September 20, 2011

2 Kings 3

In the 18th year of Jehoshaphat King of Judah, Jeroram the son of Ahab became king over Israel in Samaria, and he reigned twelve years. He did what was evil in the sight of the Lord, though not like his father and mother, for he put away the pillar of Baal which his father had made. Nevertheless he clung to the sin of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, which he made Israel to sin; he did not depart from it.

Now Mesha King of Moab was a sheep-breeder; and he had to deliver annually to the King of Israel 100,000 lambs, and the wool of 100,000 rams. But when Ahab died, the King of Moab rebelled against the King of Israel.

So King Jehoram marched out of Samaria and mustered all Israel. And he went and sent word to Jehoshaphat King of Judah, "The King of Moab has rebelled against me; will you go with me to battle against Moab?"

And he said, "I will go. I am as you are, my people as your people, my horses as your horses." Then he asked, "By which way should we march?"

Jehoram answered, "By the way of the wilderness of Edom." [Notes: At that time the King of Edom was a vassal of the King of Judah, & Jehoram needed permission to march through their territories.]

So the King of Israel went with the King of Judah and the King of Edom. And when they had made a circuitous march of seven days, there was no water for the army or for the beasts which followed them. Then the King of Israel said, "Alas! The Lord has called these three kings to give them into the hand of the King of Moab!"

And Jehoshaphat said, "Is there no prophet of the Lord here, through whom we might inquire of the Lord?"

Then one of the servants answered, "Elisha the son of Shaphat is here, who poured water on the hands of Elijah." And Jehoshaphat answered, "The word of the Lord is with him." So the King of Israel and Jehoshaphat and the King of Edom went down to him.

And Elisha said to the King of Israel, "What have I to do with you? Go to the prophets of your father and the prophets of your mother[Jezebel]!

But the King of Israel said to him, "No, it is the Lord who has called these three kings to give them into the hand of Moab."

And Elisha said, "As the Lord of hosts lives, whom I serve, were it not that I have regard for Jehoshaphat King of Judah, I would neither look at you, nor see you. But now, bring me a minstrel."

And when the minstrel played, the power of the Lord came upon him.

And he said, "Thus says the Lord, 'You shall not see wind or rain, but that streambed shall be filled with water, so that you shall drink, you, your cattle, and your beasts.' This is a light thing in the sight of the Lord; he will also give the Moabites into your hand, and you shall conquer every fortified city, and every choice city, and shall fell every good tree, and stop up all springs of water, and ruin every good piece of land with stones."

The next morning, about the time of offering the sacrifice, behold, water came from the direction of Edom, till the country was filled with water.

When the Moabites heard that the kings had come up to fight against them, all who were able to put on armor, from the youngest to the oldest, were called out, and were drawn up at the border. And when they rose early in the morning, and the sun shone on the water, the Moabites saw the water before them as red as blood.["colored by the red sandstone of Edom," sayeth my Bible's notes.] And they said, "Surely the kings have fought, and slain one another. Now then, Moab, to the spoils!" But when they came to the camp of Israel, the Israelites rose and attacked them, till they fled before them; and they went forward slaughtering the Moabites as they went. And they overthrew the cities, and on every good piece of land every man threw a stone, until it was covered, and stopped every spring of water, and felled all the good trees, till only stones were left in Kirhareseth, and the slingers surrounded and conquered it.

When the King of Moab saw that the war was going against him, he took with him seven hundred swordsmen to break through, opposite the King of Edom, though he could not. Then he took the eldest son, who was to reign in his stead, and offered him for a burnt offering upon the war. And there came great wrath upon Israel; and they withdrew from him and returned to their own land.

4 Comments:

At 11:02 a.m., Blogger forrest said...

I like "Bring me a minstrel," here.

Aside from that, this is prophecy in a pretty ucky context. Ruining land is probably not this easy, but this doesn't look like the sort of behavior we'd associate with God... Plugging up wells...

And the King of Moab sacrifices his son, which gives his god Chemosh much juice that he starts winning. My notes say that two later Kings of Judah do the same thing...

Even though Moab is said to have been "given into [his rivals'] hands" they call the game on account of bad astral weather and go home.

 
At 8:30 p.m., Blogger Random Arrow said...

”But now, bring me a minstrel.” - And when the minstrel played, the power of the Lord came upon him.

Proof that Mozart is eternal. If everyone would have stayed long enough to listen to the music until the Spirit of Negotiation fell, we might have seen international progress. Nothing doing.

“Moab, to the spoils!"

Since when was Moab a banker selling over-valued loans?

Joining the game (not calling the game due to bad weather) is what Rogoff is worrying about. As Rogoff waits for Milton Friedman-gods to return the ‘rational’ market to a cycle. Rogoff openly asks whether people and perhaps populist governments will rise up in anarchy? Is the fact that Rogoff put this question in print a sign that he and his gang might be seeing red blood in the waters?

Isn’t bad astral weather what Keynes had in mind when Keynes wrote about ‘animal spirits’ taking over? “Animal spirits’ taking over despite all ‘rational’ economic regulation?

Rogoff, Friedman, Keynes – what’s the diff? When ‘animal spirits’ call the game “on account of bad astral weather”?

On sacrificing a son to Chemosh – this is in part what Colonel Kurtz laments (Marlon Brando, Apocalypse Now) when Kurtz describes how his military team went on a mercy mission to give free inoculations for a village of children.

The village elders returned. And cut off all the inoculated arms of their own children.

Kurtz turns into a minstrel and laments – “all those little arms in a pile ... the perfect horror of it.”

So ended Kurtz’s wartime service in Vietnam.

All that remained for Kurtz was further to go insane. Kurtz’s part in the game of war had been called “on account of bad astral weather.”

Pray for those who do not go insane. Pray they do.

Bless those who are. Who make it home. To try peace.


Jim

 
At 9:38 p.m., Blogger Random Arrow said...

I don’t wish insanity on anyone. Not literally. The insanity I’m describing is the natural fruit of seeing the horrors of our many ills. And it can be temporary. The APA handed out a book award in the 90's for a book – Spiritual Emergency – which described pathological states with spiritual overtones that people enter and then exit with stronger overall health. Crazy states. Medication is the worst solution for these. Though meds are appropriate in other contexts.

There are minor states of craziness. Like when you refer homeless to an attorney who wins a law case against a city because the city threw away personal ID. And the city keeps doing the same behaviors. Requiring more lawsuits. It’s enough to make anyone scream. It’s like staring too long as something by Hieronymus Bosch.

 
At 11:37 p.m., Blogger forrest said...

Ummm, "the difference" is that Keynes was an honest investigator of economic systems, not a shill for bully parasites?

I don't think there's much truth to be found by setting Conrad stories in US-afflicted Vietnam as seen through Hollywood sensibilities... If you want to know where most of the little arms went, ask the nice guys who flew the B-52's.

Gaskin's reaction to what he found in Korea-- admittedly an unpleasant scene-- was that on his first combat mission he found somebody wounded, put his gun down, took care of the wounded guy and doesn't know where his gun went. Sometimes people are driven sane!

Anyway, the "animal spirits" in Keynes' system were probably those of swine. Not kosher. Dashing down cliffs to drown together, in hopes of bacon in the sky. Minsky had a better explanation. So does William Black.

Funny about the war aims in this story: The King of Moab says: "This new King of Israel is a wimp; why should we keep sending him wool?" A fair question. Three other kings invade his country, trash it-- and go home. Without wool.

 

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