Can the Bible be God's Word?
You are reading Can the Bible be God's Word? by Steve McRoberts
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Chapter 12: 2 Kings

2Kgs:1:9: Then the king sent unto him a captain of fifty with his fifty. And he went up to him: and, behold, he sat on the top of an hill. And he spake unto him, Thou man of God, the king hath said, Come down.
2Kgs:1:10: And Elijah answered and said to the captain of fifty, If I be a man of God, then let fire come down from heaven, and consume thee and thy fifty. And there came down fire from heaven, and consumed him and his fifty.
2Kgs:1:11: Again also he sent unto him another captain of fifty with his fifty. And he answered and said unto him, O man of God, thus hath the king said, Come down quickly.
2Kgs:1:12: And Elijah answered and said unto them, If I be a man of God, let fire come down from heaven, and consume thee and thy fifty. And the fire of God came down from heaven, and consumed him and his fifty.
2Kgs:1:13: And he sent again a captain of the third fifty with his fifty. And the third captain of fifty went up, and came and fell on his knees before Elijah, and besought him, and said unto him, O man of God, I pray thee, let my life, and the life of these fifty thy servants, be precious in thy sight.
2Kgs:1:14: Behold, there came fire down from heaven, and burnt up the two captains of the former fifties with their fifties: therefore let my life now be precious in thy sight.
2Kgs:1:15: And the angel of the LORD said unto Elijah, Go down with him: be not afraid of him. And he arose, and went down with him unto the king.

If God intended for Elijah to accompany the king's men, why did he first set 100 men on fire? Why didn't he just tell Elijah to go with the first group of 50 men? Was he showing off again at the cost of human lives?

It seems ironic that a soldier would have to remind God's prophet that life is precious.

2Kgs:1:17: So he died according to the word of the LORD which Elijah had spoken. And Jehoram reigned in his stead in the second year of Jehoram the son of Jehoshaphat king of Judah; because he had no son.

The above records the death of Ahaziah, king of Israel, in the second year of the reign of Jehoram (the king of Judah). There is a problem here with dates. We are told that Ahaziah began his reign in the 17th year of Jehoshaphat's reign, and that he only reigned for 2 years:

1Kgs:22:51: Ahaziah the son of Ahab began to reign over Israel in Samaria the seventeenth year of Jehoshaphat king of Judah, and reigned two years over Israel.


This would place Ahaziah's death in the 19th year of Jehoshaphat's reign. We are told that Jehoshaphat reigned 25 years before his son Jehoram began his reign (1 Kings 22:42). Yet, if Ahaziah died in the second year of Jehoram's reign (as 2 Kings 1:17 indicates) we have a discrepancy of 8 years. The following chart makes this more clear:

Years from start of Jehoshaphat's reign     Event
17 Ahaziah begins reign over Israel (1 Kgs. 22:51)
19 Ahaziah's reign of 2 years ends (1 Kgs. 22:51)
25 Jehoshaphat's reign of 25 years ends. His son Jehoram begins his reign over Judah (1 Kgs. 22:42; 22:50)
27 Ahaziah dies (again!) in 2nd year of Jehoram's reign (2 Kgs. 1:17)

Of course it could be argued that Ahaziah only reigned 2 years and then abdicated, leaving the throne of Israel vacant for 8 years until Jehoram decided to rule Israel. But this would be unprecedented; the reigns of middle-eastern kings only ended with their deaths, and it would be highly unlikely that Israel would've been without a king for 8 years when there was no lack of ambitious men who would be king.

2Kgs:2:23: And he went up from thence unto Bethel: and as he was going up by the way, there came forth little children out of the city, and mocked him, and said unto him, Go up, thou bald head; go up, thou bald head.
2Kgs:2:24: And he turned back, and looked on them, and cursed them in the name of the LORD. And there came forth two she bears out of the wood, and tare forty and two children of them.

Elisha had been given a double-portion of Elijah's spirit from God (2 Kings 2:9-15). Here we read of how he cursed little children who had mocked him. The implication is that God then carried out the curse by sending bears to tear the children limb from limb. Can this be the same God that Jesus was "one" with, when Jesus taught his followers not to curse their enemies? In any case, this miracle-working prophet did not lift a finger to try and save these children. We are told that he simply went on his way as though nothing had happened! As if the horrible mauling to death of children was of no consequence whatsoever! So here we have another "hero of the Bible" serving as a role model for us. Is it any wonder that humanists reject the Bible as a guidebook for morality?

2Kgs:3:1: Now Jehoram the son of Ahab began to reign over Israel in Samaria the eighteenth year of Jehoshaphat king of Judah, and reigned twelve years.

This overlaps the reigns of Ahaziah and Jehoram (son of Ahab) over Israel. Earlier we were told that Jehoram began his reign over Israel in the second year of Jehoram's reign over Judah (2 Kings 1:17). Since Jehoram did not begin his reign over Judah until after the 25-year reign of his father Jehoshaphat, this would put the start of Jehoram's rule over Israel in the 27th year since the start of Jehoshaphat's reign. Since the verse above claims this happened in Jehoshaphat's 18th year, we have a discrepancy of 9 years. To add to the confusion of having two concurrent king Jehorams (one ruling Israel and the other ruling Judah), they were both also known as Joram. Since this is all terribly confusing, let's revisit our chart and add the new information:

Years from start of Jehoshaphat's reign     Event
17 Ahaziah begins reign over Israel (1 Kgs. 22:51)
18 Jehoram (son of Ahab) begins his 12 year reign over Israel (even though Ahaziah is still reigning over Israel!)(2 Kgs. 3:1)
19 Ahaziah's reign of 2 years ends (1 Kgs. 22:51)
20 Jehoram (son of Ahab) begins reign in Israel (even though Jehoram's reign already began two years ago!) (2 Kgs. 8:16)
25 Jehoshaphat's reign of 25 years ends. His son Jehoram begins his reign over Judah (1 Kgs. 22:42; 22:50)
27 Ahaziah dies (again!) in 2nd year of Jehoram's reign. Jehoram (son of Ahab) begins his reign over Israel (again!) (2 Kgs 1:17)

2Kgs:3:26: And when the king of Moab saw that the battle was too sore for him, he took with him seven hundred men that drew swords, to break through even unto the king of Edom: but they could not.
2Kgs:3:27: Then he took his eldest son that should have reigned in his stead, and offered him for a burnt offering upon the wall. And there was great indignation against Israel: and they departed from him, and to their own land.

We are rightly shocked at what this pagan king of Moab did to his son. But is there a "beam" in our own eyes?

It appears from the Biblical account that the king of Moab, in sacrificing his son, somehow caused the Israelites to back off and go home. So, apparently (according to the Bible) the sacrifice worked its magic successfully.

This is not the first instance of human sacrifice in the Bible, nor were such atrocities committed only by non-Israelites. We have seen several instances of God's "chosen people" performing human sacrifice.

The most notorious instance of human sacrifice was when Jephthah sacrificed his daughter to his god Jehovah in order to ensure success in his killing of the "children of Ammon" (Judges 11).

We have seen where David sacrificed 7 men (five of whom were his step-sons) in order to appease his god Jehovah and stem a famine (2 Sam. 21:1-14).

These actions are nowhere condemned in the Bible. In fact both Jephthah and David are later praised in the Bible for their faith (Heb. 11:32-38), and we are told that everything David did was just fine with God (1 Kings 14:8). In fact, the law of Moses demanded human sacrifice (Lev. 27:29) and the Bible reports an instance of this on a massive scale when 32 virgin girls were sacrificed to Jehovah (Num. 31).

But the idea of alleviating trouble by sacrificing the son of the king -- as shown in the verse under discussion -- is a key to understanding Pauline theology. Such a notion was prevalent in ancient times, and was another instance of sympathetic magic. Originally, the king himself was sacrificed, but eventually kings got wise and offered their sons as surrogates to appease the superstitious people. Later, even the sons got wise, and offered other relatives or even strangers -- after dressing them up in the king's robes for the occasion.

Such an ultimate sacrifice would appease the anger of any god, stop famine or a plague, or even cause a warring tribe to go home in the middle of a war! It is this notion no doubt, that the High Priest Caiaphas referred to in the "New Testament":

Jn:11:49: And one of them, named Caiaphas, being the high priest that same year, said unto them, Ye know nothing at all,Jn:11:50: Nor consider that it is expedient for us, that one man should die for the people, and that the whole nation perish not.

When Paul created his new religion he obviously combined this idea together with the idea of the ancient gods of fertility and vegetation who had to die and be reborn just as seeds had to symbolically "die" and be buried before sprouting (1 Corr. 15:36-38). This time-honored belief in sympathetic magic had given birth to countless sacrificial saviors in the past who dutifully sacrificed themselves for the sins of the world and then were reborn. Their sacrificial death and subsequent resurrection were memorialized each year in mourning and celebratory festivals of early spring (corresponding to the "rebirth" of vegetation). It is from these pagan festivals that Christians have derived both Lent and Easter.

Paul's innovation was to attach the myth to a supposedly historic individual who (in Paul's day) had supposedly lived in the not-too-distant past. Paul advanced the claim that as the son of God, Jesus' sacrificial death had absolved every believer from God's condemnation. That is why Paul stressed Jesus' death rather than his teachings:

1Cor:2:2: For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.

It also explains why Paul was so insistent (at times) that good works availed nothing; salvation was to be granted solely on the basis of the human sacrifice of the messiah: the man whom the Jews assumed would be king. The man who, just prior to his execution, had been given a scepter, was crowned and made to wear the robes of a king, and who had been crucified with a sign above his head reading "King of the Jews".

If the sacrifice of a king's son had proven so magically powerful in the past, imagine what the sacrifice of a man who was the "son of king David" and the "son of God," and the "king of the Jews" would mean to a superstitious mind! It would do far more than merely make the Romans back off. It would mean the end of all enmity between God and man: the end of all human woes!

And so, Christianity has been based on human sacrifice and sympathetic magic. It is as superstitious, ignorant, and immoral at its core as was the king of Moab who murdered his own son.

We will discuss this more fully when we get to the "New Testament" books. For more information please consult Sir James Frazer's The Golden Bough and Hyam Maccoby's The Mythmaker: Paul and the Invention of Christianity.

2Kgs:5:27: The leprosy therefore of Naaman shall cleave unto thee, and unto thy seed for ever. And he went out from his presence a leper as white as snow.

This was the curse pronounced by God's prophet Elisha against his own servant Gehazi. Gehazi had accepted part of the gift which Naaman had presented to Elisha for curing him of his leprosy (Elisha had refused the gift). Naaman was only too happy to bestow the gift on someone connected to Elisha, and actually gave him twice as much money as he had asked for. It's true that Gehazi lied to Naaman by telling him the gift would be given to the sons of the prophets. But had he done anything to deserve the curse of leprosy? Had his future offspring done anything to deserve the curse of leprosy?

2Kgs:8:1: Then spake Elisha unto the woman, whose son he had restored to life, saying, Arise, and go thou and thine household, and sojourn wheresoever thou canst sojourn: for the LORD hath called for a famine; and it shall also come upon the land seven years.

Why would a loving, all-powerful God choose to starve people to death via a seven-year famine? Some people claim that God is all-loving, but not all-powerful, or at least he chooses not to get actively involved with controlling natural forces such as those that would cause a famine. But, according to the reputed words of Elisha in the Bible, God "called for" the famine! This certainly does not comport with the notion that "God is love" (1 John 4:16)!

2Kgs:8:3: And it came to pass at the seven years' end, that the woman returned out of the land of the Philistines: and she went forth to cry unto the king for her house and for her land.

2Kgs:8:6: And when the king asked the woman, she told him. So the king appointed unto her a certain officer, saying, Restore all that was hers, and all the fruits of the field since the day that she left the land, even until now.

Since there had been a famine the entire seven years she had been gone, there would have been no "fruits of the field" to restore to her.

2Kgs:8:8: And the king said unto Hazael, Take a present in thine hand, and go, meet the man of God, and enquire of the LORD by him, saying, Shall I recover of this disease?
2Kgs:8:9: So Hazael went to meet him, and took a present with him, even of every good thing of Damascus, forty camels' burden, and came and stood before him, and said, Thy son Ben-hadad king of Syria hath sent me to thee, saying, Shall I recover of this disease?
2Kgs:8:10: And Elisha said unto him, Go, say unto him, Thou mayest certainly recover: howbeit the LORD hath shewed me that he shall surely die.

The above is yet another instance of one of God's prophets purposely lying. Elisha knew that Ben-hada, the king of Syria was about to die, yet his official prophesy was that the king would recover. Since the king died the next day, Elisha was either a liar or a false prophet (2 Kings 8:15).

2Kgs:8:16: And in the fifth year of Joram the son of Ahab king of Israel, Jehoshaphat being then king of Judah, Jehoram the son of Jehoshaphat king of Judah began to reign.

2 Kings 1:17? There we were told that Joram (son of Ahab) began his rule over Israel in the second year of Jehoram (son of Jehoshaphat), the king of Judah. This is all the more confusing because the two kings involved had the same name (Jehoram or Joram). To simplify: the Bible tells us that the King of Judah began his reign in the 5th year of the king of Israel. But it contradicts this by saying the king of Israel began his reign in the 2nd year of the king of Judah! Obviously both of these statements cannot possibly be true.

2Kgs:8:26: Two and twenty years old was Ahaziah when he began to reign; and he reigned one year in Jerusalem. And his mother's name was Athaliah, the daughter of Omri king of Israel.

The Bible later flatly contradicts the age of Ahaziah at the start of his reign:

2Chron:22:2: Forty and two years old was Ahaziah when he began to reign, and he reigned one year in Jerusalem. His mother's name also was Athaliah the daughter of Omri.

So, was Ahaziah a youthful king of 22 during his short reign, or a middle-aged man of 42?

2Kgs:9:24: And Jehu drew a bow with his full strength, and smote Jehoram between his arms, and the arrow went out at his heart, and he sunk down in his chariot.

2Kgs:9:27: But when Ahaziah the king of Judah saw this, he fled by the way of the garden house. And Jehu followed after him, and said, Smite him also in the chariot. And they did so at the going up to Gur, which is by Ibleam. And he fled to Megiddo, and died there.


So Jehu assassinated both the king of Judah and the king of Israel. In this account, Ahaziah was mortally wounded while fleeing from the scene of Jehu's murder of Jehoram. Ahaziah got as far as Megiddo before he died of his wounds. But 2 Chronicles relates a different story:

2Chron:22:9: And he sought Ahaziah: and they caught him, (for he was hid in Samaria,) and brought him to Jehu: and when they had slain him, they buried him: Because, said they, he is the son of Jehoshaphat, who sought the LORD with all his heart. So the house of Ahaziah had no power to keep still the kingdom.

In this account, Ahaziah was hiding in Samaria, was abducted by Jehu's men and brought before him. Jehu ordered his execution, and after they had killed him they buried him.

2Kgs:10:1: And Ahab had seventy sons in Samaria. And Jehu wrote letters, and sent to Samaria, unto the rulers of Jezreel, to the elders, and to them that brought up Ahab's children, saying,
2Kgs:10:2: Now as soon as this letter cometh to you, seeing your master's sons are with you, and there are with you chariots and horses, a fenced city also, and armour;
2Kgs:10:3: Look even out the best and meetest of your master's sons, and set him on his father's throne, and fight for your master's house.
2Kgs:10:4: But they were exceedingly afraid, and said, Behold, two kings stood not before him: how then shall we stand?
2Kgs:10:5: And he that was over the house, and he that was over the city, the elders also, and the bringers up of the children, sent to Jehu, saying, We are thy servants, and will do all that thou shalt bid us; we will not make any king: do thou that which is good in thine eyes.

The Samarians wisely sought peace with Jehu. But Jehu would not have a bloodless peace. He ordered the very people who had raised the children of Ahab to become their executioners:

2Kgs:10:6: Then he wrote a letter the second time to them, saying, If ye be mine, and if ye will hearken unto my voice, take ye the heads of the men your master's sons, and come to me to Jezreel by to morrow this time. Now the king's sons, being seventy persons, were with the great men of the city, which brought them up.

2Kgs:10:7: And it came to pass, when the letter came to them, that they took the king's sons, and slew seventy persons, and put their heads in baskets, and sent him them to Jezreel.
2Kgs:10:8: And there came a messenger, and told him, saying, They have brought the heads of the king's sons. And he said, Lay ye them in two heaps at the entering in of the gate until the morning.
2Kgs:10:9: And it came to pass in the morning, that he went out, and stood, and said to all the people, Ye be righteous: behold, I conspired against my master, and slew him: but who slew all these?
2Kgs:10:10: Know now that there shall fall unto the earth nothing of the word of the LORD, which the LORD spake concerning the house of Ahab: for the LORD hath done that which he spake by his servant Elijah.
2Kgs:10:11: So Jehu slew all that remained of the house of Ahab in Jezreel, and all his great men, and his kinsfolks, and his priests, until he left him none remaining.
2Kgs:10:12: And he arose and departed, and came to Samaria. And as he was at the shearing house in the way,
2Kgs:10:13: Jehu met with the brethren of Ahaziah king of Judah, and said, Who are ye? And they answered, We are the brethren of Ahaziah; and we go down to salute the children of the king and the children of the queen.
2Kgs:10:14: And he said, Take them alive. And they took them alive, and slew them at the pit of the shearing house, even two and forty men; neither left he any of them.
2Kgs:10:15: And when he was departed thence, he lighted on Jehonadab the son of Rechab coming to meet him: and he saluted him, and said to him, Is thine heart right, as my heart is with thy heart? And Jehonadab answered, It is. If it be, give me thine hand. And he gave him his hand; and he took him up to him into the chariot.
2Kgs:10:16: And he said, Come with me, and see my zeal for the LORD. So they made him ride in his chariot.
2Kgs:10:17: And when he came to Samaria, he slew all that remained unto Ahab in Samaria, till he had destroyed him, according to the saying of the LORD, which he spake to Elijah.

So Jehu was a mass murderer. His justified his bloody rampage by calling it his "zeal for the LORD". Does that make it okay? Could a God of love approve of such actions? The Bible tells us it is so:

2Kgs:10:30: And the LORD said unto Jehu, Because thou hast done well in executing that which is right in mine eyes, and hast done unto the house of Ahab according to all that was in mine heart, thy children of the fourth generation shall sit on the throne of Israel.

Once again God approved of (and rewarded) the murder of the innocent children of a man he disliked. Once again contradicting the following Biblical verse:

Ezek:18:20: The soul that sinneth, it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son: the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him.

However, long after heaping praise on Jehu for slaughtering Ahab's family in Jezreel, it seems that the God who does not change (James 1:17) changed his view of the matter. Five generations later we read:

Hosea:1:4: And the LORD said unto him, Call his name Jezreel; for yet a little while, and I will avenge the blood of Jezreel upon the house of Jehu, and will cause to cease the kingdom of the house of Israel.

God promised to wreak vengeance on the great-great-great grandchildren of Jehu for the murders Jehu committed in Jezreel. This is quite a contrast to saying "thou hast done well in executing that which is right in mine eyes, and hast done unto Ahab according to all that was in mine heart"! And, once again God's actions contradicted Ezekiel 18:20.

2Kgs:10:35: And Jehu slept with his fathers: and they buried him in Samaria. And Jehoahaz his son reigned in his stead.
2Kgs:10:36: And the time that Jehu reigned over Israel in Samaria was twenty and eight years.

2Kgs:11:1: And when Athaliah the mother of Ahaziah saw that her son was dead, she arose and destroyed all the seed royal.

It seems even some of the women of the Bible were into mass murder. But the mother of Ahaziah killing the royal seed amounts to a mother killing her own children! This horrendous act passes by without comment of the Bible writer.

2Kgs:13:18: And he said, Take the arrows. And he took them. And he said unto the king of Israel, Smite upon the ground. And he smote thrice, and stayed.
2Kgs:13:19: And the man of God was wroth with him, and said, Thou shouldest have smitten five or six times; then hadst thou smitten Syria till thou hadst consumed it: whereas now thou shalt smite Syria but thrice.

The above is a prime example of sympathetic magic. Striking the ground three times with the arrows showed that Joash would strike Samaria three times according to God's prophet Elisha. If only Joash had struck more times with the arrows, it supposedly would've changed history!

2Kgs:14:5: And it came to pass, as soon as the kingdom was confirmed in his hand, that he slew his servants which had slain the king his father.
2Kgs:14:6: But the children of the murderers he slew not: according unto that which is written in the book of the law of Moses, wherein the LORD commanded, saying, The fathers shall not be put to death for the children, nor the children be put to death for the fathers; but every man shall be put to death for his own sin.

This made Amaziah the first Israelite king to have abided by this particular law of Moses! As we have repeatedly seen, even God did not abide by this law; he had encouraged and rewarded the killing of the children of sinners.

2Kgs:15:30: And Hoshea the son of Elah made a conspiracy against Pekah the son of Remaliah, and smote him, and slew him, and reigned in his stead, in the twentieth year of Jotham the son of Uzziah.

Since Jotham only reigned 16 years (2 Kings 15:32-33), it seems strange to speak of the "twentieth year of Jotham"; there was no 20th year to his reign. At that time his successor Ahaz would've been in the fourth year of his reign.

The reigns of the kings and their genealogies are so totally confused, and the writing so incoherent in this section that it is impossible to construct a simple list of the kings of Israel and Judah without running into conflicting information. Individuals die, then reappear later as kings again. Different rulers are given concurrent reigns over the same kingdom while elsewhere one of the kings involved is said to have died before the other began his reign. There are so many contradictions involved in this section that it's hard to know where to begin. I have only scratched the surface. It seems that whoever wrote this had only the vaguest notion of history and had simply collected together all the stories he had heard without bothering to reconcile their contradictions. At times he did not even bother to determine which king was involved in a particular incident, and simply referred to him as "the king of Israel" or "the king of Judah".

I have created a timeline chart of kings in
Appendix A. The notes accompanying the chart illustrate 14 problems with the Biblical record regarding the succession of kings.

2Kgs:16:2: Twenty years old was Ahaz when he began to reign, and reigned sixteen years in Jerusalem, and did not that which was right in the sight of the LORD his God, like David his father.
2Kgs:16:3: But he walked in the way of the kings of Israel, yea, and made his son to pass through the fire, according to the abominations of the heathen, whom the LORD cast out from before the children of Israel.

Jephthah made his daughter "pass through the fire", but that was okay: Jephthah was a great man of faith according to the Bible. Abraham attempted to murder his son, but that was okay: Abraham was a great man of faith and "God's friend" according to the Bible. David ordered the murder of his step-sons, and made people pass through brick kilns: but that was okay: David was a great man of faith and followed God with his whole heart according to the Bible. (Judges 11; Heb. 11; James 2:23; 2 Sam. 21:8-9; 12:31; 1 Kings 9:4; 11:4).

So, why pick on Ahaz for making his son pass through the fire? Such an action fits in perfectly with the faithful "heroes of the Bible". Remember: God himself had his own son crucified!

2Kgs:17:20: And the LORD rejected all the seed of Israel, and afflicted them, and delivered them into the hand of spoilers, until he had cast them out of his sight.

If God is everywhere, and sees and knows everything, where could he cast Israel so that they would be "out of his sight"? This verse and the following verses indicate that Jehovah was nothing more than the god of the region the Israelites had inhabited. Once they were driven from the region, Jehovah had nothing more to do with them.

2Kgs:17:23: Until the LORD removed Israel out of his sight, as he had said by all his servants the prophets. So was Israel carried away out of their own land to Assyria unto this day.
2Kgs:17:24: And the king of Assyria brought men from Babylon, and from Cuthah, and from Ava, and from Hamath, and from Sepharvaim, and placed them in the cities of Samaria instead of the children of Israel: and they possessed Samaria, and dwelt in the cities thereof.
2Kgs:17:25: And so it was at the beginning of their dwelling there, that they feared not the LORD: therefore the LORD sent lions among them, which slew some of them.
2Kgs:17:26: Wherefore they spake to the king of Assyria, saying, The nations which thou hast removed, and placed in the cities of Samaria, know not the manner of the God of the land: therefore he hath sent lions among them, and, behold, they slay them, because they know not the manner of the God of the land.
2Kgs:17:27: Then the king of Assyria commanded, saying, Carry thither one of the priests whom ye brought from thence; and let them go and dwell there, and let him teach them the manner of the God of the land.
2Kgs:17:28: Then one of the priests whom they had carried away from Samaria came and dwelt in Bethel, and taught them how they should fear the LORD.
2Kgs:17:29: Howbeit every nation made gods of their own, and put them in the houses of the high places which the Samaritans had made, every nation in their cities wherein they dwelt.

2Kgs:17:32: So they feared the LORD, and made unto themselves of the lowest of them priests of the high places, which sacrificed for them in the houses of the high places.
2Kgs:17:33: They feared the LORD, and served their own gods, after the manner of the nations whom they carried away from thence.
2Kgs:17:34: Unto this day they do after the former manners: they fear not the LORD, neither do they after their statutes, or after their ordinances, or after the law and commandment which the LORD commanded the children of Jacob, whom he named Israel;

The superstitious men whom the king of Assyria had brought into Samaria attributed the lions' attacks to their having offended the god of the region. So they brought back a priest of Israel to show them how to appease the "god of the land" (Jehovah).

These men "feared the LORD" according to verses 32 and 33. These men did not fear the LORD according to verse 34. Which are we to believe?

Maybe the explanation is that they feared the Lord at first, and then stopped fearing the Lord "unto this day" (2 Kgs. 17:34)? This explanation doesn't work, because we next read:

2Kgs:17:41: So these nations feared the LORD, and served their graven images, both their children, and their children's children: as did their fathers, so do they unto this day.

Here we are told that they feared the Lord "unto this day": a total contradiction of verse 34.

2Kgs:20:11: And Isaiah the prophet cried unto the LORD: and he brought the shadow ten degrees backward, by which it had gone down in the dial of Ahaz.

If this was accomplished by having the earth reverse its rotation, then all of the problems discussed in Joshua's "stopping the sun" would apply (please see the discussion of
Joshua 10:13 in the chapter on Joshua).

2Kgs:22:8: And Hilkiah the high priest said unto Shaphan the scribe, I have found the book of the law in the house of the LORD. And Hilkiah gave the book to Shaphan, and he read it.

2Kgs:22:10: And Shaphan the scribe shewed the king, saying, Hilkiah the priest hath delivered me a book. And Shaphan read it before the king.
2Kgs:22:11: And it came to pass, when the king had heard the words of the book of the law, that he rent his clothes.
2Kgs:22:12: And the king commanded Hilkiah the priest, and Ahikam the son of Shaphan, and Achbor the son of Michaiah, and Shaphan the scribe, and Asahiah a servant of the king's, saying,
2Kgs:22:13: Go ye, enquire of the LORD for me, and for the people, and for all Judah, concerning the words of this book that is found: for great is the wrath of the LORD that is kindled against us, because our fathers have not hearkened unto the words of this book, to do according unto all that which is written concerning us.
2Kgs:22:14: So Hilkiah the priest, and Ahikam, and Achbor, and Shaphan, and Asahiah, went unto Huldah the prophetess, the wife of Shallum the son of Tikvah, the son of Harhas, keeper of the wardrobe; (now she dwelt in Jerusalem in the college;) and they communed with her.
2Kgs:22:15: And she said unto them, Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, Tell the man that sent you to me,
2Kgs:22:16: Thus saith the LORD, Behold, I will bring evil upon this place, and upon the inhabitants thereof, even all the words of the book which the king of Judah hath read:
2Kgs:22:17: Because they have forsaken me, and have burned incense unto other gods, that they might provoke me to anger with all the works of their hands; therefore my wrath shall be kindled against this place, and shall not be quenched.
2Kgs:22:18: But to the king of Judah which sent you to enquire of the LORD, thus shall ye say to him, Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, As touching the words which thou hast heard;
2Kgs:22:19: Because thine heart was tender, and thou hast humbled thyself before the LORD, when thou heardest what I spake against this place, and against the inhabitants thereof, that they should become a desolation and a curse, and hast rent thy clothes, and wept before me; I also have heard thee, saith the LORD.
2Kgs:22:20: Behold therefore, I will gather thee unto thy fathers, and thou shalt be gathered into thy grave in peace; and thine eyes shall not see all the evil which I will bring upon this place. And they brought the king word again.

This is a very revealing passage! Up to this point we had assumed that the nation of Israel had known all about the book of the law, and had simply failed to follow it (which is why God kept punishing them). But here we read that they were in total ignorance of such a book! Here -- 800 years after the supposed giving of the law to Moses -- is the first time anyone in Israel has heard of it! Now we can understand why the law was not acted upon up until this point! It had never seen the light of day until a priest and a scribe presented it to king Josiah!

But there is something fundamentally wrong with this picture. The "book of the law of Moses" was supposed to have been an integral part of the life of Israel:

Josh:1:8: This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.

It seems highly unlikely, after all the miracles they had supposedly witnessed and benefited from, that Israel would've simply forgotten all about the book of the law of Moses, and it would suddenly turn up one day as a priest was cleaning up in the temple.

Most Biblical scholars have concluded that this "finding" of the law by a priest and a scribe was actually the palming off of their own writing under the legendary name of Moses. This means that much of the "Old Testament" was written some 800 years after the events it relates, and was written by the priest Hilkiah and the scribe Shaphan rather than by Moses at the time of the events! This passage of the Bible reveals that the Bible is based on a fraud!

This explains why even the "good" kings continued the worship of other gods; there were no laws forbidding it! The following excerpt from
Joseph Wheless' book, Is it God's Word? (pages 131-134) , explains this matter very well:

The first thing Moses himself did after descending from Sinai and writing the "law" in his book and swearing the people to it was to erect the twelve phallic "pillars," or mazzebahs, for the twelve tribes of Israel, and send young men to offer sacrifices on earth-made altars (Ex. xxiv, 4, 5), though the very "law" he is said to have that day revealed enacts: "Thou shalt not plant an asherah nor set thee up a mazzebah, which Yahweh thy God hateth"; and time and again decrees that no sacrifice shall be offered except by the holy monopoly of priests, and upon the sacred altar in the tabernacle of the congregation. His successor Joshua erected phallic pillars of stone, and built an altar of unhewn stone, on which he is said to have written the very "laws of Moses" forbidding such practices, and although Joshua was not a priest, he "offered thereon burnt offerings unto Yahweh, and sacrificed peace offerings" (Josh. viii, 30, 31), in violation of the "law." Joshua conjured the people to "put away the gods which your fathers served beyond the river [Euphrates], and in Egypt, and serve ye Yahweh" (xxiv, 14) which proves idol-worship was unbroken from Abraham to the last days of Joshua. And he repeated: "Put away the strange gods which are among you" (xxiv, 23); and the people promised they would, but they never did. Under the judges, continuously, the people "served Baalim," and "followed other gods, of the gods of the people that were round about them; ... and served Baal and Ashtaroth ... they would not hearken unto their judges, they went awhoring after other gods?' (Judges ii, 11-17, and throughout the book).

…Micah's golden ephod was a god in Israel, served by Levites for priests, "until the day of the captivity of the land" (Judges xviii). The great and good Samuel, when first met by Saul as he was hunting lost asses, was going "up to the high place," where the phallic "pillars and groves" were set up and Baal was worshipped, and where, on that day, the people were holding a sacred feast; "and the people will not eat until he come, because he blesseth the sacrifice" (1 Sam. ix, 13, 14); practices utterly banned by the "law" of Moses.

…All this could not have been rationally possible if any sort of monotheistic worship of "one God Yahweh," sole God of all the earth, had been the anciently established religion of Israel, decreed in a God-given "Book of the Law" to Moses, a holy legacy to the people, sanctioned by the fearful threats it contains against disobedience to its dread and holy commands.

The prophetess Huldah delivered her verdict on the authenticity of the book "found" by Hilkiah. She then went on to predict dire punishments to Israel for not having followed the book of the law. Finally, she predicted that king Josiah would die peacefully. However, we later read of Josiah dying violently in battle:

2Kgs:23:29: In his days Pharaoh-nechoh king of Egypt went up against the king of Assyria to the river Euphrates: and king Josiah went against him; and he slew him at Megiddo, when he had seen him.
2Kgs:23:30: And his servants carried him in a chariot dead from Megiddo, and brought him to Jerusalem, and buried him in his own sepulchre. And the people of the land took Jehoahaz the son of Josiah, and anointed him, and made him king in his father's stead.

Huldah's prophecy concerning Josiah's death failed to come true. Therefore, according to the Bible's own definition, she was a false prophet (Deut. 18:22). Huldah was the one whom the king had relied upon to verify the authenticity of the "book of the law of Moses." But since she was a false prophet, how much trust should we place in her pronouncement? How odd to think that the very basis for Judaism and Christianity rests on the word of this obscure false prophet!

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