2 Kings – Chapter 25

2 Kings Chapter 25

Evil permeated Judah and Babylon conquered Assyria and became the new world power. The Babylon army burned the temple, tore down the walls, and carried off the people into captivity.

Verse 1 – Judah was invaded by the Babylonians three times, just as Israel was invaded by the Assyrians three times. God had given mercy upon mercy and repeated opportunities to repent, but they refused.

Verses 6, 7 – Riblah was the administrative center for Babylonian control of the region. There, Zedekiah was punished. His sons were killed before his eyes, thus eliminating the threat of royal heirs to the throne. Zedekiah was blinded and taken prisoner in Babylon. This fulfilled the prophecies in Jeremiah 32:4.

Verses 8-10 – Everything of any significance was destroyed in Jerusalem: literally, Yahweh’s house, the king’s house, all the houses of Jerusalem all the great houses and the wall of Jerusalem.

Verses 13-17 – The temple furnishings were plundered for their scrap-metal value. The bronze in the Sea, the pillars, and the movable stand was so valuable that it was broken up and carried off to Babylon.

Verse 21 – Judah, like Israel, was unfaithful to God. So God, as He had warned, allowed Judah to be destroyed and taken away (Deuteronomy 28). In Deuteronomy 28 God had warned them of starvation, destruction, and captivity if they did not obey Him. Everything that is listed took place in this time. Lamentations records Jeremiah’s sorrow at seeing Jerusalem destroyed.

Verses 22-30 – A more detailed account of these events appears in Jeremiah 40:6-14; 9. Judah’s earthly kingdom was absolutely demolished. But through prophets like Ezekiel and Daniel, who were also captives, God was able to keep His spiritual kingdom alive in the hearts of many exiles.

Verse 30 – The book of 2 Kings opens with Elijah being carried to heaven. But the book ends with the people of Judah being carried off to a foreign land as humiliated slaves. Second kings is a good illustration of what can happen in our lives when we make anything more important than God. When you make anything more important than God you can become desensitized to right and wrong and will fail to discern God’s purpose for your life. However if we come to our senses and acknowledge God as in the book of Ezra, God is willing and able with another chance to get it right.

2 Kings – Chapter 24

2 Kings chapter 24

Verses 1-4 – Nebuchadnezzar took control of Babylon in 605 B.C. Earlier that year Nebuchadnezzar had defeated the Egyptians. Thus Babylon took control of all Egypt’s vassals (including Judah).

God used the Babylonians as His instrument. God’s judgment was linked to Manasseh’s sin to remove the Hebrews from His sight. This sin–the continuation of a sinful national character that had already been established and judged.

Verse 7 – By this time Egypt had been driven out of Palestine and all the land north of the Brook of Egypt belonged to Babylon.

verse 8 – Jehoiakim is dead and his son takes over Jerusalem at the age of 18. He’s evil and only reigns 3 months.

Verse 10 – Just weeks after Jehoiachin, Jehoiakim’s son, becomes king, the mighty Babylonian army attacks Judah. During this second of the three invasions, the Babylonians loot God’s temple and take most of the leaders captive including the king. Then Nebuchadnezzar placed Zedekiah, another son of Josiah on the throne. The Jews, however didn’t recognize him as their king as long as Jehoiachin was still alive, even though he was in captivity.

Verse 13 – It is remarkable that there was still gold from the time of Solomon left to plunder after more than three centuries of foreign plundering.

Verses 14-16 – Everyone except the poorest classes of the city were taken into captivity. The leaders were taken to the Babylonian cities where they were permitted to live together, work, and become part of society. This policy kept the Jews united and made it possible for their return in the days of Zerubbabel and Ezra as recorded in the Book of Ezra.

2 Kings Chapter – 23

2 Kings chapter 23

Verses 1, 2 – It is not enough to say we believe what is right, we must respond with action. James 2:20 says, “faith without works (deeds) is dead  (useless).” Simply talking about obedience is not enough.

Verse 4 – Evidently, little by little idols had been brought into “Gods” temple. Josiah cleaned it out of anything that was not of God and destroyed it.

Verses 5-7 – Josiah disbanded all the (false) priests who were in the temple, rather than slaughtering them. The Asherah pole had been set up in God’s temple by the evil King Manasseh (21:7). Asherah was the Sea goddess and the mistress of Baal. She was chief goddess of the Canaanites. Her worship glorified sex and war and was accompanied by male prostitution.

Verses 10, 11 – He destroyed the high places stopped the sacrifices of children to the pagan god Molech. These horses and chariots were used in processions honoring the sun.

Verse 13 – The Hill of Corruption is the name that the Mount of Olives is called here. It had become the favorite spot to build pagan shrines. Solomon built pagan shrines just as other kings built idol-worship there. But the God-fearing kings such as Hezekiah and Josiah destroyed these centers. In the New Testament times, Jesus often sat on the Mount of Olives and taught His disciples (Matthew 24:3).

Verses 21-23 – The Passover celebration was to have been a yearly holiday celebrated in remembrance of the entire nations deliverance from slavery in Egypt (Exodus 12), but it had not been kept since the days of judges, nor throughout the days of the kings of Israel and the king of Judah.

Verse 25 – Did you catch that? The scripture says, “neither before nor after Josiah was there a king like him who turned to the Lord with all his heart, soul, and strength!” Have you ever heard a preacher use Josiah in their sermon? I haven’t.

Verse 29 – Pharaoh Neco of Egypt was marching through Judah to Assyria. Egypt and Assyria had formed an alliance to battle Babylon. Josiah may have thought that both nations would turn on him after the battle with Babylon, so he tried to stop Egypt’s army, but Josiah was killed and his army was defeated.

Verses 31-34 – The people (not God) appointed Jehoahaz, one of Josiah’s sons, to be the next king over Judah. But Neco was not happy with their choice, so he had him exiled to Egypt where he died. Then Neco appointed Eliakim, changing his name to Jehoiakim to be his puppet king.

Verses 36, 37 – Jehoiakim, Josiah’s son, was evil and killed the prophet Uriah (Jeremiah 26:20-23).

2 Kings – Chapter 22

2 Kings chapter 22

Verses 1, 2 – Josiah was one of the few kings who obeyed God completely. His reign began when he was 8 years old. Josiah’s early years laid the foundations for his later task of reforming Judah.

Verse 4 – The doorkeepers controlled who entered the temple and supervised the collection of the money.

Verses 5-7 – Josiah started having the temple repaired. He told the overseers (who evidently weren’t doing their job) to give the money for the repairs directly to the workers.

Verse 8 – This book of the Law, must have been used so little, that it was thought to have been lost. There had been so many evil kings before Josiah that its understandable. This book of the Law probably was from Genesis through Deuteronomy. Can you imagine being in the Lords House today and the Bible never being opened?

Verse 11 – Shaphan read the book before the king. Because the book had been lost, Josiah had never heard this first hand before. However, from the time of becoming king at 8, he knew to do what was right. When the anointed Word of God was read “Out-loud,” Josiah tore his cloths. He realized how far from God the entire nation had fallen. He began to make reforms after he repented. reading God’s Word and discovering we need to renew the way we think and do things and it will bring us all to repentance, if willing to do so.

Verse 14 – Huldah was a prophetess, as were Miriam (Exodus 15:20) and Deborah (Judges 4:4). God will and does use anyone He chooses to carry out His will, even those who aren’t willing can be used and they not even realize it. God will accomplish whatsoever He prepossess.

Verses 18-20 – Because of Josiah’s grief over the sins of the nation, God assured him that destruction would not come until after his death.

2 Kings – Chapter 21

2 Kings chapter 21

Verse 2 – We are told in this verse, that Manasseh did evil, but to what depths his evil goes is beyond description. He adopted the wicked practices of the Babylonians and Canaanites including sacrificing his own son.

Verses 3-6 – Manasseh restored the high places including illegal shrines, that Hezekiah had suppressed, and those altars devoted to other pagan deities. Recent scholars have taken the word mediums as referring to a ritual pit for bringing up  spirits.

(6) This verse says Manasseh provoked God to anger. Why? Because sorcery, divination, and consulting mediums and spiritualists are occult practices. Leviticus 19:31; and Deuteronomy 18:9-13 demonstrate a lack of faith in God All Mighty. These practices open the door to demonic influences. They are counterfeits of Gods power. We don’t need to talk to the dead and any future you need to know about yourself is found in the Word of God.

Verse 7 – Asherah was a Canaanite mother-goddess, a mistress of Baal. Her images were made of wood (Exodus 34:13 and Deuteronomy 12:3 forbids the associate with Asherah practices in any way).

Verses 10-14 – Just as Manasseh’s list of sins is the longest of the kings of Judah, the judgment of those sins is one of the longest in the individual records. God was saying that He would destroy Jerusalem as He did Samaria and the house of Ahab.

Verse 16 – Tradition says that during Manasseh’s massive slaughter, Isaiah was sawed in two when trying to hide in a hollow log (see Hebrews 11:37, 38).

Verses 19-26 – Manasseh dies, and Amon his son, is made king. Amon reigns two years and then his own servants conspired and killed him in his own house. Then the people of the land executed those that killed Amon and made his son Josiah king.

2 Kings Chapter 20

2 Kings chapter 20

Verses 1-3 – We ask ourselves this same question at times: Should I just be still and except this situation as God’s will or should I pray and ask God to change it? Does it really hurt to ask? Hezekiah felt what harm could it do.

Verse 6 – God was neither surprised nor unprepared by Hezekiah’s prayer. God not only granted what was asked but promised deliverance from the coming Assyrian invasion.

Verse 7 – Whether it was the divine healing of the figs or prayer alone, God healed Hezekiah.

Verse 11 – The stairway of Ahaz was a sundial. Egyptian sundials in this period were sometimes made in the form of miniature staircases so that the shadows moved up and down the steps.

Verses 12-19 – It appears that deliverance from his sickness had made Hezekiah a little proud of his prosperity and success. Rather than giving credit to God for all his blessings, he tried to impress the foreigners. After Isaiah told Hezekiah what would happen after his death, Hezekiah said, “What you have spoken is good.” Sometimes what we are thinking should not be said out loud or it will sound very selfish.

2 Kings – Chapter 19

2 Kings chapter19

Verses 1-7 – Prayer should be our first response in any crises, not the last. Don’t wait until things are hopeless. Our problems are God’s opportunities. Although Assyria was a world power, it could not conquer Judah as long as Isaiah counseled the kings. Isaiah prophesied during the reigns of Uzziah (Azariah), Jotham, Ahaz and Hezekiah.

Verses 15-19 – Although Hezekiah came boldly to God, he did not take God for granted. Hezekiah acknowledged God’s sovereignty and Judah’s total dependence on Him. Even though the Lord had not acted yet, this prayer implied that He would when the time was right.

Verse 21 – Sennacherib believed his kingdom had grown because of his own efforts and strength. In truth, the Assyrians only succeeded because God allowed it. Its arrogance for someone to think they are solely responsible for their achievements.

Verses 25, 26 – Assyria had her way with surrounding nations for one reason: God ordained it!

Verse 28 – The Assyrians treated captives with cruelty. They tortured them for entertainment by blinding them, cutting them, or pulling strips of their shin until they died. If they made a captive a slave, they would place a hook in their nose. God was saying that the Assyrians would be treated the way they had treated others. God would lead the Assyrians back to their land with a hook in their nose.

Verse 31 – As long as a tiny spark remains, a fire can be rekindled and fanned into a roaring blaze. Similarly, a remnant of true believers retains the spark of faith. God can rebuild it into a strong nation. It’s the Father who does the work in our hearts!

2 Kings – Chapter 18

2 Kings Chapter 18

Verses 4-7 – Hezekiah had one of the longest lists of good qualities of all the good kings. He had the right attitude and persisted in doing good. Because of his obedience, God prospered him in everything.

The bronze snake had been made to cure the Israelites of the bite of venomous snakes (Numbers 21:4-9), but it had become an object of worship instead of a reminder of whom to worship, so Hezekiah destroyed it. The objects that people use to worship shouldn’t become an idol.

The statement, “There was no one like him…” refers to after the division of the kingdom and does not include David.

When Hezekiah became king, Assyria controlled Judah. Hezekiah rebelled against this mighty empire to whom his father had submitted.

Verses 9-12 – (These verses flash back to the days just before Israel’s destruction.) Hezekiah reigned with his father Ahaz for 14 years, by himself for 18 years, and with his son Manasseh for 11 years. This totaled 43 years. The 29 years listed in 18:2 indicate only those years in which Hezekiah had complete control of the kingdom. While Hezekiah was on the throne, the nation of Israel to the north was destroyed. (There is more on Hezekiah in 2 Chronicles 29-32 and Isaiah 36-39)

Verse 13 – Sennacherib was the son of Sargon II, the king who had deported Israel’s people into captivity. To keep Assyria from attacking the southern kingdom they had to pay tribute annually.

When Sennacherib became king, Hezekiah stopped paying this money, hoping Assyria would ignore them. When Sennacherib and his army retaliated, Hezekiah paid the tribute money, but Sennacherib attacked anyway.

Verse 16 – Hezekiah stripped all the silver found in the Lord’s temple even taking the gold off of the doors and doorposts.

Verses 17, 18 – Whatever had happened previously, the Assyrian’s were now threatening Jerusalem, the last outpost of orthodox worship of Yahweh.

Verses 19-22 – The Assyrians claimed that Yahweh was the deity who had sent the Assyrians to punish Hezekiah.

Verse 26 – Aramaic was normal language for international dealings, but the Assyrian diplomatic corps included Hebrew speakers.

Verses 28-30 – The Rabshakeh insisted on shouting in Hebrew rather than Aramaic his discouraging message to the soldiers on the wall.

Verses 36, 37 – The torn cloths were a formal declaration of grief.