2 Kings, 23
Josiah brings reforms
1: And the king sent, and they gathered unto him all the elders of Judah and of Jerusalem. 2: And the king went up into the house of the LORD, and all the men of Judah and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem with him, and the priests, and the prophets, and all the people, both small and great: and he read in their ears all the words of the book of the covenant which was found in the house of the LORD. 3: And the king stood by a pillar, and made a covenant before the LORD, to walk after the LORD, and to keep his commandments and his testimonies and his statutes with all their heart and all their soul, to perform the words of this covenant that were written in this book. And all the people stood to the covenant. 4: And the king commanded Hilkiah the high priest, and the priests of the second order, and the keepers of the door, to bring forth out of the temple of the LORD all the vessels that were made for Baal, and for the grove, and for all the host of heaven: and he burned them without Jerusalem in the fields of Kidron, and carried the ashes of them unto Bethel. 5: And he put down the idolatrous priests, whom the kings of Judah had ordained to burn incense in the high places in the cities of Judah, and in the places round about Jerusalem; them also that burned incense unto Baal, to the sun, and to the moon, and to the planets, and to all the host of heaven. 6: And he brought out the grove from the house of the LORD, without Jerusalem, unto the brook Kidron, and burned it at the brook Kidron, and stamped it small to powder, and cast the powder thereof upon the graves of the children of the people. 7: And he brake down the houses of the sodomites, that were by the house of the LORD, where the women wove hangings for the grove. 8: And he brought all the priests out of the cities of Judah, and defiled the high places where the priests had burned incense, from Geba to Beer-sheba, and brake down the high places of the gates that were in the entering in of the gate of Joshua the governor of the city, which were on a man's left hand at the gate of the city. 9: Nevertheless the priests of the high places came not up to the altar of the LORD in Jerusalem, but they did eat of the unleavened bread among their brethren. 10: And he defiled Topheth, which is in the valley of the children of Hinnom, that no man might make his son or his daughter to pass through the fire to Molech. 11: And he took away the horses that the kings of Judah had given to the sun, at the entering in of the house of the LORD, by the chamber of Nathan-melech the chamberlain, which was in the suburbs, and burned the chariots of the sun with fire. 12: And the altars that were on the top of the upper chamber of Ahaz, which the kings of Judah had made, and the altars which Manasseh had made in the two courts of the house of the LORD, did the king beat down, and brake them down from thence, and cast the dust of them into the brook Kidron. 13: And the high places that were before Jerusalem, which were on the right hand of the mount of corruption, which Solomon the king of Israel had builded for Ashtoreth the abomination of the Zidonians, and for Chemosh the abomination of the Moabites, and for Milcom the abomination of the children of Ammon, did the king defile. 14: And he brake in pieces the images, and cut down the groves, and filled their places with the bones of men. 15: Moreover the altar that was at Bethel, and the high place which Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who made Israel to sin, had made, both that altar and the high place he brake down, and burned the high place, and stamped it small to powder, and burned the grove. 16: And as Josiah turned himself, he spied the sepulchres that were there in the mount, and sent, and took the bones out of the sepulchres, and burned them upon the altar, and polluted it, according to the word of the LORD which the man of God proclaimed, who proclaimed these words. 17: Then he said, What title is that that I see? And the men of the city told him, It is the sepulchre of the man of God, which came from Judah, and proclaimed these things that thou hast done against the altar of Bethel. 18: And he said, Let him alone; let no man move his bones. So they let his bones alone, with the bones of the prophet that came out of Samaria. 19: And all the houses also of the high places that were in the cities of Samaria, which the kings of Israel had made to provoke the LORD to anger, Josiah took away, and did to them according to all the acts that he had done in Bethel. 20: And he slew all the priests of the high places that were there upon the altars, and burned men's bones upon them, and returned to Jerusalem. 21: And the king commanded all the people, saying, Keep the passover unto the LORD your God, as it is written in the book of this covenant. 22: Surely there was not holden such a passover from the days of the judges that judged Israel, nor in all the days of the kings of Israel, nor of the kings of Judah; 23: But in the eighteenth year of king Josiah, wherein this passover was holden to the LORD in Jerusalem. 24: Moreover the workers with familiar spirits, and the wizards, and the images, and the idols, and all the abominations that were spied in the land of Judah and in Jerusalem, did Josiah put away, that he might perform the words of the law which were written in the book that Hilkiah the priest found in the house of the LORD. 25: And like unto him was there no king before him, that turned to the LORD with all his heart, and with all his soul, and with all his might, according to all the law of Moses; neither after him arose there any like him. 26: Notwithstanding the LORD turned not from the fierceness of his great wrath, wherewith his anger was kindled against Judah, because of all the provocations that Manasseh had provoked him withal. 27: And the LORD said, I will remove Judah also out of my sight, as I have removed Israel, and will cast off this city Jerusalem which I have chosen, and the house of which I said, My name shall be there.
28: Now the rest of the acts of Josiah, and all that he did, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah? 29: In his days Pharaoh-nechoh king of Egypt went up against the king of Assyria to the river Euphrates: and king Josiah went against him; and he slew him at Megiddo, when he had seen him. 30: And his servants carried him in a chariot dead from Megiddo, and brought him to Jerusalem, and buried him in his own sepulchre. And the people of the land took Jehoahaz the son of Josiah, and anointed him, and made him king in his father's stead.
Jehohaz King of Judah
31: Jehoahaz was twenty and three years old when he began to reign; and he reigned three months in Jerusalem. And his mother's name was Hamutal, the daughter of Jeremiah of Libnah. 32: And he did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD, according to all that his fathers had done. 33: And Pharaoh-nechoh put him in bands at Riblah in the land of Hamath, that he might not reign in Jerusalem; and put the land to a tribute of an hundred talents of silver, and a talent of gold. 34: And Pharaoh-nechoh made Eliakim the son of Josiah king in the room of Josiah his father, and turned his name to Jehoiakim, and took Jehoahaz away: and he came to Egypt, and died there.
Jehoiakim King of Judah
35: And Jehoiakim gave the silver and the gold to Pharaoh; but he taxed the land to give the money according to the commandment of Pharaoh: he exacted the silver and the gold of the people of the land, of every one according to his taxation, to give it unto Pharaoh-nechoh. 36: Jehoiakim was twenty and five years old when he began to reign; and he reigned eleven years in Jerusalem. And his mother's name was Zebudah, the daughter of Pedaiah of Rumah. 37: And he did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD, according to all that his fathers had done.
2 Kings, 24
1: In his days Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came up, and Jehoiakim became his servant three years: then he turned and rebelled against him. 2: And the LORD sent against him bands of the Chaldees, and bands of the Syrians, and bands of the Moabites, and bands of the children of Ammon, and sent them against Judah to destroy it, according to the word of the LORD, which he spake by his servants the prophets. 3: Surely at the commandment of the LORD came this upon Judah, to remove them out of his sight, for the sins of Manasseh, according to all that he did; 4: And also for the innocent blood that he shed: for he filled Jerusalem with innocent blood; which the LORD would not pardon. 5: Now the rest of the acts of Jehoiakim, and all that he did, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah? 6: So Jehoiakim slept with his fathers: and Jehoiachin his son reigned in his stead. 7: And the king of Egypt came not again any more out of his land: for the king of Babylon had taken from the river of Egypt unto the river Euphrates all that pertained to the king of Egypt.
Jehoiachin King of Judah
8: Jehoiachin was eighteen years old when he began to reign, and he reigned in Jerusalem three months. And his mother's name was Nehushta, the daughter of Elnathan of Jerusalem. 9: And he did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD, according to all that his father had done. 10: At that time the servants of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came up against Jerusalem, and the city was besieged. 11: And Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came against the city, and his servants did besiege it. 12: And Jehoiachin the king of Judah went out to the king of Babylon, he, and his mother, and his servants, and his princes, and his officers: and the king of Babylon took him in the eighth year of his reign. 13: And he carried out thence all the treasures of the house of the LORD, and the treasures of the king's house, and cut in pieces all the vessels of gold which Solomon king of Israel had made in the temple of the LORD, as the LORD had said. 14: And he carried away all Jerusalem, and all the princes, and all the mighty men of valour, even ten thousand captives, and all the craftsmen and smiths: none remained, save the poorest sort of the people of the land. 15: And he carried away Jehoiachin to Babylon, and the king's mother, and the king's wives, and his officers, and the mighty of the land, those carried he into captivity from Jerusalem to Babylon. 16: And all the men of might, even seven thousand, and craftsmen and smiths a thousand, all that were strong and apt for war, even them the king of Babylon brought captive to Babylon. 17: And the king of Babylon made Mattaniah his father's brother king in his stead, and changed his name to Zedekiah.
Zedekiah King of Judah
18: Zedekiah was twenty and one years old when he began to reign, and he reigned eleven years in Jerusalem. And his mother's name was Hamutal, the daughter of Jeremiah of Libnah. 19: And he did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD, according to all that Jehoiakim had done. 20: For through the anger of the LORD it came to pass in Jerusalem and Judah, until he had cast them out from his presence, that Zedekiah rebelled against the king of Babylon.
2 Kings, 25
Jerusalem falls to Babylon
1: And it came to pass in the ninth year of his reign, in the tenth month, in the tenth day of the month, that Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came, he, and all his host, against Jerusalem, and pitched against it; and they built forts against it round about. 2: And the city was besieged unto the eleventh year of king Zedekiah. 3: And on the ninth day of the fourth month the famine prevailed in the city, and there was no bread for the people of the land. 4: And the city was broken up, and all the men of war fled by night by the way of the gate between two walls, which is by the king's garden: (now the Chaldees were against the city round about:) and the king went the way toward the plain. 5: And the army of the Chaldees pursued after the king, and overtook him in the plains of Jericho: and all his army were scattered from him. 6: So they took the king, and brought him up to the king of Babylon to Riblah; and they gave judgment upon him. 7: And they slew the sons of Zedekiah before his eyes, and put out the eyes of Zedekiah, and bound him with fetters of brass, and carried him to Babylon. 8: And in the fifth month, on the seventh day of the month, which is the nineteenth year of king Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, came Nebuzar-adan, captain of the guard, a servant of the king of Babylon, unto Jerusalem: 9: And he burnt the house of the LORD, and the king's house, and all the houses of Jerusalem, and every great man's house burnt he with fire. 10: And all the army of the Chaldees, that were with the captain of the guard, brake down the walls of Jerusalem round about. 11: Now the rest of the people that were left in the city, and the fugitives that fell away to the king of Babylon, with the remnant of the multitude, did Nebuzar-adan the captain of the guard carry away. 12: But the captain of the guard left of the poor of the land to be vinedressers and husbandmen. 13: And the pillars of brass that were in the house of the LORD, and the bases, and the brasen sea that was in the house of the LORD, did the Chaldees break in pieces, and carried the brass of them to Babylon. 14: And the pots, and the shovels, and the snuffers, and the spoons, and all the vessels of brass wherewith they ministered, took they away. 15: And the firepans, and the bowls, and such things as were of gold, in gold, and of silver, in silver, the captain of the guard took away. 16: The two pillars, one sea, and the bases which Solomon had made for the house of the LORD; the brass of all these vessels was without weight. 17: The height of the one pillar was eighteen cubits, and the chapiter upon it was brass: and the height of the chapiter three cubits; and the wreathen work, and pomegranates upon the chapiter round about, all of brass: and like unto these had the second pillar with wreathen work. 18: And the captain of the guard took Seraiah the chief priest, and Zephaniah the second priest, and the three keepers of the door: 19: And out of the city he took an officer that was set over the men of war, and five men of them that were in the king's presence, which were found in the city, and the principal scribe of the host, which mustered the people of the land, and threescore men of the people of the land that were found in the city: 20: And Nebuzar-adan captain of the guard took these, and brought them to the king of Babylon to Riblah: 21: And the king of Babylon smote them, and slew them at Riblah in the land of Hamath. So Judah was carried away out of their land.
Gedaliah Governor of Judah
22: And as for the people that remained in the land of Judah, whom Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon had left, even over them he made Gedaliah the son of Ahikam, the son of Shaphan, ruler. 23: And when all the captains of the armies, they and their men, heard that the king of Babylon had made Gedaliah governor, there came to Gedaliah to Mizpah, even Ishmael the son of Nethahiah, and Johanan the son of Careah, and Seraiah the son of Tanhumeth the Netophathite, and Jaazaniah the son of a Maachathite, they and their men. 24: And Gedaliah sware to them, and to their men, and said unto them, Fear not to be the servants of the Chaldees: dwell in the land, and serve the king of Babylon; and it shall be well with you. 25: But it came to pass in the seventh month, that Ishmael the son of Nethaniah, the son of Elishama, of the seed royal, came, and ten men with him, and smote Gedaliah, that he died, and the Jews and the Chaldees that were with him at Mizpah. 26: And all the people, both small and great, and the captains of the armies, arose, and came to Egypt: for they were afraid of the Chaldees.
Jehoiachin restored to honour
27: And it came to pass in the seven and thirtieth year of the captivity of Jehoiachin king of Judah, in the twelfth month, on the seven and twentieth day of the month, that Evil-merodach king of Babylon in the year that he began to reign did lift up the head of Jehoiachin king of Judah out of prison; 28: And he spake kindly to him, and set his throne above the throne of the kings that were with him in Babylon; 29: And changed his prison garments: and he did eat bread continually before him all the days of his life. 30: And his allowance was a continual allowance given him of the king, a daily rate for every day, all the days of his life.
Today we see the reforms of Josiah and all the good that he did. Then we have Jehohaz, Jehoiakim, Jehoiachin and Zedekiah - Kings of Judah. Finally Jerusalem falls to the Babylonian army. Gedaliah is put as governor of Jerusalem on behalf of the Babylonians. And finally Jehoiachin is restored to honour. But let’s get back to Josiah. We saw last time that Josiah found the scroll of the Law now he gathers all the people and especially the leaders and he has the law read to the people. Then the king stood and made a solemn covenant to serve the Lord faithfully, to keep the commandments and testimonies and statues with all their heart and soul. And all the people stood to make the covenant. Then he commanded that everything that had anything to do with the worship of Baal and he had them all burnt. And he executed all the priests of Baal that taught the people to worship Baal (Mars), the sun, the moon and the planets and all the stars. He destroyed totally the groves dedicated to Idolatry. And he smashed the homes of the homosexuals that were next to the house of the LORD. He also defiled the Topheth. (Probably a drum that was used to drown the sound of sacrificed children) He removed the horses dedicated to the sun god. and the destroyed all the chariots of the sun. And he destroyed all the high places where Judah offered to demons. There was a lot of idolatry to destroy. There wren a great deal of executions of all the idolatrous priests. Then he said keep the Passover!! The Passover had been forgotten. Whenever Israel or Judah forsook the Lord they left off the Passover. He destroyed all the occult satanic worshippers and the witches and wizards. Then in the end Josiah died and is son Jehohaz took his place. He was 23 when he began to reign but he reigned only 3 months. He was an evil king. The Egyptian interfered in the life of Israel capturing the king and appointing his own king over them. Then Jehoiakim reigned on behalf of Pharoah-nechoh. He taxed the land heavily and did evil in Gods sight. Finally Nebuchadnezzar came to Judah to capture all the people. First he made Judah his servants for 3 yrs. and then he rebelled but the Lord sent all the nations against Judah because of the sins of Manasseh. Because of all his murders, because he filled Jerusalem with the murder of innocent people. The Lord would not forgive him of this. Then we have the reign of Jehoachin. Who was enthroned when he was 18 yrs and lasted 3 months. He was an evil king. When Nebuchadnezzar came the king went out to meet him and gave him everything he had and all his family and children (Daniel was one of them) in the end only the poor were left. (The poor inherited everything.) The king left Mattaniah king but changed his name to Zedekiah. He reigned for 11 yrs but he was an evil king. Zedekiah rebelled against the discipline of the LORD and so the Lord sent Nebuchadnezzar to destroy Jerusalem. Eventually the city came to an end and they tried to escape but Nebuchadnezzar took the kings sons and killed them In front of him and then they blinded him. Later the king came and removed everything from the temple of Solomon and took it all the Babylon. Then the king put Gedaliah over the land of Judah. The Babylonians said obey us and all will be well. But they were so afraid that they left wholesale to live in Egypt. Then a very unusual thing happened Jehoiachin was taken from his prison and made head of the kings of Babylon and he gave him an allowance all his life. And so ends one of the most horrendous times in the history of Israel and Judah. Israel the northern kingdom was totally scattered into the nations but Judah had been all taken to Babylon. They would be there for 70 long years where the people would weep by the rivers of Babylon.