This is Episode #118 and today we’ll read 2 Kings chapters 20-22 together. Hezekiah, Manasseh, Josiah. Blunder, Evil, and Pending Disaster.
Joy: You’re listening to Season 2 of the Lifting Her Voice podcast. This is Episode #118 and today we’ll read 2 Kings chapters 20-22 together. Hezekiah, Manasseh, Josiah. Blunder, Evil, and Pending Disaster.
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 Chapter 20
Hezekiah’s Illness and Recovery
In those days Hezekiah became terminally ill. The prophet Isaiah son of Amoz came and said to him, “This is what the Lord says: ‘Set your house in order, for you are about to die; you will not recover.’”
Then Hezekiah turned his face to the wall and prayed to the Lord, “Please, Lord, remember how I have walked before you faithfully and wholeheartedly and have done what pleases you.” And Hezekiah wept bitterly.
Isaiah had not yet gone out of the inner courtyard when the word of the Lord came to him: “Go back and tell Hezekiah, the leader of my people, ‘This is what the Lord God of your ancestor David says: I have heard your prayer; I have seen your tears. Look, I will heal you. On the third day from now you will go up to the Lord’s temple. I will add fifteen years to your life. I will rescue you and this city from the grasp of the king of Assyria. I will defend this city for my sake and for the sake of my servant David.’”
Then Isaiah said, “Bring a lump of pressed figs.” So they brought it and applied it to his infected skin, and he recovered.
Hezekiah had asked Isaiah, “What is the sign that the Lord will heal me and that I will go up to the Lord’s temple on the third day?”
Isaiah said, “This is the sign to you from the Lord that he will do what he has promised: Should the shadow go ahead ten steps or go back ten steps?”
Back Ten Steps
Then Hezekiah answered, “It’s easy for the shadow to lengthen ten steps. No, let the shadow go back ten steps.” So the prophet Isaiah called out to the Lord, and he brought the shadow back the ten steps it had descended on the stairway of Ahaz.
At that time Merodach-baladan son of Baladan, king of Babylon, sent letters and a gift to Hezekiah since he heard that he had been sick. Hezekiah listened to the letters and showed the envoys his whole treasure house — the silver, the gold, the spices, and the precious oil — and his armory, and everything that was found in his treasuries. There was nothing in his palace and in all his realm that Hezekiah did not show them.
Then the prophet Isaiah came to King Hezekiah and asked him, “Where did these men come from and what did they say to you?”
Hezekiah replied, “They came from a distant country, from Babylon.”
Isaiah asked, “What have they seen in your palace?”
Hezekiah answered, “They have seen everything in my palace. There isn’t anything in my treasuries that I didn’t show them.”
Then Isaiah said to Hezekiah, “Hear the word of the Lord: ‘Look, the days are coming when everything in your palace and all that your predecessors have stored up until today will be carried off to Babylon; nothing will be left,’ says the Lord. ‘Some of your descendants — who come from you, whom you father — will be taken away, and they will become eunuchs in the palace of the king of Babylon.’”
Then Hezekiah said to Isaiah, “The word of the Lord that you have spoken is good,” for he thought, “Why not, if there will be peace and security during my lifetime?”
The rest of the events of Hezekiah’s reign, along with all his might and how he made the pool and the tunnel and brought water into the city, are written in the Historical Record of Judah’s Kings. Hezekiah rested with his ancestors, and his son Manasseh became king in his place.
2 Kings Chapter 21
Judah’s King Manasseh
Manasseh was twelve years old when he became king, and he reigned fifty-five years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Hephzibah. He did what was evil in the Lord’s sight, imitating the detestable practices of the nations that the Lord had dispossessed before the Israelites. He rebuilt the high places that his father Hezekiah had destroyed and reestablished the altars for Baal. He made an Asherah, as King Ahab of Israel had done; he also bowed in worship to all the stars in the sky and served them. He built altars in the Lord’s temple, where the Lord had said, “Jerusalem is where I will put my name.” He built altars to all the stars in the sky in both courtyards of the Lord’s temple.
He sacrificed his son in the fire, practiced witchcraft and divination, and consulted mediums and spiritists. He did a huge amount of evil in the Lord’s sight, angering him.
Manasseh set up the carved image of Asherah, which he made, in the temple that the Lord had spoken about to David and his son Solomon: “I will establish my name forever in this temple and in Jerusalem, which I have chosen out of all the tribes of Israel. I will never again cause the feet of the Israelites to wander from the land I gave to their ancestors if only they will be careful to do all I have commanded them — the whole law that my servant Moses commanded them.” But they did not listen; Manasseh caused them to stray so that they did worse evil than the nations the Lord had destroyed before the Israelites.
As One Wipes A Bowl
The Lord said through his servants the prophets, “Since King Manasseh of Judah has committed all these detestable acts — worse evil than the Amorites who preceded him had done — and by means of his idols has also caused Judah to sin, this is what the Lord God of Israel says: ‘I am about to bring such a disaster on Jerusalem and Judah that everyone who hears about it will shudder. I will stretch over Jerusalem the measuring line used on Samaria and the mason’s level used on the house of Ahab, and I will wipe Jerusalem clean as one wipes a bowl — wiping it and turning it upside down.
I will abandon the remnant of my inheritance and hand them over to their enemies. They will become plunder and spoil to all their enemies, because they have done what is evil in my sight and have angered me from the day their ancestors came out of Egypt until today.’”
Manasseh also shed so much innocent blood that he filled Jerusalem with it from one end to another. This was in addition to his sin that he caused Judah to commit, so that they did what was evil in the Lord’s sight.
The rest of the events of Manasseh’s reign, along with all his accomplishments and the sin that he committed, are written in the Historical Record of Judah’s Kings. Manasseh rested with his ancestors and was buried in the garden of his own house, the garden of Uzza. His son Amon became king in his place.
Judah’s King Amon
Amon was twenty-two years old when he became king, and he reigned two years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Meshullemeth daughter of Haruz; she was from Jotbah. He did what was evil in the Lord’s sight, just as his father Manasseh had done. He walked in all the ways his father had walked; he served the idols his father had served, and he bowed in worship to them. He abandoned the Lord God of his ancestors and did not walk in the ways of the Lord.
Amon’s servants conspired against him and put the king to death in his own house. The common people killed all who had conspired against King Amon, and they made his son Josiah king in his place.
The rest of the events of Amon’s reign, along with his accomplishments, are written in the Historical Record of Judah’s Kings. He was buried in his tomb in the garden of Uzza, and his son Josiah became king in his place.
2 Kings Chapter 22
Judah’s King Josiah
Josiah was eight years old when he became king, and he reigned thirty-one years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Jedidah the daughter of Adaiah; she was from Bozkath. He did what was right in the Lord’s sight and walked in all the ways of his ancestor David; he did not turn to the right or the left.
Josiah Repairs the Temple
In the eighteenth year of King Josiah, the king sent the court secretary Shaphan son of Azaliah, son of Meshullam, to the Lord’s temple, saying, “Go up to the high priest Hilkiah so that he may total up the silver brought into the Lord’s temple — the silver the doorkeepers have collected from the people. It is to be given to those doing the work — those who oversee the Lord’s temple. They in turn are to give it to the workmen in the Lord’s temple to repair the damage. They are to give it to the carpenters, builders, and masons to buy timber and quarried stone to repair the temple. But no accounting is to be required from them for the silver given to them since they work with integrity.”
The Book of the Law Found
The high priest Hilkiah told the court secretary Shaphan, “I have found the book of the law in the Lord’s temple,” and he gave the book to Shaphan, who read it.
Then the court secretary Shaphan went to the king and reported, “Your servants have emptied out the silver that was found in the temple and have given it to those doing the work — those who oversee the Lord’s temple.” Then the court secretary Shaphan told the king, “The priest Hilkiah has given me a book,” and Shaphan read it in the presence of the king.
When the king heard the words of the book of the law, he tore his clothes. Then he commanded the priest Hilkiah, Ahikam son of Shaphan, Achbor son of Micaiah, the court secretary Shaphan, and the king’s servant Asaiah, “Go and inquire of the Lord for me, for the people, and for all Judah about the words in this book that has been found. For great is the Lord’s wrath that is kindled against us because our ancestors have not obeyed the words of this book in order to do everything written about us.”
Huldah’s Prophecy of Judgment
So the priest Hilkiah, Ahikam, Achbor, Shaphan, and Asaiah went to the prophetess Huldah, wife of Shallum son of Tikvah, son of Harhas, keeper of the wardrobe. She lived in Jerusalem in the Second District. They spoke with her.
She said to them, “This is what the Lord God of Israel says: Say to the man who sent you to me, ‘This is what the Lord says: I am about to bring disaster on this place and on its inhabitants, fulfilling all the words of the book that the king of Judah has read, because they have abandoned me and burned incense to other gods in order to anger me with all the work of their hands. My wrath will be kindled against this place, and it will not be quenched.’ Say this to the king of Judah who sent you to inquire of the Lord:
‘This is what the Lord God of Israel says: As for the words that you heard, because your heart was tender and you humbled yourself before the Lord when you heard what I spoke against this place and against its inhabitants, that they would become a desolation and a curse, and because you have torn your clothes and wept before me, I myself have heard’ — this is the Lord’s declaration. ‘Therefore, I will indeed gather you to your ancestors, and you will be gathered to your grave in peace. Your eyes will not see all the disaster that I am bringing on this place.’”
Then they reported to the king.
Okay, what was Hezekiah thinking? He doesn’t know these guys, doesn’t know where they came from, but he decided that this is the moment he’s gonna be prideful and show off everything in the vaults. And then, he seemed so selfish; not caring what happened to future generations. Weird.
And Manasseh…yikes! He has to be the worst yet – Israel or Judah. He was just flat evil. But consider this. His son followed right in his footsteps. It makes us take a little closer notice of how we act in front on our children, huh? What’s the old saying? Children learn what they live?
Finally, were you as moved as I was when Josiah actually read the Torah like you and I did earlier this year? His heart was truly broken at how far his people had strayed from the original covenant of the Lord. He humbled himself before the Lord and the Lord heard his prayer and knew his heart. How did this speak to your heart? Let me know at Lifting Her Voice.com, Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.
Thank you for joining me here today. I pray that by spending time in His Word every day, you will by changed. Visit me at Lifting Her Voice.com with your comments and questions. And don’t forget to visit the Blog page while you’re there. If you like the podcast, it would be great if you’d give it a five-star review and share it with everyone you know. Don’t forget to subscribe wherever you get your podcasts. See you tomorrow!
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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