Sunday, September 10, 2006

"And he did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD"

(DB pulled this because it had "too many" typos and misspellings! Draw your own conclusions. My defense is that I have this terrific toothache, and I'm typing on hydrocodone. :) But my prescription (non-refillable) is running out. Where is Rush Limbaugh when you need him!)

Anyway, here it is proofed and corrected:

Live Frei or Die!

Good Shabbos.

The title of this post might as well be the motto for the coat of arms of the House of David (except that the House of the Kings of Israel might claim it, too). I can accept that God annointed David and his descendants as the rightful King of Israel. After all, being omnipotent, God is certainly capable of making mistakes and using bad judgement. But that doesn't mean that we have to pray to God to request that the Line of David be restored to power. That command isn't in the Torah. We might as well be praying to God to send us more generations of the Bush family to rule over us!

I took the time to research the entire Line of the House of David, up to the destruction of the First Temple and the Babylonia exile. Here's to sorry tale (mostly compiled from the wikipedia articles on the subject kings):

David: Adulturer and murderer. Got off on the basis of some half-assed "teshuva." (If I had been God, I would have insisted that he divorce Bathsheva and abdicate his throne in favor of his oldest son.) So bloody that even God got queasy and told him that he couldn't build the Temple.

Solomon: Overrated in the "wisdom" department. (Would you want someone like him in charge of Child Custody Services?) Plus, he had a thing for shiksas, which ended up introducing idolatry to Israel.

Rehoboam: Whips weren't good enough for this spiritual descendant of Pharaoh, he wanted scorpions. Responsible for the division of the Israelite kingdom. Judah sunk into moral and spiritual decay

Abijam: "Walked in all the sins of his father"

Asa: “Did what was good in the eyes of the Lord" Baruch Hashem! Finally!

Jehoshaphat: "The author of 2 Chronicles generally praises his reign, stating that the kingdom enjoyed a great measure of peace and prosperity, the blessing of God resting on the people "in their basket and their store."" The last time the Jews were ever able to string two good leaders together in a row.

Jehoram: “Abandoned Hashem, the God of his fathers.”

Ahazia: “Under the influence of his mother Athaliah, he introduced forms of worship that the author of Kings found offensive."

Athalia: “Athaliah, as queen of Judah, had all possible successors to David executed except one. However, a grandson of hers named Joash escaped the purge and was raised in secret by the priest Jehoiada. Six years later, Athaliah was surprised when Jehoiada revealed Joash and proclaimed him king of Judah. She rushed to stop this rebellion, but was captured and executed.

The story of her actions is told in 2 Kings 8:25 – 11:16.” Also was known for introducing idol worship. By the way, so much for the feminist conceit that women rulers are kinder and gentler creature who will end all of the fighting and oppression.

Jehoash: “While the High Priest lived, Jehoash favored the worship of God and observed the Law; but on his death Johoash was led into supporting other gods; Zechariah, the son and successor of the High Priest, was put to death. For these deeds, the author of the Books of Kings believed Jehoash brought down on the land the judgement of God, and it was oppressed by the Aramean invaders. He was buried in the City of David (2 Kings 12:21). “

Amaziah: “Amaziah began to worship some of the idols he took from the Edomites, which the author of Chronicles believes led to his ruin and his defeat by Jehoash, king of Israel whom he had challenged to battle. His defeat was followed by a conspiracy that took his life (2 Kings 14:8-14, 19). He was slain at Lachish, to which he had fled, and his body was brought upon horses to Jerusalem, where it was buried in the royal sepulchre (2 Kings 14:19, 20; 2 Chr. 25:27, 28). “

Uzziah: :In the earlier part of his reign, under the influence of Zechariah, he was faithful to Hashem, and "did that which was right in the sight of the Lord" (2 Kings 15:3; 2 Chr. 26:4, 5); but toward the close of his long life "his heart was lifted up to his destruction," and he wantonly invaded the priest's office (2 Chr. 26:16), and entering the sanctuary proceeded to offer incense on the golden altar. Azariah the High Priest saw the tendency of such a daring act on the part of the king, and with a band of eighty priests he withstood him (2 Chr. 26:17), saying, "It appertaineth not unto thee, Uzziah, to burn incense." Uzziah was suddenly struck with tzaraas while in the act of offering incense (26:19-21), and he was driven from the Temple and compelled to reside in "a several house" to the day of his death (2 Kings 15:5, 27; 2 Chr. 26:3). “

Jotham: Nothing bad to report. (But nothing particularly good, either)

Ahaz: He is said to have given himself up to a life of wickedness, introducing many pagan and idolatrous customs (Isa. 8:19; 38:8; 2 Kings 23:12). He ignored the remonstrances and warnings of the prophets Isaiah, Hosea, and Micah, and appealed to Tiglath-Pileser III, the king of Assyria, for help against Rezin, king of Damascus, and Pekah, Prince of Israel, who threatened Jerusalem. This brought a great injury to his kingdom, and his own humiliating subjection to the Assyrians (2 Kings 16:7, 9; 15:29).

Hezekiah: These sources portray him as a great and good king, following the example of his great-grandfather Uzziah. He introduced religious reform, reinstated religious traditions. He set himself to abolish idolatry from his kingdom, and among other things which he did for this end, he destroyed the "brazen serpent," which had been relocated at Jerusalem, and had become an object of idolatrous worship. A great reformation was wrought in the kingdom of Judah in his day (2 Kings 18:4; 2 Chronicles 29:3-36). The author of 2 Kings ends his account of Hezekiah with praise (18:5).

Menashe: A refutation of the maxim that “the apple doesn't fall far from the tree.” Hezekiah definitely needed parenting lessons. Menashe was the naughtiest king in the whole history of Judah. Paganorama. On the other hand, after a captivity in Babylonia (2 Chron 33), he partially repented, but made no thorough reforms.

Amon: More moral decay

Josiah: A sincere reformation and elimination of Menashe's idolatrous practices. For all his faithfulness to Hashem, his reward was to be killed in battle.

Jehoahaz: “And he did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD, according to all that his fathers had done.” Ended up as a captive to Necho II in Egypt.

Jehoiakim: Tried to double cross his rightful liege Lord (Babylonia). Call him the patron saint of Ariel Sharon, who was doing a similar thing to his American overlords without even taking the sensible course of finding another ally. Returned to old idolatry. Set in motion the events that ended with the destruction of the Temple.

Jeconiah: “And he did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD, according to all that his father had done. “

Zedekiah: The Last King of Judah. “And he did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD,” He double-crossed the Babylonians, and got the destruction of the Temple for his trouble. Maybe we should call him the patron saint of Ehud Olmert.

So there you have it. The sorry record of the Line of David. Out of 22 kings, you get David and Solomon, who are both flawed characters, 5 good kings (Asa, Jeshosephat, Jotham, Hezekiah, and Josiah), 2 kings who started off good, but backslid: (Jehoash and Uzziah), and 13 kings who were so bad they make George W. Bush look good. Tell me again why we pray to have this line of sorry-assed poor performers restored to power?

Mashiach? We don't need no steenkin' Mashiach!

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