2 Kings 13 and 14
This is another composite portion, containing: first a brief account of two kings of Israel, Jehoahaz, and Jehoash or Joash (to be distinguished from the king of Judah of the same name); then two incidents connected with Elisha; and finally an account of the reigns of Amaziah, king of Judah, and Jeroboam II of Israel.
1. What evidence is there that in the reign of Jehoahaz Israel was greatly impoverished? Also what reason is assigned for this state of things?
2. In what ways did all four kings, whose reigns are described in chapter 14, fall short of what God required of them?
- 13:5. A reference to Jeroboam II; see 14:27.
- 14:13. ‘Four hundred cubits’: about 180 meters.
- 14:23. Jeroboam II had a long and successful reign, during which the northern kingdom of Israel was greatly extended. See verse 25.
- 14:25. Lebo Hamath (or ‘the entrance of Hamath’, see NIV mg.) may refer to the pass between Hermon and Labanon in the north; ‘the sea of Arabah’ is the Dead Sea. There is no other reference in Scripture to this particular prophecy of Johan.
2 Kings 15 and 16
These two chapters cover a period of about eighty years. It is helpful to make a list in parallel columns of the kings of Judah and Israel respectively, mentioned in today’s portion, with the length of their reigns.
1. Taking first the kings of Judah, how does Ahaz stand out in sharp contrast to his father Jotham, and his grandfather Azariah (Uzziah)? What two particular acts of folly, one political, the other religious, are recorded of him? Cf. Ps. 146:3-5; Is. 7:1-9.
2. How long did the dynasty of Jehu continue in Israel? See 10:30 and Hos. 1:4. What happened after the dynasty came to an end? What great loss did the northern kingdom suffer in the reign of Pekah? Do you find any good thing recorded of any of the kings of the northern kingdom in these two chapters? Cf. Hos. 7:7; 8:4; 13:11.