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Thoughts and Reflection

Today in the readings we learn, Athaliah, daughter of Ahab, wife of Jehoram, and mother of Ahaziah, makes herself queen and kills the royal family of Judah to eliminate any claim to the throne. She reigns as queen for six years, not knowing that Joash, one of Ahaziah’s sons, was hidden away. The Lord promised David that it is the line of Judah that the ultimate king will come. So the priests crown Joash the king of Judah and Athaliah is killed.

The priest Jehoiada makes a covenant between himself, the people, and the king to be the Lord’s people. Joash is only seven when he begins his reign, but has good people surrounding him and giving him advice. The people return to a measure of faithfulness to the Lord under Joash.

God once again shows us he will remain faithful to us when others will not.

About This Project

For the year 2022, I decided that my New Year’s Resolution was to read the whole Bible following the Bible in the Year plan presented by Fr. Mike Schmitz. It is a big and bold undertaking. You can follow along by subscribing. Feel free to look at previous day’s post and comment. It’s something we can all learn from together!

Daily Readings

1 Kings 22

1 There was a lull of three years, with no fighting between Aram and Israel.

2 Then, in the third year, Jehoshaphat king of Judah paid a visit to the king of Israel.

3 The king of Israel said to his officers, ‘You are aware that Ramoth in Gilead belongs to us? And yet we do nothing to wrest it away from the king of Aram.’

4 He said to Jehoshaphat, ‘Will you come with me to attack Ramoth in Gilead?’ Jehoshaphat replied to the king of Israel, ‘I will be as you, my men as yours, my horses as yours.’

5 Jehoshaphat, however, said to the king of Israel, ‘First, please enquire what the word of Yahweh is.’

6 The king of Israel then called the prophets together, about four hundred of them. ‘Should I go and attack Ramoth in Gilead,’ he asked, ‘or should I hold back?’ ‘Go ahead,’ they replied, ‘for Yahweh has already given it to the king.’

7 Jehoshaphat, however, said, ‘Is there no other prophet of Yahweh here, so that we can enquire through him?’

8 The king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, ‘There is one more man through whom we can consult Yahweh, but I hate him because he never has a favourable prophecy for me, only unfavourable ones; he is Micaiah son of Imlah.’ ‘I hope the king’s words are unjustified,’ said Jehoshaphat. 

9 The king of Israel then summoned a court official and said, ‘Bring Micaiah son of Imlah immediately.’

10 The king of Israel and Jehoshaphat king of Judah were sitting each on his throne, wearing their robes, in an open space just outside the gate of Samaria, with all the prophets in a state of ecstasy before them.

11 Zedekiah son of Kenaanah, who had made himself some iron horns, said, ‘Yahweh says, “With horns like these you will gore the Aramaeans till you make an end of them.” ‘

12 And all the prophets cried ecstatically in the same vein, saying, ‘March on Ramoth in Gilead! Success is sure, for Yahweh has already given it to the king!’

13 The messenger who had gone to summon Micaiah said to him, ‘Look here, what the prophets are saying is uniformly favourable to the king. I hope you will say the same as they do and speak favourably.’

14 Micaiah said, ‘As Yahweh lives, I shall speak as Yahweh tells me!’

15 When he came to the king, the king said, ‘Micaiah, should we go and attack Ramoth in Gilead, or should we hold back?’ He replied, ‘Go ahead! Success is sure, for Yahweh has already given it to the king!’

16 The king then said, ‘How often must I put you on oath to tell me nothing but the truth in the name of Yahweh?’

17 Then he spoke out: I saw all Israel scattered on the mountains like sheep without a shepherd. And Yahweh said, ‘These have no master, let them all go safely home!’

18 At this the king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, ‘Did I not tell you that he never gives me favourable prophecies, but only unfavourable ones?’

19 Micaiah went on, ‘Now listen to the word of Yahweh. I saw Yahweh seated on his throne with the whole array of heaven standing by him, on his right and on his left.

20 Yahweh said, “Who will entice Ahab into marching to his death at Ramoth in Gilead?” At which some answered one way, and some another.

21 A spirit then came forward and stood before Yahweh and said, “I will entice him.”

22 “How?” Yahweh asked. He replied, “I shall go and be a deceptive spirit in the mouths of all his prophets.” Yahweh said, “You willsucceed in enticing him. Go and do it.”

23 And now, you see, Yahweh has put a deceptive spirit into the mouths of all your prophets here, for in fact Yahweh has pronounced disaster on you.’

24 Zedekiah son of Chenaanah then came up, struck Micaiah on the cheek and said, ‘Which way did Yahweh’s spirit leave me, to speak to you?’

25 ‘That is what you will find out,’ Micaiah retorted, ‘the day you go from room to room, trying to hide.’

26 The king of Israel said, ‘Seize Micaiah and hand him over to Amon, governor of the city, and Joash, the king’s son,

27 and say, “These are the king’s orders: Put this man in prison and feed him on nothing but bread and water until I am safely home.” ‘

28 Micaiah said, ‘If you ever do get home safely, Yahweh has not spoken through me.’

29 The king of Israel and Jehoshaphat king of Judah marched on Ramoth in Gilead.

30 The king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, ‘I shall disguise myself to go into battle, but you put on your robes.’ So the king of Israel disguised himself and went into battle.

31 Now, the king of Aram had given his chariot commanders the following order, ‘Do not attack anyone of whatever rank, except the king of Israel.’

32 So, when the chariot commanders saw Jehoshaphat, they thought, ‘That is obviously the king of Israel,’ and surrounded him to attack. But when Jehoshaphat shouted his war cry

33 the chariot commanders, realising that he was not the king of Israel, broke off their pursuit.

34 Someone, however, drawing his bow without any special aim, shot the king of Israel between the joints of his armour. ‘Turn about!’ said the king to his charioteer. ‘Get me out of the fighting; I am collapsing.’

35 But the battle grew fiercer as the day went on and the king had to be held upright in his chariot facing the Aramaeans, the blood from the wound running into the bottom of the chariot, until in the evening he died.

36 At sundown a shout ran through the ranks, ‘Every man back to his town, every man back to his country!

37 The king is dead.’ He was taken to Samaria and in Samaria the king was buried.

38 They washed the chariot at the Pool of Samaria; the dogs licked up the blood, and the prostitutes washed in it, in accordance with the word which Yahweh had spoken.

39 The rest of the history of Ahab, his entire career, the ivory house he erected, all the towns he built, is this not recorded in the Book of the Annals of the Kings of Israel?

40 When Ahab fell asleep with his ancestors, his son Ahaziah succeeded him.

41 Jehoshaphat son of Asa became king of Judah in the fourth year of Ahab king of Israel.

42 Jehoshaphat was thirty-five years old when he came to the throne, and he reigned for twenty-five years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Azubah daughter of Shilhi.

43 In every way he followed the example of his father Asa undeviatingly, doing what is pleasing to Yahweh.

44 The high places, however, were not abolished; the people still offered sacrifice and incense on the high places.

45 Jehoshaphat was at peace with the king of Israel.

46 The rest of the history of Jehoshaphat, the valour he showed, the wars he waged, is this not recorded in the Book of the Annals of the Kings of Judah?

47 The few male sacred prostitutes left over from the days of his father Asa, he expelled from the country.

48 At the time, Edom had no king, and King

49 Jehoshaphat built ships of Tarshish to go to Ophir for gold, but they never made the voyage since the ships were wrecked at Ezion-Geber.

50 Ahaziah son of Ahab then proposed to Jehoshaphat, ‘Let my men go to sea with yours.’ But Jehoshaphat would not agree.

51 When Jehoshaphat fell asleep with his ancestors he was buried in the City of his ancestor, David; his son Jehoram succeeded him.

52 Ahaziah son of Ahab became king of Israel in Samaria in the seventeenth year of Jehoshaphat king of Judah, and reigned over Israel for two years.

53 He did what is displeasing to Yahweh, by following the example of his father and mother, and of Jeroboam son of Nebat who had led Israel into sin.

54 He served Baal and worshipped him, and provoked the anger of Yahweh God of Israel just as his father had done.

2 Chronicles 23

1 In the seventh year Jehoiada decided to take action and made a pact with the regimental commanders, Azariah son of Jeroham, Ishmael son of Jehohanan, Azariah son of Obed, Maaseiah son of Adaiah and Elishaphat son of Zichri.

2 These went all over Judah, gathering the Levites from all the towns of Judah, and the heads of the Israelite families, who then came to Jerusalem,

3 and the whole assembly made a pact with the king in the Temple of God. Jehoiada said to them, ‘Look, the king’s son is now to be king, as Yahweh has promised of the sons of David!

4 This is what you must do: a third of you priests and Levites who come on duty on the Sabbath must guard the gates,

5 a third the royal palace, a third the Foundation Gate, while the people must all stay in the courts of the Temple of Yahweh.

6 No one must enter the Temple of Yahweh except the priests and the ministering Levites; they may come in because they are consecrated. But the people must all observe Yahweh’s regulations.

7 The Levites must surround the king, each man with his weapons in his hands; anyone who enters the Temple must be killed. And you will escort the king when he comes in and when he leaves.’

8 The Levites and all Judah did everything as Jehoiada the priest had ordered, and each one brought his men, those coming on duty on the Sabbath and those going off duty on the Sabbath, for Jehoiada the priest had not released any of the divisions from duty.

9 Jehoiada the priest then issued the regimental commanders with King David’s spears and large and small shields, which were kept in the Temple of God.

10 He then positioned all the people, each man with his weapon in his hand, from the south side of the Temple to the north side of the Temple, close to the altar and the Temple, to form a circle round the king.

11 Then they brought the king’s son out, crowned him, gave him a copy of the covenant and made him king. When Jehoiada and his sons had anointed him, they shouted, ‘Long live the king!’

12 On hearing the people shouting as they ran to acclaim the king, Athaliah joined the people in the Temple of Yahweh.

13 When she looked, there stood the king on his dais by the entrance, with the officers and trumpeters at the king’s side, and all the people of the country rejoicing and blowing the trumpets, and the singers with their musical instruments leading the hymns of praise. Then Athaliah tore her cloths and shouted, ‘Treason, treason!’ 

14 Jehoiada the priest then gave the order to the regimental commanders in charge of the troops, ‘Take her out between the ranks and put to the sword anyone who follows her.’ For the priest had already said, ‘Do not kill her inside the Temple of Yahweh.’

15 So they made way for her, and when she reached the entrance to the Horses’ Gate of the palace, they killed her there.

16 Jehoiada made a covenant between himself, all the people and the king to remain Yahweh’s people.

17 All the people then went to the temple of Baal and demolished it; they smashed its altars and its images and killed Mattan the priest of Baal in front of the altars.

18 Jehoiada entrusted the security of the Temple of Yahweh to the priests and Levites, whom David had put in charge of the Temple of Yahweh to present the burnt offerings of Yahweh as laid down in the Law of Moses, with joy and song as ordained by David.

19 He also appointed gatekeepers for the gates of the Temple of Yahweh, so that no one who was unclean might enter for any purpose at all.

20 He then took the regimental commanders, the nobles, the government officials and all the people of the land and he escorted the king down from the Temple of Yahweh. Entering the palace through the Upper Gate, they placed the king on the royal throne.

21 All the people of the land were delighted, and the city made no move after Athaliah had been put to death.

Song of Solomon 8

1 Ah, why are you not my brother, nursed at my mother’s breast! Then if I met you out of doors, I could kiss you without people thinking ill of me.

2 I should lead you, I should take you into my mother’s house, and you would teach me! I should give you spiced wine to drink, juice of my pomegranates.

3 His left arm is under my head and his right embraces me.

4 LOVER: I charge you, daughters of Jerusalem, do not rouse, do not wake my beloved, before she pleases!

5 Who is this coming up from the desert leaning on her lover? I awakened you under the apple tree, where your mother conceived you, where she who bore you conceived you.

6 BELOVED: Set me like a seal on your heart, like a seal on your arm. For love is strong as Death, passion as relentless as Sheol. The flash of it is a flash of fire, a flame of Yahweh himself.

7 Love no flood can quench, no torrents drown. Were a man to offer all his family wealth to buy love, contempt is all that he would gain.

8 Our sister is little: her breasts are not yet formed. What shall we do for our sister on the day she is spoken for?

9 If she is a rampart, on the crest we shall build a battlement of silver; if she is a door, we shall board her up with planks of cedar.

10 I am a wall, and my breasts represent its towers. And under their eyes I have found true peace.

11 Solomon had a vineyard at Baal-Hamon. He entrusted it to overseers, and each one was to pay him the value of its produce, a thousand shekels of silver.

12 But I tend my own vineyard myself. You, Solomon, may have your thousand shekels, and those who oversee its produce their two hundred.

13 You who dwell in the gardens, my companions listen for your voice; let me hear it.

14 Haste away, my love, be like a gazelle, a young stag, on the spice-laden mountains.

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