Thursday, November 28, 2013

Living Lessons from Dead Kings: Lesson 09 - “Joash: Goes along to get along” - 2 Chronicles 23.1-24.27

Lesson 09 - “Joash: Goes along to get along” - 2 Chronicles 23.1-24.27   

ID: Inductive Questions (Asking the text questions like who, what, where, when, why, & how?”)

CR: Cross References (Comparing Scripture to Scripture, understanding the vague by the clear.)

WS: Word Study (Understanding definition, theological meaning, and usages in other passages.)

The WORD: What does the Bible say?

Context:  Read the record of Joash’s life recorded in 2 Corinthians 23-24.  (2 Kings 11.17-12.21 also records a parallel account.)

·       Digging deeper with a word study:  (23:1)  What does it mean that Jehoiadastrengthened (chazaq) himself”?  (Note the Hebrew hithpael stem and uses in other passages

1.     ID:  (23:1-11)  Who were the key conspirators involved in making Joash king? (1 Kings 11.4)

2.     ID:  (23:14-21)  Were there indications of a genuine change in the spiritual orientation of Judah?  What were they?

3.     ID:  (23.1, 3, and 11)  What three covenants were made?

4.     ID:  (24:2)  What important caveat was there to the pronouncement that Josiah did right in the eyes of the Lord?

5.     ID:  (24:17-22)  Who did Joash listen to after Jehoiada died?  What did he forget?

6.     CR: (24:21)  Why does  the narrator specifically note the location of Zechariah’s murder? (23:14)

7.     CR/ID:  (24:23-27)  How did Joash’s life illustrate Proverbs 17:13

The WALK: What should I do?

1.     As the narrative unfolds we see what a profound influence those around Joash had on him for good and bad.  Who have your surrounded yourself with?  How dependent is your spiritual walk on what others think?

2.     Are there any lessons for us from the relationship between Jehoiada and Joash for how we can have a good influence on others?  Are you or have you been a “Jehoiada” for someone?  Have you  had a “Jehoiada” in your life?

3.     One of Joash’s important reforms was to restore the temple.  Does (should) our care for the physical buildings our churches meet in have any correlation with our spiritual zeal today?

4.      What do you think of Zechariah’s response to his murderers in 2 Chronicles 24:22?  Do you think that was that a godly response?  Why?  (Psalm 109; Matthew 26:21-24; Luke 23:34; Acts 7:55-60; Romans 12:14-15; 2 Timothy 4:14; Revelation 6:9-11

Extra Article

Hermeneutical Guidelines

The following hermeneutical guidelines can help exegetes recapture the "mode of perception that was second nature to the original audiences."9             

4.   Focus on the Dialogue Embedded in the Story

Stories often focus on statements made by the characters. Alter speaks of "the highly subsidiary role of narration in comparison to direct speech by the characters."41 The story of David and Goliath in 1 Samuel 17 contains more speech than narrative. "The action does not take very long. As is characteristic of Israel's narrative art, the speeches are of more interest and importance than the action."42 While speech dominates, interpreters should expect it to be compressed. "Conversations in biblical narrative are never precise and naturalistic imitations of real-life conversations. They are highly concentrated and stylized, are devoid of idle chatter, and all the details they contain are carefully calculated to fulfill a clear function."43

Statements made by characters provide insight into their traits. Esau's blunt request for stew in Genesis 25:30 portrays him as a man controlled by his cravings. On the other hand Uriah's refusal of King David's offer of a night at home during a heated battle (2 Sam 11:11) pictures Uriah as a man of honor.

But even more significantly, conversation points to meaning. "Dialogue is made to carry a large part of the freight of meaning."44 Joseph's statement in Genesis 50:20 summarizes the entire Joseph cycle, as well as the immediate story in Genesis 49:29–50:26 . Similarly statements by David in 1 Samuel 17:34–37, 45–47 provide the key to the meaning of his defeat of Goliath, while Abigail's impassioned speech in 1 Samuel 25:24–31 moves the reader toward the theme of vengeance belonging to God.

Two more features of speech deserve attention. First, direct speech set in formal verse often has a summarizing or ceremonial function, such as Hannah's speech in 1 Samuel 2:1–10 and Adam's outburst in Genesis 2:23.45 Second, in "contrastive dialogue" the contrasting speech of two characters accomplishes "differentiation," that is, a contrast between ideas or concepts.46 As examples Alter cites "Esau's inarticulate outbursts over against Jacob's calculated legalisms in the selling of the birthright (Gen 25); Joseph's long-winded statement of morally aghast refusal over against the two-word sexual bluntness of Potiphar's wife (Gen 39); [and] Saul's choked cry after David's impassioned speech outside the cave at Ein Gedi (1 Sam 24)."47   (Continue reading this article in the next lesson or read it all at

[9] Alter, The Art of Biblical Narrative, 62. [41] Ibid., 65.

[42] Walter Brueggemann, First and Second Samuel (Louisville: Knox, 1990), 133.

[43] Bar-Efrat, Narrative Art in the Bible, 148.

[44] Alter, The Art of Biblical Narrative, 37.

[45] Ibid., 28.

[46] Ibid., 72.

[47] Ibid.

Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament

      305      גָּבַה (gābah) be high, exalted.


           305a      גָּבַֹה (gābōah) high, exalted.
           305b      גֹּבַה (gōbah).height, exaltation.
           305c      גַּבְהוּת (gabhût) haughtiness (Isa 2:11, 17, only).

The root gābah and its derivatives are used ninety-four times in the OT. The verb appears in the Qal twenty-four times, meaning basically “to be high or lofty” and in the Hiphil ten times, meaning “to make high, to exalt.” gābōah appears forty-one times, the noun gōbah seventeen times, and the noun gabhût twice. The root is used only three times in the Pentateuch (Gen 7:19; Deut 3:5; 28:52), but by contrast in the prophets cf. Isa, fourteen times; Jer, seven times; Ezk, twenty-two times.
As the root is used in its basic sense it describes the height of persons, objects, places, and natural phenomena. Thus, the verb gābah signifies the growing of a tree (Ezk 17:24; 31:5, 10, 14); the stem of a vine (Ezk 19:11); the heavens in respect to the earth (Ps 103:11; Job 35:5). Saul is described as being “taller” than any of his people (I Sam 10:23). It describes the high wall Manasseh built around Jerusalem (II Chr 33:14). It may mean “to fly high” as an eagle (Jer 49:16; Ob 4).
Similarly the adjective gābōah describes a high mountain(s) (Gen 7:19; Isa 30:25; 40:9; 57:7; Jer 3:6; Ezk 17:22; 40:2; Ps 104:18); high hills (I Kgs 14:23; II Kgs 17:10; Jer 2:20; 17:2); the high gates of Babylon (Jer 51:58); high battlements (Zeph 1:16); high towers (Isa 2:15); the high gallows intended for Mordecai (Est 5:14; 7:9); the horns in Daniel’s vision (Dan 8:3). Similar documentation could be made for the use of the noun gōbah.
In several places the word is used in a very positive sense both with respect to man as a quality of life worthy of possession and as descriptive of God himself. In the former category compare God’s word to Job, "Deck yourself with majesty (gāʾôn) and dignity (gōbah) (40:10; cf. 36:7) and II Chr 17:6, “Jehoshaphat’s heart was lifted up (“encouraged”) in the ways of the Lord.” Secondly, God’s position is said to be “on high” (Ps 113:5; Job 22:12) and his ways are “higher” than those of mankind (Isa 55:9).
The usual nuance behind the words under discussion is pride or haughtiness. Of interest is the negative usage of this word in connection with some part of the human body. For example, pride is linked with the heart in: Ezk 28:2, 5, 17; Ps 131:1; Prov 18:12; II Chr 26:16; 32:25 (all with the verb); Prov 16:5; II Chr 32:26 (with adjective and noun). Isaiah 2:11; 5:15 and Ps 101:5 connect pride with the eyes. Proverbs 16:18 and Eccl 7:8 tie pride with man’s spirit, and Ps 10:4 with man’s “nose”/countenance. On a few occasions individuals are said to be guilty specifically of this sin of pride: Uzziah (II Chr 26:16); Hezekiah (II Chr 32:25–26); the prince of Tyre (Ezk 28:2, 17). Conversely, Isaiah speaks of the suffering servant who will be exalted (rûm), lifted up (nāśaʾ) and be very high (gābah) (52:13).
In the LXX the word is translated as hupsos or hupsēlos, but never as hubris.

Bibliography: TDOT, II, pp. 356–60. THAT, I, pp. 394–97.

Victor P. Hamilton, “305 גָּבַה,” ed. R. Laird Harris, Gleason L. Archer Jr., and Bruce K. Waltke, Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament (Chicago: Moody Press, 1999), 146.