II Kings

Chapter 15

"King Uzziah of Judah [1-7]."
Israel's Kings
"Zachariah [8-12]."
"Shallum [13-16]."
"Menahem [17-22]."
"Pekahiah [23-26]."
"Pekah [27-31]."
"Jotham's Reign over Judah [32-38]."

This Bible Study is written by Roger Christopherson, and it's transcription is provided with written permission by http://www.theseason.org

When a king or queen assumes the obligation of the office that he or she holds, the first obligation of that king or queen is the protector of the faith of the land. This duty has not changed from the time of the kings of these two houses to our present generation. The point that is brought out in this chapter and throughout II Kings is that the kings and queens did not protect the faith of the tribes of Israel, but allowed heathen religious practices to creep in and become their traditions. This is why God was so angry with both of these house, for Judah had it's high places to burn incenses and sacrifices on the mount of Olives, while Israel ran to their two golden calves, and grove worship.

Today when the whole nation is turning to all sorts of evil practices, it is up to God's elect to hold their ground, and not get involved with the traditions that go against the Word of God.

II Kings 15:1 "In the twenty and seventh year of Jeroboam king of Israel began Azariah [Uzziah] son of Amaziah king of Judah to reign."

Azariah and Uzziah are the same person.

II 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."

"Jecholiah" in the Hebrew tongue means, "strong through YHVH [God]".

II 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;"

Amaziah killed the murderers of his father, but he did not kill their children. For most of Amaziah's life he tried to please the Lord, however, he also left the high places for sacrificing as his father did, instead of doing it God's way. So was he a good protector of the faith? Not so, for we see his problem in the next verse.

II Kings 15:4 "Save [but] that the high places were not removed: the People sacrificed and burnt incense still on the high places."

Those "high places" were on the mount of Olives. The existence of those high places on that holy place was an insult to the God Himself, and they refuse to stop this wicked tradition that was started way back in Solomon's day. They burned incense to some would be super-priest, to satisfy their emotion, instead of going to the Temple and sacrificing to God before the priests of God. This was all part of that fake religion that Solomon allowed to creep in when his heathen wives brought their forms of idolatry to Jerusalem, and it continued on for centuries. This was the start of their man made forms of worship called traditions, and God hates traditions when they go against His Word. Even today many of these heathen traditions have worked their way into Christianity, and over the years those wicked things have become so common that most Christians just don't give it a second thought.

In the name of religion, and Christianity, there has been many strange things enter under the name of tradition, for it has become acceptable in many churches to allow Sodomite marriages within the walls of so-called houses of God. Many forms of filth and heathen religious practice are being modified and mixed with the teachings of the Scriptures, and the leaders of those churches peddle it as being of God, when God's Word says that He hates it. It is easy to see why all this wickedness is allowed to go on, for in most churches, everything but the Word of God is being taught.

Amos 8:11 "Behold, the days come, saith the Lord God, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the Lord."

That famine is here now, and it has left most Christians biblically illiterate, and unprepared for the events and times that we are living in.

II 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."

God did not put up with the wickedness that Uzziah was allowing to take over the people, and he smote him with leprosy. In the Hebrew text the "several house", was a house of lepers. When Uzziah took over as king of Israel, he knew what was right and what God did not like, yet he allowed the worship in high places to go on. Though Uzziah tried to please everyone and do right, the one that he did not please was the Almighty Father. How would you feel if your children ran out and called somebody else mother and dad, and did all the things to them that you should be given? You would not like it, and neither does our Heavenly Father.

Under being "politically correct", all sorts of weird things are starting to be accepted, and the relationship between father and son, parent and child are being so distorted that it should be no wonder when we see the things happening today that is going on. The society is trying to make you feel like you have a responsibility to everyone, except those that the Scripture requires you to.

Friend, when you let the true faith slip and lose contact with God, you come up with all sorts of traditions that are simply not in God's Word. God will not bless nonsense; He did not bless it in Uzziah's day, and He will not bless it today. When any child of God messes around with man's traditions it makes him mad. When God is hurt, He promised that He will slap curses on those that displease Him, and keep them there. That is what the blessings and cursings of Deuteronomy 28 are all about. Read of those blessings and cursings and see how they effect those around you. Learn what pleases God and what makes Him mad.

To please God, first you must study God's Word and learn what pleases Him, and then do it God's Way. We learn the way God instructs, chapter by chapter and verse by verse, rightly dividing the truths for what they actually say. We study the problems of that day so that we will not follow in those same ways. God wants you to be happy, and you will when you are following His ways. God will show you the truth of His ways, when you ask Him for that knowledge and understanding. This sets the foundation of God's love for each of us, that we put God first in our lives.

II 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?"

Yes they are.

II 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."

Another big mess up, and the same trouble is passed on from father to son, for the new generation will carry on in the sins of the prior generation. That is the basis of man's traditions, for the sons learn the wickedness from their fathers and continue down the same road of wickedness, and pass it on to their sons.

II 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."

The life time of the kings are getting shorter and shorter in the house of Israel, and the wickedness seems to get worse with each generation. Zachariah's reign was only six months from the time of his father Jeroboam II's death, before he was murdered. With the death of Zachariah, the dynasty of Jehu ended, and another dynasty will start. However we will see that these kings to follow are born in wickedness, and they just don't last long.

II 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."

The traditions just go on generation after generation, are you starting to get the picture? Traditions are evil habits that are passed on from one generation to another, when they go against the Word of God.

II 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."

So Zachariah is dead and out and in comes Shallum, another king just like the one before. Shallum was evil in the sight of the Lord, and chasing after the calf worship, and turning his back on God.

II 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."

II 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."

God kept his Word to Jehu, and with the death of Zachariah, completed the fourth generation to sit on the throne over Israel. Jehu's dynasty is over and ended. The military leader Shallum will assume the throne following his murder of king Zachariah. God's Word always comes to pass, and when God said it, you can count on it. This is why it is hard to understand why anyone would not try to understand the prophesies of God concerning our generation. God promised Jehu for generations, and when the fourth generation was there and evil, God ended his reign. Even if it was done at the hands of a murderer. God's Word always comes to pass. This is why God's Word brings peace of mind.

All of the kings fell short, for the simple reason that they simply did not know the true God. They did not understand the religion of their people, and hold to the responsibility that God had placed within their office. As protector of the faith, it was their duty to see that the true Word was taught in the house of God. The one thing that is seen over and over, each time that a king was in trouble and turned to God, God blessed them and helped them out of their trouble. Yet after their blessing, they ran right back into the same old heathen religious practices that they were in before.

The lesson for us today is that we do not play games with Christianity, and play at religion. Christianity is a reality, a way of life, and you are wasting your time when you do. Turn to God and know that He is real and with you always.

II 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."

Remember, Shallum killed the Zachariah the original king, and now another murderer saw how easy it was to become king, so in comes another murderer, to take the throne.

II 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."

"Menahem" in the Hebrew tongue means "comforter". So if there is a lesson from this verse, it is that you cannot tell what a man is like by his name. Menahem was a murderer who came to power by murdering king Shallum, we see another murderer reigning over Israel. We will see that the kings taking over the throne of Israel through murder are the ranking military men in the army, and when they had a dispute with the king, the simply plotted the king's death and took power. Shallum put the move on Zachariah, then Menahem plotted to do the same to his king, and remove him from office. Remember that the only reason that these military commanders took the throne of the house of Israel, was that there was none of the royal seed to take the throne.

II 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."

Yes they are, in I Chronicles 5.

II 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."

Menahem the king of Israel was hard-head, and when the people would not obey him, he went out and killed them, even the mothers and their unborn children.

II 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."

Remember that Azariah is the same person as Uzziah, who is reigning in Judah.

II 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."

Again it is important to recognize that this king also is a failure in the sight of the Lord. Menahem was a wicked man, a murderer, who simply did not care for God, His ways or his people. He was a bully king, ruthless in his ways.

The sins of Jeroboam were that of building a local religion for the sake of making worship easier. It was a shortcut religion to keep the people from going to the house of God back in Jerusalem, and going to local places near their home. Those places were houses for calf worship, for the people were substituting the ways of Jeroboam for the ways of God. The trip to Jerusalem wasn't a weekly thing, but the trip to Jerusalem was to be done annually for the sake of sacrificing to God, and giving thanks in the house of God. It was God's way, and Jeroboam did not want his people to leave Israel for the sake of religious practices, so he created his own places of Worship. The worship was still done in the name of YHVH, even though it was at the calf altar. This is the same thing that is happening today, for many today go to their place of worship, and everything but God's Word is taught there.

II 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."

Many scholars believe that that Pul and Tiglath-pileser are one and the same person, and Pul will make his move later in this chapter.

II 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."

Menahem bought the freedom of the land of Israel from the Assyrians. However it will only be a very few years before these same Assyrians take the tribes of the house of Israel captive, and remove them from off their land. Once the house of Israel was removed off their land, the Assyrians split them up into many different groups and the Israelites became known by many different names. This was the start their migrations to the lands that they would establish and settle in. God is going to scatter these Israelite people very shortly after the reign of Menahem. These ten tribes carried the name of Israel, as well as the name of Ephraim, and other names. The reason for Ephraim's leadership is that Ephraim was the larger tribe, and Jacob blessed Joseph by passing the name Israel on to Ephraim before his death, as recorded in Genesis 48.

Genesis 48:13 "And Joseph took them both, Ephraim in his right hand toward Israel's right hand, and Manasseh in his left hand toward Israel's right hand, and brought them near unto him."

Genesis 48:14 "And Israel stretched out his right hand, and laid it upon Ephraim's head, who was the younger, and his left hand upon Manasseh's head, guiding his hand wittingly; for Manasseh was the firstborn."

Genesis 48:15 "And he blessed Joseph, and said, "God, before Whom my fathers Abraham and Isaac did walk, the God Which fed me all my life long unto this day."

Genesis 48:16 "The Angel Which redeemed me from all evil, bless the lads; and let my name be named on them, and the name of my fathers Abraham and Isaac; and let them grow into a multitude in the midst of the earth."

Thus the blessings of the Abrahamic covenant was passed on from Isaac to Israel, and on to Ephraim, of which Manasseh would also be blessed and become a large nation and bless the other nations of the earth. We will get far deeper into this in later chapters.

Though the promise was that the people and nations of Israel would become as numerous as the stars of heaven and the sands of the sea; today most of the offspring of the house of Israel simply did not know who they are beyond a few generation back. Was God a liar? Of course not, for all they can remember of themselves is that they call themselves "Caucasians", after the migrations of their ancestors movements through the Caucasus Mountains on the way to where ever they would settle. This is not talking about the "British Israelite system", but the migrations, where the people of this ancient nation went, and who their offspring are today.

Hosea talked about this in Hosea 1:10; "Yet the number of the children of Israel shall be as the sand of the sea, which cannot be measured nor numbered; and it shall come to pass, that in the place where it was said unto them, `Ye are not My People,' there it shall be said unto them, `Ye are the sons of the Living God.' "

This is speaking of the time of the end, when the people or offspring of the tribes of the house of Israel are in the places and formed the nations that they had settled. Though they do not know their ties to Israel, and are not calling themselves God's people, they will be know and identified as "sons of the Living God". The Living God is Jesus Christ the Son of God, for He rose from the dead, and those identifying themselves with our Lord Jesus Christ are called "Christians".

Is this speaking of the Jews? Of course not, for even the Jews know this is not referring to them. The Jews are back in their homeland, the "Israel nation" of today, and they refuse to have the gospel of Christ preached among themselves. They reject Jesus Christ, and many cases those that call themselves are not even of the blood line of Judah, but of Cain, called the "Kenites". These people are against Christianity and the teaching of Jesus Christ the living Son of God.

II 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:"

Certainly they are.

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

II 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."

This reign was for a very short time, for the captivity is about to take place. Though it is history, it is still a type for us living today. Remember that any part of a year was considered the full year, even a week that runs from one year to the next is considered two years.

II 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."

Again, Jeoboam changed the way that God instructed His people to worship. Even though Jesus Christ came to be our Messiah, there are still certain ways that He expects us to worship Him. Jesus Christ became our Passover, and sacrifice for one and all times, and through Communion we worship and follow the instructions that He gave to us. When you have seen Jesus Christ, you have seen the Father.

II Kings 15:25 "But Pekah the son of Remaliah, a captain of his, conspired against him, and smote him in Samaria, in the place 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"

Here again the captain of his guard slay the king and took over the throne from the king. The only uprising of the people was for these fifty that sided with Pekah. Of course by now, the nation of Israel was so far from God, the people just didn't care who was king or not, for the government was off in its own little world. By this time the priesthood was so corrupt and greedy that the things of God just didn't matter to them. The priests by this time were not even appointed by God, but political positions appointed by the king.

II 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."

And so they are. That report is longer and far more detailed than the books of Samuel and Kings.

II 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 ."

All of the details of the reigns of these kings are written in the Syrian inscriptions, on stone, which is held in the British museum. These kings of Israel are mentioned along with the Assyrian kings as well. However though it states twenty years here, in the stone writings there states but two years. In the inscription of Darius Hystaspis, on the Behistun Rock, there are no less than fourteen mistakes engraved on that stone, and this is the reason that not much thought is given to the reliability of these stones, for their purpose was to bring glory to the king in power. The manuscripts of the Massorah say twenty, and that is the time period that I believe to be true.

II 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 Mebat, who made Israel to sin."

If anyone does evil then that is the time to repent, over and over these kings continued in their sins.

II Kings 15:29 "In the days of Pekah king of Israel came Tiglath-pileser king of Assyria, and took Ijon, and Abel-beth-maachah, and Jonoah, and Kedesh, and Hazor, and Gilead, and Galilee, all the land of Naphtili, and carried them captive to Assyria."

This then is the start of the scattering that would go on over a twenty year time period. As they are removed from their lands, the Assyrians took peoples of other lands and relocated them in the land of the house of Israel. Once removed from their land, they became know by many names, such as Saxons, Brits, Gauls, Scythians, and so on, however they were also known as Celts. Even with all these names, they still became know even to today as Caucasians, which is not a race, but named after the event of migrating through the Caucasus Mountains. These people of the tribes are very easily traced, if you want to spend a little time on the matter. the tribe of Napthili was at this time no longer part of the house of Israel, nor were those other areas of the land.

Keep in mind also that Satan himself is referred to as the Assyrian, in reference to end time prophecy. Satan as the Assyrian is the type of Antichrist that shall rule the earth very shortly, as is prophesied in Isaiah 14:23, 24.

II 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."

It did not take long for Pekah to be murdered just like the kings that were before him, and Hoshea another military man, took over the throne.

II 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."

Note that only a small part of Israel was taken captive in that first battle.

II 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."

Keep these two king lines separated in your mind, for Pekah is reigning in Israel, while Jotham, the son of Uzziah will be the new king over Judah.

II 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."

Jotham's reign would have been considered a long reign for Israel, but not for the kings of Judah.

II 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."

This sounds like something new, Jotham did those things that were right in the eyes of God. However he still fell short in one area.

II 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."

Even though Jotham tried to please God, he still fell short in pleasing God by allowing the traditions to continue. Every thing that Jotham tried to do, he did in the name of God, but he still did not try to stop those that would continue to mix the things of God with the heathen religious forms. All this is stated to allow us to know where our people went bad and where their shortcomings were. It goes on today just as it did then, and people want to hang on to those traditions that go against the Word of God. There are many things that God warned us against, and that is why it is important to study God's Word to know what to stay away from.

II 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?"

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

Judah will be attacked by his own people on one side, and the king of Syria on the other. So who caused this to happen? God caused it to happen. He did this to bring the rest of His children under captivity because they would not destroy their high places. Those religious altars where burnt sacrifices were made to heathen gods.

II 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 reigned during part of the time that Isaiah the prophet lived and prophesied. Isaiah prophesied against this king Ahaz, for the great sins that he would do in building a Syrian altar and having the heathen come and worship with him. This will be discussed in detail in the next chapter.

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