Are we done yet? Why did the old theology nerds insist that this was canon when we had two perfectly “good” books of Kings telling the same stories?
Josiah takes the throne at age 8 and probably orders that every meal include candy and whipped cream. My kids would. Hell, my seven year old practically threw a conniption because I gave him the wrong cereal this morning.
At 16, he starts looking into religion and decides that Yahweh is the choice for him, so he starts purging the land of other cults and other gods again. At age 18, surprisingly somehow the priests find a book.
Priests: Hey, king, we, uh… we totes found this book and it tells you to listen to us and we’re the only ones that can speak for God and you should worship our God and kill all those other priests of other gods, so… isn’t that cool?
Jo: Sounds good to me.
So the king reads the book and realizes that God must be super angry with them because God is a big believer in collective guilt and punishing the kids because their fathers were idolaters, even though it didn’t seem to be a problem for Jacob or David who both had idols…so Jo has a sad, and God notices Jo has a sad and tells Jo that it’s okay, God won’t utterly destroy Judah until after Jo is dead. Isn’t that great?
Jo: That’s future king’s problem! Woo-hoo!
Jo holds the Passover meal for the entire nation.
Then comes this next part, which the author says went down like this…
God: Hey, Pharaoh…
Pharaoh: DON’T KILL ME!
God: Hahahaha… oh, you Egyptians… that stuff I did was like a thousand years ago, lighten up.
Pharaoh: What do you want?
God: Go and take your army and kill those guys over there by the Euphrates.
Pharaoh: Why do they need to die?
God: Is that the sound of frogs I hear?
Pharaoh: Okay, okay, I’m going…
Josiah: Hey, man, your army is pretty close to us.
Pharaoh: I’m on a mission from God.
Josiah: God hasn’t told me anything about letting an Egyptian army through my country, and I’ve been a super good king and Yahweh worshipper. We even just had the Passover celebrating the time God totally killed all of you Egyptians… surely God would have warned me not to interfere with you if He wanted me to let you go through my lands.
So they fight, and Josiah is shot by an archer and dies.
God: Oh, hey, guys… sorry, I got distracted by this thing in Alpha Centauri… Hey, Josiah, let Pharaoh march through… oh… I’m… well, this is going to look awkward in My book.
And Judah mourns their last good king. The prophet Jeremiah writes some dirges for him possibly because he felt bad that he didn’t tell Jo that God wanted Pharaoh to go and kill some people. And they bury him.
Jehoahaz becomes king and he was an asshole, so he got deposed by the Pharaoh.
Jehoiakim becomes king and he was an asshole, so he got deposed by Nebuchadnezzar.
Jehoiachin becomes king and he was an asshole, so he got deposed by Nebuchadnezzar.
Zedekiah becomes king and he was an asshole, so Nebuchadnezzar came up and just messed the dude up and burned Jerusalem and looted it and carried most of the surviving Jews off to exile.
Then seventy years later, after the Persian Empire rises to prominence, Cyrus the Great orders the Jews to go back home and build a Temple and the Jews lived happily ever after… if you stop reading the history books right at this moment.
Oh, thank God, it’s over. I thought this book was going to break my resolve to read through the bible. I won’t promise not to make any Better than Ezra jokes next time, so you’re forewarned.