The Pursuit of God

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Know Your Bible Lesson 18: Prophecy & Carnage

KYB 18

AUDIO VERSION: YouTube  Podbean

In our last lesson, we made our way through 2 Kings 3-6, and the focus of those chapters was the many miracles that Yahweh did through His prophet Elisha in Israel. Joram [JORE-um] son of Ahab is the current king of Israel, and right now he is having quite a bit of trouble from King Ben-Hadad [BEN-huh-dad] of Aram. Once again, Aramean [AIR-uh-ME-in] troops have marched into Israel’s territory and are gunning for the capital city of Samaria [suh-MARE-ee-yuh]. Joram has no choice but to send his army out to try and chase off the invaders before they can surround his capital. But finding them is the tricky part. Israel feels like a very big country when you’re traveling by foot.

WAR WITH ARAM

Stealth is an important part of the game at this point. Ben-Hadad is trying to set up some clever ambushes and in the privacy of his strategy tent, he plots and schemes with his officers. But every time he sets up his men in some brilliant position, Joram’s guys never walk into his trap. It’s as if Joram has somehow found out what Ben-Hadad’s plans are. This happens many times until Ben-Hadad gets quite irate. Clearly there is a traitor in his ranks. Assembling his men together, he demands to know who the double-crosser is.

The king of Aram became very upset over this. He called his officers together and demanded, “Which of you is the traitor? Who has been informing the king of Israel of my plans?”

“It’s not us, my lord the king,” one of the officers replied. “Elisha, the prophet in Israel, tells the king of Israel even the words you speak in the privacy of your bedroom!”

“Go and find out where he is,” the king commanded, “so I can send troops to seize him.”

And the report came back: “Elisha is at Dothan [DAWTH-un].” (2 Ki. 6:11-13)

Now you’d think Ben-Hadad would take at least a few seconds to marvel at how Elisha is pulling off this miraculous mind reading feat. At the very least he should be thinking, “Wow, what God does Elisha know who is giving him such amazing insights? His God is obviously a lot smarter than my gods.” But instead, he thinks, “I’m going to find that blabbermouth and silence him.” Right, like God can’t just speak through someone else. Ben-Hadad isn’t marveling us with his smarts here.

When word comes back that Elisha is in the city of Dothan, Ben-Hadad dispatches enough horses, chariots and men to surround the whole city. Really? All this fuss over one old man? Ben-Hadad isn’t taking any chances.

Now inside the city Elisha and his servant have just gotten out of bed when they see the city surrounded by bloodthirsty Aramean soldiers. The servant panics. The prophet stays calm.

“Oh no, my lord! What shall we do?” the servant asked.

“Don’t be afraid,” the prophet answered. “Those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” Then he prayed, “Open his eyes, Yahweh, so that he may see.” Yahweh opened the servant’s eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha. (2 Ki. 6:15-17)

As the Aramean army makes their approach, we’re told that God suddenly strikes all the soldiers with blindness. Then Elisha comes up to them and says:

“You have come the wrong way! This isn’t the right city! Follow me, and I will take you to the man you are looking for.” And he led them to the city of Samaria. (2 Ki. 6:19)

We’re told the soldiers follow Elisha, which makes no sense at all if they literally couldn’t see. So the blindness here is not a physical blindness but one of mental recognition. It would be like driving down the street that your house is on only to suddenly feel like you’re in some strange city. You look around at things you’ve seen a thousand times but suddenly nothing looks familiar. This is the kind of blindness that God strikes these men with. They see the city of Dothan, but it suddenly doesn’t feel right. They see Elisha standing right in front of them, but they don’t recognize him, either. He seems like a total stranger so they follow him to the capital city of Samaria. Now many of these soldiers would have participated in the last attack on Samaria, so they should certainly recognize it, but they don’t. They feel like they’re in some unfamiliar place as Elisha leads them through the city gates. Then, once everyone is safely inside, Yahweh suddenly removes the mental blindness and they suddenly realize where they are, plus they recognize King Joram and his army ready to chop them down. Trapped!

When the king of Israel saw them, he asked Elisha, “Shall I kill them, my father? Shall I kill them?” (2 Ki. 6:21)

Joram can’t wait to start chopping people down and we’re surprised that he even asks for Elisha’s approval. But Elisha tells him to be merciful, so the soldiers are fed and then released, feeling utterly humiliated. After that, the raids on Israel stop for some time while the Arameans recover their pride.

THE SIEGE OF SAMARIA

Eventually the bad memories fade, and Ben-Hadad reignites his obsession with conquering Israel. Once again we find him surrounding the city of Samaria with his army, and this time he is quite successful. His siege lasts so long that the people inside are literally starving to death. Parents are starting to cook their children for lunch. Double yuck, and yet such cannibalism will come up multiple times throughout the Bible when cities are under siege. Once again Joram finds himself in dire straits as he walks along the city’s wall showing everyone his sackcloth. (We learned in Lesson 15 that people put on sackcloth tunics to make a public statement about how miserable they feel. And as long as you’re wearing such stiff and scratchy material, your bad mood is only going to get worse.)

When bad things happen, we humans often look for someone else to blame. Joram isn’t about to repent of his rebellion and acknowledge that Yahweh has good reason to be ticked at him. Instead, he decides the whole thing is Elisha’s fault. And then he decides that killing Elisha would put him in a better mood. Of course he doesn’t get away with it. Yahweh protects His man and, after giving the people a good scare, He drives away the Aramean army using nothing but…well, noise.

ELISHA GOES TO ARAM

By now, Yahweh is fed up with Ben-Hadad, his stupid gods, and his constant assaults on Israel. So He strikes the king with a severe illness, then He sends Elisha to go traveling through the area. When Ben-Hadad hears the prophet is around, he sends one of his servants with a gift to go and ask the prophet if the king will recover. It’s pretty rich for Ben-Hadad to be asking favors from a man that he tried to kill a while back. But our self-absorbed king makes no apologies. He just wants to know the future.

Now when we’re told that the servant’s name is Hazael [huh-ZAY-el], we feel like that name sounds oddly familiar. Hazael…ah, yes. Back when Elijah was talking to God on Mt. Horeb, God had told him that he needed to anoint a man named Hazael to be the next king of Aram. Is this at last that Hazael? Yes, it is, and Elisha immediately recognizes him. But Hazael doesn’t think he’s anyone special…at least not yet.

Hazael went in and stood before Elisha, and said, “Your son Ben-Hadad king of Aram has sent me to ask, ‘Will I recover from this illness?’”

Elisha answered, “Go and say to him, ‘You will certainly recover.’ Nevertheless, Yahweh has revealed to me that he will in fact die.” Then Elisha stared at him with a fixed gaze until Hazael was embarrassed. Then the man of God began to weep. (2 Ki. 8:9-10)

Well, this is a disturbing passage. First, Elisha is telling Hazael to lie to his master and deliver a message from God that isn’t true. This isn’t the first time we’ve seen Yahweh smile on deception. Shortly before this, Elisha lied to the blinded Aramean army about who he was and where they were. Before that, the prophet Micaiah [mih-KYE-uh] lied to king Ahab and then described a vision of Heaven in which he saw Yahweh planning to use Ahab’s lying prophets to trick the king into going onto the battlefield. God has no problems with using deception to accomplish His purposes. He lies all over the place in the Bible, and He’s about to tell another lie to Ben-Hadad, yet we Christians have this weird tradition of acting like it’s blasphemous to say that God lies or that He would ever instruct His servants to intentionally deceive people. Hm. We need to pay closer attention when we read the Book.

We feel sorry for Hazael in this scene. He finds himself standing in a pregnant pause moment while Elisha’s eyes drill through him. Then just when his face is flushing, the prophet starts to cry out loud. Talk about awkward.

“Why is my lord weeping?” asked Hazael.

“Because I know the harm you will do to the Israelites,” Elisha answered. “You will set fire to their fortified places, kill their young men with the sword, dash their little children to the ground, and rip open their pregnant women.”

Hazael said, “How could your servant, a mere dog, accomplish such a feat?” (2 Ki. 8:12-13)

Whoa! Hold on a minute! What is this? Just when we were feeling sorry for Hazael we find out he’s going to be some kind of mega-creep. And what is going on with Hazael’s answer? “How could your servant accomplish such a feat?” He calls it a feat?? Where is the dropping jaw, the gasp of horror, and the “I would never think of doing such a horrific thing”? But this isn’t at all what Hazael says. He hears about bashing kids’ heads in, ripping open pregnant women and his attitude is, “Really? Sounds too good to be true when I’m just a lowly servant.” What a creep.

“Yahweh has shown me that you will become king of Aram,” answered Elisha.

Then Hazael left Elisha and returned to his master. When Ben-Hadad asked, “What did Elisha say to you?” Hazael replied, “He told me that you would certainly recover.” But the next day he took a thick cloth, soaked it in water and spread it over the king’s face, so that he died. Then Hazael succeeded him as king. (2 Ki. 8:14-15)

The Arameans are in for a real treat with this guy as their king. Yikes!

AHAZIAH, King of Judah

Now as Hazael is smothering his feverish boss in bed, the kingdom of Judah has recently lost their evil King Jehoram [jay-HOR-um]. We learned about Jehoram in Lesson 16—he was the fellow who had his bowels come out of his body. We’d almost feel sorry for him, but as we read through the Bible, we’re learning that God doesn’t like it when we side with His enemies (see The Enemies of God). When people are treating our God like dirt, it is inappropriate for us to be spending tears of compassion on them. Yahweh certainly isn’t sorry that He pulled Jehoram’s bowels out of his body, nor is He sorry for smothering Ben-Hadad on his sickbed, or for shoving King Ahaziah [ay-huh-ZI-uh] off a balcony (Lesson 16). When God hurts those who are defying Him, it’s on purpose, and He expects His people to take His side in the matter. This is a very important lesson that we want to get down, for even God’s own prophets will fumble the ball in this area. Jeremiah and Isaiah will both have moments where they care more about the suffering of God’s enemies than they do about God being disrespected (see Lessons Learned When Isaiah Pleads for Leniency & The Snarky Prophet). This is no good. As God’s people, our loyalties must be firmly on His side.

Now Jehoram only has one son who wasn’t hauled off by foreign invaders. That son’s name is Ahaziah [ay-huh-ZI-uh] (aka Jehoahaz [Jeh-HO-a-haz]). Once again this is a relative of Ahab, for Ahaziah’s mother was a daughter of Ahab. This makes him the nephew of King Joram in the north, for Joram is Ahab’s son. Right off, we learn that Ahaziah is a zero:

He followed the ways of the house of Ahab and did evil in the eyes of Yahweh, as the house of Ahab had done, for he was related by marriage to Ahab’s family. (2 Ki. 8:27)

This is how the author of 2 Kings sums Ahaziah up, but the author of 2 Chronicles gives us more detail:

Ahaziah’s mother was Athaliah [uh-THALE-ee-uh], the granddaughter of Omri [awm-REE] (who was Ahab’s father). Ahaziah also followed the evil example of King Ahab’s family, for his mother encouraged him in doing wrong. He did what was evil in Yahweh’s sight, just as Ahab’s family had done. They even became his advisers after the death of his father, and they led him to ruin. (2 Chron. 22:2-4)

With advisers all around him egging him on to do evil, 22-year-old Ahaziah rebels against God with gusto. He naturally makes an alliance with his uncle in the north, then uncle and nephew join together to try and conquer the new King Hazael of Aram.

The battle doesn’t go well. Uncle Joram is wounded, so the two kings retreat. Joram goes to rest up in the city of Jezreel, which is much closer to the border of Aram than his palace in Samaria. Now a good nephew would come to visit his sick uncle right? Well, good, because Ahaziah is walking right into Yahweh’s deadly trap.

JEHU IS ANOINTED

At long last, we get to Jehu [JAY-who]—the man who God told Elijah to anoint as king over Israel. That prophecy is feeling rather meaningless by now. God said it back when Ahab was still king, and there have been two kings since him. When God promises us something in life, we naturally expect it to happen quickly. And yet in the Bible, we find a disturbing pattern of God promising things far in advance of when He’s planning to actually do them. Sometimes it’s years before. Sometimes decades. Sometimes even centuries. This is hardly encouraging to those of us who are waiting on the fulfillment of some personal promises from God today.

The prophet Elisha summoned a man from the company of the prophets and said to him, “Tuck your cloak into your belt, take this flask of olive oil with you and go to Ramoth Gilead [RAM-oth-GILL-e-add]. When you get there, look for Jehu son of Jehoshaphat [jay-HO-sha-fat], the son of Nimshi [NIM-she]. Go to him, get him away from his companions and take him into an inner room. Then take the flask and pour the oil on his head and declare, ‘This is what Yahweh says: I anoint you king over Israel.’ Then open the door and run for your life!” (2 Ki. 9:1-3)

Jehu is hanging out with his other army pals when a prophet comes up and asks to speak to him alone. This gets everyone’s attention. Going off to a private room, Jehu is quite surprised to find oil being poured on his head as our prophet says:

“This is what Yahweh, the God of Israel, says: ‘I anoint you king over Yahweh’s people Israel. You are to destroy the house of Ahab your master, and I will avenge the blood of My servants the prophets and the blood of all My servants shed by Jezebel. The whole house of Ahab will perish. I will cut off from Ahab every last male in Israel—slave or free. I will make the house of Ahab like the house of Jeroboam son of Nebat and like the house of Baasha [BAW-shah] son of Ahijah [a-HE-jah]. As for Jezebel, dogs will devour her on the plot of ground at Jezreel [jez-REEL], and no one will bury her.’” (2 Ki. 9:6-10)

Before Jehu can react, our messenger sprints away. Wiping up the oil, Jehu tries to look casual as he rejoins his fellow officers.

“Is everything all right? Why did that maniac come to you?”

“You know the man and the sort of things he says,” Jehu replied.

“That’s not true!” they said. “Tell us.”

Jehu said, “Here is what he told me: ‘This is what Yahweh says: I anoint you king over Israel.’”

They quickly took their cloaks and spread them under him on the bare steps. Then they blew the trumpet and shouted, “Jehu is king!” (2 Ki. 9:11-13)

Clearly these men aren’t fans of Joram, for they have no hesitation in declaring Jehu as king. Well, making announcements is one thing, but if this new monarch is going to actually reign, he will have to get rid of Joram. Warning his companions not to let the news of his anointing spread, Jehu gathers some soldiers, hops into his chariot, and rushes to the city of Jezreel where he knows Joram is resting up in the company of his nephew Ahaziah. So we have two kings grouped together in one place. How convenient.

When a lookout on the city wall announces that troops are approaching, Joram sends a messenger out to ask if they come in peace. After all, Hazael of Aram could launch another attack at any time.

Watching from the top of the city walls, the lookout sees the messenger meet Jehu, have a brief exchange, and then join with the ranks of Jehu’s troops. Hm. That’s rather odd behavior.

The lookout reported, “The messenger has reached them, but he isn’t coming back.” (2 Ki. 9:18)

You just can’t find good help these days. An impatient Joram dispatches a second messenger to find out what’s going on.

The lookout reported, “He has reached them, but he isn’t coming back either. The driving is like that of Jehu son of Nimshi—he drives like a maniac.” (2 Ki. 9:20)

Why is one of Joram’s army officers racing towards the city with a bunch of troops? It’s not that Joram doesn’t trust his own men…well, okay, he doesn’t. He and his nephew Ahaziah each climb into a chariot and ride out to see what’s going on. We’re told that they meet up with Jehu on the same plot of ground that used to belong to Naboth [NAY-bawth]. Naboth was the fellow that Ahab and Jezebel brutally murdered so Ahab could steal Naboth’s land (Lesson 14). It was the murder of Naboth that caused Yahweh to curse Ahab’s family line and declare that Jezebel would be eaten by dogs. And now here we are, standing at the scene of the crime. Coincidence? Not hardly. Yahweh is exacting His revenge.

When Joram saw Jehu he asked, “Have you come in peace, Jehu?”

“How can there be peace,” Jehu replied, “as long as all the idolatry and witchcraft of your mother Jezebel abound?”

Joram turned about and fled, calling out to Ahaziah, “Treachery, Ahaziah!” (2 Ki. 9:22-23)

The two kings try to flee but Jehu shoots an arrow and Yahweh drives it through Joram’s back and directly into his heart. Exit Joram. Now Jehu turns to his chariot driver and says something very interesting:

“Pick him up and throw him on the field that belonged to Naboth the Jezreelite. Remember how you and I were riding together in chariots behind Ahab his father when Yahweh spoke this prophecy against him: ‘Yesterday I saw the blood of Naboth and the blood of his sons, declares Yahweh, and I will surely make you pay for it on this plot of ground.’ Now then, pick him up and throw him on that plot, in accordance with the word of Yahweh.” (2 Ki. 9:25-26)

Jehu remembers the words God spoke against Joram’s father and he recognizes that they are being fulfilled. Now it’s time to kill Ahaziah. Jehu chases after him, but only manages to wound him. Ahaziah escapes to the nearby city of Megiddo [meh-GEE-doe] and dies there. His body is carried back down to Judah and buried. So much for the two kings. Now there’s a certain queen who Jehu is most eager to get his hands on…

THE DEATH OF JEZEBEL

Queen Jezebel is still back in the city of Jezreel where Joram was resting up from his injury. When she hears that the murdering Jehu is now coming after her, she puts on some fresh makeup, does her hair, and then goes out to a window to watch for him.

As Jehu entered the gate, she asked, “Have you come in peace, you Zimri [ZIM-ree], you murderer of your master?”

He looked up at the window and called out, “Who is on my side? Who?” Two or three eunuchs looked down at him. “Throw her down!” Jehu said. So they threw her down, and some of her blood spattered the wall and the horses as they trampled her underfoot. (2 Ki. 9:31-33)

jezebel

We’re all applauding over this moment. Creepy Jezebel is dead at last! Leaving her horse trampled body out in the street, Jehu goes into the house to eat. Murder really works up a man’s appetite. But as he finishes his meal, he figures he ought to at least make some effort with Jezebel’s remains. After all, she was royalty. So he says to his servants:

“Take care of that cursed woman and bury her, for she was a king’s daughter.” But when they went out to bury her, they found nothing except her skull, her feet and her hands. They went back and told Jehu, who said, “This is the word of Yahweh that He spoke through His servant Elijah the Tishbite: On the plot of ground at Jezreel dogs will devour Jezebel’s flesh. Jezebel’s body will be like dung on the ground in the plot at Jezreel, so that no one will be able to recognize her.” (2 Ki. 9:34-37)

Notice how Yahweh is bringing all of His past prophecies to Jehu’s mind so that no one will miss the significance of these events. God loves glorifying Himself.

THE EXTERMINATION OF AHAB’S LINE

At this time, there are seventy sons of Ahab living in Samaria. Yahweh has said that He is going to wipe out Ahab’s entire family line. Jehu knows this, so it is with great confidence that he sends letters to the men who are protecting the king’s descendants and tells them to pick an heir from among Ahab’s sons who will fight Jehu for the throne. But after seeing two kings and a queen fall to Jehu’s sword, the men decline.

“We are your servants, all that you say to us we will do, we will not make any man king; do what is good in your sight.” (2 Ki. 10:5)

Alright, fine. Jehu sends out a second letter telling them to decapitate all of Ahab’s sons and bring their heads to the city of Jezreel in twenty-four hours’ time.

The next day, seventy bloody heads arrive in baskets to Jezreel and Jehu piles them up at the city’s gates. What a gross and disturbing sight. He then waits a whole night for the gossip mill to spread the news of the heads all throughout the area. The next morning, he goes out to the piles and says to the people gathered there:

“You are innocent. It was I who conspired against my master and killed him, but who killed all these? Know, then, that not a word which Yahweh has spoken against the house of Ahab will fail. Yahweh has done what He announced through His servant Elijah.” So Jehu killed everyone in Jezreel who remained of the house of Ahab, as well as all his chief men, his close friends and his priests, leaving him no survivor. (2 Ki. 10:9-11)

It’s a major bloodbath in Israel, but Jehu still isn’t done. Remember that King Ahaziah of Judah was also a blood relative of Ahab. Along come forty-two of Ahaziah’s relatives for a social visit with the royal family in Israel. Talk about rotten timing. Apparently these forty-two haven’t heard about the slaughter going on, and as soon as Jehu hears about them, he has them all killed. That’s forty-two more corpses lying on the ground. The grave digging business would be booming if anyone cared enough about these people to try and bury them. But Yahweh had said their bodies would be devoured by wild animals, and after seeing what short work the wild dogs made out of Jezebel’s body, we can picture nature having an easy time keeping up with all the food Jehu is producing. Yuck. It’s a disturbing time to live in Israel.

THE PROPHETS OF BAAL

Just when we’re feeling like we need to take a shower to wash off all the blood, Jehu sets out on a new path of carnage. This time his target is all the prophets and priests of Baal that Jezebel was so crazy about. Of course hunting them down one by one would take too much time. So clever Jehu comes up with a trick. First he makes a public announcement that he is an avid Baal worshiper—even more so than Ahab was. Then he announces a special ceremony to be held in Baal’s honor. Naturally all the prophets of Baal show up and once everyone is conveniently gathered together inside Baal’s temple, Jehu orders his men to slaughter them all. The temple is drenched in blood by the time Jehu and his men start ripping it apart and setting fire to it. Hooray for Jehu! And just when we want to applaud this man for so zealously carrying out the orders of Yahweh we read:

So Jehu destroyed Baal worship in Israel. However, he did not turn away from the sins of Jeroboam son of Nebat, which he had caused Israel to commit—the worship of the golden calves at Bethel and Dan. (2 Ki. 10:28-29)

Really?? We’re still worshiping the stupid calf gods? What is wrong with this man? How do you stand around telling everyone that all of Yahweh’s prophecies have been fulfilled—and how do you see those prophecies so accurately fulfilled after decades of waiting—only to bow down to some golden cow? Wow.

Yahweh said to Jehu, “Because you have done well in accomplishing what is right in My eyes and have done to the house of Ahab all I had in mind to do, your descendants will sit on the throne of Israel to the fourth generation.” (2 Ki. 10:30)

Yahweh is certainly being gracious not to take one of those stupid cows and clong Jehu over the head with it. Unfortunately it seems like this calf-worshiping warrior is the best Yahweh can find at the moment. Boy the pickings are slim in Israel, and Judah isn’t much better.

QUEEN ATHALIAH

Ahaziah’s mother is Athaliah [uh-THALE-ee-uh], that nasty daughter of Ahab who urged her son to embrace evil during his brief twelve month reign. But now that her son has been murdered by Jehu, Athaliah’s true colors show and we find out that she is lusting for power. Suddenly morphing into a psychotic murderer, she starts slaughtering the whole royal line in Judah in an effort to eliminate any competition for the throne which she has just seized. With Ahaziah dying so young, many of his heirs are just children. Athaliah doesn’t care. She kills without mercy and she’s so crazed with her lust for power that she doesn’t notice one of the king’s daughters grabbing her baby brother and hiding him away in the Lord’s Temple with his nurse. He stays in that Temple for the next six years while Queen Athaliah rules the land. So now we have a queen in the south, Jehu in the north, and more corpses than we can even count.

3

JONAH

So far in this period, the focus has been on Israel and Judah. But now a new prophet rises up who reminds us that these two nations aren’t the only ones giving Yahweh a headache. While we have the luxury of just hearing about a few twerpy rebels, Yahweh sees the sins of the whole world, and it’s not an encouraging sight. For example, to the northeast of Israel, a massive empire is brewing called Assyria. It’s filled with idol worship, and the spiritual rebellion has become so intense that Yahweh has decided to wipe its capital city off the face of the map. That capital city is called Nineveh. Now all that Yahweh needs is some loyal prophet who will go and speak His message for Him. He doesn’t want to take Elisha out of Israel. Let’s see, who else can He get? It’s very slim pickings right now. Well, He’ll just have to settle for Jonah. This won’t be Jonah’s first prophetic assignment, but the little twerp can get really moody sometimes and refuse to do what he’s told. Oh, look, he’s boarding a ship to sail in the opposite direction from where God has told him to go. How not cute.

jonah map

Boarding a ship in the port city of Joppa [JAW-puh], Jonah tries to sail across the Mediterranean Sea in the direction of Spain. This is in total defiance of Yahweh’s instructions, which are to travel inland to the massive city of Nineveh. To encourage His feisty prophet to get back in line with His orders, Yahweh creates a massive storm at sea and Jonah—knowing he’s the source of the trouble—jumps overboard rather than wait until the entire ship sinks. It’s a suicidal act, for Jonah has no reason to think he will survive in the open sea. But along comes a massive fish who swallows Jonah whole, then carries him to the coast where he spits him out again. From there, Jonah finally travels to Nineveh to deliver Yahweh’s message that He will utterly destroy the city in forty days. But then, surprisingly, the king of the city sincerely repents of his sin and commands all his people to repent as well. So Yahweh changes His mind and doesn’t bring on the disaster He has foretold. Then Jonah has a hissy fit because he wanted to see Nineveh go up in smoke. Poor Yahweh. It’s very slim pickings indeed.

So then, what will happen to the little boy who is now hiding in the Temple? Will Queen Athaliah find out about him and kill him? And is God ever going to deal with those stupid golden cow gods in the north? How much longer will Elisha last and who will replace him when he’s gone? Will God be able to find better prophets than whiny Jonah? The drama will continue in our next lesson. Who knew the Old Testament was this exciting?

UP NEXT: Know Your Bible Lesson 19: More Kings & the Prophet Amos

Click here for all the lessons in this series.

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