2 Kings 11-15: Four Good Kings in Judah

Beginning with Jehoash, Judah experiences a period of revival with 3 God-fearing kings. Although the effects are not permanent, these rulers give us a positive glimpse of David's dynasty, and prove that given the right leader, a nation can always return to God.

Introduction

Beginning with Jehoash, Judah experiences a period of revival with 3 God-fearing kings. Although the effects are not permanent, these rulers give us a positive glimpse of David's dynasty, and prove that given the right leader, a nation can always return to God.
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Jehoash

Judah is often represented by the lion
Photocredit: FreeImages.com/Chad Littlejohn
2 Kings 11 focuses mostly on the destructive Queen Athaliah, but we are also introduced to her successor, Jehoash. Hidden away by his aunt to escape Athaliah's massacre of Ahaziah's sons, Jehoash grows up in the Temple under protection. The priest does not wait until Jehoash is a full grown man (at least not by our standards today) to reveal Jehoash as king. Instead, Jehoash is crowned king at 7 years old with the support of several military leaders. Children were seen as adults as much younger ages back then, and the priest probably assumed that God's rightful heir needed to be on the throne as soon as possible.
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Reign

Johash's reign begins during the 7th year of Jehu king of the Northern kingdom. Because Jehoash was crowned at 7 years old, we also know that he was born the year Jehu took the throne. Following the ways of God, Jehoash reigns for 40 years—like David and Solomon. Johash does right by God but he doesn't rid Judah of pagan altars or illegal altars for God.
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Repairing the Temple

Jehoash orders that the priests take the money they've collected to repair the Temple, but after 23 years of ruling, the Temple still wasn't repaired. It seems only natural that Jehoash would have special regard for the Temple given that he was brought up there. He does not let this stop his vision, but continues the effort to repair the Temple. The priests are told they can't receive any more money until the repairs are completed. They come up with a public method of collecting the money to make sure the task is carried out properly. The priests kept the money from the trespass and sin offerings.
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Pressure From Syria

Hazael, king of Syria attacks Gath and subsequently determines to attack Jerusalem. Caving to pressure, Jehoash gives Hazael all of the treasures that had been dedicated to God. This is a low point in Jehosah's reign. Instead of clinging to faith and trusting God, he gives away holy objects. When we are cornered by the world, we are not to give up anything that belongs to God. We are to prepare for battle and trust that God will fight for us.
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Death

Jehoash is killed by his servants, and his son Amaziah takes over his reign.
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Amaziah

Amaziah, the son of Jehoash, was also a good king, though not as good as David. He takes the throne at 25 years old and reigns for 29 years. When he takes the throne, he takes revenge on the servants who killed his father and kills them. He does not kill their children however, because the law states that we are not to such a thing.

Amaziah starts a war with the northern kingdom of Israel, which turns out disastrous for Judah. The king at Samaria shared a name with Jehoash of Judah, so it can be difficult to keep them straight. Jehoash of Samaria does not want to be involved in the war, but does what he feels is necessary for his people. Jehoash raids the Temple and breaks the wall. The failure of God's people often leads to the destruction of His temple. Similarly, when we fail today, we defile ourselves and destroy the new temples of our bodies.

Amaziah does not die in the war and actually outlived Jehoash of the northern kingdom by 15 years. He was killed in Lachish by people who conspired against him. Azariah takes over as king after his father is killed.
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Azariah

Azariah tops the previous record of longest reigning king, reigning 52 years. His reign begins when he is just 16 years old and Jeroboam II had been ruling Israel for 27 years. Azariah follows in his father's footsteps and was a good king. Although he follows God, he does not remove the high places or altars from the kingdom. Azariah's downfall is not told in 2 Kings, but we know something changes his course of behavior because we are told that God curses the king with leprosy. His crimes are listed in 2 Chronicles 26. After being cursed with leprosy, his son Jotham takes over as king.
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Jotham

Jotham becomes king of Judah during the 2nd year of Pekah and is 25 years old when he begins his reign. His reign lasts for 16 years (this figure does not include co-regency).[1] Jotham walks in the way of the Lord, but again, does not remove the altars. He adds an addition to the Temple. During Jotham's reign both Syria and Israel began attacking Israel. After his death, his son Ahaz takes the throne.

References

  1. Holman Bible Publishers. Holman KJV Study Bible, pg. 658. 2014

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Author Image Author Image I love reading the Word of God. With prayer God's Word reveals so much: from comfort to temperance, from perspective to affirmation. Digging into the depths of the Word, cross-referencing history, language and time differences, is a passion of mine. In March of 2015 I decided to go back through the Bible doing an in depth study on each section I read. Eventually I decided to share my journal of notes as I partake in this journey. I hope you are blessed by God and inspired to pursue a deeper relationship with Him. I love reading and learning about God, nature, and science. I am interested in how it all connects. The Creator's fingerprints are all over his creation. We can learn so much about Him and how we came to be by exploring the world around us. Join me as I explore the world and draw closer to the One who created it all.
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