II Kings 10-14
We are in the Nation Stream reading from the New King James Version.
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Commentary by Dr. Drake Travis
10 – Jehu, the wildman chariot rider who rode furiously through the land continued his intrepid 28-year crusade to eradicate Baal worship. In the last chapter he killed Joram; king of Israel and Jezebel and Ahaziah; king of Judah who was Ahab/Jezebels’ son-in-law. And he was not done! He gave the orders and the leaders in Israel beheaded the 70 sons of Ahab – in dramatic fashion that doesn’t need to be explained. Jehu then “rubbed out” [pardon a Mafia term] all the rest of Ahab’s leaders, confidants, and priests. Heading out from there he went to Samaria and found the brothers of the newly deceased King Ahaziah and killed all 42 of them. He proceeded to kill the rest of Ahab’s family. It’s an ugly business, yes, but Baal had to go. Lastly, in a bait-and-switch move he ordered all the worshipers of Baal to gather for a sacrifice to Baal… [uh hum!] All who would’t come were to be executed, so the word went out. Jehu then did the opposite and killed all who were dedicated to Baal…and it was over. Jehu was zealous to fight those who opposed God but he himself never abandoned the worship of the calf. He “cleaned house”, yes, but he never cleaned up his own house. Then he was gone (820 B.C.) and Jehoahaz ruled starting 816 B.C.
11 – Queen Athaliah came to power the same year Jehu came to rule and was still angry about her son Ahaziah being killed. The human chess-game that went on was terrifying but the next king, Athaliah’s relative, was protected from Athaliah’s killing spree and he came to power via much vigilance and fervent protection. The story is further told in II Chronicles 22. Athaliah’s death came from those who protected her secessor (sp?). They put him [Joash/Jehoash] in power and cut her down outside so to not spill her blood in the Temple of the Lord. With her gone, Judah was then rededicated to God …
12 – The reign of Jehoash is also told in II Chron. 24, btw. His trademark was to repair the Temple of the Lord. The project was held up for years, however, since those who were gathering offerings for repairing the Temple were not faithful with the funds. Gee, ever hear of that happening where someone “pockets it” v.s. producing with it?! It finally got done however after some sobering inventory was taken and faithful men were put on the job. A set back happened when the King of Syria conquered Gath on the coast and then headed to Jerusalem. They got him to turn away and head home by giving him a sickening amount of wealth that had been stored for generations in Judah. Gee, a King of Syria who kills and robs. . .what millennium is this anyway? Or is this story a current headline? Joash was assassinated after this, and Amaziah came to rule in Judah. It was 803 B.C. Jehoash/Joash had ruled for 40 years.
13 – Jehoahaz came to power in Israel about half way through the reign of Joash; King of Judah. Jehoahaz was evil, disobedient and pagan and God let Syria enter and oppress Israel in a chronic way. Jehoahaz called out to God (imagine that!) so God heard them and delivered them and there was peace again. Did Jehoahaz lead a revival in thanksgiving? No, he and the nation remained in their false religion and calf worship [like thankless humans usually do v.s. being grateful to God].–> Terribly dangerous to be a lout like this! Elisha’s death was approaching and the King Joash was very grieved about Elisha’s imminent departure. Elisha encourages him and mentors Joash one last time with the deed of the arrows. It helps a bit as he was trying to teach Joash to be as relentless in God’s duties – more like Elisha was. Turns out Elisha had an anointing on him that lasted longer than his life did. As Israel was vigilant during the years shortly after Elisha’s death, they were able to retake some cities back from the Syrians.
14 – pardon the jumping from north to south and the overlapping kings of differing kingdoms. We were not trying to be confusing – just reading the text to you as it was written.
Amaziah came to power at 25 upon the assassination of his father in 803 B.C. He exacted revenge and killed the crew who conspired and killed his father Joash. His confidence was bolstered when he defeated and killed 10,000 Edomites – perhaps it bolstered his confidence too much for he went from there and called Israel/northern Kingdom to battle. It was the better part of wisdom to maintain and stay home but he wouldn’t listen to contentment and . . . the Israelites gave him a drubbing. Amaziah was captured, 600′ of Jerusalem’s wall was broken down, the treasury was raided by Jehoash of the north. Amaziah was later killed in an ‘in-house’ uprising when he fled to Lachish (to the S.W.) Jeroboam was raised to power in the north, ca. 790 B.C. during Amaziah’s reign in the south. This was a second Jeroboam. Like the first who came to rule the north in 930 B.C. this one too was bent on being evil and antithetical to the true faith that originated from the Temple. He did not get any help from God because of his good faith, but God did come to aid because of His Covenant with Israel since Abraham 1200+ years prior. The prophet Jonah went to Nineveh during this time. There was revival to an extent. There was glimmers of hope through expansion of the territory. But it could have been so much better had they cleaned up the land through true worship.