Have ye not cast out the priests of the LORD, the sons of Aaron, and the Levites, and have made you priests after the manner of the nations of other lands? so that whosoever cometh to consecrate himself with a young bullock and seven rams, the same may be a priest of them that are no gods. 2 Chronicles 13:9 KJV
1There are no 'gods' there. Abijah has just said that. Yet you ask 'Who are the gods ?' If I point to a valley and I say 'There are no sheep there'. Would you say 'What sheep are you talking about ?' Because I have just said, 'There aren't any.' Your question is not about the text. You are asking what the word 'gods' means generally. (Which is probably off-topic.) You can't ask to identify what has just been stated not to exist.– Nigel JMar 7 at 20:07
@NigelJ - if he changed the question wording to 'Who are the supposed "gods" ..." would that be more accurate? The author is clearly referencing a set of supposed 'gods' that are not really gods after all, it seems fair to ask who the author is referring to by the phrase 'them that are no gods'. Just because they're not actually gods doesn't invalidate the query.– Steve can help ♦Mar 8 at 11:53
@Stevecanhelp It is the English translation that tries to identify 'them' see Biblehub Interlinear. The Hebrew may best be translated as 'a priest of not gods'. Who is identified is the one bringing a sacrifice on his own (unauthorised) authority. That is the whole point. He is a 'priest' without a deity to represent. I have written a short answer (below) to this effect.– Nigel JMar 8 at 20:12
The one who is identified is the person who, without any authority, brings a sacrifice. Only a genuine priest may bring a warranted sacrifice, not just anyone who thinks to do it on his own impulse.
The Hebrew may best be translated 'a priest of not gods'.
That is to say he brings rams and a bull but he has no deity to represent. The only person being identified by the text is the offerer who misrepesents himself as a priest.
This is an important passage in regard to Christ the Priest and Christ the offering.
This charge, we see from the context, is made against Jeroboam, first king of the northern kingdom Israel, and his nation. Abijah, king of Judah, stood up on Mount Zemaraim, in the hill country of Ephraim, and said "Hear me Jeroboam and all Israel" (2 Chronicles ch13 v4), and what you have quoted is part of that speech. So the answer is to be found in what 1 Kings tells us about Jeroboam.
"So the king took counsel and made two calves of gold. And he said to the people; 'You have gone up to Jerusalem long enough. Behold your gods, O Israel, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt. And he set one up at Bethel, and the other he set up in Dan" 1 Kings ch13 vv28-29, RSV
These are the fake ones.– Betho'sMar 7 at 17:20
3Yes, indeed. "That are NO gods", as the end of your quotation says. That's what your question was asking about. People think they are gods, but they are not. The only true God is the Lord. Mar 7 at 18:35
The answer is provided in the previous verse of 2 Chron 13:
- V8 - ... You are indeed a vast army, and you have with you the golden calves that Jeroboam made for you as gods.
- V9 - Now whoever comes to consecrate himself with a young bull and seven rams can become a priest of things that are not gods.
This is alluding to what Jeroboam did as recorded in 1 Kings 12:28 when he made two golden calves as false gods:
1 Kings 12:28 - After seeking advice, the king made two golden calves and said to the people, “Going up to Jerusalem is too much for you. Here, O Israel, are your gods, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt.”
Thus, in 2 Chron 13, Abijam (V4) stated the truth when he called these golden calves, "things that are not gods". (V9) This is because, according to the OT, there is but one true God:
- Deut 4:35 - You were shown these things so that you would know that the LORD is God; there is no other besides Him.
- Deut 32:39 - See now that I am He; there is no God besides Me. I bring death and I give life; I wound and I heal, and there is no one who can deliver from My hand.
- Isa 44:6 - Thus says the LORD, the King and Redeemer of Israel, the LORD of Hosts: “I am the first and I am the last, and there is no God but Me.
- Isa 45:5, 6 - I am the LORD, and there is no other; there is no God but Me. I will equip you for battle, though you have not known Me, so that all may know, from where the sun rises to where it sets, that there is none but Me; I am the LORD, and there is no other.