John and James want to set a fire (Lk 9:54-9:54)

“When his disciples,

James

And John,

Saw this,

They said.

‘Lord!

Do you want us

To command fire

To come down

From heaven

And consume them?’”

 

ἰδόντες δὲ οἱ μαθηταὶ Ἰάκωβος καὶ Ἰωάνης εἶπαν Κύριε, θέλεις εἴπωμεν πῦρ καταβῆναι ἀπὸ τοῦ οὐρανοῦ καὶ ἀναλῶσαι αὐτούς;

 

Luke continued his unique story about this trip in Samaria.  He noted that Jesus’ disciples (δὲ οἱ μαθηταὶ), James and John (Ἰάκωβος καὶ Ἰωάνης), the Zebedee brothers, the sons of thunder, saw (ἰδόντες) what this village did.  They asked Jesus (καὶ Ἰωάνης εἶπαν), calling him Lord (Κύριε), if he wanted them (θέλεις) to call down fire (εἴπωμεν πῦρ) from heaven (ἀπὸ τοῦ οὐρανοῦ) in order to consume them (καὶ ἀναλῶσαι αὐτούς).  Elijah, in 2 Kings, chapter 1:9-16, called down fire to consume the 100 messengers of the northern Israelite King of Samaria, King Ahaziah.  Did John and James want to do something like that?  Have you ever been so mad that you wanted to destroy some people?

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The crime of Queen Athaliah (2 Chr 22:10-22:12)

“When Queen Athaliah, King Ahaziah’s mother, saw that her son was dead, she set about to destroy all the royal family of the house of Judah. But Jehoshabeath, the king’s daughter, took Joash son of King Ahaziah. She stole him away from among the king’s children who were about to be killed. She put him and his nurse in a bedroom. Thus Jehoshabeath, daughter of King Jehoram and wife of the priest Jehoiada, hid him from Queen Athaliah.  Jehoshabeath was a sister of King Ahaziah. He remained with them six years, hidden in the house of God, while Queen Athaliah reigned over the land.”

This is almost word for word from 2 Kings, chapter 11, with a few minor changes. Queen Athaliah was the daughter of King Ahab of Israel and Jezebel. She had married King Jehoram of Judah. Their son, King Ahaziah was the king of Judah, who had been killed by King Jehu of Israel. She decided to kill off all the heirs to the throne in Judah. This seems strange since this might include her own children and grandchildren. Jehoshabeath, or Jehosheba in 2 Kings, was the daughter of King Jehoram and thus the sister of King Ahaziah. There is speculation that her mother might not have been Queen Athaliah. However, she married a high priest, which was very unusual. She stole the young son of her brother, Joash, with his nurse. She hid him in the temple of Yahweh, while Queen Athaliah ruled Judah for 6 years.

King Ahaziah (2 Chr 22:1-22:4)

“The inhabitants of Jerusalem made the youngest son of King Jehoram Ahaziah king as his successor. The troops who came with the Arabs to the camp had killed all the older sons. So King Ahaziah son of King Jehoram reigned as king of Judah. King Ahaziah was forty-two years old when he began to reign. He reigned one year in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Athaliah, a granddaughter of King Omri of Israel. He also walked in the ways of the house of King Ahab, because his mother was his counselor in doing wickedly. He did what was evil in the sight of Yahweh, as the house of King Ahab had done. After the death of his father they were his counselors, to his ruin.”

Once again, this is loosely based on 2 Kings, chapter 8. King Ahaziah, the son of King Jehoram of Judah, was the nephew of King Jehoram of Israel. Thus he was the great grandson of King Omri of Israel, since his mother was Athaliah, the sister of King Jehoram of Israel and daughter of King Ahab of Israel. This King Ahaziah of Judah had the same name as King Ahaziah of Israel, who was his uncle. He may have been named after him. They both had short reigns as kings. Therefore, he walked in the evil ways of the house of King Ahab. However, there are 2 problems with King Ahaziah besides his short reign of 1 year. First, he was called Jehoahaz in the preceding chapter as the only son left after the killing of all the sons of Jehoram. The reference is to the same person. The 2nd problem is his age. Here he is 42 years old, which makes no sense since his father died at the age of 40. In 2 Kings, he was 22, which means that he probably was an older son of King Jehoram since he was born when King Jehoram was 18. In any case, he is young and wicked. He following the advice of the Israelite family of King Ahab since his mother had some influence on him. This would seem to indicate the younger age.

The death of King Jehoshaphat (2 Chr 20:35-21:1)

“After this, King Jehoshaphat of Judah joined with King Ahaziah of Israel, who did wickedly. He joined him in building ships to go to Tarshish. They built the ships in Ezion-geber. Then Eliezer son of Dodavahu of Mareshah prophesied against King Jehoshaphat, saying. ‘Because you have joined with King Ahaziah, Yahweh will destroy what you have made.’ The ships were wrecked as they were not able to go to Tarshish. King Jehoshaphat slept with his ancestors. He was buried with his ancestors in the city of David.”

This is like a postscript also based on 1 Kings, chapter 22, but drastically revised. In 1 Kings, King Jehoshaphat wanted to get gold from Ophir like King Solomon had done. However, his ships were destroyed in a shipwreck. Here the wicked King Ahaziah, the son of King Ahab, wanted to collaborate with King Jehoshaphat in sharing ships. Because they did, Yahweh destroyed the ships. Eliezer the prophet prophesied about this destruction. Many others had this same name of Eliezer, including some Levites, but this prophet only appears here. King Jehoshaphat died and was buried with his ancestors in the city of David in some honorable fashion.

Another fifty men get burned (2 Kings 1:11-1:12)

“Again King Ahaziah sent to Elijah another captain of fifty with his fifty men. He went up and said to him. ‘O man of God, this is the king’s order. ‘Come down quickly!’ But Elijah answered them. ‘If I am a man of God, let fire come down from heaven and consume you and your fifty men.’ Then the fire of God came down from heaven and consumed him and his fifty men.”

For a second time, King Ahaziah sent another 50 men to Elijah. This time they had orders that Elijah should come quickly. However, Elijah answered like he did for the first fifty. If I am a man of God, may you and your men be consumed with fire. Once again, right on cue, the fire from heaven devoured the captain and his 50 men. This was beginning to look like this was not an easy task for King Ahaziah’s men.