Study Guide

2 Kings Betrayal

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There are bad betrayals and good betrayals in 2 Kings. The bad betrayals involve the various conspiracies that bring down different kings. For example, when Hazael smothers the sick king Ben-Hadad of Aram with a wet piece of cloth, we can safely say that that's, well, pretty low. But God commands Jehu to essentially betray Joram and kill Jezebel and Ahab's whole family. It would normally be an act of treason, but instead God makes it good, sanctioning it. The same is true when Jehoiada orders Athaliah's death. She got into power by slaughtering her own family members (not good), hence committing treason against her is really the right thing to do.

Questions About Betrayal

  1. What do all these conspiracies and assassinations say to you about the nature of rulership in the ancient Near East? What did a ruler need to do to avoid these betrayals and rebellions?
  2. Is Jehu a good guy? Why do you think so?
  3. Do the qualities that make Jehu so successful at rebellion help or hamper his rule in other ways?
  4. In what ways do the negative characters of 2 Kings betray God? How do they pay for it? Do they always pay for it?

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