This is me, Eccles

This is me, Eccles
This is me, Eccles

Tuesday, 6 August 2013

2 Kings

Well, it may be the height of summer, but my class of atheists still has a long way to go - especially you, Richard - so we'll continue with the Eccles Bible Project, looking at 2 Kings. And Caitlin, if I hear any more name-calling from you, I'll make you stand in the corner.

four kings

All right, it's also known as "4 Kings".

Elijah the prophet goes out with a bang. He sends fire from Heaven to consume supporters of Baal-zebub the god of Ekron (everyone happy that we don't believe in Baal-zebub? Splendid.) Soon after that he is taken up to Heaven by a whirlwind, and hands over to Elisha.


Go up, thou bald head!

Elisha, who might more properly have been called Alopecia, is known for summoning two she-bears from a wood; these eat up forty-two children who mocked his baldness. Times have changed a bit since then, and nowadays it is OK, but rude, to comment on a prophet's hair. Sorry, Giles!

Elisha does many more useful miracles, including making rain, multiplying a widow's oil and raising a child from the dead. Richard, there's no need to go ROFL at this point: it's undignified for a 72-year-old retired zoologist to be rolling around on the floor. If you accept the existence of God, then miracles are possible, boy.

deadly pottage

Elisha also heals the deadly pottage.

Elisha operates in Israel, in the time of kings Jehoram (evil), Jehu (good), Jehoahaz (evil), and Jehoash (good); if I've got that right - it's not really important. At half time in this book, Elisha dies. Time for a tea break.

Caitlin drinking

Caitlin! We said "tea break".

So we come to the second half of 2 Kings. The political situation is complicated, with Israel and Judah being at odds, and Assyria, Samaria and Egypt (and others) all joining in the fun. We meet Isaiah for the first time - he's in Judah and not really one for spectacular miracles, although he is going to do some great prophesying. Isaiah's got his own book so we'll come to him later.

Homework: Azariah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah were kings in Judah while Isaiah was operating. For each one say whether he was (a) good or evil; (b) successful or unsuccessful. Do you notice a pattern?


Do you find Hezekiah guilty or not guilty?

The book ends badly for our heroes, as Jerusalem is sacked by Nebuchadnezzar, the temple of Solomon is destroyed and many (most?) of the people taken away to Babylon. This will set the scene for later adventures.


Having a lovely time. Wish you were here!

Now, look on the bright side: Babylon is a great place to visit if you are interested in gardening - specifically, hanging gardens. However, at the end of 2 Kings nobody seems to appreciate this.


  1. What about Nosmo Bro? You omitted him and he has gone off in a huff.

  2. Good grammar this time - 2 Kings - plural agreement.

    1. Coming next: 1 Chronicles. Oh dear.

    2. Ooh! Are you doing C S Lewis next? Can't wait!

    3. Narnia? Look - there's only room for ONE revisionist historian round here - and that's ME

  3. If you mske rude comments about a certain "prophet" you might get a bomb through your window or a fat wah thrown at you.(Whatever that is but it sounds dangerous).

  4. And nothing about Sennarcharib…byronically speaking…?

  5. I like the "Three Kings" Christmas special that came out afterwards.

  6. There was this joke about 2 Kings but I've forgotten how it goes....