Second Kings 1:1 to 6:8
1:1 With Ahab dead, Ahaziah took over as king but soon became very sick. The Moabites took this opportunity to rebel against their Israelite overlords. Meanwhile Ahaziah sent men over to Ekron to ask their god Zebub for help getting well. Elijah intercepted them and asked “Zebub? Really? Have you no decent gods with funny names in your own country? Trust me the king is going to die.” The king sent 50 men to arrest Elijah but a big fireball came down and killed them. 50 more men were sent and a big fireball killed them also. 50 more men were sent but this time their captain said “Please don’t kill us with a big ass fireball.” So Elijah didn’t kill them with another big fireball but instead went with the captain to the king and said “You’re going to die.” Then the king died and the people said “whoa.”
2:2 Elijah and his sidekick Elisha toured the country. When they came to the river Elijah struck the water with his hat and the water parted so they could cross without even getting their feet wet, although his hat was soaked. Suddenly a chariot made of fire appeared out of nowhere, with horses also made of fire. Elijah hopped on board the fiery chariot and in a fiery whirlwind of fiery horse hooves it took him straight up to heaven. His magic hat fell off in the process and his understudy Elisha picked it up and put it on. Elisha used the hat to part the river again as he returned home. A search party was formed to look for Elijah’s body but of course he was not found because he never actually died.
2:19 The water system of Jericho had a case of the stank. Elisha put a little tiny bit of salt in the spring that fed water to the city and it de-polluted the whole system.
Elisha’s head was follicly challenged. He was a chrome dome. You know what a Mohawk looks like, a strip down the middle. This was more of a Hawkmo, a strip around the perimeter. Some little children came by to tease Elisha about his bald head. “Hey Hair Club, you’re so bald, I can see what’s on your mind.”
Elisha hated having his identity reduced to his glistening pate. His dignity was being challenged so he cast a curse spell on the silly tykes and two vicious bears came out of the woods and killed them all. Forty two young children of the local town were suddenly ripped to bloody shreds as they screamed for mercy and tried to run for their lives. Elisha watched the horrible massacre with mild amusement until all their screaming was silenced and then he went merrily on his way while the bears chewed on the remains. Nobody ever called him Old Reverend Cue Ball after that.
3:5 The kings of Israel, Judah, and Edom all got together to plan a war against Moab. When their armies ran out of water in the middle of the desert Elisha had them dig some ditches and promised them victory over Moab. When they had routed the Moabites they went on to poison all the Moabite wells and poison all the fields and they even cut down all the trees. The king of Moab burned his oldest son to death in a religious sacrifice and the Israelites were satisfied and went home.
4:1 A woman came to Elisha and said “My husband is totally dead and you know he was very afraid of the Lord when he was alive, which is cool. But now the creditors have come to take my two sons away as payment for his debts.” Elisha asked her what resources she had and she said just a little pot of oil. He told her to borrow all the containers she could and then go inside and close the door and pour the oil from the little pot into all the containers. Elisha had converted her little pot into a magical pot of pouring. She magically filled all the containers from the little pot and sold the oil and was thus able to live comfortably as the CEO of a major oil company.
4:8 Elisha would often stop to eat at a certain couple’s house so finally they built on an extra room for him. No use messing with a guy who sends bears to kill children. Elisha asked if he could do them a favor like help get them jobs at the palace. They simply asked for a child and soon they were blessed with a baby boy. One day a few years later, the little boy complained about head pain and then suddenly passed out. They laid him in the chamber they had built for Elisha’s visits. A messenger found the holy man who gave him his stick and said “Touch him with this magic stick.” The stick was tried but it seemed to have no effect so Elisha came to the house personally. He closed the doors and lay on top of the child mouth to mouth, eye to eye and hand to hand. He prayed and stretched himself on top of the boy until the child warmed up and sneezed a few times and woke up.
4:38 Some Yahvists made a big pot of stew but someone threw in a bunch of unfamiliar gourds. It turns out the strange gourds they had found were poisonous. They got bad cramps and started to die so they cried to Elisha who neutralized the poison. That was a close one.
5:1 Naaman was commander-in-chief of the Syrian forces. He contracted leprosy. He had a little Israelite slave girl leftover from the war and she suggested to him that the Yahvists over in Israel might have a cure for the skin disease. Naaman went to see Elisha who said the prescription was to bathe seven times in the Jordan River. Naaman was a very patriotic Syrian and the thought of bathing in a smelly muddy river in Israel seemed rather indignant. Why couldn’t he bathe in a nice clean Syrian river? He was finally convinced to give it a try and did the washing.
Miraculously Naaman was cured of leprosy by the smelly muddy water and was thankful to the Lord. He even packed up a couple of mule loads of Israelite dirt to take back to Syria so he could set up a little place to pay respect over a tiny patch of Yahvist territory. Then he asked Elisha to be forgiven for mostly continuing to worship at his regular church, where they worshiped Rimmon, the Syrian’s favorite god. Elisha said that would all be fine, regular worship of Rimmon and occasional respect to Yahweh dirt.
Elisha had actually refused to be paid by Naaman but one of the Yahvists chased after the Syrian leader and demanded some money and clothing from him for the leprosy miracle. Elisha found out about the scam. He called the underling in and declared the greedy prophet would get the leprosy that Naaman had lost. The underling walked out with a very advanced stage of the disease.
6:4 Some Yahvist workers were chopping down trees and one of them had an ax head fly off the handle and land in the river. He was really upset because he had borrowed the ax. Elisha threw a stick in the water and suddenly the iron tool floated to the top of the water where it could be easily retrieved. That was a handy trick.
6:8 The king of Syria made war on Israel again but the Israelite troops seem to know his moves in advance. He suspected a spy but it turned out to be Elisha reading his mind with psychic powers. The Syrians troops came and surrounded the city where Elisha was hanging out. The Lord suddenly made all of the Syrian troops go completely blind and Elisha said to them “This isn’t the town you’re looking for. Let me lead you to the right one.” He led the stumbling troops over to Samaria, capital of Israel at the time. The Lord returned their sight and the king of Israel was persuaded not only to let them live but feed them a nice dinner. Later they remembered they were supposed to be at war so they came back and surrounded the king’s city.
Food started to run low in the beleaguered city until eventually donkey heads were selling for 80 bucks a piece and a quarter scoop of dove poop went for 5 bucks. Nobody could even afford a good bowl of dove poop soup any more.
One woman complained to the king “My friend asked me to cook my son for dinner today and promised we would eat her son tomorrow so I boiled my boy and we ate him but now she’s hidden her son what do I do about it? Can you make her cook her son? Because there is no way I’m paying for a donkey head.”
When the king heard about all of this son cooking business and the high price of donkey heads he tore his clothes in anguish. He wanted to know why he should trust the Lord after the god had brought such trouble to his city. Elisha said “Stay calm and trust me.” He promised relief from the Lord’s shenanigans by tomorrow. Meanwhile some people with leprosy were starving outside the city gate and decided to go to the Syrian camp where they might at least be killed quickly instead of dying slow. When they got to the army camp it was empty. The Lord had made a whole lot of noise like an approaching army and the Syrians were fooled into thinking that Israel had hired the Hittites and Egyptians to rescue them. They left in a big ass hurry and the lepers scavenged what was left in the camp.
The Israelites came and finished salvaging what the Syrians had left behind and this brought down food prices just as Elisha had predicted. Anyone could afford to buy some bird poop now. Everyone rejoiced except one important person who had questioned the Lord’s power. He was trampled to death by the crowd.
Next: Off With Their Heads
The Bible According to Brad
With a Grain of Salt
September 16, 2012
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