This article was first published in June of 2012 and is today being republished. R.P. BenDedek
As some readers at Magic City Morning Star News are aware, On June 10th M. Wallace Johnson published his first article on the Prophets of Ancient Israel, commencing with the prophet Amos. Today, Sunday 17th, his second article on the prophet Hosea has been published. But today's article was first published on my website - Kingscalendar - on June 11th. On the 13th of June I noticed that there had been immediate hits on the article and I wondered that it had made the Google search engines so fast. When I did a Google search I found that it was not yet listed and since I was already on the search page, I decided to check out some of the articles listed there on the topic of Hosea the Prophet and randomly selected an article entitled The Dueling Prophets.
Now I raise this matter simply because what I found on that page demonstrates clearly how those who seek to denigrate the Bible, deceive the unwary reader. On that page it states:
Now notice the little conflict here. One 'prophet' states,
"You have done well by killing the house of Ahab and shall keep the throne."
Well done! All this had been prophesied and ordered, of course, by the great prophet Elijah. Hosea, on the other hand, another prophet wrote,
"I am going to punish the dynasty of Jehu for the massacre at Jezreel and bring the kingdom of Israel to an end."
What we have here is a remarkable example of dueling prophecies. Both prophecies are supposedly 'canonical,' they are both in the Bible, they are 'the Word of God.' They are mutually exclusive.
For the unwary reader and the gullible, these statements appear to raise two contradictions which immediately 'prove' that the Bible can't be trusted. I know little about what prophet prophesied what, but when it comes to the kings of Israel and Judah, I know more than the average bear. I immediately recognized the error in the statements and straight way checked the list of the Kings of Israel.
First Apparent contradiction:
2 Kings 10:30 as quoted by the website does indeed say that God said to King Jehu that his sons would be kings over Israel to the fourth generation and Hosea 1:4 does say that God will avenge the blood of Jezreel upon the house of Jehu, and will cause to cease the kingdom of the house of Israel.
So the first matter is that while God did cause the Kingdom of Israel to cease, the four generations of Jehu's sons were yet allowed to rule. They were Jehoahaz, Jehoash, Jeroboam II and Zechariah who was murdered. There is no contradiction.
The Second contradiction:
This is the prime target of the website and it is this: God praised Jehu for killing off King Ahab's family line, but pronounced judgment for his having done so.
The background story starts in 2 Kings 9:1-3 which tells the story of Elisha sending a messenger to go anoint Jehu as King over the Northern Kingdom of Israel, and the messenger in verse 7 and 8 tells Jehu to kill his master King Ahab of Israel and his offspring.
The original command to anoint Jehu as king over Israel (not Judah) was given to Elijah the prophet in 1 Kings 19:15-17 in which he is commanded to anoint Hazael as King over Syria (in place of BenHadad) and Jehu over Israel in place of Ahab's son Jehoram. And there is a promise from God that those who escape from Hazael will be slain by Jehu and those who escape Jehu will be slain by Elisha.
But even though the Scripture talks about killing the King of Israel's heirs (the house of Ahab), no where does it say that anyone is to kill the King of Judah "Ahaziah", who was either Ahab's grandson, nephew or son-in-law. (2 Kings 8:18 makes his mother to be the daughter of Omri and therefore sister of Ahab and so he was Ahab's nephew, while verse 26 states that his mother was Ahab's daughter therefore he was Ahab's grandson but verse 27 refers to him as son-in-law).
Jehu may have done well to slay Ahab and his royal lineage IN ISRAEL, but the mandate from God through the prophets did not mention slaying the Royal House of Judah. (Ahaziah King of Judah went to see his relative Jehoram King of Israel and was also killed by Jehu.)
I could not immediately find any direct reference to God's anger with Jehu at slaying the princes of the Royal House of Judah, but that Jehu followed his commission and yet made God angry is not a contradiction.
The Roman Catholic Church use to ban the Bible to laymen, and sometimes it seems that it was a good idea. The layman is easily led astray by those who wish to play on his gullibility or ignorance.
The chronology of the Bible is a big enough topic to study just on its own but collating all prophecies and aligning them with the historical narratives and extra- Biblical history as well as chronologizing them is an overwhelming task. People whose task it is to inform you that the Bible is 'in error' and therefore not the word of God, are playing word games, and manipulating the concept of 'Biblical Infallibility'. That term does not in any way mean what modern day evangelicals or Bible skeptics try to make it mean. The verses quoted above in relation to King Ahaziah of Judah's position in King Ahab's extended family would be sufficient enough to argue against Biblical Infallibility.
One need not twist the Scriptures to show the gullible what errors can be found in the Bible. The need to twist out of context and deceive readers derives from the knowledge that 'simple and obvious' errors have simple and obvious answers. The deceptive purpose is to trick the reader into believing "something other than what is plainly obvious" in Scripture if one simply sits down to honestly examine it. (See: Biblical Infallibility and Bible Skepticism for both real errors and ridiculous attempts to discredit the Bible eg: One gospel says Jesus wore a Purple cloak and one says it was a scarlet cloak.)
Such deceivers have little knowledge of the Bible and 'grasp at straws', doing and saying anything and everything to convince their readers that the Bible is not an accurate record of God's dealings with the Ancient Israelites.
When people seek to steer us away from the Bible, we need to make sure that the claims they make and the apparent contradictions that they present, are in fact real. And when it comes to the modern day concept of Biblical Infallibility, evangelicals also need to take a good hard honest look at what contradictions do exist in the Scriptures - and - they cannot say 'oh it is just a scribal error!' An error is an error and the modern day concept of Biblical Infallibility is made void by any admission of error.
Whether a person totally believes in Biblical Infallibility or is totally opposed to it; whether one believes in the God of Ancient Israel or believes in another or no god, it is utter hypocrisy to argue against an opposing position using trickery and deceit. If YOUR POSITION requires that you trick and deceive your opponent, then I suggest that your position is too weak to be considered sustainable.
To oppose faith in God and the Bible through the use of trickery and deception is as repugnant as defending God and the Bible while refusing to examine offered evidence for fear that your faith will fail you.
If any true believer thinks that God views obstinancy, wilful blindness and ignorance, and crusading for Biblical Infallibility as prime qualities for entrance into Heaven, then I would suggest that he is walking on a path that leads not to Heaven. As for the Bible Skeptics who spend their days trying to find fault with the Bible in order to justify their rejection of God; I would merely ask 'Why bother?' You don't need to prove that God doesn't exist to justify living your life as you do.
To both parties I say: 'Be honest - both with yourself and with others!'
The Bethlehem Seal Discovery - Judah 2700 years ago by R.P. BenDedek
According to recent news reports, archaeologists in Jerusalem have unearthed a 2700 years old, 1.5cm diameter Seal inscribed in ancient Hebrew with the name of the town Bethlehem. The Israel Antiquities director of excavations, Eli Shukron, has said that this is the first time that the city's name has turned up in artifacts from this period of Israelite History. 2700 years ago - 700 BCE, King Hezekiah was ruling in Jerusalem, the capital of Judah, and had just survived an invasion (701BCE) by Sennacherib of Assyria. Samaria, the capital of the Northern Kingdom of Israel had 22 years previous fallen to the Assyrians, and the population was sent into exile. - May 27, 2012
Assyrian, Babylonian and Israelite History 8th Century by R.P. BenDedek
The 'King's Calendar' reconstruction of Biblical chronology for this time period, has as it's firm foundation, the established 'academic' fact that King Hezekiah of Judah had his 14th regnal year in 701 BCE. Working back through history, the 'King's Calendar' finds little fault with the Biblical chronological references, however, it becomes obvious that some of the king's have been misidentified. Part of academic confusion over this particular period of Israelite history, results directly from reliance upon the biblical narratives which clearly state that it was King Ahaz of Judah who appealed to Tiglath-Pileser III of Assyria for assistance, during the Syro-Ephraimitic War against Rezin of Damascus, and Pekah of Israel.
R.P.BenDedek (pseudonym) is the Author of 'The King's Calendar: The Secret of Qumran' (http://www.kingscalendar.com ), and is a guest columnist and stand-in Editor at Magic City Morning Star News. He is also the Editor of the 'Writers Journal' at Kingscalendar.com. An Australian, he has been teaching Conversational English in China since 2003.
Writers Journal Kingscalendar
"The King's Calendar" is a chronological study of the historical books of the Bible (Kings and Chronicles), Josephus, Seder Olam Rabbah, and the (Essene) Damascus Document of The Dead Sea Scrolls.