Posted by: mattcolvin | October 24, 2016

Prophesy: Who Smote Thee?

Above: The Mocking of Christ, Fra Angelico, 1437-1446

2 Chronicles 18 is a strangely inverted Balaam story, and the fact is sealed by 18:15, which is a variation on Num 22:38: “And the king said to him, How many times shall I adjure thee that thou say nothing but the truth to me in the name of the LORD?” (Cf. Num 22:38: “And Balaam said unto Balak, Lo, I am come unto thee: have I now any power at all to say any thing? the word that God putteth in my mouth, that shall I speak.”) In 2 Chronicles, we have a reluctant prophet telling an importunate and unfortunate Israelite king that he will be destroyed by the armies of Syria. He has to be cajoled because he is unwilling. But Balaam is a reluctant prophet telling an importunate Moabite king that his land will be conquered by the armies of Israel. 
We may also compare this:

“Then Zedekiah the son of Chenaanah came near, and smote Micaiah upon the cheek, and said, Which way went the Spirit of the LORD from me to speak unto thee?” (2 Chr. 18:23)

with this from Christ’s passion:

“others smote him with the palms of their hands, Saying, Prophesy unto us, thou Christ, Who is he that smote thee?” (Mt. 26:67-8

Note that this blow on the cheek is exactly the insult to which Jesus enjoined his disciples to turn the other cheek. 

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