This is Episode #116 and today we’ll read 2 Kings chapters 15-17 together. In this episode, we watch the ten northern tribes of Israel finally go into captivity.
Joy: You’re listening to Season 2 of the Lifting Her Voice podcast. This is Episode #116 and today we’ll read 2 Kings chapters 15-17 together. In this episode, we watch the ten northern tribes of Israel finally go into captivity.
Welcome to the Lifting Her Voice podcast, Season 2! I’m your host, Joy Miller, and I invite you to grab your Bible and join me – from the beginning – simply reading God’s word together. We built some spiritual muscles in 2020 with just the New Testament. But this year we’re going all out, cover-to-cover, Old Testament and New. So, whether with your first cup in the morning, your commute to work, or as the last thing on your mind before sleep, God’s Word will equip you for every good work. I’m really glad you’re here!
2 Kings 15
Judah’s King Azariah
In the twenty-seventh year of Israel’s King Jeroboam, Azariah son of Amaziah became king of Judah. He was sixteen years old when he became king, and he reigned fifty-two years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Jecoliah; she was from Jerusalem. Azariah did what was right in the Lord’s sight just as his father Amaziah had done. Yet the high places were not taken away; the people continued sacrificing and burning incense on the high places.
The Lord afflicted the king, and he had a serious skin disease until the day of his death. He lived in quarantine, while Jotham, the king’s son, was over the household governing the people of the land.
The rest of the events of Azariah’s reign, along with all his accomplishments, are written in the Historical Record of Judah’s Kings. Azariah rested with his ancestors and was buried with his ancestors in the city of David. His son Jotham became king in his place.
Israel’s King Zechariah
In the thirty-eighth year of Judah’s King Azariah, Zechariah son of Jeroboam reigned over Israel in Samaria for six months. He did what was evil in the Lord’s sight as his predecessors had done. He did not turn away from the sins Jeroboam son of Nebat had caused Israel to commit.
Shallum son of Jabesh conspired against Zechariah. He struck him down publicly, killed him, and became king in his place. As for the rest of the events of Zechariah’s reign, they are written in the Historical Record of Israel’s Kings. The word of the Lord that he spoke to Jehu was, “Four generations of your sons will sit on the throne of Israel,” and it was so.
Israel’s King Shallum
In the thirty-ninth year of Judah’s King Uzziah, Shallum son of Jabesh became king; he reigned in Samaria a full month. Then Menahem son of Gadi came up from Tirzah to Samaria and struck down Shallum son of Jabesh there. He killed him and became king in his place. As for the rest of the events of Shallum’s reign, along with the conspiracy that he formed, they are written in the Historical Record of Israel’s Kings.
Israel’s King Menahem
At that time, starting from Tirzah, Menahem attacked Tiphsah, all who were in it, and its territory because they wouldn’t surrender. He ripped open all the pregnant women.
In the thirty-ninth year of Judah’s King Azariah, Menahem son of Gadi became king over Israel, and he reigned ten years in Samaria. He did what was evil in the Lord’s sight. Throughout his reign, he did not turn away from the sins Jeroboam son of Nebat had caused Israel to commit.
King Pul of Assyria invaded the land, so Menahem gave Pul seventy-five thousand pounds of silver so that Pul would support him to strengthen his grasp on the kingdom. Then Menahem exacted twenty ounces of silver from each of the prominent men of Israel to give to the king of Assyria. So the king of Assyria withdrew and did not stay there in the land.
The rest of the events of Menahem’s reign, along with all his accomplishments, are written in the Historical Record of Israel’s Kings. Menahem rested with his ancestors, and his son Pekahiah became king in his place.
Israel’s King Pekahiah
In the fiftieth year of Judah’s King Azariah, Pekahiah son of Menahem became king over Israel in Samaria, and he reigned two years. He did what was evil in the Lord’s sight and did not turn away from the sins Jeroboam son of Nebat had caused Israel to commit.
Then his officer, Pekah son of Remaliah, conspired against him and struck him down in Samaria at the citadel of the king’s palace — with Argob and Arieh. There were fifty Gileadite men with Pekah. He killed Pekahiah and became king in his place.
As for the rest of the events of Pekahiah’s reign, along with all his accomplishments, they are written in the Historical Record of Israel’s Kings.
Israel’s King Pekah
In the fifty-second year of Judah’s King Azariah, Pekah son of Remaliah became king over Israel in Samaria, and he reigned twenty years. He did what was evil in the Lord’s sight. He did not turn away from the sins Jeroboam son of Nebat had caused Israel to commit.
In the days of King Pekah of Israel, King Tiglath-pileser of Assyria came and captured Ijon, Abel-beth-maacah, Janoah, Kedesh, Hazor, Gilead, and Galilee — all the land of Naphtali — and deported the people to Assyria.
Then Hoshea son of Elah organized a conspiracy against Pekah son of Remaliah. He attacked him, killed him, and became king in his place in the twentieth year of Jotham son of Uzziah.
As for the rest of the events of Pekah’s reign, along with all his accomplishments, they are written in the Historical Record of Israel’s Kings.
Judah’s King Jotham
In the second year of Israel’s King Pekah son of Remaliah, Jotham son of Uzziah became king of Judah. He was twenty-five years old when he became king, and he reigned sixteen years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Jerusha daughter of Zadok. He did what was right in the Lord’s sight just as his father Uzziah had done. Yet the high places were not taken away; the people continued sacrificing and burning incense on the high places.
Jotham built the Upper Gate of the Lord’s temple. The rest of the events of Jotham’s reign, along with all his accomplishments, are written in the Historical Record of Judah’s Kings. In those days the Lord began sending Aram’s King Rezin and Pekah son of Remaliah against Judah. Jotham rested with his ancestors and was buried with his ancestors in the city of his ancestor David. His son Ahaz became king in his place.
2 Kings 16
Judah’s King Ahaz
In the seventeenth year of Pekah son of Remaliah, Ahaz son of Jotham became king of Judah. Ahaz was twenty years old when he became king, and he reigned sixteen years in Jerusalem. He did not do what was right in the sight of the Lord his God like his ancestor David but walked in the ways of the kings of Israel. He even sacrificed his son in the fire, imitating the detestable practices of the nations the Lord had dispossessed before the Israelites. He sacrificed and burned incense on the high places, on the hills, and under every green tree.
Then Aram’s King Rezin and Israel’s King Pekah son of Remaliah came to wage war against Jerusalem. They besieged Ahaz but were not able to conquer him. At that time Aram’s King Rezin recovered Elath for Aram and expelled the Judahites from Elath. Then the Arameans came to Elath, and they still live there today.
So Ahaz sent messengers to King Tiglath-pileser of Assyria, saying, “I am your servant and your son. March up and save me from the grasp of the king of Aram and of the king of Israel, who are rising up against me.” Ahaz also took the silver and gold found in the Lord’s temple and in the treasuries of the king’s palace and sent them to the king of Assyria as a bribe. So the king of Assyria listened to him and marched up to Damascus and captured it. He deported its people to Kir but put Rezin to death.
King Ahaz went to Damascus to meet King Tiglath-pileser of Assyria. When he saw the altar that was in Damascus, King Ahaz sent a model of the altar and complete plans for its construction to the priest Uriah. Uriah built the altar according to all the instructions King Ahaz sent from Damascus. Therefore, by the time King Ahaz came back from Damascus, the priest Uriah had completed it. When the king came back from Damascus, he saw the altar. Then he approached the altar and ascended it. He offered his burnt offering and his grain offering, poured out his drink offering, and splattered the blood of his fellowship offerings on the altar. He took the bronze altar that was before the Lord in front of the temple between his altar and the Lord’s temple, and put it on the north side of his altar.
Then King Ahaz commanded the priest Uriah, “Offer on the great altar the morning burnt offering, the evening grain offering, and the king’s burnt offering and his grain offering. Also offer the burnt offering of all the people of the land, their grain offering, and their drink offerings. Splatter on the altar all the blood of the burnt offering and all the blood of sacrifice. The bronze altar will be for me to seek guidance.” The priest Uriah did everything King Ahaz commanded.
Then King Ahaz cut off the frames of the water carts and removed the bronze basin from each of them. He took the basin from the bronze oxen that were under it and put it on a stone pavement. To satisfy the king of Assyria, he removed from the Lord’s temple the Sabbath canopy they had built in the palace, and he closed the outer entrance for the king.
The rest of the events of Ahaz’s reign, along with his accomplishments, are written in the Historical Record of Judah’s Kings. Ahaz rested with his ancestors and was buried with his ancestors in the city of David, and his son Hezekiah became king in his place.
2 Kings 17
Israel’s King Hoshea
In the twelfth year of Judah’s King Ahaz, Hoshea son of Elah became king over Israel in Samaria, and he reigned nine years. He did what was evil in the Lord’s sight, but not like the kings of Israel who preceded him.
King Shalmaneser of Assyria attacked him, and Hoshea became his vassal and paid him tribute. But the king of Assyria caught Hoshea in a conspiracy: He had sent envoys to So king of Egypt and had not paid tribute to the king of Assyria as in previous years. Therefore the king of Assyria arrested him and put him in prison. The king of Assyria invaded the whole land, marched up to Samaria, and besieged it for three years.
The Fall of Samaria
In the ninth year of Hoshea, the king of Assyria captured Samaria. He deported the Israelites to Assyria and settled them in Halah, along the Habor (Gozan’s river), and in the cities of the Medes.
Why Israel Fell
This disaster happened because the people of Israel sinned against the Lord their God who had brought them out of the land of Egypt from the power of Pharaoh king of Egypt and because they worshiped other gods. They lived according to the customs of the nations that the Lord had dispossessed before the Israelites and according to what the kings of Israel did. The Israelites secretly did things against the Lord their God that were not right. They built high places in all their towns from watchtower to fortified city. They set up for themselves sacred pillars and Asherah poles on every high hill and under every green tree. They burned incense there on all the high places just like the nations that the Lord had driven out before them had done.
They did evil things, angering the Lord. They served idols, although the Lord had told them, “You must not do this.” Still, the Lord warned Israel and Judah through every prophet and every seer, saying, “Turn from your evil ways and keep my commands and statutes according to the whole law I commanded your ancestors and sent to you through my servants the prophets.”
But they would not listen. Instead they became obstinate like their ancestors who did not believe the Lord their God. They rejected his statutes and his covenant he had made with their ancestors and the warnings he had given them. They followed worthless idols and became worthless themselves, following the surrounding nations the Lord had commanded them not to imitate.
The Lord was Very Angry
They abandoned all the commands of the Lord their God. They made cast images for themselves, two calves, and an Asherah pole. They bowed in worship to all the stars in the sky and served Baal. They sacrificed their sons and daughters in the fire and practiced divination and interpreted omens. They devoted themselves to do what was evil in the Lord’s sight and angered him.
Therefore, the Lord was very angry with Israel, and he removed them from his presence. Only the tribe of Judah remained. Even Judah did not keep the commands of the Lord their God but lived according to the customs Israel had practiced. So the Lord rejected all the descendants of Israel, punished them, and handed them over to plunderers until he had banished them from his presence.
Summary of Israel’s History
When the Lord tore Israel from the house of David, Israel made Jeroboam son of Nebat king. Then Jeroboam led Israel away from following the Lord and caused them to commit grave sin. The Israelites persisted in all the sins that Jeroboam committed and did not turn away from them. Finally, the Lord removed Israel from his presence just as he had declared through all his servants the prophets. So Israel has been exiled to Assyria from their homeland to this very day.
Foreign Refugees in Israel
Then the king of Assyria brought people from Babylon, Cuthah, Avva, Hamath, and Sepharvaim and settled them in place of the Israelites in the cities of Samaria. The settlers took possession of Samaria and lived in its cities. When they first lived there, they did not fear the Lord. So the Lord sent lions among them, which killed some of them. The settlers said to the king of Assyria, “The nations that you have deported and placed in the cities of Samaria do not know the requirements of the god of the land. Therefore he has sent lions among them that are killing them because the people don’t know the requirements of the god of the land.”
Then the king of Assyria issued a command: “Send back one of the priests you deported. Have him go and live there so he can teach them the requirements of the god of the land.” So one of the priests they had deported came and lived in Bethel, and he began to teach them how they should fear the Lord.
But the people of each nation were still making their own gods in the cities where they lived and putting them in the shrines of the high places that the people of Samaria had made. The men of Babylon made Succoth-benoth, the men of Cuth made Nergal, the men of Hamath made Ashima, the Avvites made Nibhaz and Tartak, and the Sepharvites burned their children in the fire to Adrammelech and Anammelech, the gods of Sepharvaim.
They Feared the Lord But Also Worshipped Other Gods
They feared the Lord, but they also made from their ranks priests for the high places, who were working for them at the shrines of the high places. They feared the Lord, but they also worshiped their own gods according to the practice of the nations from which they had been deported.
They are still observing the former practices to this day. None of them fear the Lord or observe the statutes and ordinances, the law and commandments that the Lord had commanded the descendants of Jacob, whom he had given the name Israel. The Lord made a covenant with Jacob’s descendants and commanded them, “Do not fear other gods; do not bow in worship to them; do not serve them; do not sacrifice to them.
Instead fear the Lord, who brought you up from the land of Egypt with great power and an outstretched arm. You are to bow down to him, and you are to sacrifice to him. You are to be careful always to observe the statutes, the ordinances, the law, and the commandments he wrote for you; do not fear other gods. Do not forget the covenant that I have made with you. Do not fear other gods, but fear the Lord your God, and he will rescue you from all your enemies.”
However, these nations would not listen but continued observing their former practices. They feared the Lord but also served their idols. Still today, their children and grandchildren continue doing as their ancestors did.
Did you catch that unassuming one liner in chapter 15? …all the land of Naphtali – and deported the people to Assyria. Well, that was the beginning of the end for the ten northern tribes. Then in chapter 16, we see a shift. The king of Judah suddenly started looking and acting more like one of the kings of Israel. Ahaz even visited the king of Assyria and had an altar built to compete with God’s! Seriously?
Then in chapter 17, it all goes wrong. Under King Shalmaneser of Assyria, Samaria falls. Then we get this wonderful little summary of Israel’s history. I don’t about you, but it’s easy for me to lose track of what’s happening and to whom during all this back and forth between kingdoms. Does this help you too? Let me know at Lifting Her Voice.com, Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.
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Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Christian Standard Bible(r), Copyright (c) 2017 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Christian Standard Bible(r) and CSB(r) are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.
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