Sunday, May 12, 2013

The Bible Challenge: Day 130

The scriptures read are 2 Kings 7-9, Psalm 108 and Acts 23.

2 Kings 7. Elisha predicts the famine will end tomorrow. Then we go on this weird little adventure with 4 lepers who find the camps of Aram abandoned. They start to loot the place, a not unexpected reaction, but later decide to share the good news with the king. And this odd interlude ends with a skeptical attendant to the king getting a form of rough, yet poetic, justice.

2 Kings 8. More material I wish the Bible miniseries had dramatized: Elisha's chilling meeting with and prophesy about Hazael, the king's right hand man. The account of the king's suspicious death is very brief and yet unsettling.

A couple of quick kings of Judah are disposed off. The Davidic rulers are getting very chummy with the king of Israel, even intermarrying. The influence on the kings of Judah is all to the bad.

2 Kings 9. The fall of the house of Ahab and his wife Jezebel's horrifying death. Very Game of Thrones!

Psalm 108. Praising God and reminding him of his promises after he seems to have rejected his people.

Acts 23. Paul's meeting with the Chief Priest and the Sanhedrin starts badly. Then Paul does something clever. Perhaps inspired by the fact that he's had some speeches of his interrupted when he said something controversial ("resurrection" in Athens, "Gentiles" the day before), he notes that the council is made up of the skeptical priestly class, the Sadducees, and the Pharisees, who are  more open to the supernatural. So he says this whole dispute is about his belief in the resurrection. The council erupts into religious quarrels and the Roman soldiers get him out of there fast.

A plot to murder Paul is hatched with 40 fanatics vowing to kill him. Paul's nephew gets wind of it, tells Paul who in turn sends the young man to tell the commander. Because Paul is a Roman citizen, they can't let him be assassinated so they send him to Felix the governor in Caesarea. It's interesting that they transfer the prisoner at night, something we still do. I scoff at those TV dramas that show prisoners transferred in broad daylight on a known and broadcast time. There's inevitably an escape attempt by his cohorts, which is why, in real life, it's not done that way.

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