Time to Take Out the Trash (Kings 2 21-23)

“Time to take out the trash” is one of my favourite expressions. I used to say it a lot while pretending to pull my pants up like some Chris Farley character. The expression is relevant to these chapters in Kings 2 because once again, the reigning kings revert to doing “what was evil in the sight of the Lord” until Josiah comes along and sets things right.

Manasseh reigns in Jerusalem and consorts with soothsayers, augurs, mediums and wizards, which God says is bad form even though this kind of company would make for a great party. These are the kinds of folks who, if you happen to be planning a wedding, you’d want to spread out amongst the tables in order to facilitate scintillating conversation. Augury, in case you didn’t know, is a practice of divination which involves interpreting the movements of birds as various omens. Augury is also a progressive death metal band from Montreal. They are very good (I don’t really know; I hadn’t heard of them until I searched “augury”).

Manasseh’s son Amon succeeds him and is no better. His reign is shorter, however, because he’s killed by his servants. This reminded me of one of my favourite old BBC series “I, Claudius”. I love John Hurt’s performance as Crazy Caligula, especially when he’s being assassinated by his German guard. He’s indignant: “You can’t kill me; I’m a god…. I’m a god, I’m a god, I’m a god!”. When he comes back as a ghost to visit his uncle Claudius he says, “Uncle Claudius, I wasn’t a god after all! You could have knocked me over with a feather when they told me!”. I found this uproariously funny as a twelve-year old because on the inside, I am an old lady. 

Anyways, Josiah eventually takes over. He gets one of his posse to make a visit to one of the priests and he finds the “book of the law”. Josiah flips through it and is like, “We’re not doing any of this. Shit”. He goes into overdrive. He spends most of his time going around and knocking down altars and trashing statues of other gods. He takes out the male cult prostitutes, too (they’re back…). None of this happens before he “rent[s] his clothes,” of course.

Fitting. Augury has a song called “Becoming God”. Enjoy.

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Published in: on August 10, 2011 at 11:21 pm  Leave a Comment  
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