Welcome to BibleBum where we are exploring the entire Bible in one year to better learn how to follow God’s instructions and discover the purpose for our lives. The BibleBum blog uses The One Year Chronological Bible, the New Living Translation version. At the end of each day’s reading, Rob, a cultural history aficionado and seminary graduate, answers questions from Leigh An, the blogger host, about the daily scripture. To start from the beginning, click on “Index” and select Day 1.
2 Kings 23:1-20
2 Chronicles 34:29-33
2 Kings 23:21-28
2 Chronicles 35:1-19
Questions & Observations
Q. (2 Kings 23:18): Who was the “old prophet” from Samaria?
A. He was unnamed, but he was the man of God described in 1 Kings 13 who warned King Jereboam about Josiah’s actions. He was also the man who foolishly ate the meal with the other “old prophet” when God had told him to take no food in Samaria and he was killed by a lion on the road the next day. The story there describes the man’s burial marking the spot that Josiah recognized and asked about.
Q. (2 Kings 23:19-20): Wow, don’t mess with Josiah! I don’t like the idea of burning any human. I know he was trying to erase any signs of idol worship. I would have thought that Josiah could have tried to convince the priests to lay down their beliefs and turn to God. But, maybe Josiah didn’t want any trace left, giving the priests a chance to start up the pagan worship in hiding. Would God be pleased with Josiah burning these priests?
A. He’s not burning the priests. He is killing them (bad enough I know, but this is righteous vengeance against pagan worship that was destroying Judah), and once they are buried, he is burning other human remains (bones) over their graves to desecrate them.
Q. (2 Chronicles 34:29-33): Sounds great, but we know it won’t last long because of all the prophecies that Judah will be destroyed. You’re going to say wait and see, right?
A. Eventually. There’s still a lot to happen, which we will see unfold in Jeremiah.
Q. (2 Kings 23:25): As far as Bible characters or heroes — I hate to use those words because it makes the Bible sound like fiction — we don’t here about Josiah much at all. We hear mostly about David and Solomon. Is this because Josiah doesn’t have a lot written about him? David and Solomon were in a lot more stories and authored text.
A. Honestly I don’t have a great answer for that. It is possible that Josiah doesn’t get much “press” because his kingdom is so much smaller than David or Solomon’s (i.e. just little Judah), or also because he is “sandwiched” between such evil men, that his good efforts become less noticed. Part of the issue is probably that his reforms won’t last.
Q. (2 Kings 23:26-27): Why isn’t God seeing Josiah seriously trying to turn the Israelites back to Him?
A. Good question, probably because they won’t last. Remember yesterday what God promised: you (Josiah) will be spared seeing this happen, but the city will not; it is too late.
Q. (2 Chronicles 35:7): I’ve commented on this before. It’s still hard to imagine this many animals being sacrificed. Was the number to allow for the number of people that needed to be fed, or was the number for the sacrifice of giving up livestock?
A. It should be based upon the number of livestock, but there is no way to know exactly.
Q. (Nahum 2:1-2): I am so confused. I didn’t see where Judah had definitely been destroyed. Was it in Jeremiah 6:22-30? It’s hard to tell where the prophets are prophesying the future and narrating actual events. I didn’t think it had happened yet because Josiah was turning to God. I guess Hilkiah found the scrolls after the destruction of Judah?
A. You are right, but the things we read about in Jeremiah come later (i.e. they haven’t happened yet in our reading timeline). What this refers to is Assyria’s encroachment into Judah that we read about in 2 Kings 18, where we saw the messenger of the king come and threaten the people. But the conquest was not completed: Jerusalem withstood the threat, though other cities in Judah did not. That is what the destruction of Judah refers to: Assyria’s efforts to conquer the nation of Judah (including Jerusalem, its capital) that were turned away by God’s intervention on Judah’s behalf.
Q. (Nahum 2:1-13): Do we know who destroyed Ninevah? God said he would destroy their family lines. We see this in v. 13 where the young men are killed in battle?
A. Yes, Ninevah, as capital of Assyria, is conquered in 612 BC by a combined force of Babylon and another nation called Medes, both of which will play a large role in the next phase of Israel’s history: the captivity.
Q. (Nahum 3:5): I don’t know if this was funny then, but it is now.
A. This would have been the most common method of publicly shaming a prostitute or adulteress, but I can see how the humor might be seen.
Q. The difference between the destruction of Judah and Ninevah is that God is Israel’s leader and redeemer. He will bring them back. Ninevah doesn’t have God.
A. Yes, but it will be a very painful process, that will take nearly a hundred years to walk through.