Monday, December 28, 2015

The Self-Harmony of the Bible - 3 (Part Nineteen)

When Did Elisha Get Elijah’s Garment?
2 Kings 2:11-13 shows that Elisha got Elijah’s garment after Elijah ascended to heaven.[1] So, then, why does 1 Kings 19:19 show that he had already got it? Let us first look at the context. There it (NWT) reads: “So he went from there and found Elisha the son of Shaphat while he was plowing with 12 pairs of bulls ahead of him, and he was with the 12th pair. So Elijah went over to him and threw his official garment on him.”
I find it disappointing that the skeptic fails to note that the difference in time between these two passages is the entire length of Elijah’s prophetic mission with Elisha. Which is more likely, that Elijah gave him his official garment as his own then, or only right before Elisha succeeded him? The latter is of course true, but why did he throw it on him before? It was a sign that Elijah had chosen him and from then on Elisha “followed Elijah and began to minister to him.” – 1 Kings 19:21 NWT

Whom Did Jehu Kill?
2 Kings 10:13 says that Jehu killed the brothers of Ahaziah, but 2 Chronicles 22:8 calls them the sons of the brothers of Ahaziah, so the skeptic concludes that these two accounts are contradictory. However, he ignores that the term “brothers” could refer to close male relatives and not just one’s literal brothers. Therefore, there is no contradiction; Jehu killed close male relatives of Ahaziah.

Did God Approve of Jehu’s Killings?
            In addition to killing the wicked king of Judah and the wicked king of Israel, Jehu killed many at Jezreel. The historical accounts present Jehovah as approving of the destruction of the wicked house of Ahab and Omri. So why does Jehovah say many years later: “in a little while I will hold an account against the house of Jehu for the acts of bloodshed of Jezreel, and I will put an end to the royal rule of the house of Israel?” –  Hosea 1:4 NWT
            When Jehovah proclaimed this judgement on Jehu’s house it was after Jehu’s time, near, also, to the end of Israel itself. Jehu was not completely zealous to Jehovah, for he did not end the calf worship. Jehovah still gave him “four generations of [his] sons [to] sit on the throne of Israel.” (2 Kings 10:30 NWT) Jehovah started to cut off Israel slowly during this time, and we read of none of his sons being righteous. (2 Kings 10:32) So, should we be surprised if the bloodshed that Jehu’s house perpetrated, that which angers Jehovah, does not refer to the execution against Jehovah’s enemies, but to some later crimes, committed not even by Jehu per se, but one of his descendants? I think that this is the most likely explanation.

[1] See The Self-Harmony of the Bible, p. 12

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