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Had Zimri peace?


The trouble with most of the Christian preachers is that they do not highlight the passages in the Bible which reflect COURAGE, EXECUTION OF ONE’S DUTY, ASTUTENESS and WISDOM; instead they parrot those passages which are aimed at making “SHEEP” out of men and women who listen to those sermons.

The reason, I presume, is that WEALTH over COURAGE has become the priority of the Preachers. When the followers are wealthy, they could use Malachi 3:10 and skim them of the cream and lead those smug lives.

One of the Biblical characters whom I admire most is JEHU, the Commander of the Israel army during the reign of AHAB and AHAB’S son JORAM (JEHORAM). and who subsequently became the King of Israel. Jehu was not merely courageous but astute and wise as well. These are difficult qualities to blend. JESUS says, BE WISE LIKE A SERPENT BUT INNOCENT AS A DOVE. That was a blend recommended by JESUS, seldom one hears these being expatiated in the sermons, as the Preachers know that if their followers become “wise as serpents” but also “innocent as doves” the followers would reach their SALVATION without ENRICHING THE PREACHERS! So such passages are left out, in the belief that the “wise” are anyway  going to become wise and innocent on their own without their “help”.

JEHU fits the bill of having been WISE LIKE A SERPENT but also INNOCENT LIKE A DOVE. How could I say that  when he committed regicide and also “reginacide”?  Read on and I assure you that I have my reasons for such a conclusion:

II Kings 9

30 And when Jehu was come to Jezreel, Jezebel heard of it; and she painted her face, and tired her head, and looked out at a window.

31 And as Jehu entered in at the gate, she said, Had Zimri peace, who slew his master?

32 And he lifted up his face to the window, and said, Who is on my side? who? And there looked out to him two or three eunuchs.

Ahab, the husband of JEZEBEL was dead and his son JORAM (JEHORAM) was ruling Israel in Ahab’s stead. The Queen Mother was JEZEBEL and exerting much influence in the affairs of the state of Israel. I would like to tell those readers who are not familiar with the political structure as it was then that the original Israel of 12 tribes had split during the reign of Rehoboam S/o SOLOMON into Israel consisting of 10 tribes and Judah consisting of the 2 tribes of Judah and Benjamin. So AHAB was in that line of the Kings who ruled Israel minus the 2 tribes of Judah and Benjamin and for brevity called JUDAH the kingdom.

JEHU was one of the commanders of the army of AHAB and later served his son Joram, but JEHU was a believer in the God of Israel, whereas Jezebel was a worshiper of BAAL and this had led to a lot of internecine manoeuvrings within the kingdom. 

To come back to the thread of the story, Jehu kills JORAM and rides to the palace in JEZREEL, then the capital city of ISRAEL. So JEZEBEL sees JEHU riding into the palace and she “painted her face and tired her her” to receive JEHU and when her offer of PEACE was rejected outright, Jezebel asks him a very LOADED QUESTION; “HAD ZIMRI PEACE? THE MURDERER OF HIS MASTER”

With a little help from 1 Kings 16:15-20 we would be able to understand the connotation!

  15In the twenty-seventh year of Asa king of Judah, Zimri reigned seven days at Tirzah. Now the people were camped against Gibbethon, which belonged to the Philistines.

16The people who were camped heard it said, “Zimri has conspired and has also struck down the king.” Therefore all Israel made Omri, the commander of the army, king over Israel that day in the camp.

17Then Omri and all Israel with him went up from Gibbethon and besieged Tirzah.

18When Zimri saw that the city was taken, he went into the citadel of the king’s house and burned the king’s house over him with fire, and died,

19because of his sins which he sinned, doing evil in the sight of the LORD, walking in the way of Jeroboam, and in his sin which he did, making Israel sin.

20Now the rest of the acts of Zimri and his conspiracy which he carried out, are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Israel?

So here JEZEBEL from the upper floor of the palace addresses JEHU and tells him to recall the fate of ZIMRI and how people would rebel against his regicide and turn against him and kill him. Jezebel had lost her son/step-son JORAM and is still finding time to paint her face and tire her hair- is it because she, as having got used to her regal ways had to present herself ‘beautified’? I guess not. She had lost Ahab and was continuing her life unaffected with her son Joram and now that JORAM was dead her motto must have been THE KING IS DEAD, LONG LIVE THE KING – THE NEW KING JEHU. But inter-se between Jezebel and Jehu she wanted to have CONTROL OVER Jehu, so that her writ would continue to run in the kingdom.

JEHU, tells the eunuchs in the palace to throw her down and JEZEBEL meets her match and end in the hands of JEHU. In effect what JEZEBEL told JEHU was YOU COULD HAVE KILLED THE KING, BUT TILL YOU TAKE OVER THE INSTITUTIONS AND THE PEOPLE OF THE KINGDOM, YOU CANNOT EXERCISE CONTROL AND ADMINISTRATION OVER THE KINGDOM. AND I, JEZEBEL, HAVE CONTROL OVER THE ADMINISTRATION TAKE ME AND ALL IS YOURS AND YOU, JEHU, DO NOT HAVE TO FACE THE FATE OF ZIMRI. IF YOU, JEHU, WANT PEACE, THEN MAKE ME YOUR QUEEN! I AM ALL DOLLED UP AND WAITING…….TAKE ME AND WE CAN RUN THE KINGDOM!

This was nothing but SEDUCTION, not all sexual but POWER flavoured with sexual innuendo.

Why was Jehu wise? Jehu DID NOT ENTER the palace, but stood outside. There could have been TREACHERY inside and JEHU was aware of Abhimelechs and Siseras who had met sordid end by getting too close to the tower or inside the tents where women were staying!

THAT WAS THE SERPENT LIKE WISDOM IN JEHU. Yet at the same time he bided his time till he was anointed so that he could take over the reins of Israel. In the BIBLE, the only person who was assured kingship to heirs till the fourth generation was JEHU, not even DAVID was able to retain all the 12 tribes beyond the third i.e David, Solomon and Rehoboam!

But why was that so? A man who wants to be the king should be away from the wiles of wayward women. JEHU succeeded where even DAVID failed and history shows that. That SEXUAL INNOCENCE coupled with the WISDOM to wait and choose the most opportune time to strike makes JEHU a bigger hero than DAVID, but DAVID is incomparable as he makes up with his humility, ability to obtain the Grace from God, poetic talent and cunning!

 

 
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AHAB & his wisdom!


This is not AHAB of Moby Dick of Herman Melville, but about Ahab, the king of Israel and husband to the wicked (?) Jezebel of THE BIBLE. Ahab comes out something like MACBETH, in a sense that he heavily depended on his spouse to egg him on to do the deed or get the deed done thru the efficiency of his spouse Jezebel. The history of AHAB and Jezebel could be found in I Kings.

Despite all his failings, AHAB uttered a line which reverberates in my mind very often and the verse is reproduced below:-

Let not him that girdeth on his armor boast himself as he that putteth it off. (I Kings 20:11)

There are people who boast before they have achieved the task on hand. Probably they need that boastful talk to work themselves to do the task, but they should not talk like those who have achieved certain things in their lives. Here the imagery is a contrast between an armed man who has successfully returned from the battlefield and the one who is preparing to go to the battlefield. Their LANGUAGE OUGHT TO BE DIFFERENT. The one who had returned ALIVE has reasons to boast, but the one preparing to go is yet to overcome and survive.

AHAB MAKES A BRILLIANT POINT THAT ONE DOESN’T KNOW THE OUTCOME OF A BATTLE AT THE PERSONAL LEVEL. If we read history, Sher Shah Suri won his last battle, but he died of the wounds received by him during the battle. THE BATTLE WAS WON BUT THE KING DIED. Another example is Admiral Nelson, who won the battle but waited for the victory and died immediately thereafter. So both Admiral Nelson and Sher Shah Suri did not have the TIME to GLOAT over their Victories.

It is that TIME in a person’s LIFE which AHAB talks of. One should NEVER EVER use the language of a SURVIVOR if  one is embarking on a task which could make a demand on his LIFE!

With this one statement AHAB redeems himself, quite a bit in my opinion.

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