"Jehoahaz' Reign in Israel
This Bible Study is written by Roger Christopherson, and it's transcription is provided with written permission by http://www.theseason.org
II Kings 13:1 "In the three and twentieth year of Joash the son of Ahaziah king of Judah Jehoahaz the son of Jehu began to reign over Israel in Samaria, and reigned seventeen years."
This chapter takes us into the twenty third year of the reign of Joash, the reign of that little seven year old boy king that was raised in the Temple, and gave the order in his youth to raise the money and patch the holes in the walls of the Temple. Though the priests had been gathering money over many years, the money kept slipping through their fingers, for they were waiting till they had the full amount in hand before starting the reconstruction. The point made here is that you start the work and do what you can with the money that you have, only these priests did nothing to protect the funds, or to start the restoration work on the walls during that time. It was in the twenty third year of his reign that Joash of Judah took the money chest and gave it over to the carpenters and repairmen, and told them to get to work and repair the temple. The blessings start once you have started to do the work, then the blessings flow your way.
However, to the north in the nation of the House of Israel, Jehu the king had died, and Jehoahaz his son began to reign in Samaria, the capital city of Israel. We will see in this chapter that there are two kings named Jehoash or Joash, the one being the king of Judah, the son of Ahaziah who was killed by Jehu, while the other Joash, or Jehoash is the grandson of Jehu, and the son of Jehoahaz. At the end of this chapter we will review the periods that these ruled.
Remember that because of Jehu's faithfulness in carrying out the orders by God through Elisha in eliminating Jezebel and all the Baal priests and places of worship; God promised that he would extend Jehu's dynasty to his fourth generation. We will see three kings of those four generation in this chapter. However even though Jehu got rid of the Baalites, he still left the calf worship of Jeroboam in tact. Jehoahaz remained as king for seventeen years, and we will see that Jehu's dynasty will be the longest reign of any dynasty over the house of Israel.
II Kings 13:2 "And he did that which was evil in the sight of the Lord, and followed the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, which made Israel to sin; he departed not therefrom."
Notice that the last few kings of Israel tried to clean up the kingdom from Baal and other heathen rituals, but they would not leave the calf worshipping of Jeroboam's original sin. It is important to understand why this was not put to the side when Baal worshippers, and other religious forms were destroyed. It was not that the Israelites were worshipping another God, but it was a place to come to worship God, for the Temple at Jerusalem was a long way for most of the tribes. Remember that if you did go to Jerusalem, you walked or rode your donkey, and that could take days on the trail. As the faithful would go to Jerusalem, many of them stayed and just never returned back home to Israel. The king knew that it would not take long that he would lose many of his faithful subjects. It was substituting God's ways for man's ways.
This whole form of calf worship symbolized the bringing of the traditions of men into the church, and bypassing the teaching of God's Word. This is going on right now in many church house, for rather than teaching the Word of God in it's entirety, chapter by chapter and verse by verse, it has become easier to teach the traditions of men. Sure this is the Old Testament, but Paul has brought all of the Old Testament into the New Testament, when he wrote in I Corinthians 10:11; Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition upon whom the ends of the world are come."
Every things that happened has been written as an example as to what will befall us here in these end times. Just as Israel held to their traditions that went against what God's Word stated, so many of the traditions of many churches today are directly opposite to what God's Word states. So these are types of what we are seeing today, for men and women of today want to hang on to their tradition, rather than learn the truth from God's work. Our Lord Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, as He is today, and that is how He will be throughout all eternity. What God has to say is far more important than what any of man's traditions say. So it was the traditions of their forefathers that cause the house of Israel to hang on to their traditions.
It was Jeroboam that created this new form of religion after the death of Solomon, and the purpose was to stop the people from going to Jerusalem, and forming ties to Judah that he could not control. The government set up this new form of religion, to use that religion to control the people through these traditions.
II Kings 13:3 "And the anger of the Lord was kindled against Israel, and He delivered them into the hand of Hazael king of Syria, and into the hand of Ben-hadad the son of Hazael, all their days."
The Lord saw that the same old religious systems of calf worship was going on, even after the land was purged of Baal worship. The anger of God came hard against Israel. The Ben-hadad mentioned here was the son of Hazael, but named after the former king of Syria. This Ben-hadad, the son of Hazael was the general over the armies of Syria, and would later assume the role when his father dies.
To go back in time a little to the prior chapter, this march of the Syrians against Israel came when Hazael's army was sweeping through Israel and fought all the way to Gath, as written in II Kings 12:17; and after taking Gath, he turned his face to take Jerusalem. It was in that battle that king Joash of Judah was wounded, and went to the house of Millo to heal, and Joash was killed by there by two of his own servants.
II Kings 13:4 "And Jehoahaz besought the Lord, and the Lord hearkened unto him: for He saw the oppression of Israel, because the king of Syria oppressed them."
Every time you turn to God, He will hear your plea. When you turn to Him for help He hears you, however you cannot play games with Him, for He can read your mind and He knows the intent of your thoughts. Notice that the next two verses are in parenthesis, because it will not happen in Jehoahaz's life time, but this is what God will do for Israel in the future.
II Kings 13:5 "(And the Lord gave Israel a saviour, so that they went out from under the hand of Syrians: and the children of Israel dwelt in their tents, as beforetime."
II Kings 13:6 "Nevertheless they departed not from the sins of the house of Jeroboam, who made Israel sin, but walked therein: and there remained the grove also in Samaria.)"
This grove worship was never completely killed out and eliminated by Jehu, or any of his kin to follow him to the throne. There are many things even today that have been brought into our religious forms as part of our religious practices that stem out of that grove worship. This is where all those traditions of the feast of Ishtar, or Easter that deal with fertility rites come from, they were all part of grove worship. The bunnies, Easter eggs, Easter bonnets, early sunrise services, and on and on, they were all part of the fertility rite worship of the groves, only today's church houses have eliminated the sex orgies, and cleaned it up their act a little when they attached the Passover of Jesus Christ into their ceremonies. The Passover is the time that we are to set aside to remember the death, burial and resurrection of our Lord and Savior. Yes, just as verse five stated, The Lord did give Israel a Savior, and that Savior is Jesus the Christ.
Just as most Christians today have no idea in the world how these things were formed, for all they care is that it gives them an emotional uplift to go through their tradition; so also the house of Israel never gave it a thought about their tradition, for they did it because it felt so good to them at the time, and looked so respectful. All the while it was mocking God, and the things that Our Father held dear. Yes Jeroboam's teachings have reached right into our church houses of today, and most pastors simply don't know the difference, and do not care to. Their traditions are their income, their medical plan, their retirement fund, or what ever their reason.
II Kings 13:7 "Neither did He leave of the People to Jehoahaz but fifty horsemen, and ten chariots, and ten thousand footmen; for the king of Syria had destroyed them, and had made them like the dust by threshing."
Think of it, out of the entire army of the whole house of Israel, there was just fifty horsemen, and ten chariots, and ten thousand footmen of the infantry left. Hazael's army wiped them out, and slaughtered the young men of Israel by the hundreds of thousands, as they swept through the land of Israel. Israel far outnumbered the Syrians, yet God gave Israel into the hands of Hazael's Syrian army. It is easy now to see why Elisha was so sick following God's order to anoint Hazael king of Syria, for God revealed to him what the future of that day was.
II Kings 13:8 "Now the rest of the acts of Jehoahaz, and all that he did and his might, are not written in the book of the Chronicles of the kings of Israel?"
Of course these acts are written in the book of the Chronicles.
II Kings 13:9 "And Jehoahaz slept with his fathers; and they buried him in Samaria: and Joash his son reigned in his stead."
So at the death of Jehoahaz, there will be a king named Joash over the house of Israel, and this Joash is the son of Jehoahaz. Two separate kings coming to power at the same time with the same name. Back on pages 8 and 9 of this II Kings book, you will find a lineage table of the two kingdoms, it allows us to keep track of who was reigning in Israel, while the other king was reigning in Judah. There is going to be a Savior in the land of Israel, and we will see who that Savior will be.
II Kings 13:10 "In the thirty and seventh year of Joash king of Judah began Jehoash the son of Jehoahaz to reign over Israel in Samaria, and reigned sixteen years."
So Joash, that seven year old boy that took the throne in Judah, had reigned thirty seven years in Judah when this Joash or Jehoash of Israel took the throne in Israel. So we see that the Joash of Israel would have been the twelfth king over Israel, while during the same time the Joash of Judah would have been the eighth king over Judah. Both of these kings had come to the throne following a massive destruction of their times. Remember the Joash of Judah was dug out of a heap of dead children, the males of the royal line, and brought back to life as a one years old child. Old queen Athaliah, the mother of the reigning king Ahaziah wanted the throne for herself when her son was murdered by Jehu, to continue her mother Jezebel's Baal worship in Judah.
King Joash of Israel assumed the throne at his father's death, and it was during the worst licking the Israelite army had ever seen, when all but a few men survived the wrath of Hazael's Syrian army. So why did God allow this to happen to his people? God was not pleased with Israel, for they continued in their traditions of men, and discounted God's Word and His prophets. Any time you turn away from God and to the traditions you are asking for trouble, for the protection of God's hand will be removed from you.
II Kings 13:11 "And he did that which was evil in the sight of the Lord; he departed not from all the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who made Israel sin: but he walked therein."
King Joash of Israel did not depart from all the evil tradition of his forefathers, but kept going in the same direction. Friend many of those tradition have been painted over, and dressed up to appear to be so religious, but these religious forms are even going on today in our church houses.
II Kings 13:12 "And the rest of the acts of Joash, and all that he did, and his might wherewith he fought against Amaziah king of Judah, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel?"
So now instead of fighting Syria, they have reduced themselves to fighting with each other. In the last chapter we saw the Joash of Judah clean out both the temple and the palace of all the gold and silver and bought off Judah's freedom from the king of Syria.
The actions between Israel and Judah at this time are recorded in II Chronicles 25.
II Kings 13:13 "And Joash slept with his fathers; and Jeroboam sat upon the throne: and Joash was buried in Samaria with the kings of Israel."
Joash had a very short reign of less than two years, for remember even one day into the year is counted as the full year. So a reign from December into January would be counted two full years of his reign. However the following verses also refer to Joash during the time of Elisha's illness. Though it states that Joash of Israel died, it was not until after this visit to Elisha's death bed took place.
II Kings 13:14 "Now Elisha was fallen sick of his sickness whereof he died. And Joash the king of Israel came down unto him, and wept over his face, and said, "O my father, my father, the chariot of Israel, and the horsemen thereof."
This is the sickness that will bring about Elisha's death. When Joash had heard that Elisah was sick, he came to Elisha's bedside and repeated the same words that Elisha had stated when Elijah was taken by our Father in the "whirlwind", or what ever the vehicle was. It was the same manner of vehicle that Ezekiel wrote of in Ezekiel 1, calling it "amber", which in the Hebrew text was "highly polished bronze".
By the time of Elisha's death, God had allowed Elisha to have double the amount of miracles that Elijah had, and the list of each of their miracles are given back on page 21. Even after Elisha's death there will be one more miracle that will take place, when a dead man is placed in Elisha's tomb, and when the dead man's corpes touches the dead bones of Elisha, he came back to life.
As long as we are in these flesh bodies, there will be a time when the flesh dies off for that is the nature of the flesh. Elisha had accomplished the duties which God had set for him, and his work was finished. Elisha didn't panic over the fact of his approaching death, for he knew the moment he breathed his last breath, he would be instantly with the Father. He know that he would not be out there in some hole in the ground, like the heathen believe, but his soul would be with Almighty God.
II Kings 13:15 "And Elisha said unto him, "Take bow and arrows." And he took unto him bow and arrows."
Joash obeyed the prophet, and took the bow and arrows.
II Kings 13:16 "And he said to the king of Israel, "Put thine hand upon the bow." And he put his hand upon it: and Elisha put his hand upon the king's hands."
This should indicate that God's power was being transferred to the hand of Joash from the prophet Elisah. This was a prophetic utterance coming from Elisha and being transferred into Joash. These are types or signs that you can count on to happen.
II Kings 13:17 "And he said, "Open the window eastward." And he opened it. Then Elisha said, "Shoot." And he shot. And he said, "The arrow of the Lord's deliverance, and the arrow of deliverance of Syria; for thou shalt smite the Syrians in Aphek, till thou have consumed them."
Elisha wanted the arrow to be shot eastward because that is where Syria was. It is all acted out as a symbol as to what God was going to do for Israel. This word "deliverance" as used here, is the same word that is "Savior" in verse five. So who will the Savior or the deliverance come by? Of course it is YHVH that would give the deliverance. He is the only Savior. Elisha did not bring that Savior? no God did. However he has touched the hand of the one that Israel's deliverance would come through against Syria.
II Kings 13:18 "And he said, "Take the arrows." And he took them. And he said unto the king of Israel, "Smite upon the ground." And he smote thrice, and stayed."
The king has already lost one arrow, but Elisha is telling him to shoot all the rest of the arrows into the ground. It sounds sort of stupid to do these things, however Joash did them because the prophet of God said to do it. After shooting just three arrows into the ground, Joash stopped and withheld the shooting of the other arrows in his quiver, and Elisha become very angry with him for not doing exactly what Elisha had told him to do.
II Kings 13:19 "And the man of God was wroth with him, and said, "Thou shouldest have smitten five or six times; then hadst thou smitten Syria till thou hadst consumed it: whereas now thou shalt smite Syria but thrice."
The prophet of God knew that there would be many battles before the final victory would come, and for each arrow that Joash shot, God would give him the victory. Elisha told him God will be with you for the first three battles and then you will be on your own. People are just plain stingy with what they have concerning the things of God. They think that they can short-change God and get away with it. Sure you can win the first three battles and still lose the war. When you have something that you are relying on, you are very protective of it, however when God wants you to use it for His cause, you had better be willing to be obedient. This little act will cost the house of Israel dearly.
II Kings 13:20 "And Elisha died, and they buried him. And the bands of the Moabites invaded the land at the coming in of the year."
In that same year, the bands of the Moabites started to invade into the land of Israel.
II Kings 13:21 "And it came to pass, as they were burying a man, that, behold, they spied a band of men; and they cast the man into the sepulchre of Elisha: and when the man was let down, and touched the bones of Elisha, he revived, and stood up on his feet."
This may be hard to accept, a dead man coming to life merely by touching the bones of the prophet Elisha. God doesn't do silly things and when this happened there was a reason for that man coming to life. So what is God telling us by this miracle? So in a sense God is allowing us to know why Elisha wasn't taken as Elijah was. This is the way that all of mankind will be taken when our lives in these flesh are finish and over. The point to this man's new life was to show all those that see and understand, that God gives life, and it proves that God is the God of the living and not the God of the dead. Nobody is out there in a hole in the ground, for their souls are with the Father when that soul has departed his flesh body.
God can give life and He can take life. So we must watch out for those idle words, when we are tempted to talk down on miracles that God has made, for there is nothing silly or wasted by God. When God has promised you protection, you will have it, for when we meet the qualification dealing with all of God's promises, we can claim those promises for ourselves. The Word of God is with us forever, through the Millennium age, and on into eternity; for God's Word never changes. So you might as well get into the Word and study it well for it will be with you forever.
II Kings 13:22 "But Hazael king of Syria oppressed Israel all the days of Jehoahaz."
Remember back in verse five, that "I will send you a Savior", well it would not be in Jehoahaz' life time. If you are wondering why, think of the bunnies, the eggs, and all the other things that go to make up the feast of Ishtar, and grove worship. Jehoahaz loved the same things of his father's traditions and he put them ahead of God's ways.
Think of old Jehu going to destroy the Baalites, their idols and their priests; on the way he meets that Kenite Jehonadab the son of Rechab, and takes him right up into his chariot and reaches his hand out in friendship. It was the Kenite wives in the first place that brought Baal into the land of Israel, back in Solomon's day, and when Ahab married Jezebel the Zidonian Kenite, she went about destroying all the prophets of God. Not much has happened over the past three generation from the time of Jezebel, for they still have the heathen traditions set well into their form of worship. Why would God offer the Savior at this time? Sure He will come but He will come at God prescribed time. When old Jehonadab went up into the chariot of Jehu, he worked a deal out to have the two calves and groves remain, while destroying the temple of Baal. One step back and two steps forward, that is the way of the Kenite, and that is Satan's way also.
II Kings 13:23 "And the Lord was gracious unto them, and had compassion on them, and had respect unto them, because of His covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and would not destroy them, neither cast He them from His presence as yet."
God will respect you if you will respect Him. You had better hope that He will not cast you from His presence. No, that time will come shortly when Israel will be discarded by the Father, but there are a few more generation to come. God will give them all the time in the world to change, and that is how it is also for you and I, for as long as there is hope, or Father is gracious.
II Kings 13:24 "So Hazael king of Syria died; and Ben-hadad his son reigned in his stead."
Now that Hazael is dead, Ben-hadad the former army general will be the king of Syria.
II Kings 13:25 "And Jehoash the son of Jehoahaz took again out of the hand of Ben-hadad the son of Hazael the cities, which he had taken out of the hand of Jehoahaz his father by war. Three times did Joash beat him, and recovered the cities of Israel."
Now stop and think for a moment, remember when Elisha told Jehoahaz, the father of Jehoash to fire all the arrows in his quiver, and he stopped at three. Elisha told him that God would only give him three victories, and in the rest of the battles he would be on his own. God gave Joash three victories just as Elisha promised that He would. Before when Israel's troops had many times over the number of Syrians army, God allowed the Syrian army to beat them badly However after the last battle with Syria, the army of Israel was left with just fifty horsemen, and ten thousand men, and out of that small army God gave Joash three victories, because that is all the faith that his father had for following the instructions of God.
Here Joash of Israel brought back all the things that Joash of Judah had lost, and he took back all the cities east of the Jordan that the Syrians had took. Life can be so good when you are on the Lord's side, and have God in your chariot. However if you stand by and allow the Kenites in your chariot, they can be very bad. God has given each of us His Word and the path and direction that we are to take for a successful life. It is each of our choices whether we will follow that path, or turn to follow our own conceived ideas. Because Jehoahaz cut short the instructions of God's prophets, and did only part of what Elisha told him to do, The victory of Israel was cut short also. He was willing only to fire three arrows by faith, when God wanted him to fire all five arrows. Sure, Joash had the three victories, but the war was lost in the end because Jehoahaz was not willing to follow the full instructions by God's prophet.
Friend, the Living Word is the Lord Jesus Christ, and when we follow that Living Word, than life is beautiful, with all kinds of blessings flowing our way. It is your choice, going at it on your own, of doing it God's Way and receiving His blessings.
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