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Tarshish (20:36) was a city at the western end of the Mediterranean Sea, possibly in Spain. It was famous for building ships to carry gold and silver to the Near East. Jonah tried to flee to Tarshish to avoid his responsibilities as a prophet.


Ramoth-gilead was a commercial center and an important border town between Israel and Syria. This made it a prime target for capture. It had already changed hands several times between the two nations before the events described in ch. 18.


Co-regency was the common practice of two kings ruling a country at the same time. The first king in the Bible to do this was David when he anointed his son Solomon to rule. Asa and Jehoshaphat reigned together for three years (chs. 16–17). Co-regency allowed the son to learn from the father as he […]

An unreported defeat?

An unreported defeat? Scholars believe that Zerah the Ethiopian (14:9), who suffered a humiliating defeat by King Asa, may have been fighting on behalf of Egypt. There is no record of the battle in Egyptian history, but that does not mean the defeat did not occur, since the Pharaohs did not always record their defeats.

Chief prince

The title of chief prince (11:22–23) was most likely an administrative position. Members of the royal family were sometimes appointed to such positions to help them learn how to lead a kingdom.


Trumpets were important instruments in Israel (7:6). They were constructed from metals such as bronze, copper, silver, or gold. They were used for a variety of purposes, for instance, to gather the congregation and to announce festivals.

What was the “sea” in the temple court?

What was the “sea” in the temple court? The sea (4:2) was a bronze water tank outside the southeast corner of the temple. The priests used it for ceremonial washing before entering the temple and to clean the area where sacrifices were made. It held at least 12,000 gallons (55,000 liters) of water.