May 7th 2 Kings, 15
15v1-7 Uzziah King of Judah
1: In the twenty and seventh year of Jeroboam king of Israel began Azariah son of Amaziah king of Judah to reign. 2: Sixteen years old was he when he began to reign, and he reigned two and fifty years in Jerusalem. And his mother's name was Jecholiah of Jerusalem. 3: And he did that which was right in the sight of the LORD, according to all that his father Amaziah had done; 4: Save that the high places were not removed: the people sacrificed and burnt incense still on the high places. 5: And the LORD smote the king, so that he was a leper unto the day of his death, and dwelt in a several house. And Jotham the king's son was over the house, judging the people of the land. 6: And the rest of the acts of Azariah, and all that he did, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah? 7: So 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.
15v8-12 Zechariah King of Israel
8: In the thirty and eighth year of Azariah king of Judah did Zachariah the son of Jeroboam reign over Israel in Samaria six months. 9: And he did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD, as his fathers had done: he departed not from the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who made Israel to sin. 10: And Shallum the son of Jabesh conspired against him, and smote him before the people, and slew him, and reigned in his stead. 11: And the rest of the acts of Zachariah, behold, they are written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel. 12: This was the word of the LORD which he spake unto Jehu, saying, Thy sons shall sit on the throne of Israel unto the fourth generation. And so it came to pass.
15v13-16 Shallum King of Israel
13: Shallum the son of Jabesh began to reign in the nine and thirtieth year of Uzziah king of Judah; and he reigned a full month in Samaria. 14: For Menahem the son of Gadi went up from Tirzah, and came to Samaria, and smote Shallum the son of Jabesh in Samaria, and slew him, and reigned in his stead. 15: And the rest of the acts of Shallum, and his conspiracy which he made, behold, they are written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel. 16: Then Menahem smote Tiphsah, and all that were therein, and the coasts thereof from Tirzah: because they opened not to him, therefore he smote it; and all the women therein that were with child he ripped up.
15v17-22 Menahem King of Israel
17: In the nine and thirtieth year of Azariah king of Judah began Menahem the son of Gadi to reign over Israel, and reigned ten years in Samaria. 18: And he did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD: he departed not all his days from the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who made Israel to sin. 19: And Pul the king of Assyria came against the land: and Menahem gave Pul a thousand talents of silver, that his hand might be with him to confirm the kingdom in his hand. 20: And Menahem exacted the money of Israel, even of all the mighty men of wealth, of each man fifty shekels of silver, to give to the king of Assyria. So the king of Assyria turned back, and stayed not there in the land. 21: And the rest of the acts of Menahem, and all that he did, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel? 22: And Menahem slept with his fathers; and Pekahiah his son reigned in his stead.
15v23-26 Pekahiah King of Israel
23: In the fiftieth year of Azariah king of Judah Pekahiah the son of Menahem began to reign over Israel in Samaria, and reigned two years. 24: And he did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD: he departed not from the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who made Israel to sin. 25: But Pekah the son of Remaliah, a captain of his, conspired against him, and smote him in Samaria, in the palace of the king's house, with Argob and Arieh, and with him fifty men of the Gileadites: and he killed him, and reigned in his room. 26: And the rest of the acts of Pekahiah, and all that he did, behold, they are written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel.
15v27-31 Pekah King of Israel
27: In the two and fiftieth year of Azariah king of Judah Pekah the son of Remaliah began to reign over Israel in Samaria, and reigned twenty years. 28: And he did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD: he departed not from the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who made Israel to sin. 29: In the days of Pekah king of Israel came Tiglath-pileser king of Assyria, and took Ijon, and Abel-beth-maachah, and Jonoah, and Kedesh, and Hazor, and Gilead, and Galilee, all the land of Naphtali, and carried them captive to Assyria. 30: And Hoshea the son of Elah made a conspiracy against Pekah the son of Remaliah, and smote him, and slew him, and reigned in his stead, in the twentieth year of Jotham the son of Uzziah. 31: And the rest of the acts of Pekah, and all that he did, behold, they are written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel.
15v32-38 Jotham King of Judah
32: In the second year of Pekah the son of Remaliah king of Israel began Jotham the son of Uzziah king of Judah to reign. 33: Five and twenty years old was he when he began to reign, and he reigned sixteen years in Jerusalem. And his mother's name was Jerusha, the daughter of Zadok. 34: And he did that which was right in the sight of the LORD: he did according to all that his father Uzziah had done. 35: Howbeit the high places were not removed: the people sacrificed and burned incense still in the high places. He built the higher gate of the house of the LORD. 36: Now the rest of the acts of Jotham, and all that he did, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah? 37: In those days the LORD began to send against Judah Rezin the king of Syria, and Pekah the son of Remaliah. 38: And 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, 16
16v1-20 Ahaz King of Judah
1: In the seventeenth year of Pekah the son of Remaliah Ahaz the son of Jotham king of Judah began to reign. 2: Twenty years old was Ahaz when he began to reign, and reigned sixteen years in Jerusalem, and did not that which was right in the sight of the LORD his God, like David his father. 3: But he walked in the way of the kings of Israel, yea, and made his son to pass through the fire, according to the abominations of the heathen, whom the LORD cast out from before the children of Israel. 4: And he sacrificed and burnt incense in the high places, and on the hills, and under every green tree. 5: Then Rezin king of Syria and Pekah son of Remaliah king of Israel came up to Jerusalem to war: and they besieged Ahaz, but could not overcome him. 6: At that time Rezin king of Syria recovered Elath to Syria, and drave the Jews from Elath: and the Syrians came to Elath, and dwelt there unto this day. 7: So Ahaz sent messengers to Tiglath-pileser king of Assyria, saying, I am thy servant and thy son: come up, and save me out of the hand of the king of Syria, and out of the hand of the king of Israel, which rise up against me. 8: And Ahaz 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 it for a present to the king of Assyria. 9: And the king of Assyria hearkened unto him: for the king of Assyria went up against Damascus, and took it, and carried the people of it captive to Kir, and slew Rezin. 10: And king Ahaz went to Damascus to meet Tiglath-pileser king of Assyria, and saw an altar that was at Damascus: and king Ahaz sent to Urijah the priest the fashion of the altar, and the pattern of it, according to all the workmanship thereof. 11: And Urijah the priest built an altar according to all that king Ahaz had sent from Damascus: so Urijah the priest made it against king Ahaz came from Damascus. 12: And when the king was come from Damascus, the king saw the altar: and the king approached to the altar, and offered thereon. 13: and he burnt his burnt offering and his meat offering, and poured his drink offering, and sprinkled the blood of his peace offerings, upon the altar. 14: And he brought also the brasen altar, which was before the LORD, from the forefront of the house, from between the altar and the house of the LORD, and put it on the north side of the altar. 15: And king Ahaz commanded Urijah the priest, saying, Upon the great altar burn the morning burnt offering, and the evening meat offering, and the king's burnt sacrifice, and his meat offering, with the burnt offering of all the people of the land, and their meat offering, and their drink offerings; and sprinkle upon it all the blood of the burnt offering, and all the blood of the sacrifice: and the brasen altar shall be for me to inquire by. 16: Thus did Urijah the priest, according to all that king Ahaz commanded. 17: And king Ahaz cut off the borders of the bases, and removed the laver from off them; and took down the sea from off the brasen oxen that were under it, and put it upon a pavement of stones. 18: And the covert for the sabbath that they had built in the house, and the king's entry without, turned he from the house of the LORD for the king of Assyria. 19: Now the rest of the acts of Ahaz which he did, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah? 20: And Ahaz slept with his fathers, and was buried with his fathers in the city of David: and Hezekiah his son reigned in his stead.
2 Kings, 17
D The Captivity of Israel
17v1-6 Hosea King of Israel
1: In the twelfth year of Ahaz king of Judah began Hoshea the son of Elah to reign in Samaria over Israel nine years. 2: And he did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD, but not as the kings of Israel that were before him. 3: Against him came up Shalmaneser king of Assyria; and Hoshea became his servant, and gave him presents. 4: And the king of Assyria found conspiracy in Hoshea: for he had sent messengers to So king of Egypt, and brought no present 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. 5: Then the king of Assyria came up throughout all the land, and went up to Samaria, and besieged it three years. 6: In the ninth year of Hoshea the king of Assyria took Samaria, and carried Israel away into Assyria, and placed them in Halah and in Habor by the river of Gozan, and in the cities of the Medes.
17v7-23 The reasons for Samaria’s fall
7: For so it was, that the children of Israel had sinned against the LORD their God, which had brought them up out of the land of Egypt, from under the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt, and had feared other gods, 8: And walked in the statutes of the heathen, whom the LORD cast out from before the children of Israel, and of the kings of Israel, which they had made. 9: And the children of Israel did secretly those things that were not right against the LORD their God, and they built them high places in all their cities, from the tower of the watchmen to the fenced city. 10: And they set them up images and groves in every high hill, and under every green tree: 11: And there they burnt incense in all the high places, as did the heathen whom the LORD carried away before them; and wrought wicked things to provoke the LORD to anger: 12: For they served idols, whereof the LORD had said unto them, Ye shall not do this thing. 13: Yet the LORD testified against Israel, and against Judah, by all the prophets, and by all the seers, saying, Turn ye from your evil ways, and keep my ommandments and my statutes, according to all the law which I commanded your fathers, and which I sent to you by my servants the prophets. 14: Notwithstanding they would not hear, but hardened their necks, like to the neck of their fathers, that did not believe in the LORD their God. 15: And they rejected his statutes, and his covenant that he made with their fathers, and his testimonies which he testified against them; and they followed vanity, and became vain, and went after the heathen that were round about them, concerning whom the LORD had charged them, that they should not do like them. 16: And they left all the commandments of the LORD their God, and made them molten images, even two calves, and made a grove, and worshipped all the host of heaven, and served Baal. 17: And they caused their sons and their daughters to pass through the fire, and used divination and enchantments, and sold themselves to do evil in the sight of the LORD, to provoke him to anger. 18: Therefore the LORD was very angry with Israel, and removed them out of his sight: there was none left but the tribe of Judah only. 19: Also Judah kept not the commandments of the LORD their God, but walked in the statutes of Israel which they made. 20: And the LORD rejected all the seed of Israel, and afflicted them, and delivered them into the hand of spoilers, until he had cast them out of his sight. 21: For he rent Israel from the house of David; and they made Jeroboam the son of Nebat king: and Jeroboam drave Israel from following the LORD, and made them sin a great sin. 22: For the children of Israel walked in all the sins of Jeroboam which he did; they departed not from them; 23: Until the LORD removed Israel out of his sight, as he had said by all his servants the prophets. So was Israel carried away out of their own land to Assyria unto this day.
17v24-41 Assyria settles foreigners in Israel
24: And the king of Assyria brought men from Babylon, and from Cuthah, and from Ava, and from Hamath, and from Sepharvaim, and placed them in the cities of Samaria instead of the children of Israel: and they possessed Samaria, and dwelt in the cities thereof. 25: And so it was at the beginning of their dwelling there, that they feared not the LORD: therefore the LORD sent lions among them, which slew some of them. 26: Wherefore they spake to the king of Assyria, saying, The nations which thou hast removed, and placed in the cities of Samaria, know not the manner of the God of the land: therefore he hath sent lions among them, and, behold, they slay them, because they know not the manner of the God of the land. 27: Then the king of Assyria commanded, saying, Carry thither one of the priests whom ye brought from thence; and let them go and dwell there, and let him teach them the manner of the God of the land. 28: Then one of the priests whom they had carried away from Samaria came and dwelt in Bethel, and taught them how they should fear the LORD. 29: Howbeit every nation made gods of their own, and put them in the houses of the high places which the Samaritans had made, every nation in their cities wherein they dwelt. 30: And the men of Babylon made Succoth-benoth, and the men of Cuth made Nergal, and the men of Hamath made Ashima, 31: And the Avites made Nibhaz and Tartak, and the Sepharvites burnt their children in fire to Adrammelech and Anammelech, the gods of Sepharvaim. 32: So they feared the LORD, and made unto themselves of the lowest of them priests of the high places, which sacrificed for them in the houses of the high places. 33: They feared the LORD, and served their own gods, after the manner of the nations whom they carried away from thence. 34: Unto this day they do after the former manners: they fear not the LORD, neither do they after their statutes, or after their ordinances, or after the law and commandment which the LORD commanded the children of Jacob, whom he named Israel; 35: With whom the LORD had made a covenant, and charged them saying, Ye shall not fear other gods, nor bow yourselves to them, nor serve them, nor sacrifice to them: 36: But the LORD, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt with great power and a stretched out arm, him shall ye fear, and him shall ye worship, and to him shall ye do sacrifice. 37: And the statutes, and the ordinances, and the law, and the commandment, which he wrote for you, ye shall observe to do for evermore; and ye shall not fear other gods. 38: And the covenant that I have made with you ye shall not forget; neither shall ye fear other gods. 39: But the LORD your God ye shall fear; and he shall deliver you out of the hand of all your enemies. 40: Howbeit they did not hearken, but they did after their former manner. 41: So these nations feared the LORD, and served their graven images, both their children, and their children's children: as did their fathers, so do they unto this day.
In today’s Bible study we have what appears to be to me like a procession at a carnival. In great pomp and ceremony kings come into view and passing by pass on one after another. So let’s look at these kings and see what is interesting about them. The first king is the King Uzziah, king of Judah. He began to reign when he was only 16 yrs of age and he reigned for 52 yrs in Jerusalem. He was a good king he lived in constant fear of the Lord doing right in Gods eyes. But he didn’t remove the secret places of idol worship. The Lord judged him and he was a leper till he died. He lived separately from ordinary men because of his disease. When he died the Lord began speaking to Isaiah the Prophet. Next we have Zechariah the king of the northern kingdom. He only reigned for 6 months because he did evil in Gods sight. A long life was a sign of righteousness under the Mosaic Law. The northern kingdom went from bad to worse and became so bad that the judgment of God came on them and removed them from the land altogether. The next king of Israel was Shallum and he reigned for a full 30 days. He hardly got time to begin before the Lord judged him. Then we have Menahem king of Israel. He reigned for 10 yrs. He was another bad one. He did evil in Gods sight. The Lord sent the Assyrian king against him. Menahem pacified the Assyrian king by taxing his people and handing over a king’s ransom. The next king was the son of Menahem Penahiah – king of Israel. He managed only 2 yrs, because he caused Israel to sin against their Lord. He faced the assassin too. Next we have Pekah – king of Israel. He reigned for 20 years. But he was also a bad King. The Lord sent Tiglath-pileser (great name) who captured a lot of cities and enslaved a lot of people. The next king is Jotham – king of Judah. The southern kingdom had altogether a better set of kings which goes to show that righteousness exalts a nation but sin is a reproach to any people. He was only 25 when he was crowned and he held the kingdom together for 16 yrs. He was another good king. But the people were not completely dedicated to the Lord. Then Ahaz became King of Judah. He was 2o yrs old when he began and he reigned for 16 yrs. And he was not a good king. He led Judah into child sacrifice and other abominations. The Lord sent the Syrians against him so he appealed to Tiglath-pileser for help. He ordered the desecration of the holy vessels of the temple using them for idol worship. Then we come to the sad time when the northern kingdom is so weak militarily and so perverted in religion that the Lord brings the Assyrians in to take them all away into captivity from which they never recovered. Even today the ten northern tribes are lost in the nations of the world. Hosea took the throne of Israel but although he sent money and goods it never pacified the freedom of Israel. Hoshea was an evil king. Shalmaneser king of Assyria came against him. He was imprisoned and in the end the Assyrians came and took all the people of the northern kingdom Israel away into captivity and Samaria was destroyed. Then the scribe writes a piece explaining why this disaster had happened. They never fully followed the Lord and in secret they practised the arts of witchcraft and idolatry. The LORD sent prophets commanding that Israel should turn from their evil ways but they took no notice of these messengers. They would not hear and they would not believe the Lord when he testified against them. They murdered their own children to the cults of Satan and this caused the LORD to be very angry with them so that he removed them out of his sight but he left Judah. The next thing that the Assyrians did was to settle their own people in the northern territories. But they did not fear the Lord so the LORD sent lions among them. The Assyrians asked that priest might be found that would teach these heathens how to fear the Lord in the northern territories. So a priest came and taught them in Bethel. They feared the Lord but they worshipped their own gods. When the priest tried to explain how they were to fear the Lord they took no notice of him. This was the political and religious situation that continued till the time of Christ and onward. When Christ came he came preaching to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. And it was said of his ministry that –
Isaiah, 9v 1: Nevertheless the dimness shall not be such as was in her vexation, when at the first he lightly afflicted the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, and afterward did more grievously afflict her by the way of the sea, beyond Jordan, in Galilee of the nations. 2: The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined.