Jesus was obviously just a copycat. Look at how this story is marketed to the Sunday School crowd.