Josiah Reign Ends – 2 Chronicles 35

Chapter 35 is somewhat puzzling because we do not have all of the answers we might wish to have about it. It begins with Josiah keeping the Passover. And this time it was done so that the scripture says that there had not been one like it since the days of Samuel. But then Pharaoh Neco came up from Egypt to fight at Carchemish on the Euphrates. Josiah went out to meet him, but Neco sent envoys to meet him, telling him that he had no quarrel with him.  He told Josiah that he had been sent by God to hurry, and that if he interfered, he would be destroyed.

But Josiah didn’t listen, and he disguised himself and went in to fight. He was shot by Neco’s archers. Badly wounded, he was carried out by chariot to Jerusalem, where he died. And so ends the reign of one of the best kings Judah had seen. Why was Neco sent by God? A mystery we cannot know.

 

(This year’s reading plan for Luke, Acts, and 1 and 2 Chronicles averages just 15 verses per day – 5 days per week!)
Schedule for this week

 

/Bob’s boy

 

___________________

 

some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

 

Please visit this site’s menu item “The Author’s Books” for info on the author’s books, website, and Facebook page.

 

All of my comments in this blog are solely my responsibility. When reading any commentary, you should always refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word.

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Good King Josiah – 2 Chronicles 34

English: Josias-Josiah was a king of Judah (64...

English: Josias-Josiah was a king of Judah (641–609 BC) who instituted major reforms. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Josiah began his reign at the age of eight. By the time he was twelve he had begun his purge of Judah and Jerusalem. He tore down the high places, the Asherim,, and the carved images. He chopped down the altars of the Baals. After breaking down the Asherim and the carved images into powder, he scattered the dust over the graves of those who had served them. Verse 5 says that “he also burned the bones of the priests on their altars and cleansed Judah and Jerusalem.”

He sent officials into the house of the Lord to repair it, and they found that the Levites had still been collecting money from the people. They used it to pay builders and carpenters in the effort. Then Hilkiah the priest found the Book of the Law of the Lord. It was brought to the king, and when he read it, he tore his clothes. Having discovered what the Law said, he told Hilkiah and those with him to inquire of the Lord concerning the Law. He knew that God’s wrath was upon them because of the evil their fathers had done.

Hilkiah went to Huldah the prophetess, who prophesied disaster for the people. But God told Josiah that because he had humbled himself, he would go to his grave in peace, without seeing the destruction to come. Josiah had the Law read to the people and he made a covenant with the Lord and brought the people into it. They served God all the days of Josiah’s life.

(This year’s reading plan for Luke, Acts, and 1 and 2 Chronicles averages just 15 verses per day – 5 days per week!)
Schedule for this week

/Bob’s boy
___________________

some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

Please visit this site’s menu item “The Author’s Books” for info on the author’s books, website, and Facebook page.

All of my comments in this blog are solely my responsibility. When reading any commentary, you should always refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word.

 


 

 

 

 

Prophet Of Royal Blood? – Zephaniah

Stamped bulla sealed by a servant of King Heze...

Stamped bulla sealed by a servant of King Hezekiah, formerly pressed against a cord; unprovenanced Redondo Beach collection of antiquities (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The prophet Zephaniah is introduced this way in verse one of chapter one of his book: “The word of the Lord that came to Zephaniah the son of Cushi, son of Gedaliah, son of Amariah, son of Hezekiah, in the days of Josiah the son of Amon, king of Judah.” Many believe that the Hezekiah mentioned here was King Hezekiah, who reined between 715 and 686 B.C.  If so, that would make Zephaniah his great-great-grandson. This would fit the timeline generally accepted for Zephaniah’s prophecy as during the reign of Josiah (640 – 609 B.C.)

There is some reason to believe that Zephaniah may have encouraged Josiah’s reforms. If so, since those reforms started in the 18th year of his reign (2 Kings 22-23), Zephaniah’s prophecies likely occurred before 622 -621 B.C.  Judah was at the height of its rampant immorality and idolatry pattern, with good king Josiah replacing two previous kings that were extremely wicked (Amon and Manasseh). His message, prevalent throughout the book, was “the day of the Lord is coming” – which always means that a time of decisive action by God is at hand.

Michelangelo's Hezekiah-Manasseh-Amon. Traditi...

Michelangelo’s Hezekiah-Manasseh-Amon. Traditionally Manasseh is the man on the right and Amon is the child on the left. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The first mention of the phrase in this book comes in Zephaniah 1:7, which also says “…the Lord has prepared a sacrifice and consecrated his guests.” That sacrifice is Judah, and verses 3-4 warn that God is bringing massive destruction on His people and Jerusalem. Verses 14-18 expound in darkly poetic terms on just what “the day of the Lord” will mean to them, and the picture cannot be ambiguous to anyone. Chapter 2 tells them what they should do – which of course is to repent. Zephaniah 3:1-4 present the reasons for God’s judgment on Jerusalem, placing blame on corrupt and evil leadership as well:

Woe to her who is rebellious and defiled,
the oppressing city!
She listens to no voice;
she accepts no correction.
She does not trust in the Lord;
she does not draw near to her God.

Her officials within her
are roaring lions;
her judges are evening wolves
that leave nothing till the morning.

Chapter 3:14-20 conclude with a promise of a glorious time of restoration and a Messianic future. It promises the survival of a remnant. The best advice for the faithful comes in Chapter 2:3:

Seek the Lord, all you humble of the land,
who do his just commands;
seek righteousness; seek humility;
perhaps you may be hidden
on the day of the anger of the Lord

The Book of Zephaniah seems to come very close to the time of the impending destruction by the Chaldeans. But the book does promise judgment on the other nations, particularly their wicked neighbors, for their complicity. Chapter 2:4-10 promises that the remnant of God’s people will have their day where those nations are concerned – promises that history itself has told us that God has kept:

For Gaza shall be deserted,
and Ashkelon shall become a desolation;
Ashdod’s people shall be driven out at noon,
and Ekron shall be uprooted.

Woe to you inhabitants of the seacoast,
you nation of the Cherethites!
The word of the Lord is against you,
O Canaan, land of the Philistines;
and I will destroy you until no inhabitant is left.

And you, O seacoast, shall be pastures,
with meadows for shepherds
and folds for flocks.
The seacoast shall become the possession
of the remnant of the house of Judah,
on which they shall graze,
and in the houses of Ashkelon
they shall lie down at evening.

For the Lord their God will be mindful of them
and restore their fortunes.
“I have heard the taunts of Moab
and the revilings of the Ammonites,
how they have taunted my people
and made boasts against their territory.

Therefore, as I live,” declares the Lord of hosts,
the God of Israel,
“Moab shall become like Sodom,
and the Ammonites like Gomorrah,
a land possessed by nettles and salt pits,
and a waste forever.

The remnant of my people shall plunder them,
and the survivors of my nation shall possess them.”
This shall be their lot in return for their pride,
because they taunted and boasted
against the people of the Lord of hosts.

/Bob’s boy
___________________
image © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

Please note: I did not design the reading plan that I am following in my blog.  All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility.  When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Bible Reading Schedules” page of my website at http://graceofourlord.com.  

Major Prophets (part 3) Book of Jeremiah

Prophet Jeremiah, Russian icon from first quar...

Prophet Jeremiah, Russian icon from first quarter of 18th cen. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Book of Jeremiah is one of the books of the “major prophets,” which are so called not because they are more important than those that we know as the “minor prophets,” but because of their length. There are 5 books of major prophets (Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel, and Daniel) compared to twelve of minor prophets. Jeremiah is 52 chapters in length.

Jeremiah was a preacher of God’s word – a priest. He was called to be a prophet about 627 B.C. as a youth (Jeremiah 1:6), and served as such for 40 years (Jeremiah 1:2-3), making it likely that he was born ~650-645 B.C. He became a priest living in Anathoth – the land of Benjamin (Jeremiah 1:1). This was where Abiathar, the high priest during David’s reign, lived. But Jeremiah’s ancestral heritage is unknown. Abiathar was removed as priest by Solomon for his part in support of Adonijah (1 Kings 2:12-27), which fulfilled the Lord’s prophecy of the end of the house of Eli as priests way back in 1 Samuel 2:27-36.

Jeremiah is referred to by many as “the weeping prophet” (see this previous post on Lamentations). But this tends to convey a mistaken image of him as weak. Jeremiah was anything but weak. He lived a very difficult life, and was imprisoned, nearly put to death (Jeremiah 26), and even banned from the Temple for preaching the truth as God told Him (Jeremiah 36:5).

At least part of the Book of Jeremiah was dictated to his scribe, Baruch, to write on scroll (Jeremiah 36:1-4). Some scholars have referred to the book by such descriptions as a “scrapbook” or diary that was pieced together by topic or content. The book is not in chronological order, and remembering that as one reads it helps put things in context. For that reason, we have included an approximate chronological order for the book at the end of this blog.

English: "Jeremiah Dictating His Prophecy...

English: “Jeremiah Dictating His Prophecy of the Destruction of Jerusalem to Baruch the Scribe,” oil on canvas, by the American artist Washington Allston. 89 3/8 in. x 74 3/4 in. Yale University Art Gallery, gift of Samuel Finley Breese Morse, B.A. 1810. Courtesy of Yale University, New Haven, Conn. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The book is set in the time after the fall of the Assyrians and the rise of the Babylonians to power. Jeremiah witnessed the capture and removal of multiple groups of the people of Judah to Babylon, as well as the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple. He was called to speak to God’s people during the times of revival under king Josiah, and continued on past the final fall to Babylon.

Summary of Jeremiah

Approximate Chronolgical Order

  • During the reign of Josiah
    • In the 13th year – Chapter 1
    • Later years of Josiah’s reign – Chapters 2-6 and probably a great deal of chapters 7-20
  • During the reign of Jehoiakim
    • Early in his reign – Chapter 26 and probably 7:1-8:3; 22:1-23
    • During the 4th year Chapters 25; 36; 45; 46:1-12
    • After the 4th year – Chapter 35
  • During the reign of Jehoiachin
    • Chapters 22:24-30 and probably ch. 14
  • During the reign of Zedekiah
    • At beginning – Chapters 24 and 49:34-39
    • In the fourth year – Chapters 27-28; 51:59-64
    • In other years – Chapters 21 and 29
    • In early seige, pause, and resumption of seige – Chapters 34, 37, 32; 33; 38; 39:15-18
  • In Judah after Jerusalem’s fall – Chapters 39:1-4; 40:1-43:7
  • In Egypt, after Jeremiah taken there – Chapters 43:8-44:30
/Bob’s boy
___________________
image © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

All of my comments in this blog are solely my responsibility.  When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Bible Reading Schedules” page of my website at http://graceofourlord.com.  

2 Chronicles – The Events of the Days

The Book of 2 Chronicles starts out in verse 1 saying “Solomon the son of David established himself in his kingdom, and the Lord his God was with him and made him exceedingly great.” It ends in chapter 36 with the proclamation of Cyrus, inviting the exiles to return to Judea and rebuild. This spans a time period of about 430 years. The capstone chapter is chapter 34, which begins the reign of King Josiah and his dramatic reforms and restoration.

During the eighteenth year of King Josiah's reign, he held a great Passover festival to celebrate the restored Temple 2 Chronicles 35:1-27)

During the eighteenth year of King Josiah’s reign, he held a great Passover festival to celebrate the restored Temple 2 Chronicles 35:1-27)

As the temple was being repaired, the priest Hilkiah found the book of the law in the house of the Lord. Then Shaphan the scribe read it to Josiah. When the great king realized the extent of the utter failure of his people in serving the Lord, he became extremely upset (2 Chronicles 34:19-24). At his bidding, Hilkiah went to Huldah the prophetess, who issued the news of the dire fate that awaited the people. Thus began a period of great change that put off the wrath of the Lord until Josiah’s death in 2 Chronicles 35. But the evil returned under the reign of his son, Jehoiakim (2 Chronicles 36:1-5).

Key events of 2 Chronicles

Solomon’s wisdom and prosperity  (2 Chronicles  1)
The building of the Temple (2 Chronicles 3–5:1)
Ark transported to the Temple (2 Chronicles 5:2–12)
God’s glory fills the temple (2 Chronicles 5:13–14)
Solomon blesses the people and consecrates the temple (2 Chronicles 6)
Fire from the Lord consumes the sacrifices (2 Chronicles 7:1–7)
Feast of Tabernacles and covenant confirmation (2 Chronicles 7:8–22)
Queen of Sheba visits (2 Chronicles 9:1–12)
Death of Solomon (2 Chronicles 9:29–31)

Division of the kingdom (2 Chronicles 10:1–11:23)
Reign of Rehoboam (Judah) (2 Chronicles 12:13–16)
War between Judah and Israel (2 Chronicles 13:1–22)
Asa’s reforms (2 Chronicles 15:8–19)
Asa defeats Syria (2 Chronicles 16:1–10)
Expansion of Judah (2 Chronicles 17:10–19)
Jehoshaphat’s alliance with Ahab and the death of Ahab (2 Chronicles 18:1–34)
Jehoshaphat’s reforms and his reign (2 Chronicles 19:1–20:37)

/Bob’s boy
___________________
image © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

Please note: I did not design the reading plan that I am following in my blog.  All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility.  When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Bible Reading Schedules” page of my website at http://graceofourlord.com.  

2 Kings 23 – Josiah’s Reforms

English: View of the Kidron Valley from the Ol...

English: View of the Kidron Valley from the Old City of Jerusalem. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

As we read in 2 Kings 23 of more of Josiah’s reforms, we start to get a picture of how far the people had fallen.  Josiah broke idols into pieces, destroyed “high places” of worship to false gods from the Hinnon Valley to the Kidron Valley.  He broke down the houses of male cult prostitutes in the Temple, and used the Kidron Valley (a place of idol worship since the time of Solomon) as a place to remove and destroy the abominations, defiling their altars and the valley itself.  In verse 10, he defiled Topheth, a place where children were burned in sacrifice to Molech.  In verses 21-23, he commanded the people to keep the Passover, a practice that had been forgotten.

So with all this reform, why was God not appeased?  Why, in verses 26-27, did His anger still burn hot against Judah and determine that they suffer the same fate as Israel?  Notice that verse 21 says that Josiah commanded the people to keep the passover.  The other account of the these events that are written in 2 Chronicles 34  (particularly verse 32-33) tells us that Josiah had made the people turn from their idolatry and serve the Lord.  Their hearts had not changed.

In an attempt to prevent Egypt’s reinforcement of the Assyrians, Josiah was killed by Pharaoh Neco at Megiddo in 609 BC.   It was a battle that would be the last conflict with the Babylonians in which the Egyptians and Assyrians would unite.  The people of Judah made his son Jehoahaz king in his place, and verse 32 tells us that Jehoahaz turned back to the evil ways of his fathers.  His reign was short, as Pharaoh Neco of Egypt put him in bondage and made Josiah’s other son, Eliakim, the vassal king – changing his name to Jehoiakim.  Jehoiakim taxed the people in order to pay tribute to Egypt.

Read or listen to audio of ESV version of this selection from this link.

/Bob’s boy
___________________
some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

Please note: I did not design the reading plan that I am following in my blog.  All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility.  When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Bible Reading Schedules” page of my website at http://graceofourlord.com.  For questions and help, please see the “FAQ” and “Summaries” pages there.

2 Kings 22 – Josiah Repairs the Temple

English: King Josiah by Julius Schnoor von Car...

English: King Josiah by Julius Schnoor von Carolsfeld (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Josiah began his reign as king at the age of 8, after his father Amon died.  He was a great king, and “walked in all the way of David his father.”  As he had the temple repaired, the “Book of the law” was found (that term is used in the Pentateuch to mean the Book of Deuteronomy).  Having been raised in a time when the king himself and the people of the land were at the depths of apostasy, Josiah may have not heard the commandments of the Lord; and the reference to them finding it could well mean that Manasseh had hidden it.  When it was read to him, he tore his clothes in grief.

Although Jeremiah and Zephaniah both prophesied during the time of Josiah’s reign (Jeremiah 1:1-2, Zephaniah:1), Josiah sent his people to a fairly unknown (to us, at least) prophetess named Huldah.  She confirmed the prophecy of disaster for Jerusalem that we read in 2 Kings 21:11-12.  But verses 18-20, the Lord declares that He will spare Josiah from seeing that disaster.

Read or listen to audio of ESV version of this selection from this link.

/Bob’s boy
___________________
some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

Please note: I did not design the reading plan that I am following in my blog.  All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility.  When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Bible Reading Schedules” page of my website at http://graceofourlord.com.  For questions and help, please see the “FAQ” and “Summaries” pages there.

Judah Remains \ Week 24 summary posted

The genealogy of the kings of Israel and Judah...

The genealogy of the kings of Israel and Judah. Based on a literal interpretation of 1 and 2 Kings. Note: In the kings of Israel, a horizontal arrow can indicate a change of dynasty (lack of known genealogical connection). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Tomorrow, we move to the reign of Hezekiah in Judah, and his troubles with the Assyrian king, Sennacherib.  Sennacherib’s great mistake of his own pride is compounded by insulting the Lord, which will be his undoing.  Then we will start to read of the miserable reign of Manasseh (possibly the worst of any of the kings of Judah); and finish the week on a better note with Josiah.

Summing Up

Each weekend, I am now posting a small PDF of one week of chapter summaries (on the website’s “Summaries” page), current to the beginning of the previous week.  I have posted the summary for Week 24 (June Week 2) of the schedule I am following.  This short PDF document contains condensed comments about 1 Kings 11, 12, 16:30-17, 18, and 2 Kings 2, with hyperlinks to the ESV version of each chapter for listening or reading, and joins the summaries for other weeks already posted there.

/Bob’s boy
___________________
image © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

Please note: I did not design the reading plan that I am following in my blog.  All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility.  When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Bible Reading Schedules” page of my website at http://graceofourlord.com.  For questions and help, please see the “FAQ” and “Summaries” pages there.