Wednesday, September 22, 2010

2 Kings 9-11

The Facts (Chapter number: Verse)

9:10 - "The dogs shall eat Jezebel in the territory of Jezreel, and no one shall bury her."
9:22- When Joram saw Jehu he said, "Is it peace, Jehu?" And Jehu answered, "What peace can there be, so long as the many whoredoms and sorceries of your mother Jezebel continue?"
9:30-37 - When Jehu came to Jezreel, Jezebel heard about it and painted her eyes and adorned her face. She called to Jehu out of her window, "Is it peace, Zimri, murderer of your master?" Jehu looked up and called for anyone who was on his side. Two eunuchs looked out at him and Jehu ordered that Jezebel be thrown down. They threw her down and some of her blood splattered on the wall and on the horses, which trampled her. So Jehu went and ate and drank and later called for her to be buried since she is a king's daughter. But when they went to bury her they found nothing of her but her skull, feet and the palms of her hands. They told Jehu of this and he told them that this was the word of the Lord, that Jezebel shall be eaten by dogs in Jezreel, and her corpse shall be like dung in the field so that no one can say "This is Jezebel."

10:13 - Jehu met relatives of King Ahaziah of Judah and said, "Who are you?" They answered, "We are kin of Ahaziah; we have come down to visit the royal princes and the sons of the queen mother."

11:1-3 - Now when Athaliah, Ahaziah's mother, saw that her son was dead, she set about to destroy all the royal family. But Jehosheba, King Joram's daughter, Ahaziah's sister, took Joash son of Ahaziah and stole him away from among the king's children who were about to be killed. She put him and his nurse in a bedroom. So she hid him from Athaliah so that he was not killed. He remained with her for six years, hidden in the house of the Lord while Athaliah ruled over the land.
11:13-16 - Athaliah heard the noise of the guard and of the people and went into the house of the Lord. When she looked there was the king standing by the pillar, as is custom, with the captain and the trumpeters and all the people of the land rejoicing and blowing trumpets. Athaliah tore her clothes and cried, "Treason! Treason!" The priest Jehoiada commanded the captains to bring her out between the ranks and kill anyone who followed her, for she shall not be killed in the house of the Lord. So they took her and went through the horses' entrance to the king's house and she was put to death.

My Comments

Okay, now that they have gone into detail of Jezebel's death it is much less awesome as I was thinking it to be. All we had before we just her being eaten by dogs. I imagined Jezebel out in the open being chased by a pack of angry dogs send by God himself to catch her and eat her. Instead now we have these men pushing her out a window, trampling her with horses, leaving her corpse just lying there while they have their dinner and drinks, and only then deciding that maybe she should be buried but it's already too late because the dogs had gotten to her first and eaten her. Not nearly as awesome as how I pictured it. It's actually kind of insulting for her to go out this way. She spent her life killing men and staying ahead of men, and then when it's her time to go she's just thrown out a window on the command of Jehu? She spends her life outdoing men to only be humiliated and disregarded by men?

I think I liked the idea of the dogs because it was like God himself came down to dish out her punishment. She was so awesome at being evil that God himself was like, "Holy crap, I gotta take care of this." And since she was taken out by animals she'd spent her entire life being better than men, and in the end even a man couldn't best her.

But Jehu commanding two eunuchs to chunk her out a window? And the insulting treatment of her death at the hands of the men (nevermind the horrific detail the Bible goes into concerning her death) just makes her death so much less dignified. Jezebel deserves a better and more epic death than this.

And then we top off the death of Jezebel, a powerful woman, with the death of another powerful woman, Athaliah. I think she is the queen mother, but honestly 2 Kings 11 verses 1 and 2 are so confusing that I'm not really sure. But she was a woman who took matters into her own hands, used the tactics of men before her to stay in power (mainly kill anyone in her way, a tactic often condoned by God himself) but in the end she is replaced by a king and killed for daring to try and keep power. I especially love the added bit about them taking her through the horses' entrance before they killed her. Way to add insult to injury but lowering her to the level of an animal. Athaliah was a woman who did not remember her place, which was not in a seat of power but instead in a place of servitude and submission, so they reminded her of her place by treating her like livestock. I honestly don't remember any of the men's deaths, when actually detailed, being full of so many insults and humiliation. If I have forgotten something please let me know, but I don't think I've read (as of yet!) any male death scenes that reach such a level of horrible as the death scenes of these two women.

Way to stay classy, Bible.

Also, just as a side note, while I was reading about the horrific murders that Jehu committed about halfway through I was wondering if I was supposed to view this guy as a hero or an evil bastard. I figured since the deaths were so horrific and he seemed to be killing with so much joy that he must be a bad guy, someone we were not supposed to see a godly, like Ahab or Jeroboam. But then I came across the slaughter of the people of Baal and figured that maybe I should go back and see if I missed something. And lo and behold, 2 kings 9:3 mentions God appointing him the next king of Israel. But, just because he was a king doesn't mean God likes what he's doing. Those other guys were kings and God pretty much hated their guts. And Jehu was really working the killings, first with shooting Joram in the back with a bow, killing King Azahiah in almost the same manner, then killing Jezebel, the massacring all of Ahab's descendants, and then he slaughtered the worshipers of Baal. It mentioned a few times that these happened as God had said, but God never said anything directly so I still kind of had my doubts.

Imagine my surprise when, at the end of all of Jehu's killings, God says this to Jehu, "Because you have done well in carrying out what I consider right, and in accordance with all that was in my heart have dealt with the house of Ahab, your sons of the fourth generation shall sit on the throne of Israel."


I don't think I can say it enough.

Fuck. The Christian. God. It is not longer a matter of whether I believe he exists or not. Even if he appeared right in front of me, all flowing white robes and shit accurately telling me of my past and my future and whatever the else he felt like doing, it would be a completely moot point.

Whether this God exists or not I WOULD NEVER WORSHIP HIM. Even if his existence meant hell was real it wouldn't matter. I could never worship a God that would condone such wanton slaughter for such stupid reasons. We actually haven't seen much of Satan at all, and I honestly think that we got the sides all wrong. So far all we've seen Satan do is be truthful and honest with Adam and Eve while God was lying to them. From other stories I remember learning about, Satan "tempts" people in the desert by telling them to eat food or drink water. How the hell is that evil? People need food and water to survive, it's God who's depriving these people of things our bodies naturally require, so why is Satan the bad one in this story. And how about Job? Isn't it God that causes all the bad shit to happen to him, his children all killed, all his property gone, plagued, etc? All Satan did was say to God that he bet Job wouldn't worship God if Job's life wasn't so good. But it was God who fucked all of Job's shit up, all on some sort of dare? The biggest stories involving Satan and I gotta say, Satan definitely does not look like the bad guy here. What gets me the most is that people will say "Of course Satan looks like the good guy, that's the point. He's TRICKING you into picking the wrong side?" How thick do your religious blinders have to be to believe that?

Say I was in a room with two guys. One is constantly threatening me with eternal damnation, commanding me to slaughter thousands of people, punishing me for something as simple as saying his name or not slaughtering the sacrificial lamb properly or even just punishing me for no reason at all, and also lying to me about things just so I won't ask questions or just so I will be too scared to disobey him. But the second guy doesn't harm me, doesn't threaten me, he is honest with me and points out the other man's lies, he tells me to take care of myself when the other is commanding me to neglect my own physical needs, and, while he may not be actively helping me, he is definitely not the one actively causing me great harm.

I can guarantee that many people, if given this scenario, would not say that the abusive man is the one on the side of good and righteousness. And even if they don't think he's evil they would probably not follow him or worship him.

So ever think maybe people chose the wrong side?

I sometimes think people did.

Friday: 2 Kings 12-14

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