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2 Kings 15-17

Supplemental notes for the Daily Bible Study Bible Reading Plan

by Wayne Blank

2 Kings Chapter 15

Azariah, king of Judah, had a long reign, 52 years, that despite the length was hardly a success. Like so many other of the Kings of Israel and Judah, Azariah was obedient to The Lord for as long and as far as it suited him i.e. "he did what was right in the eyes of The Lord ... nevertheless the High Places were not taken away." The Lord afflicted Azariah with leprosy as a punishment, which resulted in the king remaining in isolation while "Jotham the king's son was over the household, governing the people of the land."

Map Of The Assyrian Empire

"In the twenty-seventh year of Jeroboam king of Israel Azariah the son of Amaziah, king of Judah, began to reign. He was sixteen years old when he began to reign, and he reigned fifty-two years in Jerusalem. His mother's name was Jecoliah of Jerusalem. And he did what was right in the eyes of The Lord, according to all that his father Amaziah had done. Nevertheless the high places were not taken away; the people still sacrificed and burned incense on the high places.

And The Lord smote the king, so that he was a leper to the day of his death, and he dwelt in a separate house. And Jotham the king's son was over the household, governing the people of the land.

And Azariah slept with his fathers, and they buried him with his fathers in The City of David, and Jotham his son reigned in his stead." (2 Kings 15:1-5,7 RSV)

Zechariah king of Israel (note how these chapters give an account of the kings of The Southern Kingdom of "Judah" in Judea and The Northern Kingdom of "Israel" in Samaria and Galilee) also "did what was evil in the sight of The Lord, as his fathers had done." Zechariah was assassinated (see also Assassins) which fulfilled a Prophecy from The Lord (see also Israelite Dynasties).

"In the thirty-eighth year of Azariah king of Judah Zechariah the son of Jeroboam reigned over Israel in Samaria six months. And he did what was evil [see Evil Means Fool] in the sight of The Lord, as his fathers had done. He did not depart from the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, which he made Israel to sin.

Shallum the son of Jabesh conspired against him, and struck him down at Ibleam, and killed him, and reigned in his stead. Now the rest of the deeds of Zechariah, behold, they are written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Israel. This was the promise of The Lord which he gave to Jehu, "Your sons shall sit upon the throne of Israel to the fourth generation." And so it came to pass." (2 Kings 15:8-12 RSV)

Shallum of Israel was also assassinated, after only one month. The assassin, Menahem, then assumed the throne for himself.

"Shallum the son of Jabesh began to reign in the thirty-ninth year of Uzziah king of Judah, and he reigned one month in Samaria. Then Menahem the son of Gadi came up from Tirzah and came to Samaria, and he struck down Shallum the son of Jabesh in Samaria and slew him, and reigned in his stead.

Now the rest of the deeds of Shallum, and the conspiracy which he made, behold, they are written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Israel. At that time Menahem sacked Tappuah and all who were in it and its territory from Tirzah on; because they did not open it to him, therefore he sacked it, and he ripped up all the women in it who were with child." (2 Kings 15:13-16 RSV)

Menahem also "did what was evil in the sight of The Lord" so The Lord permitted Israel's enemies to enter again. In this case it was the Assyrians (see Ancient Empires - Assyria) who were beginning to do to Israel what they would later complete with The Galilee Captivity (see below).

"In the thirty-ninth year of Azariah king of Judah Menahem the son of Gadi began to reign over Israel, and he reigned ten years in Samaria. And he did what was evil in the sight of The Lord; he did not depart all his days from all the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, which he made Israel to sin.

Pul the king of Assyria came against the land; and Menahem gave Pul a thousand talents of silver, that he might help him to confirm his hold of the royal power. Menahem exacted the money from Israel, that is, from all the wealthy men, fifty shekels of silver from every man, to give to the king of Assyria. So the king of Assyria turned back, and did not stay there in the land." (2 Kings 15:17-20 RSV)

Menahem's son Pekahiah (mis)ruled Israel for the next two years before he was assassinated by one of his army officers, Pekah, who then made himself king.

"And Menahem slept with his fathers, and Pekahiah his son reigned in his stead. In the fiftieth year of Azariah king of Judah Pekahiah the son of Menahem began to reign over Israel in Samaria, and he reigned two years. And he did what was evil in the sight of The Lord; he did not turn away from the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, which he made Israel to sin. And Pekah the son of Remaliah, his captain, conspired against him with fifty men of the Gileadites, and slew him in Samaria, in the citadel of the king's house; he slew him, and reigned in his stead." (2 Kings 15:22-25 RSV)

Pekah of Israel reigned twenty years, much in the same (evil) spirit as most of those before him, "he did what was evil in the sight of The Lord." The Galilee Captivity of Israel by Assyria occurred during the time of Pekah i.e. "In the days of Pekah king of Israel Tiglath-pileser king of Assyria came ... and he carried the people captive to Assyria."

"In the fifty-second year of Azariah king of Judah Pekah the son of Remaliah began to reign over Israel in Samaria, and reigned twenty years. And he did what was evil in the sight of The Lord; he did not depart from the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, which he made Israel to sin.

In the days of Pekah king of Israel Tiglath-pileser king of Assyria came and captured Ijon, Abel-beth-maacah, Janoah, Kedesh, Hazor, Gilead, and Galilee, all the land of Naphtali; and he carried the people captive to Assyria. Then Hoshea the son of Elah made a conspiracy against Pekah the son of Remaliah, and struck him down, and slew him, and reigned in his stead, in the twentieth year of Jotham the son of Uzziah." (2 Kings 15:27-30 RSV)

In the meantime, in the south, "Jotham the son of Uzziah, king of Judah, began to reign. The Assyrians and Syria both threatened the southern kingdom, but they did not prevail as Assyria did against the northern kingdom of Israel. Judah would however later be conquered by the Babylonians (see Ancient Empires - Babylon and Why Babylon?).

"In the second year of Pekah the son of Remaliah, king of Israel, Jotham the son of Uzziah, king of Judah, began to reign. He was twenty-five years old when he began to reign, and he reigned sixteen years in Jerusalem. His mother's name was Jerusha the daughter of Zadok. And he did what was right in the eyes of The Lord, according to all that his father Uzziah had done. Nevertheless the high places were not removed; the people still sacrificed and burned incense on the high places.

In those days The Lord began to send Rezin the king of Syria and Pekah the son of Remaliah against Judah. Jotham slept with his fathers, and was buried with his fathers in the city of David his father; and Ahaz his son reigned in his stead." (2 Kings 15:32-25,37-38 RSV)

2 Kings Chapter 16

Ahaz of Judah continued the horrendous idolatry ("He even burned his son as an offering, according to the abominable practices of the nations whom The Lord drove out before the people of Israel") and so faced The Lord's wrath, through the enemies of Israel who were allowed to grow strong.

Syria

"In the seventeenth year of Pekah the son of Remaliah, Ahaz the son of Jotham, king of Judah, began to reign. Ahaz was twenty years old when he began to reign, and he reigned sixteen years in Jerusalem. And he did not do what was right in the eyes of The Lord his God, as his father David had done, but he walked in the way of the kings of Israel. He even burned his son as an offering, according to the abominable practices of the nations whom The Lord drove out before the people of Israel. And he sacrificed and burned incense on the high places, and on the hills, and under every green tree." (2 Kings 16:1-4 RSV)

In an attempt to save his kingdom, Ahaz bribed the king of Assyria (not to be confused with Syria) into a mercenary war.

"So Ahaz sent messengers to Tiglath-pileser king of Assyria, saying, "I am your servant and your son. Come up, and rescue me from the hand of the king of Syria and from the hand of the king of Israel, who are attacking me." Ahaz also took the silver and gold that was found in the house of The Lord and in the treasures of the king's house, and sent a present to the king of Assyria. And the king of Assyria hearkened to him; the king of Assyria marched up against Damascus, and took it, carrying its people captive to Kir, and he killed Rezin." (2 Kings 16:7-9 RSV)

2 Kings Chapter 17

Hoshea was the last king of the northern kingdom of Israel; "In the ninth year of Hoshea the king of Assyria captured Samaria, and he carried the Israelites away to Assyria" - "the lost ten tribes" became lost to history, and to themselves, until Christ's return (see The Gathering of Israel and Judah).

In Exile

"In the twelfth year of Ahaz king of Judah Hoshea the son of Elah began to reign in Samaria over Israel, and he reigned nine years. And he did what was evil in the sight of The Lord, yet not as the kings of Israel who were before him.

Against him came up Shalmaneser king of Assyria; and Hoshea became his vassal, and paid him tribute. But the king of Assyria found treachery in Hoshea; for he had sent messengers to So, king of Egypt, and offered no tribute [see Custom and Tribute] to the king of Assyria, as he had done year by year; therefore the king of Assyria shut him up, and bound him in prison. Then the king of Assyria invaded all the land and came to Samaria, and for three years he besieged it. In the ninth year of Hoshea the king of Assyria captured Samaria, and he carried the Israelites away to Assyria, and placed them in Halah, and on the Habor, the river of Gozan, and in the cities of the Medes." (2 Kings 17:1-6 RSV)

The fall of Israel was simply the justice for a kingdom that had been misused by the people to whom it was given by The Lord. What The Lord gives, He will take away if it is perverted.

"And this was so, because the people of Israel had sinned against The Lord their God, who had brought them up out of the land of Egypt from under the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt, and had feared other gods 17:8 and walked in the customs of the nations whom The Lord drove out before the people of Israel, and in the customs which the kings of Israel had introduced." (2 Kings 17:7-8 RSV)

"Yet The Lord warned Israel and Judah by every prophet and every seer, saying, "Turn from your evil ways and keep My commandments and My statutes, in accordance with all the law which I commanded your fathers, and which I sent to you by My servants the prophets." But they would not listen, but were stubborn, as their fathers had been, who did not believe in The Lord their God." (2 Kings 17:13-14 RSV)

"Therefore The Lord was very angry with Israel, and removed them out of His sight" (2 Kings 17:18 RSV)

In place of the Israelites, the Assyrians brought in foreigners to settle the land of Israel. By the time of the first coming of Jesus Christ, the descendants of those people had become known as the Samaritans (see The Samaritans Of Israel).

"And the king of Assyria brought people from Babylon, Cuthah, Avva, Hamath, and Sephar-vaim, and placed them in the cities of Samaria instead of the people of Israel; and they took possession of Samaria, and dwelt in its cities." (2 Kings 17:24 RSV)

Fact Finder: What did the ultimate King of Israel and Judah (see Israelite Monarchy - The Messiah) warn about "the Holy place" in Jerusalem just before His return?
See "Then let those who are in Judea"; also Sodom and Egypt and How Does The Ark Get To Heaven?


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