2 Kings 15-17
The Divided Kingdom-Israel & Judah (various Kings), cont’d. 2 Kings 1-17
2 Kings 15:1…Azariah becomes king in Judah (790-739)
2 Kings 15:1-7-Azariah (Uzziah), son of Amaziah became king of Judah...in the 27th year of Jeroboam's reign in Israel...he was 16 years old...and reigned 52 years. By and large, he did right in the sight of the LORD. However, at one time he attempted to usurp the responsibility of the priesthood and as a result..."And the LORD struck the king, so that he was a leper to the day of his death..." (:5, cf. 2 Chronicles 26:17-21). His son, Jothan was then given the responsibilities of the household and he also judged the people of the land (:5). Azariah died and Jotham became king.
- Azariah came to the throne in a difficult era: "Following the tragic events that brought King Amaziah's reign to an end, Jerusalem was in disarray, a major section of its protective wall destroyed, its temple and palace emptied of their treasures, and some of its inhabitants taken away to Israel as hostages." (Dilday)
- 2 Chronicles 26 tells us much more about the successful reign of Uzziah (Azariah):
- He began his reign when he was only 16 years old (26:3).
- He reigned during the ministry of Zechariah the prophet (26:5).
- He defeated the Philistines and took many of their cities, and also kept the Ammonites in tribute (26:6-8).
- He was internationally famous as a strong king (26:8).
- He was an ambitious builder and skilled in agriculture (26:9-10). "He probably gave special attention to the tillage of the soil because of the prophecies of Hosea and Amos concerning the scarcity about to come. (See Hosea 2:9; 4:3; 9:2; Amos 1:2; 4:6-9; 5:16-19)." (Knapp)
- He built up and organized the army, introducing several new items of military technology (26:11-15).
iii. Knapp suggests that Azariah became king in an unusual manner: "He seems to have come by the throne, not in the way of ordinary succession, but by the direct choice of the people. The princes had been destroyed by the Syrians toward the close of his grandfather Joash's reign (2 Chronicles 24:23, leaving the people a free hand."…
- The LORD struck the king, so that he was a leper until the day of his death: 2 Chronicles 26 also tells us of the downfall of Azariah, who was marvelously helped till he became strong (2 Chronicles 26:15). The Chronicler goes on: But when he was strong his heart was lifted up, to his destruction, for he transgressed against the LORD his God by entering the temple of the LORD to burn incense on the altar of incense (2 Chronicles 26:16). The priests tried to stop him, but the King insisted on forcing his way into the temple to offer incense.
- Azariah violated what had become a general principle in God's dealing with Israel: that no king should also be a priest, and that the offices of prophet, priest, and king should not be combined in one man - until the Messiah, who fulfilled all three offices.
- "His great power fostered such pride and haughtiness that about 750 B.C. he sought to add to his vast power by usurping the prerogatives of the sacred priesthood." (Patterson and Austel)
- He dwelt in an isolated house: Azariah came into the temple as an arrogant king, and he left - indeed, he hurried to get out, because the Lord had struck him (2 Chronicles 26:20) - he left as a humbled leper.
David Guzik :: Study Guide for 2 Kings,
2 Kings 15:8…Zechariah becomes king of Israel (753)
2 Kings 15:8-12-Zechariah, son of Jeroboam became king of Israel...38th year of Azariah's reign in Judah...for 6 months. Shallum, son of Jabesh, conspired against him and killed him and became king.
2 Kings 15:13…Shallum becomes king of Israel (752)
2 Kings 15:13-15-Shallum, son of Jabesh, became king of Israel...39 year of Azariah's reign in Judah...for 1 month.
2 Kings 15:16…Menahem becomes king of Israel (752-742)
2 Kings 15:16-22-Menahem, son of Gadi killed Shallum and became king...he reigned for 10 years. Pul (Tiglath-pileser III), king of Assyria, threatened Israel, so Menahem paid him and became a vassal. Menahem died and his son Pekahiah became king.
2 Kings 15:23…Pekahiah becomes king of Israel (742-740)
2 Kings 15:23-26-Pekahiah, son of Menahem became king...50th year of Azariah, king of Judah...reigned 2 years. Pekah killed him...and became king.
2 Kings 15:27…Pekah becomes king of Israel (740-732)
2 Kings 15:27-31-...Pekah, son of Remaliah, became king of Israel, 52nd year of Azariah...he reigned 27 years. Hoshea, son of Elah, killed Pekah and became king.
The final destruction of Israel by Assyria (722 B.C.)
One year after Pekah became king of Israel, Uzziah, king of Judah died. It was at this time that Isaiah had the vision recorded in Isaiah 6. Judah refused to join Israel in an anti-Assyrian alliance...so Israel invaded and conquered Judah (2 Chronicles 28:5-15). Tiglath-pileser III, king of Assyria, attacked Israel in 733 B.C. and captured it. Hoshea was appointed as a puppet king. He tried to make a deal with Egypt to revolt against Assyria, but failed. He was imprisoned by Assyria, who then destroyed Samaria (capital of Israel) in 722 B.C. This was the end of the northern kingdom of Israel.
2 Kings 15:32…Jotham becomes king of Judah (750-731)
2 Kings 15:32-38-Jotham, son of Uzziah, became king of Judah, during the 2nd year of Pekah, son of Remaliah, king of Israel...he reigned for 16 years...he was 25 years old. He died and his son Ahaz became king. Rezin, king of Aram, and Pekah, son of Remaliah...began to attack Judah.
2 Kings 16:1…Ahaz becomes kng of Judah (731-715)
2 Kings 16:1-20-Ahaz, became king of Judah in the 17th year of Pekah's reign in Israel...he was 20 years old...he reigned 16 years. Rezin and Pekah attacked...but did not conquer Judah. Ahaz made a treaty with Tiglath-pilezer III of Assyria...sent the treasures of the house of the LORD to him. Assyria attacked Aram (Syria) and captured its capital, Damascus. Ahaz went to Damascus to meet Tiglath-pilezer and saw the pagan altar there. He had Urijah, the priest make a copy in Jeruslaem. He then had the altar of the LORD moved to a different area of the Temple. Ahaz died...and his son, Hezekiah became king.
2 Kings 17:1…Hoshea becomes king of Israel (732-722)
2 Kings 17:1-6-Hoshea, son of Elah, became king in Israel...during the 12th year that Ahaz was king of Judah...he reigned for 9 years. Shalmaneser, king of Assyria (son of Tiglath-pileser III; he reigned from 727-722 B.C.) attacked and Hoshea paid him tribute. But Hoshea was caught in a conspiracy when he tried to get help from So, King of Egypt. He was put in prison. Then, Shalmaneser attacked Israel for 3 years. In the 9th year of Hoshea's reign Shalmaneser captured Samaria...and took Israel into exile in Assyria. See 15:27 for additional information.
2 Kings 17:7-23-The exile was the result of Israel's sin against God (:7).
2 Kings 17:24-41-People from different nations were brought to live in Israel by the king of Assyria. The king ordered that a priest of Israel be brought to teach the new people about the LORD. They just added worship of the LORD to their worship of their existing gods.
Prayer: Lord, it is heartbreaking to see the decline and fall of Israel. How sad that Your people would turn their backs on You. Please help me to always be faithful. Don’t let ambition, or temptation, or pressures ever turn me from You. There are so many influences in our lives that would lead us away from You. And sometimes, they are so subtle that we don’t recognize them (if we ever even do) until we have drifted far from You. I pray that You will keep me strong and faithful to You all the days of my life.