Eunuchs had many roles in the ancient world. They served in the royal court as cooks, scribes, guards of the harem, and ambassadors. The Hebrew word for “eunuch” usually refers to a castrated man, though it does not always do so (see Gen. 39:1).
Kings, priests, and prophets were sometimes anointed with oil as a sign that God had set them apart for a special purpose (see 1 Sam. 15:1; Lev. 8:30). More commonly, oil was used in cooking and to clean and moisturize the body (see Deut. 28:40; 2 Sam. 14:2).
Was it Joram or Jehoram? At about the same time, Israel had a king named Joram who was sometimes called Jehoram, while Judah had a king named Jehoram who was sometimes called Joram. King Joram of Israel was a son of Ahab while King Jehoram of Judah married a daughter of Ahab.
A seah is a dry measurement equal to about 7 quarts or 7.7 liters.
What is a siege? In ancient times, a “siege” occurred when an enemy army surrounded a city and demanded that it surrender. If the city refused, the invaders cut off food and water supplies and attempted to tear down the city’s defensive walls. Cities usually surrendered when they ran out of water. Those who fought […]
Who was Rimmon? Rimmon was another name for the Syrian god Baal-hadad. Known as the storm god, he was depicted as a bearded deity holding a club and thunderbolt. He was considered the most powerful god in the Syrian religion.
The wild gourds gathered by the prophet (4:38–41) were poisonous. The prophet, of course, did not realize this. He added the gourds to the stew, “not knowing what they were” (4:39).
The Moabite Stone is a small monument inscribed with details about the conflict between the Israelites and the Moabites (3:4–27). Written by the Moabites, it emphasizes their victories over Israel. More importantly, it features the earliest known reference to the Lord’s personal name (YHWH; see note on Gen. 2:4) outside of the Bible.
Though bears no longer live in the region of Palestine, the bear God used to punish the disrespectful boys (2:24) was probably of a type that could grow up to 7 feet (2 m) tall and reach 500 pounds (227 kg).
Israel and Judah’s sins continue. Picking up where 1 Kings left off, Israel and Judah continued to decline through false worship and disobedience. They were led into sin by their kings, most of whom failed to follow the Lord.