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Thoughts and Reflection

In today’s reading we learn that Amaziah, the king of Judah, goes into battle with three hundred thousand men hired men of Israel. A prophet warns him not to fight and he is faithful. The Lord provides him a victory. Eventually, Amazaiah turns away from the Lord to the gods of Seir. Amaziah then challenges Israel to battle, but Israel soundly defeats Judah and seizes all the gold, silver and vessels that are in the Temple. They also seize the treasures of the king’s house and take hostages.

We later see the transition from Elijah to Elisha. The eldest son typically inherits a double share of the father’s property. Elisha asks for a double portion of Elijah’s spirit. Elisha regards himself as the son of Elijah and therefore asks for his inheritance.

Elijah replies that this will be done if Elisha dees him taken up to heaven. Elishe does see Elijah taken up by fiery chariots. Elisha picks up Elijah’s coat and he can then do what Elijah did. He returns to Bethel where he is jeered at and shown no honor.

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

2 Kings 2

1 This is what happened when Yahweh took Elijah up to heaven in the whirlwind: Elijah and Elisha set out from Gilgal,

2 and Elijah said to Elisha, ‘You stay here, for Yahweh is only sending me to Bethel.’ But Elisha replied, ‘As Yahweh lives and as you yourself live, I will not leave you!’ and they went down to Bethel.

3 The brotherhood of prophets living at Bethel came out to meet Elisha and said, ‘Do you know that Yahweh will carry your lord and master away today?’ ‘Yes, I know,’ he said, ‘be quiet.’

4 Elijah said, ‘Elisha, you stay here, Yahweh is only sending me to Jericho.’ But he replied, ‘As Yahweh lives and as you yourself live, I willnot leave you!’ and they went on to Jericho.

5 The brotherhood of prophets living at Jericho went up to Elisha and said, ‘Do you know that Yahweh will carry your lord and master away today?’ ‘Yes, I know,’ he said, ‘be quiet.’

6 Elijah said, ‘Elisha, you stay here, Yahweh is only sending me to the Jordan.’ But he replied, ‘As Yahweh lives and as you yourself live, I will not leave you!’ And they went on together.

7 Fifty of the brotherhood of prophets followed them, halting some distance away as the two of them stood beside the Jordan.

8 Elijah took his cloak, rolled it up and struck the water; and the water divided to left and right, and the two of them crossed over dry-shod.

9 When they had crossed, Elijah said to Elisha, ‘Make your request. What can I do for you before I am snatched away from you?’ Elishaanswered, ‘Let me inherit a double share of your spirit.’

10 ‘Your request is difficult,’ Elijah said. ‘If you see me while I am being snatched away from you, it will be as you ask; if not, it will not be so.’

11 Now as they walked on, talking as they went, a chariot of fire appeared and horses of fire coming between the two of them; and Elijahwent up to heaven in the whirlwind.

12 Elisha saw it, and shouted, ‘My father! My father! Chariot of Israel and its chargers!’ Then he lost sight of him, and taking hold of his own clothes he tore them in half.

13 He picked up Elijah’s cloak which had fallen, and went back and stood on the bank of the Jordan.

14 He took Elijah’s cloak and struck the water. ‘Where is Yahweh, the God of Elijah?’ he cried. As he struck the water it divided to rightand left, and Elisha crossed over.

15 The brotherhood of prophets saw him in the distance, and said, ‘The spirit of Elijah has come to rest on Elisha’; they went to meet him and bowed to the ground before him.

16 ‘Look,’ they said, ‘your servants have fifty strong men with them, let them go and look for your master; the Spirit of Yahweh may have taken him up and thrown him down on a mountain or into a valley.’ ‘Send no one,’ he replied.

17 But they so shamed him with their insistence that he consented. So they sent fifty men who searched for three days without finding him.

18 They then came back to Elisha who had stayed in Jericho; he said, ‘Didn’t I tell you not to go?’

19 The people of the city said to Elisha, ‘The city is pleasant to live in, as my lord indeed can see, but the water is foul and the country suffers from miscarriages.’

20 ‘Bring me a new bowl,’ he said, ‘and put some salt in it.’ They brought it to him.

21 Then he went to the source of the water, threw salt into it and said, ‘Yahweh says this, “I make this water wholesome: neither death nor miscarriage shall come from it any more.” ‘

22 And the water became wholesome, as it is today, exactly as Elisha had said it would.

23 From there he went up to Bethel, and while he was on the road, some small boys came out of the town and jeered at him. ‘Hurry up, baldy!’ they shouted. ‘Come on up, baldy!’

24 He turned round and looked at them; and he cursed them in the name of Yahweh. And two bears came out of the forest and savaged forty-two of the boys.

25 From there he went on to Mount Carmel and then returned to Samaria.

2 Chronicles 25

1 Amaziah was twenty-five years old when he came to the throne and he reigned for twenty-nine years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Jehoaddan of Jerusalem.

2 He did what Yahweh regards as right, though not wholeheartedly.

3 Once the kingdom was firmly under his control, he killed those of his retainers who had murdered the king his father.

4 But he did not put their sons to death; this was in accordance with what is written in the Law, in the book of Moses, where Yahweh had commanded, ‘Parents may not be put to death for children, nor children for parents, but each must be put to death for his own crime.’

5 Amaziah summoned Judah and organised all Judah and Benjamin by families under commanders of thousands and commanders of hundreds. He also made a register of those who were twenty years old and upwards, and found there were three hundred thousand picked men, ready for service and capable of wielding spear and shield.

6 Furthermore, he hired a hundred thousand tough fighting men from Israel for a hundred talents of silver.

7 A man of God then came to him and said, ‘My lord king, do not let the Israelite troops march with you, for Yahweh is not with Israel or with any of the Ephraimites.

8 For however valiantly you act in war, God will bring you down before the enemy, for God has the power to uphold or to throw down.’

9 Amaziah said to the man of God, ‘But what about the hundred talents which I have paid for the Israelite troops?’ ‘Yahweh can give you far more than that,’ said the man of God.

10 At this, Amaziah dismissed the troops who had come to him from Ephraim and sent them home again. They were furious with Judah and went home in a great rage.

11 Amaziah then, coming to a decision, led out his own troops and, having reached the Valley of Salt, struck down ten thousand Seirites.

12 The men of Judah captured ten thousand more alive and, taking them to the summit of the Rock, threw them off the summit of the Rock so that they were all dashed to pieces.

13 Meanwhile, the troops whom Amaziah had dismissed and not allowed to go into battle with him rased the towns of Judah, from Samaria to Beth-Horon, killing three thousand of their inhabitants and capturing great quantities of plunder.

14 On returning from his slaughter of the Edomites, Amaziah brought the gods of the Seirites with him; he set these up as his gods, bowing down before them and burning incense to them.

15 Yahweh’s anger was aroused by Amaziah and he sent him a prophet, who said to him, ‘Why do you consult those people’s gods when they could not save their own people from your clutches?’

16 He was still speaking when Amaziah interrupted him. ‘Have we appointed you a royal counsellor? Stop, as you value your life!’ So the prophet stopped, and then said, ‘I know that God has decided to destroy you for having done this and for not listening to my advice.’ 

17 After consultation, Amaziah king of Judah then sent a message to Joash son of Jehoahaz son of Jehu, king of Israel, saying, ‘Come and make a trial of strength!’

18 Joash king of Israel sent back word to Amaziah king of Judah, ‘The thistle of Lebanon sent a message to the cedar of Lebanon, saying, “Give my son your daughter in marriage”; but a wild animal of the Lebanon ran over the thistle and squashed it.

19 “Look at me, the conqueror of Edom,” you say, and now aspire to even greater glory. But stay where you belong! Why challenge disaster, to your own and Judah’s ruin?’

20 But Amaziah would not listen, for this was an act of God to deliver them up for having consulted the gods of Edom.

21 So Joash king of Israel marched to the attack. And at Beth-Shemesh, which belongs to Judah, he and Amaziah king of Judah made their trial of strength.

22 Judah was defeated by Israel, and everyone fled to his tent.

23 The king of Judah, Amaziah son of Joash, son of Ahaziah, was taken prisoner at Beth-Shemesh by Joash king of Israel who led him off to Jerusalem, where he demolished four hundred cubits of the city wall between the Ephraim Gate and the Corner Gate;

24 he then took back with him to Samaria all the gold and silver, and all the vessels to be found in the Temple of God in the care of Obed-Edom, the treasures in the palace, and hostages besides.

25 Amaziah son of Joash, king of Judah, lived for fifteen years after the death of Joash son of Jehoahaz, king of Israel.

26 The rest of the history of Amaziah, from first to last, is this not recorded in the Book of the Kings of Judah and Israel?

27 Some time after Amaziah had defected from Yahweh, a plot having been hatched against him in Jerusalem, he fled to Lachish where he was murdered.

28 He was then transported by horse and buried with his ancestors in the city of David.

Psalm 70

1 [For the choirmaster Of David In commemoration] Be pleased, God, to rescue me, Yahweh, come quickly and help me!

2 Shame and dismay to those who seek my life! Back with them! Let them be humiliated who delight in my misfortunes.

3 Let them shrink away covered with shame, those who say to me, ‘Aha, aha!’

4 But joy and happiness in you to all who seek you. Let them ceaselessly cry, ‘God is great’, who love your saving power.

5 Poor and needy as I am, God, come quickly to me! Yahweh, my helper, my Saviour, do not delay!

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