Characters / Books of Kings

Solomon

"Consider the lilies of the field. Not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed as well as these."

The Queen of Sheba

  • Did They or Didn't They?: Debate rages to this day as to whether or not she was ever intimately involved with Solomon during her visit. (The Ethiopian monarchy claimed to have secret books that not only say they did, but that the resulting child founded their dynasty. Most other texts, however, make her visit to Solomon out to have been strictly a business deal.)
  • The Smart Girl: Was pretty well-read and eloquent.
  • Where The Hell Is Sheba?: Debates range to this day.

Rehoboam, king of Judah

Jeroboam, king of Israel

  • Arch-Enemy: To Solomon.
  • Fallen Hero: Started as The Chosen One. Before Ahab, bad Israelite kings were described as "walking in the ways of Jeroboam, who led Israel to sin."
  • Noble Fugitive: Fled to Egypt after antagonizing Solomon and came back only when he died.

Zimri, king of Israel

  • Driven to Suicide: Set his palace on fire.
  • Klingon Promotion: Became King by assassination. His "reign" lasted a week. Before Judas, Zimri was the byword for "traitor." Jezebel called Jehu a "Zimri."

Ahab

"I will purge the house of Ahab like I had done to the houses of Jeroboam and Baasha. Anyone who dies in the city will be eaten by dogs and anyone who dies in the country will be eaten by birds!"

  • Corner of Woe: After Naboth refused to sell his vineyard to Ahab, Ahab proceeded to curl up on his couch, refuse to eat and go into a truly royal sulk.
  • Heel–Face Revolving Door: At times, when listening to Elijah, he could be brave and righteous. (He even dared to taunt Ben-Hadad in 1 Kings 20:11 about his Assumed Win.) Yet Jezebel kept dragging him back into his old wicked habits. Even after repenting of murdering Naboth for his field at Elijah's rebuke and thereby being spared his punishment, Ahab soon went back to committing idolatry with Jezebel.
  • Heel Realization: After Elijah declared to him the fate of his family, Ahab tore his clothing and fasted, humbling himself before God.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: His plan to have King Jehoshaphat dress as him to draw fire away from him while he disguised himself as a common soldier backfired when one of the arrows the enemy archers were firing into Israel's armies at random struck him down just like any other common soldier.
  • Manipulative Bastard: He was always scheming to displace the Davidic dynasty in Judah with his own through intermarriage, though that was more Jezebel's plan than his idea.

Jezebel

The very dogs will eat up Jezebel in the plot of land of Jezreel.

  • Apocalypse Maiden: She certainly brought a major holocaust to Israel with her assault on God's prophets and other true believers.
  • Arch-Enemy: To Elijah the Tishbite.
  • Arranged Marriage: Was a Phoenician princess given to Ahab as a means to seal a political alliance between their two nations.
  • Beauty Is Bad: According to some, the Trope Codifier
  • Character Exaggeration: Over the years, her defining feature has become a sexual, seductive nature when, in reality, she was an influential and powerful, if evil, queen.
  • Curse: Elijah foretold that Jezebel would be eaten by dogs when she died. He was right, and it gets described in gory detail.
  • Disney Villain Death: At least the thrown-out-of-the-tower bit. What comes after, on the other hand...
  • Defiant to the End: Basically, her taunt to Jehu meant "Considering what happened to Zimri, what makes you think you'll fare any better?" She knew she was beaten, but she wasn't going to repent.
  • The Dreaded: Even Elijah, who could call down fire from Heaven, was scared of her.
  • Face Death with Dignity: She knew that she wasn't going to survive her confrontation with Jehu, so she just put on her best clothes and got ready for whatever he might do.
    • Name's the Same: She is confused with a pagan cult leader mentioned in Revelation.
  • God Save Us from the Queen!
  • Kick the Dog: After her husband failed to buy Naboth's vineyard, she just coldly arranged his death. And embarrassed him in the process.
  • Lady Macbeth: The Older Than Feudalism example.

Elijah the Tishbite

He went and dwelt by the brook Cherith, that is before Jordan. And the ravens brought him bread and flesh in the morning, and bread and flesh in the evening; and he drank of the brook.

  • Angel Unaware: Jewish tradition has him taking up this role. Elijah was human back in Biblical days, but he never died and, according to legend, ascended to Heaven while still alive. To this day, it is believed he turns up on Earth sometimes to deliver unexpected help.
  • Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence: He went to Heaven in a fiery whirlwind, rather than die. When he ascended, his robes/coat fell onto his apprentice/friend/padawan Elisha, thus inventing the phrase "Taking up the mantle of the prophet." Many still leave a seat open for him at feasts, because they believe that he will come back. In fact, the last verse of the Old Testament refers to Elijah coming back to announce the Day of the Lord.
  • Badass Longcoat: The Coat, or Mantle of The Prophet. It was instrumental in Elijah and Elisha's first meeting, Elijah threw The Coat at Elisha, who instinctively caught it. Later, Elijah parted a river with with it, just before giving it to Elisha, who also used it perform miracles.
  • Clever Crows: God sent ravens to feed him.
  • Friend to All Living Things: When he was hungry, ravens would bring food to him. Despite his skill in killing people, he was very good with animals and kids. It might have something to do with how he grew up in the wilderness.
  • Last of His Kind:
    • He thought that he was the last surviving prophet and the last faithful person left for a while. God told him that he was not alone and, even if he is the last prophet, he can always train some more prophets, like Elisha.
    • He and Elisha were also the last major Old Testament characters to work miracles. (Though many characters in the New Testament worked miracles.)
  • Playing with Fire: His specialty.
  • Platonic Life Partners: Him and the widow, arguably.
  • You Are Not Alone: God showed up, not in a maelstrom of fire, not in a howling wind/hurricane, but in a still, small voice to tell Elijah this.

Elisha

The spirit of Elijah doth rest on Elisha.

  • Arc Words: His last words to Elijah, "My father, my father, the chariot of Israel, and the horsemen thereof," were spoken to him also as he lay dying. No one knows what it means even now.
  • Badass Longcoat: Given to him by Elijah, later used to part the sea, proving himself the true prophet, thus inventing the phrase "Taking up the mantle of the prophet."
  • Bald of Awesome: Never, under any circumstances, insult him for it. Ever. Forty-two youths learned this the hard way.
  • Bears are Bad News: Summons them to maul his enemies.
  • Berserk Button: Never insult his mentor and NEVER mock his baldness in front of him.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: If summoning two bears to maul 42 youths because they mocked your baldness is any implication. To be fair though, some interpret that scene as those youths threatening to kill him.
  • Dub Induced Plothole: A nice prophet guy summoning bears to maul what King James and co. translate as "children" makes a lot more sense when you look at the actual Hebrew word and see what it means and how it was used. He was being mocked by a gang of 42 young men (as in late teens to early 20's), which could have been a threat, especially if they were soldiers.
  • Nice Guy: Surprisingly so, especially when compared to his mentor, Elijah. While most of Elijah's miracles were powerful, violent and fiery, Elisha's miracles were mostly to heal, save or help people. Elijah showed thousands of people the power of God, while Elisha preached to individuals and showed God's helpful, loving side. Just don't insult Elijah, or mock his Bald of Awesome. However, Elisha was not good with kids, nor was he as good with animals as Elijah. Maybe it was because he was a city kid?
  • Think Nothing of It: He refused to take a material reward for curing Naaman of leprosy; however, his friend Gehazi gladly took Naaman's stuff, and for that, he got leprosy himself.

Jehu, king of Israel

And his captains threw their capes in the air, blew their trumpets and shouted "Jehu is king!"

  • Drives Like Crazy: His master the king recognized him (2 Kings 9:20) because he drives his chariot "like a madman."
  • Klingon Promotion: He earned his with a vengeance.
  • Knight Templar: Though God generally approved of Jehu's purging of Jezebel's idolatry, an oracle to Hosea later condemned him for overdoing it by slaughtering so many others. Also, his zeal for violence didn't translate so much into an actual zeal for worshiping God, since he allowed the golden calves from Jereboam's day to go on standing.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: Among those he killed was his master's cousin, the king of Judah. This triggered Athaliah's purge.
  • The Purge: Killed Jezebel and all Baal priests as well as Ahab's relatives.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Appointed by God to eradicate pagan worship in Israel, he carried out his assignment with great enthusiasm, to the point that he badly exceeded his mandate.

Joash, king of Judah

Athaliah, queen of Judah

Hezekiah, king of Judah

Josiah, king of Judah

  • Heroic B.S.O.D.: He found a "Book of the Law" (possibly Deuteronomy) and ripped his clothes and mourned because he realized how far his nation had forgotten its roots.
  • Shoot the Shaggy Dog: After he dies, his kingdom falls right back into the sinful practices he worked to end.
  • Tragic Mistake: Going to war with Egypt. He was killed in battle and Judah just couldn't recover.

Hosea

"Go and get married; your wife will be unfaithful, and your children will be just like her. In the same way my people have left me and became unfaithful."

  • Arranged Marriage: God told him to marry an unfaithful harlot as an object lesson to Israel's idolatry.
  • Love Martyr: Part of the point God was making was to tell Hosea's audience "Look at what Gomer is doing to him: he gives her his home, his reputation, his good name, and everything, and see how she repays him! How can he go on loving her and taking her back when she treats him that way, you may ask? Well, I've been asking myself the exact same thing about you people, because that's the exact same way you've been treating me!"
  • My Girl Is a Slut: A rather tragic subversion, in that Hosea was trying to make a respectable wife out of her, but she kept going back to old habits.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: The Blue to Amos' Red. He spoke out against Israel's internal spiritual problem.
  • "World of Cardboard" Speech

Amos

"Let justice flow like a river, righteousness like a never-failing stream!"

  • Bears are Bad News: 5:19
  • Justice Will Prevail: He starts off condemning each of Judea's neighbors for their sins and prophesying how they'll be punished for them, and then circles home to Judea and finally Samaria (northern Israel), telling people they'd better either shape up and start embracing justice and righteousness again, or God will bring them to justice by punishing them severely for their unrighteousness.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: The Red to Hosea's Blue. He was a plain-spoken Judean farmer who railed against Israel's corrupt affluence.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: See above.

Jeremiah

"Wherever I speak, I cry out proclaiming violence and destruction. So the word of God has brought me insult and reproach all day long."

  • All of the Other Reindeer: Jeremiah could not catch a break from anyone in Jerusalem, even stating that his "friends" were all waiting for him to slip up so they could get him arrested for treason and silence him.
  • Cassandra Truth: Even after Jerusalem's destruction, the remaining Jews who'd seen every last one of his prophecies come true still refused to follow his advice to stay where they were and submit to Babylon, dragging him off to Egypt with them where he made his final prophecy that Babylon would also eventually conquer Egypt (which it did) and therefore they had fled there in vain (as they had).
  • It Sucks to Be the Chosen One: Jeremiah is known as the "weeping prophet" for his oracles, which sound like the laments of a man living in a waking nightmare. On several occasions, he speaks of being suicidally depressed and wishes he'd never been born.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: The Blue to Ezekiel's Red. Jeremiah spends a lot of time weeping buckets and pleading with God to stop forcing him to keep prophesying all the disasters to come, but God refuses to relent.

Ezekiel

"They are a hard and obstinate people so I will make you as hard and obstinate as they."

  • Celebrity Is Overrated: People finally listened to Ezekiel when Jerusalem fell, but it was clear to him that they still had not taken God's words to heart.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: At one point, Ezekiel makes a model of Jerusalem and besieges it in the city square for about fourteen months. Another time, he shaves his head and beard with a sword, then runs about town with a portion of the hair, hitting it with the sword.
  • Good Shepherd: He cultivated the image of God as a shepherd better than anyone.
  • Extreme Omnivore: Ate a scroll containing God's word. According to him, it tasted like honey.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: The Red to Jeremiah's Blue. God promised to make him just as stubborn and hard-headed as the unrepentant Israelites to whom he was preaching.

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