God may for a time suffer wickedness to prosper that it may of itself carry away the wealth and honors that might have been kept if God had been recognized.
One wicked man is made the scourge of another and every wicked man sooner or later ruins himself.
II Kings 1
1 In the twenty and seventh year of Jeroboam king of Israel began Azariah son of Amaziah king of Judah to reign.
2 Sixteen years old was he when he began to reign, and he reigned two and fifty years in Jerusalem. And his mother’s name was Jecholiah of Jerusalem.
3 And he did that which was right in the sight of the LORD, according to all that his father Amaziah had done;
4 Save that the high places were not removed: the people sacrificed and burnt incense still on the high places.
5 ¶ And the LORD smote the king, so that he was a leper unto the day of his death, and dwelt in a several house. And Jotham the king’s son was over the house, judging the people of the land.
6 And the rest of the acts of Azariah, and all that he did, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah?
7 So Azariah slept with his fathers; and they buried him with his fathers in the city of David: and Jotham his son reigned in his stead.
8 ¶ In the thirty and eighth year of Azariah king of Judah did Zachariah the son of Jeroboam reign over Israel in Samaria six months.
9 And he did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD, as his fathers had done: he departed not from the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who made Israel to sin.
10 And Shallum the son of Jabesh conspired against him, and smote him before the people, and slew him, and reigned in his stead.
11 And the rest of the acts of Zachariah, behold, they are written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel.
12 This was the word of the LORD which he spake unto Jehu, saying, Thy sons shall sit on the throne of Israel unto the fourth generation. And so it came to pass.
13 ¶ Shallum the son of Jabesh began to reign in the nine and thirtieth year of Uzziah king of Judah; and he reigned a full month in Samaria.
14 For Menahem the son of Gadi went up from Tirzah, and came to Samaria, and smote Shallum the son of Jabesh in Samaria, and slew him, and reigned in his stead.
15 And the rest of the acts of Shallum, and his conspiracy which he made, behold, they are written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel.
16 ¶ Then Menahem smote Tiphsah, and all that were therein, and the coasts thereof from Tirzah: because they opened not to him, therefore he smote it; and all the women therein that were with child he ripped up.
17 In the nine and thirtieth year of Azariah king of Judah began Menahem the son of Gadi to reign over Israel, and reigned ten years in Samaria.
18 And he did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD: he departed not all his days from the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who made Israel to sin.
19 And Pul the king of Assyria came against the land: and Menahem gave Pul a thousand talents of silver, that his hand might be with him to confirm the kingdom in his hand.
20 And Menahem exacted the money of Israel, even of all the mighty men of wealth, of each man fifty shekels of silver, to give to the king of Assyria. So the king of Assyria turned back, and stayed not there in the land.
21 ¶ And the rest of the acts of Menahem, and all that he did, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel?
22 And Menahem slept with his fathers; and Pekahiah his son reigned in his stead.
23 ¶ In the fiftieth year of Azariah king of Judah Pekahiah the son of Menahem began to reign over Israel in Samaria, and reigned two years.
24 And he did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD: he departed not from the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who made Israel to sin.
25 But Pekah the son of Remaliah, a captain of his, conspired against him, and smote him in Samaria, in the palace of the king’s house, with Argob and Arieh, and with him fifty men of the Gileadites: and he killed him, and reigned in his room.
26 And the rest of the acts of Pekahiah, and all that he did, behold, they are written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel.
27 ¶ In the two and fiftieth year of Azariah king of Judah Pekah the son of Remaliah began to reign over Israel in Samaria, and reigned twenty years.
28 And he did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD: he departed not from the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who made Israel to sin.
29 In the days of Pekah king of Israel came Tiglath-pileser king of Assyria, and took Ijon, and Abel-beth-maachah, and Janoah, and Kedesh, and Hazor, and Gilead, and Galilee, all the land of Naphtali, and carried them captive to Assyria.
30 And Hoshea the son of Elah made a conspiracy against Pekah the son of Remaliah, and smote him, and slew him, and reigned in his stead, in the twentieth year of Jotham the son of Uzziah.
31 And the rest of the acts of Pekah, and all that he did, behold, they are written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel.
32 ¶ In the second year of Pekah the son of Remaliah king of Israel began Jotham the son of Uzziah king of Judah to reign.
33 Five and twenty years old was he when he began to reign, and he reigned sixteen years in Jerusalem. And his mother’s name was Jerusha, the daughter of Zadok.
34 And he did that which was right in the sight of the LORD: he did according to all that his father Uzziah had done.
35 ¶ Howbeit the high places were not removed: the people sacrificed and burned incense still in the high places. He built the higher gate of the house of the LORD.
36 ¶ Now the rest of the acts of Jotham, and all that he did, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah?
37 In those days the LORD began to send against Judah Rezin the king of Syria, and Pekah the son of Remaliah.
38 And Jotham slept with his fathers, and was buried with his fathers in the city of David his father: and Ahaz his son reigned in his stead.
II Kings 1 – J. Vernon McGee
2 Kings 15:1-12 – ”A Leper unto the Day of His Death.”
The reign of Azariah, or Uzziah, in Judah was very splendid. Fifty-two years of almost unbroken prosperity! The story is told in the glowing periods of 2 Chronicles 26. Here, too, we learn that his sun suffered an eclipse because he persisted in the sacrilegious endeavor to combine the office of king and priest, – the exclusive prerogative of Messiah (Zechariah 6:13). As a leper he was excluded from all contact with his fellows, and dwelt in a separate house, while his son Jotham acted as his viceroy.
For more than 30 years preceding its dissolution, the Northern Kingdom was terribly distracted. Anarchy, idolatry, high-handed crime, and immorality of a flagrant description swept like a hurricane over all classes. Rent by these evils, and with no strong men like Hezekiah and Isaiah then in Judah to place their hands on the helm, the kingdom drifted to destruction. The sacred books give but brief and disjointed accounts of the last times of the kingdom of Israel, because God had no pleasure in the process of decay. He has no pleasure in the death of individuals or in the nation that dieth, but rather that they should turn unto him and live (Ezekiel 18:32).
2 Kings 15: 9, 18, 24, 28 – The sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who made Israel to sin.
This chapter anticipates the final overthrow of the kingdom of the tribes. It describes the corruption and disorganization of the people which made them the easy prey of Assyria. One puppet-king after another was set upon the throne to fall after a brief space of rule, and four times over it is said that they followed in the steps of Jeroboam, ‘‘who made Israel to sin.” The seed sown two hundred years before had at last come to maturity, issuing in the ruin of the nation. What a comment on the inspired words, “Sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death” (James 1:15).
Twelve times in the story of the kingdom of Israel, we are told that Jeroboam, the son of Nebat, made Israel to sin. The institution of the calves on his part seemed to be a piece of political wisdom, but it was an infraction of the Divine law; and what is morally wrong can never be politically right. The house cannot stand unless the foundation can bear the test of the Divine plummet. The kingdom of Israel fell, to prove to all after-time that the disregard of God’s law is a foundation of sand, which can never resist the test of time.
Why is Jeroboam so frequently called “the son of Nebat”? Why should the father be forever pilloried with the son, except that he was in some way responsible for, and implicated in, his sins? There was a time when perhaps Nebat might have restrained the growing boy, or led him to the true worship of God; or perhaps his parental influence and example were deadly in their effect. How important that parents should leave no stone unturned to promote the godliness of their children, bringing them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.
2 Kings 15:13-22 – Buying Temporary Relief.
The usurping murderer Shallum enjoyed but a very brief reign, occupying the throne for one month only, and then being slain by Menahem, who, according to Josephus, was commander of his forces. Menahem carried his arms as far as Tiphsah, which apparently resisted this red-handed assassin. The ruthless cruelty which he showed toward the hapless citizens attracted the notice of the Assyrian monarch, and led ultimately to that invasion of Israel which terminated in its destruction. God has ever sat as Judge over the nations. His judgments and sentences are exact. With what measure we mete, it shall be measured to us again.
Menahem obtained a temporary respite by the gift of 1000 talents, which secured the alliance of the king of Assyria, turning him from an avenger into a patron (Hosea 5:13). This was the confederacy to which Isaiah probably refers in his 8th chapter, when he alludes to a confederacy that seemed to bode no good. But on the bosom of this cloud of menace shone, as always, the rainbow of promise which is implied in the name “Immanuel.”
2 Kings 15:23-38 – Usurpers and Invaders.
The dissolution of Israel proceeded rapidly, for nothing could avert the steady advance of the Assyrian. According to the usual policy of Eastern conquerors, the flower of the nation was sent beyond the Euphrates to people the thinly inhabited portions of the Assyrian empire; and when this process was completed, new settlers were brought from Assyria to occupy the depopulated land (17:24). The cuneiform inscriptions discovered at Nineveh contain remarkable corroborations of the Bible records. This was the first captivity, or exile, of Israel.
The 10 tribes never returned to Palestine to any appreciable degree; but their terrible discipline became the enriching of the world. They planted synagogues on foreign soil, and disseminated in many lands the knowledge of Jehovah and their Scriptures. They were represented at Jerusalem by their descendants on the day of Pentecost; and the Apostle John counted their myriads among the redeemed (Revelation 7).