Thursday, May 08, 2014

Monotheism but not Ethical Monotheisum

Melachim B (Kings II) 8:12: Aramean king Ben Hadad’s servant asks the Prophet Elisha whether Ben Hadad will recover from illness.  Elisha becomes expressionless for a moment and begins weeping, saying Ben Hadad will die and that he (Ben Hadad’s servant) will become king and commit all sorts of horrible atrocities to the Jewish people during his reign.  This was the future king’s opportunity to do teshuvah (repent) and beg that someone else be the instrument of evil, but he just goes on his merry way and fulfills the prophecy.  The fact that the Arameans respect Elisha and their earlier monotheistic revelation apparently didn’t help much.  They had begun to understand monotheism, but the concept of ethical monotheism and personal accountability hadn’t penetrated.

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