2 Kings – Chapter 18 Verses 1 – 8: Hezekiah King of Judah

After a long stretch through Isaiah, of which we are not yet finished, we move back to the book of 2 Kings and take a look at the first few verses in the eighth chapter.

“In the third year of Hoshea son of Elah king of Israel, Hezekiah son of Ahaz king of Judah began to reign.” – 2 Kings 8:1

We are back to learning about all of the kings.

“He did what was right in the eyes of the Lord, just as his father David had done.” – 2 Kings 8:3

We won’t find out in these first eight verses, so we’ll have to wait and see if doing right in the eyes of the Lord was helpful to Hezekiah.

“Hezekiah trusted in the  in Lord, the God of Israel. There was no one like him among all the kings of Judah, either before him or after him. He held fast to the Lord and did not stop following him; he kept the commands the Lord had given Moses.  And the Lord was with him; he was successful in whatever he undertook. He rebelled against the king of Assyria and did not serve him.  From watchtower to fortified city, he defeated the Philistines, as far as Gaza and its territory.” – 2 Kings 8:5-8

Hezekiah is a true believer and follower in God. Then again, so was Job and we all know what happened to him.

We’ll have to catch the end of this story later. The chronological order guide I’m following jumps around a bit at this point before returning to 2 Kings 8 to finish the chapter.

Coming Soon: 2 Chronicles – Chapter 29: Hezekiah Purifies the Temple

2 Kings – Chapter 17: Hoshea Last King of Israel

Today we take a look at the LAST king of Israel. Interesting!

“In the twelfth year of Ahaz king of Judah, Hoshea son of Elah became king of Israel in Samaria, and he reigned nine years.  He did evil in the eyes of the Lord, but not like the kings of Israel who preceded him.” – 2 Kings 17:1-2

Hosea is now king of Israel and does evil in the eyes of the Lord, but NOT in the ways of the other kings. This is interesting! What evil did Hosea do? Let’s find out!

“All this took place because the Israelites had sinned against the Lord their God, who had brought them up out of Egypt from under the power of Pharaoh king of Egypt.” – 2 Kings 17:7

Let us never forget this doesn’t happen if God doesn’t first harden the hearts of the Egyptians such that God forces them to do harm against the Israelites.

“The Israelites secretly did things against the Lord their God that were not right. From watchtower to fortified city they built themselves high places in all their towns.” – 2 Kings 17:9

God is so weak that he gets scared when the Israelites build tall things. Their crime right now is building tall things.

“At every high place they burned incense, as the nations whom the Lord had driven out before them had done.” – 2 Kings 17:11

How dare they burn incense to make their homes smell better!??!?!! Blasphemy

“They worshiped idols, though the Lord had said, ‘You shall not do this.’”! – 2 Kings 17:12

If only they had kept slaves instead, as God commanded was okay.

“They sacrificed their sons and daughters in the fire.” – 2 Kings 17:17

Admittedly, this one’s bad! But why not start with this and focus on this crime? Killing your kids should be enough and certainly shouldn’t come after burning candles in the list of punishable crimes.

So the Lord was very angry with Israel and removed them from his presence.” – 2 Kings 17:18

Um…this is not much of a penalty. You aren’t doing anything for them anyway such that you aren’t in their presence now! Once again, God fails to punish appropriately.

“To this day they persist in their former practices. They neither worship the Lord nor adhere to the decrees and regulations, the laws and commands that the Lord gave the descendants of Jacob, whom he named Israel.” – 2 Kings 17:34

This shows the level to which God sucks at convincing people he exists.

“Even while these people were worshiping the Lord, they were serving their idols. To this day their children and grandchildren continue to do as their ancestors did.” – 2 Kings 17:41

Again this shows God sucks at convincing people he exists. It’s almost as if…wait for it…he doesn’t exist!!!

Supposedly Hosea committed evil in a way that no other kings had, but I’m not sure what that was. This chapter says he and his people built idols, but so did others. It says they sacrificed their children, but so did others. They disobeyed God, but so did others. So what exactly did Hosea do differently? We are never told.

Coming Soon: Isaiah – Chapter 13: A Prophecy Against Babylon

2 Kings 16: Ahaz King of Judah

The authors of the Bible found the story of King Ahaz so important they included it twice! Slavery, that’s okay. Hate on women, that’s okay. But King Ahaz? So much more important than condemning slaves and control of women.

“Unlike David his father, he did not do what was right in the eyes of the Lord his God.” – 2 Kings 16:2

At least the Bible is consistent in stating Ahaz did not do what was right in the eyes of God.

“He offered sacrifices and burned incense at the high places, on the hilltops and under every spreading tree.” – 2 Kings 16:4

God has a lot of rules on sacrifices in the Old Testament and demands them at certain times in very specific ways. It would be easy to make a mistake and do a sacrifice in the ‘wrong’ way.

The next several verses are devoted to describing how Ahaz built an altar…then we get this:

“Ahaz rested with his ancestors and was buried with them in the City of David.” – 2 Kings 16:20

The previous chapter makes it clear Ahaz was not buried in the tomb of kings, whereas this chapter does not make it directly clear. Probably nit-picking here, but interesting nonetheless.

And that does it for Ahaz, in a repeat of 2 Chronicles 28.

Coming Soon: 2 Kings – Chapter 17: Hoshea Last King of Israel

2 Kings 13:20-21

Some of my favorite parts of the Bible include zombies. Zombies are always great for Crazy Bible Verse Tuesday!!!

“Elisha died and was buried. Now Moabite raiders used to enter the country every spring.Once while some Israelites were burying a man, suddenly they saw a band of raiders; so they threw the man’s body into Elisha’s tomb. When the body touched Elisha’s bones, the man came to life and stood up on his feet.” – 2 Kings 13:20-21

So Elisha dies and his buried. Another body is tossed in the tomb and when the second corpse touched Elisha’s corpse, Elisha’s body is raided from the dead. SMH. LOL! Where would the Bible be without zombies? Oh yeah, still filled with hate, harm, destruction, death, etc.

2 Kings – Chapter 15: Azariah King of Judah

After a short break to delve into the book of Jonah, we move back to the book of 2 Kings where we continue learning about the rise and fall of kings, regardless if they do good or evil in the eyes of the Lord.

“He did what was right in the eyes of the Lord, just as his father Amaziah had done. The high places, however, were not removed; the people continued to offer sacrifices and burn incense there. The Lord afflicted the king with leprosy until the day he died, and he lived in a separate house.” – 2 Kings 15:3-5

This is my point. The king does what is right in the eyes of the Lord, but oh wait, no he didn’t, so God gives him leprosy. A stupid god.

“He (Zechariah) did evil in the eyes of the Lord, as his predecessors had done.” – 2 Kings 15:9

Let’s see what happens to a king that does evil in the eyes of the Lord.

“Shallum son of Jabesh conspired against Zechariah. He attacked him in front of the people, assassinated him and succeeded him as king.” – 2 Kings 15:10

Doing evil gets you killed. But so does doing good. So what is it that keeps you living? Hmmm.

“Then Menahem son of Gadi went from Tirzah up to Samaria. He attacked Shallum son of Jabesh in Samaria, assassinated him and succeeded him as king.” – 2 Kings 15:14

Another violent death.

“At that time Menahem, starting out from Tirzah, attacked Tiphsah and everyone in the city and its vicinity, because they refused to open their gates. He sacked Tiphsah and ripped open all the pregnant women.” – 2 Kings 15:16

The god Christians worship and love allowed pregnant women to be ripped open. Did these women do anything other than lack a penis? Nope!

In the thirty-ninth year of Azariah king of Judah, Menahem son of Gadi became king of Israel, and he reigned in Samaria ten years.  He did evil in the eyes of the Lord. During his entire reign he did not turn away from the sins of Jeroboam son of Nebat, which he had caused Israel to commit. Then Pul king of Assyria invaded the land, and Menahem gave him a thousand talents[g] of silver to gain his support and strengthen his own hold on the kingdom. Menahem exacted this money from Israel. Every wealthy person had to contribute fifty shekels of silver to be given to the king of Assyria. So the king of Assyria withdrew and stayed in the land no longer.” – 2 Kings 15:17-20

Menahem does evil in the eyes of God, but I can’t see that he was really punished at all!

I’m going to stop here. The chapter continues for another 15-20 verses of more kings doing evil and getting assasinated. The point I’m making in this chapter is God is not consistent in his punishment. Some kings are assassinated, others are not. And a king who was righteous according to God was given leprosy! As I’ve said many times, this is not a god worthy of anyone’s worship.

Coming Soon: 2 Chronicles – Chapter 26: Uzziah King of Judah

2 Kings – Chapter 14: Amaziah King of Judah

Thus far the book of 2 Kings is filled with death and destruction. I don’t expect anything less in this chapter.

“In the second year of Jehoash son of Jehoahaz king of Israel, Amaziah son of Joash king of Judah began to reign.  He was twenty-five years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem twenty-nine years. His mother’s name was Jehoaddan; she was from Jerusalem.  He did what was right in the eyes of the Lord, but not as his father David had done. In everything he followed the example of his father Joash.  The high places, however, were not removed; the people continued to offer sacrifices and burn incense there.” – 2 Kings 14:1-4

This is God at his finest. Amaziah does what is right in the eyes of the Lord, but it just isn’t good enough. God has found that one thing not quite perfect.

“Yet he did not put the children of the assassins to death, in accordance with what is written in the Book of the Law of Moses where the Lord commanded: ‘Parents are not to be put to death for their children, nor children put to death for their parents; each will die for their own sin.’” – 2 Kings 14:6

This makes Amaziah more moral than God. Despite the Law of Moses, God has multiple times punished the children of the parents. The first born children in Egypt were all slaughtered at the hands of God!

“But Jehoash king of Israel replied to Amaziah king of Judah: ‘A thistle in Lebanon sent a message to a cedar in Lebanon, ‘Give your daughter to my son in marriage.’ Then a wild beast in Lebanon came along and trampled the thistle underfoot.’’” – 2 Kings 14:9

Um…what the fuck! A thistle gives a message to a cedar and then a wild beast tramples the thistle? Sigh.

“In the fifteenth year of Amaziah son of Joash king of Judah, Jeroboam son of Jehoash king of Israel became king in Samaria, and he reigned forty-one years.  He did evil in the eyes of the Lord and did not turn away from any of the sins of Jeroboam son of Nebat, which he had caused Israel to commit.” – 2 Kings 14:23-24

Don’t worry if you have done evil in the eyes of the Lord. As we’ve already seen in this chapter, even if you do right in the eyes of the Lord you are punished.

“The Lord had seen how bitterly everyone in Israel, whether slave or free, was suffering; there was no one to help them.” – 2 Kings 14:26

God now finally sees the Israelites are suffering but doesn’t make the connection that he is the one causing the suffering.

To sum up this chapter, it simply does not matter if you do good or evil. God punishes you regardless.

Coming Soon: 2 Chronicles – Chapter 25: Amaziah King of Judah

2 Kings – Chapter 13: Jehoahaz King of Israel

Killing, killing, killing. That’s the theme thus far in 2 Kings. Let’s see if 2 Kings 13 is any different.

“In the twenty-third year of Joash son of Ahaziah king of Judah, Jehoahaz son of Jehu became king of Israel in Samaria, and he reigned seventeen years. He did evil in the eyes of the Lord by following the sins of Jeroboam son of Nebat, which he had caused Israel to commit, and he did not turn away from them.” – 2 Kings 13:1-2

God’s evil/good coin flips toward evil with this king.

“So the Lord’s anger burned against Israel, and for a long time he kept them under the power of Hazael king of Aram and Ben-Hadad his son.” – 2 Kings 13:3

Instead of punishing the king, God punishes the people. Sigh. Such a stupid god.

“Now Elisha had been suffering from the illness from which he died.” – 2 Kings 13:14

God doesn’t even step in to alleviate the suffering of his prophet!

“Then he said, ‘Take the arrows,’ and the king took them. Elisha told him, ‘Strike the ground.’ He struck it three times and stopped.  The man of God was angry with him and said, ‘You should have struck the ground five or six times; then you would have defeated Aram and completely destroyed it. But now you will defeat it only three times.’ Elisha died and was buried.” – 2 Kings 13:18-20

Um…what a fucked up story. Elisha’s god will only fully protect the army if the arrow is struck five or six times? Three times isn’t good enough? What a fucking petty god.

“Once while some Israelites were burying a man, suddenly they saw a band of raiders; so they threw the man’s body into Elisha’s tomb. When the body touched Elisha’s bones, the man came to life and stood up on his feet.” – 2 Kings 13:21

Zombies! Jesus fucking christ. The Bible expects people of normal intelligence to believe this shit? Unfortunately far too many do.

“Hazael king of Aram died, and Ben-Hadad his son succeeded him as king. Then Jehoash son of Jehoahaz recaptured from Ben-Hadad son of Hazael the towns he had taken in battle from his father Jehoahaz. Three times Jehoash defeated him, and so he recovered the Israelite towns.” – 2 Kings 13:24-25

The chapter ends with more death and battles.

What did we learn in this chapter? Not much we didn’t already know. God flips a coin to determine who is good and who is evil. God punishes those who didn’t do the wrong doing. And more people die, constantly.

Coming Soon: 2 Chronicles – Chapter 24: Joash Repairs the Temple