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Two Kings Fifteen

by Dr. Henry M. Morris

(taken from the Defender's Study Bible)

2 Kings 15:1 In the twenty and seventh year of Jeroboam king of Israel began Azariah son of Amaziah king of Judah to reign.

2 Kings 15:2 Sixteen years old was he when he began to reign, and he reigned two and fifty years in Jerusalem. And his mother's name was Jecholiah of Jerusalem.

2 Kings 15:3 And he did that which was right in the sight of the LORD, according to all that his father Amaziah had done;

2 Kings 15:4 Save that the high places were not removed: the people sacrificed and burnt incense still on the high places.

2 Kings 15:5 And the LORD smote the king, so that he was a leper unto the day of his death, and dwelt in a several house. And Jotham the king's son was over the house, judging the people of the land.

was a leper. The reason for this affliction was Azariah's attempt to burn incense in the temple. See 2 Chronicles 26:16-21. Jotham, his son, served as co-regent with Azariah until the latter's death. At least two ancient seals have been found with Uzziah's name on them.

2 Kings 15:6 And the rest of the acts of Azariah, and all that he did, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah?

2 Kings 15:7 So Azariah slept with his fathers; and they buried him with his fathers in the city of David: and Jotham his son reigned in his stead.

2 Kings 15:8 In the thirty and eighth year of Azariah king of Judah did Zachariah the son of Jeroboam reign over Israel in Samaria six months.

2 Kings 15:9 And he did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD, as his fathers had done: he departed not from the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who made Israel to sin.

2 Kings 15:10 And Shallum the son of Jabesh conspired against him, and smote him before the people, and slew him, and reigned in his stead.

2 Kings 15:11 And the rest of the acts of Zachariah, behold, they are written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel.

2 Kings 15:12 This was the word of the LORD which he spake unto Jehu, saying, Thy sons shall sit on the throne of Israel unto the fourth generation. And so it came to pass.

unto the fourth generation. Even though Jehu continued in the sins of Jeroboam I and his calf-worship, he did serve as the Lord's instrument for purging the land of Baalism and the house of Ahab. Accordingly, God had promised him that four generations of his sons would be kings in Israel (2 Kings 10:30). These turned out to be Jehoahaz, Joash, Jeroboam II and Zachariah. Then, however, as prophesied by Amos during the long reign of Jeroboam II (Amos 7:9), the line would be cut off by the sword. And so it was.

2 Kings 15:13 Shallum the son of Jabesh began to reign in the nine and thirtieth year of Uzziah king of Judah; and he reigned a full month in Samaria.

2 Kings 15:14 For Menahem the son of Gadi went up from Tirzah, and came to Samaria, and smote Shallum the son of Jabesh in Samaria, and slew him, and reigned in his stead.

2 Kings 15:15 And the rest of the acts of Shallum, and his conspiracy which he made, behold, they are written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel.

2 Kings 15:16 Then Menahem smote Tiphsah, and all that were therein, and the coasts thereof from Tirzah: because they opened not to him, therefore he smote it; and all the women therein that were with child he ripped up.

2 Kings 15:17 In the nine and thirtieth year of Azariah king of Judah began Menahem the son of Gadi to reign over Israel, and reigned ten years in Samaria.

2 Kings 15:18 And he did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD: he departed not all his days from the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who made Israel to sin.

2 Kings 15:19 And Pul the king of Assyria came against the land: and Menahem gave Pul a thousand talents of silver, that his hand might be with him to confirm the kingdom in his hand.

the king of Assyria. Except for Jonah's mission to Nineveh, this is the first mention of contact between Israel and the great Assyrian empire.

2 Kings 15:20 And Menahem exacted the money of Israel, even of all the mighty men of wealth, of each man fifty shekels of silver, to give to the king of Assyria. So the king of Assyria turned back, and stayed not there in the land.

2 Kings 15:21 And the rest of the acts of Menahem, and all that he did, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel?

2 Kings 15:22 And Menahem slept with his fathers; and Pekahiah his son reigned in his stead.

Menahem. Menahem is mentioned in an Assyrian inscription, in which Pul, the king (same as Tiglath-Pileser III), boasts of receiving tribute from him (as mentioned in 2 Kings 15:19). Pul's various inscriptions also mention Kings Uzziah and Ahaz of Judah and Kings Pekah and Hoshea of Israel.

2 Kings 15:23 In the fiftieth year of Azariah king of Judah Pekahiah the son of Menahem began to reign over Israel in Samaria, and reigned two years.

reigned two years. The imminent disintegration of the northern kingdom of Israel is foreshadowed by the brief, wicked, and violent reigns of several of the kings of this period. Zachariah ruled just six months before being assassinated by Shallam, who then held the throne only one month before Menahem murdered him. Menahem, the most evil of all, did manage to reign for ten years, being succeeded by his son Pekahiah who was killed two years later by Pekah. By this time the Assyrians had begun their conquest of the nation.

2 Kings 15:24 And he did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD: he departed not from the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who made Israel to sin.

2 Kings 15:25 But Pekah the son of Remaliah, a captain of his, conspired against him, and smote him in Samaria, in the palace of the king's house, with Argob and Arieh, and with him fifty men of the Gileadites: and he killed him, and reigned in his room.

2 Kings 15:26 And the rest of the acts of Pekahiah, and all that he did, behold, they are written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel.

2 Kings 15:27 In the two and fiftieth year of Azariah king of Judah Pekah the son of Remaliah began to reign over Israel in Samaria, and reigned twenty years.

2 Kings 15:28 And he did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD: he departed not from the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who made Israel to sin.

2 Kings 15:29 In the days of Pekah king of Israel came Tiglathpileser king of Assyria, and took Ijon, and Abelbethmaachah, and Janoah, and Kedesh, and Hazor, and Gilead, and Galilee, all the land of Naphtali, and carried them captive to Assyria.

carried them captive. It was during Pekah's reign that the Assyrian captivity of Israel began. He in turn was eventually assassinated by Hoshea, who was Israel's last king before the final stages of the Assyrian conquest and captivity were accomplished (2 Kings 17:6).

2 Kings 15:30 And Hoshea the son of Elah made a conspiracy against Pekah the son of Remaliah, and smote him, and slew him, and reigned in his stead, in the twentieth year of Jotham the son of Uzziah.

2 Kings 15:31 And the rest of the acts of Pekah, and all that he did, behold, they are written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel.

2 Kings 15:32 In the second year of Pekah the son of Remaliah king of Israel began Jotham the son of Uzziah king of Judah to reign.

2 Kings 15:33 Five and twenty years old was he when he began to reign, and he reigned sixteen years in Jerusalem. And his mother's name was Jerusha, the daughter of Zadok.

2 Kings 15:34 And he did that which was right in the sight of the LORD: he did according to all that his father Uzziah had done.

2 Kings 15:35 Howbeit the high places were not removed: the people sacrificed and burned incense still in the high places. He built the higher gate of the house of the LORD.

2 Kings 15:36 Now the rest of the acts of Jotham, and all that he did, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah?

2 Kings 15:37 In those days the LORD began to send against Judah Rezin the king of Syria, and Pekah the son of Remaliah.

send against Judah. While Israel was being besieged by the Assyrians, her king Pekah had joined with the Syrians to attack Judah. Isaiah had begun his prophetic ministry in Judah by this time, and encouraged the people not to fear this doomed confederacy (Isaiah 7:1-9). This prophecy included the promise of the coming virgin-born Messiah (Isaiah 7:14).

2 Kings 15:38 And Jotham slept with his fathers, and was buried with his fathers in the city of David his father: and Ahaz his son reigned in his stead.

Ahaz his son. A clay seal has recently been found at the southern end of the West Bank in Israel, bearing the inscription “Ahaz [son of] Yotam, King of Judah.”