Introduction to 1 & 2 Kings

By James M. Rochford

Authorship

The history of 1 and 2 Kings stretches from 970 BC (David) to at least 562 BC (Jehoiachin). Thus the author could not have been alive for this entire time period. The author probably used the Book of the Acts of Solomon (1 Kings 11:41), the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Israel (1 Kings 14:19; mentioned 17x), and the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Judah (1 Kings 15:23; mentioned 15x). These books were non-scriptural texts, but they were probably historical texts kept by the royal scribes (2 Sam. 8:16; 20:24-25). At the very least, Donald Wiseman argues that it is a defensive statement that 1 and 2 Kings is a “unified work and… probably and largely the work of one historian.”[1] Critical scholars like Martin Noth[2] and Gerhard von Rad[3] argue for the essential unity of the books—though under the agency of a “Deuteronomistic” author(s).

The most likely candidate for the authorship of 1 and 2 Kings is the prophet Jeremiah. Ancient Jewish tradition states, “Jeremiah wrote the book which bears his name, the Book of Kings, and Lamentations” (Baba Bathra 15a). Furthermore, 1 and 2 Kings “has much in common with Isaiah and Jeremiah in theological perspective, language and purpose.”[4] Archer writes, “Since the author speaks from a consistently prophetic standpoint and is a man of great literary ability, it is possible that Jeremiah may have composed everything except the final chapter.”[5] Hill and Walton write, “This association may have been based on the similarities between Jeremiah 53 and 2 Kings 24-25.”[6] Moreover, Jeremiah is never mentioned in these two books—even when king Josiah is written about—which could point to prophetic authorship. However, the final chapter occurs in Babylon—not Egypt (where Jeremiah died). The author borrowed three entire chapters word for word (2 Kings 18-20) from the book of Isaiah (Isa. 36-39). So this would show that the author had dependence on the canonical books.

The most formidable arguments against Jeremiah’s authorship is:

(1) Jeremiah would’ve been too old to complete the book.

(2) Jeremiah was captured and sent into Exile (Jer. 43:5-7; 586 BC), so he wouldn’t have been around to tell the history of Jehoiachin’s reign.

However, regarding the first objection, Jeremiah was but a “youth” when he received his calling (Jer. 1:6-7; 627 BC), so this could account for him living long enough to finish the books (562 BC). And regarding the second objection, Jeremiah ends his book by commenting on the historical events of Jehoiachin’s reign (Jer. 52:31-34).

Major themes of 1 and 2 Kings

What should we look for as we read through 1 and 2 Kings? Several themes are prominent:

First, 1 and 2 Kings records the history from the death of David to the fall of Jerusalem (971-562 BC). How did the kingdom go from being God’s chosen nation to a heap of rubble? 1 and 2 Kings explains how the kings constantly turned away from God. Moreover, after the Exile, a number of key features change in Israel:

  • New language: Aramaic
  • New name: Judeans = Jews
  • New theology: polytheism is gone
  • New way of life: more urban—less agricultural
  • New worship: the development of synagogues

Second, 1 and 2 Kings explains the turmoil of the kings, prophets, and priests. Archer writes, “The theme of these two books was to demonstrate on the basis of Israel’s history that the welfare of the nation ultimately depended upon the sincerity of its faithfulness to the covenant with Yahweh.”[7] Ultimately, where these men failed, Jesus would succeed—being the perfect King, Prophet, and Priest.

Third, 1 and 2 Kings give us two perspectives on history: human and divine. From the human perspective, it looks like free moral agents are carrying out their business, but from the divine perspective, we see that God’s plan is being carried out. Thus we’ll read that a king killed another king out of his own free will, but then we’ll read, “This fulfilled the word of the Lord.”

Fourth, 1 and 2 Kings give us a picture of a divided nation. Israel had 45 kings in its history, but 42 of these kings reigned over a divided kingdom. Sometimes when nations split, they will come back together. Not so with Israel. Saul, David, and Solomon were the only kings to reign over a united monarchy.

Chronology of Kings

The chronology of the kings is difficult, until we realize that there were coregencies of the kings. That is, some of the kings ruled alongside of each other. Archer writes, “In many instances the crown prince or immediate successor to the throne was formally crowned and his reign officially begun even in the lifetime of his father.”[8]

See our article for a chart and chronological picture of the kings (see “General Chronology of the Kings”).

Key dates to remember

931: Northern and Southern kingdoms split

722: Israel is taken over.

586: Judah is taken over.

Conclusion

This is key history in understanding the Major Prophets and Minor Prophets. Without this knowledge, the prophets become difficult to place in context. The books of the Kings really serve in the OT, as the book of Acts in the NT: It gives context for the prophets, as Acts gives context for the epistles. Therefore, to study the prophets, we really need to nail down 1 and 2 Kings.

Teaching Rotation

(1 Kings 1-6) Solomon takes the throne, and God gives him wisdom. Make sure to summarize at least two of these chapters, rather than reading through all of this material.

(1 Kings 7-12) Solomon’s downfall.

(1 Kings 13-16) For this teaching, split up into groups and have the groups write down what happens to each king in the story.

(1 Kings 17-18) Showdown between Elijah and false prophets—God and Baal.

(1 Kings 19-22) Elijah recuperates, and we see the death of Ahab—an evil king.

(2 Kings 1-3) Elisha takes over. Make sure to summarize large swathes of Scripture in this teaching.

(2 Kings 4-5) The widow and Naaman. The contrast between these two figures is clear: The widow has nothing, but needs help; Naaman has everything, but still needs help!

(2 Kings 6-8) Warfare and death of Ben-Hadad.

(2 Kings 9-12) Split up into groups to summarize the stories of these various kings. Fill in notes for the test at the end of the study.

(2 Kings 13-16) Split up into groups to summarize the stories of these various kings. Fill in notes for the test at the end of the study.

(2 Kings 17-20) Split up into groups to summarize the stories of these various kings. Fill in notes for the test at the end of the study.

(2 Kings 21-25) Split up into groups to summarize the stories of these various kings. Fill in notes for the test at the end of the study.

1 Kings

Unless otherwise stated, all citations are taken from the New American Standard Bible (NASB).

All dates for the kings are from Gleason Archer, A Survey of Old Testament Introduction (Third Edition, Chicago: Moody Press, 1994), 545.

1 Kings 1 (Adonijah tries to Usurp the Throne from Solomon)

Summary: When David became old, he couldn’t keep warm, so they put a young, virgin women in bed with him (v.2). David didn’t sleep with her though (v.4).

Adonijah tried to take over the kingdom (v.5), and this was because David didn’t discipline him (v.6). Nathan (the prophet) was worried that Adonijah was going to kill Solomon and Bathsheba, so he had Bathsheba go and tell David (v.12). She reminds him of the Davidic covenant (v.17). She rats out Adonijah. David takes action for Solomon (v.30). He had Zadok (the priest) and Nathan (the prophet) to anoint him as king (v.34), and they announced it publicly (v.39). When Adonijah’s group heard about this, they dispersed because they could be called traitors to the throne (v.49). Adonijah asked for amnesty for his maneuver for the throne, and Solomon granted it if he turned out to be a good man (v.52).

(1:1) David is 70 years old at this point (2 Sam. 5:4-5). Patterson and Austel speculate that David may have deteriorated so quickly because of the deep disorder of the kingdom after his fall with Bathsheba.[9]

(1:2-4) This is not something that should be imitated today. Obviously, we wouldn’t agree with David’s rampant polygamy and concubines, so we shouldn’t agree with this practice either. This is descriptive, but not prescriptive.

This section shows just how feeble David’s condition was.

(1:5) Adonijah felt that he should be king, because he was the oldest heir. He also looked the part of a stately king—being handsome (v.6).

(1:6) David was a mighty leader and king, but he was a poor father.

Supporters of Adonijah

(1:7) Joab (David’s former military general) and Abiathar (the high priest) were formerly very loyal to David. But now, they had become disloyal in David’s old age.

Supporters of Solomon (and David)

(1:8) Zadok was a priest (1 Chron. 15:11) and warrior (1 Chron. 12:26-28) from the tribe of Levi. Zadok had watched the Ark when David was away (2 Sam. 15:24-25).

Benaiah was one of David’s thirty mighty men (2 Sam. 23:20-23; 1 Chron. 11:22-25). He was the head of David’s personal bodyguard (2 Sam. 8:18; 20:23; 23:23).

Nathan was the prophet who shared the Davidic Covenant with David (2 Sam. 7) and called out David for his sin with Bathsheba and Uriah (2 Sam. 12). Nathan was also there at the birth of Solomon (2 Sam. 12:24-25).

Shimei and Rei are unknown. Although, Shimei could be the same man whom Solomon appointed as a governor (1 Kings 4:7, 18).

The mighty men also all sided with David. They had stayed loyal to David under Absalom’s rebellion (2 Sam. 15:15-18), and they remained loyal to the end.

(1:9-10) Adonijah probably thought he could usurp the throne with a fait accompli, while David was sick and all of the loyal men were absent.

Nathan encourages Bathsheba to intercede

(1:11) Nathan must have known that the Queen would get an immediate audience with David.

(1:12) He also know that Adonijah’s plan would result in the killing off of his competitors.

(1:13)

(1:14) Nathan promises to back up Bathsheba’s account of Adonijah’s plans.

Bathsheba speaks with David

(1:15-21) Bathsheba informs David of Adonijah’s plot and his actions to usurp the throne. She also reminds him of God’s promise to Solomon.

Nathan supports Bathsheba

(1:22-27) Nathan concurs with Bathsheba. He also notes that none of David’s loyal supporters were invited to the inauguration.

David gives his word to put Solomon on the throne

(1:28-31) David tells Bathsheba that Solomon will be king.

(1:32) David gathers his loyal supporters: priests, prophets, and military men.

(1:33) By riding on David’s mule, this would communicate David’s decision to the people.

(1:34) David instructed the priests to publicly anoint Solomon—not Adonijah.

(1:35) Finally, David tells them to put Solomon on the throne.

(1:36-37) Benaiah concurs with this decision

(1:38-40) If these men hadn’t acted decisively, the people may have followed Adonijah’s leadership.

Solomon’s ascension to the throne succeeds

(1:41-48) Adonijah’s men hear the sound of the people rejoicing (v.41). He assumes that this is good news, but it is not (vv.42-47). Adonijah immediately submits to this situation (v.47).

(1:49-50) Adonijah and the people were likely terrified because they thought that they would be killed as traitors to the newly installed king.

(1:51-53) Solomon graciously spares his life. But this is conditional on how Adonijah acts in the future. If Adonijah submits to Solomon’s leadership, then there would be peace. If not, then Solomon would have him killed.

Concluding insights

We see that God’s covenant was still active in the next generation (v.17).

As believers, we need to take urgent action when we sense that someone (even on the inside) is trying to go against God’s will.

1 Kings 2 (Solomon cleans house)

Summary: David gives a farewell speech to his son, Solomon (v.1). He summarizes the different people that are trustworthy and untrustworthy. Since his promises are null and void as king (after his death), he tells Solomon that he can enforce capital punishment. David tells Solomon to keep a close eye on Shimei (vv.8-9). David dies (v.10).

Adonijah asks for Abishag as his wife (v.17). Remember, Abishag was one of David’s concubines. Bathsheba gives Adonijah’s request to Solomon (v.20), and this sets Solomon off (v.21). Adonijah was trying to take the harem of the king, which was a power play (v.22). Solomon killed Adonijah (v.25), and he removed Abiathar from the priesthood (v.27). He also went to kill Joab, but Joab fled to the altar for amnesty (v.29). But Solomon had him killed anyhow (v.34). Solomon put trusted people in their roles (v.35).

Solomon warned Shimei not to leave his house (vv.36-37), but Shimei decided to pick up his slaves anyhow. This was a sign to Solomon that he couldn’t trust him, so he had him killed (v.46).

(2:1) David knows that he is going to die, so he gives some final advice to Solomon. Apparently, David spent a lot of time with Solomon, imparting wisdom to him (Prov. 4:3-9).

Spiritual advice to Solomon

(2:2) This same expression (“show yourself a man”) was used before military battle (1 Sam. 4:9).

(2:3) David wanted Solomon to stay in the word of God. It’s interesting that he opens his final impartation of wisdom by noting this.

(2:4) David reminds Solomon of the Davidic Covenant (2 Sam. 7:12-13).

Political advice to Solomon

(2:5) Joab had been fiercely loyal to David in some respects, as his military general. However, Joab had also sided with Adonijah, and he went against David’s command by killing Abner (2 Sam. 3:22-27). Joab also had his own brother Abishai killed.

(2:6) David leaves this matter in Solomon’s hands, but he tells him to watch Joab carefully and not let him die a peaceful death.

(2:7) Barzillai had helped David during his brief exile (2 Sam. 19:31-39).

(2:8-9) Shimei had mocked David and called down curses on him during David’s brief exile (2 Sam. 16:5-14). David had pardoned Shimei’s crime (2 Sam. 19:18-23), but Solomon had no such contract with Shimei.

Death of David

(2:10-11) With his final wisdom given to Solomon, David dies at the age of 70.

Solomon takes over

(2:12) David left Solomon with a “firmly established” kingdom. But now, will Solomon be able to keep it established?

Adonijah is killed for treason

(2:13-17) In ancient times, the king’s harem went to his successor. The Jews (2 Sam. 12:8), the Persians (Herodotus, 3.68), and the Arabs had a similar custom.[10] This was a not so subtle way of making a move to take over.

(2:18-22) Solomon discerned that Adonijah was making a move for the throne (v.20).

(1 Kings 2:22-23) Why does Solomon act so severely with Adonijah asking for Abishag as his concubine?

(2:23-25) Solomon’s execution of Adonijah may seem harsh. However, we must note that Solomon only executed him for this act of treason. After all, Solomon did not kill any of the other men who had earlier moved against him (1 Kings 1:9). Patterson and Austel write, “To leave him alive with such ambitions would leave a festering sore in the kingdom.”[11]

Abiathar is exiled

(2:26) Abiathar was the priest who originally served under David—even carrying the Ark (2 Sam. 15:24, 29). Anathoth was 3.5 miles north of Jerusalem.[12] Solomon only promised to keep him alive “at this time.” Abiathar’s life would depend on whether he decided to try to turn against the throne.

(2:27) This was a fulfillment of God’s prophecy against Eli (1 Sam. 2:30-33). Zadok replaces Abiathar as high priest (v.35).

Joab is executed

(2:28-29) Joab fled to get sanctuary or asylum at the “tent of the Lord.”

(2:30) Joab thought he was safe inside the tent of the Lord.

(2:31-34) Sanctuary or not, Solomon has Joab executed for his crimes against Abner and Amasa.

(2:35) Benaiah replaces Joab as the commander of the military.

Shimei is executed

(2:36-38) Solomon brokers a deal with Shimei: Build a house and stay there; otherwise, you will be killed. Shimei agreed with this for three years (v.39).

(2:39-40) Shimei’s servants fled to Gath, and Shimei “violated his parole”[13] by going after them.

(2:41-45) Solomon doesn’t even given Shimei an opportunity to defend himself. The fact that he wasn’t in his home revealed his guilt.

(2:46) Benaiah (the new military commander) had Shimei killed.

Concluding insights

Solomon needed to clean house after David handed the kingdom over to him. David had warned Solomon of whom he could and couldn’t trust. Therefore, in this chapter, we see Solomon acting swiftly and strongly. Solomon takes action, which is the sign of a good leader.

1 Kings 3 (Solomon gets Wisdom)

Summary: Solomon married women to make alliances with neighboring nations (v.1). God approaches Solomon and tells him to ask for anything that he wants (v.5). Solomon admits that he is buckling under the pressure of working with so many people (vv.8-9). So, he asks for discernment (v.9). God is pleased that he asks for this, rather than wealth or long life or victory in war (v.11). Solomon realized that this was a dream (v.15).

Two prostitutes argue about who a baby should belong to. A woman smothered her child in the night and switched out the baby with the neighboring woman. Who should the living child go to—especially without any witnesses? Solomon orders to have the child cut in half (v.25). The true mother came forward and tells him to stop, because she loves the baby (v.26). Solomon discerns the situation (v.27).

(3:1) The Egyptians were famous for not marrying their daughters in alliances like this before this time.[14] This shows how far Egypt had declined in power, and how much Solomon had increased in power.

Solomon built a separate house for Pharaoh’s daughter (2 Chron. 8:11).

(3:2) These high places were areas of Canaanite polytheistic worship that pulled the people away from the central worship at the Ark in the Tabernacle (Deut. 12:1-14).

(3:3) It’s possible that these acts of worship were supplementary at this point until the Ark and Tabernacle were set up. Patterson and Austel argue that this statement merely shows “incompleteness” of Israel’s decision to create a Temple, rather than this worship being a heinous sin.[15] After all, it is strange that the text states that Solomon “loved” God, but also was an idol worshipper.

(3:4) The entire leadership of Israel went with Solomon (2 Chron. 1:2-3). This must have been a thanks offering for establishing the kingdom.

Solomon’s dream

(3:5) This isn’t a blank check given to Solomon. God is merely telling Solomon to “ask,” not necessarily that he will give him anything that he wants.

(3:6) Solomon’s focus is on God’s faithfulness to David, rather than the other way around.

(3:7) The expression “little child” doesn’t mean that Solomon was a preschooler. He is simply saying that he is relatively inexperienced,[16] and he lacks discernment in leading the nation.

(3:8) Solomon cites the Abrahamic Covenant (Gen. 13:16).

(3:9) Solomon asks for wisdom and discernment—qualities that the Messiah would later have (Isa. 11:2-5).

(3:10-11) God was pleased with this request, because it was according to his will (1 Jn. 5:14-15). Solomon did not ask for (1) health, (2) wealth, or (3) power. Instead, he asked for wisdom, and God gave him more than he asked for.

(3:12-13) Incidentally, God gave him wisdom in all sorts of areas (1 Kings 4:29-34), as well as power (1 Kings 10:1-25).

(1 Kings 3:12) Was Solomon greater than Jesus?

(3:14) The Davidic Covenant was unconditional, but Solomon’s part in it was conditional on him following God.

(3:15) Solomon realized that this was a prophetic dream. It caused him to give more thanks-offerings to God.

Solomon displays his wisdom

(3:16) These would’ve been considered low members of society (“harlots”).

(3:17-21) This opening sounds like the beginning of a detective riddle. There were only two women in the room, only two boys, and they were almost identical in age when one of the boys died.

(3:22-23) Both women make the exact same claim on the boy. Clearly, only one of them can be lying. How would you be able to tell who was lying and who was telling the truth? It seems impossible…

(3:24-25) Obviously, Solomon makes this call to discern who the true mother is. A woman who would smother her own baby (and then switch the dead baby in the night with a live one!) is definitely not mentally stable. Only a mentally unstable woman would agree with this horrible solution.

(3:26-27) Solomon’s ruse revealed who the true mother was.

(3:28) The people could see Solomon’s discernment and wisdom. When we have these gifts, they are visible to others in practical application.

Concluding insights

Wisdom is more valuable that riches, wealth, or success. Do we believe this? When we’re going through failure or suffering, we are often building up stock in wisdom. Pray that God would give you wisdom, and he will deliver this (Jas. 1:5). Unfortunately, it usually comes through failure and suffering!

1 Kings 4 (Solomon’s Wisdom Leads to Prosperity)

Summary: The beginning covers Solomon’s officials who ruled with him (vv.1-19). The people were happy under Solomon’s rule (v.20), and he had a big kingdom (v.21). Solomon had incredible wisdom (v.30), and he knew a lot about science (v.33). All the nations came to hear his wisdom (v.34).

(4:1) Solomon takes the kingdom to the next level. He had inherited a strong kingdom from his father, David, but he makes the kingdom even more powerful and internally organized as a system of government. We can see this by the detailed list of his officials below.

List of Solomon’s officials

(4:2) Azariah is probably the grandson of Zadok (1 Chron. 6:8-9). He likely became high priest after Zadok, because he is called “the priest.”[17]

(4:3) Elihoreph and Ahijah’s father served under David. The “secretary” dealt with public affairs.[18]

Jehoshaphat was the “recorder,” who reported needs to the king and was his spokesman.[19]

(4:4) Benaiah was the military general.

(4:5) Azariah led the twelve district governors (vv.7-19).[20] Zabud held a high honor to be called David’s friend. These were both sons of Nathan, the prophet who called out David (2 Sam. 12).

(4:6) Ahishar was the “master of the palace” or “in charge of the palace.”[21] This was a similar function as an Egyptian vizier or a “minister of state.”

Adoniram was in charge of the slave labor. This was one of the warnings that Samuel gave about having a king (1 Sam. 8:12-17), and it will later be a reason that the northern ten tribes break away from Israel.

(4:7) Each of the district governors would provide food and supplies for the palace, divvying these up once a year (12 governors had one month out of the year). Azariah oversaw these governors (v.5).

List of the district governors

(4:8-19) Notice that Judah (the hub of the nation) is not listed. While it could be alluded to in verse 19b, it’s also likely that Judah was intentionally left off the list. Patterson and Austel write, “It would appear that Judah may have received special privileges, which would tend to foster resentment on the part of the other tribes.”[22]

Solomon’s wealth

(4:20) This is an allusion back to the Abrahamic Covenant.

(4:21) This shows a seamless transition between the reign of David to Solomon. The territories David conquered didn’t rebel once he died. Instead, they followed Solomon’s leadership, paying tribute to Israel.

(4:22) A “kor” was equivalent to a donkey load—anywhere from 48 to 100 gallons.[23]

(4:23) Solomon was being given ample tribute.

(4:24-25) The language of sitting under the vine and fig tree “speaks of undisturbed prosperity.”[24]

(4:26-28) The parallel passage states that this was only 4,000 stalls for horses (2 Chron. 9:25). This is considered to be a scribal, copyist error.[25]

(1 Kings 4:26) How many stalls did Solomon have?

Solomon’s wisdom

(4:29) Wisdom (ḥoḵmāh) referred to being skilled at one’s discipline. Solomon’s “breadth of mind” refers to his “numerous areas of knowledge.”[26]

(4:30) The “east” probably refers to Mesopotamia. Both the Mesopotamians and Egyptians were known for the production of wisdom literature.

(4:31) Ethan (author of Psalm 89), Heman (author of Psalm 88), Calcol and Darda (1 Chron. 2:6), and Mahol (who is otherwise unknown).

(4:32) Solomon wrote the majority of the Proverbs, the Song of Songs, and two psalms (Ps. 72, 127). The rest of his writing wasn’t preserved for us.

(4:33) He was a man of science to some degree. He used illustrations from nature in the writing of his Proverbs. He must’ve enjoyed observing nature.

(4:34) The Queen of Sheba is a concrete example of this (1 Kings 10).

Concluding insights

This whole section is a fulfillment of God’s promise to Solomon to give him wisdom in leading the nation of Israel (1 Kings 3). Wisdom doesn’t come from our inherent abilities, but from the fear of the Lord: “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge” (Prov. 1:7; cf. Job 28:28; Eccl. 12:13).

One of the effects of wisdom is that it affects others (v.34), rather than just making a person proud and self-righteous.

1 Kings 5 (Solomon and Hiram)

Summary: Solomon gets a deal with Hiram for wood to build the Temple. Hiram was the king of Tyre (v.1). Hiram was happy to fill the order (v.7). This was a massive building project (vv.14-16).

(5:1) Solomon is inheriting a good relationship with Hiram (Tyre).

(5:2-3) David must have told Hiram that he wanted to build the Temple, but couldn’t (“You know…”). Perhaps, David even told Hiram that Solomon would be the builder after his death (?). David set up Solomon so he could build the Temple (1 Chron. 22, 29).

(5:4) Solomon was given a respite from war, and so now he sees that this is the time to start this building campaign.

(5:5) He cites the Davidic Covenant (2 Sam. 7:11-16).

(5:6) Hiram had given lumber to David before (1 Sam. 5:11; 1 Chron. 22:4). Patterson and Austel write, “The Cedars of Lebanon were flamed for their beauty and were greatly desired by rulers of Mesopotamia, Egypt, and Syro-Palestine for their building projects.”[27]

(5:7) This was a major trade agreement, and Hiram is clearly happy about this.

(5:8-9) Hiram agreed to transport the lumber by sea, and Solomon would have to take it from there.

(5:10-11) Wheat and oil were precious commodities in the mountainous area of Phoenicia.[28]

(5:12) This is a fulfillment of the prayer for wisdom that Solomon asked from God (1 Kings 3).

(5:13-14) There were 30,000 men total, and they worked in shifts of 10,000 men per month. This would mean that each man would work four months out of the year lumberjacking, and he would work eight months at home working his farm (a practice called corvee).

(5:15-16) Still today, a large quantity of stone is underneath Jerusalem. This is called “Solomon’s quarry.”[29] These workers were likely Canaanite slaves.

(5:17-18) The author gives more information on the quality of the materials used to build the Temple.

1 Kings 6 (Solomon builds the Temple)

Summary: The author gives a description of the Temple’s dimensions (vv.2-6). God promises to stay with Solomon, if he follows God (vv.11-13). The inside of the Temple was covered with pure gold (vv.21-22). Cherubim were carved inside the Temple out of olive wood, and they were fifteen feet tall—with a fifteen foot wingspan (v.23)! They were covered with gold (v.28). It took them seven years to build the Temple (v.38).

The parallel passage states that the Holy Spirit inspired David to create plans for the Temple’s construction: “[David] gave [Solomon] the plans of all that the Spirit had put in his mind for the courts of the temple of the LORD” (1 Chron. 28:12 NIV).

(6:1) This is one of the best historical markers for dating the Exodus. Solomon ended his reign in 931/932 BC, and he reigned for 40 years. Therefore, the fourth year of his reign was 967/966 BC (making the Exodus 1447-1446 BC).

The parallel passage states that Solomon built the Temple on Mount Moriah—just outside of Jerusalem (2 Chron. 3:1).

(1 Kings 6:1) Does this improperly date the Exodus?

Description of the Temple

(6:2) These measurements are twice the size of the Tabernacle.[30]

(6:3)

(6:4) These may have been latticed windows.

(6:5)

(6:6)

(6:7) They may not have used iron tools because of God’s words to Moses, when he had Moses build a small altar (Ex. 20:25).

(6:8)

(6:9) They would’ve covered these beams with a pulverized limestone marl to make it “cement-like” and waterproof.[31]

(6:10) These may have been storage rooms.

God gives Solomon conditions

(6:11) God must have spoken to him through a prophet, because a later passage states that God spoke to Solomon “a second time” (1 Kings 9:2). The first time would’ve been through his dream (1 Kings 3).

(6:12-13) The majesty and the ritualism of the Temple would not save the people—only by following God’s word would they be protected. Patterson and Austel write, “Thus the temple in all its splendor and ritual is by itself not sufficient. God requires obedient hearts. In this matter alone there stands a great gulf between the faith of Israel and the cultic ritual of the surrounding Gentile nations.”[32]

(6:14) This took seven years to build.

More descriptions of the Temple

(6:15-18) The stone walls were covered with expensive wood and intricately designed with artwork carved into the wood (v.29). No stone could be seen because of the beautiful wood carvings (v.18).

(6:19) The inner sanctuary was where God would meet with the high priest (1 Sam. 4:4; 2 Sam. 6:2; Ex. 25:21-22). During the Exile, God’s presence left from this place as a visual image that God was no longer with them (Ezek. 10:4).

(6:20) The room was a cube. In Revelation, heaven is also pictured as a perfect cube (Rev. 21:16), where God would dwell with his people (Rev. 21:3).

(6:21-22) Imagine how beautiful this would look—completely covered with gold.

Cherubim guard the sanctuary

(6:23-28) These two cherubim were enormous. 15 feet tall with a wingspan of 15 feet wide. They symbolized that God’s presence could not be entered (Gen. 3:24). Patterson and Austel note, “The impact to the beholder of these representations of the cherubim would be to impress on him the awesomeness of God’s holiness. Approaching God is not a light or frivolous matter and must be undertaken in the exact way he has prescribed—through the blood.”[33]

More artwork and more gold

(6:29-35) This would’ve been a beautiful site to see with all of the artwork on the walls.

In heaven, John states that the streets will be paved with gold (v.30; Rev. 21:21).

(6:36) This was the court of the priests (2 Chron. 4:9).

(6:37-38) This building project took seven years to complete.

Concluding insights

This shows that God has a delight in art and the aesthetic.

1 Kings 7 (Solomon builds his Palace)

While the Temple took seven years to build (1 Kings 6:37-38), it took thirteen years to build his palace (v.1). This chapter explains the intricate details of building the palace.

(7:1) It took twice as long to build Solomon’s palace. It’s possible that this could be showing the contrast between Solomon’s devotional to God versus his devotion to himself. At the same time, the building material probably took a long time to gather, and Solomon built the Temple first, which shows a certain amount of devotion to God’s ways coming first (Mt. 6:33-34).

The description of the Temple’s construction are “extremely sketchy; so it is difficult to make an accurate reconstruction.”[34]

(7:2-5) This may have been a storeroom for weapons and armor (1 Kings 10:17; Isa. 22:8).

These buildings were likely all interconnected

(7:6) This was the entry hall.

(7:7) The king met here to adjudicate difficult court decisions for the people.

(7:8) There is very little description of Solomon’s own living quarters.

(7:9-12) The foundation stones were enormous (15 feet by 12 feet tall).

Hiram—a master builder

(7:13-14) This is not the same man as Hiram the king.[35] This man was an expert craftsman (cf. 2 Chron. 2:13-14; 4:11). Note that the word “wisdom” (ḥoḵmāh) is used for his skill in building.

He is similar to Bezalel—the man who built the Tabernacle (Ex. 31:3).

Two bronze pillars

(7:15) These pillars stood near the portico—not in it (v.21; 2 Chron. 3:17). These were freestanding pillars of art.

(7:16-20) These “capitals” were bowl-shaped, and it looks like they sat on top of the massive bronze pillars.

(7:21-22) Jachin means “he established.” Boaz means “by him is he mighty.”[36] This suggests that these pillars were supposed to remind the kings that they were established by God—not their own prerogative.

(7:23-26) The “sea” must have been hemispherical or bowl-shaped as well, because it could hold water. The priests would cleanse themselves before doing their work (Ex. 30:18-21).

(1 Kings 7:23) Does the Bible incorrectly measure pi?

(7:27-37) These were portable basins, so these wheels would move them.

(7:38-39) 40 baths was roughly 230 gallons.[37] These were used for rinsing the burnt offerings (2 Chron. 4:6).

Tools used for the Temple

(7:40-47) These were used for handling the fire, the ashes, and the blood for the sacrifices.

Furniture in the Temple

(7:48) There were ten tables set up here (2 Chron. 4:8).

(7:49) This is based off of the instructions for the Tabernacle (Ex. 25:31-40).

(7:50) Even the hinges were made of gold (!!).

(7:51) David had dedicated his wealth to the Temple (1 Chron. 29).

1 Kings 8 (Temple Dedication)

Summary: Solomon brought the Ark of the Covenant to the Temple (v.1). God entered the Temple in a unique way (v.10-11). Solomon gives a speech and recounts how he got the commission to build the Temple. Solomon says that there is no one like God, and he bases this on the goodness and stability of God’s promises (v.23). He asks God to keep the promise that he made with David (vv.25-26). Solomon knows that God doesn’t actually live in the Temple (v.27, 39). Solomon predicts a time when the people will turn away, but prays that God would forgive them when they repent (vv.33-35). Solomon desires all people to know the Lord (v.43, 60). He emphasizes that God hasn’t failed in his promises (v.56).

After the speech, they offered copious amounts of sacrifices to God (vv.62-62). It lasted for two weeks (v.66).

(8:1-2) Solomon wanted all of the leaders to see the dedication of the Temple.

Solomon likely waited until the seventh month, because this is when the Feast of Booths was celebrated. This feast celebrated the end of the Wandering, when God gave the people a permanent home in Israel. Similarly, the Temple was now permanent, rather than mobile.

(8:3-5) The sacrificing of animals is similar to David’s practice when he received the Ark back in Israel (2 Sam. 6:13).

(8:6-8) The priests placed the Ark in the Holy of Holies. They left the poles that were used for transporting the Ark.

(8:9) The Law is the reason why they called this the Ark of the Testimony. This was a box filled with God’s Law for the people.

God enters the Temple

(8:10-11) God’s glory came visibly into the Temple, showing that God approved of what Solomon had done. This is called the Shekinah glory from the Hebrew word meaning “to dwell.”[38]

Notice that the priests (the holiest men of the day) couldn’t stand in God’s presence. Today, the Holy Spirit dwells inside each and every believer in Christ. The parallel passage occurs in 2 Chronicles 7:1-7.

Solomon’s speech

(8:12-13) The reference to the “thick cloud” harkens back to God dwelling in a cloud in the book of Exodus.

(1 Kings 8:13) Did God dwell in the Temple, or is he omnipresent?

(8:14) Solomon was both a spiritual and political leader.

(8:15-21) Solomon reminds the people of God’s faithfulness to “fulfill His word” (v.20). He references the Davidic Covenant and the Exodus.

Solomon’s prayer

(8:22) The parallel passage states that Solomon was on a 4.5 foot platform when he prayed over the Temple and the people. He was kneeling throughout this entire prayer (v.54).

(8:23-25) Solomon opens his prayer by acknowledging the uniqueness of God. Specifically, Solomon marvels at how faithful God has been to his promises.

(1 Kings 8:23) Does this passage support henotheism?

(8:26) Based on God’s faithfulness, Solomon prays for God to continue to fulfill his word.

(8:27) Patterson and Austel write, “God does not need the temple, but the temple needs God! God does not need Israel, but Israel needs God!”[39]

(8:28-29) Solomon prays that God would listen to his prayers for the Temple. Even though Solomon had spent seven years building this place, he knew that it only had value if God would bless it.

(8:30) Solomon could see a day when the people would betray God, and he prays for this future generation that God would forgive them when they prayed toward the Temple.

Again, Solomon knew that God dwelled in heaven—not on Earth (v.27).

Solomon’s prayers for God’s forgiveness

Each of these prayers is based off of the blessings and cursings of Deuteronomy 28 and Leviticus 26.

(8:31-32) Solomon prayed that the Temple would be a place of righteous judgment for people’s court cases.

(8:33-34) Solomon prayed that God would protect his people from enemy nations if they were repentant.

(8:35-36) Solomon prayed that God would bless their crops if the people repented from their rebellion.

(8:37-40) Solomon prayed that God would take away plagues if the people repented in their hearts. Patterson and Austel write, “Notice the emphasis on the heart, that is, the inner man, rather than ritual alone. God, who knows the heart, will respond to man’s prayer in accordance with the reality of his repentance.”[40]

(8:41-43) Solomon prayed that the Temple would be a place for evangelism (v.60), reaching the whole world. Solomon wanted the spiritual power of the Temple to bless the nations—not to suppress the nations.

(8:44-45) Solomon prayed for the soldiers as they were away at war. While the locus of spirituality was in the Temple, notice that Solomon stated that they should pray “to the Lord” first and foremost.

(8:46-51) Solomon prayed for the people who would be taken into the Exile. If they were repentant, he prayed that God would accept them again.

(8:52-53) Solomon closes his prayer by asking God to listen to his people when they pray to him. The point here isn’t just that Solomon can pray (and God will listen), but that all the people will be heard by God.

Solomon concludes his prayer

(8:54-56) The concept of God’s “rest” is a major theme of the OT, as well as the author of Hebrews (Heb. 3-4).

(8:57-61) Notice again how much Solomon keeps referring to the “hearts” of the people (v.58). Did Solomon get this emphasis from his father David—a man after God’s own heart?

Based on God’s love, the people would need to show their role, being “wholly devoted to the Lord” (v.60).

More sacrifices

(8:62-66) The normal length of this festival was only seven days, but Solomon doubled this because of amount of sacrifices offered (v.65). Again, notice the effect that this had on the people’s “hearts” (v.66).

Concluding insights

The Temple is a symbol for God dwelling with his people. Here we see that Solomon’s dedication unpacks the purpose of the Temple. For instance, he points out the faithfulness of God, God’s love for all people, and his desire to forgive us when we sin.

Notice that even the priests—the holy men—had to run and hide when God’s presence appeared (vv.10-11).

Solomon didn’t think that the Temple could really contain God (v.27). God really dwells in heaven (vv.39, 49).

Notice has much Solomon emphasizes the “heart” of the people—not merely the ritualism.

1 Kings 9 (God Speaks to Solomon a Second Time)

God warns Solomon of what will happen if he doesn’t follow him (vv.6-9). Hiram wasn’t pleased with the towns that Solomon had given him (v.12). Remember, Hiram was the man from Tyre that gave Solomon all of his lumber.

(9:1) Since Solomon’s palace took thirteen years to build after the building of the Temple (1 Kings 7:1), these events took place much later. This means that God waited a long time to issue this warning to Solomon. This becomes important later when Solomon becomes an idolater, and God points to these warnings (1 Kings 11:9-10).

(9:2) The first time God appeared to Solomon would’ve been in his dream (1 Kings 3).

God’s warning to Solomon: Don’t forsake God!

(9:3) The Temple wasn’t special because of its golden artistry or its opulent wealth. It was special because God put his “name” and his “eyes” and his very “heart” inside as a stamp of his approval.

(9:4-5) God brings up the Davidic Covenant again. Notice the focus on the “heart” of Solomon. God placed his heart there (v.3), and now, he expects Solomon’s heart. This is the very issue that ruined Solomon (1 Kings 11:4).

(9:6) The Davidic Covenant was conditional only insofar as individuals would obey it for temporal blessings. It was unconditional in the fact that it would be ultimately fulfilled after times of discipline for the king and the people.

(9:7) God would exile the people. The term “cut off” (kāra) refers to death or being removed from fellowship with God. The term “cast out” (šilla) was used of divorce.[41]

The language of becoming a “byword” goes back to the blessings and cursings of Deuteronomy 28 and Leviticus 26 (Deut. 28:37; cf. Jer. 24:9).

(9:8-9) God would destroy the Temple. Even this would have an evangelistic effect on the Gentiles, because they would see the depravity of Israel and the righteousness of God. It would show that God was not playing favorites, but that the people were faithless to God. Even the Gentiles could show loyalty to their “gods” (Jer. 2).

Hiram

(9:10-13) Hiram was happy with these towns that were given in payment. According to the parallel passage, Hiram returned these towns to Solomon and took another form of payment (2 Chron. 8:2).

(9:14) The text seems to state that Hiram sent 120 talents of gold to Solomon—though it is unclear to us as to why he would pay him more money (?).

More building projects

(9:15) The term “Millo” is just a transliteration of the Hebrew term. It’s unclear as to what this was. Most scholars believe that it was an “architectural terracing and buttressing along the northeastern slope of the east hill of Jerusalem.”[42]

Solomon built a fortification wall for protection (which was wise because of his incredible wealth and assets in the Temple).

Solomon rebuilt three cities: Hazor, Megiddo, and Gezer. Hazor was a strategic base to fight off northern invaders. It protected Israel until its destruction in the 8th century by Tiglath-Pileser III.

Megiddo is the territory to which Jesus will return at the end of history.

(9:16) Canaanites had formerly lived here. Solomon rebuilt it after the Egyptian Pharaoh burned the city to the ground, offering it as a dowry for his daughter’s marriage.

(9:17-18) These served as military bases for Western invaders.

(9:19) Solomon used these cities to house his horses and presumably other weapons.

(9:20-23) These men were prisoners of war, who became “corvee” or forced labor.

(9:24) Solomon must have built the Millo (terraces?) for his new wife.

(9:25) Solomon (and the people) no longer made their sacrifices on the “high places” (1 Kings 3:2-4). The Temple became the place of worship.

(9:26-27) Solomon continued to broker good deals with Hiram. Here, he created a fleet of ships. Presumably, Hiram’s men (expert sailors) trained the Israelites (inexperienced sailors).

(9:28) Ophir was known for its gold (Job 22:24), but it location is debated.[43]

Concluding insights

The theme of God’s “heart” and Solomon’s “heart” continues. God placed his heart in the Temple, and he expected nothing less than Solomon’s heart. Years later, God would complain that the people honored him with their lips, but their hearts were far from him (Isa. 29:13; Mt. 15:8; Mk. 7:6).

1 Kings 10 (Queen Sheba)

Summary: The queen of Sheba came to test Solomon’s wisdom (v.1). Solomon could answer everything she asked (v.3), and Solomon’s success had an evangelistic effect on her, because his wisdom was greater than any person’s natural ability (vv.4-5, 9). Solomon was an evangelist to the nations (v.24).

(10:1) Sheba is in southwest Arabia—modern day Yemen.[44] Caravan traders came through this area and made them wealthy. The Queen of Sheba probably heard about Solomon in this way.

Notice that she heard about “Solomon concerning the name of the Lord.” The focus—even from afar—was Solomon’s trust in God.

“Hard questions” is sometimes translated “riddles” (ḥîḏô). These were “enigmatic sayings or questions that cloaked a deeper philosophical, practical, or theological truth. Arabic literature abounds in riddles and proverbs. They were a favorite sport and a way to test one’s mettle.”[45]

Jesus held this woman up as a positive example, when he rebuked the Pharisees and scribes (Mt. 12:42).

(10:2) Verse 10 tells us that she brought 4.5 tons of gold.

(10:3-5) Solomon had an answer for every question, and his life was a testimony to God. When the text says “there was no more spirit in her,” this probably refers to her emotional turmoil at seeing the hand of God at work. The same language is used of the Canaanites who recognized God working through Joshua’s men (Josh. 2:11; 5:1).

(10:6-7) The Queen turns from a skeptic into a believer overnight. She needed evidence to believe, and she travelled to get it.

(10:8) The word “blessed” (ašrê) is the word used repeatedly throughout the psalms.[46] Solomon’s men may have taken for granted how awesome this really was. From the outside looking in, the Queen didn’t take any of this for granted.

(10:9) The Queen could see that God was the one who deserved the blessing—not Solomon.

(10:10) See verse 2.

(10:11-12) This may have been some form of sandalwood, but we aren’t clear. Patterson and Austel write, “It was known and used in Ras Shamra, and it is mentioned in the Alalakh tablets as being used for fine furniture.”[47]

(10:13) They must have done some trading together. Solomon gave her gifts in return.

Solomon’s wealth

(10:14) This is equivalent to 25 tons of gold.[48]

(10:15) These were all of the people who traded with Israel.

(10:16-17) These were ceremonial shields of gold.

(10:18-21) The historian gives more detail about Solomon’s reign. He used gold to cover nearly everything. He had so much gold that silver wasn’t considered a precious commodity during this time! (v.21).

(10:22-25) Solomon’s wisdom had an evangelistic effect on the nations. This all fulfills what God had told Solomon from the beginning (1 Kings 3:13).

(10:26) Deuteronomy 17:16-17 warned against have too many chariots, polygamy (see chapter 11), and wealth. God had promised Solomon the wealth (1 Kings 3:13), but this must have replaced Solomon’s need for God.

(10:27) See verse 21.

(10:28-29) Cue is probably Cilicia.[49] The parallel passage states that Solomon bought horses from other countries as well (2 Chron. 9:28).

Concluding insights

God blessed Solomon with many gifts. But Solomon’s heart eventually became more focused on the gifts, than the Giver.

1 Kings 11 (Solomon’s Fall)

Solomon was a polygamist (v.1). God had warned him about this (v.2), but he turned away from Yahweh anyhow (v.4). Solomon built temples for false gods (v.7), and God became angry with him (v.9). God tells Solomon that he is going to rip the kingdom from him (v.11) after he dies (v.12). He will leave him only one tribe to fulfill David’s covenant (v.13).

Hadad—the Edomite—came and fought Israel (v.14). Rezon (son of Eliada) came to fight Solomon, too (v.23). Jeroboam rebelled against Solomon (v.26). God promised to give 10 tribes to Jeroboam (v.35), making him king over Israel (v.37). Solomon tried to kill Jeroboam, but failed (v.40).

(11:1-3) Solomon didn’t outright deny God, but his passion for women started a slow slip in the heart toward losing it with God. God had foreseen this very problem for those in political power (Deut. 17:16-17).

By marrying these women, syncretism set in, whereby Solomon would start to adopt their religious practices. Patterson and Austel write, “There was great similarity in some of the religious terminology; and though the theology behind the terms was radically different, it was very easy to adopt by degrees a comfortable syncretism and ultimately to forget the Lord and to serve idols.”[50]

Some scholars believe that these wives were for the purpose of securing diplomatic alliances with the other nations. This could be true to some extent. However, the text says that he “loved many foreign women,” not just political alliances. Moreover, the number of wives outweighs the number of countries in the surrounding vicinity of Israel (1,000 women!).

(1 Kings 11:1-3) Does the Bible support polygamy?

(11:4) Like Samson, Solomon was slowly worn down in his convictions. We doubt that he woke up one day and decided to deny God. Instead, he slowly lost his convictions.

(11:5-8) The text goes into detail over the gods he worshipped. Solomon started as a polygamist, and quickly became a polytheist.

(11:9-10) Solomon’s problem was not a lack of evidence: God had appeared to him “twice.” He had been chosen to be king—even against the customs of the day. He was called Jedidiah (“loved by the Lord”), and he was given wisdom, wealth, and power. Yet, he still denied God.

God’s response: tearing the kingdom down

(11:11-13) God promises to pull the plug on Solomon’s kingdom, because he chose not to follow him. He graciously waits until after Solomon died. He leaves only one tribe (Judah) to carry on the Davidic Covenant. This is a good example on how the Davidic Covenant was unconditional, but the people’s role in the covenant was conditional on obedience.

Hadad the Edomite comes to fight Israel

(11:14-22) God raises up Hadad the Edomite to fight Solomon. David had earlier fought and defeated the Edomites (2 Sam. 8:13-14; 1 Chron. 18:12-13), but Hadad must have survived this battle by fleeing to Egypt (v.17) and marrying the Pharaoh’s sister-in-law (v.19). When Hadad learned that David had died, he went back to Israel to fight.

Hadad attacked from the south.

Rezon in Damascus

(11:23-25) David had defeated Rezon’s master Hadadezer (2 Sam. 8:3-9).

Rezon attacked from the north (in Damascus).

Jeroboam the Ephraimite

(11:26-28) Jeroboam was so gifted and charismatic that Solomon put him in charge of the Ephraimite labor force. Solomon didn’t realize that this gave a charismatic leader more power to fight against the throne from inside of Israel.

(11:29-32) Ahijah the prophet from Shiloh told Jeroboam about God’s plans to use him against Solomon. He acted out the prophecy by tearing his robe into ten pieces, symbolizing the splitting of the twelve tribes.

(11:33-35) This repeats verses 7-13.

(11:36) God—through the prophet Ahijah—promises to keep a tribe for the sake of the Davidic Covenant.

(11:37-38) God gives Jeroboam an opportunity to inherit a vast dynasty (like David’s). But as it turns out, Jeroboam is an opportunist and greedy. He also fails to live up to God’s conditions.

(11:39) God was using Jeroboam to discipline the house of David “but not always.” The Davidic Covenant was still unconditional and in effect.

(11:40) Solomon tried to catch and execute Jeroboam, but Jeroboam wisely gained Egyptian protection until Solomon died. Solomon acts more like King Saul, than like his father King David, trying to fix the problem through warfare rather than repentance.

(11:41-43) Solomon doesn’t finish well. He had so many gifts of wisdom, wealth, and power. But he forfeited them because of his lust for women and his slow compromise into idolatry.

Concluding insights

This chapter shows the plight of seeking after idolatry.

It also shows how quickly we can fall away from God—even when he reveals himself to us. Solomon’s problem was not a lack of evidence, but a suppression of evidence.

It shows that God can fulfill his plan through other people, and we can miss out.

1 Kings 12 (Rehoboam Takes Over)

Summary: Rehoboam was going to be made king in Israel (v.1). Jeroboam asked him to be kinder with the people—not doing conscription for slavery. Jeroboam asked the elders what they thought (v.6). The elders told him to make a wise choice. Rehoboam should go light on the people, so that they will be a part of his kingdom (v.7). He didn’t like this answer, so he turned to the young men to get the answer he wanted (v.8, 10-11). The young men told him to be even crueler than his father. The people were in upheaval because of Rehoboam’s bombastic statements. They turned on the leadership. Rehoboam’s leader in charge of slavery was captured and stoned to death by the people, and Rehoboam barely escaped from the mob rule (v.18).

Jeroboam made two golden calves in Bethel and Dan, so that the people wouldn’t travel to Jerusalem to worship (v.28). He did this to garner the people’s respect and attention away from Rehoboam, who was afraid of losing them. This quickly turned into full-fledged idolatry (vv.29-33).

(12:1-2) Rehoboam went to the northern ten tribes to become king in Shechem, while Jeroboam was still in Egypt.

(12:3-5) Remember, Solomon had put Jeroboam in charge of the corvee (i.e. conscripted slaves). The people of Israel sent Jeroboam as their representative to negotiate better labor conditions. Rehoboam wanted three days to think this over.

(12:6) Rehoboam sought out counsel from the elders who served his father, Solomon (v.6).

(12:7) The wise old elders gave him good advice to concede to the demands of the corvee.

(12:8-11) Rehoboam ignored this advice. He wanted someone to tell him what he already wanted to do (e.g. Reggie Lewis seeking medical advice for his heart condition). The young men (Rehoboam’s “entourage” who grew up with him) advise Rehoboam to be even harsher than Solomon (vv.10-11).

(12:12-14) Rehoboam delivers the harsh news.

(12:15) Did God cause these events? Did he foresee these events? Did he strengthen Rehoboam’s heart as he did for Pharaoh? We are not told. We only know that God was using Rehoboam’s sin against him to fulfill his prediction (1 Kings 11:11, 31; 2 Chron. 10:15).

Israel formally secedes from Judah

(12:16-17) The northern people of Israel formally seceded from the southern kingdom of Judah. Judah and Benjamin became a buffer zone between the two warring factions in this civil war.

(12:18) Adoram came to gather taxes, but he “gathered only stones for his effort.”[51] Rehoboam ran away to the safety of his state capital Jerusalem.

(12:19-21) Jeroboam became king of the northern tribes (v.20), and Rehoboam quickly formed a massive army against the north (cf. 2 Chron. 11:1-4).

(12:22-24) God spoke through the prophet Shemaiah, telling Rehoboam to call off his military plans, and Rehoboam listened.

Jeroboam turns to idolatry

(12:25) Jeroboam made Shechem his state capital, replacing Jerusalem with it.

(12:26-28) Jeroboam thought that Rehoboam had an advantage because the epicenter of religious worship was in Jerusalem. Consequently, he built his own pseudo-altar in Israel. It can’t be a coincidence that he built two golden calves and referenced the Exodus (see Ex. 32). Patterson and Austel write, “Although God may have allowed the kingdom to be divided politically, he intended no theological schism.”[52]

(12:29) Dan was in the extreme north, and Bethel was in the extreme south

(12:30) The author intervenes to explicitly denounce this event.

(12:31) Jeroboam even had pseudo-priests to replace the Levites. At this time, many Levites and other believers left Israel to go to Judah (2 Chron. 11:13-17).

(12:32) This was mimicking the Feast of Tabernacles.

(12:33) Notice that the text says that he came up with this “in his own heart,” rather than hearing from God and his word.

Concluding insights

This shows how people have a tendency to talk with ear ticklers, rather than people that will give them good advice. Like Rehoboam, we will go to the person that will tell us what we want to hear. How can we avoid doing this?

Jeroboam started off good, but quickly spiraled down into idolatry. He came up with these plans “in his own heart.” God gave him the kingdom (1 Kings 11:11, 31), but he added on to what God had told him.

1 Kings 13 (Jeroboam’s Hand Shrivels)

Summary: A prophet came forward to predict doom on Jeroboam’s altar (v.1). He said that Josiah would take over the throne, and the false priests would be killed over the altar (v.2). Jeroboam told the guards to seize the prophet, but his hand shriveled up (v.4). He asked the prophet to intercede for him (v.6). He tried to bribe the prophet to come back with him after he was healed (v.7), but the prophet denied him (vv.8-9).

An old prophet lies to Jeroboam, and tells him to go back to his house (v.18). God spoke through the false prophet, and predicted doom on the true prophet. He told him that he wouldn’t be allowed to be buried in the tomb of his fathers (v.22). In the next verse, he was killed by a lion (v.23). The old prophet buried him in his old tomb (v.29). Maybe he felt guilty for lying to him. Meanwhile, Jeroboam didn’t relent on his apostasy in Israel.

(13:1) Apparently, there weren’t any prophets in the north to rebuke Jeroboam. So, God sent this prophet from Judah in the south.

(13:2) This short term prediction was fulfilled in Josiah’s day (2 Kings 23:15-20).

(13:3) Regarding the ashes being “poured out,” Patterson and Austel write, “According to the Levitical regulations, the ashes were to be carried off carefully to a clean place for disposal (Lev 1:16; 4:12; 6:10–11). Their pouring out, together with the destruction of the altar, would signify God’s invalidating of the sacrificial service being held at Bethel.”[53]

Jeroboam’s hand shrivels and the prophet is confirmed

(13:4) Jeroboam’s own hand shriveled up in front of him. The NET notes states that the hand literally “dried up” or “withered.” TEV and NLT translate this as becoming “paralyzed.”

(13:5-6) The unnamed prophet is quadruply confirmed: (1) his prediction about the altar falling apart occurred and (2) he miraculously shriveled Jeroboam’s hand, (3) he miraculously healed Jeroboam’s hand, and (4) his later prediction about Josiah came to fruition years later (2 Kings 23:15-20). This shows how OT prophets could show their authenticity to the people.

(13:7) Is Jeroboam repentant here? It doesn’t seem like it. This sounds more like saving face and bribery. Later, we see clearly that Jeroboam is unrepentant (vv.33-34).

(13:8-10) The prophet refuses Jeroboam’s offer. He also states that God told him that he couldn’t (1) eat bread, (2) drink water, or (3) even follow the same path home to Judah. These are very specific guidelines.

The old (evil) prophet

(13:11-22) Some commentators believe that this old prophet was a good man, simply looking “for fellowship and encouragement”[54] with this prophet from Judah. However, we disagree. The prophet doesn’t seem to be godly, because he was living in Bethel. If he was a true prophet, why didn’t God ask him to rebuke Jeroboam? Why did he call a prophet all the way from Judah, instead? Moreover, the text specifically states that he lied to the young prophet about hearing a word from the Lord (v.18). More likely, this false prophet was trying to corrupt the younger prophet, because he was working for the other side.

Death by lion!

(13:23-24) This must have been a supernatural event, because the lion killed the prophet but not the donkey. Moreover, the lion didn’t eat the man, nor the donkey (v.28). God simply used this animal to carry out judgment.

(13:25-28) The old prophet retrieves the body and buries him.

(13:29-30) Why would the old prophet mourn over this man, when he himself was the one who helped in the man’s death? It could be that he was mourning over his own contribution in the death of the prophet—his “brother.” Perhaps he felt remorse (?).

(13:31-32) The old prophet wanted to be buried beside the young prophet, and he confirms that the young prophet was a true man of God.

Jeroboam doesn’t repent

(13:33-34) Even after all of this, Jeroboam didn’t repent. Throughout the rest of the book, evil kings are associated with Jeroboam’s evil apostasy.

Concluding insights

Jeroboam refused to repent—even after seeing the miracles of the prophet (vv.33-34). Similarly, people today can suppress the truth about God (Rom. 1:18).

The “man of God” (i.e. the prophet) should’ve known not to deny God’s word and trust the word of a man. He should’ve tested what the guy said (Deut. 13 and 18). Paul writes, “Examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good; 22 abstain from every form of evil” (1 Thess. 5:21-22).

God is really severe on this prophet, because he didn’t explicitly follow his word—even though he was a courageous man at one point (speaking against Jeroboam).

It’s strange that this “old prophet” lies to the man of God. Why did he do this? Also, why isn’t he punished for lying to him (v.18)? Also, why does God use him to rebuke the man of God (vv.20-21)??

1 Kings 14 (Deaths of Jeroboam and Rehoboam)

Summary: Jeroboam’s son, Abijah, becomes sick (v.1). Jeroboam sends his wife to ask Ahijah what will happen to him (vv.2-3). God told Ahijah what would happen (v.5). Ahijah foretells disaster for Jeroboam (v.10), because of his idolatry (vv.8-10). Ahijah predicts that Abijah will die, when he mother sets foot in the city (v.12). This was literally fulfilled (v.17). Nadab took over the thrown after his father (v.20).

Meanwhile, Rehoboam reigned in Judah, and he was an evil leader (v.22). There was prostitution in the land (v.24). The north and the south (Jeroboam and Rehoboam) fought in constant civil war (v.30).

Jeroboam is an evil ruler in Israel (northern kingdom) 930–910 BC

(14:1-3) Jeroboam’s son became very sick and on the brink of death. He sent his wife in disguise to ask Ahijah—the prophet—what will happen to him. Remember, Ahijah was the prophet who predicted that Jeroboam would rise to power (1 Kings 11:29-30).

Why does he send his wife, rather than going himself? Also, why does he send her in “disguise”? This is likely because he knew that he wasn’t following God’s prescriptions as a ruler (1 Kings 11:38).

(14:4) This is good news! Not only is Jeroboam’s wife in disguise (v.3), but the old prophet can’t see well.

(14:5) Even though Ahijah couldn’t see well, God could still see well.

(14:6) Jeroboam’s wife must have gotten a sinking feeling in her stomach when she heard these words. The disguise had failed. God had seen her coming, and he could also see the future.

(14:7-9) Ahijah begins by listing the reasons for why Jeroboam will receive judgment—namely, Jeroboam led the people into idolatry and “cast [God] behind [his] back” (v.9; cf. Ezek. 23:35).

(14:10-12) Ahijah predicts that God will judge every male in the house of Jeroboam. The dogs and birds will eat their unburied corpses (v.11). He also predicts that Jeroboam’s son will die the moment the woman enters the city (v.12).

(14:13) God allows the boy to be buried as a sign that there was something good in the child. Yet this raises the question as to why God would judge the son for the father’s sin, if there was “something good” found in him.

(14:14-16) Ahijah further predicts that a ruler will be raised up to judge Jeroboam’s reign.

(14:17-20) Jeroboam’s son died in a literal fulfillment of what the prophet predicted. Since Nadab took over the throne and no one else died, this leaves us in a state of suspense to see the rest of the predictions fulfilled as well.

Rehoboam is an evil ruler in Judah (southern kingdom) 931–913 BC

(14:21-24) Rehoboam seemed to start off well as a king (2 Chron. 11:5-17, 23), but he quickly rebelled against God’s law (2 Chron. 12:1). He committed idolatry (v.23) and male ritual prostitutes (v.24).

(14:25) Shishak (known as Sheshonq I in secular history) reigned in the 22nd dynasty in Egypt (926 BC).[55] He reunited Egypt and then came to fight with Judah.

(14:26-28) Shishak “lists 150 cities he took in the campaign.”[56] He looted all of the golden shields, and Rehoboam had to replace them with bronze shields. In the parallel passage in Chronicles, Rehoboam repents and this spares the city from total destruction.

(14:29-31) The civil war between the north and the south continued (v.30), and Abijam took over after Rehoboam died.

Concluding insights

The takeaway point is that the leadership is disintegrating, and this is ruining the nation. They even get into male prostitution and all of the evils of the Canaanites (v.24). Remember, it was for these moral reasons that God had the Canaanites killed. This is why God hands them over to Shishak (v.26).

1 Kings 15 (Kings)

Abijam becomes king (v.1). Even though he was an evil king (v.3), God kept him in office to preserve David’s line (v.4).

Asa later became king in Judah, and he was a righteous king (v.11). He expelled the male prostitutes and destroyed the idols (v.12). He even kicked out his mother for making an idol (v.13). Asa died, but he left behind a nice legacy (v.24).

Nadab became king (v.25). He was the son of Jeroboam, and he made all of Jeroboam’s mistakes (v.26). Baasha led a coup, and struck him down (v.27). He went on to wipe out all of Jeroboam’s family, so that he wouldn’t have a line or legacy (v.28). Baasha and Asa battled with one another for their entire lives (v.34).

Abijam (King over Judah: Evil king) 913–910 BC

(15:1) Abijam only reigned for three years, and he was a bad king (v.3).

(15:2) Maacah was the daughter of Tamar (2 Sam. 14:27), and therefore, the granddaughter of Absalom, and the great-grand daughter of David.

(15:3) Abijam was just as bad as his father, Rehoboam.

(15:4-5) Even though Abijam was faithless, God was faithful to his promise to David (2 Sam. 7:11-16).

(1 Kings 15:5) How could David be pictured as nearly perfect?

(15:6-7) Jeroboam and Rehoboam fought for their entire lives. When Rehoboam died, Abijam took over the fight with Jeroboam. Abijam wasn’t entirely bad. In the parallel account, God answered one of his prayers during a military battle (2 Chron. 13:3-22).

Asa (King of Judah: Starts off good, but turns to self-effort) 910–869 BC

(15:8) Asa had ten years of peace (2 Chron. 14:1). He reformed the religion of Israel by getting rid of the male ritual prostitutes and the idols (v.12), tearing down his mother Maacah’s Asherah pole (v.13), and rededicated the people to God (2 Chron. 15:1-15). Even though he didn’t completely reform the idol worship (v.14), he was a good and faithful king (v.11, 15).

Baasha (King of Israel: Evil king) 909–886 BC

Nadab—the son of Jeroboam—reigned for two years in Israel before Baasha assassinated him (vv.25-32).

(15:16-17) Ramah was four miles north of Jerusalem.[57] By conquering this city, Baasha effectively cut off communication between Judah and Israel, and he controlled the trade routes.

(15:18-19) Asa doesn’t consult God on this decision. He brazenly gives a large gift to the Aramean king Ben-Hadad in order to make a treaty with him against Israel.

(15:20-22) The parallel passage states that a prophet named Hanani rebuked Asa for trusting in human military power, rather than God; but Asa had Hanani thrown into prison (2 Chron. 16:7-10). Patterson and Austel write, “Although we hear of no more wars in Asa’s day, it was a time of spiritual defeat. His self-assertedness took its toll.”[58]

(15:23-24) The parallel passage states that Asa turned to the physicians, rather than to God for healing. His disease must have had a horrible smell, because they packed his tomb with perfumes and spices (2 Chron. 16:12-14).

Nadab (King of Israel, son of Jeroboam: Evil king) 910–909 BC

The author goes back in time to explain how Baasha came to power by assassinating Nadab, Jeroboam’s son.

(15:25-26) Nadab followed his father’s pattern of sin.

(15:27-28) Baasha (a military commander in Israel?) assassinated Nadab and seized the throne.

(15:29-31) Baasha also killed off the entire house of Jeroboam—just as Ahijah had predicted (1 Kings 14:9-16).

(15:32-34) Baasha was an evil king like Jeroboam.

Concluding insights

While these events seem to be just the result of human interaction, the text tells us that God was actually working behind this entire process (v.30). Likewise, when we develop a vertical perspective on events in our lives, we see that God is working through the entire process.

Asa started off faithful to God. What changed? The pressures of leadership caused him to turn to human resources, rather than to God.

1 Kings 16 (More Kings)

Summary: God predicts the death of Baasha (vv.1-5). His son Elah took over (v.8). Zimri came in and slaughtered Elah (v.10) and Baasha’s whole family (v.11). Again, while this seemed like the acts of kings, it was according to God’s plan (v.12). Zimri committed suicide by torching the royal palace (v.18). Omri bought and named the land of Samaria after Shemer—the name of the former owner (v.24). He was an evil king following Jeroboam (v.25). Ahab took over after his father Omri (v.29). He married Jezebel, and served Baal (vv.31-32).

Baasha concluded (Evil king of Israel)

(16:1-7) Remember, Baasha was an evil king in Israel. Hanani was the prophet who rebuked Asa (the king of Judah), and was thrown in prison for this (2 Chron. 16:7-10). Jehu was Hanani’s son. Jehu was taking big risk to call out the evil of this king, but he did it anyhow. Patterson and Austel write, “God’s denunciation of Baasha adds further explanation to the subsequent condemnation of Asa for not leaving his war with Baasha in God’s hands.”[59]

Jehu is one of the authors of the history of the kings (2 Chron. 20:34).

Elah (King of Israel, son of Baasha) 886–885 BC

(16:8) Elah only reigned for two years.

(16:9-10) Zimri—Elah’s commander—assassinated him while he was drunk.

Zimri (Evil king of Israel, killer of Elah) 885 BC

(16:11-14) Zimri slaughtered all of the men in Baasha’s line. This fulfilled the prophet Jehu’s prediction (vv.1-4).

(16:15-20) Zimri only reigned for a week (!) before others saw the political instability. In its wake, they put the military general Omri into power (v.16). Omri sieged Tirzah, which was Zimri’s city. Zimri burned himself alive in his house, rather than being taken captive.

Omri (Evil king of Israel) 885–874 BC

(16:21-22) There was a brief civil war between Omri and Tibni, but Omri won out. This only shows the further political instability of seeing multiple coups in Israel. Clearly, there was a power vacuum.

(16:23-24) This was a four year struggle (compare v.15 with v.23). He built the new capital in Samaria—named after its former owner Shemer.

(16:25-28) Omri was politically savvy, but he was spiritually evil. He was even worse than his evil predecessors. His son Ahab took over after him.

Ahab (Evil king of Israel) 874–853 BC

(16:29-30) Ahab is worse than his father Omri, who himself was worse than all who came before him (cf. 1 Kings 21:25-26).

(16:31-32) Ahab married Jezebel—a Sidonian. He officially brought Baal worship to Israel as the state religion.

(16:33-34) Ahab rebuilt Jericho. Remember, Joshua had cursed any man who would rebuild Jericho. Joshua predicted that the man would lose his firstborn and youngest sons (Josh. 6:26). This was fulfilled in Ahab’s life.

Concluding insights

The rapid succession of kings, the political turmoil, and the increased assassinations in this chapter show how poorly Israel was doing. Some of these kings only reigned for two years or one week, which shows that Israel was falling apart.

While David becomes a model for good kings, Jeroboam becomes a standard model for bad kings.

1 Kings 17 (Elijah the Tishbite)

Elijah spoke out against Ahab’s reign, and he predicted that a drought would plague Israel because of Ahab’s sins (v.1). After this happened, Elijah must have painted a real target on his forehead, because God told him to flee to the Kerith Ravine and go into hiding (v.3). God promised that he would provide for him with water and bread from ravines (v.4).

After the brook dried up, God directed him to go to a widow in Zarephath to provide for him. But when he got there, the widow told him that she didn’t have any food (v.12). Elijah told her to provide for him before her own son (v.13), and he promised that God would refill the jar for her (v.14). This miraculous event kept them all alive for some time.

After some time passed, the woman’s son died, and she believed that this was because of her sin (v.18). Elijah took the boy (v.19), and he prayed that the boy would come back to life (v.22). This miracle attested to his propheticity (v.24).

(17:1) Elijah means “Yah is my God.”[60] Elijah was a rough and tumble man. He lived out in Gilead, and he seems like kind of a loner.

The drought must have already been happening for six months, and Elijah predicted an addition three years for the drought (Lk. 4:25; Jas. 5:17; 1 Kings 18:1). God had warned Israel about this: If they broke his covenant, then he would discipline the people with drought (Deut. 11:16-17; 28:23-24; cf. Lev. 26:19; 1 Kings 8:35).

(17:2-6) By going into hiding, this would be an object lesson for the people—namely, God was not going to talk to them (Ps. 74:1, 9).

God naturally provided for Elijah through the brook, and he supernaturally provided for him through the ravens.

Elijah lives with the Gentile widow during his seclusion

(17:7-9) Here, God provided relationally through this widow at Zarephath. God can provide in numerous ways—not simply miraculous intervention.

(17:10) This would’ve been a serious test of faith for the woman. Not only was she a widow (i.e. destitute), but they were also going through a time of financial crisis as a nation (because of the drought).

(17:12-16) This is an example of “seeking first the kingdom” (Mt. 6:33). She had to give the food and water to Elijah first before God would meet her little family’s needs. Jesus commented on this practice positively (Mt. 10:41-42; Lk. 4:25-26).

It’s interesting that God was crossing racial and ethnic lines by providing for this Gentile woman who had faith in him.

Elijah resuscitates the boy

(17:17-18) We don’t know what sin or sins this Gentile woman committed. She must have had a guilty conscience. She assumed that God was out to get her (“You have come to me to bring my iniquity to remembrance and to put my son to death!”).

(17:19) It seems like this is a young boy, because Elijah took him “from her bosom.”

(17:20-21) Why did Elijah stretch himself out on the boy? The focus seems to be on his prayers for the boy—though this practice was common (2 Kings 4:34; Acts 9:36-43; 20:10).

(17:22-24) Elijah returned the boy, and this authenticated him as a prophet. It’s interesting to note that the widow had already seen God do remarkable miracles daily with the refilling of the bread. However, this miracle was obviously deeply personal to the woman.

Concluding insights

Notice that the woman speaks of God as Elijah’s God—not her own (“as surely as your God lives…” v.12). She also says that her son died because of her sin (v.18). Was she worried that she had done something terribly wrong, and she couldn’t rely on God? This didn’t seem to stop God from extending her an incredibly kind miracle.

This must have taken a lot of faith for Elijah to call out the king, run into hiding, live by a brook, and then live off of a poor widow. It would have been easy for Elijah to say No to God at anyone of these junctures. This must have built his faith considerably during this time, preparing him for even greater steps of faith later on.

1 Kings 18 (Showdown with Ahab and Elijah)

God sends Elijah back to Ahab after three years in hiding (v.1). Ahab brought Obadiah in to talk with him. Obadiah was a believer (v.2), hiding 100 prophets (v.4). Ahab and Obadiah split up the land to find food (v.5). Elijah tells Obadiah to tell Ahab that he’s there. Obadiah is worried that Ahab will kill him (v.14), but Elijah consoles him, telling him that he’ll be there (v.15). Elijah asks for a showdown with the 450 prophets of Baal and Asherah (v.19). They meet on Mount Carmel. Elijah calls on the people to follow God if he is real (v.21). He comes up with a contest, where he gets two bulls to be put out. If one of the “gods” can cause it to light on fire, then it would prove who is real (v.24). The prophets called on Baal all day, but with no response (v.26). Finally, Elijah taunted them to shout louder (v.27), and still, nothing happened (v.29).

Elijah takes his turn in the “contest.” He repaired the altar (v.30) and put 12 stones out (v.31). He drenched the altar with water—just to prove that it wasn’t a trick (vv.33-34). Elijah simply prays that God would act (v.37), and God immediately brought fire (v.38). The people repented (v.39), and Elijah commanded them to kill the prophets of Baal (v.40). A heavy rain came on Ahab, but Elijah out ran it (v.46).

Concluding insights

Great application for prayer!

We see that we need to pray to the right God—the God who is actually real.

Prayer isn’t about praying like the Gentiles (“meaningless repetition”) or trying to prove our sincerity (even by cutting ourselves!). It’s about trusting in the One who can answer.

It’s hard to imagine Elijah coming back to Ahab in the first place. This would be like riding into the middle of Mordor. All of the video cameras are pointed at him, and he does what God called him to do anyway.

(18:1-2) Baal was the rain god, but the true God (Yahweh) promises to bring rain on the land. This would’ve been incredibly scary to show back up to Ahab after predicting a three and a half year drought. After all, the famine was incredibly severe (v.2), and this would’ve led to an abject recession in the land of Samaria.

(18:3-4) Obadiah was a good man, hiding the prophets almost like people who hid the Jews in World War II. This implicitly shows that only Elijah was brave enough to step forward against Ahab (or perhaps, that God only called Elijah and not the others).

(18:5-6) Ahab tells Obadiah to spread out to find fodder for the mules and cattle.

(18:7) Even though Obadiah was the king’s chamberlain, he bowed to Elijah—a man who was the Enemy of the State.

Elijah tells Obadiah to set up a meeting with Ahab

(18:8-14) Elijah wanted Obadiah to set up a meeting between himself and Ahab. Obadiah (understandably) thinks that this could result in his death. After all, Ahab had sent a search party to find Elijah—even in other nations (v.10). Obadiah was probably worried that he would tell Ahab that he saw Elijah, but that Elijah would leave him high and dry.

(18:15-16) Elijah promises to show up if Obadiah sets up the meeting, and Obadiah keeps up his end of the agreement.

Elijah proposes a contest

(18:17) Ahab probably considered Elijah a troublemaker, because Elijah’s actions had upset Baal—the god of rain.

(18:18) Elijah turns the tables and says that Ahab’s actions have angered Yahweh, the true God.

(18:19) Who is right in this theological debate? Elijah proposes a showdown to see who really believes in the true God.

Elijah gave the people the choice: God or Baal?

(18:20-21) Elijah gave the people a choice based on the truth of who God is. This is similar to Joshua’s call (Josh. 24:15) and Jesus’ call (Mt. 6:24). Yet, the people were silent. They probably wanted to see who would decide.

Elijah gave the prophets a test

(18:22-24) Elijah allows the prophets of Baal to pick their ox for themselves—perhaps to show that Elijah wasn’t pulling a trick or “stacking the deck” in the contest. The test was simple: whichever God could light the fire would be considered the true God.

(18:25) Elijah let them go first. This would be equivalent to giving them “home court advantage.”

(18:26) The prophets screamed to Baal and danced around the altar. This happened all morning until noon.

(18:27) Elijah mocked their efforts. The NLT translates: “Perhaps he is daydreaming, or is relieving himself.”

(18:28) The prophets became more sincere and ascetic as ever. Imagine seeing the sweat, blood, and lacerations on their bodies, as they danced, chanted, and screaming out their prayers with hoarse voices.

(18:29) They did this all day long! Remember, it started in the morning (v.26) and lasted until evening.

Elijah’s turn

(18:30-32) Enough was enough. The prophets of Baal had their turn. If something was going to happen, it would’ve happened by now. Elijah called all of the people over and gathered his altar. The “two measures of seed” would’ve been equivalent to three gallons of water (see NLT).

(18:33-35) Just to show that this was going to be a miracle, Elijah had them soak the wood with water three times. Even the trench was filled. Elijah has given the prophets of Baal every advantage so far.

(18:36-37) Elijah prays a simple, direct prayer. He bases his prayer on God’s promises to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. He also bases his prayer on the fact that he wants the people to know that God is real.

(18:38) The prayer was so effective that even the water in the trench was immediately evaporated.

The people’s response

(18:39) The fact that they repeat this twice shows emphasis.

(18:40) The people gathered up the 450 prophets of Baal for Elijah to execute. This probably wasn’t difficult: after all, the prophets were already exhausted and half-dead from all of their lacerations.

(1 Kings 18:40) Was it wrong to kill these false prophets?

Elijah’s comments to Ahab

(18:41) Elijah tells Ahab that the rain is coming for him to eat and drink.

(18:42-43) Elijah prays seven different times until the prayer is answered.

(18:44-45) Elijah warned Ahab that the rains would be torrential, and that Ahab better get moving if he didn’t want to get caught in the storm. This storm would’ve spoken to Ahab as well: When God causes a rain, it will be truly overwhelming.

(18:46) Patterson and Austel capture this reaction well: “What a momentous day it had been for the king! How his head must have reeled with the thoughts of the contest: the pitiful screams of Baal’s helpless priests, the calm yet awe-inspiring petition of Elijah, the terrifying and spectacular holocaust that followed, the repentance of the people, and the execution of the pagan prophets! As Ahab rode along through the gathering downpour, the spirit-empowered prophet through whom God had effected his great triumph ran ahead of the royal chariot like a specter.”[61]

1 Kings 19 (Elijah Recuperates)

Summary: Ahab tells Jezebel everything that had happened (v.1), and Jezebel calls for Elijah’s death (v.2). Elijah runs for his life (v.3), and he wants to die, collapsing from exhaustion (v.4). An angel feeds him and lets him sleep (v.5ff). He goes and sleeps in a cave in hiding, but God asks him what he is doing (v.9). Elijah explains the circumstances (v.10). God reveals himself to Elijah to encourage him. God asks him the same question: “What are you doing in this cave?” (v.13) God tells him to go back and anoint the kings and the prophet, Elisha as a successor. Elisha follows him (v.21).

(19:1) The “words are significant.”[62] Ahab only mentions Elijah—not God—throughout his explanation to Jezebel.

(19:2) Patterson and Austel attribute Jezebel’s threat to a savvy political maneuver: Rather than just having Elijah killed, Jezebel causes him to flee, discrediting Elijah as a revolutionary leader.[63]

Why would Elijah turn and run now—even after standing up to Ahab and 450 prophets of Baal? We underestimate Jezebel who was a ruthless woman, whom even king Ahab feared (1 Kings 16:31; 21:25). Moreover, we get a glimpse into Elijah’s worn out spiritual state. He had just run ahead of the chariot for 100 miles, and he was crashing after a powerful “spiritual high.” In this state, he was vulnerable and weak to Jezebel’s threat.

(19:3) Elijah isolated himself, telling his servant to leave. He probably became so accustomed to a solitary life (living by the brook when he went into hiding) that he reverted to his old ways.

(19:4) Beersheba wasn’t far enough south. Elijah took an additional trip deep into the desert.

Even in this morbidly depressed state, Elijah didn’t think it would be morally right to commit suicide. Instead, he “requested” for God to take his life. Even in this horrible state of mind, Elijah still didn’t consider suicide something that was his own prerogative.

(19:5-7) God’s “spiritual” solution for this morbidly depressed man was for him to eat, drink, and rest. Elijah was probably crashing after being adrenalized from the miraculous events that had taken place. Now, he needed to physically recuperate.

Elijah travels to Mount Sinai

(19:8) Elijah walked for 40 days and nights to Mount Sinai. A straight trip from Beersheba to Sinai would only take a quarter of this time.[64] So, this travel likely had theological overtones reminiscent of the 40 year Wandering (Num. 14:26-35), Moses’ time with God on Mount Sinai for 40 days and nights (Ex. 34:28), and later Jesus’ trial in the desert for 40 days (Mt. 4:1-2).

This is the place where “it all began,” so to speak, where God had revealed his Law to Moses and the people of Israel—the Law the Elijah was so earnestly trying to defend. God wanted to reveal himself to Elijah in a special way here.

(19:9) This could have been the same cave where God revealed himself to Moses (Ex. 33:21-23).

Why does God ask Elijah this question? Does it mean, “Why are you serving me?” or “Why are you here at Mount Sinai to talk with me?”

(19:10) Elijah has a self-righteous attitude. The subtext seems to be that Elijah was dealt a “bad hand.”

(19:11-12) God feels no need to defend himself. Instead, he shows Elijah different ways that he normally was known to manifest himself: wind, earthquakes, and fire (Ex. 19:16, 18; Judg. 5:4-5; 2 Sam. 22:8-16; Ps. 18:7-15; 68:8; Heb. 12:18). But God was not manifesting himself in these ways.

(19:13-14) Instead, God spoke to Elijah in a small, gentle voice. Patterson and Austel write, “What a lesson for Eiijah! Even God did not always operate in the realm of the spectacular!”[65]

God asks Elijah the same question (v.13), and Elijah gives the same answer as before (v.14).

(19:15-17) God still feels no need to defend himself. Instead, he gives Elijah work to do: (1) anoint Hazael as king over Aram, (2) anoint Jehu as king over Israel, and (3) anoint Elisha as his replacement prophet. Between these three men, God would commit corporate capital punishment to the Baal worshippers.

(19:18) God ends his response by pointing out that Elijah was not alone. In fact, there was a 7,000 person faithful remnant in Israel.

Elijah anoints Elisha

(19:19) The act of throwing his mantle on Elisha was symbolic of being called to the prophetic office.[66]

(19:20) This question seems to mean that Elijah had not called Elisha, but God did. Now, it was up to Elisha over whether or not he would respond to God’s call.[67]

(19:21) Elisha was a great man of faith. He immediately burned his plowing supplies and slaughtered the oxen. This would be similar to liquidating all of your assets in order to follow God.

Concluding insights

This chapter shows that sometimes it is the most “spiritual thing” to just get some rest and food. This should impact our theology of rest. Elijah had just come down off of a mountain top experience, seeing God triumph over the prophets of Baal. He ran at top speed (fully adrenalized) from Carmel out into the middle of nowhere. Here, he just needs to recuperate before he can start thinking clearly and serving again.

1 Kings 20 (Ben-Hadad attacks Ahab unsuccessfully)

Summary: Ben-Hadad (king of Aram) took over Samaria by force (v.1). He was going to loot Israel of its money and rape the women (v.3). The king of Israel rolled over and accepted this (v.4). Ben-Hadad wanted more, and this led to war with Israel.

A prophet told Ahab that God would give him victory (v.13). Ahab assembled his army (v.15), and he set out to fight Ben-Hadad who was drunk (v.16). The Arameans fled away from the Israelite army (v.20).

The Aramean counselors believed that Yahweh was located in the hills—not the plains (v.23). They came back to fight the Israelites, but the prophet again told Ahab that God was going to win the battle for them (v.28). They killed 100,000 Arameans (v.29). The Arameans realized that the Israelite kings were merciful compared to the other ancient Near Eastern kings (v.31). They surrendered to Ahab, and they made a treaty to spare Ben-Hadad’ life (v.34).

A prophet came and pretended to be a wounded soldier (v.39). He told Ahab that he was supposed to kill Ben-Hadad, and he said that Ahab would die in his place (v.42).

(20:1) Remember, Ahab had his headquarters in Samaria. Ben-Hadad would’ve been a scary force to reckon with, because he came with a cadre of 32 other kings. This was a confederacy of Pagan kings fighting against Israel.

(20:2-6) Ben-Hadad’s terms were complete and absolute surrender: He wanted the money, the wives, and even the kids (!). He was a thieving, raping, and perverted king.

(20:7-8) Ahab had initially agreed, but he took counsel with the elders. The elders disagreed with Ahab’s terms (v.8).

(20:9-10) Ahab makes a cowardly compromise (v.9), and Ben-Hadad threatens to annihilate Samaria (v.10). The destruction would be so complete that Ben-Hadad’s men wouldn’t even be able to gather a handful of dust.

(20:11) The NET note describes this idiom: “The point of the saying is that someone who is still preparing for a battle should not boast as if he has already won the battle. A modern parallel would be, ‘Don’t count your chickens before they’re hatched.’”

(20:12) Ben-Hadad started to get drunk and prepare for war.

A prophet visits Ahab

(20:13) Note the contrast: Ben-Hadad turns to the bottle for courage, while God sends a prophet to encourage Ahab.

(20:14) The prophet told Ahab that he would need to start the battle, but that the regional commanders would help him.

Ahab defeats Ben-Hadad (880–842 BC)

(20:15) Ahab gathers a fighting force of 7,000 men and 232 commanders.

(20:16-18) Ben-Hadad was getting drunk (at high noon!) when the army came to face them (v.16). Ben-Hadad wanted them alive either way (v.18).

(20:19-21) The Israelites massacred the Aramean forces, and Ben-Hadad fled with only his life.

The prophet tells Ahab to prepare for a follow up battle

(20:22-25) The prophet predicts that Ben-Hadad would return the next year. Ahab’s advisors spuriously state that the Aramean gods resided in the mountains (v.23), so they needed to attack them on the plains. Ahab’s advisors told him to replenish his army and horses.

(20:26-30) As predicted, Ben-Hadad came to fight again (v.26). The Arameans greatly outnumbered the Israelites (v.27), and yet the Arameans were soundly defeated. The Arameans thought that Yahweh existed regionally in mountains, rather than valleys. So this battle was a way to reveal the power and omnipresence of Yahweh (v.28). The Israelite army (initially 7,000 men) killed 100,000 Arameans. When the Arameans fled to the safety of the mountains, the wall fell and killed 27,000 men.

(20:31) Ben-Hadad took another strategy. He based his strategy on the fact that the Israelites kings were “merciful.” That is, the Israelites kings were far more merciful than the other war-lords in the ancient Near East. To establish this from the text, consider Ben-Hadad’s initial terms of surrender (vv.1-6).

Ahab makes a covenant with Ben-Hadad

(20:32-34) Rather than executing this tyrant, Ahab makes money off of him! This comes back to haunt Ahab in chapter 22, when Ben-Hadad attacks Israel.

Another prophet rebukes Ahab and predicts his death

(20:35-38) Another prophet asks the first prophet to hit him in order for him to pose as a wounded Israelite soldier (v.35). When the prophet refused, the second prophet predicted his death by lion (v.36).

Eventually, this new prophet has a man strike and wound him, so that he could have an audience with Ahab (vv.37-38).

(20:39-40) The prophet gave a false scenario where he would need to be killed because he lost his prisoner. This is the same tactic that Nathan the prophet used with David. He lured Ahab into answering a neutral question so that he could bring conviction to him based on his own words.

(20:41-43) The prophet predicted that Ahab would be killed because he had let Ben-Hadad go.

Concluding insights

In these serious situations, there is no room for weakness. We can’t be naïve about human nature. In this situation, Ben-Hadad was a raping, slave-owning, murderous thief, and Ahab was a fool for letting him go. Moreover, Ahab let Ben-Hadad go in order to make money—a sure sign of foolishness. This comes back to haunt Ahab in chapter 22, when Ben-Hadad comes forward to attack Israel again.

1 Kings 21 (Naboth’s Vineyard)

Summary: Ahab wanted to take Naboth’s vineyard, because it was his inheritance (vv.1-3). He told Jezebel (his wife) what happened, and she promised to get the vineyard for him (v.7). She set up a trap, framing Naboth for blasphemy against God and the king (v.10). The law required two witnesses for a capital crime (v.13), and Naboth was executed (v.14). Ahab came down to take over the vineyard (v.16).

God spoke to send Elijah (v.17), and he told Elijah to predict Ahab’s death (vv.20-22). The author tells us that Ahab was an extremely wicked king (v.25). His wife was a real cause of this, too (v.25). Because Ahab repents, God changes his mind about what to do with him, but he still promises to bring doom on his family line (v.29).

(21:1-3) Ahab set his eyes on a neighboring vineyard belonging to Naboth the Jezreelite. Ahab gave him a good price for the vineyard, but this was Naboth’s family inheritance. He refused to be bought out.

(21:4-5) Ahab came home to his wife, moping and lying in bed. He was acting like a pouty child, when his wife asked him what was wrong.

(21:6-8) Ahab told Jezebel what was making him sad, and Jezebel hatches a plot to steal the vineyard.

(21:9-10) Jezebel sets up a situation where Naboth could be accused of blasphemy. She hired two false witnesses to accuse Naboth of blaspheming God and the king—both of which were punishable by death.

(21:11-13) The conspiracy worked exactly as Jezebel had planned. The men testified against Naboth and had him executed.

(21:14-16) Ahab doesn’t even ask how Naboth died.

(21:17-20) God commanded Elijah to proclaim the judgment and death of King Ahab. Ahab immediately calls Elijah his “enemy.” He must have known that Elijah was there to preach judgment. Maybe he had a guilty conscience for what he did. Elijah predicted that Ahab’s body would be licked by dogs in the same place where Jezebel had Naboth killed (v.19).

(21:21-24) Elijah stated that God would cut off his family dynasty, and Jezebel would be eaten by dogs as well (v.23).

(21:25-26) The author states that Ahab was morally equivalent with the Amorites (!!). Remember, God judged the Amorites by bringing in Joshua to conquer them in Canaan.

(21:27-29) God graciously held back on his judgment of Ahab, because Ahab repented. There is no indication that Ahab fled from idolatry or returned Naboth’s vineyard, but because he repented, God didn’t bring judgment on him. This is an incredible picture of God’s grace for such a wicked and evil man (vv.25-26).

God knew that Ahab’s dynasty would still need to be judged, and he waited to do so. Moreover, he decided to judge Jezebel.

Concluding insights

Even though Ahab was an incredibly wicked king (v.25), God spared him because of his repentance (v.29).

1 Kings 22 (Death of Ahab)

Summary: There was peace between Aram and Israel for three years (v.1). Remember, Aram was the nation led by Ben-Hadad (chapter 20). The kings of Israel realized that they should take back Ramoth Gilead from the Arameans. Jehoshaphat asked for God’s counsel, and he asked the prophets for God’s guidance (v.5). They all told him to go to war. Jehoshaphat wanted to talk with a real prophet though, and he asked if there was one (v.7). The king of Israel said that Micaiah was a real prophet, but he didn’t like him because he never said anything good (v.8)! He wasn’t an ear-tickler! But they brought him in any way to hear what he had to say (v.9).

Again the false prophets were saying that they would have victory over the Arameans (vv.11-12). There would be tremendous pressure on Micaiah to tickle their ears, and yet Micaiah tells them that this wouldn’t be good (v.17). God put a lying spirit in the mouths of the prophets (v.23). The king ordered him to put Micaiah in prison (v.27), and the king went to battle anyhow (v.30).

The armies targeted the king (v.31). A soldier “randomly” shot the king of Israel (v.34), and he died (v.35). This was a short term fulfillment of prophecy (v.38). Jehoshaphat was a decent king.

Jehoshaphat was Asa’s son (1 Kings 15:24).

Uniting the North and the South against Ben-Hadad (king of the Arameans)

(22:1) Ramoth Gilead was a key fortress on the eastern end of the Plain of Jezreel, which blocked the entrance to the heart of Israel.[68] Because Ahab didn’t deal with Ben-Hadad (the king of the Arameans), Ahab still had a strong military outpost here.

(22:2-5) The nation had been in civil war and split apart between Israel (in the north) and Judah (in the south). Here, Ahab pitches Jehoshaphat on uniting forces against Ahab. Jehoshaphat agrees, but he wants to seek God’s counsel (v.5).

Seeking counsel from the prophets

(22:6) Ahab had a cabinet of 400 false prophets who all claimed victory over Aram.

(22:7) Jehoshaphat recognized that these weren’t true prophets, and inquired for a real prophet to come forward.

(22:8) Ahab admits that there is one more prophet, but he hated him because he was always speaking against the crown. This turns out to be the true prophet, Micaiah, and Jehoshaphat wants to speak with him.

(22:9-13) All of the other prophets had a unified voice: the Israelites would destroy the Arameans. Zedekiah even used drama with iron horns to show that Israel would “gore” the Arameans.

(22:14) Micaiah claimed that he could only speak what God wanted him to speak. Even though he was vastly outnumbered, he couldn’t agree based on counting heads.

(22:15-16) Micaiah initially have a response that conformed to the 400 prophets. Commentators believe that this was “sarcasm,”[69] because Micaiah could tell that Ahab had no interest in really hearing the truth. Ahab picks up on this sarcasm and tells Micaiah that he wants the whole truth and “nothing but the truth” (v.16).

(22:17) In the first illustration, Micaiah compares Israel to sheep without a shepherd. They should all go home because they have no “shepherd” or leader to protect them or provide for them.

(22:18-23) In the second illustration, Micaiah recounts a vision of God’s heavenly counsel. God asks which lying spirit (a demon?) would go and infiltrate the false prophets to lead them astray. One evil spirit volunteers for the job (v.21), and God tells him to do what he proposes (v.22). Notice that this one lying spirit could influence four hundred false prophets.

(22:24) Zedekiah—the false prophet with the iron bull horns (v.11)—slapped Micaiah. But Micaiah had another prophecy for Zedekiah: “You’ll see which one of us is right when you’re hiding in a room all alone during the battle!”

(22:26-28) Ahab promptly ordered for Micaiah to be thrown in prison. But Micaiah threw down the gauntlet: If what he said was false, then he would admit that God had never spoken to him.

In the parallel passage, the prophet Jehu warned Jehoshaphat not to join forces with Ahab (2 Chron. 19:1-3).

The kings go to battle (Ahab and Jehoshaphat)

(22:29-30) Ahab hated Micaiah, but he must have heard the ring of truth in his words, because he disguised himself.

(22:31-33) Ben-Hadad told his men to target “the king of Israel.” Since Jehoshaphat was dressed in royal clothes, they thought that Jehoshaphat was Ahab. It wasn’t until Jehoshaphat “cried out” that Ben-Hadad’s men realized that he was the king of Judah—not Israel.

Death of Ahab

(22:34-36) The text states that this was a “random” shot that killed Ahab. However, this is from the perspective of the Arameans. The reader knows that Ahab’s death had been predicted earlier.

They propped Ben-Hadad up in his chariot (almost like Weekend at Bernie’s) to make it look like he was still alive in order to galvanize the Israelite troops. But eventually, the rouse was uncovered and the Israelite army scattered.

(22:37-40) The earlier prophecies were literally fulfilled: Ahab’s blood was licked by dogs as they cleaned his bloody chariot (see 1 Kings 20:42; 21:19; 22:17, 20).

Jehoshaphat (Good King of Judah) 872–848 BC

(22:41-46) Jehoshaphat had a coregency with his father Asa until this point in 870 BC.[70]

The parallel passage gives more information on the reign of Jehoshaphat (2 Chronicles 17:1-21:1). Jehoshaphat was a relatively good king, but he stopped short of purging all of the idolatry in Israel. Jehoshaphat also married off his son Jehoram to Athaliah (Ahab’s daughter), which had bad consequences in Judah (2 Kings 8:18-19; 11:1-3; 2 Chronicles 21:6-7, 11).

(22:47-49) Jehoshaphat made an alliance with Ahaziah (Ahab’s son) to build ships and search for gold. When a storm wrecked all of the ships (sent from God?), Jehoshaphat broke his alliance with Ahaziah.

(22:50) Jehoram took over the kingdom after his father Jehoshaphat died.

Ahaziah (Evil King of Israel) 853–852 BC

(22:51-53) Ahaziah followed in the ways of his father Ahab and mother Jezebel. He worshipped Baal, and God was displeased with his reign. Consequently, God only allowed him to reign for two short years.

Concluding insights

Micaiah was willing to not conform to the 400 false prophets or the desire of Ahab. He was willing to sit in prison, rather than be an “ear tickler.” Sometimes, the minority can be in the right—over and against the majority consensus.

Was this really a “random” shot (v.34) that killed Ahab (v.35)? From the human perspective, it looked this way, but from God’s perspective, it wasn’t.

2 Kings

2 Kings 1 (Elijah announces Ahaziah’s death)

Summary: In the wake of Ahab’s death, Moab sees an opportunity to attack Israel (v.1). Ahaziah asks Baal for help. God sends Elijah to predict Ahaziah’s death (v.4). The king demands to meet with Elijah (v.9). Elijah prayed for fire to come down and kill the men who came to capture him (v.10). Ahab sent another 50 men, but they were killed too (v.11). When Ahab sent another 50 men, the captain pled with Elijah to spare his life, and he did (vv.13-15). Elijah came to the king in person, and he predicted his death (v.16).

(1:1) Moab must have seen that Israel was in a politically weakened state after the death of Ahab. So they took this opportunity to attack Israel.

(1:2-4) After a major accident of falling through the roof, Ahaziah reached out to Baal for answers—not God. Because of this, God told Elijah to announce Ahaziah’s death.

(1:5-6) The men tell Ahaziah the message of judgment.

(1:7-8) This is kind of comical that Ahaziah can recognize Elijah from this description. Elijah must have been a manly man.

50 men are judged by fire from heaven

(1:9-10) You can’t use the expression “man of God” and also call the shots. Elijah points this out. It’s as if Elijah is saying, “You’re right… I am God’s man!” Elijah sent fire from heaven to judge these 50 men.

50 men are judged by fire from heaven… again!

(1:11-12) Ahaziah doesn’t get the message, so he sends another 50 men. God also judges them with fire from heaven.

50 men are sent again… but the commander is humble

(1:13-14) This wise commander pleads for his life, knowing that Elijah is more powerful than any of them.

God told Elijah to go in person to announce Ahaziah’s judgment

(1:15-16) Note that Elijah doesn’t alter his message at all. There is no reason to keep explaining the truth differently. The problem isn’t with God’s message, but with Ahaziah’s ability to accept it.

Jehoram (Evil King of Israel) 852–841 BC

(1:17-18) Ahaziah died childless. So Jehoram becomes king in his place.

Concluding insights

This shows the severity of consulting false gods. It also shows the stubbornness of Ahaziah, because he keeps refusing to listen to the simple message and he keeps sending more and more soldiers to die.

2 Kings 2 (Elisha Takes Over)

Summary: Elisha replaces Elijah as God’s main prophet. Elisha doesn’t want Elijah to leave, so he follows him wherever he goes. They finally walk to the Jordan (v.7). Elijah parted the river by slapping it with his cloak (v.8). Elisha asks for a double-portion of his spirit (v.9). Elijah was taken up in a whirlwind of fire (v.11). His clothes were left behind (v.13). When he struck the water of Jordan with Elijah’s cloak, it separated again (v.14). He healed the water so it was good for irrigation and drinking (v.22).

A group of boys surrounded Elisha, and they called him “baldy” (v.23). Elisha cursed them and the 42 boys were mauled by bears (v.24).

Test #1

(2:1-2) Gilgal was not the place of Joshua’s day, but a location eight miles north of Bethel.[71]

Elijah knew that he would pass the baton to Elisha much earlier (1 Kings 19:16). Now, he realizes that the time has come. It isn’t clear as to why Elijah wanted to be alone when this happened.

(2:3) The young prophets seemed to want to “see the show” of God taking Elijah, but Elisha tells them to be quiet. This was a solemn moment for Elijah to go home to be with the Lord—not a fireworks display.

Test #2

(2:4) Elijah tries to leave Elisha behind for the second time, but Elisha refuses. It still isn’t clear as to why he doesn’t want Elisha with him.

(2:5) Again, the young students come out for a show, and (again) Elisha tells them to be quiet.

Test #3

(2:6-7) For the third time, Elijah gives Elisha the opportunity to stay behind, but Elisha refuses. Was this some sort of test for Elisha?

Crossing the Jordan River

(2:8) This miracle is reminiscent of Moses parting the Red Sea (Ex. 14:16-28). Only instead of entering Canaan, Elijah is leaving Canaan.

(2:9) In this culture, the firstborn son would get a “double portion” of the father’s estate (Deut. 21:17). Elisha wasn’t trying to trump Elijah’s prophetic career or be competitive with him. Instead, he sensed that he would need Elijah’s character, faithfulness, and spiritual power to succeed in his own ministry.

(2:10) Elijah was clear that he couldn’t empower Elisha—only God could. He gave one final sign: If Elisha saw him taken up, then he would know that God—not Elijah—had answered his request.

Elijah is taken up

(2:11-12) Elisha was so shocked at the translation of Elijah that he cried out loud.

Why does Elisha yell about the “chariots of Israel and the horsemen”? There are at least two possible reasons: (1) Elisha was seeing Elijah being taken up by spiritual chariots and horsemen—similar to the event in 2 Kings 6:15–17; 7:6. (2) Elisha could also be using the expression to refer to Elijah as a “one man army.” This is how the expression is used later of Elisha (2 Kings 13:14). In this view, Elijah was such a powerful man of God that he was like a pack of chariots and horsemen.

(2:13-14) Remember, Elijah had put this mantle on Elisha’s shoulders to symbolize him being the next prophet (1 Kings 19:19). The parting of the waters confirmed that God had transferred Elijah’s role to Elisha.

(2:15-18) The fifty young men who were sons of the prophets were at a distance earlier, so they couldn’t see what happened to Elijah. They recognized that a miracle had happened, but wondered if maybe God had simply transported Elijah to a different (earthly) location. Elisha was hesitant to allow them to investigate this, but allowed them to see the miracle for themselves. After three days of searching the land, the fifty young men realized that Elijah had been taken to heaven, and they followed Elisha’s leadership.

Elisha cleanses the waters of Jericho

(2:19-22) The people of Jericho were impoverished because the waters were putrefied. It’s unclear as to why he used salt in this miracle, but this is a far cry from the normal occult practices of magic potions. The simple salt seemed to be used because he was working in cooperation with the people of Jericho. Moreover, salt was used in ritual cleansing ceremonies (Lev. 2:13; Num. 18:19; Ezek. 43:24). Perhaps, this was Elisha’s way to direct the people back to ceremonial purity.

 (2 Kings 2:23-24) Mauled 42 boys for saying “Baldy”?

Concluding insights

Elijah looked like a strange, hairy hermit in the plains of Israel. While he wasn’t much to look at, Elisha could call him a “one man army.” God’s power was with this man, and he was stronger than various chariots and horsemen. Similarly, the believer in Christ isn’t much to look at, but she has the raw power and promises of God on her side.

2 Kings 3 (Joram and Jehoshaphat)

Summary: Jehoram (Joram) reigned for 18 years, and he was evil (vv.1-2). The author makes Jeroboam an archetype or paradigm for all the evil kings in the future (v.3). Jehoram went to battle with Moab, and he got the king of Judah to back him up (v.7). They ran out of water (v.10). Jehoshaphat sent for Elisha (v.11). Elisha calls for a harpist, and he prophesies (v.15). He predicts that there will be water for them (v.17) and victory over Moab (v.18). This was fulfilled on the next day (v.20). Israel retreats at the fierce fighting of the Moabites (v.27).

Jehoram’s story

(3:1-3) Remember, Jehoram took over in 1 Kings 1:17-18. After a brief interlude to describe Elijah’s translation into heaven, the author returns to describe Jehoram’s reign.

Jehoram removed the Baal worship that his father Ahab had initiated. Yet he continued to encourage worship of the golden calves, and he was judged for this.

(3:4-5) God judged Jehoram through the Moabites who rebelled against him by not giving his lamb and wool tribute to Israel.

Jehoram (northern king, 853 BC) and Jehoshaphat (southern king, 872–848 BC)

(3:6-9) Jehoram enlisted Jehoshaphat (the king of Judah) to help him battle the Moabites. Jehoshaphat (king of Judah) was related to Jehoram: Jehoshaphat’s son (also named Jehoram) was married to Athaliah (Jehoram’s aunt). The Moabites had also attacked Judah under Jehoshaphat’s reign (2 Chron. 20:1-29). In that battle, Jehoshaphat gained control of Edom, and this is why he wanted them to travel through this region to fight Moab.

However, as it turned out, there was no water for the men or the cattle in this region, so it turned out to be a bad move.

Jehoshaphat seeks out Elisha

(3:10-14) Jehoshaphat was more spiritually minded than Jehoram, so he seeks out Elisha to gain insight. Elisha wouldn’t have helped if it were not for Jehoshaphat, because Jehoshaphat was a spiritually minded king, while Jehoram was evil.

(3:15-19) Elisha told the kings to dig trenches—even though they could see no rain. Elisha promised that rain would come to take care of the men, and that they would ultimately defeat the Moabites.

The Moabites misread the water for a bloody massacre

(3:20-25) The water was reddened by the dirt and the sun, and the Moabites believed that this was a sign that the men of Israel and Judah had been massacred by one another (in a civil war). They rushed into the camp to finish off the survivors and loot their belongings, only to find that they were gravely mistaken! The men were alive and well. The Moabites retreated to Kir Hareseth in order to make a final stand.

(3:26-27) The desperate Moabite king realized that he couldn’t win the war. So he offered his firstborn son as a sacrifice, and this turned the Israelites around from attacking any further.

(2 King 3:27) Did God have anger at Israel for this Moabite human sacrifice?

Concluding insights

It’s interesting to see that God keeps working with people who are so sinful.

2 Kings 4 (Widow)

Summary: This section consists of three miracles:

Miracle #1: Creating oil (vv.1-7). A widow is about to lose her sons to indentured servitude because of debt, and she pleads with Elisha for help (v.1). Elisha (mimicking Elijah in 1 Kings 17) tells the impoverished woman to collect empty jars (v.4) and to pour oil into each. This miraculously happens, and she sells the oil to survive (v.7). This must have been a lot of oil, because it paid off the debt of her sons. The oils stops being produced once the debt was paid off. This passage shows that God will meet our need—not our greed (v.6).

Miracle #2: Resuscitation (vv.8-37). Elisha wanted to give this Shunammite woman a child—even though she was elderly. He predicted that she would conceive a son—even though she was old—and she give birth to a son (v.17). However, the boy died at a young age (v.20, 32). Gehazi can’t raise him with the staff (vv.29-31). This could have been a way to show the people that “magic staffs” won’t work in raising the boy. Instead God authenticated his power through Elisha—not the staff. It’s also possible that Elisha sent Gehazi to do this to delay the people from burying the body.

Elisha laid on top of the boy and prayed over him (vv.33-34), and he came back to life (v.35). Elijah (1 Kings 17:21) and Paul (Acts 20:9-10) both used the same practice to raise dead people. Elisha did this twice, until the boy began to sneeze.

Miracle #3: Feeding a large group of the people (vv.38-44). Someone makes bad stew that was inedible, but Elisha adds flour to it to make it edible (v.40). This is similar to the feeding of the 5,000. It’s different in that its 100 people with 20 loaves of bread.

Miracle #1: Creating oil (vv.1-7)

(4:1) Under the Mosaic Law, there was no concept of filing for bankruptcy. Instead, the person needed to work off their debt (Ex. 21:2-4; Lev. 25:39; Neh. 5:5; Isa. 50:1; Amos 2:6; 8:6).

(4:2-4) The widow only has one jar of oil. Elisha has her get a large number of empty vessels (“do not get a few,” v.3), and he tells her to keep filling these up from her existing oil. This is reminiscent of Elijah’s miracle with the woman while he was in exile (1 Kings 17:12-14).

(4:5-7) Elisha must have had the widow do the pouring in order to grow her faith. In other words, because Elisha wasn’t there, the woman would see that this was the power of God—not Elisha’s power. There was enough oil to pay off her debt and live off the rest for some time, while they got back on their feet.

Miracle #2: Resuscitation (vv.8-37)

(4:8-14) This prominent woman in Shunem invited Elisha over to her house, giving him room and board. Elisha wanted to do something for the old woman, and Elisha’s servant Gehazi observed that she was childless.

(4:15-17) Elisha announced that the Shunammite woman would give birth to a son within the next year. She was unbelieving that this could be possible (v.16), but Elisha’s prediction came true (v.17).

(4:18-20) Time passes the son became grown. He complained about some sort of sickness with his head (Aneurism? Migraines?), and he quickly died.

(4:21-24) The woman lay her son in Elisha’s bed and went immediately to Elisha. Patterson and Austel explain her rationale: “[Elisha] had previously announced life for her who had no hope of producing life; perhaps he could once more give life to her son.”[72]

(4:25-26) The Shunammite woman bypassed Gehazi, and she went straight for Elisha. Apparently, she didn’t trust Gehazi.

(4:27-30) After hearing about the death of the woman’s son, Elisha told Gehazi to lay his staff on the boy. He may have done this to stall the men from burying the boy. It’s also possible that the Shunammite’s intuitions about Gehazi were correct: Gehazi wasn’t a strong man of faith, and he was just doing routine and perfunctory religious acts without faith behind them. Elisha may have done this to build Gehazi’s faith.[73]

(4:31-37) Elisha’s actions are reminiscent of Elijah’s actions with the widow’s son (1 Kings 17:17-22). Some people believe that this was some sort of ancient CPR, because Elisha placed his mouth on the boy’s mouth. But this doesn’t seem to fit with the text, because the boy had been dead for some time. This must have been some sort of symbolic act of breathing life back into the boy.

Miracle #3: Feeding a large group of the people (vv.38-44)

(4:38-41) Remember, Gilgal was a school for prophets. The young prophets made a poisonous stew from herbs and wild vines that weren’t safe to eat. Elisha put flour in the pot and cured the poison from it. This is reminiscent of Elisha’s earlier miracle curing the waters with salt (2 Kings 2:19-22).

(4:42-44) A man from Baal-shalishah brought twenty loaves to feed 100 men. Elisha’s attendant (most likely Gehazi[74]) didn’t believe that this would feed all of the men. But Elisha was right: there was enough food for the men and still some left over.

Concluding insights

God clearly had his hand on Elisha’s ministry. While the Shunammite woman and even his own assistant Gehazi lacked faith, Elisha proved himself to be a man of faith throughout this section.

2 Kings 5 (Naaman)

Summary: Naaman was a commander of Aram—an enemy of Israel. He was well respected and powerful, but he had leprosy (v.1). A captive Israelite woman told him that Elisha could heal him (v.3). He brought tons of money to pay the prophet (v.5). The king of Israel wasn’t happy with this (v.7), but Elisha welcomed him (v.8). Elisha told him to bathe in the Jordan River seven times (v.10). Naaman expected him to cure him by fiat (v.11), but Elisha didn’t. This made Naaman very angry, but he went through with it and was cleansed (v.14). Elisha wouldn’t accept any money for what happened.

Naaman asked for forgiveness to continue to worship the false gods back home (v.18). He needed to bow down in front of the king to worship Rimmon. Elisha permitted this.

Gehazi tracked Naaman down and went to collect some money. Naaman gave him two talents of gold (v.23). Gehazi lied about this later to Elisha (v.25), and Elisha cursed Gehazi with leprosy (v.27).

(5:1) The Arameans were the enemies of Israel (2 Kings 6:8, 24ff), and this likely intensified because Israel failed to involved itself in the Syro-Assyrian conflict.[75]

Consequently, Naaman would’ve been considered a mortal enemy to Israel.

Naaman had it all. He was the commander of a powerful army, had respect, and a valiant warrior. Later, we discover that he was also rich (v.5). But the problem was that he was a leper.

(5:2-3) Naaman’s men had captured an unnamed Israelite woman who served Naaman’s wife. The young woman encouraged Naaman’s wife for Naaman to get help from “the prophet in Samaria” (i.e. Elisha).

(5:4-6) Naaman asked the Aramean king to give him a letter to the king of Israel (Jehoram) for Naaman to be healed of his leprosy. Dilday estimates this money at 1.2 million dollars today.[76]

(5:7) Jehoram was suspicious that Naaman was trying to sneak into Israel as a covert agent to start a war.

(5:8) Elisha had an alternate view: He wanted Naaman to come for healing, so that this Gentile man would know that Israel had true prophets.

(5:9-10) Naaman showed up to Elisha’s house to be healed. Instead of coming out to meet with Naaman, Elisha sent his messenger (Gehazi?) to tell Naaman to wash seven times in the Jordan River in order to be healed.

(5:11-12) Naaman didn’t agree with the procedure. Remember, he was a leper. If he was to wash in the Jordan River, this would involve peeling off his clothes and showing people his cracked and embarrassing skin. His pride was a stake in following Elisha’s directions. Consequently, he rode off angrily.

(5:13) Naaman’s servants point out that the remedy was not complicated or difficult to do. Surely, Naaman had been prepared for more complex cures. Yet, he balked at this simple instruction. The simplicity and embarrassing nature of the cure was what had stopped Naaman (much like the gospel message today!).

(5:14) Naaman changed his mind and went through with the process only to discover that he was totally healed. The description of his skin being like that of a young child (a newborn baby’s skin?) shows the complete nature of his healing.

The spiritual effect on Naaman

(5:15) Naaman wanted to pay Elisha for the cure. Much like the gospel message, people feel like they need to pay for it, rather than just freely accept it.

(5:16) Elisha refused any remuneration—even after being “urged” by Naaman.

(2 Kings 5:17-18) Does this passage support radical contextualization?

(5:17-18) Naaman realized that there was only one true God, but he also realized that he would experience pressure to worship false gods. He wanted the loads of soil so that he could kneel on this when he was pressured to kneel to the false gods in Israel.[77]

(5:19) For whatever reason, Elisha granted the request.

Gehazi’s sin

(5:20-21) Elisha’s servant Gehazi realized that Elisha had just turned down major money from Naaman. So, he chased down Naaman to procure a payment for the services rendered by Elisha.

(5:22-23) Gehazi made up a story about two prophets needing money, and Naaman gladly paid what he asked.

(5:24) Gehazi hid the money in the house, thinking that Elisha wouldn’t know what had happened.

(5:25) Gehazi could’ve come clean here, but he chose to lie to Elisha.

(5:26-27) Elisha punished Gehazi by cursing him with Naaman’s disease of leprosy. Elisha was so principled that he didn’t want to accept any money, and he was outraged that Gehazi was serving God out of selfish gain.

Concluding insights

(1) Naaman had all of the money and prestige in the world, but he was still mortal and weak. People today falsely lean on their own prestige, but they can realize their need for God in times of crisis like this.

(2) It was probably hard for Naaman to take off his clothes and dip himself in the Jordan. This would’ve involved humiliating himself by taking his clothes off.

(3) Elisha didn’t take the money, because he wanted to show that healing was a “free gift” (Rom. 6:23).

(4) Gehazi was cursed from trying to profit off of God’s work. Like a modern televangelist, he tries to profit off someone’s spiritual desire to give.

(5) The servants point out that Naaman had nothing to lose. Similarly, what do we have to lose in accepting God’s forgiveness?

2 Kings 6 (Spiritual Warfare)

Summary: The company of the prophets wanted to go with Elisha to the Jordan (v.1). They cut down trees, and the axe head fell into the water (v.5). He made the axe head float, so that the man could grab it (v.6).

The king ordered to have Elisha captured (v.13). His men surrounded Elisha (v.15). Elisha prayed that the prophets could see the spiritual warfare around them (v.17). He prayed that the army would be struck blind (v.18). He led the men to Samaria (v.19). Elisha didn’t have them killed (v.22). Instead, they were fed and sent back home (v.22). This caused peace (v.23).

Ben-Hadad came to siege Samaria (v.24). It inflated prices (v.25). They were even cannibalizing their own children (v.28). The king called for Elisha to be decapitated (v.30).

Miracle of the axe head

(6:1-7) The prophetic school was running out of space. The students asked Elisha if they could expand the school’s property with a building project, and Elisha agreed. The school may have been in or near Jericho (see chapter 2).[78] While chopping down the trees for lumber, one of the student’s lost the head of his axe. Elisha threw a stick into the water to make the axe head float.

We have no problem seeing this as a miraculous event, as other commentators have held.[79] After all, this entire book is filled with miracles. However, what if the wood stick somehow caused the axe head to have buoyancy? Maybe it was tied to the axe head or stuck to it in some way, and this helped the head float to the surface. We used to picture this as an axe head hovering over the surface of the water, but the text merely says that it floated (on the water?). We aren’t sure, but it’s worth considering.

Elisha frustrates the king of Aram

(6:8-12) Elisha had supernatural insight into the maneuvers and tactics of the king of Aram, and he would tell Jehoram where and when the Aramean king would attack. This frustrated the king of Aram so much that he thought he had a mole in his ranks. But his counselors told the king that Elisha—the prophet—was responsible.

The king of Aram tries to capture Elisha… but is majorly disappointed

(6:13-14) The Aramean king received intel that Elisha was in Dothan, and he sent an army to surround him and trap him there.

(6:15-17) Elisha’s disciple hit the panic button when he saw all of the soldiers (v.15), but Elisha had another viewpoint: Elisha had insight into the various angelic forces that protected him (vv.16-17). Imagine how much this would change your perspective as you saw this! Often, when we go through trials, we don’t factor God’s power into the picture (cf. Ps. 34:7; 55:18; 91).

(6:18-20) Elisha prayed for the military men to be struck blind, and he led them to Samaria instead.

(6:21-23) Jehoram—the king of Israel—wanted to know if he should kill these soldiers. Instead of using military force, Elisha told the king to extend mercy and kindness. They fed the Aramean men, and this resulted in them being (temporarily) pacified. The guerrilla raids stopped after this, when the men saw that Israel was peaceful.

Ben-Hadad sieges Israel

(6:24-29) Ben-Hadad broke from the peaceful solution, and he led a siege on Israel. Because of the scarcity of food, inflation skyrocketed (v.25). Two women mutually agreed to cannibalize one another’s sons (!!!). After they ate the first boy, the other mother had second thoughts. That is, after her stomach was filled, she didn’t want to kill and eat her own boy. Savagely, the first mother came to the king for him to force the other mother to cannibalize her child (!!!). God had predicted that the Jewish people would do this horrific thing during times of disobedience (Lev. 26:29; Deut. 28:53, 57; Ezek. 5:10). Remember, God foreknew that they would do this, but he did not foreordain that they would do this.

(6:30-33) Jehoram was so incensed and horrified that he looked for someone to blame. He set his sights on Elisha, calling him to be responsible. Jehoram called for Elisha’s head, and he sent men to decapitate him. Elisha had supernatural insight into the whole matter, and he told the elders to keep the executioner out until Jehoram could turn up (v.32).

Concluding insights

(1) Wouldn’t it be incredible if God could pull back the veil, so that we could all see the spiritual warfare raging around us?

(2) We need to see spiritual battles through the eyes of faith, realizing that God is with us.

(3) The king could rationalize killing Elisha. In times of suffering, we want someone to blame.

2 Kings 7 (Siege of the City)

Summary: When people went over to the Aramean camp, they were all gone (v.6). God had spooked them to believe that a big army was coming to kill them. The lepers came and looted the tents (v.8), and then they came back and told the city (v.10). The leaders were worried that this was a “Trojan Horse” to take the city (v.12), but they realized they were safe (v.16).

Elisha’s prediction

(7:1) Elisha made a prediction that the famine would be over in one more day. The inflation would drop significantly, and the people would eat like normal.

(7:2) Jehoram’s commander was flippant about this prophecy, but Elisha said that the commander was wrong and the commander wouldn’t partake. Patterson and Austel write, “His faithless incredulity would cause him to miss God’s blessing on the people.”[80]

The lepers discover an empty city

(7:3-4) Lepers were cast outside of the camp because of their contagious and infectious disease. The ancient Jews couldn’t cure leprosy, so they practiced quarantine instead. This is why the lepers were outside of the camp in the first place.

Four lepers realized that they were dead no matter what. If they went into the city, then they would starve. If they stayed in exile, then they would starve. If they joined the Arameans, they could be killed, but perhaps, they could be received and could be saved.

(7:5) To their surprise, the Aramean camp was completely deserted!

(7:6-7) God had caused a miracle by making the Arameans hear the sound of an impending army. They were so shaken and spooked that they ran for their lives.

(7:8-14) Initially, the lepers were hiding the booty at the camp for themselves (v.8), but they realized that they were being selfish and had a duty to tell the people of Israel (v.9).

Jehoram was skeptical that this was a “Trojan Horse,” namely that the Arameans were simply in hiding and waiting for the Israelites to lower their gates and become defenseless. His advisors told him to send five horsemen to scout out the situation. If these men died, then they really wouldn’t be in any worse of a state than they currently were. But if the report was true, then they would have excellent results. This is almost an ancient version of Pascal’s Wager.

(7:15-20) It was all true! The people looted all of the supplies and ate their fill. But the military commander was trampled in the process. This fulfilled Elisha’s prophecy about the man not partaking in the spoils of war (v.2).

Concluding insights

(1) Why does God let them wait and starve?

(2) The woman tried to cannibalize her son, and solve her suffering herself, rather than waiting on God. She chose the immoral solution to eliminate her pain and hunger… She should’ve waited on God!

(3) The king didn’t have faith. Instead, during suffering, he wanted to rebel against Elisha’s prediction—the word of God. During suffering, there is a temptation to reject God’s word.

2 Kings 8 (Ben-Hadad Killed)

Summary: Elisha told the woman whose son was resuscitated that there would be a seven year famine (v.1). Ben-Hadad was worried that he wouldn’t recover from his sickness (vv.7-8). He asked for Elisha to find this out (v.9). Elisha told him that he would recover (v.10), but he would die eventually (v.11). Elisha predicts that Hazael will become a killer, and Elisha knows this (v.12). Hazael told Ben-Hadad that he would recover, but he suffocated Ben-Hadad and took over the throne (v.15).

It’s possible that (1) this text is not in chronological order, moving back to before Gehazi contracted leprosy, or (2) Gehazi repented and was cured of his leprosy.[81]

The woman receives her property back

(8:1-6) Elisha warned the woman (whose son he had healed) to flee Israel for Philistia, because a great famine would come for seven years. Gehazi—Elisha’s (former?) servant—told Jehoram all of the great things that Elisha had done. When the woman returned from Philistia, she asked for her land back, and the king gave it to her because of Gehazi’s urging.

Ben-Hadad is sick and seeks out Elisha for help

(8:7-8) Ben-Hadad was deathly ill. Since he heard that Elisha was in the vicinity, he told one of his men (Hazael) to ask Elisha if he would survive the sickness. Even though Ben-Hadad hated Elisha, he still respected him.

(8:9-11) Elisha said that Ben-Hadad would recover if Hazael wasn’t at that time also plotting a coup d’état. Elijah gave Hazael a stare that could burn a hole right through him, and Hazael bowed his head in shame and Elisha wept.

(8:12-13) Elisha knew the evil that Hazael would perpetrate on the people. Even though Hazael denied this, Elisha’s prediction came to fruition (2 Kings 10:32-33; 13:3).

(8:14-15) Hazael delivered the “good news,” but the next day, he “waterboarded” him to death with a wet pillow. Hazael is mentioned in extrabiblical literature: “Hazael is often mentioned in the records of Shalmaneser III. Hazael’s usurpation is duly noted in that Hazael is called ‘son of a nobody.’”[82]

Jehoram or Joram (Evil king of Judah, son of Jehoshaphat) 853 BC

(8:16-18) Jehoram was an evil king. Like his ancestor Solomon, he intermarried with Ahab’s evil daughter. The parallel passage states that Jehoram encouraged the people to practice the Canaanite religion (2 Chron. 21:11).

(8:19) God still clung to the Davidic Covenant—even though the king was apostate.

(8:20-24) Jehoram tried to fight off the rebelling Edomites, but he failed. Jehoram was replaced by his son, Ahaziah.

Ahaziah (King of Judah, son of Jehoram) 853–852 BC

(8:25-27) Historically, Ahaziah took over in 841 BC, when the Assyrian Shalmaneser III (859-824 BC) was free to fight against Israel (after fighting long battles with other enemies).[83] This shift in global political power would set up Hazael to be the king of Damascus.

Ahaziah was 22 years old when he became king, and he would only lead for one year (v.26). His mother was Athaliah—the granddaughter of the evil king Omri. He was an evil king (v.27).

(8:28-29) Ahaziah teamed up with his father Jehoram (Joram) to fight against Hazael, but Jehoram was mortally wounded in the battle and taken home to die in Jezreel. Ahaziah would die before ever returning to Jerusalem (2 Kings 9:16, 24-29).

Concluding insights

It isn’t really clear what to take from this chapter. This really shows the moral and spiritual decline in Judah, as well as Israel (in the north).

2 Kings 9 (Jehu assassinates Jehoram, Ahaziah, and Jezebel)

Summary: Elisha sends a man to the military commander Jehu to anoint him as king (vv.1-3). This is in fulfillment of 1 Kings 21:23. The prophet tells Jehoshaphat to kill Ahab (v.7). He predicts that Jezebel will be killed by dogs (v.10), and then he runs for it (v.11). The people accepted Jehu as king (v.13). Jehu came to fight Jehoram (Joram). When Jehoram’s messengers came to talk with Jehu, they ended up joining him. Jehu would rather fight than live with the idolatry and witchcraft (v.22). Ahaziah escaped but died in Megiddo (v.27). Jehu next came for Jezebel (v.30). Jehu called on her eunuchs to betray her and join him (vv.32-33). The eunuchs threw her over the wall (v.33), and she was eaten by dogs (vv.36-37).

(9:1-3) Elisha tells one of his prophets to go anoint Jehu at Ramoth-Gilead as the future king. In this time period, prophets would anoint a king with oil to symbolize the inauguration of their leadership. Interestingly, Elisha tells the young prophet to anoint Jehu and then run away.

(9:4-10) The young prophet did as he was told: He anointed Jehu, and he gave him the commission to kill Ahab and Jezebel because they had killed many martyred prophets. After giving him these words, the young prophet ran away as he was instructed.

(9:11-13) The soldiers had a low view of God’s prophets, calling this young man “mad.” But after Jehu revealed the message, they immediately supported and announced Jehu’s kingship.

(9:14-16) Remember, Jehoram (Joram) has suffered massive wounds from the Arameans. He was healing up in Jezreel. Jehu tells the men not to leave Ramoth-Gilead, because it could spoil his takeover of the throne (v.15). Jehu travels to Jezreel to assassinate Jehoram (Joram).

Jehu goes to Jezreel to kill Jehoram (Joram) 841–814

(9:17-18) When Jehu approaches the city with soldiers, Jehoram (Joram) sends out messengers to ask if Jehu is coming in peace. Jehu doesn’t answer them explicitly, but he does so implicitly by telling the messengers to join with him.

Jehoram (Joram) is the king of Israel and Ahaziah is king of Judah. Both come out in their chariots to face off with Jehu.

It isn’t a coincidence that they meet in the property of Naboth of Jezreel—the man whom Jezebel killed to get his property for Ahab her husband (1 Kings 21). Jehoram is Jezebel’s son.

Jehu assassinates Jehoram (the king of Israel)

(9:22-24) Jehoram (Joram) realizes that this is a coup d’état, and he turns his chariot around to flee. But Jehu shoots him directly in the heart after listing the reasons for his execution (i.e. Jehoram’s idolatry).

(9:25-26) Jehoram’s death fulfilled Elijah’s prophecy (1 Kings 21:19-24).

Jehu assassinates Ahaziah (the king of Judah)

(9:27-29) Ahaziah also tries to flee, but Jehu has him shot with an arrow as well. In a single, swift act, Jehu assassinated both the king of Israel and the king of Judah in one day. But Jehu’s work is not over…

Jehu assassinates Jezebel (the mother of Jehoram)

(9:30-33) Jezebel is a hardened and tough woman. She just saw the two kings assassinated, but she has the gall to pretty herself with makeup and taunt Jehu from her tower. The title “Zimri” is associated with “traitor.”[84]

Jehu doesn’t flinch. He calls out for Jezebel’s own people to betray her and join him. The queen’s officials threw her over the wall. She must have smashed against the wall and the horses below, and Jehu rode over her with his horse.

(9:34-37) Jehu has second thoughts about burying Jezebel. After all, she was the daughter of the king. But when the men go to bury her, they discover that she was almost entirely eaten by dogs, fulfilling Elijah’s prophecy (1 Kings 21:23).

Concluding insights

Jehu would rather fight with the sin in the nation and cause trouble, than be peaceful and let things fall apart. The evil kings were the ones to break the peace—not him—because they broke peace with God.

2 Kings 10 (Jehu)

Summary: The sons of Ahab surrendered to Jehu (vv.1-5). Jehu called for the heads of the seventy princes (v.6)! Jehu also killed all of Ahab’s friends and comrades (v.11). He wiped out all of Ahab’s family in Samaria (v.17). Jehu said that he was going to serve Baal, and he called all of the prophets of Baal to come forward (v.18). He surrounded the Temple of Baal with 80 men (v.24), and they slaughtered all of the prophets of Baal (v.25). It was turned into a latrine (v.27)!

Jehu continued to worship golden calves (v.29). God promised him the throne because of his (relative) faithfulness (v.30).

(10:1-8) Jehu has the leaders of Samaria decapitate the 70 sons of Ahab. The leaders comply and put the severed heads in a basket at the gate of Jezreel. This sounds like a gruesome scene from George R.R. Martin’s novels Game of Thrones.

(10:9-11) Jehu told the people that this judgment was predicted by Elijah (1 Kings 21:19-29). Jehu continued to execute anyone who was associated with the old regime of Jehoram (Joram).

(10:12-14) Jehu has Ahaziah’s relatives killed as well. Remember, Ahaziah was the former king of Judah in the south that Jehu had killed.

Jehonadab

(10:15-17) Jehonadab lived in the wilderness, because of the apostasy in Israel (see Jer. 35). This man probably hoped that Jehu would bring Israel back from Baal worship and into worshipping Yahweh. Jehu continued to kill off all of Ahab’s descendants, fulfilling Elijah’s prediction (1 Kings 21:21).

Jehu kills the Baal worshippers

(10:18-19) Jehu made a public edict that he would offer a massive sacrifice to Baal. This lured all of the secret Baal worshippers out into the light.

(10:20-23) All of the Baal worshippers showed up to the sacrifice in “Baal’s house,” and Jehu even gave the men (expensive?) robes to wear for the ceremony (v.22). He made sure that no one was a worshipper of Yahweh—only Baal (v.23).

(10:24) Meanwhile, Jehu stationed 80 men to guard the doors to the temple of Baal. If the men allowed anyone to escape, then they would pay with their lives (v.24).

(10:25-27) These Baal worshippers didn’t realize that they themselves would be the sacrifice to Baal! Jehu had them all killed by the guardsmen, he burned the sacred Baal religious objects, and he turned the temple into a latrine.

Was Jehu really a worshipper of Yahweh?

(10:28-36) Jehu eliminated Baalism, but he continued to participate in worshipping golden calves. Remember, this was the sin of the people in Moses’ generation (Ex. 32). God was gracious with Jehu to an extent (v.30), but God allowed the Aramean Hazael to shrink the size of his nation (v.32). This was because Jehu didn’t really love God or his law (v.31), as the kings were told to do (Deut. 17). Patterson and Austel write, “Despite his comet-like beginning spiritually speaking, Jehu was a falling star; so his reign is largely passed over in silence.”[85] We agree. The text doesn’t have much to say about Jehu after this event—only that his son Jehoahaz took his place.

Concluding insights

This chapter is bloody, but it shows that worshipping Baal was serious. We tend to think of false religion as pretty innocuous, but it isn’t! It called for drastic measures back during this time.

Why didn’t Jehu wipe out the golden calves as well? God didn’t specifically command this, so maybe this seemed normal to him. Was he minimizing this sin?

The lesson of Jehu is that he could fight all of the other sinners, but he couldn’t fight his own sin.

2 Kings 11 (Athaliah slain and Jehoash made king)

Summary: Jehosheba hid Joash for six years (v.3), so that Athaliah couldn’t kill him (v.1). Jehoiada crowned him king secretly (v.12). Athaliah called this treason (v.14), but she was killed (v.16). The people tore down the idols to Baal (v.18). Joash was only 7 when he began to reign (v.21).

Athaliah (Evil queen of Judah, daughter of Jezebel)

(11:1) Athaliah killed all of her other offspring (grandsons), because she wanted to claim the throne for herself (!!).

(11:2-3) Jehosheba (daughter of Jehoram and sister of Ahaziah) hid her nephew for six years, while Athaliah reigned over Israel.

(11:4-12) Jehoiada (the priest) gathered all of the military commanders (2 Chron. 23:1) and the Levites (2 Chron. 23:2). He armed them all with weapons from David’s armory (v.10). He told the men to surround the king and defend him until he could be crowned and anointed on the throne.

Athaliah’s execution

(11:13-16) Athaliah heard the shouts of joy, only to discover that her throne had been usurped. She called this treason, but Jehoiada finished his coup d’etat by having her executed—much like her mother Jezebel (2 Kings 9:30-37).

Jehoiada wipes out Baalism and inaugurates the reign of Jehoash

(11:17-21) Jehoiada renewed the covenant with God and the young king Jehoash. He wiped out all of the Baal worship, and he installed Jehoash on the throne at the age of seven (!!).

2 Kings 12 (Jehoash/Joash)

Summary: Joash reigned for 40 years (v.1), and he was a good king (v.2). He wanted the Temple to be repaired (v.7). The money was put toward rebuilding it (v.8-16). His officials assassinated him (v.20). His son (Amaziah) succeeded him (v.21).

Jehoash/Joash (Good king of Judah, who turns bad)

(12:1-3) Jehoash was a good king because he was discipled by Jehoiada—the priest who installed him as king. Jehoash didn’t get rid of all of the false worship, but he was also only seven years old when he became king, so he did pretty well.

(12:4-6) Jehoash had been king for 16 years (compare verses 1 and 6), and the Temple had still not been rebuilt. The Levites were dragging their feet in collecting the money (2 Chron. 24:5). It isn’t clear why they couldn’t bring it together, but Jehoash’s plan wasn’t working.

(12:7-16) Jehoash took a “hands on” approach. He created a money chest and placed it by the entrance to the Temple. The priests guarded the money as people deposited their giving. Jehoash told the people that they should give money to help rebuild the Temple (2 Chron. 24:9). They rebuilt the structure of the Temple first (v.13), and they built utensils for the Temple with the leftover money (2 Chron. 24:14).

Hazael—the king of Aram—intended to attack Jerusalem

(12:17-19) Hazael turned to attack Jerusalem, but Jehoash gave him all of the valuables in the Temple to avoid a war.

Why is there such a sudden shift in Jehoash? The parallel passage states that Jehoiada—Jehoash’s godly mentor and advisor—had died during this time (2 Chron. 24:14-22). Hazael had attacked Judah and killed many people. This is the motive for Jehoash giving the money to Hazael as a bribe for leaving Israel alone.

(12:20-21) Jehoash’s servants turned on him, assassinating him. Jehoash’s son Amaziah became king.

Concluding insights

Jehoash did well when he was guided by his godly mentor Jehoiada. But after Jehoiada’s death, he did poorly. This shows the importance of leaders surrounding themselves with godly people.

2 Kings 13 (Jehoahaz)

(2 Kings 13:21) Does this passage support the Roman Catholic practice of venerating relics and the bones of dead saints?

Summary: Jehoahaz became king in Israel, but he was a bad king (v.2). Yet he sought after God’s grace, so God provided a deliverer (v.5). Immediately after God saved them, they returned to rebelling against God.

Jehoash wept over Elisha being sick (v.14). Elisha told him to shoot an arrow out of the east window (v.17), which was symbolic of destroying Aram. He predicted that Jehoash wouldn’t completely destroy Aram (v.19). Elisha died (v.20). It’s interesting to contrast his death with Elijah’s—being carried away into heaven (2 Kings 2). Elisha’s prediction was fulfilled (v.25).

Jehoahaz (Bad King of Israel, who was repentant for a short time, son of Jehu) 814–798 BC

(13:1-3) Jehoahaz took over from his father Jehu (cf. 2 Kings 10:35). He reigned for 17 years. Because of his unfaithfulness, God punished him with Hazael and his son Ben-Hadad of Aram.

(13:4-5) Jehoahaz repents to God of his unfaithfulness. Even though Jehoahaz later isn’t a faithful man, God still responds with mercy because of his covenant (v.23). God sent an unnamed deliverer to protect Israel.

(13:6-9) Jehoahaz didn’t ultimately repent of his idolatry, and nothing else of substance is mentioned about him. At the end of the chapter, we read that the Arameans continued to fight with Jehoahaz.

Joash (King of Israel, son of Jehoahaz) 798–782 BC

(13:10-13) The historian doesn’t mention much about Joash’s 16 year reign. All he mentions is that he didn’t repent of idolatry.

Death of Elisha

(13:14) Joash uses the same words to describe Elisha that Elisha himself had used to describe Elijah (2 Kings 2:12).

(13:15-17) Elisha gives a visual display for his prophecy: Joash and Elisha fired an arrow together out of the east window. This symbolized destroying the Arameans who were perpetually attacking the Israelites.

(13:18-19) Next, Elisha told the king to shoot his arrows into the ground. While Joash had a bundle of arrows, he only shot three of them. Elisha was angry with Joash because it limited how many battles he would win. Each arrow represented a battle that Joash would’ve won. Since he only shot three, this meant that he would only win three.

(13:20) Patterson and Austel write, “Keil… estimates that Elisha had ‘held his prophetical office for at least fifty years.’”[86]

(13:21) Some commentators believe that this resuscitation was also an object-lesson for Joash: God could raise Israel through his prophet’s and his word.[87] We wonder about this (speculative) interpretation, but it at least tries to explain why God performed this miracle through Elisha posthumously.

(13:22-25) Elisha’s prophecy was posthumously fulfilled. Joash was able to defeat the Arameans, where his father (Jehoahaz) could not.

Concluding insights

Elisha’s instructions to shoot arrows into the ground was very simple, but Joash didn’t follow through with it. Often, God gives us simple steps of faith to do, but we are too apathetic to do what he asks. Consequently, Joash missed out on some of the great victories that God would have given him.

2 Kings 14 (Amaziah)

Summary: Amaziah becomes king (v.1). He had a mixed character—both good and bad—that he learned from his father, Joash (v.3). But he didn’t serve God with his “whole heart” (2 Chron. 25:2). The high places still existed (v.4). He killed his enemies but not their children (v.6). Amaziah challenged Jehoash—the king of Israel (v.8). They didn’t kill each other though (v.16-17). Amaziah was killed by traitors (v.19).

We’re seeing a pattern that the kings are killed by their own people.

The kings keep failing the people (v.26), but God had not failed them (v.27).

Amaziah (Good and evil king of Judah, son of Joash) 796–767 BC

(14:1-3) Amaziah took over at the age of 25 and reigned for 29 years. He was similar to Joash—his father—but dissimilar to David—the archetypal king.

(14:4) Amaziah took a tolerate policy to the false religious worship, which would be his undoing (see below).

(14:5-6) Amaziah executed his father’s assassins and conspirators, but he didn’t kill their kids, because of the Mosaic Law (Deut. 24:16).

(14:7) This victory is given extensive historical coverage in 2 Chronicles 25:5-15. He conscripted a 3,000 man army and 100,000 mercenaries from Israel (2 Chron. 25:6). He was rebuked for doing this (2 Chron. 25:7-10, 23). Even though Amaziah won the military battle, he lost the spiritual battle. He worshipped the pagan deities (2 Chron. 25:14-15), and he was judged for this (2 Chron. 25:16).

Amaziah challenges Jehoash—the king of Israel

(14:8) The parallel passage can be found in 2 Chronicles 25:17-24.

(14:9-10) Jehoash uses a parable to describe Amaziah’s pride: a small thorn bush picking on a large cypress tree—only to be trampled by a lion. Jehoash was basically saying that Amaziah shouldn’t “let success over a tiny nation go to his head.”[88]

(14:11-18) Jehoash was right: his Israelite army defeated the men of Judah at Beth-shemesh. Jehoash ripped down 600 feet of the protective wall in Jerusalem (v.13), and he plundered the temple treasuries, taking hostages along with him (v.14). However, Jehoash didn’t kill Amaziah, and Amaziah outlived Jehoash by another fifteen years (v.17)

The Chronicler states that all of this was under God’s sovereignty to judge Amaziah for worshipping false gods (2 Chron. 25:20).

Death of Amaziah

(14:19-20) Amaziah was politically assassinated by conspirators.

Azariah/Uzziah (King of Judah, son of Amaziah) 790–739 BC

(14:21-22) Azariah takes over the throne at age sixteen, and he begins to rebuild Elath. He apparently had a coregency with his faither, Amaziah.

Jeroboam II (Evil king of Israel, son of Jehoash) 793–753 BC

(14:23-29) Jeroboam II was an evil king, but he expanded his borders to the Sea of Arabah (cf. Deut. 3:17). Even though there was severe impoverishment in Israel (“neither bond nor free,” v.26), God was faithful to the people (vv.27-28).

Concluding insights

Here we see more depravity in the kings of Israel. There was also severe pride on behalf of Jehoash challenging Amaziah after taking over the Edomites. Why didn’t he just leave him alone? Or try to reunite the kingdom?

2 Kings 15 (The decline of Israel—the northern kingdom)

Summary: Azariah becomes king at age 16 (v.2). He was the son of Amaziah, and he was a good king (v.3). Shallum assassinates Zechariah in front of all of the people (v.10). This would be akin to someone killing the President at the State of the Union—then making the assassin the President! Menahem assassinated Shallum (v.14), then he led a campaign in Tiphsah (a city in northern Israel—1 Kings 4:24) to rip open the pregnant women (v.16).

Notice, in Judah, we are in the 52nd year of Azariah, and Israel is seeing a new king every few months! This rapid turnover of kings in Israel shows the instability of this kingdom. In reality, this nation is going to be destroyed very, very soon! This rapid succession of kings shows instability, foreshadowing their demise.

Azariah—also known as Uzziah (Started as a good king of Judah) 790–739 BC

(15:1-4) Azariah’s name means “Yahweh has helped.” His other name is Uzziah, which means “Yahweh is my strength.”[89] If you include his coregency with his father Amaziah, Azariah ruled for 52 years (v.2).[90]

During Azariah’s reign, Assyria went through severe decline due to weak leadership, internal plagues and revolts, as well as battling with the Urartu.[91]

Azariah was also able to create peace with Jeroboam II, and this lead to incredible unity in the monarchy—rivaled only by Solomon’s reign (2 Chron. 26:1-15).

Azariah was a good king—more or less—because he learned from his father, Amaziah (v.3). He took a laissez-faire attitude toward false worship (v.4), but he didn’t encourage Baalism.

(15:5-7) Even though he was a strong political leader, Azariah tried to usurp the authority of the priests, and God struck him with leprosy. He raised up his son Jotham as a coregent, and he lived out the rest of his days in isolation and quarantine (2 Chron. 26:16-21).

Zechariah (Evil King of Israel) 753–752 BC

(15:8-12) God had promised Jehu that his descendants would sit on the throne until “the fourth generation” (2 Kings 10:30). Zechariah is the fourth generation. Little is written about his short reign. He was an idol worshipper, and Shallum (publicly!) assassinated him and took over the throne. Patterson and Austel comment, “The openness of Shallum’s deed is expressive of Israel’s social degradation.”[92]

Shallum (Evil king of Israel) 752 BC

(15:13-16) Shallum reigned for only one month! He was assassinated by Menahem.

Menahem (Evil king of Israel) 752–742 BC

(15:17-22) Menahem reigned for a decade, and he did so by becoming a vassal to Assyria. Pul is Tiglath-pileser III of Assyria.[93] Menahem paid 1,000 talents of silver to be under Assyria’s protection (one talent = 75 pounds!).

This alliance worked temporarily, but it ultimately served to destroy Israel. During this time, Assyria became reunited as a superpower under the leadership of Tiglath-pileser III (745–727 BC).

Pekahiah—son of Menahem (Evil king of Israel) 742–740 BC

(15:23-26) Pekahiah only ruled for two years. He was an evil king and continued to follow in the ways of Jeroboam. One of his own officers killed him and seized the throne.

Pekah (Evil king of Israel) 740–732 BC

(15:27-31) Pekah’s twenty year reign is a chronological difficulty. It can be harmonized by allowing him to have been reigning earlier (though unofficially) before his official takeover of Pekahiah.[94] Hoshea assassinated Pekah and usurped the throne from him.

During his reign, Assyria continued to takeover other nations, breathing down the neck of Israel. Eventually, Assyria would conquer Israel in 722 BC.

Jotham—son of Azariah/Uzziah (Good king of Judah) 751–736 BC

(15:32-36) Jotham had a coregency with his leprous father for at least a decade before he fully inherited the throne. He was a builder, and he rebuilt many of the beloved structures in Judah. He seems to have been a relatively good king, but he still had a permissive attitude toward idol worship.

(15:37-38) During this time, the Israelites and the Arameans started to fight with Judah.

Concluding insights

The kings of Israel only held their crown for a few short years, or in some cases, a few short months. This reminds us of the world-system: the kings of Israel were important for a split second in the grand scheme of things, but then they lost their power, authority, and wealth forever.

Why would these kings even want to be on the throne, when it was so clear that the monarchy was unstable and filled with internal assassins? This must show the pride and ego of humans who want to be powerful—even if it doesn’t result in a healthy or wholesome life.

2 Kings 16 (Ahaz unifies with Assyria)

Summary: Ahaz became king at age 20 (v.2), but he was a wicked king (v.2), sacrificing his own son (v.3). Ahaz asked for help from the king of Assyria (v.7), bribing him (v.8). The Assyrian king killed the king of Damascus (v.9). Ahaz built a new altar (vv.12-14). This shows a tremendous lack of faith—trusting in the Pagan nations rather than Yahweh. Ahaz wanted the high priest to change the practice of sacrifices. Ahaz had two nations against him: Israel and Assyria. So he was under pressure and forfeiting God’s protection.

This would be like being a shop owner in a bad neighborhood, where thugs are spray painting your shop and looting your stock. Instead of turning to the Police for help, you turn to the mafia for help. This is making a deal with the Devil. This lines up with Isaiah 7.

Ahaz bought Assyria’s allegiance, which destroyed Aram for him (v.9). Hezekiah took over after him (v.20).

Ahaz, son of Jotham (Evil king of Judah) 742–728 BC

For more information on King Ahaz, see Isaiah 7-12 and 2 Chronicles 28.

(16:1-2) Ahaz became king at age 20. His father (Jotham) and grandfather (Azariah/Uzziah) set the stage for his apostasy, because they filled the nation with luxury and opulence. Ahaz was ripe for apostasy.

(16:3-4) Ahaz worshipped Molech and Baal—even sacrificing his own son as a burnt offering! This was strictly forbidden by the OT law (Lev. 18:21; 20:1-5; Deut. 12:31; cf. 2 Kings 21:6). God kicked the Canaanites out of their land for these exact same practices. These practices likely took place at Topheth (2 Kings 23:10; Isa. 30:33; Jer. 7:31; 19:5; 32:35).

(16:5-6) The kings of Aram and Israel joined forces against Ahaz. This is likely because they wanted to unite to fight against Tiglath-pileser III of Assyria,[95] and Ahaz refused to help.

When we read the parallel passage (2 Chron. 28), we discover that Rezin (the Aramean king) and Pekah (the Israelite king) formed a two-pronged attack against Judah. Rezin attacked from the east, and Pekah attacked from the north. Even Edom took a crack at Judah during this time as well.

It was during this time that God sent Isaiah to encourage Ahaz and give him a sign that these enemy armies would fail (Isa. 7:7-11), but Ahaz refused (Isa. 7:12). Nevertheless, Isaiah still predicted a sign for Ahaz (Isa. 7:13-16; cf. Mt. 1:23).

Ahaz’s deal with the devil…

(16:7-9) Instead of trusting God, Ahaz made a deal with Tiglath-pileser III of Assyria. Ahaz bribed him to take over Israel, and the Assyrian king agreed. However, this deal would eventually result in the beginning of Judah’s destruction (Isa. 7:17-20).

(16:10-11) Ahaz made a replica of the Assyrian’s temple, conscripting Uriah the priest to build it.

(16:12-13) Ahaz sacrificed the Jewish offerings on a pagan altar!

(16:14-16) Ahaz liked the pagan altar in Damascus so much that this effectively replaced the true Temple.

(16:17-20) Ahaz started stripping sacred objects from the true Temple, and he used these to build onto his pagan altar. The parallel passage states that this pagan altar completely replaced the true Temple, and Ahaz mutilated the true Temple even further (2 Chron. 28:24-25).

Hezekiah took over after Ahaz died (v.20).

Concluding insights

The only source of our security is God—not warlords, paganism, or anything else. God even tried to encourage Ahaz through Isaiah, but Ahaz refused to be encouraged to follow the one true God. How often do believers try to speak truth to us during times of duress, but we refuse to listen to them?

It seems that Ahaz lost his spiritual life from dabbling in Assyrian paganism, then flirting with it, and finally being seduced by their practices.

2 Kings 17 (Shalmaneser Takes Over Israel)

Summary: Hoshea was an evil king (v.2). Shalmaneser (an Assyrian King) placed him in prison (v.4), and he took over Israel (v.6). God allowed this takeover because of their sin (vv.7-23). Judah was spared because of good preaching from Isaiah and Jeremiah in the north (v.18). Assyria brought foreign peoples into the land (v.24). Their sin was not refusing to worship God… but worshipping every “god” (v.34, 41).

As you read through this chapter, what reasons do we see for why God sent Israel into Exile?

Hoshea (Evil king of Israel) 732–723 BC

(17:1-3) Shalmaneser V (727-722 BC) was the son of Tiglath-Pileser III (who died in 727 BC).[96] Hoshea paid tribute to Shalmaneser, and he only reigned for nine years.

(17:4) Hoshea reached out to Egypt for help in fighting off Assyria, but it ended in Assyria clenching a tighter grip on Israel, throwing Hoshea in prison.

We aren’t clear who “So” the king of Egypt was. It could be (1) Osorkon of the 23rd dynasty, (2) Shabako of the 25th dynasty, or (3) this is referring to the Egyptian capital “Sais” of the 24th dynasty. This territory would be called sā in Akkadian and in Hebrew.[97] The passage would then be taken to read: “He sent messengers to So—even the king of Egypt.”[98] This final option seems most likely.

(17:5-6) The fall of Israel occurred in 722 BC. The exiles were taken to Mesopotamia and Media. Sargon—Shalmaneser’s successor—claimed to have conquered Samaria. It could be that Sargon was the general who was present during the siege, so both took credit for it.

Why were they taken into Exile?

(17:7-8) The historian interjects to explain why Israel was exiled: God had saved Israel from Pharaoh in the Exodus, and he had displaced the Canaanites because of their immorality. However, the Israelites committed the same moral sins, and so, God had them driven out as well.

(17:9-11) The Israelites worshipped false gods in the “high places.” None of the kings had abolished this practice, and they all seemed to have a strange tolerance to this false worship.

(17:12) The Israelites worshipped idols.

(17:13) The Israelites ignored the warnings of the prophets (Jer. 7:3-7; 18:11; Ezek. 18:31).

(17:14) The Israelites were guilty of stubborn unbelief.

(17:15) They assimilated to the surrounding nations.

(17:16) They worshipped Asherah, angels, and Baal.

(17:17) They practiced occultism (Lev. 19:26; Deut. 18:10-12), and they practiced human sacrifice of children.

(17:18-23) The plight of Israel really began as far back as the civil war under Jeroboam. This turned into a slippery slope that eventually turned into utter apostasy.

Meanwhile, Judah was already on the same slippery slope. Would they learn from what happened to Israel? Unfortunately, they also would fall into exile under Babylon (586 BC).

(17:24) Assyria filled Israel from various nations to supplant the population.

(17:25-27) The immigrants from various nations were being attacked by lions. God sent these lions on the people. It could also have been as a result of the dead and unburied bodies in Israel, which attracted the lions.[99]

Regardless, the foreigners understood this to be a judgment from the local deity, and they asked for help. Assyria sent one of the Israelite priests to teach the immigrants the ways of God.

(17:28-31) A priest returned to teach the immigrants, but obviously, there was still pluralism in their worship. They were under the false understanding that Yahweh was just one of many local deities (rather than the one true God).

The historian records the pagan deities that the people worshipped, and these are “likely all deliberate misspellings” of their names.[100]

(17:32-41) This explains the later hatred of the Samaritans. They were “mixed breeds” of Jews and foreigners, and they had a mixture of Jewish and pagan worship.

Concluding insights

Merely “fearing the Lord” is not good enough. The people practiced syncretism and worshipped various local deities.

2 Kings 18 (Hezekiah)

Summary: Hezekiah was 25 when he became king (v.2). He was a good king (v.3), probably from his mother’s influence (v.2). He trusted God (v.5). Hezekiah gave the king of Assyria all of the Temple gold to get him off of his back (vv.14-16).

An emissary from the king of Assyria came to taunt Israel, and he was trying to intimidate them. The king asked him who Hezekiah was depending on in battle (v.19-37).

Hezekiah, son of Ahaz (Good king of Judah) 728–697 BC

Read through verses 1-8 and ask, “What were the keys to Hezekiah’s success?”

(18:1-2) Hezekiah had a lousy father (Ahaz), but he turned out to be a good king, reigning for 29 years.

(18:3-4) Hezekiah followed the character of David, rather than his own father (Ahaz). Unlike the former kings, Hezekiah took a “zero tolerance” policy on the worship in the high places and all forms of idolatry. He even destroyed Moses’ Bronze Serpent (Num. 21), because the people had turned it into an object of veneration.

(18:5-7) Hezekiah stuck closely to God’s law and covenant. He refused to bow to the king of Assyria (like the northern tribes of Israel did). Consequently, the “Lord was with him” (v.7).

The parallel passage states that he cleansed the Temple and rededicated it (2 Chron. 29:3-36). He reinstituted the Passover (2 Chron. 30).

(18:8-12) In contrast to the faithfulness of Hezekiah, the northern tribes were unfaithful and were exiled by the Assyrian king Shalmaneser.

Sennacherib—the Assyrian king—fights against Judah

(18:13) Sennacherib reigned from 705-681 BC.[101] This was only a few years after the Assyrians had invaded and exiled Israel.

(18:14-16) Historically, Sennacherib had been on a blitzkrieg of the ancient Near East, and he was an unstoppable military juggernaut.

Hezekiah asks for terms of surrender. Sennacherib asks for 300 talents of silver and 30 talents of gold (a talent = 75 lbs). This would result in 22,500 pounds of silver and 2,250 pounds of gold. Hezekiah goes above and beyond the terms—even stripping gold from the Temple doors.

(18:17-18) Hezekiah sent delegates to speak for him, when the Assyrians arrived.

Psychological warfare

The parallel passage can be found in Isaiah 36. As you read through this section, ask, “What is Rabshakeh’s strategy to psych-out Hezekiah?”

(18:19-20) Rabshakeh was Sennacherib’s field commander. Rabshakeh attacks Hezekiah’s supposed military, political, and theological advantages, and he makes these seem completely weak and powerless.

(18:21) Rabshakeh argues that Egypt is a “crushed reed.” They will be no help in defending Judah.

(18:22) Rabshakeh argues that Hezekiah made a terrible theological blunder by cutting down the high places, because these were places of worship for Yahweh. Of course, this is false, but it would make Hezekiah second guess himself.

(18:23) Rabshakeh states that Assyria would give Hezekiah 2,000 horses, but Hezekiah wouldn’t have the men to use them (!). This would be like saying that you’d give someone a baseball bat in a street fight, but you’d still be able to beat them.

(18:24-25) Rabshakeh closes by saying that Yahweh had told him to come and take over Judah. This is false, but it made for good rhetoric. Rabshakeh’s goal is to get Hezekiah and the people of Judah to distrust their military, political, and theological commitments.

(18:26-27) Hezekiah’s cabinet were afraid that the Judean men would overhear Rabshakeh’s claims, and become terrified. But Rabshakeh speaks in the Jewish language to strike fear into the soldiers—not just the leaders.

(18:28-32) Rabshakeh spoke even louder to the Judean listeners. He makes an open declaration that Hezekiah is untrustworthy and Yahweh is untrustworthy. Rabshakeh states that the people should surrender, and they will receive reward from Sennacherib.

(18:33-35) Rabshakeh argues that the previous (defeated!) nations had trusted in their local deities. But Sennacherib had crushed these nations nonetheless. According to Rabshakeh, Yahweh was just another local deity would be impotent to defend Judah—just as he was in Israel.

(18:36) The people followed the command of Hezekiah not to respond. This shows their loyalty—even in the face of incredible fear.

(18:37) Hezekiah’s cabinet came back and reported the dire situation that they were in.

2 Kings 19 (Isaiah)

Summary: Isaiah was prophesying during this time (v.2). The Lord supported Hezekiah through Isaiah’s prediction (vv.6-7). He predicts that the king of Assyria will be killed in his own homeland (v.7). Hezekiah prayed. Isaiah spoke back and gave Hezekiah encouragement (v.20ff). Isaiah predicts a future remnant and deliverance for Judah (v.30). He also predicts that the king of Assyria will not take over the city (v.32). The angel of the Lord killed 185,000 men in the Assyrian camp. Sennacherib was killed by his sons in Ninevah (v.37).

(19:1-2) Hezekiah begins to mourn over the news. He sends for the prophet Isaiah.

(19:3-4) Hezekiah senses that God is using this to discipline or possibly to even judge Israel. Notice that Hezekiah doesn’t see this as purely a political problem, but he sees this through a theological lens. Hezekiah knows that Isaiah represents God as a true prophet, and he asks for Isaiah’s prayers.

What will Isaiah tell Hezekiah during this hour of despair?

(19:5-7) Isaiah tells Hezekiah that Sennacherib would have a “spirit” put in him, so that he will hear a “rumor” and “return” to his land. Once there, Sennacherib would die. God doesn’t tell Hezekiah how this will all happen, but simply that it will happen. Hezekiah could trust in the promise—even if he didn’t know how it would come to fruition.

(19:8-9) During this time, Egypt the “crushed reed” mentioned earlier attacked Ekron with the Philistines under the leadership of Tirhakah.

(19:10-13) Sennacherib continues the psychological warfare of chapter 18. He even points out that the kings of those fallen nations all died. This implies that Hezekiah will pay for his “mistake” with his own life.

Even after hearing God’s promise of deliverance, Hezekiah needed to choose whether or not he would trust in it. Will he trust God, or capitulate to the threats?

What do we learn about godly prayer in this section?

(19:14) Hezekiah took his problems directly to God. He didn’t sugarcoat or minimize the threats. Patterson and Austel write, “As a child bringing his broken toy to his father for repair, so Hezekiah laid the issues in God’s sight for resolution.”[102]

(19:15) He acknowledged God’s power and the fact that God is the only true God.

(19:16) He asked God to take notice of these threats, and he notes that ultimately this was a threat against God himself—not just the people of Judah. After all, Sennacherib was accusing God of not being the one true God and not being powerful enough to protect Judah.

(19:17-18) He acknowledged the power of Sennacherib. Yet he prays that Sennacherib had only destroyed worthless idols. It was time for Sennacherib to “pick on someone his own size.”

(19:19) Hezekiah concludes his prayer by asking God to intervene. He includes petition in his prayer—not just theological truths about God. But notice that he concludes his prayer with petition, rather than starting that way.

(19:20) Prayer matters! God promised to act because Hezekiah had interceded in prayer.

Taunt against Sennacherib

(19:21-24) Sennacherib was boasting of all of his military exploits, and his pride caused him to think he could attack God’s chosen people.

(19:25) Sennacherib was boasting that he had “dried up all the rivers of Egypt.” But God replies, “I did that a long time ago!”

God had allowed Sennacherib to attack these other cities, because he was a pawn of God’s judgment against those nations.

(19:26-28) God knew everything that Sennacherib was doing, and he would sovereignly turn him toward judgment.

God’s words to Hezekiah

(19:29-31) Remember, God had given Hezekiah’s father a sign (Isa. 7:11), but Hezekiah had refused to believe.

The sign was that within three years the people would go back to business as usual, planting crops and living off of the land, rather than being besieged. God would save a faithful remnant from the people of Judah.

(19:32-34) God promises to protect Judah for the sake of his promise to David.

(19:35-37) Extrabiblical history records Sennacherib’s annals. While Sennacherib claimed to capture 46 Judean cities, he is oddly silent about capturing Judah and Hezekiah. We simply read, “Himself [Hezekiah] I made a prisoner in Jerusalem, his royal residence, like a bird in a cage” (Ancient Near East Text, 288).[103]

The angel of the Lord slew 185,000 of the Assyrians. This—combined with the rumors of war behind him—caused Sennacherib to return home. Roughly two decades later (681 BC), Sennacherib’s own sons assassinated him.

Concluding insights

We learn a lot about the power of God and his sovereignty from this chapter. We also learn how God keeps his promises.

We learn a lot about Hezekiah’s faith and prayer. While his father (Ahaz) was a spiritual slouch, Hezekiah chose to follow God and his promises.

2 Kings 20 (Miraculous healing of Hezekiah; cf. Isa. 38)

Summary: When Hezekiah was on his deathbed, Isaiah told him to put his house in order (v.1). But God adds fifteen years to Hezekiah’s life, because of his prayer (v.5). God gave him a sign that the shadow would go back ten steps (v.9). Isaiah also predicted that Hezekiah’s descendants would be destroyed by Babylon (v.18). Eventually he died (v.21). Manasseh took over after him.

(20:1) “In those days…” likely refers to a general time period—not chronologically after chapter 19. Patterson and Austel give three reasons for this (e.g. problems with accession dating of Manasseh, Merodach-Baladan’s embassy from Babylon, and Hezekiah’s wealth), and they land on the events of chapter 20 landing before 2 Kings 18:7.[104]

Isaiah tells Hezekiah that the present course of history will be that Hezekiah will die, and Hezekiah should get his last will and testament together before it’s too late.

(20:2-3) Hezekiah immediately turns to prayer. He expressed his emotions to God, and he records how he was faithful to God. In a sense, Hezekiah is asking, “How can it all end like this? My reforms aren’t finished! I’ve got more work to do before I die!”

(20:4-6) Before Isaiah can leave the palace, God turns him around to tell Hezekiah that he (1) heard his prayer, (2) will heal him, (3) will add fifteen years to his life, and (4) will protect Jerusalem for the sake of the Davidic Covenant.

(20:7) Regarding the use of figs to heal Hezekiah, Patterson and Austel write, “Although God chose to work through the accepted medical standards of the day, it is certain that ultimately the healing was effected by the divine word.”[105]

(20:8) Hezekiah’s attitude is completely different from his unbelieving father Ahaz (Isa. 7:12).

(20:9-11) Isaiah gave Hezekiah the sign that the shadow on the stairs would move in reverse for ten steps, and this would be the sign that God would give him lasting life.

(2 Kings 20:9-11) Did God turn back time? (cf. Isa. 38:8).

(20:12) Berodach-baladan brought a gift to Hezekiah because he had heard about what had happened (2 Chron. 32:31). It seems that this was politically motivated because he wanted Hezekiah as an ally.

(20:13) Hezekiah welcomed these guests, and he showed them all of his wealth (foreshadowing!).

(20:14-18) Isaiah rebukes Hezekiah for doing this. Isaiah predicts that Babylon would come and seize all of his wealth, and Hezekiah’s descendants would be captured in this battle.

(20:19) Hezekiah was thankful that the takeover wouldn’t happen sooner, and that God would keep his promise to at least spare Hezekiah’s reign. He must have realized that his pride had set the direction of the nation into peril. Perhaps he was thankful that his decision had not created worse conditions for Judah.

(20:20) The parallel passage elaborates on Hezekiah’s success (2 Chron. 32:27-31). Hezekiah’s water conduit. Archaeology has confirmed Hezekiah’s water tunnel.[106]

(20:21) Hezekiah’s son, Manasseh, took over after his death.

2 Kings 21 (Manasseh, Amon)

Summary: Manasseh became king at age 12 (v.1), and he was an evil king (v.2). He undid all of the great work of his father Hezekiah (v.3), putting an Asherah pole in the Temple (v.7)! The people were worse than the Canaanites (v.9), so God promised to judge them. God brings disaster on Judah, so that the nations would realize God was behind this (v.12). Ammon took over after his death (v.21). He was an evil king, too (v.20). Ammon was assassinated, and Josiah took over after him (v.24).

Manasseh, son of Hezekiah (Evil king of Judah) 697–642 BC

(21:1-6) Manasseh would’ve been old enough to remember the crisis with Assyria, and his father Hezekiah’s unwavering faith. Yet nurture doesn’t account for everything!—Manasseh’s choice was to rebel against his father’s faith. He did just about everything wrong: (1) committing the sins of the Canaanites, (2) practicing false worship of Baal, Asherah, and angels, (3) defiling the Temple, (4) sacrificing his own son, (5) and practicing in the occult.

Manasseh’s hellish reign lasted for over half of a century.

(21:7-9) The historian reminds us of God’s promise of the Temple (1 Kings 9:3; 2 Chron. 7:16). However, their obedience to the covenant was conditional on God’s protection. If they didn’t follow God, then he wouldn’t protect these evil people. In fact, the people of Judah were even worse than the Canaanites! (v.9)

(21:10-11) God repeatedly warned the people through the prophets, but they wouldn’t listen (cf. 2 Chron. 33:10).

(21:12-13) God uses three illustrations to describe their impending judgment:

(1) Tingling ears. This emphasized the severity of the judgment (1 Sam. 3:11; Jer. 19:3-9).

(2) Measuring the plumb lines. This emphasized the total destruction involved (Isa. 34:11; Amos 7:7-9).

(3) The cleaned dish. Similarly, this emphasized total destruction, and not one drop would be left behind.

(21:14-16) God emphasized why he would judge Judah: it was because of their sin and evil.

(21:17-18) Manasseh died and was replaced by Amon—his son. The parallel passage states that Manasseh was briefly captured by the Assyrians, and he had a very brief moment of repentance (2 Chron. 33:11-17). But the author of Kings doesn’t mention this, because Manasseh was overall an evil, wicked, and unrepentant king.

Amon, son of Manasseh (Evil king of Judah) 642–640 BC

(21:19-22) Amon had a short reign—only two years (2 Chron. 33:21). He wasn’t any better than his father. The parallel passage states that Amon “multiplied [his] guilt” (2 Chron. 33:23).

(21:23-26) Amon’s own servants killed him, and his son Josiah took his place. Josiah was only eight years old when he took over the throne (2 Kings 22:1).

Concluding insights

Even though Manasseh had a great father (Hezekiah), he still chose to rebel against God. Even though Josiah had an evil father (Amon), he still chose to follow God.

2 Kings 22 (Josiah)

Summary: Josiah was only eight when he became king (v.1), and he was a good king (v.2). He rebuilt the Temple, and Hilkiah rediscovered the law (v.8). When Josiah read this, he tore his robes (v.11). He realized just how far off the people were (v.13). God heard this repentance (v.19), so he spared Josiah of the disaster by letting him die before this happened (v.20).

Josiah, son of Amon (Good king of Israel) 640–609 BC

(22:1-2) Josiah was only eight years old when he took over the throne, but he reigned for 31 years. He didn’t have a good role model in his father. Is this why his mother Jedidah is mentioned? Was she the godly influence in his life? The prophet Zephaniah (635-625 BC) may have played a role in his life as well.[107]

Josiah repairs the Temple

(22:3-7) The 18th year would’ve been 622 BC.[108] The parallel passage states that Josiah had been purging Israel of idols already and was becoming committed to God (2 Chron. 34:3-7).

Josiah utilizes the free will offerings in order to repair the Temple.

Josiah’s men rediscover the Law

(22:8-10) While they are repairing the Temple, the high priest finds the “book of the Law.” This could be the entire Pentateuch. Hilkiah (the high priest) gives the book of Shaphan (the scribe), and Shaphan reads it aloud to Josiah.

Josiah laments Judah’s idolatry and immorality

(22:11-13) After reading the book, Josiah realizes that the nation is in desperate peril, and they people are going to face judgment. He asks his cabinet to contact a prophet (or a prophetess) in order to discover what God would want them to do.

Huldah—the prophetess

(22:14-20) Huldah predicts judgment for the people of Judah. Huldah’s husband was Shallum, so she may have been related to Jeremiah (Jer. 32:7-12). The only silver lining is that Josiah would die before this happens. Even this isn’t a great prediction, because Josiah dies in battle (2 Kings 23:29-30). Patterson and Austel write, “Josiah’s being buried ‘in peace’ reflects his state of well-being with God. The phrase is drawn from ancient diplomatic parlance.”[109]

Concluding Insights

This chapter shows how godly actions (like choosing to repair the Temple) can have unintended godly outcomes (like discovering the “book of the law”). If Josiah didn’t command the repairing of the Temple, Hilkiah would’ve never found the Law.

2 Kings 23 (Josiah cleans house)

Summary: Josiah read the book of the Law to the people (v.2) and renewed the covenant (v.3). He purged all of the idols (v.4). He killed the pagan priests (v.5). He practiced the Passover (v.23). He practiced the Shema (Deut. 6:4; v.25). Yet, it was too late (v.26). Josiah was killed in battle with Egypt (v.29).

Jehoahaz took over after his father, Josiah (v.31), and he was an evil king (v.32). He was captured by the Pharaoh who killed his father (v.33).

Jehoiakim took over after Jehoahaz (v.36), but he was an evil king too (v.37).

(23:1-3) Josiah renewed the Mosaic Covenant with all of the elders of the people. He read aloud all of the words of the covenant, and the people agreed to follow the covenant.

(23:4-7) Josiah removed the priests, the pagan temples, the male cult prostitution, etc. He took their ashes to Bethel, because this is where idolatry originated in Israel.[110]

(23:8-9) Josiah stepped down the Levitical priests from their duties, because they had defiled themselves by offering incense to idols (Lev. 21:17-23). These priests were demoted to the position of everyone else.

(23:10-12) Josiah tore down the place of child sacrifice (Topheth). He tore down all of the pagan altars.

(23:13-18) He continued to defile the pagan temples. He left Elisha’s grave alone. By putting human bones in the temples, this defiled them (Num. 19:16).

(23:19-20) Josiah demolished the altars in the northern kingdom, and he had the false priests killed on their own altars.

(23:21-23) Josiah celebrated with Passover with the entire nation—both Judah and Israel (2 Chron. 35:18).

(23:24-25) Josiah had exemplary faith in God, practicing the Jewish Shema (Deut. 6:4).

(23:26-28) What a sad ending to the account! Judah immediately turned back to idolatry after Josiah died, and Manasseh’s sin had a permanent effect on the people.

Jehoahaz, son of Josiah (Evil king of Judah) 609–608 BC

(23:29-30) Pharaoh Neco killed Josiah in battle, and Josiah’s son, Jehoahaz, took over after him.

(23:31) Jehoahaz only reigned for three months.

(23:32-33) Pharaoh Neco quickly detained Jehoahaz and taxed Jerusalem to death.

Jehoiakim (Eliakim), son of Josiah (Evil king of Judah) 608–597 BC

(23:34-37) Jehoiakim reigned for eleven years. He gathered the taxes that Pharaoh Neco had demanded. The historian records that Jehoiakim was a wicked, evil king.

Concluding insights

This chapter shows the power of the word to change people en masse. Josiah’s culture was heavily against God. But Josiah was willing to go against the grain because of God’s word.

2 Kings 24 (Nebuchadnezzar)

Summary: Nebuchadnezzar took over Jerusalem (v.1). God was unwilling to forgive the nation (v.4). Jehoiachin became king (v.8), but he was an evil king (v.9). Nebuchadnezzar took him over (v.12). He made him a prisoner of war and took him and his wives and mother back to Babylon (v.15), as well as his army and artisans (v.16). Zedekiah became king, and he tried to rebel against Babylon (v.20).

(24:1) The Assyrians and Egyptians combined forces to fight Babylon, but “Nebuchadnezzar overtook the remaining Egyptian forces at Hamath.”[111]

Pharaoh Neco drove out Babylon from Egypt in 601 BC, and this is most likely why Jehoiakim rebelled against Nebuchadnezzar. However, this turned against him.

(24:2) God had warned about this judgment through his prophets (Jer. 15:1-9; Hab. 1:2-6; Zeph. 1:4-13; 3:1-7).

(24:3-5) Jehoiakim died in this battle.

Jehoiachin, son of Jehoiakim (Evil king of Judah) 597 BC

(24:6-7) When Jehoiachin took over Judah, Egypt had moved back into their land, and they were no longer a threat to Babylon. The stage was set for Babylon to take over Judah without having Egypt nip at their heels.

(24:8-9) Jehoiachin was young, foolish, and ungodly. He stood no chance against Nebuchadnezzar. The parallel passage states that Jehoiachin was eight—not eighteen (2 Chron. 36:9). This is likely a copyist error, and even some of the Hebrew manuscripts read that he was eighteen in Chronicles.[112]

(24:10-16) Nebuchadnezzar sieged Jerusalem. Jehoiachin—and his entire cabinet—personally surrendered to Nebuchadnezzar (v.12). Nebuchadnezzar looted all of the gold from the Temple. All of the bourgeois were taken away into exile—only the poor remained (v.14).

Zedekiah/Mattaniah, son of Josiah (Evil king of Judah) 597–587 BC

(24:17-20) Zedekiah was an evil king—like Jehoiakim. He made a failed attempt to rebel against Nebuchadnezzar.

2 Kings 25 (Jerusalem ravaged!)

Summary: Nebuchadnezzar responded to Zedekiah’s rebellion by sieging the city (v.1). The famine was miserable (v.3). Babylon took the city (v.4). Zedekiah was captured, and he had to watch his sons killed in front of him as punishment; then, they cut out Zedekiah’s eyes (v.7). The last image Zedekiah ever saw was his sons being killed before his eyes! The people were carried into exile (v.11). They sacked all of the valuables in the city (v.17). At the end of the book, Jehoiachin was released from prison and had a seat at the table of the Babylonian king (vv.29-30).

Why is Jehoiachin let off so easy? It could be a foreshadowing that the nation would be brought back.

(25:1-4) Nebuchadnezzar returned to quell Zedekiah’s rebellion. Jeremiah records that Babylon had to withdraw temporarily to deal with Egypt (Jer. 37:5). But eventually, they kept the siege of Jerusalem, and they starved the population. The men fled the city in 586 BC.[113] This was all predicted by the prophets (Jer. 19-20; 27-28; 37:8-10, 17; 38:17-23).

Zedekiah captured—along with his sons

(25:5-7) The prophets had predicted that Zedekiah would not escape (Jer. 32:5; 34:3; 39:3-5; 52:7-8; Ezek. 12:12-13). The last image Zedekiah saw was the death of his sons. He died in prison in Babylon (Jer. 52:11).

(25:8-12) Nebuzaradan was Nebuchadnezzar’s captain of the guard. He burned down the Temple, the king’s house, and all of the quality houses in Israel. He deported more people into exile, and he left the poorest of the poor to remain.

(25:13-17) They looted everything from the Temple, including the bronze and the gold (Jer. 52:17-23).

(25:18-21) Nebuzaradan gathered up the remaining leaders, and Nebuchadnezzar had them all executed.

(25:22-26) Gedaliah was put in power (586-585 BC), and he told the people to be peaceful. However, Ishmael had Gedaliah assassinated.

Evil-merodach (son of Nebuchadnezzar) becomes king of Babylon

(25:27-30) Evil-merodach released Jehoiachin and treated him well. This could be a glimmer of hope—foreshadowing of Judah’s eventual regathering.

[1] Wiseman, D. J. (1993). 1 and 2 Kings: an introduction and commentary (Vol. 9, p. 16). Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.

[2] Martin Noth, The Deuteronomistic History (Sheffield: JSOTSupp 15, 1981), pp. 75ff.

[3] Gerhard von Rad, Studies in Deuteronomy (London: SCM Press, 1953), pp. 90–91.

[4] Wiseman, D. J. (1993). 1 and 2 Kings: an introduction and commentary (Vol. 9, p. 56). Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.

[5] Archer, Gleason. A survey of Old Testament introduction (3rd. ed.). Chicago: Moody Press. 1994. 319.

[6] Hill, Andrew, & Walton, John. A Survey of Old Testament Introduction (2nd Ed.). Grand Rapids, MI. Zondervan. 2000.

[7] Archer, Gleason. A survey of Old Testament introduction (3rd. ed.). Chicago: Moody Press. 1994. 317.

[8] Archer, Gleason. A survey of Old Testament introduction (3rd. ed.). Chicago: Moody Press. 1994. 320.

[9] Patterson, R. D., & Austel, H. J. (1988). 1, 2 Kings. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: 1 & 2 Kings, 1 & 2 Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther, Job (Vol. 4, p. 25). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[10] Patterson, R. D., & Austel, H. J. (1988). 1, 2 Kings. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: 1 & 2 Kings, 1 & 2 Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther, Job (Vol. 4, p. 37). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[11] Patterson, R. D., & Austel, H. J. (1988). 1, 2 Kings. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: 1 & 2 Kings, 1 & 2 Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther, Job (Vol. 4, p. 37). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[12] Patterson, R. D., & Austel, H. J. (1988). 1, 2 Kings. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: 1 & 2 Kings, 1 & 2 Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther, Job (Vol. 4, p. 39). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[13] Patterson, R. D., & Austel, H. J. (1988). 1, 2 Kings. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: 1 & 2 Kings, 1 & 2 Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther, Job (Vol. 4, p. 41). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[14] Patterson, R. D., & Austel, H. J. (1988). 1, 2 Kings. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: 1 & 2 Kings, 1 & 2 Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther, Job (Vol. 4, p. 42). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[15] Patterson, R. D., & Austel, H. J. (1988). 1, 2 Kings. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: 1 & 2 Kings, 1 & 2 Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther, Job (Vol. 4, p. 44). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[16] Patterson, R. D., & Austel, H. J. (1988). 1, 2 Kings. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: 1 & 2 Kings, 1 & 2 Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther, Job (Vol. 4, p. 46). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[17] Patterson, R. D., & Austel, H. J. (1988). 1, 2 Kings. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: 1 & 2 Kings, 1 & 2 Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther, Job (Vol. 4, p. 50). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[18] Patterson, R. D., & Austel, H. J. (1988). 1, 2 Kings. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: 1 & 2 Kings, 1 & 2 Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther, Job (Vol. 4, p. 50). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[19] Patterson, R. D., & Austel, H. J. (1988). 1, 2 Kings. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: 1 & 2 Kings, 1 & 2 Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther, Job (Vol. 4, p. 50). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[20] Patterson, R. D., & Austel, H. J. (1988). 1, 2 Kings. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: 1 & 2 Kings, 1 & 2 Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther, Job (Vol. 4, p. 50). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[21] Patterson, R. D., & Austel, H. J. (1988). 1, 2 Kings. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: 1 & 2 Kings, 1 & 2 Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther, Job (Vol. 4, p. 51). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[22] Patterson, R. D., & Austel, H. J. (1988). 1, 2 Kings. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: 1 & 2 Kings, 1 & 2 Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther, Job (Vol. 4, p. 51). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[23] Patterson, R. D., & Austel, H. J. (1988). 1, 2 Kings. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: 1 & 2 Kings, 1 & 2 Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther, Job (Vol. 4, p. 53). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[24] Patterson, R. D., & Austel, H. J. (1988). 1, 2 Kings. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: 1 & 2 Kings, 1 & 2 Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther, Job (Vol. 4, p. 54). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[25] Patterson, R. D., & Austel, H. J. (1988). 1, 2 Kings. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: 1 & 2 Kings, 1 & 2 Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther, Job (Vol. 4, p. 54). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[26] Patterson, R. D., & Austel, H. J. (1988). 1, 2 Kings. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: 1 & 2 Kings, 1 & 2 Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther, Job (Vol. 4, p. 55). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[27] Patterson, R. D., & Austel, H. J. (1988). 1, 2 Kings. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: 1 & 2 Kings, 1 & 2 Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther, Job (Vol. 4, p. 57). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[28] Patterson, R. D., & Austel, H. J. (1988). 1, 2 Kings. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: 1 & 2 Kings, 1 & 2 Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther, Job (Vol. 4, p. 58). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[29] Patterson, R. D., & Austel, H. J. (1988). 1, 2 Kings. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: 1 & 2 Kings, 1 & 2 Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther, Job (Vol. 4, p. 59). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[30] Patterson, R. D., & Austel, H. J. (1988). 1, 2 Kings. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: 1 & 2 Kings, 1 & 2 Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther, Job (Vol. 4, p. 63). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[31] Patterson, R. D., & Austel, H. J. (1988). 1, 2 Kings. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: 1 & 2 Kings, 1 & 2 Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther, Job (Vol. 4, p. 64). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[32] Patterson, R. D., & Austel, H. J. (1988). 1, 2 Kings. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: 1 & 2 Kings, 1 & 2 Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther, Job (Vol. 4, p. 64). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[33] Patterson, R. D., & Austel, H. J. (1988). 1, 2 Kings. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: 1 & 2 Kings, 1 & 2 Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther, Job (Vol. 4, p. 67). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[34] Patterson, R. D., & Austel, H. J. (1988). 1, 2 Kings. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: 1 & 2 Kings, 1 & 2 Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther, Job (Vol. 4, p. 69). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[35] Patterson, R. D., & Austel, H. J. (1988). 1, 2 Kings. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: 1 & 2 Kings, 1 & 2 Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther, Job (Vol. 4, p. 71). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[36] Patterson, R. D., & Austel, H. J. (1988). 1, 2 Kings. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: 1 & 2 Kings, 1 & 2 Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther, Job (Vol. 4, p. 72). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[37] Patterson, R. D., & Austel, H. J. (1988). 1, 2 Kings. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: 1 & 2 Kings, 1 & 2 Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther, Job (Vol. 4, p. 76). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[38] Patterson, R. D., & Austel, H. J. (1988). 1, 2 Kings. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: 1 & 2 Kings, 1 & 2 Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther, Job (Vol. 4, p. 81). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[39] Patterson, R. D., & Austel, H. J. (1988). 1, 2 Kings. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: 1 & 2 Kings, 1 & 2 Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther, Job (Vol. 4, p. 85). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[40] Patterson, R. D., & Austel, H. J. (1988). 1, 2 Kings. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: 1 & 2 Kings, 1 & 2 Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther, Job (Vol. 4, p. 88). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[41] Patterson, R. D., & Austel, H. J. (1988). 1, 2 Kings. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: 1 & 2 Kings, 1 & 2 Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther, Job (Vol. 4, p. 94). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[42] Patterson, R. D., & Austel, H. J. (1988). 1, 2 Kings. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: 1 & 2 Kings, 1 & 2 Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther, Job (Vol. 4, p. 96). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[43] Patterson, R. D., & Austel, H. J. (1988). 1, 2 Kings. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: 1 & 2 Kings, 1 & 2 Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther, Job (Vol. 4, p. 99). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[44] Patterson, R. D., & Austel, H. J. (1988). 1, 2 Kings. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: 1 & 2 Kings, 1 & 2 Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther, Job (Vol. 4, p. 100). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[45] Patterson, R. D., & Austel, H. J. (1988). 1, 2 Kings. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: 1 & 2 Kings, 1 & 2 Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther, Job (Vol. 4, pp. 100–101). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[46] Patterson, R. D., & Austel, H. J. (1988). 1, 2 Kings. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: 1 & 2 Kings, 1 & 2 Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther, Job (Vol. 4, p. 101). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[47] Patterson, R. D., & Austel, H. J. (1988). 1, 2 Kings. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: 1 & 2 Kings, 1 & 2 Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther, Job (Vol. 4, p. 101). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[48] Patterson, R. D., & Austel, H. J. (1988). 1, 2 Kings. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: 1 & 2 Kings, 1 & 2 Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther, Job (Vol. 4, p. 103). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[49] Patterson, R. D., & Austel, H. J. (1988). 1, 2 Kings. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: 1 & 2 Kings, 1 & 2 Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther, Job (Vol. 4, p. 104). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[50] Patterson, R. D., & Austel, H. J. (1988). 1, 2 Kings. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: 1 & 2 Kings, 1 & 2 Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther, Job (Vol. 4, p. 107). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[51] Patterson, R. D., & Austel, H. J. (1988). 1, 2 Kings. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: 1 & 2 Kings, 1 & 2 Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther, Job (Vol. 4, p. 115). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[52] Patterson, R. D., & Austel, H. J. (1988). 1, 2 Kings. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: 1 & 2 Kings, 1 & 2 Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther, Job (Vol. 4, p. 118). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[53] Patterson, R. D., & Austel, H. J. (1988). 1, 2 Kings. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: 1 & 2 Kings, 1 & 2 Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther, Job (Vol. 4, pp. 118–119). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[54] Patterson, R. D., & Austel, H. J. (1988). 1, 2 Kings. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: 1 & 2 Kings, 1 & 2 Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther, Job (Vol. 4, p. 119). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[55] Patterson, R. D., & Austel, H. J. (1988). 1, 2 Kings. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: 1 & 2 Kings, 1 & 2 Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther, Job (Vol. 4, p. 124). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[56] Patterson, R. D., & Austel, H. J. (1988). 1, 2 Kings. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: 1 & 2 Kings, 1 & 2 Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther, Job (Vol. 4, p. 125). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[57] Patterson, R. D., & Austel, H. J. (1988). 1, 2 Kings. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: 1 & 2 Kings, 1 & 2 Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther, Job (Vol. 4, p. 129). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[58] Patterson, R. D., & Austel, H. J. (1988). 1, 2 Kings. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: 1 & 2 Kings, 1 & 2 Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther, Job (Vol. 4, p. 130). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[59] Patterson, R. D., & Austel, H. J. (1988). 1, 2 Kings. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: 1 & 2 Kings, 1 & 2 Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther, Job (Vol. 4, p. 132). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[60] Patterson, R. D., & Austel, H. J. (1988). 1, 2 Kings. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: 1 & 2 Kings, 1 & 2 Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther, Job (Vol. 4, p. 138). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[61] Patterson, R. D., & Austel, H. J. (1988). 1, 2 Kings. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: 1 & 2 Kings, 1 & 2 Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther, Job (Vol. 4, p. 146). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[62] Patterson, R. D., & Austel, H. J. (1988). 1, 2 Kings. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: 1 & 2 Kings, 1 & 2 Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther, Job (Vol. 4, p. 148). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[63] Patterson, R. D., & Austel, H. J. (1988). 1, 2 Kings. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: 1 & 2 Kings, 1 & 2 Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther, Job (Vol. 4, p. 148). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[64] Patterson, R. D., & Austel, H. J. (1988). 1, 2 Kings. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: 1 & 2 Kings, 1 & 2 Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther, Job (Vol. 4, p. 149). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[65] Patterson, R. D., & Austel, H. J. (1988). 1, 2 Kings. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: 1 & 2 Kings, 1 & 2 Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther, Job (Vol. 4, p. 150). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[66] Patterson, R. D., & Austel, H. J. (1988). 1, 2 Kings. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: 1 & 2 Kings, 1 & 2 Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther, Job (Vol. 4, p. 152). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[67] Patterson, R. D., & Austel, H. J. (1988). 1, 2 Kings. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: 1 & 2 Kings, 1 & 2 Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther, Job (Vol. 4, p. 152). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[68] Patterson, R. D., & Austel, H. J. (1988). 1, 2 Kings. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: 1 & 2 Kings, 1 & 2 Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther, Job (Vol. 4, p. 163). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[69] Patterson, R. D., & Austel, H. J. (1988). 1, 2 Kings. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: 1 & 2 Kings, 1 & 2 Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther, Job (Vol. 4, p. 164). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[70] Patterson, R. D., & Austel, H. J. (1988). 1, 2 Kings. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: 1 & 2 Kings, 1 & 2 Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther, Job (Vol. 4, p. 168). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[71] Patterson, R. D., & Austel, H. J. (1988). 1, 2 Kings. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: 1 & 2 Kings, 1 & 2 Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther, Job (Vol. 4, p. 174). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[72] Patterson, R. D., & Austel, H. J. (1988). 1, 2 Kings. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: 1 & 2 Kings, 1 & 2 Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther, Job (Vol. 4, p. 185). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[73] Patterson, R. D., & Austel, H. J. (1988). 1, 2 Kings. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: 1 & 2 Kings, 1 & 2 Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther, Job (Vol. 4, p. 187). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[74] Patterson, R. D., & Austel, H. J. (1988). 1, 2 Kings. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: 1 & 2 Kings, 1 & 2 Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther, Job (Vol. 4, p. 187). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[75] Patterson, R. D., & Austel, H. J. (1988). 1, 2 Kings. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: 1 & 2 Kings, 1 & 2 Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther, Job (Vol. 4, p. 189). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[76] Dilday, Russell H., and Lloyd John. Ogilvie. 1, 2 Kings. Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, 1987. In location.

[77] Patterson, R. D., & Austel, H. J. (1988). 1, 2 Kings. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: 1 & 2 Kings, 1 & 2 Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther, Job (Vol. 4, p. 190). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

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[79] Patterson, R. D., & Austel, H. J. (1988). 1, 2 Kings. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: 1 & 2 Kings, 1 & 2 Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther, Job (Vol. 4, p. 193). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[80] Patterson, R. D., & Austel, H. J. (1988). 1, 2 Kings. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: 1 & 2 Kings, 1 & 2 Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther, Job (Vol. 4, p. 197). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

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[82] Patterson, R. D., & Austel, H. J. (1988). 1, 2 Kings. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: 1 & 2 Kings, 1 & 2 Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther, Job (Vol. 4, p. 201). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

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[85] Patterson, R. D., & Austel, H. J. (1988). 1, 2 Kings. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: 1 & 2 Kings, 1 & 2 Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther, Job (Vol. 4, p. 212). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

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[104] Patterson, R. D., & Austel, H. J. (1988). 1, 2 Kings. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: 1 & 2 Kings, 1 & 2 Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther, Job (Vol. 4, p. 272). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

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[107] Patterson, R. D., & Austel, H. J. (1988). 1, 2 Kings. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: 1 & 2 Kings, 1 & 2 Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther, Job (Vol. 4, p. 282). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[108] Patterson, R. D., & Austel, H. J. (1988). 1, 2 Kings. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: 1 & 2 Kings, 1 & 2 Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther, Job (Vol. 4, p. 281). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[109] Patterson, R. D., & Austel, H. J. (1988). 1, 2 Kings. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: 1 & 2 Kings, 1 & 2 Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther, Job (Vol. 4, p. 284). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[110] Patterson, R. D., & Austel, H. J. (1988). 1, 2 Kings. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: 1 & 2 Kings, 1 & 2 Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther, Job (Vol. 4, p. 286). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[111] Patterson, R. D., & Austel, H. J. (1988). 1, 2 Kings. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: 1 & 2 Kings, 1 & 2 Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther, Job (Vol. 4, p. 291). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

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