Ayieeee, I’m still on the damn Chronicles! God, I need coffee…
Ahh, that’s better. Right, let’s get through this. Last week I elaborated on the overdose of confusion served up by the start of the Chronicles, and this week it’s only got worse.
To start with, I already mentioned that all these various Israelites begat both sons and entire peoples. This theme continues, and I’m mightily confused what all these -ites are named after. Some clearly are named after people – the Israelites, the Rubenites, the Benjaminites, to name but a few. But then there are random other names where I can just make head nor tail of where they stem from. Worst of all, there is still no consistency!
Let me show you an example. This is 1 Chronicles 11, verse 26 to 31:
Then the mighty warriors: Asael, the brother of Joab; Elchanan, the son of Dodo, from Bethlehem; the Harorite Sammot; the Pelonite Cheles; Ira, the son of the Tekoite Ikkes; the Antotite Abiezer; the Chusatite Sibbekai; the Achochite Ilai; the Netofatite Maharai; Cheled, the son of the Netofatite Baana; Itai, the son of Ribai, from Gibea of the Benjaminites.
How the hell could anyone keep track of that, even in a time when they might have heard of these people? Why are some the son of someone and others just something-ites? Why only mention the place of origin of some of them? Why do I even care? Actually, I don’t. Let’s move on.
There is some history in here other than endless lists of names and genealogies. 1 Chronicles 13 mentions again how David retrieved the Ark of the Covenant from the Philistines, and while it is transported on a cart the oxen slip and the Ark threatens to fall off. Some dude called Uzza tries to steady it, as you would, so God kills him on the spot for touching the Ark. I mean wtf? The explanation is that the Ark should never have been transported on a cart – the Levite priests were supposed to carry it on their shoulders, but it’s still a total dick move from God.
Then something interesting: 1 Chronicles 21 mentions Satan for the very first time, as the one who was behind David’s urge to count his people. I still don’t understand why counting your people is a sin, but I think we’ve firmly established that God’s a total cock, so hey. Anyway, they specifically don’t count Levi and Benjamin, because the guy doing the counting (Joab) didn’t like the order to count people. All of this is still presented as if it’s supposed to make sense to the reader. Oh, and then the Israelite people are punished for David’s transgression.
After that we’re back to the confusion, which is pretty much the last thing I say about the First Book of Chronicles. On to the Second Book, yay! This is fairly random stuff, so let me just publish the comments I scribbled down from here on:
2 Chronicles 3 – Oh God, more measurements.
2 Chronicles 15 – Kill all non-believers, yay!
2 Chronicles 17 – 200,000 archers with bow and shield. Eh, since when do archers have shields?
2 Chronicles 18 – I was expecting new stuff in the Chronicles, but this is the same shit as in Kings.
2 Chronicles 21 – Joram’s youngest son is Joachaz, but when he’s crowned king in the next chapter he’s suddenly called Achazja.
2 Chronicles 22 – They all leave God because of women. >.<
2 Chronicles 24 – So as soon as Jojada dies (Jojada was a God-fearing king), Joas leaves off worshipping God and kills his son. Why are all these people such idiots? Goldfish memory!
2 Chronicles 25 – The Book of Kings says it’s all written down in the Chronicles, but Chronicles says it’s all written down in Kings. Methinks we need to rename these books to The Book of Pillars and the Book of Posts.
2 Chronicles 29 – Either call him Jechizkia or Hizkia, don’t keep bloody switching!
2 Chronicles 34 – I’ll destroy your people, but don’t worry, I’ll do it after you’re dead. The overarching feeling I just have with this is that this pissing book really only cares about God. Okay, it’s the Bible, so that’s pretty much a given, but whether the kings of Juda and Israel are any good is purely measured against how faithfully they worship God. What did they do for the people? Did they overtax them or were they benevolent? Did they build roads, aqueducts, schools, houses? Who knows? Clearly the Bible doesn’t give a flying fuck. You’re only a good king if you eradicate other people’s faiths with unwavering zeal. And it pisses me off that the straying into these faiths is attributed entirely to these kings marrying the wrong woman (or fifty women) and subsequently worshiping their wives’ gods.
Also, God is a mug. Every time the people stray, he delivers them into the hands of their enemies, and then they go ‘oh, woe is me, sorry God, we’ve been stupid, save us!’ and he does. Until after Hizkia, when he’s finally totally fed up with them and sends the king of Persia over, who takes them all into exile. This is Nebuchadnezzar, btw. We’ll be hearing more of him, if I remember right.
Anyway, that’s it for this week. Next week I’m finally leaving the Chronicles behind, hurray!