Thoughts and Reflection
Today in the readings we learn that there is an alliance between Jehoram (the king of Isreal), Jehoshaphat (king of Judah), and a king of Edom to go to war with Moab. The armies run out of water and Elisha performs a miracle. In the early morning, the Moabites see the sun rising up over the water and they think it is blood and believe their enemies have killed each other. In the end the allied armies defeat Moab.
We also read about Uzziah, who is a new king at sixteen and reigns over Judah for 52 years. Uzziah is a good king at first but starts to offer incense in the sacred place. He is warned not to do so. As a punishment he contracts leprosy.
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!
2 Kings 3
1 Jehoram son of Ahab became king of Israel in Samaria in the eighteenth year of Jehoshaphat king of Judah, and reigned for twelve years.
2 He did what is displeasing to Yahweh, though not like his father and mother, for he did away with the pillar to Baal which his father had made.
3 Nonetheless, he continued to practise the sins into which Jeroboam son of Nebat had led Israel and did not give them up.
4 Mesha king of Moab was a sheep-breeder and used to pay the king of Israel in tribute a hundred thousand lambs and a hundred thousand rams with their wool.
5 But when Ahab died, the king of Moab rebelled against the king of Israel.
6 At once King Jehoram left Samaria and mustered all Israel.
7 After this he sent word to the king of Judah, ‘The king of Moab has rebelled against me. Will you go to war with me against Moab?’ ‘I will,’ he replied. ‘I will be as you, my men as yours, my horses as yours,’
8 and added, ‘Which way are we to attack?’ ‘Through the desert of Edom,’ the other answered.
9 So they set out, the king of Israel, the king of Judah and the king of Edom. They carried out a flanking movement for seven days, until there was no water left for the troops or for the beasts of their baggage train.
10 ‘Alas!’ the king of Israel exclaimed, ‘Yahweh has summoned us three kings, only to put us into the power of Moab.’
11 But the king of Judah said, ‘Is there no prophet of Yahweh here for us to consult Yahweh through him?’ One of the king of Israel’s servants answered, ‘Elisha son of Shaphat is here, who used to pour water on the hands of Elijah.’
12 ‘The word of Yahweh is with him,’ the king of Judah said. So the king of Israel, the king of Judah and the king of Edom went to consult him.
13 But Elisha said to the king of Israel, ‘What business have you with me? Go to your father’s and your mother’s prophets.’ ‘No,’ the king of Israel answered, ‘Yahweh is the one who has summoned us three kings, only to put us into the power of Moab.’ Elisha replied,
14 ‘By the life of Yahweh Sabaoth whom I serve, if I did not respect the king of Judah, I would take no notice of you, nor so much as look at you.
15 Now bring me someone who can play the lyre.’ And as the musician played, the hand of Yahweh came on him
16 and he said, ‘Yahweh says this, “Dig in this valley ditch after ditch,”
17 for Yahweh says, “You will see no wind, you will see no rain, but this valley will become full of water, and you and your troops and your baggage animals will drink.”
18 But this is only a trifle in Yahweh’s eyes, for he will put Moab itself into your power.
19 You will storm every fortified town, fell every productive tree, block every water-hole, ruin all the best fields with stones.’
20 Next morning at the time when the oblation was being offered, water came from the direction of Edom, and the whole terrain was flooded.
21 When the Moabites learned that the kings were advancing to fight them, all those of an age to bear arms were mobilised; they took up position on the frontier.
22 In the morning when they got up, the sun was shining on the water; and in the distance the Moabites saw the water as red as blood.
23 ‘This is blood!’ they said. ‘The kings must have fought among themselves and killed one another. So now for the booty, Moab!’
24 But when they reached the Israelite camp, the Israelites launched their attack and the Moabites fled before them, and as they advanced they cut the Moabites to pieces.
25 They laid the towns in ruins, and each man threw a stone into all the best fields to fill them up, and they blocked every water-hole and felled every productive tree. In the end, there was only Kir-Hareseth left, which the slingers surrounded and bombarded.
26 When the king of Moab saw that the battle had turned against him, he mustered seven hundred swordsmen in the hope of breaking a way out and going to the king of Aram, but he failed.
27 Then he took his eldest son who was to succeed him and offered him as a sacrifice on the city wall. Alarmed at this, the Israeliteswithdrew and retired to their own territory.
2 Chronicles 26
1 All the people then chose Uzziah, who was sixteen years old, and made him king in succession to his father Amaziah.
2 It was he who rebuilt Elath, recovering it for Judah, after the king had fallen asleep with his ancestors.
3 Uzziah was sixteen years old when he came to the throne and he reigned for fifty-two years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Jecoliah of Jerusalem.
4 He did what is pleasing to Yahweh, just as his father Amaziah had done;
5 he consulted God throughout the lifetime of Zechariah, who instructed him in the fear of God. And as long as he consulted Yahweh, God gave him success.
6 He went on campaign against the Philistines, demolished the walls of Gath, the walls of Jabneh and the walls of Ashdod, and built towns in the area of Ashdod and elsewhere in Philistine territory.
7 God helped him against the Philistines, the Arabs living at Gur-Baal and the Meunites.
8 The Meunites paid tribute to Uzziah and his fame spread as far as the frontier of Egypt, since he kept growing stronger and stronger.
9 Uzziah built towers in Jerusalem, at the Corner Gate, at the Valley Gate and at the Angle, and fortified them.
10 He built towers in the desert too, and dug many storage-wells, for he had large herds in the lowlands and on the tableland, and farmers and vine dressers in the hills and fertile lands: for he loved the land.
11 Uzziah had a trained army ready to go on campaign, organised in companies manned as detailed by the scribe Jeiel and the staff-officer Maaseiah, and commanded by Hananiah one of the king’s generals.
12 The heads of families of the military champions numbered in all two thousand six hundred.
13 Under them was an army of three hundred and seven thousand five hundred men ready for war, a powerful force to support the king against the enemy.
14 Uzziah provided shields, spears, helmets, armour, bows and sling-stones for the entire army.
15 He also erected expertly contrived devices for the towers and angles of Jerusalem from which to shoot arrows and drop large stones. His fame spread far and wide, for he was miraculously helped to become strong.
16 But once he was strong, his arrogance was such that it led to his downfall; he was unfaithful to Yahweh his God by entering the Temple of Yahweh to burn incense on the altar of incense.
17 Azariah the priest with eight brave priests of Yahweh followed him in;
18 confronting King Uzziah, they said to him, ‘Uzziah, you are not allowed to burn incense to Yahweh; only the Aaronite priests consecrated for the purpose may burn incense. Leave the sanctuary, for you have been unfaithful and will have no honour from Yahweh God.’
19 Uzziah, censer in hand to burn incense, flew into a rage. But while he was raging at the priests, a virulent skin-disease broke out on his forehead in the presence of the priests, in the Temple of Yahweh, there by the altar of incense.
20 When Azariah the chief priest and all the other priests turned towards him, there was skin-disease on his forehead and they hurried him outside, and he himself was equally anxious to get out, because Yahweh had struck him.
21 King Uzziah was afflicted with skin-disease till his dying day. Because of this, he lived confined to his room and was excluded from the Temple of Yahweh, while Jotham his son, who was master of the palace, governed the people of the country.
22 The rest of the history of Uzziah, from first to last, has been written by the prophet Isaiah son of Amoz.
23 Then Uzziah fell asleep with his ancestors and was buried with them in the field beside the burial ground of the kings since, it was reasoned, he was afflicted with virulent skin-disease. His son Jotham then succeeded him.
2 Chronicles 27
1 Jotham was twenty-five years old when he came to the throne and he reigned for sixteen years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Jerushah daughter of Zadok.
2 He did what Yahweh regards as right, just as his father Uzziah had done. Only he did not enter Yahweh’s sanctuary. But the people continued to do wrong.
3 It was he who built the Upper Gate of the Temple of Yahweh and carried out considerable work on the wall of the Ophel.
4 He also built towns in the highlands of Judah and built forts and towers in the wooded areas.
5 He also went to war against the king of the Ammonites and defeated them; and the Ammonites had to give him a hundred talents of silver, ten thousand kor of wheat and ten thousand of barley that year. And the Ammonites paid him the same amount, the second and third years afterwords.
6 Jotham became powerful because he kept an unswerving course before Yahweh his God.
7 The rest of the history of Jotham, all his wars and his policy, are recorded in the Book of the Kings of Israel and Judah.
8 He was twenty-five years old when he came to the throne and he reigned for sixteen years in Jerusalem.
9 Then Jotham fell asleep with his ancestors, and was buried in the City of David; his son Ahaz succeeded him.
1 [Of Solomon] God, endow the king with your own fair judgement, the son of the king with your own saving justice,
2 that he may rule your people with justice, and your poor with fair judgement.
3 Mountains and hills, bring peace to the people! With justice
4 he will judge the poor of the people, he will save the children of the needy and crush their oppressors.
5 In the sight of the sun and the moon he will endure, age after age.
6 He will come down like rain on mown grass, like showers moistening the land.
7 In his days uprightness shall flourish, and peace in plenty till the moon is no more.
8 His empire shall stretch from sea to sea, from the river to the limits of the earth.
9 The Beast will cower before him, his enemies lick the dust;
10 the kings of Tarshish and the islands will pay him tribute. The kings of Sheba and Saba will offer gifts;
11 all kings will do him homage, all nations become his servants.
12 For he rescues the needy who calls to him, and the poor who has no one to help.
13 He has pity on the weak and the needy, and saves the needy from death.
14 From oppression and violence he redeems their lives, their blood is precious in his sight.
15 (Long may he live; may the gold of Sheba be given him!) Prayer will be offered for him constantly, and blessings invoked on him all day.
16 May wheat abound in the land, waving on the heights of the hills, like Lebanon with its fruits and flowers at their best, like the grasses of the earth.
17 May his name be blessed for ever, and endure in the sight of the sun. In him shall be blessed every race in the world, and all nations call him blessed.
18 Blessed be Yahweh, the God of Israel, who alone works wonders;
19 blessed for ever his glorious name. May the whole world be filled with his glory! Amen! Amen!
20 End of the prayers of David, son of Jesse.