2 Chronicles 21-22

2 Chronicles 21-22

Chapter 21: Jehoram Slays His Brothers

Jehoshaphat rested with his fathers and was buried with his fathers in the City of David. Jehoram, the son of Jehoshaphat ruled in his place. The sons of Jehoshaphat were; Azariah, Jehiel, Zehariah, Azaryahu, Michael, and Shephatiah. Jehoshaphat gave all of his son’s great gifts of silver, gold, precious things and fortified cities. But Jehoshaphat gave Jehoram the kingdom, because he was the first born. Jehoram was 32 years old when he became king, the first thing that he did once he became king was to kill all of his brothers and all the princes in his lands, so that he could have all the power. He ruled for 8 years in Jerusalem.

Jehoram walked in the ways of the kings of Israel, just like the house of Ahab had done. His wife was one of the daughters of Ahab. Jehoram did evil in the sight of the Lord. But oddly enough the Lord would not destroy the house of David, because of the promise and covenant that he had made with David not to destroy his house.

The Edomites decided that they did not want to live under the rule of Jehoram any longer, so they set out to make a king over themselves. So Jehoram went out with his officers and all of his chariots and attacked the Edomites who had surrounded him by night, in revolt against his authority.

A letter came to Jehoram from the Prophet Elijah, which read; …Thus saith the Lord God of David thy father, Because thou hast not walked in the ways of Jehoshaphat thy father, nor in the ways of Asa king of Judah, But hast walked in the way of the kings of Israel, and hast made Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem to go a whoring, like to the whoredoms of the house of Ahab, and also hast slain thy brethren of thy father’s house, which were better than thyself: Behold, with a great plague will the Lord smite thy people, and thy children, and thy wives, and all thy goods: And thou shalt have great sickness by disease of thy bowels, until thy bowels fall out by reason of the sickness day by day.” (2 Chronicles 21: 12-15)

The Lord also stirred up the spirit of the Philistines and the Arabians against Jehoram and they came up to Judah and invaded it, and carried away all the possessions that were found in the kings house, and all of his sons and wives, only leaving behind his youngest son; Jehoahaz. After all of this, the Lord also struck Jehoram with an incurable disease of the intestines, which he died painfully 2 years later. No one was saddened by his death. The people did bury him in the City of David, but not in the tombs of the kings.

Chapter 22: Ahaziah Reigns in Wickedness

The inhabitants of Jerusalem made Ahaziah, the youngest of the king’s son to reign in his place. Ahaziah was 42 years old when he became king and he reigned only one year in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Athaliah, the granddaughter of Omri. Ahaziah also walked in the ways of the kings of Israel and the house of Ahab, because his mother advised him to do wickedly. Because of this, he did evil in the sight of the Lord. Ahaziah followed their advice and went with Jehoram the son of Ahab to war against Hazael king of Syria at Ramoth Gilead where the Syrians wounded Joram. Then he returned to Jezreel to recover from the wounds which he had received at Ramah, when he fought against the king of Syria. Azariah went down to see Jehoram Jezreel, because he was sick. This was sort of a setup, because God knew that he would go, and this would be Ahaziah’s downfall, because when he arrived, he went out with Jehoram against Jehu the son of Nimshi, who the Lord had anointed to cut off the house of Ahab.

When Jehu was executing judgment on the house of Ahab, and found the princes of Judah and the sons of Ahaziah’s brothers who served Ahaziah, he killed them. Then he searched for Ahaziah; and they caught him (he was hiding in Samaria), and brought him to Jehu. They killed Ahaziah and buried him; this left the house of Ahaziah without power over the kingdom. Athaliah, the mother of Ahaziah upon hearing of her son’s death killed all the royal heirs in the house of Judah. While Athaliah was doing this, Jehoshabeath (the daughter of the king) took Joash (the son of Ahaziah) and hid him, so Athaliah could not murder him. Joash remain hidden in the house of God for six years, while Athaliah reigned over the land.

2 Samuel 17-18

2 Samuel 17-18

Chapter 17: Ahithophel’s Counsel is overthrown

Ahithophel goes to Absalom and counsels him on what they should do with King David. He tells Absalom that he needs about 12,000 men to go and come upon David while he is weak, to make him afraid, so that all the people that are with him will flee from his presence. Absalom is intrigued by this and thinks it might work, but decides to call in Hushai as well to hear what counsel he might have. We know of course from previous chapters that Hushai is actually a spy for King David. So Hushai tells Absalom that if they were to come upon David, they would be walking into a massacre. Referring to David and his men as a mother bear in the field that has her cubs taken from her… they are ferocious men! At this point Hushai knows that this is really not the case, but prays that Absalom will take his counsel, because otherwise David will probably die.

So David is alerted of this and has time to flee even further. Hushai, essentially is buying time for David.

Chapter 18: Joab Slays Absalom

David organizes his men, by appointing captains over thousands and hundreds. King David divides his army between three people; Joab, Abishai and Ittai. King David starts to leave with his men, but they plead with him to stay, so that he will be protected and not be captured or killed in battle, because he was very valuable.

So the armies of David go up to battle against Israel, because Israel had turned wicked in following Absalom. It says that when they fought, the “woods” consumed more men then by the sword. Interesting that God was helping in mysterious ways, that it seemed as if the woods were literally gobbling up Absalom’s men. Absalom himself was riding into battle on a mule, when either his hair or his neck was caught in the great oak trees, which caused him to hang from the tree… rejected of both earth and heaven.

Joab is told by a soldier that Absalom is stuck in a tree. Joab asks the soldier why he did not kill him, because if he had the soldier would have received honor, glory and money. But the soldier reminds Joab that David told them to be gentle with his son and show him mercy. But Joab decides that it is in the best interest of King David and all of Israel to show justice and not mercy to Absalom. So Joab doesn’t hesitate in putting three arrows through Absalom. But Absalom was still alive, so Joab commands 10 soldiers to finish the job and throw him into a large pit covered by rocks. It is funny that Absalom raped 10 of his father’s concubines, only to be cornered and killed by 10 of his father’s soldiers. Joab had this done, so no one would dig up his body to memorialize him as a martyr or hero.

Two runners are sent to David, to tell him of the outcome of the battle. The first runner brings good news and the second (slower one) brings the news of his dead son. In fact that is the first thing that David asks, is about Absalom. This is a great example of the love that exists between parent and child and even God the Father and his children. No matter what a child does, the parent will always love them. Absalom did all manner of wickedness, yet he was still concerned about him. The Lord is the same way, he loves us all… no matter what we do. But he does mourn for us when we do evil. Because he wants us all to be happy and not live in wickedness. Because wickedness was never happiness!

David is distraught and mourns, weeps and wails for his dead son… even stating that he wish he could have taken his place.

Judges 15-16

Judges 15-16

Chapter 15: Samson Slays 1,000 Men

Samson decides to go back and visit his wife, who at this point had been given to someone else. But apparently no one told Samson this, because he seems to be out of the loop on this one. He tries to go into her room to see her, but her father won’t let him in; basically saying he thought Samson hated her, so he gave his daughter to someone else to marry.

The father suggests that Samson take his younger daughter to marry and even tells Samson that she is much more attractive than her sister. But Samson does not want to marry this woman and this is when I like to say that the “hulk” brewing inside of Samson begins…

Samson tells him that he is going to do the Philistines a “displeasure” see verse 3.  Samson gathers 300 foxes and attaches torches to their tails. He then lights up the torches and lets the foxes loose to run through the fields… ultimately burning the grain, olives and their vineyards.

The Philistines ponder over who could have torched their fields and when they find out that it was Samson and more specifically it was Samson angry over his wife, they kill Samson’s wife and father in-law by burning them. But this only upsets and angers Samson even more, so he slaughters many Philistines before returning to Israel.

Samson runs off and the Philistines catch up to him in Judah, where the Philistines make the Israelites hand him over, so they do and they bind Samson with ropes and bring him directly to the Philistines. As he approaches he has another “hulk” moment and rips off the ropes and grabs a nearby donkey jawbone and strikes down 1,000 Philistines with it. After doing his killing the “hulk” (Samson) becomes very thirsty and pleads with the Lord for water.  God causes a spring to form and he is able to drink. We also learn at the end of the chapter that Samson ruled over Israel for twenty years.

Chapter 16: Samson Kills 3,000 and Himself

Samson visits a prostitute named Delilah in Gaza. When people hear that Samson is there, they lie around the city in wait for him to come out, thinking that he would come out at dawn so they could kill him. Well Samson gets up in the middle of the night and tears down the posts and gate of the city and carries them off.

Samson falls in love with Delilah and the Philistines decide to use her to gain access to knowledge of Samson. Delilah was told that if she got information on the weak points of Samson that each of the rulers of the land would give her 13 kilograms of silver which was a “lot of money”.

Samson also tells Delilah that if he is tied up with seven fresh bowstrings that once they dry he will become as weak as anyone else. Delilah gets upset that Samson lied to her after he breaks free so easily that it was as if he had only a thin piece of thread binding him.

Delilah demands to know the truth and he tells her another fake story, that seven fresh ropes will bind him, but she calls (presumably while he is sleeping) out saying that the Philistines are coming and again he snaps it, very easily.

A third time, Samson, tells Delilah that if his hair is woven into the fabric on a loom and tightened with a pin that he won’t be able to break it. Same thing, he breaks it! So Delilah tells Samson that he must not love her, if he cannot confide in her… so Samson finally tells the truth about his hair.

No razor has been used on his head, because he was a Nazirite set apart by God from birth. If his head was shaved he would lose all his power., and become as weak as any other man. Delilah then sends the word to the Philistines, they show up, give Delilah her silver and shave the seven braids of Samsons head. Samson wakes up and without his power is captured by the Philistines, who remove his eyes and throw him in prison.

In prison, the hair on Samson’s head began to grow again. The Philistines gather together in the temple of their god Dagon to thank him for the capture of Samson. The gathering is about 3,000 men. To celebrate further they take Samson out of prison so he can be “entertainment” to them. Because he has no eyes, he is led out by a servant. He asks the servant to take him to the pillars of the building so he can rest upon them. Samson then prays to God to give him one more boost of power, so that he can get revenge for the gouging out of his eyes. The Lord listens and Samson pushes against two pillars, which cause the temple to collapse, killing not only himself but all of the Philistines inside. Samson’s family comes to take his body to bury in their father’s tomb. All in all, Samson ruled Israel for twenty years as a judge and in death killed more Philistines than in his life.

Judges 13-14

Judges 13-14

Chapter 13: Manoah’s Son Samson

Israel once again does evil in the sight of the Lord and are put into bondage for forty years to the Philistines. An angel comes to a woman who is barren, who is Manoah’s wife. The angel tells Manoah’s wife that she will conceive a son and he will deliver Israel from their bondage.

The angel commands Manoah’s wife to not drink alcohol or any unclean thing while she is pregnant. (see verses 3-4), interesting how this is probably the first time we know of that we learn it is not good to drink during a pregnancy.

The angel leaves as he came, in a flame from the altar. Samson is born to Manoah and his wife and he begins to grow and is blessed with the Spirit of the Lord that starts to move him when he is at the camp of Dan, between Zorah and Eshtaol.

Chapter 14: Samson Slays a Lion

Samson (all grown up) goes down to Timnath and sees a Philistine woman that he likes. So he goes and tells his parents that he wants to marry her. So they come with him down to Timnath and while on their journey a young lion roared at Samson. The Spirit of the Lord came upon him strong and he was able to kill the Lion with his bare hands, having no weapon of any kind with him.

Samson meets up with the woman and he likes her a lot. As he travels back with her he noticed the carcass of the Lion he had killed and inside was a bee hive. So he took some of the honey and gave it to his parents, but not telling them where he got the honey from.

Him and his parents go to Timnath to meet the lady whom Samson will marry. Samson throws a seven day feast, and he is given 30 companions. Samson decides to give a riddle; “…Out of the eater came forth meat, and out of the strong came forth sweetness…” (Judges 14:14)

                The prize for figuring out the riddle is 30 sets of sheets and garments. But the Philistines only have seven days to figure out the riddle to win. If they win, Samson will give those clothes, but if they lose they have to give him the clothes. The Philistines are unable to solve the riddle, and on the 4th day they come to Samson’s bride and ask her to coax her husband into telling her answer to the riddle and if she doesn’t do it they will burn her and her family to death! Samson’s bride to be goes to her groom to tell her the answer and if he doesn’t then he really doesn’t love her. He tells her that only he knows and that he hasn’t even told his parents, so why would he tell her?

Finally after seven days, and every day begging for the answer, Samson explains the riddle to her. She tells the Philistines the answer, and they present the answer to Samson. Samson is upset, because they only got the right answer because his bride to be told them the answer.

Samson decides to still go through with his promise, but in his own way. The Spirit of the Lord comes upon him again very strong and he goes to Ashkelon and kills 30 Philistines, strips them of whatever they were wearing and gives those clothes to the people who “figured out” the riddle. Then her returns to his parents’ house angry. Samson does not return with his wife.