The death of the false prophets (Jer 29:21-29:23)

“Thus says Yahweh of hosts,

The God of Israel,

Concerning Ahab,

The son of Kolaiah,

As well as Zedekiah,

The son of Maaseiah.

‘They were prophesying a lie

To you in my name.

I am going to deliver them

Into the hand

Of King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon.

He shall kill them

Before your eyes.

On account of them,

This curse shall be used

By all the exiles from Judah

In Babylon.

‘Yahweh makes you

Like Zedekiah,

Like Ahab,

Whom the king of Babylon

Roasted in the fire.’

Because they have

Perpetuated outrage

In Israel.

They have committed adultery

With their neighbors’ wives.

They have spoken in my name

Lying words

That I did not command them.

I am the one who knows.

I bear witness.

Says Yahweh.’”

Yahweh talked about two prophets whom King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon roasted in a fire. These two prophets were Ahab, the son of Kolaiah, and Zedekiah, the son of Maaseiah. There was a king of northern Israel in the 9th century (874-853 BCE) named King Ahab with his wife Jezebel, who had confrontations with the prophet Elijah, as found in 1 Kings, chapters 16-22. However, this Ahab is only mentioned here. Zedekiah has the same name as the current king of Judah. His father Maaseiah was also the father of the priest Zephaniah, mentioned in chapter 21. This Zedekiah is not mentioned elsewhere either. These two prophets were prophesying lies that Yahweh had not commanded, so that they deserved to be killed by the king of Babylon. We do not know exactly what lies they were telling, but they also were adulterers. They may have tried to rebel against the king. Thus their names would be a curse.

Elisha (Sir 48:12-48:14)

“When Elijah was enveloped

In the whirlwind,

Elisha was filled

With his spirit.

He performed

Twice as many signs.

He performed marvels

With every utterance of his mouth.

Never in his lifetime

Did he tremble before any ruler.

No one could intimidate him at all.

Nothing was too hard for him.

When he was dead,

His body prophesied.

In his life,

He did wonders.

So in death

His deeds were marvelous.”

The story of this prophet Elisha takes up 13 chapters in 2 Kings, 1-13. He follows in the spirit of Elijah with many miracles and confrontations with the various Israelite kings. However, he died a natural death. Nevertheless, he performed twice as many miracles as Elijah. Also he spoke quite a lot to the various rulers. He was never intimidated, as Elijah had occasionally been. Nothing was too hard for him. Even in his death, he was able to perform a miracle. When a dead man was thrown into his grave, the dead man came alive by touching his dead body in 2 Kings, chapter 13. Thus he continued in the spirit of his spiritual father, Elijah.