By now, you probably know the drill. If you are new, this series, as you may have deciphered, is an outline of the entire Bible, book by good ol’ book. If you want to truly know your King, you can follow this link to read all of the current portions to date!
Previously in 2 Kings…Ahaziah took the mantle of king over Israel in place of his wicked father, Ahab. He too followed in the same footsteps and we quickly see him being cursed to death for his unfaithfulness to the Lord. Eventually we come to the end of the great prophet Elijah’s time on earth. He is taken up into heaven, and just as promised, Elisha takes his place on earth. Elisha proceeds to prophesy and perform many miracles proving the power and authority of the Lord to all people.
We see more of the Lord’s will come to pass as Hazael takes the mantle of king over Syria and Jehu becomes king over Israel. The Lord cursed the house of Ahab and promised its ruin through the hands of Hazael, Jehu, and Elisha, and that begins through Jehu who murders Jezebel and the decedents of the house of Ahab as prophesied. He then proceeds to assassinate Joram, king of Israel and son of Ahab, and Ahaziah, king of Judah.
BEFORE READING MORE – It would be ideal if you read the chapters to be discussed prior to looking through the outline! This week we are covering 2 Kings 11 – 14 .
2 KINGS – Following the aftermath of the evil king, Ahab, and his evil wife, Jezebel, 2 Kings begins with the final days of Elijah. Elijah is eventually taken up to heaven and Elisha takes his place, as prophesied in 1 Kings. We then see much of what Elijah prophesied come to pass.
As prophesied, Elisha serves the Lord mightily after Elijah. As prophesied, Ahab and his line are completely destroyed. As prophesied, Jezebel is killed and eaten by dogs. As prophesied, Hazael takes the mantel of Syrian king. As prophesied, Jehu is appointed over Israel.
We see so much come to fruition and despite all the evil that persists among the people, we still see hope through many good rulers and deeds from people such as Elisha, King Hezekiah, King Jotham, King Josiah, and even people outside of the Kingdom of Israel like Naaman, the Syrian general.
As a whole, the reign of the Kings of Israel and Judah are continued in this book, but we see the steady downfall of both kingdoms. Eventually the divided nation comes to a tipping point, and we see the complete fall of both. We see Israel fall to the Assyrian empire, and shortly after, we see Judah fall to the Babylonian empire. Through it all though, we continue to see the faithfulness, mercy, and judgement of the Lord.
- 2 Kings 11-12 | Athaliah, Ahaziah’s mother, seizes reign of Judah – Joash, Ahaziah’s son, is hidden – Joash reigns in Judah – Joash follows the instruction of Jehoaida – the Temple is repaired – Joash offers all to Hazael to avoid war – Jozacar and Jehozabad conspire and kill Joash: After Jehu was appointed king over Israel in the previous chapter, as prophesied he went on to purge the kingdom of much evil including Ahaziah, the king of Judah. After Ahaziah was killed, his mother, Athaliah (wife of Jehoram and daughter of Ahab and Jezebel), assumed control of the kingdom. She proceeded to murder the rest of the royal family, most likely because of Jehu’s purging of the descendants of Ahab. Luckily Ahaziah’s sister, Jehosheba, took it upon herself to steal away and protect his son, Joash, until he was able to assume the mantle of king. Joash, or Jehoash, was protected and raised for 6 years in secret by Jehosheba and her husband, the prophet Jehoiada, and he was anointed as king over Judah when he was only 7 years old! Athaliah claimed treason, but she was captured and put to death as Jehoash assumed rule. Joash proceeded to do much good before the Lord mainly because he listened to the priest Jehoiada’s instruction. They were to reveal and flesh out embezzlement within the priesthood as the priests had been keeping money that was meant to repair the Temple. The priests had kept this wealth for 23 years without making a single repair, so Jehoiada and Joash made sure that the money was returned and used to properly repair the Temple. At the end of the chapter we learn that Hazael and Syria were not at peace with Israel, and Joash had to effectively pay them off (with all the gold!) in order to avoid war. Unfortunately, we also learn that the king’s servants, Jozacar and Jehozabad, conspired against Joash and murdered him, ending his reign of 40 years.
- 2 Kings 13 | Jehoahaz, son of Jehu, reigns in Israel – Jehoash, his son, reigns after Jehoahaz – The greatness of Elisha is exemplified at his deathbed and after his death – Syria wars against Israel: In the previous chapter we learned of the development in the nation of Judah, and in Chapter 13 we learn of developments in Israel. After Jehu’s reign of 23 years, his son Jehoahaz reigned in his stead for 17 years. Jehoahaz perpetuated the evil of his ancestor Jeroboam but he did seek the Lord’s favor at times. Unfortunately, Israel continued in the sins of Jeroboam until his death. After the death of Jehoahaz, Jehoash his son, became king of Israel in the 37th year of his namesake Joash, king of Judah. Jehoahaz continued in the sins of Jeroboam and reigned for 16 years. During Jehoash’s reign, Elisha fell sick and came to his last years of life. In Elisha’s last moments of life, he prophesied of Joash’s victory over Syria by the Lord’s faithfulness. Joash intently listened to all Elisha had to say but he held back when Elisha asked him to strike the ground with arrows. Joash struck the ground only 3 times and stopped, and Elisha prophesied 3 victories over Syria claiming that if he had struck it more, then more victories would have been given! We read that Hazael oppressed Israel, and after his death, his son Ben-hadad continued in the same path. But we clearly see Elisha’s prowess as Joash defeated the Syrians 3 times, as prophesied. However, the most amazing part of this chapter is the clear and powerful testimony of Elisha:
So Elisha died, and they buried him. Now bands of Moabites used to invade the land in the spring of the year. And as a man was being buried, behold a marauding band was seen and the man was thrown into the grave of Elisha, and as soon as the man touched the bones of Elisha, he revived and stood on his feet. | 2 Kings 13:20-21
Dead and reduced to bones, but still filled with life! Only possible by the grace and magnificent power of the Lord – the power that lives inside our very beings!
- 2 Kings 14 | Amaziah, son of Joash of Judah, becomes king – Amaziah wars with Jehoash, king of Israel – Amaziah is captured – Jeroboam II, son of Jehoash, becomes king of Israel – Azariah becomes king of Judah: Meanwhile in Israel, Amaziah reigns as king after Joash, his father, is murdered by Jozacar and Jehozabad. Amaziah did good before the Lord, but it was not to the extent of his ancestor King David because many of the “high places” (idols) were not removed from the kingdom. He proceeded to punish those that killed his father, strike down the Edomites, and challenge Israel. From this chapter, it isn’t clear why exactly he challenged Jehoash, but it may be discussed further in expanded events of the Chronicles. Unfortunately Amaziah challenged Israel, and Judah was defeated. Amaziah was captured by Jehoash. After Jehoash’s death, Amaziah lived for 15 years but was eventually murdered. At the end of the chapter we see Jeroboam II, the son of Jehoash, become king of Israel after his fathers death. We see Azariah, son of Amaziah, become king of Judah at only age 16 after his fathers death. It is surprising and encouraging to see that Jeroboam, although he did much evil in the sight of the Lord, was still used to “save” Israel:
In the fifteenth year of Amaziah the son of Joash, king of Judah, Jeroboam the son of Joash, king of Israel, began to reign in Samaria, and he reigned forty-one years. And he did what was evil in the sight of the Lord. He did not depart from all the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, which he made Israel to sin…For the Lord saw the affliction of Israel was very bitter, for there was none left, bond or free, and there was none to help Israel. But the Lord had not said that he would blot out the name of Israel from under heaven, so he saved them by the hand of Jeroboam the son of Joash | 2 Kings 14:23-24, 26-27
Even those who act against the Lord can be used to bring about his will! The things that others mean for evil, the Lord can use for good! After Jeroboam’s death, his son Zechariah reigned over Israel.