Friday, June 3, 2011

2 Chronicles 9-15 ...and also in Judah things went well.

2 Chronicles 9-15

"...and also in Judah things went well." Well, except for the enslavement to the Egyptians thing.

And Israel suffers a body count of 500,000 people at the hands of Judah.  I guess brotherly love doesn't kick in until Jesus shows up.

God helps Asa kill one million Ethiopians.

"They smote also the tents of cattle"  Wait.  What?  The Ethiopians kept their cattle in tents?

We finish up with God agreeing (thru a covenant) that all non-believers should be put to death.

Strange these Bible stories never made it to my sunday school classes.
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  1. There are a couple times here where the Chronicler contradicts his sources.

    14:5 says the hill-shrines were suppressed.

    Kings, plagerized in 15:17, says they weren't.

    In general, the Chronicler ruins an important story arc of the original Kings. It was Hezekiah who first attempted religious reforms, and Josiah found the law enabling him to complete the job. In Chronicles, every "good" king is shown attempting to squash the hill-shrines, but they keep sprouting back up again. Hezekiah's and Josiah's reforms are robbed of all novelty. Hell, Josiah will enact reforms at age 13, before even finding the law that told him to do that.

    The Chronicler also had Greedo shoot first.

  2. "The Chronicler also had Greedo shoot first."

    HA! Now I know why these are my two least favorite books ... so far. Thanks for the laugh Abbie!

  3. @Abbie,

    Thanks for pointing that out. I enjoy reading about Bible contradictions. This one is good. However i did some searching and this is what i think.

    I may have it wrong but i think you are referencing 1 Kings 15:14 and not 15:17 right?

    I believe that these two references are in different times of Asa's reign. I think the linking these two as a contradiction is done in error.

    The reason i say this is that 2 Chronicles 14:5 is early in Asa's reign, he just gained power and 1 Kings 15:14 is in reference to the latter part of his reign. Now if you reference 2 Chronicles 15:17 with 1 Kings 15:14 the contradiction is gone. Event the text around it is very similar.

    Asa started a reform, in his early reign, but was not able or desired to complete it. Something to note if you don't deal with the heart of man, those high places are going to be rebuilt as is what we read happened. Also he removed them out of Judah (in his early reign) where he had power, but in Israel where he had no power they remained.

  4. ...the Chronicler ruins an important story arc of the original Kings...

    I might have missed an explanation why Chronicles made it into the Hebrew canon - did someone already offer one?

    Is there consensus on who compiled the final Hebrew canon? Identifying apparent viewpoints (north/south, priestly, redactor, others) presented in the text has become fun, but raises the question of whether there was a focused effort to arrange the "final product", or whether it grew organically through the respect for tradition.

  5. Well, if you look at the Jewish canon, Ezra/Nehemiah and Chronicles are placed *last*, with Chronicles almost being pushed off the stage. (It should come before E/Z at the very least.)

    I don't know the details of canon formation, but I'm sure it was just force of tradition that kept it in. I'd put my money on an organic evolution. Everything kind of accumulated around Deuteronomy... like Katamari Damacy, basically.

  6. @Skepticali,

    I am taking this from The new Evidence that demands a Verdict.
    Is there consensus on who compiled the final Hebrew canon?

    It is important to note that the church did not create the canon; it did not determine which books would be called Scripture, the inspired Word of God. Instead, the church recognized, or discovered, which books had been inspired from their inception. Stated another way, "a book is not the Word of God because it is accepted by the people of God. Rather, it was accepted by the people of God because it is the word of God. That is, God gives the book its divine authority, no the people of God. They merely recognize the divine authority which God gives to it."

    Is there consensus on who compiled the final Hebrew canon?

    Many scholars have theorized that a council of rabbis that convened at Jamnia, near Jaffa, in A.D. 90 finally agreed upon which books would be included in the Hebrew canon and which ones would not. The problem with this theory is that the Jamnia gathering reached neither of these conclusions. The rabbis did not fix the canon, but rather "raised questions about the presence of certain books in the canon. Books that the council refused to admit to the canon had not been their in the first place. The primary concern of the council was the right of certain books to remain in the canon, no the acceptance of new books." The rabbis discussed questions surrounding Esther, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, the Song of Songs, and Ezekiel. "It should be underscored, however, that while questions about these books were raised, there was no thought of removing them from the canon. The discussions at Jamnia dealt not so much 'with acceptance of certain writings into the Canon, but rather with their right to remain there.'"

    H.H. Rowley writes: "It is, indeed, doubtful how far it is correct to speak of the Council of Jamnia. We know of discussions that took place there amongst the Rabbis, but we know of no formal or binding decisions that were made, and it is probably that the discussions were informal, though non the less helping to crystallize and to fix more firmly the Jewish tradition."
    The fact is that "no human authority and no council of rabbis ever made an [Old Testament] book authoritative," explains Bible scholar David Ewert. "These books were inspired by God and had the stamp of authority on them from the beginning. Through long usage in the Jewish community their authority was recognized, and in due time they were added to the collection of canonical books."

    I hope that helps some