Week #55; Wed, Jan 16, 2019, 2 Kings 20:1:1-25:30

PERSONAL OBSERVATIONS:
1. Hezekiah was faithful, whole-hearted, and he did what was good in the sight of the Lord.
2. Based on Hezekiah’s prayer when he was severely ill, the Lord granted him 15 additional years to live.
3. But Hezekiah had a weakness of being too transparent, especially with a visiting Babylonian envoy.
4. The brutal fall of Judah led to their exile to Babylon.

CHAPTER OBSERVATIONS:
2 Kings 20, King Hezekiah is Deathly Ill
1. Hezekiah was sick and dying but his prayer for healing was very powerful and the Lord heard him.
2. Although Isaiah told Hezekiah that he should “get his house in order, for you shall die; you shall not recover” the Lord was moved to reconsider.
3. Hezekiah’s appeal was based on his faithfulness, whole heart, and doing what was good in the sight of the Lord; he wept bitterly.
4. The Lord heard his prayer and saw his tears and he decided to heal Hezekiah.
5. The Lord commanded Hezekiah to go up to the House of the Lord on the third day and he added 15 years to his life; the Lord delivered him and the city out of the hands of the Assyrians for David’s sake.
6. Additionally, Isaiah told Hezekiah a sign from the Lord will show that he will do the thing that he promised; Hezekiah was given a choice of making the shadow go forward 10 steps or backwards 10 steps.
7. Hezekiah said, “Let it go backwards 10 steps.”
8. The Lord brought the shadow backwards 10 steps to show Hezekiah that the Lord would keep his promise.
9. Hearing Hezekiah was sick, Merodach-baladan the son of Baladan, king of Babylon, sent envoys with letters and a present to Hezekiah.
10. Hezekiah welcomed them and showed them all the treasures in his house; there was nothing Hezekiah did not show them.
11. Then Isaiah came to Hezekiah and asked him what happened and what they saw.
12. Hezekiah said everything was shown to them.
13. Isaiah told Hezekiah, “Hear the word of the Lord: Behold, the days are coming, when all that is in your house, and that which your fathers have stored up till this day, shall be carried to Babylon. Nothing shall be left, says the Lord. Your sons shall be eunuchs in the palace of the king of Babylon.”
14. Hezekiah said, “Why not, if there will be peace and security in my days.”
15. Hezekiah was known for having made the pool and the conduit bringing water into the city.

2 Kings 21, Manasseh Reigns in Judah
1. Manasseh was only 12 years when he began to reign in Judah; he reigned for 55 years.
2. He did evil in the sight of the Lord rebuilding the high places his father Hezekiah had destroyed; erected altars for Baal; made an Asherah; worshiped all the host of heaven and served them; built altars in the house of the Lord including altars for the host of heaven in the two courts of the house of the Lord; he burned his son as an offering; used fortune-telling and omens; and he dealt with mediums and necromancers.
3. Manasseh led the people astray to do greater evil than the nations had done whom the Lord destroyed before the people of Israel.
4. He ignored the promises of the Lord to follow him according to the Law that Moses commanded them.
5. The Lord, the God of Israel said, “Behold, I am bringing upon Jerusalem and Judah such disaster that the ears of everyone who hears of it will tingle . . . I will forsake the remnant of my heritage and give them into the hand of their enemies, they shall become prey and a spoil to all their enemies because they have done evil and provoked me to anger.”
6. Amon, Manasseh’s son, reigned in his place; he reigned for 2 years in Jerusalem doing what was evil in the sight of the Lord like his father Manasseh had done.
7. Amon abandoned the Lord and his servants conspired against him putting him to death.
8. But the people of the land struck down all those who had conspired against King Amon and made Josiah his son king in his place.

2 Kings 22, Josiah Reigns in Judah
1. Josiah was 8 years old when he began to reign; he reigned for 33 years in Jerusalem doing right in the eyes of the Lord.
2. Josiah followed the way of David and did not stray from it.
3. Josiah rebuilt the temple giving all the money that had been collected from the people to the workmen without an accounting, for they dealt honestly.
4. Hilkiah the high priest found the Book of the Law in the house of the Lord.
5. When Josiah heard the words of the Book of the Law, he tore his clothes and told his servants to inquire of the Lord and the people.
6. Josiah knew the wrath of the Lord was kindled against them, because his fathers have not obeyed the words of this book.
7. He commanded Hilkiah the high priest and his servants to inquire of the Lord.
8. They went to Huldah the prophetess in Jerusalem and she said, “the Lord will bring disaster to this place and its inhabitants because they have made offerings to other gods, provoking him to anger; his wrath will be kindled against this place and it will not be quenched.”
9. But say to the king of Judah, “Because your heart was penitent, and you humbled yourself before the Lord, I have heard you, declares the Lord; your eyes shall not see all the disaster that I will bring upon this place.”

2 Kings 23, Josiah’s Reforms
1. Josiah gathered all the elders of Judah and Jerusalem together and he read in their hearing all the words of the Book of the Covenant that had been found in the house of the Lord.
2. The king made a covenant before the Lord, to walk after the Lord and to keep his commandments and his testimonies and his statutes with all his heart and all his soul, to perform the words of this covenant that were written in this book and all the people joined in the covenant.
3. The king commanded Hilkiah the high priest, the priests of the second order, and the keepers of the threshold to bring out of the temple of the Lord all the vessels made for Baal, for Asherah, and for all the host of heaven.
4. He burned them outside Jerusalem in the fields of the Kidron and carried their ashes to Bethel.
5. He deposed the priest whom the kings of Judah had ordained to make offerings in the high places at the cities of Judah and around Jerusalem; those also who burned incense to Baal, to the sun and the moon and the constellations and all the host of the heavens; he defiled all places of worship to other gods set up by his fathers—they were pulled down and burned reducing them to dust.
6. He removed the shrines in the cities of Samaria, and he sacrificed all the priests of the high places who were there, on the altars, and burned human bones on them.
7. Josiah returned to Jerusalem and restored the Passover as written in the Book of the Covenant for the first time since the judges who judged Israel; it was the 18th year of King Josiah.
8. Josiah put away all the mediums and the necromancers, the household gods, the idols, and all the abominations that were seen in the land of Judah and in Jerusalem, that he might establish the words of the law that were written in the book that Hilkiah the priest found in the house of the Lord.
9. Before him there was no king like him, who turned to the Lord with all his heart and with all his soul and with all his might, nor did any like him arise after him.
10. Pharaoh Neco king of Egypt went up to the king of Assyria to the river Euphrates, King Josiah went to meet him, and Pharaoh Neco killed him at Megiddo, as soon as he saw him.
11. The people of the land took Jehoahaz the son of Josiah and anointed him king in his father’s place; he was 23 years old when he began to reign for 3 months in Jerusalem doing evil in the sight of the Lord.
12. Pharaoh Neco put him in bonds that he might not rule in Jerusalem; he made Eliakim king in the place of Josiah his father; he gave him the name of Jehoiakim and took him to Egypt where he died.
13. Jehoiakim taxed the people to give the money to Pharaoh Neco; Jehoiakim was 25 years old when he began reigning for 11 years in Jerusalem doing what was evil in the sight of the Lord.

2 Kings 24, Jehoiakim Reigns in Judah
1. Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came up, and Jehoiakim became his servant for 3 years.
2. When he rebelled against him, the Lord sent the Chaldeans, Syrians, Moabites and Ammonites against Judah to destroy it according to the word of the Lord.
3. It appears that this came upon Judah at the command of the Lord, to remove them out of his sight, for the sins of Manasseh, according to all that he had done and the innocent blood he had shed.
4. Jehoiachin his son reigned in his place when he was 18 years old; he reigned for 3 months in Jerusalem doing evil in the sight of the Lord.
5. Babylon began to siege Jerusalem and Jehoiachin gave himself up to Nebuchadnezzar.
6. Nebuchadnezzar took all the treasures of the king’s house and the temple (cutting the vessels of the temple into pieces) and all the people except the poorest.
7. Nebuchadnezzar made Mattaniah, Jehoiachin’s uncle, king in his place, and changed his name to Zedekiah.
8. Zedekiah was 21 years old when he became king; he reigned 11 years doing what was evil in the sight of the Lord.

2 Kings 25, Fall and Captivity of Judah
1. Nebuchadnezzar laid siege against Jerusalem until the 11 year of the reign of Zedekiah; there was no food for the people of the land.
2. The king and all the men of war fled by night by the way of a breach and the gate in the double wall, but the Chaldeans were all around the city and they pursued the king until he was overtaken at Jericho.
3. They slaughtered the sons of Zedekiah before the king and put out the eyes of Zedekiah and bound him in chains; they then took him captive to Babylon.
4. King Nebuchadnezzar went to Jerusalem and burned down all the houses and took those that remained in the city into exile; a few of the poorest were left to be vinedressers and plowmen.
5. All the bronze pillars, stands, the sea, pots, shovels, snuffers, dishes, and vessels were broken into pieces and carried to Babylon.
6. Many people that remained in the land were taken to the king of Babylon where he struck them down.
7. So, Judah was taken into exile out of its land.
8. Nebuchadnezzar appointed Gedaliah governor over the people that remained in the land; Gedaliah told them to live in the land and serve the king of Babylon and it shall be well with them.
9. Gedaliah and those with him were struck down by Ishmael and ten of his men; the rest fled to Egypt.
10. Jehoiachin was released from prison when Evil-merodaoh, King of Babylon, in the year he began to reign.
11. Jehoiachin was given an allowance according to his needs as long as his lived.

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