1 Kings 16:32, The Rise and Fall of the Cult of Baal

And [King Ahab] reared up an altar for Baal in the house of Baal, which he had built in Samaria.

//A great deal of the book of Kings seems to be a comparison of good kings versus evil kings in Israel. First one king does evil in the sight of the Lord, then the next king does what is right, then the next king does evil again. For the most part, the “evil” pertains to idolatry or cultic worship of the wrong god.

The Baal cult receives the most prominent mention. It lasted only about 40 years, but it gets a disproportionate amount of attention, from 1 Kings 16:23 to 2 Kings 12. Eighteen chapters devoted to the rise and fall of Baal in Israel, placing blame on the Omride dynasty, which includes notable baddies Ahab and Jezebel.

The time period spans Elijah’s commission to anoint leaders who will remove the cultic locations, and Elisha’s execution of this task. Halfway through these chapters, Elijah ascends to heaven, handing the mantle to Elisha.

 This dark time period in Israel’s history probably explains the crabbiness of these two great prophets.

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