Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Caleb's Posterity I Chronicles 2

I Chronicles 2:18 "And Caleb the son of Hezron begat children of Azubah his wife, and of Jerioth; her sons are these; Jesher, and Shobab and Ardon. v19 And when Azubah was dead, Caleb took unto him Ephrath, which bare him Hur, v20 And Hur begat Uri, and Uri begat Bezaleel."

Caleb was of the tribe of Judah. The son of Hezron who was born of Judah's daughter-in-law after Judah's firstborn was killed because he was evil. v3.

I picked out verse 7 from among all the names. Achar was the one who hid stuff in his tent when he was suppose to leave it alone. He was called the 'troubler of Israel'. Not much of a legacy to leave behind.

v7 "And the sons of Carmi; Achar, the troubler of Israel who trangressed in the thing accursed."

In the posterity of Jesse who was the grandson of Boaz and Ruth by Obed. You remember how Boaz redeemed Ruth after her mother-in-law brought her back from Moab.

Next I noticed verse 34. "Now Sheshan had no sons, but daughters. And Sheshan had a servant, an egyptian, whose name was Jarha. v35 And Sheshan gave his dauther to Jarha his servant to wife, and she bare him Attai.

I thought back to the servant who had worked off his servitude but chose to stay with his master and received the mark in his ear. I believe being a servant in Israel was almost like being family. They were commanded to treat their servants well. Here we see that it was no disgrace to give a daughter to marry a servant. That's nice.

(Note: It would help in these studies to understand that the spelling of names change when the recorder is in a different land because of the language influences and the translation.)

Psalm 126:5 "They that sow in tears shall reap in joy."

Keywords: Bible Study, Old Testament, Chronicles, Caleb, Judah, Boaz. Digging through the names to find jewels of encouragement.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Adam to Dukes of Edom I Chronicles 1

I Chronicles 1:19 "And unto Eber were born two sons; the name of the one was Peleg; because in his days the earth was divided: and his brother's name was Joktan."

The chapter starts a genealogy beginning with Adam then splits off with the children of Abraham. There are other branches of Adam in the world but the Bible centers on the descendants of Abraham (Shem's line).

These first chapters are difficult to read. The names all have meanings but I have picked out this one because the definition is given in the verse: Eber: in his days the earth was divided. Genesis 10:25 We have read how after the flood the waters were gathered together in one place which to me would mean one ocean but here we see that the earth was divided. Perhaps, and I believe so, this was when we got our two oceans. Perhaps the native peoples we encountered upon discovery of America were descendants of those already there when the earth divided. I can't say, I was not there at the time.

v48 "And when Samlah was dead, Shaul of Rehoboth by the river reigned in his stead."

I just picked this verse because he ruled down by the river. I thought it might sound like he loved the country type area more than the big city. Rehoboth is mentioned in other places of the Bible, best I can remember.

Matthew is another place to find genealogy verses about the line of David and Jesus Christ.

This chapter takes us from Adam to Noah and tells us about the sons of Japheth, Ham, Shem, Ishmael, Keturah, Esau, Kings of Edom, Dukes of Edom.

Psalm 5:3 "My voice shalt thou hear in the morning, O LORD; in the morning will I direct my prayer unto thee, and will look up."

Keywords: Chronicles, Adam, genealogy, Israel, Abraham, Bible Study. Starting in Chronicles one with the genealogies.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Concerning Judah - Plea to Return to the LORD

It seems appropriate at this time to bring to mind that there were warnings and pleas given to the people of Judah. Prophets spake to the people with great fervor, trying to get them to return to the LORD. They were not without opportunity. Even if they had fully forgotten, these men reminded them. Isaiah was one of these prophets and I include a passage here:

Isaiah 1: 1-4 "The vision of Isaiah the son of Amoz which he saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem in the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz and Hezekiah, kings of Judah, Hear, O heavens and give ear, O earth, for the LORD hath spoken, I have nourished and brought up children, and they have rebelled against me. The ox knoweth his owner and the ass his master's crib: but Israel doth not know, my people doth not consider. Ah sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, a seed of evildoers, children that are corrupters: they have forsaken the LORD, they have provoked the Holy one of Israel unto anger, they are gone away backward."

Then about 60 years later another prophet speaks in the name of the LORD for the people to return to the LORD.

Jeremiah 2:1 "Moreover the word of the LORD came to me saying, Go and cry in the ears of Jerusalem, saying, Thus saith the LORD: I remember thee, the kindness of thy youth, the love of thine espousals, when thou wentest after me in the wilderness, in a land that was not sown. Israel was holiness unto the LORD; and the firstfruits of his increase: all that devour him shall offend; evil shall come upon them, saith the LORD. Hear ye the word of the LORD, O house of Jacob, and all the families of the house of Israel: Thus saith the LORD, What iniquity have your fathers found in me, that they are gone far from me and have walked after vanity, and are become vain?"

A plea with forgiveness:

3:v1 "They say If a man put away his wife and she go from him and become another man's shall he return unto her again? shall not that land be greatly polluted? but thou has played the harlot with many lovers; yet return again to me, saith the LORD.

Next we will study Chronicles. It is difficult to read because of all the names but every book serves a purpose. Family lines are directly related to the land they possessed in Israel and so by keeping up with their heritage, they established ownership and maintained the royal bloodline.
No doubt the common people had records of exactly what tribe they descended from. I believe that even with their turning away from God, they still believed in his promises and that they would return to possess Canaan someday.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Jerusalem's End for Now II Kings 25

II Kings 25:1 "And it came to pass in the ninth year of his reign, in the tenth month, in the tenth day of the month, that Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came, he, and all his host, against Jerusalem, and pitched against it; and they built forts against it round about."

Egypt has slipped back into its borders and Babylon is the key player in the region now.

We have seen the greatness, the sin, and the fall of Israel and Judah of Canaan.

I am impressed that it took all his host for Nebuchadnezzar to take Jerusalem. The people were still warriors at heart. But after a long time the food ran out and the fighting men and the king tried to escape.

v5 "And the army of the Chaldees pursued after the king, and overtook him in the plains of Jericho and all his army were scattered from him."

It was a slaughter after that and all the great men were captured or killed and their homes destroyed. The king was taken captive. The house of the LORD was ransacked as well.

v12 "But the captain of the guard left of the poor of the land to be vinedressers and husbandmen."

Gedaliah was left as overseer of the land until the people killed him and escaped to Egypt.

The king of Babylon did finally take the king Jehoiachin out of prison and give him an allowance.

So we have took a long journey with the children of Israel. We will get more details and center on Judah in the next two books of our study.

Jeremiah 19:3 "And say, her ye the word of the LORD, O kings of Judah, and inhabitants of Jerusalem; Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Behold, I will bring evil upon this place, the which whosoever heareth, his ears shall tingle."

Keywords: Bible Study, Old Testament, Israel, Judah, Jerusalem, Jeremiah, Babylon, Chaldee, Kings. Jerusalem is taken and the people carried to Babylon.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Captivity (First) II Kings 24

II Kings 24:11 "And Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came against the city, and his servants did besiege it."

A weakened country is now prey for surrounding nations. The many treasures laid up are broken up and carried away. The magnificent pillars and sea of brass are destroyed. It is the price of sin.

v3 "Surely at the commandment of the LORD came this upon Judah, to remove them out of his sight, for the sins of Manasseh, according to all that he did."

The previous chapter told of the last passover and how great it was. It reminds me of the passover that Jesus partook of before his death.

C23v22 "Surely there was not holden such a passover from the days of the judges that judged Israel, nor in all the days of the kings of Israel, nor of the kings of Judah."

We should remember the glory days when Joshua crossed the Jordan on dry ground and the walls of Jericho fell. The great battles fought and won with the LORD leading the charge. The rustling in the mulberry trees. The nation expanded and the land was cultivated and people prospered.

Then, leaders and the people went to the grooves and set up images and worshipped strange gods which were remembered from old and which they got from those they had not cast out of the land.

Then the glory left and the kingdom was divided. There was war without and within. Israel (the ten tribes) fell first and were carried away and now Judah has been reduced to Jerusalem. It is under siege and there is no food.

v20 "For through the anger of the LORD it came to pass in Jerusalem and Judah, until he had cast them out from his presence that Zedekiah rebelled against the king of Babylon."

Lamentations 4:19 "Our persecutors are swifter than the eagles of the heaven, they pursued us upon the mountains, they laid wait for us in the wilderness."

Keywords: Bible Study, Old Testament, Israel, Judah, Jerusalem, Nebuchadnezzar, captivity. Nebuchadnezzar puts Jerusalem under siege.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Josiah's Good Deeds II Kings 23

II Kings 23:3 "And the king stood by a pillar, and made a covenant before the LORD to walk after the LORD, and to keep his commandments and his testimonies and his statutes with all their heart and all their soul, to perform the words of this covenant that were written in this book And all the people stood to the covenant."

Josiah has been told that he would die. He still followed the precepts of the book he had found and tried to clean up the kingdom of all the false gods. He tore down the altars and the groves and crushed them to powder putting the ashes on the graves of the false prophets and elsewhere.

He was personally involved in the cleanup.

v16 "And as Joshia turned himself, he spied the sepulchres that were there in the mount and sent and took the bones out of the sepulchres and burned them upon the altar, and polluted it, according to the word of the LORD which the man of God proclaimed, who proclaimed these words."

He also saw the grave of the prophets and told the people to not disturb them. He did his best but the nation was under the judgment of God for the sins of his forefathers: Jeroboam v15, Manasseh v26 and even Solomon v13. This chapter and those in II Chronicles tell the sad story of the sin of a great people and how they turned from the LORD who delivered them out of Egypt and gave them a land flowing with milk and honey.

In the end of his life, he died in battle. Egypt and Assyria were at war and Josiah went down to fight. He was killed in Megiddo and buried in his own sepulchre in Jerusalem. v30

v26 "Notwithstanding the LORD turned not from the fierceness of his great wrath wherewith his anger was kindled against Judah because of all the provocations that Manasseh had provoked him withal. v27 And the LORD said, I will remove Judah also out of my sight, as I have removed Israel, and will cast off this city Jerusalem which I have chosen, and the house of which I said, My name shall be there."

We will be studying the captivity later but it is good to remember the why behind the captivity. This chapter might be reviewed to remind us of the why.

Of Josiah the Bible gives good praise: v25 "And like unto him was there no king before him that turned to the LORD with all his heart, and with all his soul, and with all his might, according to all the law of Moses; neither after him arose there any like him."

Lamentations 4:20 "The breath of our nostrils, the anointed of the LORD, was taken in their pits, of whom we said, Under his shadow we shall live among the heathen."

Keywords: Bible Study, Judah, Kings, Josiah. A great king tries to clean up Judah of the false gods.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Josiah - A Good King II Kings 22

II Kings 22:1-2 "Josiah was eight years old when he began to reign, and he reigned thirty and one years in Jerusalem. And his mother's name was Jedidah, the daughter of Adaiah of Boscath. And he did that which was right in the sight of the LORD and walked in all the way of David his father, and turned not aside to the right and or to the left."

We go from Hezekiah, a good king, to Manasseh and Amon who were bad kings then to this boy of eight years old who was a good king.

What makes a boy turn out to be a good king when his father and grandfather were the worst kind of kings? It tells us in the first verse. Josiah's mother was Jedidah, the daughter of Adaiah of Boscath. We can go back to Joshua 15:39 and see that his mother was a descendant of Caleb. Caleb was the faithful spy who reported the truth about Canaan to Moses and said that they could take the land.

Joshua 15:16 "And Caleb said, He that smitteth Kirjath-sepher and taketh it, to him will I give Achsah my daughter to wife. v18 "...and Caleb said unto her. What wouldest thou? v19 Who answered, Give me a blessing; for thou hast given me a south land; give me also springs of water. And he gave her the upper springs and the nether springs. v39 Lachish, Bozkath, and Eglon." Bozkath is Boscath.

I concluded from reading this that Josiah's mother must have had a great influence on Josiah and directed him to honor the LORD as he grew up.

In his eighth year as king when he was sixteen. He sought the LORD and when he was twenty started changing things in Judah.

II Chronicles 34:3 "For in the eighth year of his reign, while he was yet young, he began to seek after the God of David his father: and in the twelfth year be began to purge Judah and Jerusalem from the high places and the groves and the carved images, and the molten images."

He started work on repairing the house of the LORD in v8 by directing the money to the workers.

While they were working, the book of Moses was found and it was read to the king. Upon hearing the book he realized that Judah and Israel had displeased the LORD very much and he clothed himself in sackcloth and prayed and cried to the LORD. Then he read the book to the people. Before this happens in the next chapter, Josiah sought to understand and directed the priest to enquire of the LORD.

It is is sad commentary on Judah that the book was lost in the first place. Then sadder still that the priest did not understand what it meant. They went to a prophetess for understanding. She confirmed the prophecy that much distress would fall on the people and nation because of their sin. She did convey to Josiah a message though:

v19 "Because thine heart was tender and thou hast humbled thyself before the LORD, when thou heardest what I spake against this place and against the inhabitants thereof, that they should become a desolation and a curse, and hast rent thy clothes and wept before me, I also have hard thee saith the LORD. v20 Behold therefore, I will gather thee unto thy fathers, and thou shalt be gathered into thy grave in peace, and thine eyes shall not see all the evil which I will bring upon this place. And they brought the king word again."

Mercy comes in different forms. Josiah was a good king and sought to please the LORD but the people had followed after strange gods and so were under the judgment of God. In tender mercy, the LORD would spare Josiah from seeing it by letting him die.

Psalm 39:4 "LORD, make me to know mine end, and the measure of my days, what it is; that I may know how frail I am."

Keywords: Bible study, Old Testament, Kings, Judah, Josiah. Josiah is a good king who was spared the desolation of Jerusalem.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Manasseh,Amon,Josiah II Kings 21

II Kings 21:1-2 "Manasseh was twelve years old when he began to reign and reigned fifty and five years in Jerusalem. And his mother's name was Hephzibah. And he did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD, after the abominations of the heathen, whom the LORD cast out before the children of Israel."

Manasseh ruled 55 years and was a very bad ruler. He killed the children and built back the altars that Hezekiah had torn down. He went so far as to set up an image in the house of the LORD.

v4 "And he built altars in the house of the LORD, of which the LORD said In Jerusalem will I put my name."

Even men are particular about the place where they put their name whether it be a business or a memorial to their good deeds.

We are talking about the LORD's name which is not just a word on a sign. It is a name with power and might.

Acts 4:12 "Neither is there salvation in any other; for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved."

Ephesians 1:20-21 "Which he wrought in Christ when he raised him from the dead and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places. Far above all principality and power and might and dominion and every name that is named not only in the is world but also in that which is to come:"

Philippians 2:9-11 "Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him and given him a name which is above every name That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven and things in earth and things under the earth: And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father."

Hebrews 1:4 "Being made so much better than the angels, as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they."

So then we can see the very great sin of this man who brought images of false gods into the place where the LORD chose to put his own name.

v16 "Moreover Manasseh shed innocent blood very much till he had filled Jerusalem from one end to another; beside his sin wherewith he made Judah to sin in doing that which was evil in the sight of the LORD."

I have used a lot of scripture for which I do not apologize. The scripture is the best commentary on itself. It passes through thousands of years of history and yet agrees with itself completely. We see it fulfilled even today as we watch the news.

Amon ruled after Manasseh and continued the evil ways of his father.

v22 "And he forsook the LORD God of his fathers, and walked not in the way of the LORD."

Josiah is the next king and he is a good one. He was eight years old when he started to reign and we will see that in the next chapter. There was a conspiracy against Amon and after he was dead, the people slew all those involved and made Josiah king at eight years old.

Psalm 9:15 "The heathen are sunk down in the pit that they made: in the net which they hid is their own foot taken."

Keywords: Bible Study, Old Testament, Kings, Manasseh, Israel, Judah. Manasseh rules a long time but is a very bad king.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Hezekiah given 15 More Years II Kings 20

II Kings 20:1 "In those days was Hezekiah sick unto death. And the prophet Isaiah the son of Amoz came to him and said unto him, Thus saith the LORD, Set thine house in order, for thou shalt die and not live."

Hezekiah was a good king but it was time for him to have his appointment with death. He was very saddened and I think hurt when he got the news. He turned to the wall and cried. He also prayed to the LORD and recounted his deeds he had done for the LORD. The LORD had mercy on him and before Isaiah got out of the house, the LORD gave him the message for Hezekiah that he would have fifteen more years.

v5 "Turn again and tell Hezekiah the captain of my people, Thus saith the LORD, the God of David thy father, I have heard thy prayer, I have seen thy tears, behold, I will heal thee: on the third day thou shalt go up unto the house of the LORD."

It is a touching story. The LORD, although the God of the Universe and those things outside it, is also touched by one man's prayer and his tears.

Hezekiah's later years were not as right as his other years but that is another part of the story.

Here we can see the tender heart of the LORD toward his servants. It is the same heart that wept at the tomb of Lazarus. John 11:35

Hebrews 4:15 "For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin."

Our prayers are not wasted.

Revelation 5:8 "And when he had taken the book, the four beasts and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps and golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of the saints." See also Rev 8:3

For a sign, which Hezekiah asked for as if the word of the LORD was not enough, Hezekiah asked for the shadow on the dial to go backwards ten degrees and it was so. Verse 11.

Hezekiah made a huge mistake in his last years. He invited the enemy into the camp and showed off all his treasures. It's like bringing in a bank robber into a bank and showing them the security codes and all the money inside.

v17 "Behold the days come that all that is in thine house and that which thy fathers have laid up in store unto this day shall be carried into Babylon: nothing shall be left, saith the LORD."

Nevertheless, because of Hezekiah's service it would not happen in his lifetime but in his sons.

When Hezekiah heard the prophecy, I thought his statement was a little selfish. v19 "...And he said, is it not good, if peace and truth be in my days?" But that is not for me to decide. He was a good king with a mistake at the end. There must surely be a reason for our appointed time with death, perhaps it saves us from the biggest mistakes of our lives.

Hezekiah was famous for changing the course of a stream of water and routing it to bring water directly into Jerusalem. II Chronicles 32:30. The chapter also says that Hezekiah humbled himself before the LORD which I think can make up for a lot of mistakes.

Psalm 126:6 "He that goeth forth and weepeth bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him."

Keywords: Hezekiah, Bible Study, Old Testament, Kings, Jerusalem. Hezekiah given fifteen more years. Hezekiah changes the course of a stream to bring water into Jerusalem.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Assyria Defeated II Kings 19

II Kings 19:33 "By the way that he came, by the same shall he return, and shall not come into this city, saith the LORD."

We found previously that the 10 tribes (c17 v4)have been taken. Hezekiah is king in Judah. Jerusalem is surrounded and seems about to fall. We know that Israel rebelled and captivity is their punishment for making to themselves images of false gods and worshipping them. In the midst of this, a revival takes place. Hezekiah does his best to bring everyone together to worship the one true God and to do it at Jerusalem.

Then the representative of the king of Assyria dares to lump the LORD God in with all the images he has burned and otherwise destroyed.

II Chronicles 30:19 "And they spake against the God of Jerusalem, as against the gods of the people of the earth, which were the work of the hands of man."

Here are the ones involved in this chapter:

Jehovah, Hezekiah, Isaiah, Sennacherib, Rabshakeh

After the threats made by Sennacherib against Jerusalem, Hezekiah called a prayer meeting with Isaiah. He sent a message to Isaiah asking him to entreat God for Jerusalem.

v4 "It may be the LORD thy God will her all the words of Rabshakeh, whom the king of Assyria his master hath sent to reproach the living God; and will reprove the words which the LORD thy God hath heard: wherefore lift up thy prayer for the remnant that are left."

So Isaiah prayed and received an answer to pass on to Hezekiah.

v6 "...Be not afraid of the words which thou hast heard, with which the servants of the king of Assyria have blasphemed me. v7 Behold I will send a blast upon him, and he shall hear a rumour and shall return to his own land and I will cause him to fall by the sword in his own land."

King Sennacherib sent another message, yet threatening more and Hezekiah went to pray to the LORD in person. Jehovah answered through Isaiah.

v16 "LORD bow down thine ear, and hear: open, LORD, thine eyes and see, and hear the words of Sennacherib, which hath sent him to reproach the living God."

v22 "Whom hast thou reproached and blasphemed? and against whom hast thou exalted thy voice and lifted up tine eyes on high? even against the Holy One of Israel."

Then came a promise from the LORD concerning Judah. They shall yet spring forth.

v30 "And the remnant that is escaped of the house of Judah shall yet again take root downward, and bear fruit upward."

As predicted, Sennacherib's army was destroyed in the night and the king was killed by his own sons as he worshipped his own false god. The verse is interesting.

v35 "And it came to pass that night, that the angel of the LORD went out and smote in the camp of the Assyrians an hundred fourscore and five thousand and when they arose early in the morning behold, they were all dead corpses."

They really had a bad morning. It was well deserved for they came up against Jerusalem but elevated the battle when they defied the living God. The LORD needed but one angel to take care of their mighty army.

This chapter and the previous are very important for they tell of the loss of the promised land for a season. We have seen here the promise that Judah would yet spring up. It is important because Christ has not yet come to carry out the redemption plan. I've used the analogy that Israel (children of Abraham, Issac and Jacob) was like a pregnant lady carrying the promise that salvation would come. It seems impossible with the nation destroyed but we will see, if we re blessed to continue our study, that God's promises always come true.

We see the phrases often and they are a comfort "And it came to pass" "And so it was", if the LORD says it, it will come to pass. We have been blessed and have much to look forward to.

Psalm 3:1-3 "LORD, how are they increased that trouble me! many are they that rise up against me. Many there be which say of my soul, There is no help for him in God. Selah. But thou, O LORD, art a shield for me; my glory, and the lifter up of mine head."

Assyria defeated after Hezekiah's prayer. Keywords: Bible Study, Old Testament, Kings, Hezekiah, Assyria, Isaiah.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Special Note

Today's Bible study is just below this one. I wanted to announce that this Bible Study blog reached over 10,000 hits this past weekend since we started. It is meant to encourage further study but if you are on the run in our busy world, it is a way to have a brief study of one chapter of the Bible. I hope you will use it and pass it on to your friends. One person blessed by this study is enough to continue, but it would be a thrill if everyone passed on the url and we reached another 10,000 in the next month. Thank you so much for reading, linking and coming back.

Our world is troubled, we need the anchor of God's promises to keep us firmly rooted.

Hezekiah II Kings 18

II Kings 18:2-3 Twenty and five years old was he when he began to reign; and he reigned twenty and nine years in Jerusalem. His mother's name also was Abi, the daughter of Zachariah And he did that which was right in the sight of the LORD, according to all that David his father did."

Finally, we have a revival in Jerusalem that spreads to all Canaan. Hezekiah gave his best effort to do that which was right. He carried out military campaigns that were victorious. He got rid of the places of worship of strange gods and worked to reunite Judah and Israel in worship at Jerusalem.

v7 "And the LORD was with him and he prospered whithersoever he went forth, and he rebelled against the king of Assyria and served him not."

Because Israel (10 tribes) failed to obey the LORD, they were carried away by Assyria. v12

Then came Sennacherib to invade Judah and the army stood at Jerusalem making their claims that they were mightier than Hezekiah. The Azzyrians spoke of the high places Hezekiah had torn down indicating that those places were where the God of Israel was located and therefore Judah had no recourse but to surrender.

v29 "Thus saith the king, Let not Hezekiah deceive you: for he shall not be able to deliver you out of his hand:"

v21 "Now, behold, thou trustest upon the staff of this bruised reed..." talking about Egypt.

Then the speaker attacks the creditability of the LORD God.

v22 "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?"

Then the speech reaches the height of audacity when the Assyrian used this verse to say he was sent by the LORD God.

v25 "Am I now come up without the LORD against this place to destroy it? The LORD said to me Go up against this land, and destroy it."

Well, it looks like we are in for a showdown. Hezekiah has been true to the LORD but is in a bad way. Samaria has already fallen as well as Judah and only Jerusalem is left but under siege. Assyria has stood at the wall and belittled them and their king.

It seems Assyria cannot be defeated. In the next chapter, we will see what a small number who honors God can do against impossible odds. As Elijah told his servant, there are more with us than with them.

Psalm 71:7 "I am as a wonder unto many; but thou art my strong refuge."

Keywords: Hezekiah honors the LORD God and brings revival to Jerusalem. Bible Study, Israel, Kings, Hezekiah, Assyria.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Israel (10 Tribes) Captivity II Kings 17

II Kings 17:7 "For so it was that the children of Israel had sinned against the LORD their God, which had brought them up out of the land of Egypt from under the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt and had feared other gods."

Reference can be made here to Deuteronomy 28:15-68 and 30:1-9 II Samuel 7:8-17.

The captivity here refers to the ten tribes and Judah is a separate issue. I think of Jonathan when he was tired and hungry from battle and dipped his staff in the honey that flowed from the trees. It tells of the richness of this great land. Now Israel is loosing it for no other reason than that they rebelled against the LORD God.

v12 "For they served idols whereof the LORD had said unto them, Ye shall not do this thing."

Israel is paying tribute to Assyria but also sent to Egypt for help. The king of Assyria found out about it and took the people away and put them in other cities besides Samaria. The king of Israel, Hoshea, was put bound in prison.

A list of their sins is given in the following verses they set them up images v10, wrought wicked things v11, they left all the commandments v16, they caused their sons and their daughters to pass through the fire v17. It is a long list and shows that punishment was justified.

v24 "And the king of Assyria brought men from Babylon, and Cuthah, and from Ava and from Hamath and from Sepharvaim and placed them in the cities of Samaria instead of the children of Israel; and they possessed Samaria, and dwelt in the cities thereof."

So here we see how Samaria became a mixed people within Israel. The sting of that will play out in the New Testament.

Lions were sent by God on the newcomers and one told the king of Assyria that it was because the people did not understand the ways of the God of the land. A priest was sent to teach them. v28.

v29 "Howbeit every nation, made gods of their own, and put them in the houses of the high places which the Samaritans had made, every nation in their cities where the dwelt."

A list of those false gods is given in verse 31. The land is becoming like it was before the children of Israel possessed the land.

The people thus tried to have it both ways.

v33 "They feared the LORD, and served their own gods, after the manner of the nations whom they carried away from thence."

Judah remains as a testimony to David who followed the LORD.

Psalm 55:6 "And I said, Oh that I had wings like a dove! for then would I fly away, and be at rest."
Israel is taken into captivity.
Keywords: Israel, captivity, Judah, Israel, Assyria. Bible Study, Old Testament.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Ahaz II Kings 16

II Kings 16:2 "Twenty years old was Ahaz when he began to reign and reigned sixteen years in Jerusalem, and did not that which was right in the sight of the LORD his God, like David his father."

This is a very important chapter ( I know they all are) because it represents the time before the first captivity.

Other nations are brought into Canaan, some to help Israel, some to help Judah. The result was not what the kings hoped for. The treasures of the nation are depleted, people are carried away and the strength of Israel is gone.

v5 "Then Rezin king of Syria and Pekah son of Remaliah king of Israel came up to Jerusalem to war and they besieged Ahaz but could not overcome him."

v7 "So Ahaz sent messengers to Tiglath-pileser king of Assyria, saying I am thy servant and thy son: come up and save me out of the hand of the king of Syria and out of the hand of the king of Israel, which rise up against me."

We now have two nations in Canaan besides Israel and Judah. The Assyrians took Damascus and killed Rezin but did not stop there. We will see it in the next chapter.

Ahaz went up to Damascus and saw an altar he like better than the one in the LORD's house so he modified that one to the one in Damascus. He moved things around and made his offerings.

v18 "And the covert for the sabbath that they had built in the house of the king's entry without, turned he from the house of the LORD for the king of Assyria."

It is a sad time. I remember Joshua leading a mighty army into Canaan. A unified army. They settled the land and enjoyed prosperity and world fame under David and Solomon. The people turned away from the one true God and worshipped idols. Now the nation is divided and foreign armies tramps in the land.

You may jump ahead to II Chronicles 28 to see some of the stuff that was going on. It was bad.

Joshua 24:15 "And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell, but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD."

v16 "And the people answered and said, God forbid that we should forsake the LORD, to serve other gods."

Psalm 71:1 "In thee, O LORD, do I put my trust; let me never be put to confusion."

Keywords: Ahaz, Israel, Judah, Damascus, Bible Study, Kings, Old Testament. Last chapter before the captivity.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Jotham king in Judah II Kings 15

II Kings 15:34-35a "And he did that which was right in the sight of the LORD: he did according to all that his father Uzziah had done. Howbeit the high places were not removed..."

Uzziah was Azariah. As in other chapters, this chapter has the changing of the kings recorded.

Continuing with Azariah or Uzziah who was 16 when he started to reign and reigned 52 years.

v3 "And he did that which was right in the sight of the LORD, according to all that his father Amaziah had done; v4 Save that the high places were not removed..."

We see a continuing theme for those who did right except for one thing, that of removing the high places. I suppose most of us hang onto that one thing for a time until we finally give it up and find that God has something great in mind for us.

Amaziah became a leper and stayed indoors or so it appears from v5. Jotham ruled even before he became king.

v5 "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."

Azariah died and Jotham became king in Judah. You can see that we switch back and forth from the king of Judah and the king of Israel. To keep the time frame correct the writer gives the year a king took over based on the year of the kingship of the other. Example verse 13. where Shallum took over in the 39th year of Uzziah king of Judah.

In Israel we have a line of kings: Shalum, Menahem, Pekah, Pekahiah.

The chapter closes with Ahaz becoming king of Judah in the stead of Jotham. During this time there was war with when Azzyria came and took territory and took captives from Israel under the reign of Pekah.

It looks like a lot of activity in Israel while Judah was relatively stable with some good kings.

Psalm 36:5 "Thy mercy O LORD is in the heavens; and thy faithfulness reacheth unto the clouds."

Keywords: Uzziah, Jotham, Israel, Judah, Old Testament, Bible Study. The kings of Israel change swiftly.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Amaziah Reigns in Judah II Kings 14

v3 "And he did that which was right in the sight of the LORD, yet not like David his father: he did according to all things as Joash his father did."

It is good to have a bright spot with the kings. Amaziah did pretty good. He did not give God his full attention though as David did. He left the high places as did other kings. These were places where false gods were given reverence.

v8 "Then Amaziah sent messengers to Jehoash, the son of Jehoshaz son of Jehu, king of Israel, saying Come let su look one another in the face."

Jehoash virtually laughed at Amaziah by comparing him to a thistle that was broken by the cedar tree. A fight broke out and Amaziah was routed. Jehoash also took the gold and silver that was in Jerusalem. That was his last deed recorded here and he died.

Amaziah lived fifteen more years but he also died without further deeds being recorded in this chapter.

v21 "And all the people of Judah took Azariah, which was sixteen years old, and made him king instead of his father Amaziah. v22 He built Elath and restored it to Judah after that the king slept with his fathers."

The kingship seems to be changing fast now. Notice the small spelling difference in the names Azariah and Amaziah. It is easy to get confused with that plus the grandchildren taking the names of their forefathers makes it hard to keep up.

v23 "In the fifteenth year of Amaziah the son of Joash king of Judah, Jeroboam the son of Joash king of Israel began to reign in Samaria, and reigned forty and one years."

We can call him Jeroboam II for clarity. The Bible is blunt. He did evil. Yet he was used to fulfill the word of the LORD. v25

v25 "He restored the coast of Israel from the entering of Hamath unto the sea of the plain, according to the word of the LORD God of Israel, which he spake by the hand of his servant Jonah, the son of Amittai, the prophet, which was of Gathhepher." Verse 26 explains "For the LORD saw the affliction of Israel..."

Time is passing and we are going through the kings of Judah and Israel very swiftly now that we have left David and Solomon. It is obvious from our study that David was the greatest king of all and his place and adoration in history is well deserved among the kings.

Psalm 34:1 "I will bless the LORD at all times; his praise shall continually be in my mouth."

Billy Sunday's wife said of him in his last days that he talked to God so much that she could not tell when he was speaking to her or to God.

Keywords: Israel, Judah, Bible Study, Old Testament, Amaziah, Kings, King, thistle. The list and deeds of the kings continues for Judah and Israel.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Elisha Sick II Kings 13

II Kings 13:14 "Now Elisha was fallen sick of his sickness whereof he died. And Joash the king of Israel came down unto him, and wept over his face, and said, O my father, my father, the chariot of Israel, and the horsemen thereof."

Joash was now the king of Israel. He had taken the place of Jehozhaz. Johahaz did evil but later repented. Now Joash is ruler. Joash is not the same one as ruled Judah. The names get jumbled up as children are named after their ancestors. Also, sometimes the spellings have foreign influences as Israel is carried away to captivity. Just as the spellings in the New Testament are different because of the Greek influence.

While Joash was with Elisha, Elisha told him to shot arrows which he called the arrows of deliverance, then to tap the bow upon the ground. Joash smote it three times.

v19 "And the man of God was wroth with him and said, Thou shouldest have smitten five or six times; then hadst thou smitten Syria till thou hadst consumed it: whereas now thou shalt smite Syria but thrice."

So Elisha died still a firm speaking prophet. Then came the Moabites invading the land. They were burying a man but saw their enemy coming and tossed the body into Elisha's tomb. The man came back to life, such was the great power that worked in Elisha.

v21 "And it came to pass as they were burying a man, that behold they spied a band of men and they cast the man into the sepulchre of Elisha and when the man was let down and touched the bones of Elisha, he revived, and stood up on his feet."

Hazael, king of Syria died and Benhadad reigned. Jehoash took back the cities that Syria had taken. v25..."Three times did Joash beat him, and recovered the cities of Israel."

Psalm 36:9 "For with thee, is the fountain of life: in thy light shall we see light."
Reference also John chapter 1.

Keywords: Elisha, Bible Study, Israel, Old Testament, Moab, Syria. Elisha dies and a man is brought back to life by his bones.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Joash (Jehoash) II Kings 12

II Kings 12:2 "And Jehoash did that which was right in the sight of the LORD all his days wherein Jehoiada the priest instructed him."

This is the story of a young king who was mentored by a dedicated priest. He was of the line of David and Beersheba. I believe the young king had a good heart. He set out to repair the house of the LORD. He took the money usually given to the priest's acquaintances and gave it to the workers but the workers did not make repairs with the money. So, another way was made.

v9 "But Jehoiada the priest took a chest and bored a hole in the lid of it and set it beside the altar on the right side as one cometh into the house of the LORD; and the priests that kept the door put therein all the money that was brought into the house of the LORD."

It appears that there were a pretty good bunch of priests there at the time. They gave up their income but when that did not work, they gave up the offerings at the door.

v14 "But they gave that to the workmen and repaired therewith the house of the LORD."

Syria again attacked Israel and would have went up against Jerusalem itself but Jehoash bribed them to leave it alone by giving king Hazael the hallowed things but not only that, he gave up his personal stuff too. v18.

So Hazael left Jerusalem alone.

Then the servants of Jehoash conspired against the king and killed him.

v20 "And his servants arose, and made a conspiracy an slew Joash in the house of Millo, which goeth down to Silla."

Amaziah took over who was the son of Jehoash or Joash. I saw no reason as to why there was a rebellion against the king but he was buried with his fathers in the city of David. v21.

Psalm 35:21 "Yea, they opened their mouth wide against me, and said, Aha, aha, our eye hath seen it."

Keywords: Jerusalem, Bible Study, Kings, Old Testament, priests, Joash, Jehoash. The boy king of Judah.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Joash Saved from Athaliah II Kings 11

II Kings 11:2 "But Jehosheba, the daughter of king Joram, sister of Ahaziah, took Joash the son of Ahaziah, and stole him from among the king's sons which were slain; and they hid him even him and his nurse, in the bedchamber from Athaliah, so that he was not slain."

Ahaziah (king of Judah)had gone to visit the king of Israel about the time that Jehu was doing away with the house of Ahab and Jezebel. He tried to escape but was mortally injured. When his mother heard about it, she killed all the sons that might inherit the throne except Joash who was hidden. She then ruled Judah. Athaliah was the daughter of Omri, king of Israel. c8v26. Chapter 8 says her son walked in the ways of Ahab. c8v27

v3 "And he was with her hid in the house of the LORD six years. And Athaliah did reign over the land."

A priest named Jehoiada, who happens to be the husband of the woman who saved Joash, called a meeting of the guard when Joash was 7 years old. Once security was set up, they anointed the young boy king of Judah. Athaliah came to see what the commotion was all about and upon seeing the crown on the boys head,, rent her clothes and called Treason, Treason. v14 She was then taken outside the house of the LORD and killed.

v18 "And all the people of the land went into the house of Baal and brake it down; his altars and his images brake they in pieces thoroughly and slew Mattan the priest of Baal before the altars. And the priest appointed officers over the house of the LORD."

v21 "Seven years old was Jehoash when he began to reign."

You may have noticed the name difference, I believe the change can be explained by the events.
Joash means to whom Jehovah hastens - he was taken and hidden in haste.
Jehoash means whom Jehovah bestowed which is the original form of Joash. The kingship was bestowed upon him.
Names often describe who a person is in olden days.

Proverbs 29:1 "He that being often reproved hardeneth his neck, shall suddenly be destroyed and that without remedy."

Keywords: Israel, Bible Study, Judah, Ahab, Jehu, Jeboash, Joash, Old Testament. Athaliah rules for a time. Seven year old king.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Jehu Executes Judgment on House of Ahab IIKings10

II Kings 10:11 "So Jehu slew all that remained of the house of Ahab in Jezreel, and all his great men, and his kinsfolks, and his priests, until he left him none remaining."

Jehu is the instrument used to carry out the penalty of sin on the house of Ahab and Jezebel. We can go back to the prophecy of Elijah and see where Elijah predicted that Ahab would not have a place in Israel.

I Kings 21:21 "Behold, I will bring evil upon thee and will take away thy posterity and will cut off from Ahab ....v22 And will make thine house like the house of Jeroboam...thou hast provoked me to anger, and made Israel to sin."

Ahab and Jezebel did not casually worship Baal but promoted the worship with all the people.

This is the nation and people that God claimed as his own. He delivered them from Egypt with a mighty hand and met them at the mount with the commandments. He parted the sea and the waters of Jordan and gave them victory when no victory seemed possible. But the have turned to a no god instead of the living God.

Jehu Was very crafty in his zeal to destroy Baal from the kingdom. He wrote a letter to the men who were raising the 70 sons of Ahab, first telling them to make them a king of one and fight but in the absence of that to deliver the sons up to him. They decided to deliver up the sons.

Next he invites all the Baal worshippers to a sacrifice. When they showed up, he slew them.

v27 "And they brake down the image of Baal and brake down the house of Baal, and made it a draught house unto this day."

Even though Jehu did not walk in the ways of the Lord, he was promised that four generations of his family would rule.

v32 "In those days the LORD began to cut Israel short; and Hazael smote them in all the coasts of Israel;"

We are leading up to a captivity of Israel as the nation grows weaker and weaker because of their sin making it ripe for conquest.

Psalm 64:7 "But God shall shoot at them with an arrow; suddenly shall they be wounded."

Keywords: Bible Study, Old Old Story, Israel, Kings, Jehu, Syria, Baal. Jehu carries out the prophecy of Elijah.