Day 82—Royal Confusion—“Holy Places” 1 Kings 12:1 – 16:34
March 23, 2021, 7:11 AM

Day 82—Royal Confusion—“Holy Places” 1 Kings 12:1 – 16:34

Today’s readings gave us a dizzying array of kings, most of whom were evil. And we have a confusion of names and places—so I am giving you the ULTIMATE chart of kings in this blog entry. You’ll see it embedded and it will provide all the information you will ever need about all the kings of Judah and Israel, as well as the prophets of those times. The chart extends right through 2 Kings as well, so it will remain useful as you study.

I am not a geographic or spatial person, so I have difficulty remembering which kingdom is which—Judah or Israel—Northern or Southern? Capital city Jerusalem or Samaria? So in my small brain, I use this device: “I” comes before “J” in the alphabet, therefore, Israel is the top kingdom, the Northern kingdom. Judah is the lower or Southern Kingdom. Judah starts with “J”, therefore the capital city is Jerusalem. Samaria must therefore be the capital of the Northern Kingdom. Of course, you could just keep a map handy 😊, but I don’t tend to do that. We may also find it confusing because we often refer, read about, hear about modern-day Israel, and while there are still clear divisions in people groups, we not longer see the kind of north-south split that we read about in our OT scriptures.

Notable things about today—the fact that there was only ONE good king in this whole bunch today: King Asa of Judah (Southern Kingdom—Jerusalem—see how I make myself say those things over and over so I remember them?). His son, Jehosaphat, will also be a good king, but we aren’t reading about him yet.

Another interesting thing—a book is mentioned several times—the Book of the Annals of the Kings of Israel or Kings of Judah. The books have never been found, and I think this would make a really great Indiana Jones movie theme—“The Search for the Lost Kings of Israel”. Can’t you see it now? An aging Harrison Ford, with a young and handsome sidekick ventures into dark caves and visits aging sages in search of these two mysterious books. I’d pay to see it!!

Note also the formation of Samaria as the capital city of the Northern Kingdom, from which will come the Samaritans, a people group who remained enemies of the Judahites (people from Judah, Southern Kingdom) ) all the way through our scriptures even as we read about Jesus’ life—most of us remember the story of the Good Samaritan, for example. Samaria marked the establishment of a capital city that rivaled Jerusalem for the Northern Kingdom, and worship practices for the people of Israel become centered on Mount Gerizim rather than Jerusalem. Remember the woman at the well in John 4, who asks Jesus about worshipping on the mountain. Jesus’s reply is that worship will not longer be contained to either Jerusalem or on the Mt. Gerizim because God will become fully available to all people wherever they are, because “the hour is coming when the true worshippers will worship the Father in Spirit and in Truth” (John 4: 23)

Finally, be aware that we will hear all of these stories again in the books of 1 and 2 Chronicles, so if you did not capture some of the information on this round, you will have another chance, kind of like Deuteronomy, or the second telling of the Law.

Ok, save this chart!!! Print it out and stick it in your bible flap for the next several days of reading to get a grasp on who you are reading about. Note especially the prophets listed—these indicate the chronology of the books we are reading and their interconnectedness with other books of the Old Testament. Not all times had prophets, but beginning tomorrow, we will see the rise of the prophet in the stories of the Old Testament as they wrestle against the powers of the kings who reigned.

Be blessed, and be a blessing to others,


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