No pity for the children (Hos 2:4-2:5)

“Also,

I will have no pity

Upon her children,

Because they are children

Of whoredom.

Their mother

Has played the whore.

She conceived them,

But she has acted shamefully.

She said.

‘I will go after

My lovers.

They give me

My bread,

My water,

My wool,

My flax,

My oil,

My drink.’”

The prophet Hosea also has no pity on his or her children since they were considered the children of a prostitute. She conceived them and bore them, but she had acted shamefully. She went after her lovers in order to get bread, water, wool, flax, oil, and something to drink, basically the necessities of life. Obviously, Gomer, the prostitute, was the Israelite people, who sought their lovers among the various fertility Canaanite gods and Baals.

King Manasseh destroys the work of King Hezekiah (2 Chr 33:1-33:3)

“King Manasseh was twelve years old when he began to reign. He reigned fifty-five years in Jerusalem. He did what was evil in the sight of Yahweh. He followed the abominable practices of the nations whom Yahweh drove out before the people of Israel. He rebuilt the high places that his father King Hezekiah had pulled down. He erected altars for the Baals. He made sacred poles. He worshiped all the host of heaven. He served them.”

This is based on 2 Kings, chapter 21, almost word for word. This new young king was named after the tribe of Manasseh. His mother is not named here as she was in 2 Kings.   As he was only 12, she might have had some role in his rule. He ruled for over 55 years, one of the longest reigns of any of these kings. That would make him 67 when he died. After the wonderful King Hezekiah, his son King Manasseh was one of the worst kings in the sight of Yahweh. King Hezekiah ruled for nearly 30 years. You would think that he would have made a better imprint on the country and his son. For some reason this bad King Manasseh gets to rule for such a long time in Jerusalem. He followed the practices of the people who were driven out of Israel. The monotheistic Yahweh worship suffered a setback during his rule as king. He undid all the work of his father. He rebuilt all the high places and erected altars for the Baals. He seemed to follow the terrible kings of Israel with the sacred poles. He worshiped many gods.

The reign of King Ahaz (2 Chr 28:1-28:4)

“King Ahaz was twenty years old when he began to reign. He reigned sixteen years in Jerusalem. He did not do what was right in the sight eyes of Yahweh, as his ancestor King David had done. He walked in the ways of the kings of Israel. He even made cast images for the Baals. He made offerings in the valley of the son of Hinnom. He made his sons pass through fire, according to the abominable practices of the nations whom Yahweh drove out before the people of Israel. He sacrificed and made offerings on the high places, on the hills, and under every green tree.”

This section is based on 2 Kings, chapter 16, almost word for word. King Ahaz, unlike his ancestors such as King David, was an evil king. He not only tolerated the high places of non-Yahweh worship, he went there himself and made offerings. He allowed sacrifices to be made in many places on hills and under trees. He even made a human sacrifice of his son, like the early inhabitants of Canaan had done. King Ahaz walked in the ways of the kings of Israel, not the kings of Judah. He was young, about 20 years old, when he began to rule. He ruled for 16 years which would put his death at age 36.

King Jehoshaphat’s concern for the law of Yahweh (2 Chr 17:3-17:6)

“Yahweh was with King Jehoshaphat, because he walked in the earlier ways of his father. He did not seek the Baals. Thus he sought the God of his father. He walked in his commandments and not according to the ways of Israel. Therefore Yahweh established the kingdom in his hand. All Judah brought tribute to King Jehoshaphat. He had great riches and honor. His heart was courageous in the ways of Yahweh. Furthermore he removed the high places and the sacred poles from Judah.”

Yahweh was well pleased with King Jehoshaphat. He sought God with all his heart and kept the commandments of Moses. Therefore Yahweh was kind to him as he grew in riches and honor. He removed the high places and the sacred totem poles. However, his father did the same thing. Why did these things keep cropping up? Notice that he did not follow the northern ways of Israel.

The oppression of the Ammonites (Judg 10:6-10:9)

“The Israelites again did what was evil in the sight of Yahweh, worshipping the Baals and the Astartes, the gods of Aram, the gods of Sidon, the gods of Moab, the gods of the Ammonites, and the gods of the Philistines. Thus they abandoned Yahweh. They did not worship him. So the anger of Yahweh was kindled against Israel. He sold them into the hands of the Philistines and into the hands of the Ammonites. They crushed and oppressed the Israelites that year. For eighteen years they oppressed all the Israelites that were beyond the Jordan in the land of the Amorites, which is in Gilead. The Ammonites crossed the Jordan to fight also against Judah, Benjamin, and Ephraim. So Israel was sorely distressed.”

This is a continual trend that Israelites worshipped false gods, the gods of the people where they lived. This time it is the gods of the Sidon, Moab, the Ammonites and the Philistines. They had no favorite, just anyone except Yahweh. It started on the east Jordan and then into the southern part of the west bank, Judah, Benjamin, and Ephraim.