Jeremiah 43-44

Jeremiah 43-44

Chapter 43: Babylon shall conquer Egypt

Men try to discredit Jeremiah’s prophecy but they carry the people into Egypt. Jeremiah places stones at the entry of the Pharaoh’s house, and says Nebuchadnezzar shall set his throne on them. Nebuchadnezzar shall array himself with Egypt, as a shepherd puts on his garment. Jeremiah prophesies that Babylon shall conquer Egypt.

Chapter 44: Jeremiah prophesies of the destruction of Jerusalem

Jeremiah disapproves of the Jews in Egypt for continuing in idolatry (such as burning incense to the queen of heaven). Jeremiah warns of the consequences for doing such evil;

“…because ye have sinned against the Lord, and have not obeyed the voice of the Lord, nor walked in his law… therefore this evil is happened unto you, as at this day.” (Jeremiah 44:23) Jeremiah criticizes their refusal to reform, declares that they will be destroyed along with Egypt for their false worship of false gods.

Jeremiah 37-38

Jeremiah 37-38

Chapter 37: Jeremiah Prophesies of Egypt

Zedekiah succeeds Coniah, the son of Jehoiakim, in Judah. Zedekiah does evil in the sight of the Lord. The kings send a message to Jeremiah, and Jeremiah replies, foretelling the return of the Chaldean army, who will take and burn the city. Jeremiah, in attempting to leave Jerusalem, and retire to his possession in the country is seized as a deserter and cast into a dungeon.

Chapter 38: Jeremiah in the dungeon

The princes of Judah, taking offense at Jeremiah on account of his predicting the destruction of Jerusalem, cause him to be cast into a deep and miry dungeon. Ebed-melech, an Ethiopian, gets the king’s permission to take him out. Jeremiah advises the king, who consulted him privately, to surrender to the Chaldeans. The king promises that he will not put Jeremiah to death, and requires the consultation secret.

2 Kings 7-8

2 Kings 7-8

Chapter 7: Israel Takes Spoil

After the great besiegement of Samaria the King of Israel was angered toward God. However God made a promise through Elisha that the economic situation in Samaria would be cured within 24 hours and that the price of food would plummet. One of the officers of the king was doubtful and asked how such a thing could be done, implying that it in fact could not happen. So Elisha told him that he would see the great miracle but not partake or participate in the greatness of it.

During this time a group of lepers were sitting at the gates of the city pondering over the situation… if they thought, food does come… they would surely be the last to receive it. So they decided instead of sitting and waiting to die of hunger that they would go and surrender to the Syrians who had been surrounding the city for months. When the lepers arrived at the outskirts of the town, to their surprise they found a Syrian camp, full stocked with materials and food… but no men. So the Lepers take advantage of the situation and they eat and drink. But not only that, they also find gold and clothing, which they carry out of the camp to go and hide. But after some time they realize that something bad would befall them if they did not use these supplies to help out the rest of the city. So they decide to go and speak to the household of the king. With this information the King decides to send people to the camp to see what is going on. He thinks however that it is a trick to get the people to come to them and then get captured alive. But the men he sends come back with a different report. After following the trail of the Syrians the servants of the king realize that the Syrians left in haste and threw out all their provisions alongside the road as they fled.

So the people go and plunder the tents of the Syrians, therefore validating the prophecy made by Elisha that the problems (economic) would be solved within 24 hours. The officer who had doubted the words of Elisha was charged with opening the gate at the city, where the excited and desperate people fled the city to get provisions… trampling the man to death. So we see that the man learned of the miracle, but never had the chance to participate in the miracle.

Chapter 8: Elisha Prophesies a Seven Year Famine

The woman, to whom Elisha restored life back into her son is around the area Elisha is and he tells her to go and stay wherever she can, because the Lord has called for a famine and it will stay for seven years. She goes to the king and asks for a repeal of her land that was taken away. The interesting part is that the woman came to make this request at the same time Gehazi was telling the king about all the great miracles of Elisha. Jehoram tells her that she can have all her land and everything that came from it back. This was very different from his father Ahab, who was a land grabbing control freak.

Elisha then went down to Damascus, where Ben-Hadad the king of Syria was sick. So he sends a messenger (Hazael, who is a high official to the king) to Elisha asking him if he would be cured of his sickness.

Elisha tells Hazael to tell the king, that he shall recover.  But in reality he will die (but after he is cured from the illness). Elisha just stares and him and cries, so Hazael asks Elisha why he is crying. Elisha explains he will cause evil will befall Israel, that the strongholds will be burned, young men will kill with the sword and that he will dash the children and kill pregnant women.

Hazael then departed from Elisha and came to his master (the King of Syria). The king of Syria asked him if he would recover and Hazael told him that he would. But, the next day, Hazael puts a thick cloth (dipped in water) and puts it over the king’s face, suffocating him and causing him to die.

Jehoram, the song of Jehoshaphat began to reign as king over all Judah. (this is a continued story from 1 kings 22:50 and is not to be confused with the Jehoram of 2 Kings 3 who is called “Joram” in these next passages. Jehoram walked in the ways of all the kings of Israel that is in wickedness and evil. The evil was so great that the Lord could destroy Judah, but for the sake of his ancestor, David and the promise that God made to him, the Lord did not destroy Judah. Edom revolted against this king and caused many problems. So Ahaziah reigns over Judah (the son of Jehoram) began to reign and he too walked in the ways of Ahab. They caused war against Hazael the king of Syria.

2 Kings 1-2

2 Kings 1-2

Chapter 1: “John the Baptist” – Elijah Prophesies the Death of Ahaziah

Moab rebelled against Israel, because of the death of Ahab. Ahaziah fell through the lattice of his upper room in Samaria and sustained injuries because of the fall. He sends messengers to Baal-Zebub, the god of Ekron to find out whether or not he would recover from his injuries.

An angel of the Lord speaks with Elijah the Tishbite and tells him to arise and go to meet the messengers of the King of Samaria and ask them if it is because they have no God in Israel that they are reaching out to a fake god of Ekron “Baal-Zebub” to find out whether or not he will recover. So Elijah tells them that he shall no recover, but shall surely die.

After meeting with Elijah the messengers return to Ahaziah; and Ahaziah asks them why they have returned and not done as he had asked. So the messengers explained to him that a man met them and told them what would happen. So he asks the messengers to describe the man and after hearing “a hairy man with a leather belt around his waist, he knew that it was Elijah the Tishbite.

The king then sends a captain of fifty with his fifty men to go and find Elijah. When they find him, he is sitting on the top of a hill and they speak to him, commanding the “Man of God” to come down and Elijah responds by saying that he is indeed a man of God and if he truly is, let fire come down from heaven and consume your fifty men… and FIRE came down from heaven and killed his fifty men.

So the king sends another fifty and they ask for the man of God and the same thing happens, he responds and fire consumes them from heaven.

So the king sends another fifty, except this time the captain comes to Elijah and humbly kneels before him and pleads with him to not kill him or his men. An angel of the Lord tells Elijah that it is safe for him to come down and he does, sparing this group of fifty men.

Elijah delivers the exact same message he delivered to the first group of men that he had met on their journey to see Baal-Zebub, telling Ahaziah that it is because there is no God in Israel that they are going after false gods and because of this he will surely die of his injuries.

Ahaziah dies and leaves no successor to the throne. Because he had no son, Jehoram the son of Jehoshaphat, the king of Judah becomes king.

Chapter 2: Elijah and Elisha

The Lord was about to take Elijah into heaven by a whirlwind, but Elijah said to Elisha to stay there, but Elisha tells Elijah that he will not leave him. So they both go down to Bethel and there they are met by other sons of the Prophets who tell Elisha that the Lord will take away his master (Elijah) today and Elisha responds by knowing, but asking them to keep silent about the matter.

Elijah tells Elisha to stay as he travels to Jericho, but again Elisha refuses and goes with him to Jericho. Then the sons of the prophets tell Elisha the same thing, and he asks them to be quiet. Elijah then tells Elisha to stay, because the Lord had called him onto Jordan, but again Elisha refuses and goes to Jordan and again they tell him and he asks them to be silent.

As they cross the river, Elijah takes his mantle, rolled it up and struck the water… causing it to be divided, so they could cross on dry ground. After crossing over, Elijah asks Elisha to ask him anything before he departs. Elisha asks for a double portion of his spirit to be upon him… Elijah thinks that he has asked for a hard thing, but tells him that if he sees him when he is taken away then it shall happen, but if he does not see him as he is being taken away… that it wouldn’t happen.

Elijah and Elisha are walking along talking when suddenly a chariot of fire appeared with horses of fire, that separated the two of them and Elijah went up in a whirlwind of heaven. Elisha took hold of his own clothes and rent them into two pieces and took the mantel of Elijah and stood by the bank of Jordan.

Elisha begins his ministry as the prophet. He takes the mantle of Elijah and stuck the water causing the river to be divided. Once the people from Jericho saw this, they came to meet him and bowed before him saying that the spirit of Elijah rested upon him.

The sons of the prophets come out and ask for a search party to find Elijah thinking that the chariots of fire might have taken him to some other part of Israel. Elisha knew that this mission would be futile and when they come back without finding their master, he tells them… did I not say to “not go”.

The men of the city go to Elisha and ask him to heal the water source. He asks for a bowl of salt, which he pours into the river and tells them that the water source would be healed.

Elisha then left and went to Bethel, and as he was walking along the road, the youths from the city came out an mocked him, calling him “baldhead”, he turned around and pronounced a curse upon them in the name of the Lord which caused to female bears of the forest to come out and mauled forty two of the youths. Then he went to Mount Carmel and from there he returned to Samaria.

1 Samuel 9-10

1 Samuel 9-10

Chapter 9: Saul to be King

In the last chapter we learned that Israel wanted a King and even though Samuel was unhappy with their choice, the Lord gave his consent to their request. God goes in to see Samuel and tells him that he will be meeting the new King. The Lord tells him that at about the same day tomorrow he will send a man to cross his paths that will come from the land of Benjamin. The Lord tells Samuel to anoint him as the king and leader over his people. Telling Samuel that this man will deliver Israel from the hand of the Philistines.

Samuel begins to prepare a feast for this even and had a cook reserve a special piece of meat just for this new king that he will be meeting soon. The man who comes is named Saul and he is a Benjamite, who was a very impressive young man.

Donkeys belonging to Saul’s father get lost, so Saul and as servant set out to look for them. They spend a very long time searching for them and they don’t find any of them. Saul is ready to give up, because he is worried that his father will stop worrying about the donkeys and start to worry about him and the servant. But the servant convinces Saul to keep up the search and even decide to go see a “man of God” to see if he can help. This “man of God” is Samuel and it is interesting how the Lord works. He seems to be able to put two things together to make one thing happen.

Saul and the servant get to the town and come across some girls who are drawing water for the well, they tell him where to find the “man of God” and that he must hurry to catch up to him before they have the big feast and sacrifice that was planned at the beginning of the chapter. Saul meets up with Samuel and finds out that Samuel is indeed the “man of God” or Seer and at the same time Samuel gets spiritual confirmation that he is speaking to Saul, the new king.

Samuel invites Saul and his servant to the feast and Saul gets his special piece of meat and then he and Samuel speak on his roof all night.

Chapter 10: Saul Prophesies

Samuel takes a vial of oil and pours it upon the head of Saul, anointing him as the captain of the Lord’s in heritance.

Saul is given another heart by God, or in other words he is “spiritually reborn”. He prophesies among the prophets and is chosen as king over Mizpeh.