Background on Elijah and 1st Kings

Now that I’ve finished D&C 88, I’m going to be sharing my thoughts on my study of Elijah and Elisha. However, it won’t be so intense as D&C 88. I’m merely going to do one installment at a time and alternate between that and the Reign of the Judges. Once I do that for a while, maybe I’ll start Revelation as well. I just want to keep content coming that interesting. If you have any recommendations or comments, let me know.

The Book of Kings

I’ll be in 1st Kings and 2nd Kings. There is probably going to be a lot of historical context I will need to catch up on since I’m a third of the way through the Bible already. There are also a lot of people I will need to take side notes on so I can get up to speed on their significance. Elijah’s story starts in 1st Kings 17 and is on and off till 2nd Kings 2 I believe. I’ll be focusing on the chapters in which he is involved. But before I begin, as always, I’ll do a little background on 1st and 2nd Kings and Elijah, then we’ll jump right into the story.

As usual, this stuff comes out of the Bible Dictionary. The books of 1st and 2nd Kings  are regarded by Jews as one book. The Greek version though divides Kings and Samuel into 4 parts, calling them the four books of the Kings. The Latin and English version follow the division but not the names.

The books of Kings narrate the history from the rebellion of Adonijah, to the final captivity of Judah, including the whole history of the Northern Kingdom from its separation to its disappearance in 721 BC. Wow! The entire history of the Northern Kingdom! If you want to know about the lost tribes, this is the book to study! I’ll have to come back and read the entire thing later! The books were compile by an unknown writer from a variety of written documents including the state chronicles. I wonder how many books in the Bible are author or compiler unknown?

Adonijah

He’s the 4th son of David. He usurps the kingdom, is pardoned and is afterwards slain. That’s a pretty quick summary.

Elijah

It means Jehovah is my God. He was a tishbite but no one knows what that means. he was of the inhabitants of Gilead, the wild and beautiful hill country east of Jordan. His environment and loneliness of his life had full effect on his character. Nothing is known about his parents. he worked in the Northern Kingdom, when almost all the people, thanks to Ahab and Jezebel, had forsaken worship of Jehovah and become worshippers of the Phoenician God Baal.

Elijah made a deep impression on the life of the Israelites. They believe that he will return as is spoken of in Malachi 4:5. Many mistook Jesus for Elijah. He is still an invited guest at passover, having a vacant seat and open door for him. His recorded words are few but forceful, and his deeds are explicit evidences of his strength of will, force of character and personal courage. He was an example of solid faith in the Lord. Yes! He sounds like an awesome guy! I want to be like Elijah! Reminds me of Peter a little. As a result of his ministry, the worship of Baal was greatly reduced as a threat to Israel.

We learn from latter-day revelation that Elijah was the last prophet before Jesus to posses the sealing power of the Melchizedek Priesthood. He appeared on the mount with Moses and conferred the keys of the priesthood to Peter, James, and John. The power of Elijah is the sealing power of the priesthood by which things bound or loosed on earth are bound or loosed in Heaven.

Ahab

He was the son of Omri. He was the most wicked and powerful king of Northern Israel. Ahab married a Sidonian princess named Jezebel, whose influence resulted in the establishment of the worship of Baal and Asherah. During their reign, an attempt was made to exterminate the prophets and worship of Jehovah. While Ahab was king, the kingdom of Israel was politically strong. After a struggle with Benhadad, King of Syria (Ahab won), Israel allied with Syria for the purpose of opposing Assyria. Looking towards Assyrian manuscripts, we learn Ahab and Benhadad were defeated by Shalmaneser II. After which, Ahab allied with king Jehoshaphat (of Judah) against Syria. He was finally killed while attempting to capture Ramoth-Gilead.

Jezebel

A Phoenician princess, daughter of Ethbaal, king of Zidonians and wife of Ahab. This marriage, more than any other single event, caused the downfall of the Northern Kingdom. Jezebel introduced the worst forms of Phoenician worship, in place of worship of Jehovah, into Israel.

Baal

He is the Phoenician sun god. Worshipped mainly in Phoenicia. He was worshipped in different places with different rites and different ideas. Some people associate Baal with Bel of Assyria, Zeus of Greece. The word Baal expresses the relationship between lord and slave. Becoming utterly abominable because of its associations, the use of it was forbidden and bosheth (shame) was substituted in names corresponding with it. For example, Ishbosheth and Jerubbesheth. The prophets call Baal the Shame. Ashtoreh was the goddess generally worshipped alongside Baal.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s