2Kings 10-12

Sunday Evening Bible Study

August 11, 2002

Introduction

When the northern kingdom of Israel split away from the southern kingdom of Judah, things began to go downhill for the northern kingdom. They reached one of the lowest points during the reign of King Ahab and Queen Jezebel. These two introduced the nation to the worship of Baal. They were murderers and cheats.  When Ahab had wanted a piece of land that belonged to his neighbor and the neighbor refused to sell it, Ahab got all depressed. His wife Jezebel then took over the problem and had the neighbor accused of blasphemy and treason and then put to death. Through all this, God waited patiently until He could wait no longer. Ahab was dead, but his family was still causing trouble.  The time for judgment had come, and it would come through a general of Ahab’s army named Jehu. Jehu was anointed to become king in place of the family of Ahab and he started by killing the son of Ahab, Joram.

2Kings 10

:1-11 Jehu wipes out Ahab’s sons

:1 And Ahab had seventy sons in Samaria … Jezreel

Samaria – this is the actual capital of the northern kingdom.  see map

Jezreel – this is where Jehu is. It’s the location of the “winter palace” for Ahab.  This is where Jezebel had been, and where Jehu had killed king Joram and king Ahaziah.  see map

So far, Jehu has killed Joram and Ahaziah, only two descendants of Ahab.  But remember what God’s charge was to Jehu:

(2 Ki 9:7-8 NLT)  You are to destroy the family of Ahab, your master. In this way, I will avenge the murder of my prophets and all the Lord's servants who were killed by Jezebel. {8} The entire family of Ahab must be wiped out--every male, slave and free alike, in Israel.

seventy sons – Even though we often focus on the fact that Ahab was married to Jezebel, the daughter of Ethbaal king of the Sidonians, I’d say it was safe to say that in order to have seventy sons, he had more than one wife.  This term could also refer to grandsons and great grand sons.

:3 set him on his father's throne

Jehu hasn’t yet taken control of the capital of the northern kingdom.  He is challenging these overseers to put a son of Ahab on the throne and challenge him.

At least he’s giving them a fighting chance.

:4 Behold, two kings stood not before him: how then shall we stand?

It is possible that Jehu isn’t just suggesting that a son tries to raise an army to defeat Jehu’s army, but that he’s actually posing a challenge, one-on-one.

If this is the scenario, I can see why no one would want to challenge Jehu, since he just killed two kings.

:5 the bringers up of the children

the bringers up ‘aman – to support, confirm, be faithful; to support, confirm, be faithful, uphold, nourish; foster-father (subst.); foster-mother, nurse

:6 take ye the heads of the men your master's sons

Without the benefit of a body, that is.

I guess Jehu was one of these guys who was trying to get ahead in life.  J

These men who have raised Ahab’s sons are to have the sons beheaded and bring the heads to Jehu.

:8  Lay ye them in two heaps at the entering in of the gate until the morning

This is where the people would be going in and out of the city, so everyone would see.

This was a very effective way utilized by people of this day to help show who was in control.

:9  behold, I conspired against my master, and slew him: but who slew all these?

Jehu admits his guilt of having killed Joram and Ahaziah.  But he reminds the people that he’s not the only one who has committed murder.  These leaders bear some responsibility as well.

:10-11 Know now that there shall fall unto the earth nothing of the word of the LORD

Jehu reminds the people that God had spoken about this.

Lesson

God’s Word is true

Illustration
Sidney Collet in All About the Bible, says, “Voltaire, the noted French infidel who died in 1778, said that in one hundred years from his time Christianity would be swept from existence and passed into history.  But what has happened?  Voltaire has passed into history; while the circulation of the Bible continues to increase in almost all parts of the world, carrying blessing wherever it goes.  For example the English Cathedral in Zanzibar is built on the site of the Old Slave Market, and the Communion Table stands on the very spot where the whipping-post once stood!  The world abounds with such instances … As one has truly said, “We might as well put our shoulder to the burning wheel of the sun, and try to stop it on its flaming course, as attempt to stop the circulation of the Bible.””
Illustration
H.L. Hastings wrote, “Infidels for eighteen hundred years have been refuting and overthrowing this book, and yet it stands today as solid as a rock.  Its circulation increases, and it is more loved and cherished and read today than ever before.  Infidels, with all their assaults, make about as much impression on this book as a man with a tack hammer would on the Pyramids of Egypt.  When the French monarch proposed the persecution of the Christians in his dominion, an old statesman and warrior said to him, “Sire, the Church of God is an anvil that has worn out many hammers.”  So the hammers of the infidels have been pecking away at this book for ages, but the hammers are worn out, and the anvil still endures.  If this book had not been the book of God, men would have destroyed it long ago.  Emperors and popes, kings and priests, princes and rulers have all tried their hand at it; they die and the book still lives.”

Lesson

Count on what will last

There were a lot of people who lost a lot of money because they trusted it all in their investments with the Enron Corporation.  Enron is pretty much gone.  So is their money.
It’s not just reading God’s Word, but living it.
(Mat 7:24-27 KJV)  Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: {25} And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. {26} And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: {27} And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.

:12-14 Ahaziah’s brothers killed

:12  the shearing house

Jehu is on his way to the capital, Samaria.  see map

On his way, he passes through the “shearing house” or, Beth Eked, the name of a small village.  see map

:13 We are the brethren of Ahaziah

brethren ‘ach – brother; half-brother (same father); relative, kinship, same tribe

It would seem that this is the wrong thing to be saying to Jehu at this time.

I’d say that these folks don’t know what has just happened in the northern kingdom.

:14 they took them alive, and slew them at the pit

These too were descendants of Ahab.  Ahab’s daughter Athaliah was married to Joram the king of Judah.  These are the children of that marriage, the grandsons of Ahab.

:15-17 Friends with a passion

:15 Jehonadab the son of Rechab

Jehonadab[email protected] – “Jehovah is willing”; chief of the Rechabites, in the time of Jehu and Ahab

RechabRekab – “rider”. These people are Kenites (1Chr. 2:55), descendants of Jethro, the father-in-law of Moses. They were a Bedouin-like people who lived in tents and moved from place to place.

Jehonadab seems to have been a pretty good guy. He seems to have had an impact on his family.

Jeremiah had an encounter with some of Jehonadab’s descendants 230 years after Jehu. Jeremiah is told by God to do a very strange thing and to gather up all of Jehonadab’s descendants and try and make them drink wine.

(Jer 35:6-11 KJV) But they said, We will drink no wine: for Jonadab the son of Rechab our father commanded us, saying, Ye shall drink no wine, neither ye, nor your sons for ever: {7} Neither shall ye build house, nor sow seed, nor plant vineyard, nor have any: but all your days ye shall dwell in tents; that ye may live many days in the land where ye be strangers.

It sounds like they were all a bunch of sober hippies.
Yet we too ought to learn to live a little more like strangers in the land. This world is not our home.

{8} Thus have we obeyed the voice of Jonadab the son of Rechab our father in all that he hath charged us, to drink no wine all our days, we, our wives, our sons, nor our daughters; {9} Nor to build houses for us to dwell in: neither have we vineyard, nor field, nor seed: {10} But we have dwelt in tents, and have obeyed, and done according to all that Jonadab our father commanded us. {11} But it came to pass, when Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon came up into the land, that we said, Come, and let us go to Jerusalem for fear of the army of the Chaldeans, and for fear of the army of the Syrians: so we dwell at Jerusalem.

The only reason these Rechabites are living in Jerusalem is because they are running from Nebuchadnezzar.
These descendants of Jehonadab will become a lesson for Jeremiah and the rest of the people of Judah. They will be a lesson of how people are to listen and do what is right. These people listened to their father and obeyed him. God wishes that the people of Judah would listen to Him.
As a result of their obedience, God promised these people:
(Jer 35:19 KJV) Therefore thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Jonadab the son of Rechab shall not want a man to stand before me for ever.

Lesson

Set the standard for your family

(Eph 6:4 KJV) And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.
Jehonadab was a man who set an example that his family followed for generations to come. He taught them what to do, and then lived it.
Illustration
IN MY FOOTSTEPS?
There was a lady physician who told a story about her four-year-old daughter. On the way to preschool, the doctor had left her stethoscope on the car seat, and her little girl picked it up and began playing with it. “Be still, my heart”, thought the doctor, “my daughter wants to follow in my footsteps!” Then the child spoke into the instrument. “Welcome to McDonald’s. May I take your order?”
Setting an example is supposed to be a daily thing, a way of life thing:
(Deu 6:4-9 KJV) Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD: {5} And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. {6} And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: {7} And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. {8} And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes. {9} And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates.
Parents – set the standard for your children. Give them an example that they can follow.
Illustration
In His Mother's Steps
Davida Dalton writes: It was a busy day in our Costa Mesa, California home. But then, with 10 children and one on the way, every day was a bit hectic. On this particular day, however, I was having trouble doing even routine chores-all because of one little boy. Len, who was three at the time, was on my heels no matter where I went. Whenever I stopped to do something and turned back around, I would trip over him. Several times, I patiently suggested fun activities to keep him occupied. “Wouldn’t you like to play on the swing set?” I asked again. But he simply smiled an innocent smile and said, “Oh, that’s all right, Mommy. I’d rather be in here with you.” Then he continued to bounce happily along behind me. After stepping on his toes for the fifth time, I began to lose my patience and insisted that he go outside and play with the other children. When I asked him why he was acting this way, he looked up at me with sweet green eves and said, “Well, Mommy, in preschool my teacher told me to walk in Jesus’ footsteps. But I can’t see him, so I’m walking in yours.”

:15 Is thine heart right, as my heart is with thy heart?

(NLT) "Are you as loyal to me as I am to you?" "Yes, I am,"

Lesson

Good friends

Throughout Scripture we see the tremendous value of having good friends.  As we look at this, ask yourself, “Who are my friends and how do I treat them?”  Think about your spouse.  If you need friends, this is a way to get them.
Jonathan and his armor bearer
(1 Sam 14:6-7 KJV) And Jonathan said to the young man that bare his armour, Come, and let us go over unto the garrison of these uncircumcised: it may be that the LORD will work for us: for there is no restraint to the LORD to save by many or by few. {7} And his armourbearer said unto him, Do all that is in thine heart: turn thee; behold, I am with thee according to thy heart.

Good friends support each other. Even if it’s a little risky.

David and Jonathan
David and Jonathan had become good friends. But there came a time when David was a risky person to hang around with. Jonathan’s dad, Saul, was jealous of David and wanted David dead.
(1 Sam 23:16-18 KJV) And Jonathan Saul's son arose, and went to David into the wood, and strengthened his hand in God. {17} And he said unto him, Fear not: for the hand of Saul my father shall not find thee; and thou shalt be king over Israel, and I shall be next unto thee; and that also Saul my father knoweth. {18} And they two made a covenant before the LORD: and David abode in the wood, and Jonathan went to his house.

Good friends encourage each other

Paul and Silas
Silas had been selected to be Paul’s new traveling companion on his next missionary trip. They made their way across Asia Minor and found themselves in Macedonian city Philippi. People were beginning to respond to the gospel. When Paul cast a demon out of a slave girl who told fortunes for her master, Paul and Silas found themselves in trouble.
(Acts 16:22-32 KJV) And the multitude rose up together against them: and the magistrates rent off their clothes, and commanded to beat them. {23} And when they had laid many stripes upon them, they cast them into prison, charging the jailor to keep them safely: {24} Who, having received such a charge, thrust them into the inner prison, and made their feet fast in the stocks. {25} And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them.

Good friends praise God together in hard times.

I think it’s funny how we keep Jesus out of the middle of some of our “Christian friendships”. Christian friends should pray together. They should seek God together. They should worship together.

{26} And suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken: and immediately all the doors were opened, and every one's bands were loosed. {27} And the keeper of the prison awaking out of his sleep, and seeing the prison doors open, he drew out his sword, and would have killed himself, supposing that the prisoners had been fled. {28} But Paul cried with a loud voice, saying, Do thyself no harm: for we are all here. {29} Then he called for a light, and sprang in, and came trembling, and fell down before Paul and Silas, {30} And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved? {31} And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house. {32} And they spake unto him the word of the Lord, and to all that were in his house.

Good friends serve God together.

Two are better than one.
(Eccl 4:9-12 KJV) Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour. {10} For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up.

We need friends who will help us when we fall. We need friends who will pick us up when we stumble.

{11} Again, if two lie together, then they have heat: but how can one be warm alone?

The coal miners that were trapped for three days in Pennsylvania kept each other warm by snuggling up close to each other.

{12} And if one prevail against him, two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken.

I like to think of Jesus being that “third cord”. The best friend is the one that makes sure that Jesus is in the middle of your relationship.

:16-17 Come with me, and see my zeal for the LORD.

zealqin’ah – ardour, zeal, jealousy. We might translate this “fire” or “passion”.

Apparently there were still some relatives of Ahab still alive when Jehu meets Jehonadab. Jehu is going to go on to kill all of them. He’s even going to wipe out Baal worship from the northern kingdom of Israel.

A few months ago (May 5, 2002) we talked about the danger of misplaced passion when we looked at the trouble that Saul had caused Israel by striking out and killing some of the Gibeonites (2Sam. 21:2), something that eventually lead to tragedy.

We talked then about how we need to be careful that our “passion” stays in line with God’s Word. We need to be sure that we are passionate about the things that God is passionate about.

Some people have criticized Jehu for his zeal. Certainly we’ll see that not everything was perfect in his heart (2Ki. 10:31).

There are some who say that he went way overboard with zeal in his slaughter of the house of Ahab. But God doesn’t seem to have thought this. In fact, God rewards Jehu for his zeal:

(2 Ki 10:30 KJV) And the LORD said unto Jehu, Because thou hast done well in executing that which is right in mine eyes, and hast done unto the house of Ahab according to all that was in mine heart, thy children of the fourth generation shall sit on the throne of Israel.

Lesson

Zeal Part One:  Find out what God wants you to do.

Jehu actually knew what God wanted him to do.
He didn’t go out and kill people because he was passionate. He knew what God wanted him to do.
He had been visited by a young prophet.

(2 Ki 9:6-10 NLT) So Jehu left the others and went into the house. Then the young prophet poured the oil over Jehu's head and said, "This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: I anoint you king over the Lord's people, Israel. {7} You are to destroy the family of Ahab, your master. In this way, I will avenge the murder of my prophets and all the Lord's servants who were killed by Jezebel. {8} The entire family of Ahab must be wiped out--every male, slave and free alike, in Israel. {9} I will destroy the family of Ahab as I destroyed the families of Jeroboam son of Nebat and of Baasha son of Ahijah. {10} Dogs will eat Ahab's wife, Jezebel, at the plot of land in Jezreel, and no one will bury her." Then the young prophet opened the door and ran.

When things began to unfold, Jehu remembered another word that had been given by Elijah:

(2 Ki 9:25-26 NLT) Jehu said to Bidkar, his officer, "Throw him into the field of Naboth of Jezreel. Do you remember when you and I were riding along behind his father, Ahab? The LORD pronounced this message against him: {26} 'I solemnly swear that I will repay him here on Naboth's property, says the LORD, for the murder of Naboth and his sons that I saw yesterday.' So throw him out on Naboth's field, just as the LORD said."

After Jezebel’s death, he remembered again:

(2 Ki 9:34-37 NLT) Then Jehu went into the palace and ate and drank. Afterward he said, "Someone go and bury this cursed woman, for she is the daughter of a king." {35} But when they went out to bury her, they found only her skull, her feet, and her hands. {36} When they returned and told Jehu, he stated, "This fulfills the message from the LORD, which he spoke through his servant Elijah from Tishbe: 'At the plot of land in Jezreel, dogs will eat Jezebel's flesh. {37} Her body will be scattered like dung on the field of Jezreel, so that no one will be able to recognize her.'"

Though God can speak to us through prophets, we already have TONS of things that God has already clearly spoken to us about in His Word, the Bible.
The priest Ezra had God’s hand on his life,

(Ezra 7:10 KJV) For Ezra had prepared his heart to seek the law of the LORD, and to do it, and to teach in Israel statutes and judgments.

Do you know what God wants you to do? If not, start by spending time reading God’s Word. Study it.

Lesson

Zeal Part Two:  Do it.

Jesus wants us to be passionate about doing what is right. Jesus said,
(Rev 3:19-20 KJV) As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. {20} Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.

When we realize that we are in a bad place, we ought to be “zealous” about how we turn around. We ought to be “passionate” about turning from our sin.

People ought to be able to “see” your zeal.
(Mat 5:14-16 KJV) Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. {15} Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. {16} Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

Is your zeal showing? Can anyone see your zeal?

:18-28 Jehu destroys Baal

:18  Ahab served Baal a little; but Jehu shall serve him much

I remember reading this passage a long time ago and stopping here for a moment, and getting really depressed.

I was starting to like Jehu, and now it turns out that he was just a totally bad apple all the time.

Lesson

Read the context!

It would be very easy to take this verse, and make a point about how evil Jehu was.
But it would be dead wrong, because it ignores the rest of the passage, which shows that he is just luring the Baal worshippers to their doom.
The first thing to do when you’re trying to understand a passage, is to read the entire passage!
Read what comes before it!
Read what comes after it!
That way, you’re much more likely to come to the correct understanding of the passage, and avoid errors.

:19 But Jehu did it in subtilty, to the intent that he might destroy the worshippers of Baal.

subtlety ‘oqbah – subtlety, insidiousness, craftiness

In other words, Jehu is setting a trap for the Baal worshippers.

:22 Bring forth vestments for all the worshippers of Baal

vestmentsmalbuwsh – clothing, apparel, vestments, raiment, attire

It may be that the priests wore special garments, but Jehu wants everyone to have the happy Baal costumes on.

Perhaps they made better targets that way.

I remember seeing a Far Side  cartoon where one deer has a mark on it that looks like a bull’s eye.  The other deer is saying to it, “Gosh, that’s a pretty tough birth mark you have”.

:23 look that there be here with you none of the servants of the LORD

Jehu doesn’t want any worshippers of Yahweh to get caught in this place.

:25  Go in, and slay them … to the city of the house of Baal.

city – NLT – “fortress”

Jehu has the Baal worshippers go as far as performing their sacrifices, and then he has them killed.  Perhaps he wanted to be sure that these were indeed Baal worshippers.

:26  And they brought forth the images out of the house of Baal

(2 Ki 10:26 NIV)  They brought the sacred stone out of the temple of Baal and burned it.

:27 made it a draught house unto this day.

draught housemowtsa’ah – origin, place of going out from; they made it a public toilet, a latrine

:28 Thus Jehu destroyed Baal out of Israel.

Ironically, Baal worship will still exist, but now it will exist in the southern kingdom, in the good kingdom of Judah of all places (due to Athaliah).

:29-31 Jehu’s sin

:29  from the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who made Israel to sin, Jehu departed not from after them

Here’s where Jehu blew it.

He’s done so well, and for some reason or another, he just can’t seem to finish the job.

Lesson

Don’t stop until you’re finished.

It’s good to obey the Lord.
But God desires that we grow towards complete obedience.
To the church at Sardis, Jesus said:
(Rev 3:1-3 KJV)  And unto the angel of the church in Sardis write; These things saith he that hath the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars; I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead. {2} Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die: for I have not found thy works perfect before God. {3} Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee.

The church at Sardis is known as the “dead” church.

They are the church that never went “far enough”.

They stopped short in all that God wanted them to do.

We need to realize that our relationship with God involves constant change.
We are constantly being changed and formed to be closer and closer like Jesus.
Don’t ever think you’ve arrived, or else you may be dead like Sardis.

:30  Because thou hast done well

Jehu is rewarded in what he has done.

His children to the fourth generation will rule over Israel. These were Jehoahaz, Jehoash (Joash), Jeroboam II, and Zechariah

Note: In all that Jehu did to Ahab and his house, he is commended by God.

:31  But Jehu took no heed to walk …with all his heart

God later pronounces another judgment as well, given during the time of one of Jehu's descendants.

(Hosea 1:4 KJV)  And the LORD said unto him, Call his name Jezreel; for yet a little while, and I will avenge the blood of Jezreel upon the house of Jehu, and will cause to cease the kingdom of the house of Israel.

It’s possible that this is referring to the fact that Jehu did not have a complete reform, but instead continued the worship of Jeroboam’s idols in Dan and Bethel.
The Targum says:  “for yet a little while I will avenge the blood of those that worship idols which Jehu shed in Jezreel, whom he slew because they served Baal; but they turned to err after the  calves which were in Bethel; therefore I will reckon that  innocent blood upon the house of Jehu:”

We’re told here that the reason was because of Jehu’s heart.

Lesson

Obedience comes from the heart.

God desires obedience to come from the heart:
(Deu 10:12-13 KJV)  And now, Israel, what doth the LORD thy God require of thee, but to fear the LORD thy God, to walk in all his ways, and to love him, and to serve the LORD thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul, {13} To keep the commandments of the LORD, and his statutes, which I command thee this day for thy good?
The key is not to look to your works to see if you are doing everything correctly, but to look at your heart.
True obedience to the Lord issues out of the heart.
If you get the heart right, the rest will follow.
Jesus said:

(John 14:15 KJV)  If ye love me, keep my commandments.

Paul wrote,

(2 Cor 5:11-14a NLT)  It is because we know this solemn fear of the Lord that we work so hard to persuade others. God knows we are sincere, and I hope you know this, too. {12} Are we trying to pat ourselves on the back again? No, we are giving you a reason to be proud of us, so you can answer those who brag about having a spectacular ministry rather than having a sincere heart before God. {13} If it seems that we are crazy, it is to bring glory to God. And if we are in our right minds, it is for your benefit. {14} Whatever we do, it is because Christ's love controls us…

We sing that song, “I will serve You, because I love You …”
If you’re having a hard time doing what’s right, look to your heart.  Let Jesus change your heart.  Fall in love all over again with Jesus.

:31 from the sins of Jeroboam, which made Israel to sin.

Jeroboam’s sin continues to affect the northern kingdom.

:32-36 Jehu’s death

:32   the LORD began to cut Israel short

God began to allow Israel’s outer limits to be cut back further and further.

God would use Hazael, the Syrian king, to do it.

This is a continued judgment on their sin.

There was also an attack on Jehu from the Assyrians as well:

Assyria under Shalmaneser III forced Jehu to bow before him and pay tribute. A bas relief on Shalmaneser’s so-called “Black Obelisk” shows Jehu doing this. This is the only picture of an Israelite king that has been found so far.[1]

:33  From Jordan eastward …

These are all descriptions of the land on the eastern side of the Jordan.

Some have looked at this as a kind of judgment on these three tribes (Gad, Reuben, Manassah) for having settled on the eastern side of the Jordan instead of going into the actual Promised Land itself.

In reality, this is a judgment on the whole nation for their own sin, not just these tribes.

But there is another principle here:

Lesson

Stay as close as you can!

Some people want to know what kinds of things they can do as Christians and get away with it.
They want to know how far they can get from the Lord and still belong to Him.
I think that’s dangerous!
Look at Peter:

(Mat 26:58 KJV)  But Peter followed him afar off unto the high priest's palace, and went in, and sat with the servants, to see the end.

He followed as far away as he could, and ended up denying the Lord!

Don’t see how far you can go, but how close you can get!

2Kings 11

:1-3 Athaliah takes over

:1  she arose and destroyed all the seed royal

Word comes from the north of Ahaziah’s death.  I would imagine that it’s very possible that Athaliah has also heard of how Jehu has put to death all of her father’s relatives.

It is certainly a dangerous thing to be in the royal lineage of Judah at this time.

First there was the murders by Jehoram, son of Jehoshaphat, and husband of Athaliah:

(2 Chr 21:4 KJV)  Now when Jehoram was risen up to the kingdom of his father, he strengthened himself, and slew all his brethren with the sword, and divers also of the princes of Israel.
Her husband, when he had finally gotten complete control over Judah, killed all his brothers, the rest of the sons of Jehoshaphat.
He did this to make sure that nobody else would try to become king in his place.

Then during Jehoram’s own reign, Arabian marauders came and killed all the rest of Jehoram’s kids, except for Ahaziah, the youngest:

(2 Chr 22:1 KJV)  And the inhabitants of Jerusalem made Ahaziah his youngest son king in his stead: for the band of men that came with the Arabians to the camp had slain all the eldest. So Ahaziah the son of Jehoram king of Judah reigned.

Then Jehu killed some of the relatives when they came north to visit with Ahaziah and Joram (2Kings 10:13).

Now Athaliah kills all the rest of the sons of Ahaziah (except for one).

But why would she do this?

After all, these are her grandchildren!

Since kings tended to have several wives, it is possible that some of the children she is killing could be children of the other wives.
But some of the ones she’s killing are definitely her own children.  The one baby that is saved is called the “son of Ahaziah” (v.2), and we know that Ahaziah was the son of Joram and Athaliah (2Ki. 8:26).

She wants total control of the kingdom to herself!

She has done what her husband, Joram did when he became king.  He had killed his own brothers.

I think there is also a plot from Satan here as well.

If she puts to death all of the royal offspring, then the line of David would be destroyed.  And that means the line of the Messiah.

:2 But Jehosheba, the daughter of king Joram, sister of Ahaziah, took Joash the son of Ahaziah

Jehosheba[email protected]– “Jehovah has sworn”

Some think that though she was the daughter of Joram, she was not the daughter of Athaliah, but of another wife, and only the half-sister of Ahaziah.

She also has another interesting connection, being the wife of the high priest, Jehoida, one of the good guys! (2Chr. 22:11)

JoashYow’ash – “given by the Lord”.  He is also known as “Jehoash”, which is simply another form of the same word.

:2 so that he was not slain.

Lesson

The enemy may win a few battles, but he’ll lose the war!

Even back at the beginning, it was promised that it would be this way:
(Gen 3:15 KJV)  And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.

Ultimately, we know that it would be fulfilled by Satan bruising the heel of Jesus by nailing Him to the cross, but Jesus smashed Satan’s head by rising from the dead.

It works that way in our lives as well.
In describing his own ministry, Paul writes how he has become known,

(2 Cor 6:8-10 KJV)  By honour and dishonour, by evil report and good report: as deceivers, and yet true; {9} As unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and, behold, we live; as chastened, and not killed; {10} As sorrowful, yet alway rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing all things.

Paul understood what it was to be under attack.

To the Romans, Paul promised:

(Rom 16:20 KJV)  And the God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen.

Hang in there!
It may look bleak at times, but God has a plan, and He’ll pull it off!  In the end, God wins!

:3 And he was with her hid in the house of the LORD six years.

Joash wasn’t hidden in the “holy of holies”, but simply in one of the “chambers” built in the temple complex, one of the chambers reserved for the use of the priests or Levites.

Joash will spend the first six years of his life hiding out in the Temple.

And it’s a safe bet that Athaliah would never accidentally stumble across this child in the Temple of Yahweh.

:4-12 Joash becomes king

:4  the rulers over hundreds, with the captains and the guard

These are not military men from the nation at large, but are priests and Levites that have duties in the temple, as well as those Levites that had been charged with guarding little Joash.

The temple itself had it’s own police/military guard.

These were the men that Jehoiada, as high priest, actually had command over.

Gill:   for the better understanding of what follows, it should be observed, that the priests, in the times of David, were divided into twenty four courses, which were by turns to serve a week in the temple; the course that came in entered when the sabbath began, and that which went out went out when it ended, and each course consisted of a thousand men.

:5   A third part of you …keepers of the watch of the king’s house

The first third of these men would be guarding the quarters where little king Joash was living.

:6   a third part shall be at the gate of Sur;

This is the gate on the eastern side of the temple.

:6  a third part at the gate behind the guard

This is the southern gate of the temple.

:7  two parts of all you that go forth on the sabbath, even they shall keep the watch

On the Sabbath, the priests would change with the next “course” of priests coming in.

The new priests would be moving into position, while the old priests usually went home until the same time next year.

But here Jehoida is asking that 2/3 of these guys to hang around to add further protection to the little king.

Note:

Jehoida is pretty good at his strategy here.

The way he’s setting things up, the casual observer isn’t going to think anything of all the movement, and just think that things are going on as usual.

:8  he that cometh within the ranges

ranges[email protected] – row, rank (of soldiers)

As the priests formed a circle around the king, anyone that came within their circle would be put to death.

:10  David's spears and shields

I find it fascinating that these weapons taken by David in battle about 200 years earlier, from his enemies, and dedicated to the Lord, are still around.

:12  gave him the testimony

They gave little king Joash a copy of the Law of Moses, which was what a king was supposed to have, according to the Law:

(Deu 17:18-20 KJV)  And it shall be, when he sitteth upon the throne of his kingdom, that he shall write him a copy of this law in a book out of that which is before the priests the Levites: {19} And it shall be with him, and he shall read therein all the days of his life: that he may learn to fear the LORD his God, to keep all the words of this law and these statutes, to do them: {20} That his heart be not lifted up above his brethren, and that he turn not aside from the commandment, to the right hand, or to the left: to the end that he may prolong his days in his kingdom, he, and his children, in the midst of Israel.

This is one of the few instances where we see one of the kings actually paying attention to God’s Word.

It seems that during Joash’s life, that uncle Jehoida made him do more than just carry the Law –

(2 Chr 24:6-7 KJV)  And the king called for Jehoiada the chief, and said unto him, Why hast thou not required of the Levites to bring in out of Judah and out of Jerusalem the collection, according to the commandment of Moses the servant of the LORD, and of the congregation of Israel, for the tabernacle of witness? {7} For the sons of Athaliah, that wicked woman, had broken up the house of God; and also all the dedicated things of the house of the LORD did they bestow upon Baalim.

I’d say that Joash learned to read God’s Word.  His Bible didn’t just stay up on the shelf.

:12  and anointed him

Actually, the Jewish writers say that the son of a king was not to be anointed, because he already had the right to the throne.

But the anointing of a man to be king came only when a new dynasty was started.

Saul, the first king, was anointed.

David, not from Saul’s family, had to be anointed.

Solomon, though David’s son, was anointed, but because his older brother Adonijah had already made a claim to the throne and had already made himself king.

In the north, we just saw Jehu anointed king, to take the place of the dynasty of Ahab.

Here Joash is anointed because Athaliah has usurped the throne, and he’s now being placed on it in her place.

:13-16 Athaliah is slain

:13  when Athaliah heard the noise ...

Apparently she wasn’t invited to the event!

:14  the king stood by a pillar

Apparently there was a pillar that the kings used to stand by, and when Athaliah saw this little boy standing there, where a king should be, she knew there was trouble!

:14 Athaliah rent her clothes, and cried, Treason, Treason.

Actually, Jehoiada wasn’t committing treason.  Joash was the rightful heir to the throne of David.  Athaliah was the one who was out of line.  She was not a descendant of David.

:16   there was she slain

When they got her far enough away from the temple, she was put to death.

:17-21 Joash begins to reign

:17  Jehoiada made a covenant

Keep in mind, though Joash is the king, he's only seven years old, and it's actually Jehoida that is in control.

In fact, when Jehoida dies, he has the distinct honor of being buried with the kings (2Chr. 24:16)

Lesson

Covenant

A time of renewal begins.  It doesn’t just start with the death of Athaliah.  It starts when the people make a fresh commitment to the Lord.

:18  the people of the land went into the house of Baal, and brake it down

Though Jehu destroyed Baal worship completely out of the northern kingdom six years earlier, it had flourished in the southern kingdom under the rule of Athaliah.

They have now made a new commitment to Yahweh, but it's not just a matter of words, but is followed by action.

Lesson

Your relationship with God is more than words.

A true commitment brings true change.
We call this repentance.

:19 And he took the rulers over hundreds, and the captains

Jehoiada keeps a guard on the king and the Temple probably to make sure that there aren’t attempts on the Temple as payback for what has happened to the Baal temple.

:21  Seven years old was Jehoash when he began to reign.

Kind of scary to think of a seven year old reigning over the kingdom!

And no, I’m not going to say that we should let our seven year olds rule over our houses!

It’s a good thing he has such a strong influence in his life like Jehoida!

2Kings 12

:1-3 Under Jehoiada’s guidance

:1  his mother's name was Zibiah of Beersheba.

And his father was Ahaziah, son of Joram, son of Jehoshaphat.  Even though Joash was a descendant of King David, he also has the genes of Ahab and Jezebel as well.

:2   Jehoash did that which was right in the sight of the LORD all his days wherein Jehoiada the priest instructed him

Remember, Jehoiada was his uncle, and was the high priest.

Jehoiada will be like a father to Joash, but there is quite an age difference.  When Jehoiada dies, he’s 130 years old. 

(2 Chr 24:15 KJV)  But Jehoiada waxed old, and was full of days when he died; an hundred and thirty years old was he when he died.
Joash will die some time after that, and he will be only 47 when he dies.  That means that Jehoiada is at least 70 years older than Joash, old enough to be a great grandfather to the king.

When Jehoash’s grandmother, Athaliah, tried to kill all the royal children, Jehoash was rescued by his aunt Jehosheba, the wife of Jehoiada.

Jehoiada took care of little Jehoash, and raised him in the ways of the Lord.

On first glance, this looks like a great thing.

And for the time that Jehoiada was alive, it was a great thing.

But the verse means exactly what it says, Jehoash only did what was right while Jehoiada was alive.

When Jehoiada dies, Jehoash rebels against the Lord.

(2 Chr 24:15-22 KJV)  But Jehoiada waxed old, and was full of days when he died; an hundred and thirty years old was he when he died. {16} And they buried him in the city of David among the kings, because he had done good in Israel, both toward God, and toward his house. {17} Now after the death of Jehoiada came the princes of Judah, and made obeisance to the king. Then the king hearkened unto them. {18} And they left the house of the LORD God of their fathers, and served groves and idols: and wrath came upon Judah and Jerusalem for this their trespass. {19} Yet he sent prophets to them, to bring them again unto the LORD; and they testified against them: but they would not give ear. {20} And the Spirit of God came upon Zechariah the son of Jehoiada the priest, which stood above the people, and said unto them, Thus saith God, Why transgress ye the commandments of the LORD, that ye cannot prosper? because ye have forsaken the LORD, he hath also forsaken you. {21} And they conspired against him, and stoned him with stones at the commandment of the king in the court of the house of the LORD. {22} Thus Joash the king remembered not the kindness which Jehoiada his father had done to him, but slew his son. And when he died, he said, The LORD look upon it, and require it.
Quite a sad turn of events at the end of Jehoash’s life!
As soon as his uncle dies, the strong guiding influence he’s so grown accustomed to is gone.
And he doesn’t seem to know how to handle things on his own.

Lesson

Teach your kids to walk on their own before you’re gone.

It’s a good thing to teach your kids to respect you and to respect your advice.
But it seems to me that every once in a while a parent goes a little too far in trying to control their children.
They make all their decisions for them, never letting them learn to think for their own.
They always step in and rescue them, without ever letting them experience the consequence of their actions.
It’s important that we as parents instill in our kids the right values and the ability to make good decisions.
But just teaching them these things isn’t good enough.
Eventually you need to start stepping back and see whether they’ve really learned it or not.
Sometimes you have to learn to just let go and see if anything has sunk in!
Illustration:

When you teach your kids to ride a bike, you can only do so much with training wheels.

After a while, it’s time to try without the training wheels.

But even without the training wheels, you usually have to run alongside them, holding them up, until they get the knack of balancing on two wheels.

But for you to successfully teach them, you eventually have to let go and stop running with them

Lesson

Who do you depend upon?

Are there people that you continually look to for guidance and direction?
Paul told the Philippians that he wanted them to walk in obedience not just while he was with them, but even more when he was gone.
(Phil 2:12-13 KJV)  Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. {13} For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.

God wants us dependent upon Him.

The disciples were much like us.
But they actually had Jesus Himself to depend upon and lean upon.
Yet Jesus was constantly preparing them for the day that He would no longer be with them.
And He had a plan in mind for when He was gone:

(John 14:16-17 KJV)  And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; {17} Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.

(John 14:25-26 KJV)  These things have I spoken unto you, being yet present with you. {26} But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.

(John 16:13 KJV)  Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will show you things to come.

The life of walking under the power of the Holy Spirit isn’t really an option in the Christian life.

:3  the high places were not taken away

It’s possible that these “high places” are referring to pagan altars set up throughout the countryside.

It was a typical practice in these ancient times to build places of sacrifice on top of hills, being much closer to heaven that way!

That’s why they are called “high places”.

And often this phrase is used to describe these pagan altars (1Ki. 14:22-23)

But it also could refer to altars to Yahweh that had been scattered throughout the land.

When Hezekiah becomes king (2Kings 18), he is unique in that he is the first one to remove the “high places”, along with all the rest of the idolatry that creeps in just prior to his reign (2Ki. 18:4)

When he is attacked by the Assyrians, they talk about how Hezekiah tore down all the other altars to Yahweh:

(2 Ki 18:22 KJV)  But if ye say unto me, We trust in the LORD our God: is not that he, whose high places and whose altars Hezekiah hath taken away, and hath said to Judah and Jerusalem, Ye shall worship before this altar in Jerusalem?

Not only was it wrong for the Jews to be having altars to other gods, but God only wanted one central place of worship.

(Deu 12:5 KJV)  But unto the place which the LORD your God shall choose out of all your tribes to put his name there, even unto his habitation shall ye seek, and thither thou shalt come:

Why did God want a central, singular place of worship?

(Deu 12:8 KJV)  Ye shall not do after all the things that we do here this day, every man whatsoever is right in his own eyes.
Without a central place of worship, and a central place for God’s truth to be taught, the Jews would lose sight of God’s absolute truths.
They did not have printing presses, let alone computers, radios, and TV’s.
After a while, whatever the local religious leader thought would be okay.
But with a central place of worship, the Law would be kept, studied, and taught.
God’s standards would be held to.

:4-16 The Temple is repaired

:4  All the money of the dedicated things that is brought into the house of the LORD ...

Jehoash now is going to set about to have the temple be refurbished.

He asks for this money to be once again collected at the temple.

There were three categories:

the money of every one that passeth the account

This was money that every person twenty years and older was obliged to pay every time they were “numbered” (Ex 30:13,14)
It was a half shekel for the ransom of their souls, and it is called the collection or burden Moses laid on them in the wilderness (2Ch 24:6,9)

the money that every man is set at

When a man makes a vow, and then has to buy himself out of it (Le 27:1-8).
The Targum calls it “the money of the redemption of souls”

all the money that cometh into any man’s heart

Money that a person decides freely in their own heart that they want to give to the Lord.

:6  in the three and twentieth year of king Jehoash the priests had not repaired the breaches

We don’t know when Jehoash made the original declaration, but it’s in his 23rd year of reign (he’s 30 years old) that things still haven’t been repaired.

We aren’t told why things didn’t happen.

They just didn’t happen.

:8 And the priests consented to receive no more money of the people

Apparently the money had all been collected, but it hadn’t been used for what it was supposed to be used for.

:9  Jehoiada the priest took a chest

Some churches follow this practice and call it a “Joash Box”.

Kind of like our Agape Box.

:10  told the money that was found

They counted the money.

:13   there were not made for the house of the LORD bowls of silver

At least, not initially.

But when the work was finally complete, they had so much money left over, that they then started making all these other things for the ministry of the temple (2Chr.24:14)

Apparently, under Athaliah, all these equipment things had been scavenged and taken to be used in the temple of Baal (2Chr.24:7)

:15  for they dealt faithfully.

Good workers are hard to find.  Joash found some.

:16  The trespass money and sin money

When a person lived a long ways from the temple, rather than having to take a bull or a lamb all the way to Jerusalem, they could bring money instead, and purchase an animal in Jerusalem.

Whatever was left over after purchasing the animal was given to the priests.

The point is that all the money wasn’t used for the “building fund”.

Some of it went to the support of the priests.

:17-21 Joash dies

:17  fought against Gath

Gath had at one time been a city of the Philistines, and the home of Goliath, the giant.

But it was captured under the reign of David, and apparently had been a part of Judah ever since.

It’s about 23 ½ miles west and southwest of Jerusalem, down in the coastal plain.

:17  Hazael set his fact to go up to Jerusalem

This actually takes place after the death of Jehoida, and then the murder of his son Zechariah. (2Chr.24:22-23)

:18 …sent it to Hazael king of Syria: and he went away from Jerusalem.

So Jehoash gathers up all the gold he can get his hands on, and sends it to Hazael as a way of buying him off.

There’s a part of this story that we aren’t told in 2Kings.  It seems that God allowed Hazael to come against Jerusalem for a reason.

After Jehoiada the priest died, Joash fell away from the Lord and even had Jehoiada’s son put to death.

(2 Chr 24:22-24 KJV)  Thus Joash the king remembered not the kindness which Jehoiada his father had done to him, but slew his son. And when he died, he said, The LORD look upon it, and require it. {23} And it came to pass at the end of the year, that the host of Syria came up against him: and they came to Judah and Jerusalem, and destroyed all the princes of the people from among the people, and sent all the spoil of them unto the king of Damascus. {24} For the army of the Syrians came with a small company of men, and the LORD delivered a very great host into their hand, because they had forsaken the LORD God of their fathers. So they executed judgment against Joash.
This defeat at the hand of Hazael was a form of judgment against Judah because of what Joash had been doing.

:19-21  Jehoash dies

:20   his servants arose, and made a conspiracy, and slew Joash

Actually, when the Syrians had finally left Jerusalem, Jehoash had been greatly wounded by them (2Chr.24:25), and while he was weak, his servants rose up and killed him.

:20  slew Joash in the house of Millo, which goeth down to Silla

The “house of Millo”, or, Beth Millo, would have been a village that was located on the road to a place called “Silla”.

Apparently Joash had been recuperating there from his wounds, when his conspirators found him.

Both of these places are unknown.

The writer of Chronicles tells us that this happened right after the attack from the Syrians.

(2 Chr 24:25 KJV)  And when they were departed from him, (for they left him in great diseases,) his own servants conspired against him for the blood of the sons of Jehoiada the priest, and slew him on his bed, and he died: and they buried him in the city of David, but they buried him not in the sepulchres of the kings.

The reason why these servants killed the king was because of how the king had killed Jehoiada’s son.

:21  they buried him with his fathers in the city of David

They buried him in Jerusalem, the same city that his ancestors were buried in, but they didn’t bury him in the tombs of the kings:

(2 Chr 24:25 KJV)  And when they were departed from him, (for they left him in great diseases,) his own servants conspired against him for the blood of the sons of Jehoiada the priest, and slew him on his bed, and he died: and they buried him in the city of David, but they buried him not in the sepulchres of the kings.

We saw this before when stinky Jehoram died:

(2 Chr 21:19 KJV)  And it came to pass, that in process of time, after the end of two years, his bowels fell out by reason of his sickness: so he died of sore diseases. And his people made no burning for him, like the burning of his fathers.

Apparently the people didn’t like Jehoash very much!

This is kind of ironic when you think that Jehoash seemed to want to please the people:

(2 Chr 24:17-18 KJV)  Now after the death of Jehoiada came the princes of Judah, and made obeisance to the king. Then the king hearkened unto them. {18} And they left the house of the LORD God of their fathers, and served groves and idols: and wrath came upon Judah and Jerusalem for this their trespass.

Lesson

Respect doesn’t come when you always give in.

We find ourselves doing many things just for the sake of having people like us.
It affects the clothes we wear, the places we go, and the people we hang out with.
You can call it peer pressure.
But the truth is, though you may temporarily have some people to call friends, you’re gaining no one’s respect.
It even works with raising kids.
The parents who never put their foot down, but are always caving in to their children’s demands are also the parents who are never respected by their kids.
Every once in a while you have to say “NO”, and stick to it, maybe even enforce it as well.

But you’re teaching them that there are limits.

And you’re not losing their respect.

Respect is a valuable thing, but it’s not easy to obtain.
(Prov 22:1 NLT)  Choose a good reputation over great riches, for being held in high esteem is better than having silver or gold.

 

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[1]Walvoord, J. F. (1983-c1985). The Bible knowledge commentary : An exposition of the scriptures (2 Ki 10:32). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.