June - Reading 19

Discussion in 'Bible Reading Plan 2016' started by Clint Kritzer, Jun 19, 2002.

  1. Clint Kritzer

    Clint Kritzer
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  2. Clint Kritzer

    Clint Kritzer
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    Good evening -

    One thing that strikes my interest in the reading of 2Kings tonight is that the author only goes into detail about the one aspect of Joash's reign, that being the repair of the temple. This was of course a very important accomplishment and the young king (he was about 30 at the time) accomplished the funding of this task in accordance with the Levitical Laws. My footnotes are stuffed with cross references back to the Torah explaining the distributions of the sin offerings, the priests' incomes, the and the unsolicited donations. If any of you are interested, I am providing a link to Matthew Henry's commentary on chapter 12 of 2Kings if you click here.We will learn far more about Joash when we get to the Book of 2Chronicles, chapters 22 - 24.

    In Luke tonight we read the account of Christ being questioned over fasting. It struck me as I read this tonight that John's diet of locust and honey probably did not allow for a lot of fasting. I just can't imagine choking down enough grasshoppers to maintain the calorie count to survive! Robbing wild bees would not have been the most desirable way to get food either!

    In Phillipians we get another piece of the puzzle as to the movements of the Apostles and their messengers. Paul's praise of Timothy is VERY high, especially for one who is so young. Paul also sends Epaphroditus. The Book of Phillipians will be the only Book that mentions this name in verses 2:19, 25; 4:18.

    May God bless you

    - Clint
     
  3. Clint Kritzer

    Clint Kritzer
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    Sunday School lecture 9/28/03 continued

    Philippians 2:19-30

    2:19-24 The Example of Timothy’s Concern for Others

    Paul here and in our next Passage reveals his plans for himself and the Philippians.
    1. He hopes to send Timothy as soon as he can with news of the trial (v. 23)
    2. Epaphroditus will be sent home with the Letter (v. 25)
    3. Paul hopes to visit Philippi himself (v. 24)
    4. Timothy will serve as a minister to the Philippians (v. 20)
    5. Timothy will hopefully return with good news about the Philippians to Paul (v. 19)

    Timothy was one of Paul’s most trusted assistants. He did not hold the office of “Apostle” as he was not a witness to Christ himself. He was also not necessarily an “elder” as he did not stay at any one church and serve on a council. We see in the Pastoral Letters that Timothy acted as Paul’s agent in giving instructions to the churches under his charge. We may think of Timothy as an “under-apostle.” He served as Paul’s emissary on many occasions and was present when Paul first went to Philippi as we see in Acts 16:1. Do not let the term “disciple” in that verse throw you. A disciple of Christ is defined as “one who (1) believes his doctrine, (2) rests on his sacrifice, (3) imbibes his spirit, and (4) imitates his example (Mt 10:24; Lu 14:26-27,33; Joh 6:69).” Easton’s Bible Dictionary

    Timothy is held up to the Philippians as an example of one who looks to the interests of others before his own. This is the very same attitude to which Paul was exhorting the Philippian community. Just as Christ had taken the form of a slave for His followers, Timothy, too, had taken the role of a slave for Christ. While Paul certainly viewed his other companions as good, Christian examples, Timothy was the most qualified to complete this mission to Philippi. How could the Philippians continue their grumblings and questionings with Timothy there as an example to them?

    2:25-30 The Example of Epaphroditus Risking His Life for Others

    Though we have mentioned Epaphroditus in each Lesson in this Book, it is here that we are first introduced to him. His name is unique to this Passage and to 4:18. We will read of Epaphras in Colossians 4:12 (the final Sunday in November) but these appear to be two different characters. Interestingly, the name is a derivative of the Greek goddess Aphrodite. It was not uncommon then, nor now, for believers to retain and assign pagan names.

    Epaphroditus is introduced to us as Paul’s brother, fellow worker, and fellow soldier. Brother was the New Testament term applied to any Christians amongst themselves. Fellow worker may be in reference to his association with Paul in Philippi or some other mission in which he was unnamed. We are left to conjecture in this instance. Fellow soldier likely shows us that Epaphroditus was one who was willing to risk his life in the cause of his service to Paul and to Christ. The use of military terms was not uncommon for Paul and we see other examples of his use of “soldier” in Philemon 1:2 and 2Timothy 2:3-4. Do not be mislead by the term soldier, however. Paul elsewhere makes it quite clear that our war is not worldly nor are the weapons of that war. 2Corinthians 10:3-6

    Epaphroditus is also introduced as a minister to Paul’s needs and the messenger for the Philippians. The word for “messenger” is translated literally from the Greek as “apostle” but it is not to be confused as the same term as applies to the Twelve and Paul. Rather, he was an apostle of the church, sent out on a specific mission with granted authority by that church. Messenger, though a bit weak a translation, is far preferred in that it avoids such confusion.

    Paul is eager to send Epaphroditus back. Epaphroditus was longing for home, the Philippians were distressed in learning that he had been ill, and recognizing these anxieties caused Paul a certain amount of stress as well.

    It should be noted at this point that this passage is what causes some doubts as to the Roman imprisonment theory, which my commentary has reflected. For these events to be explained there had to have been at least four trips between Paul’s location and Philippi.
    1. The Phillipians hear of Paul’s arrest from a witness at that location.
    2. The Phillipians send Epaphroditus to Paul.
    3. A messenger sends word that Epaphroditus is ill.
    4. Epaphroditus learns from a messenger that the Philippians were aware of his illness.

    That Epaphroditus had risked his life by coming to minister to Paul and had become ill to the point of death made Epaphroditus another example to the Philippians. How could they continue down a path towards division in the presence of one of their own who was willing to gamble his own life in devotion to Christ, Paul, and his church? The only way we can honor such men is to emulate their self-sacrificing spirit.
     
  4. Clint Kritzer

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    Sunday School lesson 7/11/04 continued

    2Kings 12:1-3 The Evaluation of Joash

    Though the appraisal of Joash is the first favorable review since the days of David, the Historian as well as the Chronicler remains reserved in his praise of the man. The pivotal statement is found in verse 2. While Jehoiada was alive, Joash had good, solid, Godly council. After the high priest's death, Joash began to slip (2Chronicles 24:17-19).

    Some scholars have equated the "high places" spoken of in verse 3 with Baalism but this interpretation is not necessary for the unfavorable part of the review. Even if these high places were for the worship of God, they violated the order of the single sanctuary commanded in the Torah (Deuteronomy 12:5). Though the tradition of the use of separate places of worship had prevailed since the conquest of Canaan, it was nonetheless a violation of the Law.

    2Kings 12:4-16 The Repair of the Temple

    As in the modern day, building renovation costs money. For repair of the Temple, Joash initially calls for it to be collected from three sources. (1) "Money collected in the census (KJV - the money of every one that passeth the account)" refers to an offering of a half shekel of silver made by Israeli men when they reached the age of 20 when registering for the service. (2) "Money received from personal vows (KJV - the money that every man is set at)" is in reference to the Law according to Leviticus 27:1-25. (3) "Money brought voluntarily to the Temple (KJV - money that cometh into any man's heart to bring into the house of the LORD)" is described in Leviticus 22:18-23.

    This plan to restore the Temple was instituted while Joash was still relatively young. In verse 6 we see him reach the age of 30 and he now begins to assert his kingly authority on the matter. Recognizing that the priest were not giving the money he had designated for repairs to the task, he commands that these offerings would now not pass through their hands at all. Instead, Jehoiada created an "offering box" that he placed beside the door that people entered to approach the altar. The priest who guarded the Temple against defilement placed all the offerings into the chest and when it was filled, the royal secretary and the high priest (Jehoiada) counted it and then gave it to the "general contractors" who then dispersed it to the "subcontractors" and "suppliers." In this way all of the expenses for the repair of the Temple were met.

    Though the Historian is specific that the money collected was used only for the structure of the Temple, the Chronicler adds that later the money was used for purchasing silver and gold articles (2Chronicles 24:14). The narrative further reports that honesty was a hallmark among the workers and that the priests' monetary needs were met through the guilt (KJV - trespass) offerings and sin offerings.

    2Kings 12:17-21 The Fate of Joash

    Verse 17 seems to pick up the story towards the end of Joash's reign. While the account in 2Chronicles 24 goes into far more detail concerning the apostasy and backsliding into which the king fell, the Historian omits these details. However, the Aramean attack can be seen in the same light as any other military failures and trials that the Jews faced. They were a judgment of the nations by God. This also shows us that the Northern Kingdom was pathetically weak since Hazael was able to march his enemies across their land and conquer Gath, located in Philistia.

    The chapter closes with Joash being assassinated by two of his officials" Jozabad and Jehozabad. The Chronicler reveals that this was in response to the stoning of Jehoiada's son, Zecharia, an act instigated by Joash. The location of Silla, mentioned nowhere else in the Scriptures, has been lost to us but the house, or "Beth" of Millo may have been a barracks in which Joash was staying. The Chronicler tells us that he was killed in his bed.

    The next king, Amaziah, is announced at the end of the chapter and his tale will be told in chapter 14.

    Sunday School lesson 7/18/04

    2Kings 13

    Chapters 11 & 12 covered the 47 years following Jehu's rebellion, or we reckon 842 BC to 796 BC, as the Historian relayed the events in Judah. He now returns his focus to the Northern Kingdom, Israel. As we enter chapter 13 we backtrack time to 814 BC, the 23rd year of Joash's reign. Jehu is dead, leaving behind a severely spiritually and politically weakened kingdom as Aram and Assyria erode her borders and military strength and the people continue their worship at the golden calves in Dan and Bethel. Our narrative begins with Jehoahaz ascending to the throne in Israel.

    2Kings 13:1-13 Aramean Advances under Hazael

    1-9 Jehoahaz Reigns in Israel


    As we see in the first verse of the chapter, Jehoahaz' reign lasts 17 years. In a style to which we have become accustomed, however, the historian does not attribute his political success or failure to earthly circumstances but instead concentrates on his shortcomings religiously. Since he continued in the "sins of Jeroboam," the Lord allowed the Aramaens under Hazael and, later, his son, Ben Hadad III to repeatedly defeat him in battle.

    In verse 4, however, we see the beaten king turn to God for aid. In a remarkable testimony about God's love for His chosen people, He answers the prayer favorably. Even though Jehoahaz's heart was not right and he continued to allow and encourage the people towards disobedience, God sent a "savior" to champion the Israelites.

    Scholars have speculated on the identity of this savior for millennia. Some think it was Elisha as this story falls within the Elisha cycle of 2Kings. Others have proposed Adadnirari III, an Assyrian king who drew the Aramaens attention away from Israel for a while. Others speculate that the reference is to Jehoahaz's son, Jehoash, or his grandson Jeroboam II. The Historian does not specify and though our human curiosity wishes a name to put with the title, the point of the narrative is that the deliverance came from God in answer to a prayer.

    Despite this deliverance, the people remained in their sin of worshipping and sacrificing in unsanctioned houses of worship. We also see in verse 6 that they allowed an "Asherah pole (KJV - grove)" to remain standing. ("Asherah" is the Anglicized Hebrew word that the KJV translators rendered "grove.") This was an idol that represented a pagan goddess named Asherah who was believed by that cult to be the mother of Baal. Though Jehu had purged Baalism from Israel approximately three decades before, he had either overlooked this idol or, more likely, the people had re-erected it at a later time. We are unsure of the actual appearance of the Asherah poles but they are mentioned often in the Old Testament beginning in Exodus 34:13 where Moses commands that they be cut down. At the height of apostasy in Judah in 2Kings 21:7, Mannaseh even places one in the Temple.

    Therefore, God does no more than give the unfaithful Israelites a reprieve. We find in verse 7 that the once strong army of Israel had been reduced to fifty cavalrymen, ten chariots, and ten thousand infantry troops. Merely forty years before, Ahab was able to dispatch 2000 chariots and a detachment of 10,000 foot soldiers against the Assyrians at the battle of Qarqar according to the annals of Shalmaneser III. The Israelite army had been reduced top little more than a police force. As Jehoahaz's reign is brought to a close in verses 8-9, there seems to be little hope for the Northern Kingdom.

    2Kings 13:10-13 Jehoash Reigns in Israel

    Once again, we have a conflict of names that should be clarified before we continue our study. In 2Kings 11:21 we were introduced to Jehoash, son of Ahaziah, of Judah who ascended the throne in Judah in 835 BC. Now we meet Jehoash, son of Jehoahaz, of Israel inheriting the reign in 798 BC. Most versions now change the name of Jehoash of Judah to Joash.

    The deuteronomical evaluation of Jehoash of Israel in verse 11 is not favorable. As was the case of the other kings of Israel, he persisted in the allowance of the worship in Dan and Bethel. The Historian ends his evaluation of the evil king in verse 12&13 with the familiar formula of referring the reader to another source that would have completed the political picture of the king, this time "the annals of the kings of Israel," or "the chronicles of the kings of Israel," however your version may translate the title.

    2Kings 13:14-20a Elisha's Visit from Jehoash and Final Prophetic Actions

    Though we are told of Jehoash's death after sixteen years of reign in verse 13, the Historian now backs up in time to relay the account of his visit to Elisha as he was deathly ill, probably from old age, in his final days. Recognizing the inevitable death of the great prophet, Jehoash wept over Elisha uttering the same phrase over him that Elisha had exclaimed at Elijah's translation: My father, my father! The chariot of Israel, and the horsemen thereof. (KJV) The most common interpretation of this phrase is that Jehoash recognized that Elisha was the appointed prophet of God and that Israel's fate lay in His sovereignty and not in their military might. Elisha was the true protector of Israel.

    Elisha instructed the king to get a bow and arrows and as Jehoash picked them up, the prophet laid his hands on the king's. In this way, the prophet is indicating that Jehoash would be engaging the Aramaens in battle with God's blessing. Elisha then instructs the king to participate in two symbolic acts that would demonstrate God's purpose for Israel and the Aramaens during Jehoash's reign. First he is told to shoot an arrow through the east window, the window facing the Transjordan now in Aramean control, to symbolize the destruction of the Israelites long-standing enemy. Elisha foresees that this will occur at Aphek, a city a few miles east of the Sea of Galilee, where Ahab had also defeated the Arameans about 60 years earlier (1Kings 20:26-30).

    The second symbolic act relied more heavily on the response of Jehoash to instructions. Elisha instructed him to take the arrows and strike the ground with them. Scholars have long speculated on what this "striking" was. Some think that he shot the arrows into the dirt while others feel that he held the arrows by the shaft and swung at the ground. The method is irrelevant to the Historian's point, however, as the focus is on Jehoash's half-hearted response. By striking the ground only three times, he showed a less than enthusiastic zeal for his divinely appointed task. Therefore, Jehoash would only defeat the Arameans three times and the complete defeat of them would be left to his son, Jeroboam II, in chapter 14.

    Verse 20 tells us quite frankly and briefly that Elisha died some time after this account.

    2Kings 13:20b-21 The Veneration of Elisha

    The Elisha cycle concludes with this final mention of him in these two verses. The account quite simply is that a band of Israelites were carrying a corpse to its interment when suddenly they were surprised by a group of Moabite raiders. In haste and desperation to escape, they threw the corpse into a tomb, which just happened to be the final resting-place of Elisha. When the corpse touched Elisha's bones, it immediately reanimated.

    The significance of the event is that it demonstrated that God was with Elisha after his death as surely as he was during his life. It further demonstrated to those who witnessed and heard of the miracle that the God Elisha served was the true God and the doctrines espoused by the prophet should be embraced by the Israelites.

    This is the final mention of Elisha in the Old Testament.

    2Kings 13:22-25 Fulfillment of Elisha's Final Prophecies

    In this final Passage of chapter 13 we see Hazael, who had been anointed per the instructions of Elisha continued to oppress the Israelites. However, the Historian notes that they never had total victory and this is attributed to the Abrahamic Covenant. The phrase at the end of verse 23, "to this day (KJV - as yet)" is attributed by some to a direct quoting of another source used by the Historian. Others feel that it demonstrates that the Book of Kings was written by more than one author who compiled the work over many years.

    As the chapter ends we see the death of Hazael, and his son, Ben-Hadad III succeeds him. Jehoash, king of Israel recaptured town that had been lost to Hazael and defeats the Arameans three times, just as Elisha had prophesied.
     
  5. Clint Kritzer

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    Sunday School lecture 9/26/04 continued

    Luke 5:33-39 The Question of Fasting

    Seeking another vantage from which to attack Jesus, the Pharisees questioned Him about the lack of fasting among his disciples and Him. Only one mention of fasting occurs in Christ's ministry outside of the Day of Atonement as was required by Levitical Law and that is in the wilderness before the temptation. The Pharisees were in the practice of fasting twice a week and so, it seems, was John's followers. The rejection of this tradition accords well with Jesus' rejection of other Jewish traditions that showed false piety.

    Fasting in the Old Testament usually accompanied sorrow, repentance, or national emergency. Jesus immediately picks up on the rationalization behind fasting to make His defense. The wedding banquet analogy is quite fitting, as this was a time for rejoicing not sorrow. Jesus invited men to feast, not fast. However, when the bridegroom dies, then it is a time for mourning and fasting.

    The following examples, the patch of new cloth and the wineskins, demonstrate that the revolutionary new movement introduced by the Messiah could not and would not be pressed into the form of the old Judaism. Christ's ministry and the eventual establishment of His church was not a patch for the Old Jewish system. It was a restoration of what the Judaistic system should have been. Jesus Christ did not abolish Judaism. The failure of its leaders to recognize Christ as the Messiah and that His teachings were the correct reformation are what destroyed it.

    Verse 39 is a bit obscure, but may represent a common Jewish attitude encountered by early Christians. There were those who would hound Paul's steps claiming that the antiquity of Judaism made it superior. To the contrary, however, Jesus was stripping the Pharisees of the authority they held in tradition. In essence, Christ was bringing the intent and character of the Law back to its roots. His teachings were the older, mellower wine. It was the traditions of the Pharisees that were bitter and unpalatable.
     
  6. Clint Kritzer

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