King Ahaziah falls "through a lattice" at home (no idea how he did that) and sends messengers for "Baal-zebub the god of Ekron" to heal him. Elijah curtly informs him he will die in bed for refusing to trust in the One True Lord™. The stricken king, repenting, sends over several groups of soldiers to Elijah, who is sulking on a hill. Twice, fire from the sky consumes the soldiers (because Elijah is a man of god - just showing who's boss around here). The 3rd captain, slightly smarter than his deceased predecessors, entreats him with proper respect to visit the king. Elijah condescends, only to once more tell Ahaziah he will die. The king dies. Futile or what.
The lord informs Elijah he will take him up into the sky in a whirlwind (no ordinary death for this hero!); 50 of the prophet's sons (another man busily sowing the seed & doing the deed) watch as a burning chariot, drawn by fiery horses, takes up dad - after he splits the waters of the river Jordan, that is; apparently an obligatory act for any serious prophet. His mantle drops while he's being driven away; in frustration, Elisha (one of his sons) beats the waters with it. I haven't got the faintest idea how this ever gave the gothic/wave band Elijah's Mantle the inspiration for their name - nor why Chi Coltrane wrote her groovy gospel hit "Go Like Elijah". She probably just liked the image of the fiery chariot/horses. Whatever.
The sons travel to Jericho. It's a nice spot but there's something wrong with the water. Elisha pours salt into the spring and "heals" the waters ("unto this day" once more added for dutiful veracity). Funny: some children mock Elisha's bald head. He curses them, 2 she-bears come out of the wood & kill 42 children. DON'T fuck with a prophet. Even if he's a baldy.
The king of Israel asks Elisha to assist him in a war against the kings of Judah, Edom & Moab (when are they *not* at war? Never, that's when). Inspired by minstrel music (seriously), Elisha thinks up a clever ruse - everybody is slaughtered. Too easy. The king of Moab sacrifices his oldest son to his god (Baal?), but to no avail.
Elisha promises a child to a barren woman (here we go again…). She conceives but the child dies. Elisha revives the child by stretching himself on the corpse & warming it. The boy, sneezing 7 times, is alive & well. Whatever.
Naaman, a Syrian captain, is a good guy but sadly he is leprous. He visits Elisha, who instructs him to bathe in the river Jordan 7 times, after which he is healed (I somehow doubt that). As Elisha refuses any reward, one of his servants, Gehazi, runs after Naaman & claims the treasures for himself. I'm sure you can join the dots by now: Elisha finds out, and Gehazi & offspring are instantly cursed with leprosy. So predictable.
More confused & boring tales of kings. Funny: at some point Gehazi is once again called to action, but no mention of his leprosy! Did the scribe already forget? Whatever.
More wars, more evil kings, more bloodshed, blah blah. The annoying thing is, all continuity is thrown to the dogs - the stories jump back & forth in time (and also between Judah and Israel) constantly, so there's simply no way of getting any overview of what happened (or let's say, it's just too much bother to find out).
Some new king, Jehu (appointed by Elisha) wars against Ahaziah & kills Jezebel (Ahab's wife; she was still around, then). Dogs devour her corpse, as prophesied apparently. The pious Jehu proceeds to systematically slaughter all of Ahab's family: first 70 sons, then 42 more, until the whole clan is wiped out. Then he kills all worshipers of Baal and destroys Baal's temple in Israel. Easy to see we've got another winner here - god's heroes can be recognized instantly. Psychotic mass murderer? Check.
Meanwhile, Athaliah, Ahaziah's mother, kills off all of her own family and rules as queen. But she doesn't know one baby son of Ahaziah, Joash, was hidden; after 7 years, he is revealed & crowned king. One of the first acts of this 7 year old king (!) is to kill his grandmother Athaliah… what else did you expect? After a prosperous & pious 40 year reign, he is slaughtered by his own servants. What can we learn from this? You tell me.
Jehoahaz, the son of Jehu, meanwhile, is another evil one, so god delivers the Israelites into Syrian hands (I'm sure I've read this story SO many times before now). Even our scribe seems to be getting bored with the repeats: in just two terse paragraphs (in brackets like an aside) we get the rest: king = contrite, god forgives & sends (unnamed) saviour to free people, king dies. Yawn.
To continue the Huey-Dewey-Louie effect, we've now got Jehoash son of Jehoahaz in Israel, as well as Joash in Judah. Elisha dies. More Duck nephews: Amaziah (son of Joash) becomes king (we already got Ahaziah and Athaliah). It could almost be funny; sadly, it's not. The amazing Amaziah kills all the servants that killed his father, but not their children: apparently, it is "written in the book of the law of Moses" that you may not punish children for their father's misdemeanors. Who would have thought. "Every man shall be put to death for his own sin" - pretty fucking rich, coming from a god who is all about punishing sins "unto the 7th generation". Maybe the asshole should have a look at his own commandments sometimes. So nice of god to give us a book with clear rules & morals to guide us confused mortals. Anyway, what do you know: Amaziah is also slaughtered by his servants, like his dad. His 16 year old son Azariah Duck is made king. More kings, most of them evil. They rule, they die. SO. FUCKING. BORING: a loop from hell. Wars. Politics. Kings. Worship of other gods. Punishment. Kill. Death. Let's fast-forward a bit, shall we. Shit, doesn't help; still nothing new happens. What to tell? The prophet Isaiah heals king Hezekiah by putting figs on his boils. Amazing. When a particularly bad king, Manasseh, really overdoes things, god promises to bring "such evil upon Jerusalem and Judah, that whosoever heareth of it, both his ears shall tingle". Ooh, nasty. He continues: "and I will wipe Jerusalem as a man wipeth a dish, wiping it, and turning it upside down". He's pissed alright. Luckily, we get another "good" king for a change (although I've come to dread the heroes more than the villains by now…), Josiah, who piously "cleans" the country by destroying & killing everything & everybody god doesn't like. Which is a LOT (obviously god is happy; he always got a soft spot for rabid killers). Sadly, his son is another "evil" one. Nabuchadnezzar king of Babylon besieges Jerusalem; after long years, he succeeds, destroying all of Israel and subjugating the country. But after 37 years, on the 27th day of the 12th month (VERY precise, that!) king Evil-merodach of Babylon frees the captive Israeli king Jehoaichin & crowns him. Just like that.
At this point our scribe probably died of boredom and the chronicles of Kings abruptly end. I fear for the future however, as the next two books, Chronicles, look even worse. What an awful, ridiculous and revoltingly appalling book; it is completely beyond me how anybody could ever find some sort of (divine) inspiration here. How is this possible?!?