When we left off last time, Kings had taken a small departure in its style of writing.
Instead of having chapters devoted to a king’s reign, we only had a few lines.
2 Kings 15
27 In the fifty-second year of Azariah king of Judah, Pekah son of Remaliah became king of Israel in Samaria,
That’s after he assassinated Pekahiah and took the throne.
and he reigned twenty years.
28 He did evil in the eyes of the Lord.
He did not turn away from the sins of Jeroboam son of Nebat, which he had caused Israel to commit.
During his reign the king of Assyria was able to conquer more and more of Israel’s land and started to take them into captivity.
We’ll find out why very soon.
*30* Then Hoshea son of Elah conspired against Pekah son of Remaliah.
He attacked and assassinated him, and then succeeded him as king in the twentieth year of Jotham son of Uzziah.
Over to Judah
32 In the second year of Pekah son of Remaliah king of Israel, Jotham son of Uzziah king of Judah began to reign.
33 He was twenty-five years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem sixteen years.
His mother’s name was Jerusha daughter of Zadok.
34 He did what was right in the eyes of the Lord, just as his father Uzziah had done.
35 The high places, however, were not removed; the people continued to offer sacrifices and burn incense there.
Jotham rebuilt the Upper Gate of the temple of the Lord.
*38*** Jotham rested with his fathers and was buried with them in the City of David, the city of his father.
And Ahaz his son succeeded him as king.
*16* In the seventeenth year of Pekah son of Remaliah, Ahaz son of Jotham king of Judah began to reign.
2 Ahaz was twenty years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem sixteen years.
Unlike David his father, he did not do what was right in the eyes of the Lord his God.
3 He walked in the ways of the kings of Israel and even sacrificed his son in the fire, following the detestable ways of the nations the Lord had driven out before the Israelites.
4 He offered sacrifices and burned incense at the high places, on the hilltops and under every spreading tree.
During his reign, Pekah (the king of Israel) joined forces with Rezin (the king of Aram) and marched on Jerusalem.
Although they did not win the war, they did win an important battle.
The result gave the Edomites control of an important sea port.
Why didn’t Israel win the battle over Judah?
Because of God’s promise to David for a remnant to survive.
Then (and this really surprised me when I read it)…
7 Ahaz sent messengers to say to Tiglath-Pileser king of Assyria, “I am your servant and vassal.
Come up and save me out of the hand of the king of Aram and of the king of Israel, who are attacking me.” 8 And Ahaz took the silver and gold found in the temple of the Lord and in the treasuries of the royal palace and sent it as a gift to the king of Assyria.
9 The king of Assyria complied by attacking Damascus and capturing it.
He deported its inhabitants to Kir and put Rezin to death.
Did you get that?
Ahaz asked the man who would be responsible for exiling the Jews to help him.
Wait it get’s worse.
10 Then King Ahaz went to Damascus to meet Tiglath-Pileser king of Assyria.
He saw an altar in Damascus and sent to Uriah the priest a sketch of the altar, with detailed plans for its construction.
What kind of altars would they have in Damascus?
11 So Uriah the priest built an altar in accordance with all the plans that King Ahaz had sent from Damascus and finished it before King Ahaz returned.
12 When the king came back from Damascus and saw the altar, he approached it and presented offerings on it.
He liked this new altar so much he had the altar Solomon made for the original temple moved to another place in the temple, and put his altar where it had been.
Then he instructed the priest to offer sacrifices on the new altar.
With the new altar in place, the rest of Solomon’s decorations didn’t quite go anymore.
*17*** King Ahaz took away the side panels and removed the basins from the movable stands.
He removed the Sea from the bronze bulls that supported it and set it on a stone base.
18 He took away the Sabbath canopy that had been built at the temple and removed the royal entryway outside the temple of the Lord, in deference to the king of Assyria.
*20*** Ahaz rested with his fathers and was buried with them in the City of David.
And Hezekiah his son succeeded him as king.
Over to Israel
*17* In the twelfth year of Ahaz king of Judah, Hoshea son of Elah became king of Israel in Samaria, and he reigned nine years.
2 He did evil in the eyes of the Lord, but not like the kings of Israel who preceded him.
Notice that he is not compared to Jeroboam.
Also notice that unlike the other kings Hoshea did not become king when his father died.
If you look at the chart, you will see that their reigns overlapped.
It was like they shared the kingdom for a year or so.
During this time, Ahaz had been paying off the king of Assyria not to go to war with him.
We’ve seen that this was a common practice.
But after his father died.
Hoshea decided to stop paying the King of Assyria and sent envoys to the King of Egypt to see if they could form an alliance.
When the King of Assyria heard about the plan…
*5*** The king of Assyria invaded the entire land, marched against Samaria and laid siege to it for three years.
6 In the ninth year of Hoshea, the king of Assyria captured Samaria and deported the Israelites to Assyria.
The author of Kings however wants everyone to know…
*7*** All this took place because the Israelites had sinned against the Lord their God, who had brought them up out of Egypt from under the power of Pharaoh king of Egypt.
They worshiped other gods 8 and followed the practices of the nations the Lord had driven out before them, as well as the practices that the kings of Israel had introduced.
9 The Israelites secretly did things against the Lord their God that were not right.
From watchtower to fortified city they built themselves high places in all their towns.
10 They set up sacred stones and Asherah poles on every high hill and under every spreading tree.
11 At every high place they burned incense, as the nations whom the Lord had driven out before them had done.
They did wicked things that provoked the Lord to anger.
12 They worshiped idols, though the Lord had said, “You shall not do this.”
13 The Lord warned Israel and Judah through all his prophets and seers: “Turn from your evil ways.
Observe my commands and decrees, in accordance with the entire Law that I commanded your fathers to obey and that I delivered to you through my servants the prophets.”
14 But they would not listen and were as stiff-necked as their fathers, who did not trust in the Lord their God.
15 They rejected his decrees and the covenant he had made with their fathers and the warnings he had given them.
They followed worthless idols and themselves became worthless.
They imitated the nations around them although the Lord had ordered them, “Do not do as they do,” and they did the things the Lord had forbidden them to do.
16 They forsook all the commands of the Lord their God and made for themselves two idols cast in the shape of calves, and an Asherah pole.
They bowed down to all the starry hosts, and they worshiped Baal.
17 They sacrificed their sons and daughters in the fire.
They practiced divination and sorcery and sold themselves to do evil in the eyes of the Lord, provoking him to anger.
18 So the Lord was very angry with Israel and removed them from his presence.
Only the tribe of Judah was left,
*20*** Therefore the Lord rejected all the people of Israel; he afflicted them and gave them into the hands of plunderers, until he thrust them from his presence.
Over to Judah
*18* In the third year of Hoshea son of Elah king of Israel, Hezekiah son of Ahaz king of Judah began to reign.
2 He was twenty-five years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem twenty-nine years.
His mother’s name was Abijah daughter of Zechariah.
3 He did what was right in the eyes of the Lord, just as his father David had done.
4 He removed the high places, smashed the sacred stones and cut down the Asherah poles.
He broke into pieces the bronze snake Moses had made, for up to that time the Israelites had been burning incense to it.
5 Hezekiah trusted in the Lord, the God of Israel.
There was no one like him among all the kings of Judah, either before him or after him.
6 He held fast to the Lord and did not cease to follow him; he kept the commands the Lord had given Moses.