Jehu and the Prophets

Jehu had contact with at least three prophets (four if you count the one who anointed him) during his lifetime: Elijah, Elisha, and Micaiah. Jehu was an army commander during the days of Ahab and if you put together 2 Kings 9: 24 – 26 and 1 Kings 21: 17 – 23 it is apparent that Jehu was present when Elijah spoke the destruction that was to come to Ahab’s house. I find it interesting when someone is present when a word from the Lord is spoken and years later the hearer of that word is part of the fulfillment of the prophecy. No doubt Jehu would have also heard Elijah’s announcement from the Lord about how Ahab had humbled himself and that the word would come upon his son (1 Kings 21: 29).

As a commander of the army, it is also to be expected that Jehu was present when Micaiah prophesied against Ahab and he died. This should have had an impact on him and how he viewed words from the Lord. But his attitude is hard to read in the story of his anointing. At first glance when the young man came with the word from Elisha Jehu seems to downplay his anointing until the other officers become serious about the oil dripping from his head (See Jehu – The Start). But this show of support may have been what he really wanted to see before he would act openly on that word.

Elisha was the other prophet that he would have been around and you have to wonder if he was the prophet who delivered the word in 2 Kings 10: 30. Jehu was promised and received four generation of his family as kings of Israel (See 2 Kings 15: 12). Elisha was present for Jehu, Jehoahaz, and Jehoash (13: 14). It is a shame that even with all of this help from the Lord Jehu would/could not follow the Lord more closely (10: 31) (See Jeroboam- The Lord Your God for the sin that Israel stayed in). But it must be pointed out that God in His love gave Jehu every chance and three solid men of God to help him.

I still am in awe of God for loving Israel so much that He sent Elijah and Elisha to them andJehoshaphat's Timeline not to Judah. God tried hard to get them to change but they would not. In reading the start of 2 Kings it would seem that Elijah’s chariot ride to heaven happened right after Ahab’s death but he wrote a letter to Jehoram condemning his treachery and pronouncing his death. That could add about nine years before the cloak fell to Elisha. So exactly when all of the miracles in 2 Kings 2 – 8 happened we can not tell because the chronicler talks about kings but does not name them. It is possible that Elijah was alive to see the word he spoke against Ahab come to pass.

Jehoshaphat – A Warning For Today

Jehoshaphat – A Warning For Today

Jehoshaphat was a godly king who did good and tried to have his people follow in the Jehoshaphat's Timelineways of the Lord. He took measures to protect against Israel (2 Chronicles 17:1), had the people taught from the Book of the Law by priest (vs. 9), rid the land of false worship (vs. 6), reformed the judicial system (19:4-10), lead Judah’s army against a huge invading army (20: 1-30), and took care of his family (21:3). I think it is fair to say that he loved God and personally choose the “high road” but he did have a really alarming mindset.

This mindset shows itself in four things Jehoshaphat did. In 2 Chronicles 18:1 he aligned himself/Judea with Israel (the Northern Kingdom) by marriage; he allowed/arranged the marriage of Jehoram to Athaliah (Ahab’s daughter). In 2 Chronicles 18: 2 he agreed to go with Ahab to get Ramoth Gilead back from Aram and he went with Joram in 2 Kings 3 to attack Moab.  Then in 2 Chronicles 20: 36 it talks about a trade agreement with Ahaziah Ahab’s son. (In the passages below I combined Kings and Chronicles where these books cover the topic. The book of Kings talk about both Israel and Judah while Chronicles primarily covers the kings of Judah.)

I and II Kings with I and II Chronicles From the Conservative Version

  • 1Ki 22:45 2Ch 20:34 Now the rest of the acts of Jehoshaphat, and his might that he showed, and how he warred, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah and written in the history of Jehu the son of Hanani, which is inserted in the book of the kings of Israel.
  • 1Ki 22:46 And he put away out of the land the remnant of the sodomites, who remained in the days of his father Asa.
  • 1Ki 22:47 And there was no king in Edom; a deputy was king.
  • 2Ch 20:35 And after this Jehoshaphat king of Judah joined himself with Ahaziah king of Israel. The same did very wickedly.
  • 2Ch 20:36 And he joined himself with him to make ships to go to Tarshish.
  • 1Ki 22:48 2Ch 20:36 Jehoshaphat made ships of Tarshish to go to Ophir for gold in Ezion-geber, but they did not go, for the ships were broken at Ezion-geber.
  • 1Ki 22:49 Then Ahaziah the son of Ahab said to Jehoshaphat, Let my servants go with thy servants in the ships. But Jehoshaphat would not.
  • 2Ch 20:37 Then Eliezer the son of Dodavahu of Mareshah prophesied against Jehoshaphat, saying, Because thou have joined thyself with Ahaziah, LORD has destroyed thy works. And the ships were broken so that they were not able to go to Tarshish.
  • 1Ki 22:50 2Ch 21:1 And Jehoshaphat slept with his fathers, and was buried with his fathers in the city of David his father. And Jehoram his son reigned in his stead.

2 Chronicles 19: 2 states the problem, “Should you help the wicked and love those who hate the Lord.” (NIV) Right away many Christians would say what about evangelism or how can we ever be a witness to the unsaved? I think with a little meditation it is easy to see this is not what Jehoshaphat was doing, he was “yoking” himself to people who had rejected much of the Laws of God on purpose and set up another religious experience. The most destructive of these four acts was the marriage alliance with the royal family of Baal-worshipping Ahab and Jezebel. The three “business deals” are bad because it mixed the unbelievers into his nation that he was trying to change to follow God. So the warning is to pastors and heads of households – watch what you allow/bring into your lives and that of your charges. In a future post, I will look at the results of Jehoshaphat’s choices.

Tribes of Israel – Thoughts on the Family

Thoughts on the Family

Jacob – Just when you think you “know it all” you actually study someone and there is more (see What Was His Name). First thing I found was he was a lot older than I thought when he got married (see Timeline). He, like his dad, certainly played favorites with his children. It is easy to understand him being mad at Rueben, Levi and Simeon but he seemed determined to elevate Rachel’s children in the inheritance area thus cutting out Leah’s children. I guess we can always wonder if some of the contention in the family wasn’t his fault. But getting a wife you did not want and then two concubines so you can appease two warring sisters really does not add up to a blissful home life. But through all of the trials in his life I think he found God in a deep way and profound way that amplifies the blessings in Genesis 49.

Leah – When you look at her over the years she really was a faithful wife who watched out for her husband and the family. She probably did not get the respect she deserved until after Rachel died. You get the idea that she had a crush on Jacob when he was working for Rachel because she definitely claims him as HER husband. I guess I now think that Jacob loved the wrong one because Leah is the one who seemed to have really wanted to Leah_w_Rachel_67-63be his wife.

Rachel – The “beloved” wife that was Jacob’s dream girl/trophy wife that he favored above all else. She was real-handful and pretty self-centered the classic example is her stealing the family “gods” and hiding them. Image Jacob’s blood pressure when he finds them and has them buried under a tree. But in her defense I might be a little miffed about my father and sister messing up my wedding and my life.

* I think both Rachel and Leah at the end of their time in Paddan Aram realized that daddy was just out for a buck and that they were better off with each other and Jacob. I wonder how these things affected their relationship as sisters it is definitely competitive after they are married.

The Concubines – Bilhah and Zilpah are the two slave girls who were used to increase the number of children in the family. I have no doubt that they remained just that slave girls. Jacob did not ask them about leaving Paddan Aram and they were put in front when Esau was about to show up. And was Bilhah just trying to up her status when she slept with Rueben?

The Boys – They have provided a lot to think about and some really good lessons.

Rueben is the picture of someone who messed but still part of the family. All of the sons took part in selling Joseph and the years of covering up the deed; can you image how Jacob felt about them when the wagons rolled up to take him to Egypt. I said it before but big or little, leader or not being part of the family is important.  It seems like Jacob even with four women each wanting their children to be the standouts managed to raise a group of children who could work together. But the stress and contention in the camp must have been thick enough to cut with a knife or everyone knew their status in the family and that was enough.

The composition of the family provides some interesting comparisons for the Body of Christ.

All are true sons but some are:

  • Sons of a loved wife
  • Sons of an unloved wife
  • Children of free, true wives
  • Children of slaves
  • Some were born in Egypt (Joseph’s boys)

The picture is Leah with Rachel from: http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://bibleencyclopedia.com/picturesjpeg/Leah_w_Rachel_67-63.jpg&imgrefurl=http://bibleencyclopedia.com/pictures/Genesis_29_Leah_with_Rachel.htm&h=614&w=400&sz=110&tbnid=Vci4cXEClxoKoM:&tbnh=99&tbnw=64&prev=/search%3Fq%3Dpictures%2Bof%2BLeah%2Band%2BRachel%26tbm%3Disch%26tbo%3Du&zoom=1&q=pictures+of+Leah+and+Rachel&usg=__KbmFiyhA-FIhWlDZFpBEJ8kzp40=&docid=d0RrbP5CPUreIM&hl=en&sa=X&ei=qUJyUNnONJKDqgGvwoG4Bw&sqi=2&ved=0CDIQ9QEwBQ&dur=673 

Tribes of Israel – Manasseh

Manasseh was the first-born child of Joseph who was put as a “second son” by Jacob. Joseph in naming Manasseh and Ephraim demonstrates that he was perfectly happy with his new life and had no intention of going back. (Genesis 41:51+52) He had the power to send a message back to his family but he did not.

I wonder how these two acted around the rest of the family? They were children of the ruler of the country they lived in and because of being Egyptian possibly had more privileges. From Genesis 48:1 I would wonder if Joseph even allowed them to live around his brothers? Joseph may have had them marry within the family but Manasseh definitely owned slaves and even had a foreign concubine.

1 Chronicles 7:14+15 talks about Manasseh’s two notable descendents: Gilead and Zelophehad.  In Numbers 36 Zelophehad dies in the exodus and leaves only daughters, these girls stand up for themselves and their father’s lineage. The daughters go to Moses and plead their case before God; this leads to a new decree to acknowledge women as heirs. It may not sound like much but that was groundbreaking territory when women were viewed much of the time as second-class people or property.   The other descendent was Gilead who was to lend his name to the area of the east bank of the Jordan River that wasTwelveTribesofIsraelebible the inheritance of the tribes of Manasseh, Rueben and Gad. This is a contrast to Zelophehad’s daughters; Gilead comes from an Aramean concubine and a group of people who were not Israelites (Huppites and Shuppites). Just like Bilhah and Zilpah this concubine was a slave that Manasseh used and was so elevated to a slightly better status in the household. You get the feeling that the children were valued but not the mother (Sarah and Hagar).

In 1 Chronicles 5: 18 -26 it gives two contrasting stories; one of faith and trust in God and the other of unfaithfulness to Him. In verse 20 the East Bank tribes cry out to God for help in the middle of a battle and are helped and overcome their enemies. In verse 25 it tells of the unfaithfulness that gets them taken away by Tiglath-Pileser.habor_river

Actually, Manasseh’s descendents were on par with the other tribes; they did their part in taking the Promise Land and showed up at all the right times and were active during the life time of Saul and David. Lo Debar is in the allotment of land given to Manasseh and it was this area that David went to when he ran from Absalom.

Map from http://www.biblestudytools.com/resources/maps/twelve-tribes-of-israel-map.html and eBibleTeacher.com.

http://bibleatlas.org/full/habor_river.htm  large map,

Tribes of Israel – Joseph

Joseph is the twelfth child of Jacob and the first son of Rachel; he was the last child born in Paddan Aram. The NIV Bible says the name means “may He add” Rachel believed to have another son. He is the first-born son of the “loved” wife and it showed when he met Esau; Rachel and Joseph were in the back far away from the first attack (Genesis 33:2).Joseph as a slave

Deuteronomy 33: 13 About Joseph he said: “May the Lord bless his land with the precious dew from heaven above and with the deep waters that lie below; 14 with the best the sun brings forth and the finest the moon can yield; 15 with the choicest gifts of the ancient mountains and the fruitfulness of the everlasting hills; 16 with the best gifts of the earth and its fullness and the favor of him who dwelt in the burning bush. Let all these rest on the head of Joseph, on the brow of the prince among his brothers. 17 In majesty he is like a firstborn bull; his horns are the horns of a wild ox. With them, he will gore the nations, even those at the ends of the earth. Such are the ten thousands of Ephraim; such are the thousands of Manasseh.” (NIV)

Genesis 49:22 “Joseph is a fruitful vine, a fruitful vine near a spring,
whose branches climb over a wall. 23 With bitterness archers attacked him; they shot at him with hostility. 24 But his bow remained steady, his strong arms stayed limber, because of the hand of the Mighty One of Jacob, because of the Shepherd, the Rock of Israel, 25 because of your father’s God, who helps you, because of the Almighty, who blesses you with blessings of the heavens above, blessings of the deep that lies below, blessings of the breast and womb. 26 Your father’s blessings are greater than the blessings of the ancient mountains, than the bounty of the age-old hills. Let all these rest on the head of Joseph, on the brow of the prince among his brothers. (NIV)

Jacob and Moses in their blessings pretty much gave it all to Joseph and his children.  I really don’t have a lot to say about Joseph because I think every pastor has at least two Joseph sermons. He has all kind of types and shadows from being a type of Jesus to a picture of blessing and faithfulness in hard times.

In Genesis 47 Joseph does his job and gives all of the lands of Egypt to Pharaoh. Oh, we are supposed to do an excellent job for a heathen boss. This is done in the last five years of the famine after his family has joined him.

It is interesting that Jacob continues the “second son” being first in Genesis 48; he was the second son, Joseph is the “second son” and was placed before even Judah as noted in Genesis 48:22 and 1 Chronicles 5:2. Ephraim’s children do live up to all the predictions and play important roles in Israel’s history.  In Amos and Obadiah the children are grouped again under the name of Joseph and in Revelation 7 Manasseh is mentioned by name but Ephraim is not and instead, it is the “tribe of Joseph.”

joseph-dreams of wheatAll told Joseph must have been an amazing person who understood his destiny and believed God was going to get him there even when he sold as a slave and put into prison.

Pictures from: http://www.freebibleimages.org/photos/joseph-dreams/