03 August 2010

Aug 3

Reference links:
Old Testament

In yesterday's reading, Manasseh converted from his evil ways. In today's reading, he sounds almost good enough to be another Hezekiah.
Manasseh also removed the foreign gods and the idol from the Lord’s Temple. He tore down all the altars he had built on the hill where the Temple stood and all the altars that were in Jerusalem, and he dumped them outside the city. Then he restored the altar of the Lord and sacrificed peace offerings and thanksgiving offerings on it. He also encouraged the people of Judah to worship the Lord, the God of Israel. However, the people still sacrificed at the pagan shrines, though only to the Lord their God.
Manasseh's son Amon lives up to our expectations for a bad king. He is murdered by his own officials after only two years as king. After that Josiah, the wonder boy of the book of Kings, is crowned king.

But before we get there, I want to point out that Amon apparently was 16 years old when he fathered Josiah. Amon became king at age 22 and was only king for 2 years. Josiah was 8 when he became king. (22 + 2) - 8 = 16.

Josiah's reign sounds pretty much like it did in the books of Kings; if you go back and compare them, they are fundamentally the same. Josiah starts out good and becomes even better once Hilkiah discovers the book of the law while the temple is being restored. You can read what I wrote before to see what I think about this episode itself.

What I want to comment on this time is how much more the version of this story in Chronicles sucks as literature. Our reading from only two days ago implied very strongly that the law had not yet been lost. Furthermore, the kings do not seem nearly as corrupt in the chronicler's version of history as they did in the books of Kings. Thus, Josiah's reaction to all of this and God's promised punishment seem way out of proportion to what we have actually been shown.

The books of Chronicles have failed to motivate Judah's downfall. Overall, I have to say that they have distinctly less literary merit than the books of Kings (and they were not always that great either).

New Testament

We finish reading Romans today. It mostly consists of the sending of greetings and an appeal to the recipients to be faithful to the Lord.

Psalms and Proverbs

Good practical advice:
A gossip goes around telling secrets,
so don’t hang around with chatterers.