This page is an unfinished work. Greater detail of the text and written explanations sure would be nice additions. Feedback is welcome at cormacmjones@gmail.com.

Not to be read on a narrow screen!


A Lunar Month of Octaves

🌑      -  1  -      🌓      -  2  -      🌕      -  3  -      🌗      -  4  -      🌑

Each of the four books of Kingdoms has the same octave shape — a sabbath plus an eighth day. Hence they all together form the four weeks of a lunar cycle. 

In 1–2 Kingdoms (or 1–2 Samuel), which anciently were paired together, the tribes of Israel wax into power, traversing the interval between the anarchic chaos of Judges and the reign of King David, very much like a new moon waxing full in two weeks’ time.

While the moon is full, Solomon builds the Temple, and God makes a covenant with him. But Solomon immediately breaks the covenant, the kingdom divides, and disintegration begins. Hence 3–4 Kingdoms (or 1–2 Kings), also anciently paired together, narrate the collapse of Israelite power and return to the chaos of non-being, like a full moon waning into darkness in a second two-week span.

In the first fortnight, the light of David must overcome the darkness of Saul in order to wax full. In the second fortnight, the darkness of Israel overcomes the light of Judah until all light has waned to naught. No temple — building the temple — Temple! — destroying the temple — no temple.

A lunar month rounds off to 29 days — that's four sabbaths and an eighth day. Products of seven, plus one, tend to be important numbers, like 22, 36, 50, or for the lunar cycle, 29. If you were to take that “plus one,” that eighth day, and imbue each of the four weeks with it, you’d get the structure before us now.




Α. The birth and call of Samuel (ch. 1–4:1a)

α. Hannah’s barrenness and the birth of Samuel (ch. 1–2:11)

β. Woe prophesied for the house of Eli, whence the Lord calls Samuel to be a prophet (2:12–4:1a)

Β. The loss and return of the ark (4:1b–ch. 7)

ς. The Battle of Ebenezer: the ark captured, the deaths of Eli and his sons, the birth of Ichabod (4:1b‑22)

ζ. The miraculous return of the ark to Israel (ch. 5–7:1)

η. Samuel as judge restores peace and prosperity to Israel (7:2‑17)

Χ/Ξ. The demand for a king and the anointing and election of Saul (ch. 8–12)

α. Israel disobeys Samuel and demands a king; he relays God’s rebuke and warnings (ch. 8)

β. Saul journeys to find asses and encounters Samuel to whom is revealed Saul’s calling (9:1‑26)

χ. Samuel anoints Saul as ruler of Israel; God gives Saul a new heart and the Spirit of God comes upon him (9:27–10:16)

ο. Saul established as king among the people (10:17–ch. 11)

ω. Samuel’s inaugural speech to the Kingdom of Israel (ch. 12)

Ο. God rejects Saul (ch. 1315)

α. War with the Philistines; Saul’s unlawful offering (ch. 13–14:46)

β. God sends Saul to destroy the Amalekites, which obedience he does not fulfill (14:47–ch. 15)

Ω. The election of David, who slays Goliath; Saul’s envy (ch. 1619)

ς. Samuel sent to house of Jesse to anoint David (ch. 16)

ζ. David and Goliath (ch. 17)

η. Saul’s first attempts on David, who is helped by Michal, Jonathan, and Samuel (ch. 18–19)

Ϛ. David as a fugitive from Saul (ch. 2024)

α. Jonathan’s covenant with David (ch. 20)

β. David on the lam; Saul slays Abimelech and the priests (ch. 21–22)

χ. David saves Keilah and learns Saul could trap him there (23:1‑11)

ο. Hiding in the desert, David narrowly escapes Saul at the Rock of Dividing, who must go fight Philistines (23:13‑27)

ω. David spares Saul in the cave as a witness before God of his blamelessness (ch. 24)

Ζ. The death of Samuel: David’s successes and Saul’s descent (ch. 25–30)

α. Death of Samuel; Nabal and Abigail (ch. 25)

β. David spares Saul in the camp (ch. 26)

χ. David dwells blamelessly at Ziklag under the Philistine Achish, king of Gath, and raids the peoples to the south (ch. 27–28:2)

ο. Saul consults a sorceress at Endor to conjure the spirit of Samuel (28:3‑25)

ω. David ejected from the Philistines before war with Israel; Amalekites raid Ziklag, but David pursues and rescues his wives and all things lost and sends plunder to everyone (ch. 29–30)

Η. The death of Saul and his sons (ch. 31)

α. Philistines cause men of Israel to flee and fall slain at Mt. Gilboa (31:1)

β. Saul’s sons slain; he and his armorbearer slay themselves (31:2‑6)

χ. Men of Israel on other side abandon their cities to the Philistines (31:7)

ο. Philistines make trophies of Saul and his sons’ bodies and armor (31:8‑10)

ω. Valiant men of Jabeshgilead take and burn the bodies, burying the bones (31:11‑13)



Α. Victory over the House of Saul — David, king of Israel (ch. 1–5:5)

α. David slays Amalekite who assisted Saul’s suicide and laments Saul and Jonathan (ch. 1)

β.  Abner anoints Ishbosheth king and starts a war with David and Joab (ch. 2)

χ. On the succession war and the sons born to David at Hebron (3:1‑5)

ο. Abner’s reconciliation with David and slaying by Joab (3:6‑39)

ω. David slays the assassins of Ishbosheth and becomes king of Israel (ch. 4–5:5)

Β. Conquering Jerusalem, installing the ark, the Davidic Covenant (5:6–ch. 9)

α. Conquering Jerusalem and defeating the Philistines (5:6‑26)

β. Bringing the ark to Jerusalem (ch. 6)

χ. God’s covenant with David and his thanksgiving (ch. 7)

ο. David’s successes in conquest (ch. 8)

ω. David’s mercy on the crippled son of Jonathan (ch. 9)

Χ/Ξ. At war with Ammon: Uriah, Bathsheba, David’s penance, the birth of Solomon (ch. 10–12)

ς. War with the Ammonites and Syrians (ch. 10)

ζ. David sleeps with Bathsheba, has Uriah killed (ch. 11)

η. David’s condemnation, repentance, penance, and restoration (ch. 12)

Ο. Absalom avenges Tamar’s rape and is reconciled to David by Joab (ch. 13–14)

ς. Absalom kills Amnon for raping Tamar (ch. 13)

ζ. Joab uses a woman playing a mourner to get David to invite Absalom back (14:1‑24)

η. Beautiful Absalom burns Joab’s barley field to get an audience with David (14:25‑33)

Ω. My son Absalom, Absalom, my son! (ch. 15–19)

α. Absalom’s conspiracy causes David to flee Jerusalem (ch. 15–16:14)

β. Hushai’s spy ring gets the better of Ahithophel (16:15–17:23)

χ. During battle, Absalom caught in oak and killed by Joab (17:24–18:18)

ο. David learns of Absalom’s death and mourns (18:19–19:8)

ω. David’s return to Jerusalem (19:9‑43)

Ϛ. Sheba’s rebellion, David’s last triumphs, and Psalm 17 (ch. 20–22)

ς. Sheba’s rebellion an occasion for Joab to kill Amasa and return to power (ch. 20)

ζ. Last triumphs of David (ch. 21)

η. David’s Song of Deliverance (Ps. 17) (ch. 22)

Ζ. David’s last words and his mighty men (ch. 23)

ς. The last words of David (23:1‑7)

ζ. Nine mighty men ‘of the three’; fetching water for David from occupied Bethlehem (23:8‑23)

η. Twenty-eight others; thirty-seven in all (23:24‑39)

Η. Census, pestilence, threshingfloor (ch. 24)

ς. The sinful census (24:1‑10)

ζ. The resulting pestilence (24:11‑16)

η. The purchase of a threshingfloor for an altar (24:17‑25)



Α. The death of David and succession of Solomon over Adonijah (ch. 1–4)

α. Adonijah’s presumption thwarted by the anointing of Solomon (ch. 1)

Elderly King David given the virgin Abishag for comfort (1:1‑4)

α.        Adonijah presumes succession with Joab and Abiathar (1:5‑8)

Adonijah makes sacrifices by the stone of Zoheleth (1:9‑10)

Nathan tells Bathsheba to intercede for her son (1:11‑14)

β.         Bathsheba tells David what has happened (1:15‑21)

Nathan tells David what has happened (1:22‑27)

David promises Bathsheba that Solomon will be king (1:28‑31)

χ/ξ.      David orders the anointing of Solomon (1:32‑37)

The anointing of Solomon (1:38‑40)

As Adonijah and guests finish eating, Joab hears a noise in the city (1:41)

Jonathan son of Abiathar: ‘Our king David has made Solomon king’ (1:42‑43)

ο.                 ‘Zadok the priest and Nathan the prophet have anointed Solomon king’ (1:44‑46)

‘The servants bless David that his son be better than him; David blesses the Lord’ (1:47‑48)

Adonijah’s guests flee (1:49)

Fearing Solomon, Adonijah grabs the horns of the altar (1:50)

Solomon told, ‘Adonijah grabs the horns of the altar, (1:51a)

ω.                ‘Saying, “Let Solomon swear not to slay me”’ (1:51b)

Solomon says Adonijah’s fate depends on his worthiness or wickedness (1:52)

Solomon summons Adonijah and releases him to his home (1:53)

β. David’s final instructions to Solomon and death (2:1‑12)

α. Near death, David charges Solomon with a covenant (2:1‑4)

 β. Let not Joab’s hoar head go down to hades in peace (2:5‑6)

   χ. Be merciful to Barzillai the Gileadite (2:7)

 ο. Shimei’s hoar head bring down to hades in blood (2:8‑9)

ω. The death of King David and succession of Solomon (2:10‑12)

χ. Solomon executes sentences on Adonijah, Abiathar, and Joab (2:13‑34)

ς. Adonijah put to death for asking Bathsheba to request Abishag for his wife (2:13‑25)

 ζ. Banishing Abiathar the priest (2:26‑27)

   η. Killing Joab as he grabs the horns of the altar (2:28‑34)

ο. Solomon’s kingdom as the sand of the sea; the probation and execution of Shimei (2:35, LXX, 2:36‑46, LXX*)

α.   Benaiah made general; Zadok made priest; the Lord gives King Solomon understanding, wisdom, and heart as the sand of the sea (2:35)

Solomon brings Pharaoh’s daughter into the city of David until done building (LXX*)

He finishes building in seven years, and the citadel as defense above it (LXX*)

β.                He makes a breach in the wall of the city of David out of which Pharaoh’s daughter ascends to her house (LXX*)

He builds the citadel and the temple, with offerings whole burnt, of peace, and of incense (LXX*)

3,600 masters of the people that wrought the works; after Jerusalem, five cities built: Ashur, Megiddo, Gezer, Bethhoron, and Baalath (LXX*)

χ/ξ.   Shimei sentenced to die if he leaves Jerusalem, which after three years he does and is executed (2:36‑46)

ο.   Judah and Israel were as the sand of the sea with Solomon at the center, and he opened Lebanon and built Thermae (LXX*)

ω.   Solomon’s daily provision and the lands he ruled; his nine chiefs (LXX*)

ω. Solomon asks for wisdom and receives it (ch. 3–4)

ς.  (Before the temple,) Solomon in a dream at the great high place Gibeon asks God for an understanding heart, after which he sacrifices rather at Jerusalem (3:1‑15)

ζ.  Solomon judges wisely between two mothers, one of whose babies has died (3:16‑28)

Including himself, Solomon’s twelve chief officials (for ten offices) (4:1‑6)

Twelve officers over all Israel: a month of provisions from each (4:7‑16, 18, 19, 17, 27‑28*)

η.                 Solomon’s provision for one day (4:22‑24*)

Solomon’s world-famous wisdom (4:29‑34)

Solomon marries Pharaoh’s daughter; Pharaoh conquers Gezer as a dowry (LXX [cf. MAS 9:16‑17]*)

Β. Building the Temple (ch. 58)

α. Solomon and Hiram of Tyre agree to build temple (5:1‑16, LXX*)

ς.  Solomon expresses to Hiram king of Tyre intention to build David’s Temple (5:1‑7)

 ζ.  Transport of cedar and fir timber arranged in exchange for wheat (5:8‑12)

   η.  Levy of workers raised from Israel (5:13‑16, LXX*)

β. Plan of the Temple described (6:1a, 5:17‑18, 6:37‑38, 2‑10, 15‑17, 19‑20, 22‑36*)

α.  Building took from the fourth year of Solomon’s reign to the eleventh (6:1a, 5:17‑18, 6:37‑38*)

 β.  Dimensions of the temple (6:2‑10, 15‑17*)

   χ.  The inner sanctuary, with altar in front and the whole house overlaid in gold (6:19‑20, 22*)

 ο.  The cherubim in the inner sanctuary (6:23‑28)

ω.  Carving the walls and doors (6:29‑36)

ξ. Hiram (not the king) of Tyre’s bronze work for the temple, plus Solomon’s gold work (7:13‑51*)

α.   Hiram, a widow’s son of the tribe of Naphtali, cunning worker of brass in Tyre (7:13‑14)

β.   The pillars of brass with chapiters (7:15‑22)

The sea of molten brass, standing on twelve oxen (7:23‑26)

ξ.         Ten bases of brass for the ten lavers (7:27‑38)

Position of the bases and the sea around the Temple (7:39)

ο.   Summary of all the brass works Hiram made in the plain of Jordan (7:40‑47)

ω.   The golden vessels Solomon made for the temple (7:48‑51)

ο. Solomon builds his own house in thirteen years (7:1‑12*)

α.  Dimensions, cedar pillars with cedar beams, doors and windows (7:1‑5)

 β.  The porch of pillars, fifty by thirty cubits (7:6)

   χ.  The porch of the thrones, for judgment, where he would sit (7:7‑8a)

 ο.  Solomon made also a house for Pharaoh’s daughter, like this porch (7:8b)

ω.  Foundation of costly hewed stones (7:9‑12)

ω. Consecration of the Temple (ch. 8)

α.  Installing the ark of the covenant (8:1‑11)

 β.  Solomon speaks to the people (8:12‑21)

Intro to Solomon’s prayer of supplication (8:22)

Solomon appeals to the Lord’s covenant with David (8:23‑26)

χ.         The heaven of heavens cannot contain God, but a house built for his name (8:27‑30)

When thy people Israel pray, hear them (8:31‑53)

Extro, a verse from the book of the song (LXX*)

 ο.  Solomon blesses the people (8:54‑61)

ω.  Sacrifice of offerings and a feast of celebration (8:62‑66)

Χ/Ξ. God’s covenant with Solomon, who takes his worldliness too far (ch. 9–11)

α. The Lord appears and makes covenant with Solomon, while Hiram is displeased with his gift (9:1‑9, LXX*, 10‑13)

α. The Lord appears to Solomon (9:1‑3)

 β. ‘If thou wilt walk before me, I will establish thy throne’ (9:45)

   χ. ‘If ye turn from me, I will cut off Israel from the land’ (9:6‑9)

 ο. Solomon brings the pharaoh’s daughter out of the city of David into his house (LXX*)

ω. Hiram is displeased with the twenty cities of Galilee Solomon gives him (9:10‑13)

β. The Red Sea trade route with Hiram brings the Queen of Sheba’s ecstatic admiration (9:14, 26–10:13*)

α. Hiram gives gold to Solomon for a ship on the Red Sea and supplies mariners (9:14, 2628*)

 β. The queen of Sheba comes to Jerusalem and questions Solomon (10:13)

   χ. She beholds his wisdom and wealth and comes to be outside herself (10:45)

 ο. She testifies to his prosperity and blesses the Lord (10:6‑9)

ω. She gives him gold, spices, and stones; Hiram’s ship arrives with almug trees (10:10‑13)

χ. The conspicuous wealth and national supremacy of Solomon (10:14‑22, LXX*, 23‑29)

ς. The ‘666’ golden luxury and ivory throne of Solomon (10:14‑22)

 ζ. So that none of the nations should rule over him (LXX*)

   η. Material wealth of Solomon’s kingdom (10:2329)

ο. Solomon’s philandering idolatry cracks the covenant; his foreign enemies (11:1‑14a, 23b‑25a, 14b‑22*)

ς. Solomon’s love of women draws him into idolatry, causing future division (11:1‑13)

 ζ. Solomon’s foreign enemies (11:14a, 23b25a, 14b*)

   η. Hadad the Idumean’s backstory in Egypt (remarkably like Israel/Christ Child) (11:1522)

ω. Jeroboam of Ephraim becomes a God-sanctioned enemy of Solomon (11:26‑43)

ς. Jeroboam the Ephrathite lifted up his hand to the king (11:2628)

 ζ. Ahijah prophesies: the Lord’s covenant with Jeroboam (11:2939)

   η. Jeroboam flees to Egypt until Solomon’s death (11:4043)

Ο. Division of the kingdom (ch. 12–16:28, 22:41‑50*)

α. Rehoboam of Judah, merciless son of an Ammonite, and Jeroboam of Israel, rebellious son of a harlot, work division (12:1‑24, LXX, 14:16, LXX, 14:11, LXX, 14:13, 17‑18a, LXX*)

Jeroboam asks that Rehoboam go easier on Israel than did Solomon (12:1‑5)

α.        Rehoboam rejects the old men’s call for mercy, favoring the young men’s call for harshness (12:6‑11)

Rehoboam chastises Jeroboam (12:12‑15)

Israel responds with secession, stones to death the tax collector, and crowns Jeroboam king (12:16, 18‑20*)

β.        Rehoboam prepares for civil war (12:21)

The prophet Shemaiah prevents civil war with the word of the Lord (12:22‑24)

The succession of Rehoboam, son of Solomon and an Ammonite; he did evil (LXX*)

ξ.         Jeroboam, servant of Solomon and son of a harlot, builds for Solomon on Mt. Ephraim and aspires to the kingdom; 

Solomon seeks to kill him and he flees to Egypt, marries there, and after Solomon dies comes to power on Mt. Ephraim (LXX*)

Ahijah prophesies to Anna the wife of Jeroboam the death of her son (14:1‑6, LXX, 11, LXX, 13, 17‑18a*)

Jeroboam gathers Israel at Shechem, and Rehoboam attends; Shemaiah prophesies to Jeroboam with ten pieces of rent garment (LXX*)

ο.        The people ask that Rehoboam go easier on Israel than did his father (LXX*) (cf. 12:1‑5)

Rehoboam rejects the old men’s call for mercy, favoring the young men’s call for harshness (LXX*) (cf. 12:6‑15)

The people respond with secession (LXX*) (cf. 12:16)

ω.       Rehoboam prepares for civil war (LXX*) (cf. 12:21)

The prophet Shemaiah prevents civil war with the word of the Lord (LXX*) (cf. 12:22‑24)

β. Jeroboam’s calf religion and the man of God from Judah who prophesied but failed to fast (12:25–ch. 13)

ς. Jeroboam makes golden calf religion at Bethel and Dan (12:25‑33)

ζ. A man of God from Judah prophesies against Jeroboam at his altar in Bethel (13:1‑10)

η. An old prophet in Bethel with a lie and hospitality leads the man of God to his death (13:11‑32)

extro: Jeroboam perseveres with his false priesthood (13:33‑34)

χ. Rehoboam (evil), Abijam (evil), and Asa (righteous) of Judah (14:21–15:24)

ς. Rehoboam of Judah’s evil reign; how Shishak of Egypt looted the temple (14:21‑31)

ζ. Abijam of Judah’s evil reign; how for David’s sake God gave him a lamp in Jerusalem (15:1‑8)

η. Asa of Judah’s righteous reign; how he allied with Benhadad of Syria over Baasha of Israel (and was succeeded by son Jehoshaphat) (15:9­‑24)

ο. Bloody revolutions in Israel until Omri establishes Samaria (15:25–16:28)

α. Nadab of Israel’s evil reign, how he and house of Jeroboam were wiped out by Baasha of Issachar (15:25‑32)

β. Baasha of Israel’s evil reign, how Jehu prophesied against him (but his son Elah succeeds him) (15:33–16:7)

ξ. Elah of Israel’s reign; how within a year his captain Zimri slew him when drunk and then all the house of Baasha, fulfilling the word of Jehu (16:8‑14)

ο. Zimri of Israel’s week in power; how the people chose Omri instead and Zimri burnt the palace down around himself; then a succession war was won by Omri’s people over Tibni’s people (16:15‑22)

ω. Omri of Israel’s evil reign, how he founded the city of Samaria (and was succeeded by son Ahab) (16:23‑28)

ω. Jehoshaphat of Judah’s righteous reign, how he wouldn’t mix servants with Israel (22:41‑50*)

Ω. Elijah’s drought: Zarephath, Carmel, Horeb (16:29–ch. 19)

  Ahab’s evil reign, how he married Jezebel, worshiped Baal, and rebuilt Jericho (16:2934)

ς. Elijah the Tishbite announces a drought that only he can stop (17:1)

Fed by a raven at the brook Cherith until it dries up (17:27)

ς.            ζ. Sent to the widow at Zarephath in Zidon; her meal and oil replenished (17:816)

 η. Bringing the widow’s son back to life (17:1724)

ς. Contacting Ahab through the God-fearing Obadiah (18:116)

ζ.        ζ. Defeating the prophets of Baal in a sacrifice contest on Mount Carmel (18:1740)

 η. Ending the drought on the top of Carmel (18:4146)

ς. Fleeing Jezebel’s vengeance to the wilderness; fed by an angel under a juniper tree (19:18)

η.       ζ. The cave at Horeb and the still small voice (19:914)

 η. Sent unto Elisha to anoint him the next prophet (19:1521)

Ϛ. Ahab covets Naboth’s vineyard so Jezebel has Naboth killed (ch. 21*)

ς. Ahab covets Naboth’s vineyard and Jezebel has Naboth killed for it (21:1‑16)

ς. Covetous, timid Ahab rebuked by Naboth and Jezebel (21:1‑7)

ζ. Jezebel conspires to have Naboth killed (21:8‑14)

 η. Jezebel alerts Ahab to the vineyard’s availability and he takes it (21:15‑16)

ζ. Elijah prophesies against Ahab and Jezebel (21:17‑24)

ς. Elijah the Tishbite sent to prophesy Ahab’s death in Naboth’s vineyard (21:17‑19)

ζ. He further prophesies that Ahab’s house will be wiped out (21:2022)

 η. Dogs shall eat Jezebel, too (21:2324)

η. Ahab shows penitence, postponing evil to his son’s days (21:2529)

ς. Ahab did wickedly on account of Jezebel (21:2526)

ζ. Yet Ahab repented with sackcloth and fasting (21:27)

 η. The Lord tells Elijah that Ahab’s humility postpones evil to his son’s days (21:2829)

Ζ. The Lord defeats Benhadad, but Ahab makes brothers with him (ch. 20*)

α. Benhadad of Syria claims Samaria; Ahab surrenders (20:1‑6)

β. Elders of Israel convince Ahab to rescind his surrender (20:7‑12)

ς.                   χ. A prophet prescribes success for Ahab with his young men (20:13‑16a)

ο. The young men and Ahab slaughter the drunken Syrians (20:16b‑21)

ω. The prophet warns Syria will come again (20:22)

α. Syrians think Samaritan gods are of the hills, will try in the plain (20:23‑25)

β. At Aphek, Syrians greatly outnumber two little flocks of Israel (20:26‑27)

ζ.                χ. A man of God prophesies victory to the king of Israel (20:28)

ο. After seven days, Israel slays the Syrians (20:29‑30a)

ω. Benhadad begs for his life; Ahab makes a covenant with his ‘brother’ (20:30b‑34)

ς. One of the sons of prophets commands another to smite him, or else suffer lion attack (20:35‑38)

η.       ζ. In disguise he tells a parable to Ahab about letting an enemy go (20:39‑40)

η. Revealing himself, he condemns Ahab for not destroying Benhadad (20:41‑43)

Η. Ahab’s demise witnessed by King Jehoshaphat and prophet Micaiah (ch. 22)

ς. Jehoshaphat allies with Ahab, who is determined to go to battle despite the prophecy of Micaiah (22:1‑28)

Jehoshaphat allies with king of Israel [Ahab], who wants to liberate Ramothgilead (22:1‑4)

α. 400 prophets encourage the king to go up (22:5‑6)

Jehoshaphat requests to hear from the hated prophet Micaiah, who the king says only says evil things (22:7‑9)

The two kings hold court in the entrance of the gate of Samaria (22:10)

β. Zedekiah the son of Chenaanah offers horns of iron as encouragement to go up (22:11‑12)

The messenger summoning Micaiah implores him to conform, but he won’t (22:13‑14)

Before the king, Micaiah says to go up (22:15)

χ. The king insists he tell the truth, that Israel have no shepherd and should return to their homes (22:16‑17)

The king says ‘I told you so’ to Jehoshaphat (22:18)

The vision of the Lord with host to right and left beckoning someone to lead Ahab to his death (22:19‑20)

ο. A spirit volunteers to be a lying spirit in the mouths of the prophets (22:21‑22)

Behold, the Lord hath done it, and spoken evil of thee (22:23)

Zedekiah strikes Micaiah, who prophesies against him (22:24‑25)

ω. The king sends Micaiah to prison to be fed with affliction until he returns in peace (22:26‑27)

Micaiah says the king won’t return in peace, then appeals to the people to hearken (22:28)

ζ. Death of Ahab in battle with Syrians while Jehoshaphat plays the decoy (22:29‑38)

ς.  [Ahab] disguises himself in battle while Jehoshaphat inadvertently plays the decoy (22:29‑33)

ζ.  By chance [Ahab] shot with an arrow between the joints of his armor; he dies at evening (22:34‑36)

η.  He is buried; his bloody chariot is washed, and dogs lick up the blood (22:37‑38)

η. The rest of the acts of Ahab and Jehoshaphat, are they not written? (22:39‑45, 50‑53*)

α.  The rest of the acts of Ahab, are they not written? Succeeded by son Ahaziah (22:39‑40)

β.  Jehoshaphat of Judah’s righteous reign (22:41‑43)

χ/ξ.  “And Jehoshaphat made peace with the king of Israel.” (22:44)

ο.  The rest of the acts of Jehoshaphat, are they not written? Succeeded by son Jehoram 

(22:45, 50*)                

ω.  Ahaziah of Israel’s evil reign, how he served Baal and provoked the Lord to anger (22:51‑53)

* I conform to the Septuagint text here, but (where possible) maintain the
numbering from the Masoretic so that the differences are transparent.



Α. After condemning Ahaziah, Elijah passes his mantle to Elisha, who defeats Moab (ch. 1–3)

ς. Ahaziah of Israel appeals to Baalzebub and is condemned by Elijah, who kills the first two fifties but not the third, who approach in fear (ch. 1)

Intro: Moab rebels (1:1)

α. Ahaziah is sick (1:2a)

β. His appeal to Baalzebub intercepted by Elijah, who condemns him (1:2b8)

χ. Elijah destroys two fifties sent to take him (1:912)

ο. The third fifty approaches with fear, and Elijah comes down to condemn Ahaziah (1:1316)

ω. Ahaziah dies, has no son (succeeded by his brother) (1:1718)

ζ. Elijah caught up to heaven, passing mantle to Elisha (LXX*, ch. 2–3:3)

α.  Jehoram of Israel is less evil (LXX*) (cf. 3:13)

From Gilgal to Bethel (2:12)

β. From Bethel to Jericho (2:34)

From Jericho to Jordan (2:57)

Elijah divides the Jordan and Elisha asks for a double portion (2:810)

χ. A chariot of fire divides them; Elijah went up by a whirlwind (2:11)

Elisha sees, takes up the mantle, and divides the Jordan (2:1214)

The prophets of Jericho seek in vain for Elijah, against Elisha’s command (2:1518)

ο. Healing Jericho’s waters with salt (2:1922)

Killing 42 taunting youths with two bears (from Bethel to Carmel to Samaria) (2:2325)

ω.  Jehoram of Israel is less evil (3:13)

η. Moab defeated by Elisha’s prophecy to a drought-stricken Israel, Judah, and Edom (3:4‑27)

α. Mesha king of Moab rebels against Israel; Jehoram and Jehoshaphat form alliance against him (3:47)

β. Kings of Israel, Judah, and Edom suffer drought; Jehoshaphat suggests Elisha (3:812)

χ. For Jehoshaphat’s sake Elisha solves the drought with ditches and promises victory over Moab (3:1319)

ο. Water from Edom appears as blood to the Moabites who are deceived and defeated (3:2025)

ω. The king of Moab sacrifices his heir and retreats (3:2627)

Β. Miracles of Elisha (ch. 4–6:7)

α. Elisha helps a prophet’s widow with miraculous vessels of oil (4:1‑7)

β. Elisha promises the barren Shunammite woman a son and then raises him from the dead (4:8‑37)

α. A Shunammite woman offers Elisha bread and lodging (4:811)

β. Elisha learns through Gehazi she is barren and promises her a son (4:1217)

χ. The son dies and is laid on Elisha’s bed; his mother to appeal to Elisha (4:1823)

ο. The Shunammite woman gets to Elisha despite the intermediary Gehazi (4:2431)

ω. Elisha raises the son and restores him to his mother (4:3237)

χ. In time of famine in Gilgal, Elisha works nourishing wonders (4:3844)

ς. Elisha's servant gathers wild unknown vegetables for pottage (4:38‑39)

ζ. Elisha cures the death in the pot by adding meal (4:40‑41)

 η. Elisha multiplies twenty barley loaves and fig cakes for a hundred men (4:42‑44)

ο. Naaman of Syria cured of leprosy by Elisha (ch. 5)

α. Naaman sent by king of Syria to be healed of leprosy by prophet in Samaria (5:16)

β. Neither king of Israel nor Naaman believe, but Elisha prescribes washing in Jordan (5:712)

χ. Naaman’s servants convince him to listen, and he is healed (5:1314)

ο. Naaman is converted to God, but Elisha refuses his gifts (5:1519)

ω. Gehazi goes after Naaman’s gifts and consequently contracts his leprosy (5:2027)

ω. Elisha retrieves the axe head from the Jordan with a stick (6:1‑7)

Χ/Ξ. Syrian sieges and famines in Israel (6:8–8:6)

ς. Syrian sieges of Dothan (for Elisha) and Samaria (in time of famine) (6:8‑33)

α.  Syrians hide in wait for Israel, but Elisha warns the king (6:8‑12)

β.  Syrians besiege the city where Elisha is, but the Lord’s host smites them with blindness (6:13‑19)

χ.  In Samaria the Syrian army is not smote but mercifully fed and sent away for good (6:20‑23)

ο.  The king of Syria besieges Samaria; a mother eats her baby, so the king of Israel vows to behead Elisha (6:24‑31)

ω.  The king’s messenger foreseen and shut out of Elisha’s house (6:32‑33)

ζ. Four lepers not fearing death scare away the Syrian army (ch. 7)

Intro: Elisha prophesies abundance in a day, but that a doubting officer won’t eat of it (7:1‑2)

α.  Four lepers at the gate reason they might as well go to the Syrians (7:3‑4)

β.  The Syrians hear a great army and flee the lepers (7:5‑7)

    The lepers enter the camp and loot what they can (7:8)

χ.      They reason to go tell the king before morning (7:9)

              They come to the city and relay the message to the porters who tell the king (7:10‑11)

ο.  The king fears a Syrian trap (7:12)

ω.  A servant suggests verifying the story; the Syrians’ tents spoiled (7:13‑16a)

Extro: Elisha’s prophecy fulfilled a day later (7:16b‑20)

η. The woman whose son Elisha raised is warned from a famine, and the king restores her land (8:1‑6)

ς.  Elisha warns away the woman whose son he raised due to a seven-year famine (8:1‑2)

ζ.  She returns as Gehazi is telling the king about her and Elisha (8:3‑5)

η.  The king speaks to her and restores all her land (8:6)

Ο. Jehu anointed to destroy the house of Ahab and the worship of Baal (8:7–ch. 10)

α. Hazael of Syria introduced, whom Elisha prophesies in Damascus (8:7‑15)

ς. Sick king of Syria sends Hazael to learn from Elisha that he’ll recover but surely die (8:7‑10)

ζ. Elisha prophesies to Hazael all the evil he will do to Israel (8:11‑13)

η. Hazael returns, suffocates the king with a wet cloth, and succeeds him (8:14‑15)

β. Joram of Judah’s evil reign, how he married Ahab’s daughter; his son with her Ahaziah’s evil reign, how he fought along Joram of Israel against Hazael of Syria (8:16‑29)

α.  Joram son of Jehoshaphat married the daughter of Ahab and did evil (8:16‑19)

β.  Edom revolts and Joram fights them (8:20‑22)

χ.  The rest of the acts of Joram; succeeded by son Ahaziah (8:23‑24)

ο.  Ahaziah son of Joram also follows the house of Ahab, does evil (8:25‑27)

ω.  He goes in battle against Hazael of Syria with Joram of Israel, who is wounded (8:28‑29)

χ. Jehu destroys the house of Ahab (ch. 9–10:11)

α.  Elisha sends a prophet to anoint Jehu king of Israel, avenger against the house of Ahab (9:1‑13)

β.  Jehu’s furious drive to Jezreel (9:14‑23)

χ.  Jehu slays Joram of Israel and Ahaziah of Judah in their chariots (9:24‑29)

ο.  In Jezreel, Jehu bids Jezebel be cast from the tower by eunuchs; she is eaten by dogs (9:30‑37)

ω.  By letters Jehu gets the elders of Samaria to behead 70 sons of Ahab (10:1‑11)

ο. Further good deeds of Jehu (10:1228)

ς. Jehu slays 42 brothers of Ahaziah of Judah at Samaria (10:12‑14)

ζ. Jehonadab son of Rechab joins Jehu’s chariot to see his zeal in destroying those of Ahab (10:15‑17)

η. By feigning to worship Baal, Jehu gathers that whole religion and destroys it (10:18‑28)

ω. Jehu persists in the sins of Jeroboam; Hazael of Syria chips away at Israel (10:29‑36)

ς. Jehu departs not from the golden calves of Jeroboam but is promised a dynasty to four generations (10:2931)

ζ. Hazael begins chipping away at Israel (10:3233)

η. The rest of the acts of Jehu; succeeds by son Jehoahaz (10:34‑36)

Ω. The ways of Israel end with Assyrian exile (ch. 11–17)

α. Jehoash of Judah survives Queen Athaliah and reigns righteously, repairing the temple and repelling Hazael; is slain by servants (ch. 11–12)

Queen Athaliah of Judah slays all the royal seed, but Jehoash son of Ahaziah hidden (11:1‑3)

Jehoida sets a guard in the temple to protect the king’s son (11:4‑11)

ς.               Jehoida crowns and anoints the king’s son as king of Judah (11:12)

Athaliah comes to the temple and is taken out and slain (11:13‑16)

Jehoida brokers a covenant, ends the religion of Baal, and installs Jehoash as king (11:17‑21)

intro: Jehoash of Judah’s righteous reign, with Jehoida the priest... (12:1‑3)

Jehoash tells priests to use money brought to the temple to repair it, but they don’t (12:4‑6)

To collect money, the priest Jehoida places a chest with a hole bored in the lid at the altar (12:7‑9)

ζ.               That money given to carpenters and builders for repairs to the temple (12:10‑12)

The money was handled faithfully, not used on precious vessels, nor was trespass money used (12:13‑16)

Jehoash repels Hazael from Jerusalem by sending him all the royal treasures (12:17‑18)

η.  And the rest of the acts of Jehoash; how he was slain by two servants and succeeded by son Amaziah (12:19‑21)

β. Joash of Israel, inferior to Syria, belittles Amaziah of Judah, superior to Edom (ch. 13–14:22)

α.  Jehoahaz of Israel’s evil reign, how Syria dominated Israel; his son Joash’s evil reign, how he fought Amaziah of Judah and was succeeded by Jeroboam (13:1‑13)

   Elisha before he dies: Joash only smites the Syrians with three arrows (13:14‑19)

β.   Elisha’s bones revive a dead man when a band of Moabites goes by (13:20‑21)

   The Lord has compassion and Hazael dies, succeeded by son Benhadad, whom Jehoash beats three times (13:22‑25)

χ.  Amaziah of Judah’s righteous reign; he slew his father’s assassins but not their children, for every man shall be put to death for his own sin (14:1‑6)

ο.  Because Amaziah takes Edom he thinks he can sit down with Jehoash, who captures him and sacks Jerusalem, breaking down its wall 


ω.  The rest of the acts of Joash of Israel and Amaziah of Judah, who outlived him; Joash succeeded by son Jeroboam, Amaziah slain by conspirators and replaced with son Azariah (14:15‑22)

χ. The end of Jehu’s line brings cycle of regicide in Israel during Jotham’s rule in Judah (14:23–ch. 15)

Jeroboam II of Israel’s evil reign, how the Lord saved Israel in the time of prophet Jonah; succeeded by son Zachariah (14:23‑29)

ς. Azariah of Judah’s righteous reign, how the Lord smote him with leprosy and he lived apart while son Jotham ruled (15:1‑7)

Zachariah of Israel’s evil 6-month reign, slain by Shallum, ending Jehu’s line (15:8‑12)

Shallum of Israel’s month-long reign, killed by Menahem (15:13‑15)

ζ. Menahem smites closed towns, tears up pregnant women (15:16)

Menahem of Israel’s evil 10-year reign, how he raised a tax to pay off Pul of Assyria (15:17‑22)

Pekahiah of Israel’s evil 2-year reign, how Pekah his captain killed him (15:23‑26)

η. Pekah of Israel’s evil 20-year reign, how Assyria began taking away parts of Israel; how Hoshea killed him (15:27‑31)

Jotham of Judah’s righteous reign, how he built the Upper Gate and SyriaIsrael began afflicting Judah; succeeded by son Ahaz (15:32‑38)

ο. Ahaz of Judah opens the door for Assyria to defeat Syria (ch. 16)

α. Ahaz of Judah’s evil 16-year reign... (16:1‑4)

β. Beset by Syria and Israel, Ahaz invites Tiglathpileser of Assyria to fight them; Damascus falls (16:5‑9)

χ. Ahaz has Urijah the priest build an Assyrian-style altar (16:10‑13)

ο. Ahaz rearranges the temple altars and sacrifices (16:14‑18)

ω. The rest of the acts of Ahaz; succeeded by son Hezekiah (16:19‑20)

ω. Israel carried away to Assyria (ch. 17)

α. Hoshea of Israel’s evil reign, how Shalmaneser of Assyria imprisoned him for appealing to Egypt (17:1‑4)

β. After three-year siege of Samaria, Israel carried away to Assyria (17:5‑6)

χ. Why this happened (17:7‑23)

α.  The children of Israel sinned (17:7‑8)

β.  They built high places, set up images, and burnt incense, serving idols (17:9‑12)

Yet the Lord testified to Israel and Judah with all the prophets (17:13)

χ. They would not hear but hardened their necks (17:14‑15)

They served Baal, passing their children through the fire, provoking the Lord to anger (17:16‑17)

ο.  None left but Judah, who also walk after Israel (17:18‑19)

ω.  Israel rent from the house of David, Jeroboam son of Nebat made king (17:20‑23)

ο. New inhabitants of the land require Israelite priest to teach them how not to be eaten by lions (17:24‑28)

ω. The new Samaritan religion fears the Lord, yet not as the Lord commanded (17:29‑41)

Ϛ. Hezekiah overcomes the Assyrians, but Manasseh seals Jerusalem’s fate (ch. 18–21)

ς. Hezekiah of Judah (ch. 18–20)

Hezekiah of Judah’s exceedingly righteous 29-year reign... (18:1‑8)

α. At which time Shalmaneser took away Samaria (18:9‑12)

Sennacherib of Syria takes the cities of Judah; Hezekiah pays him off by stripping the temple (18:13‑16)

Rabshakeh’s promises, arguments, and threats to the people of Jerusalem, which they ignore at the king’s command (18:17‑37)

β. Hezekiah appeals to Isaiah, who prophesies Rabshakeh’s death (19:1‑7)

Rabshakeh’s messengers make their threat again (19:8‑13)

Hezekiah’s prayer in the temple (19:14‑19)

χ. Isaiah’s prophecy against Sennacherib (19:20‑34)

An angel of the Lord smites 185,000 Assyrians; Sennacheribs sons kill him at prayer (19:35‑37)

In fatal sickness Hezekiah prays to God with tears (20:1‑3)

ο. The Lord tells Isaiah he has added 15 years to Hezekiah’s life (20:4‑6)

Isaiah heals Hezekiah with a lump of figs and makes a sundial go backward as a sign (20:7‑11)

Babylon reaches out and Hezekiah shows them all Judah’s treasure (20:12‑13)

ω. Isaiah asks Hezekiah about the Babylonians (20:14‑15)

Isaiah prophesies the Babylonian exile (20:16‑19)

Extro: The rest of the acts of Hezekiah; succeeded by son Manasseh (20:20‑21)

ζ. Manasseh of Judah (21:118)

ς. Manasseh of Judah’s evil 55-year reign, undoing all his father’s progress... (21:1‑9)

ζ. The Lord tells by the prophets of great destruction to Jerusalem (21:10‑16)

η. The rest of the acts of Manasseh; succeeded by son Amon (21:17‑18)

η. Amon of Judah (21:1926)       —      See CLOSE-UP

Ζ. Josiah restores the law, but his line succumbs to Egypt and Babylon (ch. 2224:7)

ς. Josiah of Judah finds the Book of the Law and restores it (ch. 22–23:30)

α.  Josiah of Judah’s righteous 31-year reign (22:1‑2)

β.  The Book of the Law found when Josiah orders repairs to the temple; Huldah the prophetess confirms his response (22:3‑20)

α. The king calls everyone to the temple and reads the Book of the Law as a covenant (23:1‑3)

β. The king orders the destruction of all idolatry in Judah (23:4‑10)

χ.                         χ. He undoes the sinful legacies of the kings of Judah, even Solomon (23:11‑14)

ο. He even destroys idolatry at Bethel and Samaria, but honors the bones of the prophet (23:15‑20)

ω. The king restores Passover as it hadn’t been since Judges (23:21‑23)

ο.  In upholding the Book of the Law, no king was like Josiah, but the Lord was still wroth against Judah (23:24‑27)

ω.  The rest of the acts of Josiah, how he was slain by Pharaoh at war in Megiddo; his son Jehoahaz made king by the people (23:28‑30)

ζ. Jehoahaz of Judah’s evil three-month reign, how Pharaoh exiled him to Egypt and put Jehoiakim in his place as a vassal (23:3135)

η. Jehoiakim of Judah’s evil 11-year reign, how he served and then rebelled against Nebuchadnezzar and shed innocent blood; succeeded by son Jehoiachin (23:36–24:6)

coda: The king of Egypt eclipsed by the king of Babylon (24:7)

Η. The destruction of the temple and the Babylonian exile (24:8–ch. 25)

ς. Vassal king Jehoiachin: Carried away to Babylon (24:817)

α. Jehoiachin of Judah’s evil three-month reign (24:8‑9)

β. Nebuchadnezzar comes up and besieges Jerusalem (24:10‑11)

χ. In the eighth year of the king of Babylon’s reign, Jehoiachin and all his house surrender and are taken (24:12)

ο. All the treasures of the temple taken (24:13)

ω. All Jerusalem taken away; only the poorest remain (24:14)

ς. Jehoiachin and all his house carried in captivity to Babylon (24:15)

ζ. 7,000 warriors and 1,000 craftsmen brought captive to Babylon (24:16)

η. The king of Babylon makes Mattaniah king and changes his name to Zedekiah (24:17)

ζ. Vassal king Zedekiah: The destruction of the temple (24:18–25:21)

α. Zedekiah’s evil 11-year reign, how he rebelled against the king of Babylon (24:18‑20)

β. Nebuchadnezzar besieges Jerusalem again, causing famine in city (25:1‑3)

ξ. Warriors try to escape; the king captured in the plain of Jericho (25:4‑5)

ο. They slay Zedekiah’s sons before him, put out his eyes, and carry him to Babylon (25:6‑7)

ω. The destruction of the temple and the houses and the wall (25:8‑10)

ς. The rest of the people carried away, but the poor left behind (25:11‑12)

ζ. The brass of the temple broken up and taken away (25:13‑17)

η. The chief priests and officers taken away and killed (25:18‑21)

η. Governor Gedaliah: the remnant rebel, kill him, and flee to Egypt; the resurrection of King Jehoiachin in captivity (25:2226)

α. Gedaliah made governor of the remnant (25:22)

β. All the army captains and their men come to Gedaliah at Mizpah (25:23)

χ. Gedaliah counsels not to fear the Chaldees; serve and it shall be well with you (25:24)

ο. Ishmael, of royal seed, with ten men kills Gedaliah and companions at Mizpah (25:25)

ω. All the people go to Egypt, fearing the Chaldees (25:26)

ς. In the 37th year of captivity, the new king of Babylon lifts King Jehoiachin out of prison (25:27)

ζ. Kindly he places him on a throne, changes his garments, and feeds him daily (25:28‑29)

η. A continual allowance from the king all the days of his life (25:30)



Just one small close-up for now, from the end of part Ϛ in 4 Kingdoms.

I include it because of how well and how simply it exemplifies the typical fivefold thematic pattern, even while adhering to the formula of the genre. 

It recounts the reign of Amon of Judah and occurs at the end of a dwindling triad featuring first his grandfather Hezekiah in a very lengthy section (ς.), then his father Manasseh in a much shorter section (ζ.), and then what follows (η.), which is even shorter still.

η. Amon of Judah
(4 Kgdms. 21:19‑26)


Amon was twenty and two years old when he began to reign, 

and he reigned two years in Jerusalem. 

And his mother’s name was Meshullemeth, 

the daughter of Haruz of Jotbah. (21:19)


And he did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD, as his father Manasseh did. (21:20)

And he walked in all the way that his father walked in, 

and served the idols that his father served, and worshipped them: (21:21)

And he forsook the LORD God of his fathers, 

and walked not in the way of the LORD. (21:22)


And the servants of Amon conspired against him, 

and slew the king in his house. (21:23)


And the people of the land slew all them that had conspired against king Amon; 

and the people of the land made Josiah his son king in his stead. (21:24)


And the rest of the acts of Amon which he did, 

behold, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah? (21:25)

And they buried him in his sepulchre in the garden of Uzza: 

and Josiah his son reigned in his stead. (21:26)

Return to Bible Fractals