(Here is the first of a few personal comments and questions from my Wednesday night Bible study — working through 2 Kings right now — let me know what you think)
13:1 – Jehoahaz – the son of Jehu. He reigned for 17 years (814-798 BC) as the king of Israel and did evil in the LORD’s sight (13:2). His father, Jehu, had been promised by the prophet Elisha that final judgment would not fall on his family for four generations (2 Ki.10:30; see also Deut.6:10-12). However, because of idolatry Israel was defeated by the Aramaens and Israel’s army reduced to 50 charioteers, 10 chariots and 10,000 foot soldiers (2 Ki.13:6-7).
13:3-4 – Judgment brings blessing? What was the purpose of the chastisement that Israel suffered at the hands of the Aramaens?
13:4 – Who might this unnamed “deliverer” be? Paul House (NAC 308 – he also mentions Hobbs and Gray as holding this position) and Gus Konkel (NIVAC 525) propose this “deliverer” was Elisha. The reasons given are that Elisha is named in the immediate context in language reminiscent of the “new” Moses (Deut.26:5-9) who would be another “deliverer” for Israel; further he is called the “chariots and horses of Israel” (2 Ki.13:14); finally, Elisha is portrayed in Kings as being a deliverer of Israel (2 Ki.3; 6:8-23).
13:6 – “…but they continued to sin…” – What were their sins? The religion of Jeroboam and the Asherah pole (see Amos 4:6-12).
13:10 – Jehoash – the son of Jehoahaz. He reigned for 16 years (798-782 BC) as king of Israel and did evil in the LORD’s sight (13:11). He defeated and captured king Amaziah of Judah and conquered Jerusalem: looting the treasuries of the Temple and palace, and carrying away many of the inhabitants into exile in Samaria (2 Ki.13:11-14). He also made an alliance with Assyria in order to try to oppose Aram.
13:23 – What do “grace” and “compassion” have to do with the LORD’s
“covenant” with Israel?
14:1-4 – Amaziah – son of Joash. He reigned for 29 years (796-767 BC) as the king of Judah and did what was pleasing in the LORD’s sight, but not like David and “not wholeheartedly” (2 Ki.14:4; 2 Chron.25:2). Though he received mention as fulfilling the Law of retribution in accordance with judging only those who sin (see Deut.24:16). However, he did not destroy the “high places” (Deut.16:1-8; 16:21-22), while he maintained the worship of the LORD at Jerusalem. In a campaign against Edom, he initially hired mercenaries from Israel, but by a message from one of the prophets concerning failure if the Israelites were with them, he summarily dismissed them (2 Chron.25:6-10). The dismissed Israelites then raided border towns of Judah which led to Amaziah’s challenge to Israel on the battlefield (2 Chron.25:20). This was the doing of the LORD because after Amaziah’s victory over Edom (10,000 were killed) he took Edom’s idols and established worship of them, therefore the LORD determined to judge him (2 Chron.25:20). He lost the battle against Israel and was utterly defeated at the hands of Jehoash king of Israel. Amaziah was captured, Jerusalem’s northern wall was torn down, and the city was plundered of both wealth and people (2 Ki.14:11-14; 2 Chron.25:22-24). King Amaziah lived another 15 years after the death of Jehoash king of Israel, but he never regained the confidence of his people and eventually was forced to flee to Lachish where he was hunted down and assassinated (2 Ki.14:17-19; 2 Chron.25:25-27).
14:8 – Why did Amaziah king of Judah challenge Jehoash king of Israel to
battle? (see 2 Chron.25:7-13)
14:11-14 – Why was Judah defeated? (see 2 Chron.25:20) Sin may have led to the defeat, but what is the aim of the LORD in bringing about the defeat?