Well, at long last, I’ve finally picked the Bible back up, and am making a serious attempt to plow through the remainder of it. The problem is that these books are best described by that old adage about war: vast stretches of boredom punctuated by moments of sheer terror. The “moments of sheer terror” part might be a bit of an overstatement, but “remotely interesting passages” would probably be a better fit. So here are those remotely interesting passages I found amidst all of the endless “begat”s and tedious tribal histories.
Elijah is one of the Lord’s many wandering prophets. In this passage, he demonstrates this by calling upon the Lord to incinerate a bunch of people.
2 Kings 1:9-15
Then the king sent unto him a captain of fifty with his fifty. And he went up to him: and, behold, he sat on the top of an hill. And he spake unto him, Thou man of God, the king hath said, Come down.  And Elijah answered and said to the captain of fifty, If I be a man of God, then let fire come down from heaven, and consume thee and thy fifty. And there came down fire from heaven, and consumed him and his fifty.  Again also he sent unto him another captain of fifty with his fifty. And he answered and said unto him, O man of God, thus hath the king said, Come down quickly.  And Elijah answered and said unto them, If I be a man of God, let fire come down from heaven, and consume thee and thy fifty. And the fire of God came down from heaven, and consumed him and his fifty.  And he sent again a captain of the third fifty with his fifty. And the third captain of fifty went up, and came and fell on his knees before Elijah, and besought him, and said unto him, O man of God, I pray thee, let my life, and the life of these fifty thy servants, be precious in thy sight.  Behold, there came fire down from heaven, and burnt up the two captains of the former fifties with their fifties: therefore let my life now be precious in thy sight.  And the angel of the Lord said unto Elijah, Go down with him: be not afraid of him. And he arose, and went down with him unto the king.
Apparently Elijah knows where to find the hidden warp whistles.
2 Kings 2:1
And it came to pass, when the Lord would take up Elijah into heaven by a whirlwind, that Elijah went with Elisha from Gilgal.
He can also part waters like Moses, using his fancy cloak.
2 Kings 2:8
And Elijah took his mantle, and wrapped it together, and smote the waters, and they were divided hither and thither, so that they two went over on dry ground.
Elisha is another wandering prophet we encounter in 2 Kings. Here, he’s able to “heal the waters” of a barren city with nothing more than a bottle of salt.
2 Kings 2:19-22
And the men of the city said unto Elisha, Behold, I pray thee, the situation of this city is pleasant, as my lord seeth: but the water is naught, and the ground barren.  And he said, Bring me a new cruse, and put salt therein. And they brought it to him.  And he went forth unto the spring of the waters, and cast the salt in there, and said, Thus saith the Lord , I have healed these waters; there shall not be from thence any more death or barren land .  So the waters were healed unto this day, according to the saying of Elisha which he spake.
In this passage, poor persecuted Elisha is attacked by a horde of little children who viciously make fun of his apparent baldness. However, Elisha ultimately proves victorious, as he’s able to summon a pack of bears to kill off 42 of the pesky kids.
2 Kings 2:23-24
And he went up from thence unto Beth-el: and as he was going up by the way, there came forth little children out of the city, and mocked him, and said unto him, Go up, thou bald head; go up, thou bald head.  And he turned back, and looked on them, and cursed them in the name of the Lord . And there came forth two she bears out of the wood, and tare forty and two children of them.
This passage definitely wins the award for “Creepiest Resuscitation Ever Ever”…
2 Kings 4:32-35
And when Elisha was come into the house, behold, the child was dead, and laid upon his bed.  He went in therefore, and shut the door upon them twain, and prayed unto the Lord .  And he went up, and lay upon the child, and put his mouth upon his mouth, and his eyes upon his eyes, and his hands upon his hands: and he stretched himself upon the child; and the flesh of the child waxed warm.  Then he returned, and walked in the house to and fro; and went up, and stretched himself upon him: and the child sneezed seven times, and the child opened his eyes.
This guy Naaman brings some riches to offer as a tribute to Elisha. Elisha rejects them, and sends Naaman on his way. After a while, Elisha’s servant, Gehazi, goes running after Naaman and asks him for a little bit of the loot. Gehazi comes back, Elisha finds out what he did, and proceeds to curse Gehazi and all of his descendants with leprosy.
2 Kings 5:20-27
But Gehazi, the servant of Elisha the man of God, said, Behold, my master hath spared Naaman this Syrian, in not receiving at his hands that which he brought: but, as the Lord liveth, I will run after him, and take somewhat of him.  So Gehazi followed after Naaman. And when Naaman saw him running after him, he lighted down from the chariot to meet him, and said, Is all well?  And he said, All is well. My master hath sent me, saying, Behold, even now there be come to me from mount Ephraim two young men of the sons of the prophets: give them, I pray thee, a talent of silver, and two changes of garments.  And Naaman said, Be content, take two talents. And he urged him, and bound two talents of silver in two bags, with two changes of garments, and laid them upon two of his servants; and they bare them before him.  And when he came to the tower, he took them from their hand, and bestowed them in the house: and he let the men go, and they departed.  But he went in, and stood before his master. And Elisha said unto him, Whence comest thou , Gehazi? And he said, Thy servant went no whither.  And he said unto him, Went not mine heart with thee , when the man turned again from his chariot to meet thee? Is it a time to receive money, and to receive garments, and oliveyards, and vineyards, and sheep, and oxen, and menservants, and maidservants?  The leprosy therefore of Naaman shall cleave unto thee, and unto thy seed for ever. And he went out from his presence a leper as white as snow.
Apparently iron axe heads can be made to float if you happen to have a magic stick nearby…
2 Kings 6:1-7
And the sons of the prophets said unto Elisha, Behold now, the place where we dwell with thee is too strait for us.  Let us go, we pray thee, unto Jordan, and take thence every man a beam, and let us make us a place there, where we may dwell. And he answered, Go ye.  And one said, Be content, I pray thee, and go with thy servants. And he answered, I will go.  So he went with them. And when they came to Jordan, they cut down wood.  But as one was felling a beam, the axe head fell into the water: and he cried, and said, Alas, master! for it was borrowed.  And the man of God said, Where fell it? And he shewed him the place. And he cut down a stick, and cast it in thither; and the iron did swim.  Therefore said he, Take it up to thee. And he put out his hand, and took it.
Elisha dies, time passes, another dead guy gets thrown into his tomb, touches Elisha’s bones, and comes back to life.
2 Kings 13:20-21
And Elisha died, and they buried him. And the bands of the Moabites invaded the land at the coming in of the year.  And it came to pass, as they were burying a man, that, behold, they spied a band of men ; and they cast the man into the sepulchre of Elisha: and when the man was let down, and touched the bones of Elisha, he revived, and stood up on his feet.
In this passage, Hezekiah is dying, and asks the prophet Isaiah for some proof that he’s going to live on after he dies. Isaiah provides this proof by asking the Lord to turn the sun back in the sky. You might have heard about this passage if you’re familiar with this ridiculous urban legend about NASA scientists resorting to the Bible in order to solve an astrophysics problem.
2 Kings 20:8-11
And Hezekiah said unto Isaiah, What shall be the sign that the Lord will heal me, and that I shall go up into the house of the Lord the third day?  And Isaiah said, This sign shalt thou have of the Lord , that the Lord will do the thing that he hath spoken: shall the shadow go forward ten degrees, or go back ten degrees?  And Hezekiah answered, It is a light thing for the shadow to go down ten degrees: nay, but let the shadow return backward ten degrees.  And Isaiah the prophet cried unto the Lord : and he brought the shadow ten degrees backward, by which it had gone down in the dial of Ahaz.
At that (finally) is the end of 2 Kings. I’ll have some stuff from 1 Chronicles posted pretty soon.