Wednesday, June 26. 2 Kings 14 – 15

It is interesting that Azariah (also known as Uzziah – see verse 13) gets so little space in Kings. According to Chronicles “He warred successfully against the Philistines, controlled the Arabs in Transjordan and received tribute from the Ammonites. His fame spread to the very border of Egypt through his control of the Negeb by establishing a series of ‘watchtowers in the desert’, one of which was at Qumran over which the later settlement was built. Elat was rebuilt and Ezion Geber enlarged about this time which, with the good relations with the Arabs, enhanced trade. Jerusalem was fortified and given modern defence artillery with the army reorganized and re©equipped. Economically all was well, but when Uzziah became famous and very powerful his pride led to unfaithfulness” to his fall, and to God’s punishment with leprosy (cf. D.J. Wiseman, 1 & 2 Kings (Downers Grove, IL: IVP, 1993)).

But the writer of Kings is not terribly interested in Judah in chapter 15. Israel’s final days are upon her and with her end, he wants to make an observation about why (chapter 17). The only comment he cares to make is that he was punished by God and could not be buried in the ancestral cemetery of the kings of Judah.

During Uzziah’s reign, Israel’s kings will fall in rapid succession. Zechariah will rule six months, Shallum only one. Menahem will rule ten years and Pekahiah only two. Less than thirty years remain before Israel’s total collapse and destruction. Pekahiah rules twenty years and his successor, Hoshea, rules nine years. With Zechariah, the dynasty of Jehu ends and Israel’s throne ceases (with one exception) to be a hereditary one. Zechariah, Shallum, Pekahiah and Pekah are all assassinated. Israel has less than thirty years left. There will be no turning back the judgment of God.