Way back in the Book of Judges, we had a recurring theme: “The Israelites did evil in the Lord’s sight”. It became a vicious cycle. Here we have a similar recurring theme: “King ________ did what was evil in the Lord’s sight”. That applied to the kings of the northern kingdom of Israel — all were bad. In the southern kingdom of Judah, it was a bit different. There, the kings did “what was pleasing in the Lord’s sight” — to a point. The sins of greed and pride rear their ugly heads. Let’s dig in…
Note: The names of the kings are confusing. Please refer to the chart at the bottom for clarification as to which one ruled where and for how long.
2 Kings 13
Jehoahaz son of Jehu began to rule over Israel in the twenty-third year of King Joash’s reign in Judah. He reigned in Samaria seventeen years. 2 But he did what was evil in the Lord’s sight. He followed the example of Jeroboam son of Nebat, continuing the sins that Jeroboam had led Israel to commit. 3 So the Lord was very angry with Israel, and he allowed King Hazael of Aram and his son Ben-hadad to defeat them repeatedly.
4 Then Jehoahaz prayed for the Lord’s help, and the Lord heard his prayer, for he could see how severely the king of Aram was oppressing Israel. 5 So the Lord provided someone to rescue the Israelites from the tyranny of the Arameans. Then Israel lived in safety again as they had in former days.
6 But they continued to sin, following the evil example of Jeroboam. They also allowed the Asherah pole in Samaria to remain standing. 7 Finally, Jehoahaz’s army was reduced to 50 charioteers, 10 chariots, and 10,000 foot soldiers. The king of Aram had killed the others, trampling them like dust under his feet.
8 The rest of the events in Jehoahaz’s reign—everything he did and the extent of his power—are recorded in The Book of the History of the Kings of Israel. 9 When Jehoahaz died, he was buried in Samaria. Then his son Jehoash became the next king.
Jehoash Rules in Israel
10 Jehoash son of Jehoahaz began to rule over Israel in the thirty-seventh year of King Joash’s reign in Judah. He reigned in Samaria sixteen years. 11 But he did what was evil in the Lord’s sight. He refused to turn from the sins that Jeroboam son of Nebat had led Israel to commit.
12 The rest of the events in Jehoash’s reign and everything he did, including the extent of his power and his war with King Amaziah of Judah, are recorded in The Book of the History of the Kings of Israel. 13 When Jehoash died, he was buried in Samaria with the kings of Israel. Then his son Jeroboam II became the next king.
Elisha’s Final Prophecy
14 When Elisha was in his last illness, King Jehoash of Israel visited him and wept over him. “My father! My father! I see the chariots and charioteers of Israel!” he cried.
15 Elisha told him, “Get a bow and some arrows.” And the king did as he was told. 16 Elisha told him, “Put your hand on the bow,” and Elisha laid his own hands on the king’s hands.
17 Then he commanded, “Open that eastern window,” and he opened it. Then he said, “Shoot!” So he shot an arrow. Elisha proclaimed, “This is the Lord’s arrow, an arrow of victory over Aram, for you will completely conquer the Arameans at Aphek.”
18 Then he said, “Now pick up the other arrows and strike them against the ground.” So the king picked them up and struck the ground three times. 19 But the man of God was angry with him. “You should have struck the ground five or six times!” he exclaimed. “Then you would have beaten Aram until it was entirely destroyed. Now you will be victorious only three times.”
20 Then Elisha died and was buried.
Groups of Moabite raiders used to invade the land each spring. 21 Once when some Israelites were burying a man, they spied a band of these raiders. So they hastily threw the corpse into the tomb of Elisha and fled. But as soon as the body touched Elisha’s bones, the dead man revived and jumped to his feet!
22 King Hazael of Aram had oppressed Israel during the entire reign of King Jehoahaz. 23 But the Lord was gracious and merciful to the people of Israel, and they were not totally destroyed. He pitied them because of his covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. And to this day he still has not completely destroyed them or banished them from his presence.
24 King Hazael of Aram died, and his son Ben-hadad became the next king. 25 Then Jehoash son of Jehoahaz recaptured from Ben-hadad son of Hazael the towns that had been taken from Jehoash’s father, Jehoahaz. Jehoash defeated Ben-hadad on three occasions, and he recovered the Israelite towns.2 Kings 13 NLT
2 Kings 14
Amaziah son of Joash began to rule over Judah in the second year of the reign of King Jehoash of Israel. 2 Amaziah was twenty-five years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem twenty-nine years. His mother was Jehoaddin from Jerusalem. 3 Amaziah did what was pleasing in the Lord’s sight, but not like his ancestor David. Instead, he followed the example of his father, Joash. 4 Amaziah did not destroy the pagan shrines, and the people still offered sacrifices and burned incense there.
5 When Amaziah was well established as king, he executed the officials who had assassinated his father. 6 However, he did not kill the children of the assassins, for he obeyed the command of the Lord as written by Moses in the Book of the Law: “Parents must not be put to death for the sins of their children, nor children for the sins of their parents. Those deserving to die must be put to death for their own crimes.” (Deut. 24:16)
7 Amaziah also killed 10,000 Edomites in the Valley of Salt. He also conquered Sela and changed its name to Joktheel, as it is called to this day.
8 One day Amaziah sent messengers with this challenge to Israel’s king Jehoash, the son of Jehoahaz and grandson of Jehu: “Come and meet me in battle!”
9 But King Jehoash of Israel replied to King Amaziah of Judah with this story: “Out in the Lebanon mountains, a thistle sent a message to a mighty cedar tree: ‘Give your daughter in marriage to my son.’ But just then a wild animal of Lebanon came by and stepped on the thistle, crushing it!
10 “You have indeed defeated Edom, and you are proud of it. But be content with your victory and stay at home! Why stir up trouble that will only bring disaster on you and the people of Judah?”
11 But Amaziah refused to listen, so King Jehoash of Israel mobilized his army against King Amaziah of Judah. The two armies drew up their battle lines at Beth-shemesh in Judah. 12 Judah was routed by the army of Israel, and its army scattered and fled for home. 13 King Jehoash of Israel captured Judah’s king, Amaziah son of Joash and grandson of Ahaziah, at Beth-shemesh. Then he marched to Jerusalem, where he demolished 600 feet of Jerusalem’s wall, from the Ephraim Gate to the Corner Gate. 14 He carried off all the gold and silver and all the articles from the Temple of the Lord. He also seized the treasures from the royal palace, along with hostages, and then returned to Samaria.
15 The rest of the events in Jehoash’s reign and everything he did, including the extent of his power and his war with King Amaziah of Judah, are recorded in The Book of the History of the Kings of Israel. 16 When Jehoash died, he was buried in Samaria with the kings of Israel. And his son Jeroboam II became the next king.
17 King Amaziah of Judah lived for fifteen years after the death of King Jehoash of Israel. 18 The rest of the events in Amaziah’s reign are recorded in The Book of the History of the Kings of Judah.
19 There was a conspiracy against Amaziah’s life in Jerusalem, and he fled to Lachish. But his enemies sent assassins after him, and they killed him there. 20 They brought his body back to Jerusalem on a horse, and he was buried with his ancestors in the City of David.
21 All the people of Judah had crowned Amaziah’s sixteen-year-old son, Uzziah, as king in place of his father, Amaziah. 22 After his father’s death, Uzziah rebuilt the town of Elath and restored it to Judah.
Jeroboam II Rules in Israel
23 Jeroboam II, the son of Jehoash, began to rule over Israel in the fifteenth year of King Amaziah’s reign in Judah. He reigned in Samaria forty-one years. 24 He did what was evil in the Lord’s sight. He refused to turn from the sins that Jeroboam son of Nebat had led Israel to commit. 25 Jeroboam II recovered the territories of Israel between Lebo-hamath and the Dead Sea, just as the Lord, the God of Israel, had promised through Jonah son of Amittai, the prophet from Gath-hepher.
26 For the Lord saw the bitter suffering of everyone in Israel, and that there was no one in Israel, slave or free, to help them. 27 And because the Lord had not said he would blot out the name of Israel completely, he used Jeroboam II, the son of Jehoash, to save them.
28 The rest of the events in the reign of Jeroboam II and everything he did—including the extent of his power, his wars, and how he recovered for Israel both Damascus and Hamath, which had belonged to Judah—are recorded in The Book of the History of the Kings of Israel. 29 When Jeroboam II died, he was buried in Samaria with the kings of Israel. Then his son Zechariah became the next king.2 Kings 14 NLT
Surrender Your Life to God
The problem these kings had was that they didn’t want to give up ANYTHING. In the end, they lost EVERYTHING.
Jesus told us…
“If you cling to your life, you will lose it; but if you give up your life for me, you will find it.”Matthew 10:39 NLT
If you hold on to your earthly life, you will lose it all when you die and end up in hell. If you give up your earthly life — that is surrender your life to King Jesus — you will find your ETERNAL LIFE!
Are you ready to surrender everything to Jesus?
What are you waiting for?!
Elisha, the prophet may be dead, but the Word of God lives on in Elisha’s proteges. These are known as the “Minor Prophets” — not because what they had to say was less valuable than the others. No, it’s because their messages where short, sweet and to the point.
God sent these prophets to warn the kings of both kingdoms and the people that if they did’t stop worshiping the worthless, useless idols and pagan gods, they would lose everything. Mixed in the messages for the people of that time are prophecies of events yet to come. Some were fulfilled by Jesus in the New Testament and others are still yet to be fulfilled.
As we weave through the history, we’ll look at the prophetic voices to see what they had to say to the people of Israel and Judah and what they have to say to us today. Coming up next: Jonah, Hosea and Amos.