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. After their death, we just continue to see much craziness in Israel and Judah. Ahaziah’s mom, Athaliah, attempts to take the throne, but his 7-year old son assumes rule. The same cycle of old is perpetuated as there are conspiracies and wars and new kings that do evil before the Lord, but we do see some good in kings like Amaziah, descendant of David and son of Joash. The most notable event of late is the unfortunate death of Elisha, but we read of the power of God that was in his very bones.
As the chapter continues, we see the swift decline of the once glorious Israel. There was a tumultuous battle for the throne that caused many to kill and over throw and seize rule with 6 rulers listed in Chapter 15 alone! Eventually we see Ahaz rule over Judah and side with Assyria to destroy the Syrians, and we see Hoshea reign over Israel. Hoshea completely gave himself over to Assyria, and the foreign nation took Samaria (all the Israelite nations save for Judah) captive. The Israelites were shipped out and the Assyrians moved in.
Meanwhile in the nation of Judah king Hezekiah embarked on a journey to rid the nation of the evils brought about by their forefathers. He defied Assyria and sided with the Syrians in order to defeat the nation that took Israel captive. Unfortunately, his son Manasseh continued the evil that Hezekiah had purged, and Manasseh’s son, Amon, did so as well. But his son, Josiah, was a ray of hope among the long list of evil kings.
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 18 – 21.
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 22 | King Josiah repairs the temple – Hilkiah and Shaphan find the lost Book of the Law – the Lord promises destruction on Judah but honors King Josiah’s humility: After the conspiracy against and murder of Amon, Josiah, his son, was established as king over Judah at only 8 years old! Josiah was righteous before the Lord, and he began the long overdue renovations of the temple of the Lord. During these renovations Hilkiah rediscovered something that had been lost:
And Hilkiah the high priest said to Shaphan the secretary, “I have found the Book of the Law in the house of the Lord.” And Hilkiah gave the book to Shaphan, and he read it…Then Shaphan the secretary told the king, “Hilkiah the priest has given me a book.” And Shaphan read it before the king. When the king heard the words of the Book of the Law, he tore his clothes. | 2 Kings 22:8,10-11
Has the Word of the Lord been lost within the temple of the Lord that is your heart?! Find it again and tear your clothes in humility before Him because of it’s truth! King Josiah inquired of Huldah, the prophetess, and the Lord spoke through her and promised the destruction of Judah because of their sin. But because of Josiah’s humility and faithfulness, it was promised that the destruction of the nation would come only after his time.
- 2 Kings 23 | Josiah vows to keep the commandments of the Lord – Josiah is killed in battle – Jehoahaz, his son, reigns – Jehoahaz is captured by Egypt – Jehoaiakim (Eliakim), his son, reigns: After finding the Book of the Law, Josiah sprang into action:
And the king stood by the 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 his heart and all his soul, to perform the words of this covenant that were written in this book. And all the people joined in the covenant. | 2 Kings 23:3
Josiah went on to purge the temple of the Lord and burn the false idols at none other than the well known brook Kidron. He then commanded the people to keep the Passover:
For no such Passover had been kept since the days of the judges who judged Israel, or during the days of the kings of Israel or of the kings of Judah. But in the eighteenth year of King Josiah this Passover was kept to the Lord in Jerusalem | 2 Kings 23:22-23
So Josiah cemented himself as king with none other like him: a king who served the Lord with all of his heart and all of his soul. Unfortunately, this could not placate the wrath of the Lord on Judah as promised. Josiah was killed in battle against Pharaoh Neco of Egypt, and his son, Jehoahaz, reigned after him. Jehoahaz was captured by Pharaoh, and his brother Eliakim, renamed Jehoaikim, becomes king. He started his reign at only 25 and did evil before the Lord.
- 2 Kings 24 | Babylon and Nebuchadnezzar come into the picture – The Lord’s promise of Judah’s destruction begins to happen – Jehoiachin is king after his father, Jehoaikim – Nebuchadnezzar conquers Jerusalem – Mattaniah (Zedekiah), Jehoiachin’s uncle, is made king: At the start of the chapter, we see the dominance of Nebuchadnezzar and the kingdom of Babylon, and we see the Lord enact his justice upon Judah because of their sin. Babylon conquered and pushed out the king of Egypt, and Nebuchadnezzar set his eyes on Jerusalem. The Lord allowed Chaldeans, Syrians, Moabites, and Ammonites to attack “Judah to destroy it” and “remove them out of his sight” because of the sins and evil of Manasseh. So Nebuchadnezzar swooped in and conquered Jerusalem. He took the people captive including king Jehoiachin who reigned after the death of his father Jehoiakim. After taking the people captive including the mighty men of valor and all the craftsmen, Nebuchadnezzar left the poorest of people and made Mattaniah, Jehoiachin’s uncle, king. Mattaniah’s name was changed to Zedekiah, and he did evil before the Lord and rebelled against Babylon.
- 2 Kings 25 | Judah completely crumbles and is taken captive by Babylon – Gedaliah is made governor over the remaining people in Judah – Gedaliah is murdered by the escaped soldiers of Judah – Jehoiachin is released from his prison and has a seat at the king’s table in Babylon: Judah fell to Babylon with much violence and destruction. After Zedekiah’s rebellion, Nebuchadnezzar marched the armies of Babylon against the remainder of Judah. While some men were able to escape the siege of the city, Zedekiah was eventually caught. His sons were killed before his eyes, and then his eyes were gouged out before he was taken to Babylon. Then the Babylonian men proceeded to break down all that was in the city of Jerusalem, most notably burning down the house of the Lord! They took down the walls and took almost all of the people into exile save for the poorest. Then the men proceeded to take Seraiah, the chief priest, Zephaniah, the second priest, and many other officers and kill them. Judah was officially in Babylonian captivity. Babylon proceeded to make Gedaliah, son of Ahikam who was the son of Shaphan, governor over the remaining few in the land, but he was put to death by some of the Israelites that were able to escape during the siege. At the very end of the chapter, we learn that Jehoiachin was finally released from his prison in Babylon and allowed to sit at the table of the King, which seems to set the stage for a new dynamic of the captive, and no longer dominant, nation of Israel.