THE TALE of two kingdoms continues in our Old Testament study this week. We get the stories of the northern kings of Israel Nadab, Baasha, Elah, Zimri, and Omri, and the southern kings of Judah Abijah, Asa, and Jehoshaphat.
We discuss the conflicts between Israel and Judah, and the miraculous victory of Judah over a huge force led by Zerah the Ethiopian. (Scholars Peter van der Veen and Peter James make a case for one Userḫau, Egypt’s “Overseer of the Northern Foreign Lands” during the reign of Ramesses IV, as Zerah.)
And scholars for hundreds of years have believed there is a simple solution to the question about when Baasha died (how could he attack Judah in the 36th year of Asa’s reign when he died in the 26th. The conclusion is that the attack came in the 36th year of Asa’s kingdom, Judah, which would have been the 16th year of Asa’s reign. (The Hebrew word for “reign” and “kingdom” are the same.)
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