2 Kings 15-16: More Bad Kings and Good Kings in Israel and Judah

Let’s recap! We just covered what 3 prophets had to say to the kingdoms of Assyria, Israel, as well as the other surrounding nations. They were God’s spokespersons. Jonah, Hosea and Amos were just the first 3 of a whole line-up of prophets that God sent to the people of Israel — the northern kingdom, then Judah — the southern kingdom. Basically, their message from God to them was…

Stop worshiping the useless, pagan idols and gods, repent and come back to Me!

All they had to do to be blessed instead of punished was to listen and obey the law. Follow the One True God and stop worshiping idols! We’ll soon see exactly what happened — what God’s wrath looks like. Today, we’ll go back to 2 Kings to meet some more good kings and bad kings and learn about the first of the Assyrian raids. Let’s dig in…

2 Kings 15

Uzziah Rules in Judah

Uzziah son of Amaziah began to rule over Judah in the twenty-seventh year of the reign of King Jeroboam II of Israel. He was sixteen years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem fifty-two years. His mother was Jecoliah from Jerusalem.

He did what was pleasing in the Lord’s sight, just as his father, Amaziah, had done. But he did not destroy the pagan shrines, and the people still offered sacrifices and burned incense there. The Lord struck the king with leprosy, which lasted until the day he died. He lived in isolation in a separate house. The king’s son Jotham was put in charge of the royal palace, and he governed the people of the land.

The rest of the events in Uzziah’s reign and everything he did are recorded in The Book of the History of the Kings of Judah. When Uzziah died, he was buried with his ancestors in the City of David. And his son Jotham became the next king.

Zechariah Rules in Israel

Zechariah son of Jeroboam II began to rule over Israel in the thirty-eighth year of King Uzziah’s reign in Judah. He reigned in Samaria six months. Zechariah did what was evil in the Lord’s sight, as his ancestors had done. He refused to turn from the sins that Jeroboam son of Nebat had led Israel to commit. 10 Then Shallum son of Jabesh conspired against Zechariah, assassinated him in public, and became the next king.

11 The rest of the events in Zechariah’s reign are recorded in The Book of the History of the Kings of Israel. 12 So the Lord’s message to Jehu came true: “Your descendants will be kings of Israel down to the fourth generation.”

Shallum Rules in Israel

13 Shallum son of Jabesh began to rule over Israel in the thirty-ninth year of King Uzziah’s reign in Judah. Shallum reigned in Samaria only one month. 14 Then Menahem son of Gadi went to Samaria from Tirzah and assassinated him, and he became the next king.

15 The rest of the events in Shallum’s reign, including his conspiracy, are recorded in The Book of the History of the Kings of Israel.

Menahem Rules in Israel

16 At that time Menahem destroyed the town of Tappuah and all the surrounding countryside as far as Tirzah, because its citizens refused to surrender the town. He killed the entire population and ripped open the pregnant women.

17 Menahem son of Gadi began to rule over Israel in the thirty-ninth year of King Uzziah’s reign in Judah. He reigned in Samaria ten years. 18 But Menahem did what was evil in the Lord’s sight. During his entire reign, he refused to turn from the sins that Jeroboam son of Nebat had led Israel to commit.

19 Then King Tiglath-pileser of Assyria invaded the land. But Menahem paid him thirty-seven tons of silver to gain his support in tightening his grip on royal power. 20 Menahem extorted the money from the rich of Israel, demanding that each of them pay fifty pieces of silver to the king of Assyria. So the king of Assyria turned from attacking Israel and did not stay in the land.

21 The rest of the events in Menahem’s reign and everything he did are recorded in The Book of the History of the Kings of Israel. 22 When Menahem died, his son Pekahiah became the next king.

Pekahiah Rules in Israel

23 Pekahiah son of Menahem began to rule over Israel in the fiftieth year of King Uzziah’s reign in Judah. He reigned in Samaria two years. 24 But Pekahiah did what was evil in the Lord’s sight. He refused to turn from the sins that Jeroboam son of Nebat had led Israel to commit.

25 Then Pekah son of Remaliah, the commander of Pekahiah’s army, conspired against him. With fifty men from Gilead, Pekah assassinated the king, along with Argob and Arieh, in the citadel of the palace at Samaria. And Pekah reigned in his place.

26 The rest of the events in Pekahiah’s reign and everything he did are recorded in The Book of the History of the Kings of Israel.

Pekah Rules in Israel

27 Pekah son of Remaliah began to rule over Israel in the fifty-second year of King Uzziah’s reign in Judah. He reigned in Samaria twenty years. 28 But Pekah did what was evil in the Lord’s sight. He refused to turn from the sins that Jeroboam son of Nebat had led Israel to commit.

29 During Pekah’s reign, King Tiglath-pileser of Assyria attacked Israel again, and he captured the towns of Ijon, Abel-beth-maacah, Janoah, Kedesh, and Hazor. He also conquered the regions of Gilead, Galilee, and all of Naphtali, and he took the people to Assyria as captives. 30 Then Hoshea son of Elah conspired against Pekah and assassinated him. He began to rule over Israel in the twentieth year of Jotham son of Uzziah.

31 The rest of the events in Pekah’s reign and everything he did are recorded in The Book of the History of the Kings of Israel.

Jotham Rules in Judah

32 Jotham son of Uzziah began to rule over Judah in the second year of King Pekah’s reign in Israel. 33 He was twenty-five years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem sixteen years. His mother was Jerusha, the daughter of Zadok.

34 Jotham did what was pleasing in the Lord’s sight. He did everything his father, Uzziah, had done. 35 But he did not destroy the pagan shrines, and the people still offered sacrifices and burned incense there. He rebuilt the upper gate of the Temple of the Lord.

36 The rest of the events in Jotham’s reign and everything he did are recorded in The Book of the History of the Kings of Judah. 37 In those days the Lord began to send King Rezin of Aram and King Pekah of Israel to attack Judah. 38 When Jotham died, he was buried with his ancestors in the City of David. And his son Ahaz became the next king.

2 Kings 15 NLT

2 Kings 16 – Ahaz Rules in Judah

Ahaz son of Jotham began to rule over Judah in the seventeenth year of King Pekah’s reign in Israel. Ahaz was twenty years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem sixteen years. He did not do what was pleasing in the sight of the Lord his God, as his ancestor David had done. Instead, he followed the example of the kings of Israel, even sacrificing his own son in the fire. In this way, he followed the detestable practices of the pagan nations the Lord had driven from the land ahead of the Israelites. He offered sacrifices and burned incense at the pagan shrines and on the hills and under every green tree.

Then King Rezin of Aram and King Pekah of Israel came up to attack Jerusalem. They besieged Ahaz but could not conquer him. At that time the king of Edom recovered the town of Elath for Edom. He drove out the people of Judah and sent Edomites to live there, as they do to this day.

King Ahaz sent messengers to King Tiglath-pileser of Assyria with this message: “I am your servant and your vassal. Come up and rescue me from the attacking armies of Aram and Israel.” Then Ahaz took the silver and gold from the Temple of the Lord and the palace treasury and sent it as a payment to the Assyrian king. So the king of Assyria attacked the Aramean capital of Damascus and led its population away as captives, resettling them in Kir. He also killed King Rezin.

10 King Ahaz then went to Damascus to meet with King Tiglath-pileser of Assyria. While he was there, he took special note of the altar. Then he sent a model of the altar to Uriah the priest, along with its design in full detail. 11 Uriah followed the king’s instructions and built an altar just like it, and it was ready before the king returned from Damascus. 12 When the king returned, he inspected the altar and made offerings on it. 13 He presented a burnt offering and a grain offering, he poured out a liquid offering, and he sprinkled the blood of peace offerings on the altar.

14 Then King Ahaz removed the old bronze altar from its place in front of the Lord’s Temple, between the entrance and the new altar, and placed it on the north side of the new altar. 15 He told Uriah the priest, “Use the new altar for the morning sacrifices of burnt offering, the evening grain offering, the king’s burnt offering and grain offering, and the burnt offerings of all the people, as well as their grain offerings and liquid offerings. Sprinkle the blood from all the burnt offerings and sacrifices on the new altar. The bronze altar will be for my personal use only.” 16 Uriah the priest did just as King Ahaz commanded him.

17 Then the king removed the side panels and basins from the portable water carts. He also removed the great bronze basin called the Sea from the backs of the bronze oxen and placed it on the stone pavement. 18 In deference to the king of Assyria, he also removed the canopy that had been constructed inside the palace for use on the Sabbath day, as well as the king’s outer entrance to the Temple of the Lord.

19 The rest of the events in Ahaz’s reign and everything he did are recorded in The Book of the History of the Kings of Judah. 20 When Ahaz died, he was buried with his ancestors in the City of David. Then his son Hezekiah became the next king.

Points to Ponder

Check out the chart at the bottom for clarification as to which king ruled when and where.

  • The sin of Jeroboam, son of Nebat is mentioned 19 times throughout 1 and 2 Kings. He built these golden calves — one in Bethel and one in Dan — so that the people of the northern kingdom wouldn’t go to the Jerusalem, in the southern kingdom of Judah, to worship like they were supposed to. These “idols” were supposed to be “representations” of God. However, they violated the 2nd commandment about not creating any graven images. These idols ultimately became new gods. It was a compromise that became the next generation’s idolatry. That happens today. Where are you compromising that your kids may take it on and make it worse. I remember when I started smoking in college. My dad had a fit. He’d been smoking since he was 14 and couldn’t kick the habit. He had a bunch of excuses for not quitting. He kept smoking until the day he died of a massive heart attack at 69. I stopped smoking because my asthma prevented me from breathing. Which, by the way, I got from breathing his 2nd-hand smoke growing up. Breathing is a good thing. Smoking is not. Just like you become a slave to an addiction like smoking, alcohol, drugs, etc., you become a slave to religion.
  • Back then, it was a pagan custom or tradition to build an altar or shrine on hills or “high places” thinking they were getting closer to the gods. That stems all the way back to the Tower of Babel in Genesis 11. They were supposed to only worship the One True God in the Temple in Jerusalem — the one the Solomon built. When we become born again, we become temples of the Holy Spirit, whom Jesus sent to be with us while He’s in Heaven preparing a place for His believers.
  • The Kingdom of Judah was doing OK — not perfect, as even the “good” kings didn’t stop the people from worshiping the other gods in the hills. Then came Ahaz, son of Jotham. He was horrible!
    • Hebrews were supposed to dedicated their first born son to God. Dedicate, not sacrifice! King Ahaz sacrificed his son to the false and non-existing gods! Sick, right? So is abortion. That’s the sacrificing (murder) of a child for the pagan worship of career, selfishness, vanity and pride.
    • Ahaz enslaved his own people.
    • Then he steals from the temple treasury to pay off the Assyrians instead of trusting God to protect them from their enemies.
    • Finally, he desecrated the temple that Solomon built to God’s specifications, creating an altar for “his own use”. What? Did he think he was also a priest? Kings were never to be priests. Only Jesus gets to be King Jesus and our High Priest!
  • When he pays off the king of Assyria, it was like partnering with a terrorist group to “help” get your people and military out of their country. 🤔

What or Whom are YOUR Idols?

Whatever or whomever they are — THEY CAN’T SAVE YOU! Only JESUS CAN!

If you’re not sure if you’re saved or not, if you truly want to be born again and have the assurance of salvation, receive the Holy Spirit, and get a 1-way, non-stop ticket to Heaven after you die, or that you won’t be left behind at the Rapture, this is what you have to do…

Believe. Repent. Be Baptized. Receive the Holy Spirit.

  • Believe — have Faith — that Jesus is the Christ and He died taking your sins away forever and that He rose from the dead 3 days later.
  • Repent of your sins — stop sinning! Do a complete 180 in your life and surrender your life to Him.
  • Be Baptized — show the world and yourself that you have died to your old life and are born again in Christ.
  • Receive the Holy Spirit in your heart.

Invite Jesus into Your Heart and Receive the Gift and Confident Hope of Eternal Life…

You are God Alone


Chart of the Kings of Israel and Judah

Chart of the kings of Israel and Judah and the prophets

We’ll be going through one more chapter in 2 Kings, then we’ll jump to the prophets Isaiah and Micah as they predicted the Assyrian Judgement.

Top image by Sweet Publishing from FreeBibleImages.org, (CC BY-SA 3.0)


Soli Deo Gloria! To God Alone Be the Glory!

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