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Thread: The Jezreel Paradox

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    tWebber tabibito's Avatar
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    The Jezreel Paradox

    This is a piece that was written as an appendix to a book review, somewhat edited to allow for a stand alone commentary - I'm in two minds about whether to name the book and author, but at this stage I'm thinking it is probably better not to.

    The Jezreel Paradox (apparent conflict between Hosea 1:4 and 2 Kings 9, 10)
    With regard to the Jezreel Paradox, there are two predominant schools of thought. The first proposes that Jehu so violated proper conduct, engaging in the self-same practices as had Ahab, that God’s endorsement of the pogrom against the house of Ahab was annulled. This claims that a righteous action undertaken at God’s behest retroactively becomes wrong when the person conducting that action later strays to the dark side. From righteous to wrongful, when the scripture shows approval of the action at the time it was undertaken? This would be a unique event in the Bible. This is less resolution than it is rationalisation.
    The alternative view is that God never authorised that action, with an attendant claim that prophetic command to conduct pogroms resulted from personal assessments (by prophets) lacking in proper appreciation of God’s true nature. One author claims that the conflict between Hosea 1:4 and 2 Kings 9 demonstrates that “it is possible to grow in understanding and to think again about the past.” He goes on to say, “Hosea would have said, ‘I’m sure my prophetic forebears were absolutely certain they were doing the will of God …” In that, there is a claim that prophets do not act on the direct command of God, but only on a personal assessment of what they believe to be God’s desire.
    Scripture does not lend support for either school’s thought, but the second cannot deal with actions documented throughout the Bible, including the New Testament records of the deaths of Ananias and Sapphira (Acts 5: 1-10), and perhaps more aptly, the prophecy against a Jezebel, her associates, and her children (Rev 2:20-23).
    Elisha straitly told a member of the “guild of prophets” to draw Jehu aside, anoint him king, say no more than “God has anointed you king over Israel,” and then to leave immediately (2 Kings 9:1-3). The messenger duly anointed Ahab as king of Israel, then repeated a prophecy, first spoken by Elijah against Ahab, as a command: cut Ahab off, root and branch (2 Kings 9:6-10). This author claims that Ahab was anointed by Elisha, specifically to conduct a pogrom. (Is there any scripture that records an anointing to conduct a particular action? Don’t people rather get anointed to positions of authority?)
    The author’s own precis of subsequent events provides the key to resolving the paradox: “The appalling Jehu … obliterates not only the … family of King Ahab … but pretty well anyone who has ever exchanged a polite word with them”. The “pretty well anyone” subjected to annihilation includes the Royal House of Judah; action for which Jehu had no warrant. The death of King Ahaziah of Judah was deemed legitimate by the chronicler of 2 Kings, but the killing of other members of his family is recorded without further comment (2 Kings 9:30 – 10:14).
    Hosea does not demonstrate any evolution or improvement in an understanding of the nature of God. Hosea’s focus is not the action by Jehu against the house of Ahab, but against the house of Ahaziah – both actions having occurred concurrently in Jezreel. The LXX (Septuagint) version of Hosea 1:4 specifies vindication upon Judah for the blood-letting in Jezreel. Hosea’s polemic against the house of Jehu and the consequences that he speaks of are in conflict with neither Elijah nor with Elisha’s messenger, nor is his prophecy against the house of Jehu materially different from that spoken against the house of Ahab by Elijah.
    και εκζητησατε με και ευρησετε με οτι ζητησετε με εν ολη καρδία υμων

  2. #2
    tWebber Quantum Weirdness's Avatar
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    Just here to leave this solution to the paradox for anybody interested.
    http://www.tektonics.org/tsr/jehukingsvshosea.html
    -The universe begins to look more like a great thought than a great machine.
    Sir James Jeans

    -This most beautiful system (The Universe) could only proceed from the dominion of an intelligent and powerful Being.All variety of created objects which represent order and Life in the Universe could happen only by the willful reasoning of its original Creator, whom I call the Lord God.
    Sir Isaac Newton

  3. #3
    tWebber tabibito's Avatar
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    Here is what we are arguing analogically: Smith has vandalized Doe's car, all right, but Doe hired him to vandalize it because he was entering an old-fashioned demolition race and wanted to look the part. But then, Smith also went on to Doe's house and set it on fire and painted Doe's dog purple. So, since Smith is an expert in vandalizing cars for such purposes as described, Doe chooses a condemnation that Smith will grasp perfectly: "For painting my dog and burning my house, I'm gonna mess your face up, and it's gonna look just like my car does now." That, we argue, is what Hosea is doing, in a typical ANE communication fashion: Choosing a graphic example very familiar to the subject at hand (the house of Jehu) in order to let them know what's ahead for them.
    Good enough - A lot better than most, even. "Burning the house and painting the dog" is close enough to Jehu's extermination of the Royal House of Judah. "When only the car had been targetted" is close enough to the command to eliminate Ahab's line.
    Last edited by tabibito; 04-19-2019 at 06:45 PM.
    και εκζητησατε με και ευρησετε με οτι ζητησετε με εν ολη καρδία υμων

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