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2 Kings 12:17-18 Living Bible (TLB)

17 About this time, King Hazael of Syria went to war against Gath and captured it; then he moved on toward Jerusalem to attack it. 18 King Joash took all the sacred objects that his ancestors—Jehoshaphat, Jehoram, and Ahaziah, the kings of Judah—had dedicated, along with what he himself had dedicated, and all the gold in the treasuries of the Temple and the palace, and sent it to Hazael. So Hazael called off the attack.

19 The rest of the history of Joash is recorded in The Annals of the Kings of Judah. 20 But his officers plotted against him and assassinated him in his royal residence at Millo on the road to Silla. 21 The assassins were Jozachar, the son of Shimeath, and Jehozabad, the son of Shomer—both trusted aides.[a] He was buried in the royal cemetery in Jerusalem, and his son Amaziah became the new king.

13 Jehoahaz (the son of Jehu) began a seventeen-year reign over Israel during the twenty-third year of the reign of King Joash of Judah. But he was an evil king, and he followed the wicked paths of Jeroboam, who had caused Israel to sin. So the Lord was very angry with Israel, and he continually allowed King Hazael of Syria and his son Ben-hadad to conquer them.

But Jehoahaz prayed for the Lord’s help, and the Lord listened to him; for the Lord saw how terribly the king of Syria was oppressing Israel. So the Lord raised up leaders among the Israelis to rescue them from the tyranny of the Syrians; and then Israel lived in safety again as they had in former days. But they continued to sin, following the evil ways of Jeroboam; and they continued to worship the goddess Asherah at Samaria. Finally the Lord reduced Jehoahaz’s army to fifty mounted troops, ten chariots, and ten thousand infantry; for the king of Syria had destroyed the others as though they were dust beneath his feet.

The rest of the history of Jehoahaz is recorded in The Annals of the Kings of Israel.

9-10 Jehoahaz died and was buried in Samaria, and his son Joash reigned in Samaria for sixteen years. He came to the throne in the thirty-seventh year of the reign of King Joash of Judah. 11 But he was an evil man, for, like Jeroboam, he encouraged the people to worship idols and led them into sin. 12 The rest of the history of the reign of Joash, including his wars against King Amaziah of Judah, are written in The Annals of the Kings of Israel. 13 Joash died and was buried in Samaria with the other kings of Israel; and Jeroboam II became the new king.

14 When Elisha was in his last illness, King Joash visited him and wept over him.

“My father! My father! You are the strength of Israel!”[b] he cried.

15 Elisha told him, “Get a bow and some arrows,” and he did.

16-17 “Open that eastern window,” he instructed. Then he told the king to put his hand upon the bow, and Elisha laid his own hands upon the king’s hands.

“Shoot!” Elisha commanded, and he did.

Then Elisha proclaimed, “This is the Lord’s arrow, full of victory over Syria; for you will completely conquer the Syrians at Aphek. 18 Now pick up the other arrows and strike them against the floor.”

So the king picked them up and struck the floor three times. 19 But the prophet was angry with him. “You should have struck the floor five or six times,” he exclaimed, “for then you would have beaten Syria until they were entirely destroyed; now you will be victorious only three times.”

20-21 So Elisha died and was buried.

In those days bandit gangs of Moabites used to invade the land each spring. Once some men who were burying a friend spied these marauders so they hastily threw his body into the tomb of Elisha. And as soon as the body touched Elisha’s bones, the dead man revived and jumped to his feet!

22 King Hazael of Syria had oppressed Israel during the entire reign of King Jehoahaz. 23 But the Lord was gracious to the people of Israel, and they were not totally destroyed. For God pitied them, and also he was honoring his contract with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. And this is still true. 24 Then King Hazael of Syria died, and his son Ben-hadad reigned in his place.

25 King Joash of Israel[c] (the son of Jehoahaz) was successful on three occasions in reconquering the cities that his father had lost to Ben-hadad.

14 During the second year of the reign of King Joash of Israel, King Amaziah began his reign over Judah. Amaziah was twenty-five years old at the time, and he reigned in Jerusalem for twenty-nine years. (His mother was Jehoaddin, a native of Jerusalem.) He was a good king in the Lord’s sight, though not quite like his ancestor David; but he was as good a king as his father Joash. However, he didn’t destroy the shrines on the hills, so the people still sacrificed and burned incense there.

As soon as he had a firm grip on the kingdom, he killed the men who had assassinated his father; but he didn’t kill their children, for the Lord had commanded through the law of Moses that fathers shall not be killed for their children, nor children for the sins of their fathers: everyone must pay the penalty for his own sins. Once Amaziah killed ten thousand Edomites in Salt Valley; he also conquered Sela and changed its name to Joktheel, as it is called to this day.

One day he sent a message to King Joash of Israel (the son of Jehoahaz and the grandson of Jehu), daring him to mobilize his army and come out and fight.

But King Joash replied, “The thistle of Lebanon demanded of the mighty cedar tree, ‘Give your daughter to be a wife for my son.’ But just then a wild animal passed by and stepped on the thistle and trod it into the ground! 10 You have destroyed Edom and are very proud about it; but my advice to you is, be content with your glory and stay home! Why provoke disaster for both yourself and Judah?”

11 But Amaziah refused to listen, so King Joash of Israel mustered his army. The battle began at Beth-shemesh, one of the cities of Judah, 12 and Judah was defeated and the army fled home. 13 King Amaziah was captured, and the army of Israel marched on Jerusalem and broke down its wall from the Gate of Ephraim to the Corner Gate, a distance of about six hundred feet. 14 King Joash took many hostages and all the gold and silver from the Temple and palace treasury, also the gold cups. Then he returned to Samaria.

15 The rest of the history of Joash and his war with King Amaziah of Judah are recorded in The Annals of the Kings of Israel. 16 When Joash died, he was buried in Samaria with the other kings of Israel. And his son Jeroboam became the new king.

17 Amaziah lived fifteen years longer than Joash, 18 and the rest of his biography is recorded in The Annals of the Kings of Judah. 19 There was a plot against his life in Jerusalem, and he fled to Lachish; but his enemies sent assassins and killed him there. 20 His body was returned on horses, and he was buried in the royal cemetery, in the City of David section of Jerusalem.

21 Then his son Azariah became the new king at the age of sixteen. 22 After his father’s death, he built Elath and restored it to Judah.

23 Meanwhile, over in Israel, Jeroboam II had become king during the fifteenth year of the reign of King Amaziah of Judah. Jeroboam’s reign lasted forty-one years. 24 But he was as evil as Jeroboam I (the son of Nebat), who had led Israel into the sin of worshiping idols. 25 Jeroboam II recovered the lost territories of Israel between Hamath and the Dead Sea, just as the Lord God of Israel had predicted through Jonah (son of Amittai) the prophet from Gathhepher. 26 For the Lord saw the bitter plight of Israel—she had no one to help her. 27 And he had not said that he would blot out the name of Israel, so he used King Jeroboam II to save her.

28 The rest of Jeroboam’s biography—all that he did, and his great power, and his wars, and how he recovered Damascus and Hamath (which had been captured by Judah)—is recorded in The Annals of the Kings of Israel. 29 When Jeroboam II died, he was buried with the other kings of Israel, and his son Zechariah became the new king of Israel.

15 1-2 New king of Judah: Azariah

Father’s name: Amaziah, the former king

His age at the beginning of his reign: 16 years old

Length of reign: 52 years, in Jerusalem

Mother’s name: Jecoliah of Jerusalem

Reigning in Israel at that time: King Jeroboam, who had been the king there for 27 years

Azariah was a good king, and he pleased the Lord just as his father Amaziah had. But like his predecessors, he didn’t destroy the shrines on the hills where the people sacrificed and burned incense. Because of this[d] the Lord struck him with leprosy, which lasted until the day of his death; so he lived in a house by himself. And his son Jotham was the acting king. The rest of the history of Azariah is recorded in The Annals of the Kings of Judah. When Azariah died, he was buried with his ancestors in the City of David, and his son Jotham became king.

New king of Israel: Zechariah

Father’s name: Jeroboam

Length of reign: 6 months, in Samaria

Reigning in Judah at that time: King Azariah, who had been the king there for 38 years

But Zechariah was an evil king in the Lord’s sight, just like his ancestors. Like Jeroboam I (the son of Nebat), he encouraged Israel in the sin of worshiping idols. 10 Then Shallum (the son of Jabesh) conspired against him and assassinated him at Ibleam and took the crown himself. 11 The rest of the history of Zechariah’s reign is found in The Annals of the Kings of Israel. 12 (So the Lord’s statement to Jehu came true, that Jehu’s son, grandson, and great-grandson would be kings of Israel.[e])

13 New king of Israel: Shallum

Father’s name: Jabesh

Length of reign: 1 month, in Samaria

Reigning in Judah at that time: King Uzziah, who had been the king there for 39 years

14 One month after Shallum became king, Menahem (the son of Gadi) came to Samaria from Tirzah and assassinated him and took the throne. 15 Additional details about King Shallum and his conspiracy[f] are recorded in The Annals of the Kings of Israel.

16 Menahem destroyed the city of Tappuah and the surrounding countryside, for its citizens refused to accept him as their king; he killed the entire population and ripped open the pregnant women.

17 New king of Israel: Menahem

Length of reign: 10 years, in Samaria

Reigning in Judah at that time: King Azariah, who had been the king there for 39 years

18 But Menahem was an evil king. He worshiped idols, as King Jeroboam I had done so long before, and he led the people of Israel into grievous sin. 19-20 Then King Pul of Assyria invaded the land; but King Menahem bought him off with a gift of $2,000,000, so he turned around and returned home. Menahem extorted the money from the rich, assessing each one $2,000 in the form of a special tax. 21 The rest of the history of King Menahem is written in The Annals of the Kings of Israel. 22 When he died, his son Pekahiah became the new king.

23 New king of Israel: Pekahiah

Father’s name: King Menahem

Length of reign: 2 years, in Samaria

Reigning in Judah at that time: King Azariah, who had been the king there for 50 years

24 But Pekahiah was an evil king, and he continued the idol worship begun by Jeroboam I (son of Nebat) who led Israel down that evil trail.

25 Then Pekah (son of Remaliah), the commanding general of his army, conspired against him with fifty men from Gilead and assassinated him in the palace at Samaria (Argob and Arieh were also slain in the revolt). So Pekah became the new king. 26 The rest of the history of King Pekahiah is recorded in The Annals of the Kings of Israel.

27 New king of Israel: Pekah

Father’s name: Remaliah

Length of reign: 20 years, in Samaria

Reigning in Judah at that time: King Azariah, who had been the king there for 52 years

28 Pekah, too, was an evil king, and he continued in the example of Jeroboam I (son of Nebat), who led all of Israel into the sin of worshiping idols. 29 It was during his reign that King Tiglath-pileser[g] led an attack against Israel. He captured the cities of Ijon, Abel-beth-maacah, Janoah, Kedesh, Hazor, Gilead, Galilee, and all the land of Naphtali; and he took the people away to Assyria as captives. 30 Then Hoshea (the son of Elah) plotted against Pekah and assassinated him; and he took the throne for himself.

New king of Israel: Hoshea

Reigning in Judah at that time: King Jotham (son of Uzziah), who had been the king there for 20 years

31 The rest of the history of Pekah’s reign is recorded in The Annals of the Kings of Israel.

32-33 New king of Judah: Jotham

Father’s name: King Uzziah

His age at the beginning of his reign: 25 years old

Length of reign: 16 years, in Jerusalem

Mother’s name: Jerusha (daughter of Zadok)

Reigning in Israel at that time: King Pekah (son of Remaliah), who had been the king there for 2 years

34-35 Generally speaking, Jotham was a good king. Like his father Uzziah, he followed the Lord. But he didn’t destroy the shrines on the hills where the people sacrificed and burned incense. It was during King Jotham’s reign that the upper gate of the Temple of the Lord was built. 36 The rest of Jotham’s history is written in The Annals of the Kings of Judah. 37 In those days the Lord caused King Rezin of Syria and King Pekah of Israel to attack Judah. 38 When Jotham died he was buried with the other kings of Judah in the royal cemetery, in the City of David section of Jerusalem. Then his son Ahaz became the new king.

16 New king of Judah: Ahaz

Father’s name: Jotham

His age at the beginning of his reign: 20 years old

Length of reign: 16 years, in Jerusalem

Character of his reign: evil

Reigning in Israel at that time: King Pekah (son of Remaliah), who had been the king there for 17 years

But he did not follow the Lord as his ancestor David had; he was as wicked as the kings of Israel. He even killed his own son by offering him as a burnt sacrifice to the gods, following the heathen customs of the nations around Judah—nations that the Lord destroyed when the people of Israel entered the land. He also sacrificed and burned incense at the shrines on the hills and at the numerous altars in the groves of trees.

Then King Rezin of Syria and King Pekah (son of Remaliah) of Israel declared war on Ahaz and besieged Jerusalem; but they did not conquer it. However, at that time King Rezin of Syria recovered the city of Elath for Syria; he drove out the Jews and sent Syrians to live there, as they do to this day. King Ahaz sent a messenger to King Tiglath-pileser of Assyria, begging him to help him fight the attacking armies of Syria and Israel.[h] Ahaz took the silver and gold from the Temple and from the royal vaults and sent it as a payment to the Assyrian king. So the Assyrians attacked Damascus, the capital of Syria. They took away the population of the city as captives, resettling them in Kir, and King Rezin of Syria was killed.

10 King Ahaz now went to Damascus to meet with King Tiglath-pileser, and while he was there he noticed an unusual altar in a heathen temple.[i] He jotted down its dimensions and made a sketch and sent it back to Uriah the priest with a detailed description. 11-12 Uriah built one just like it by following these directions and had it ready for the king, who, upon his return from Damascus, inaugurated it with an offering. 13 The king presented a burnt offering and a grain offering, poured a drink offering over it, and sprinkled the blood of peace offerings upon it. 14 Then he removed the old bronze altar from the front of the Temple (it had stood between the Temple entrance and the new altar), and placed it on the north side of the new altar. 15 He instructed Uriah the priest to use the new altar for the sacrifices of burnt offering, the evening grain offering, the king’s burnt offering and grain offering, and the offerings of the people, including their drink offerings. The blood from the burnt offerings and sacrifices was also to be sprinkled over the new altar. So the old altar was used only for purposes of divination.

“The old bronze altar,” he said, “will be only for my personal use.”

16 Uriah the priest did as King Ahaz instructed him. 17 Then the king dismantled the wheeled stands in the Temple, removed their crosspieces and the water vats they supported, and removed the great tank from the backs of the bronze oxen and placed it upon the stone pavement. 18 In deference to the king of Assyria he also removed the festive passageway he had constructed between the palace and the Temple.[j]

19 The rest of the history of the reign of King Ahaz is recorded in The Annals of the Kings of Judah. 20 When Ahaz died he was buried in the royal cemetery, in the City of David sector of Jerusalem, and his son Hezekiah became the new king.

17 1-2 New king of Israel: Hoshea

Father’s name: Elah

Length of reign: 9 years, in Samaria

Character of his reign: evil—but not as bad as some of the other kings of Israel

Reigning in Judah at that time: King Ahaz, who had been the king there for 12 years

King Shalmaneser of Assyria attacked and defeated King Hoshea, so Israel had to pay heavy annual taxes to Assyria. Then Hoshea conspired against the king of Assyria by asking King So of Egypt to help him shake free of Assyria’s power, but this treachery was discovered. At the same time he refused to pay the annual tribute to Assyria. So the king of Assyria put him in prison and in chains for his rebellion.

Now the land of Israel was filled with Assyrian troops for three years besieging Samaria, the capital city of Israel. Finally, in the ninth year of King Hoshea’s reign, Samaria fell and the people of Israel were exiled to Assyria. They were placed in colonies in the city of Halah and along the banks of the Habor River in Gozan, and among the cities of the Medes.

This disaster came upon the nation of Israel because the people worshiped other gods, thus sinning against the Lord their God who had brought them safely out of their slavery in Egypt. They had followed the evil customs of the nations which the Lord had cast out from before them. The people of Israel had also secretly done many things that were wrong, and they had built altars to other gods throughout the land.[k] 10 They had placed obelisks and idols at the top of every hill and under every green tree; 11 and they had burned incense to the gods of the very nations which the Lord had cleared out of the land when Israel came in. So the people of Israel had done many evil things, and the Lord was very angry. 12 Yes, they worshiped idols, despite the Lord’s specific and repeated warnings.

13 Again and again the Lord had sent prophets to warn both Israel and Judah to turn from their evil ways; he had warned them to obey his commandments which he had given to their ancestors through these prophets, 14 but Israel wouldn’t listen. The people were as stubborn as their ancestors and refused to believe in the Lord their God. 15 They rejected his laws and the covenant he had made with their ancestors, and despised all his warnings. In their foolishness they worshiped heathen idols despite the Lord’s stern warnings. 16 They defied all the commandments of the Lord their God and made two calves from molten gold. They made detestable, shameful idols and worshiped Baal and the sun, moon, and stars. 17 They even burned their own sons and daughters to death on the altars of Molech; they consulted fortune-tellers and used magic and sold themselves to evil. So the Lord was very angry. 18 He swept them from his sight until only the tribe of Judah remained in the land.

19 But even Judah refused to obey the commandments of the Lord their God; they too walked in the same evil paths as Israel had. 20 So the Lord rejected all the descendants of Jacob.[l] He punished them by delivering them to their attackers until they were destroyed. 21 For Israel split off from the kingdom of David and chose Jeroboam I (the son of Nebat) as its king. Then Jeroboam drew Israel away from following the Lord. He made them sin a great sin, 22 and the people of Israel never quit doing the evil things that Jeroboam led them into, 23 until the Lord finally swept them away, just as all his prophets had warned would happen. So Israel was carried off to the land of Assyria where they remain to this day.

24 And the king of Assyria transported colonies of people from Babylon, Cuthah, Avva, Hamath, and Sepharvaim and resettled them in the cities of Samaria, replacing the people of Israel. So the Assyrians took over Samaria and the other cities of Israel. 25 But since these Assyrian colonists did not worship the Lord when they first arrived, the Lord sent lions among them to kill some of them.

26 Then they sent a message to the king of Assyria: “We colonists here in Israel don’t know the laws of the god of the land, and he has sent lions among us to destroy us because we have not worshiped him.”

27-28 The king of Assyria then decreed that one of the exiled priests from Samaria should return to Israel and teach the new residents the laws of the god of the land. So one of them returned to Bethel and taught the colonists from Babylon how to worship the Lord.

29 But these foreigners also worshiped their own gods. They placed them in the shrines on the hills near their cities. 30 Those from Babylon worshiped idols of their god Succoth-benoth; those from Cuth worshiped their god Nergal; and the men of Hamath worshiped Ashima. 31 The gods Nibhaz and Tartak were worshiped by the Avvites, and the people from Sephar even burned their own children on the altars of their gods Adrammelech and Anammelech.

32 They also worshiped the Lord, and they appointed from among themselves priests to sacrifice to the Lord on the hilltop altars. 33 But they continued to follow the religious customs of the nations from which they came. 34 And this is still going on among them today—they follow their former practices instead of truly worshiping the Lord or obeying the laws he gave to the descendants of Jacob (whose name was later changed to Israel). 35-36 For the Lord had made a contract with them—that they were never to worship or make sacrifices to any heathen gods. They were to worship only the Lord who had brought them out of the land of Egypt with such tremendous miracles and power. 37 The descendants of Jacob were to obey all of God’s laws and never worship other gods.

38 For God had said, “You must never forget the covenant I made with you; never worship other gods. 39 You must worship only the Lord; he will save you from all your enemies.”

40 But Israel didn’t listen, and the people continued to worship other gods. 41 These colonists from Babylon worshiped the Lord, yes—but they also worshiped their idols. And to this day their descendants do the same thing.

18 1-3 New king of Judah: Hezekiah

Father’s name: Ahaz

His age at the beginning of his reign: 25 years old

Length of reign: 29 years, in Jerusalem

Mother’s name: Abi (daughter of Zechariah)

Character of his reign: good (similar to that of his ancestor David)

Reigning in Israel at that time: King Hoshea (son of Elah), who had been the king there for 3 years

He removed the shrines on the hills, broke down the obelisks, knocked down the shameful idols of Asherah, and broke up the bronze serpent that Moses had made, because the people of Israel had begun to worship it by burning incense to it; even though, as King Hezekiah[m] pointed out to them, it was merely a piece of bronze. He trusted very strongly in the Lord God of Israel. In fact, none of the kings before or after him were as close to God as he was. For he followed the Lord in everything, and carefully obeyed all of God’s commands to Moses. So the Lord was with him and prospered everything he did. Then he rebelled against the king of Assyria and refused to pay tribute any longer. He also conquered the Philistines as far distant as Gaza and its suburbs, destroying cities both large and small.[n]

It was during the fourth year of his reign (which was the seventh year of the reign of King Hoshea in Israel) that King Shalmaneser of Assyria attacked Israel and began a siege on the city of Samaria. 10 Three years later (during the sixth year of the reign of King Hezekiah and the ninth year of the reign of King Hoshea of Israel) Samaria fell. 11 It was at that time that the king of Assyria transported the Israelis to Assyria and put them in colonies in the city of Halath and along the banks of the Habor River in Gozan, and in the cities of the Medes. 12 For they had refused to listen to the Lord their God or to do what he wanted them to do. Instead, they had transgressed his covenant and disobeyed all the laws given to them by Moses the servant of the Lord.

13 Later, during the fourteenth year of the reign of King Hezekiah, King Sennacherib of Assyria besieged and captured all the fortified cities of Judah. 14 King Hezekiah sued for peace and sent this message to the king of Assyria at Lachish: “I have done wrong. I will pay whatever tribute you demand if you will only go away.” The king of Assyria then demanded a settlement of $1,500,000. 15 To gather this amount, King Hezekiah used all the silver stored in the Temple and in the palace treasury. 16 He even stripped off the gold from the Temple doors, and from the doorposts he had overlaid with gold, and gave it all to the Assyrian king.

17 Nevertheless the king of Assyria sent his field marshal, his chief treasurer, and his chief of staff from Lachish with a great army; and they camped along the highway beside the field where cloth was bleached, near the conduit of the upper pool.

Footnotes:

  1. 2 Kings 12:21 both trusted aides, literally, “his servants.”
  2. 2 Kings 13:14 You are the strength of Israel, literally, “The chariots of Israel and its horsemen!”
  3. 2 Kings 13:25 of Israel, implied.
  4. 2 Kings 15:5 Because of this, implied.
  5. 2 Kings 15:12 would be kings of Israel, see 10:30.
  6. 2 Kings 15:15 Shallum and his conspiracy, see v. 10.
  7. 2 Kings 15:29 Tiglath-pileser, also called Pul, in v. 19 above.
  8. 2 Kings 16:7 begging him to . . . fight . . . Syria and Israel, literally, “saying, ‘I am your servant and your son. Come and rescue me.’”
  9. 2 Kings 16:10 an unusual altar in a heathen temple, literally, “he saw the altar that was at Damascus.”
  10. 2 Kings 16:18 The Hebrew is unclear.
  11. 2 Kings 17:9 built altars to other gods throughout the land, literally, “built them high places in all their cities.”
  12. 2 Kings 17:20 descendants of Jacob, literally, “descendants of Israel.”
  13. 2 Kings 18:4 King Hezekiah, implied.
  14. 2 Kings 18:8 cities both large and small, literally, “from the tower of the watchman to the fortified cities.”
Living Bible (TLB)

The Living Bible copyright © 1971 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

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