The siege of Jerusalem and the treaty with Assyria (2 Kings 16:5-16:9)

“Then King Rezin of Aram and King Pekah son of Remaliah of Israel came up to wage war on Jerusalem. They besieged King Ahaz but could not conquer him. At that time the king of Edom recovered Elath for Edom. He drove the Judeans from Elath. The Edomites came to Elath, where they live to this day. So King Ahaz sent messengers to King Tiglath-pileser of Assyria, saying. ‘I am your servant and your son. Come up. Rescue me from the hand of the king of Aram and from the hand of the king of Israel, who are attacking me.’  King Ahaz also took the silver and gold found in the house of Yahweh and in the treasures of the king’s house, and sent a present to the king of Assyria. The king of Assyria listened to him. The king of Assyria marched up against Damascus, and took it. He carried its people captive to Kir. Then he killed King Rezin.”

King Rezin was the last king of Aram in Damascus before King Tiglath-pileser III of Assyria took over Damascus, killed him, and sent his people into exile in Kir. King Rezin joined with King Pekah of Israel to attack Jerusalem. They were unsuccessful because King Ahaz of Judah formed a coalition with the Assyrian King Tiglath-pileser III. King Ahaz said he would be his servant and sent a present to the king to become a vassal and get protection. So King Tiglath-pileser III was happy to get the money since he was planning to attack Damascus anyway.


The reign of the bad King Ahaz in Judah (736-716 BCE) (2 Kings 16:1-16:4)

“In the seventeenth year of King Pekah son of Remaliah, Ahaz son of King Jotham of Judah began to reign. 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 of Yahweh his God, as his ancestor David had done, but he walked in the way of the kings of Israel. He even made his son pass through a fire offering, 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, and on the hills, and under every green tree.”

King Ahaz, unlike his father and grandfather and ancestor 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. He was young, about 20 when he began to rule. He ruled for 16 years which would put his death at 36. However, the Bible of Jerusalem title only indicates 10 years.

The death of King Jotham (2 Kings 15:36-15:38)

“Now the rest of the acts of King Jotham, and all that he did, are they not written in the Book of the Annals of the Kings of Judah? In those days Yahweh began to send King Rezin of Aram and King Pekah son of Remaliah against Judah. King Jotham slept with his ancestors. He was buried with his ancestors in the city of David. His son King Ahaz succeeded him.”

Once again, for more details, see the lost “Book of the Annals of the Kings of Judah.” While King Jotham ruled, the kings of Aram and Israel fought against him. It is difficult to see if they were successful. He died and was buried in Jerusalem. His son King Ahaz took over after him.

The reign of King Jotham in Judah (740-736 BCE) (2 Kings 15:32-15:35)

“In the second year of King Pekah son of Remaliah of Israel, King Jotham son of King Azariah of Judah began to reign. He was twenty-five years old when he began to reign. He reigned sixteen years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Jerusha daughter of Zadok. He did what was right in the sight of Yahweh, just as his father King Azariah had done. Nevertheless the high places were not removed. The people still sacrificed and made offerings on the high places. He built the upper gate of the house of Yahweh.”

Now we are back in Judah. King Jotham had actually been the caretaker of the Judah kingdom while his father suffered from leprosy. He was only 25 when his father died and he took over as king. He ruled for another 16 years yet the title of the Jerusalem Bible has only 5 years. His mother Jerusha is only mentioned here and nowhere else. There were 4 other people with the name of Zadok in the biblical literature. Since he had assisted his father while he was still alive, he was considered a good king, like his father. However, he did not destroy the high places of non-Yahweh worship in Judah. Nevertheless, he did put a gate on the house of Yahweh, the temple. Around this time, Isaiah the prophet will make his first appearance.


The revolt of Hoshea (2 Kings 15:30-15:31)

“Then Hoshea son of Elah made a conspiracy against King Pekah son of Remaliah. He attacked him and killed him. King Hoshea reigned in his place, in the twentieth year of King Jotham son of King Azariah. Now the rest of the acts of King Pekah and all that he did are written in the Book of the Annals of the Kings of Israel.”

Once more we have a revolt. The reason seems obvious. Israel is losing land and people to the Assyrians. King Hoshea will be the last king of Israel. He took over during the 20th year of King Jotham in Judah. For more information see your local lost “Book of the Annals of the Kings of Israel.” Interesting enough there is an “Annals of the King Tiglath-pileser” that indicates that he helped Hosea so that Israel then had a pro-Assyrian policy.

 

The attack of the King of Assyria (2 Kings 15:29-15:29)

“In the days of King Pekah of Israel, King Tiglath-pileser of Assyria came and captured Ijon, Abel-beth-maacah, Janoah, Kedesh, Hazor, Gilead, Galilee, and all the land of Naphtali. He carried the people captive to Assyria.”

Wow! This is serious. That King Pul, who took money during the reign of King Menahem, wanted territory this time. This King Tiglath-pileser III captured the northern territory of Israel, including all of Naphtali plus other cities. He was the first to displace the Israelites. He took captives from these northern cities and brought them to Assyria, which today might include parts of Syria, Iraq, and Iran. Iran was more Persian. Iraq was more Babylonian. This is the beginning of the Assyrian captivity that more or less began with King Menahem.


The death of King Pekahiah (2 Kings 15:25-15:26)

“Pekah son of Remaliah, his captain, conspired against him with fifty men of the Gileadites. They killed King Pekahiah in Samaria, in the citadel of the palace along with Argob and Atieh. King Pekah killed him, and reigned in place of him. Now the rest of the deeds of King Pekahiah, and all that he did, are written in the Book of the Annals of the Kings of Israel.”

The captain of King Pekahiah conspired against him with 50 other men from Gilead. King Pekah killed him in his own palace with a couple of his friends. For more information check the lost “Book of the Annals of the Kings of Israel.”