From 2 Kings 23-25
Besides finding the book of the Law. Josiah is famous for the reinstating the Passover. The festival of memorial remembering the LORD’s rescue of Israel out of Egypt.
This post is part of my bible in a year series.
Passage and Comments
21 And the king commanded all the people, “Keep the Passover to the LORD your God, as it is written in this Book of the Covenant.” 22 For no such Passover had been kept since the days of the judges who judged Israel, or during all the days of the kings of Israel or of the kings of Judah. 23 But in the eighteenth year of King Josiah this Passover was kept to the LORD in Jerusalem. (2 Ki 23.21-23)
It seems that the previous kings lapsed in its practice. The Passover represents Israel’s birthday. In a sense that is how their nation came to exist. Through the LORD’s act of salvation. If the previous kings have not continued in observing the Passover they have forgotten what the LORD has done for them and who they are.
24 Moreover, Josiah put away the mediums and the necromancers and the household gods and the idols and all the abominations that were seen in the land of Judah and in Jerusalem, that he might establish the words of the law that were written in the book that Hilkiah the priest found in the house of the LORD. 25 Before him there was no king like him, who turned to the LORD with all his heart and with all his soul and with all his might, according to all the Law of Moses, nor did any like him arise after him. (2 Ki 23.24-25)
Like the other good kings before him, Josiah will undo all the pagan worship in Judah. He is highly commended by the author as a result. The fact that none will be like him after him is foreboding. Because;
26 Still the LORD did not turn from the burning of his great wrath, by which his anger was kindled against Judah, because of all the provocations with which Manasseh had provoked him. 27 And the LORD said, “I will remove Judah also out of my sight, as I have removed Israel, and I will cast off this city that I have chosen, Jerusalem, and the house of which I said, My name shall be there.” (2 Ki 23.26-27)
Regardless of Josiah and his faithfulness Judah will still be punished because of the hundreds of years where they had abandoned the LORD and committed idolatry. Is this the end?
28 Now the rest of the acts of Josiah and all that he did, are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Judah? 29 In his days Pharaoh Neco king of Egypt went up to the king of Assyria to the river Euphrates. King Josiah went to meet him, and Pharaoh Neco killed him at Megiddo, as soon as he saw him. 30 And his servants carried him dead in a chariot from Megiddo and brought him to Jerusalem and buried him in his own tomb. And the people of the land took Jehoahaz the son of Josiah, and anointed him, and made him king in his father’s place. (2 Ki 23.28-30)
Josiah eventually goes to battle and he dies straight away. As soon as they saw him they sought him out and killed him. Jehoahaz, one of his son’s is made king in his place.
Story of Israel
Jehoahaz does evil in the sight of the LORD. Egypt invades Judah, takes Jehoahaz captive and he dies in Egypt. Pharaoh makes another of Josiah’s sons the king. His Hebrew name is Eliakim, but Pharaoh changed his name to Jehoiakim.
Jehoiakim does evil in the sight of the LORD and Babylon invades Judah and takes what Egypt had. Initially Jehoiakim paid tribute to the Babylonians, but he rebelled against them and they break Judah. Jehoiakim has a son named Jehoiachin.
Jehoiachin does evil in the sight of the LORD. The king of Babylon besieged Jerusalem and Jehoiakim surrendered. The king of Babylon takes him prisoner and takes him to Babylon. We need to watch Jehoiachin because he is the remaining heir of judah’s line. The king of Babylon instates Jehoiachin’s uncle Mattaniah king in his place and changed his name to Zedekiah.
18 Zedekiah was twenty-one years old when he became king, and he reigned eleven years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Hamutal the daughter of Jeremiah of Libnah. 19 And he did what was evil in the sight of the LORD, according to all that Jehoiakim had done. 20 For because of the anger of the LORD it came to the point in Jerusalem and Judah that he cast them out from his presence. And Zedekiah rebelled against the king of Babylon. (2 Ki 24:18–20)
The Babylonians capture Jerusalem. Is this the end?
6 Then they captured the king and brought him up to the king of Babylon at Riblah, and they passed sentence on him. 7 They slaughtered the sons of Zedekiah before his eyes, and put out the eyes of Zedekiah and bound him in chains and took him to Babylon. (2 Ki 25:6–7)
He dies there. So Judah was taken into exile out of its land (2 Ki 25.21). Is this the end? A little bit later in the text, we see some hope. Jehoiachin is still alive.
27 And in the thirty-seventh year of the exile of Jehoiachin king of Judah, in the twelfth month, on the twenty-seventh day of the month, Evil-merodach king of Babylon, in the year that he began to reign, graciously freed Jehoiachin king of Judah from prison. 28 And he spoke kindly to him and gave him a seat above the seats of the kings who were with him in Babylon. 29 So Jehoiachin put off his prison garments. And every day of his life he dined regularly at the king’s table, 30 and for his allowance, a regular allowance was given him by the king, according to his daily needs, as long as he lived. (2 Ki 25.27-30)
Story of Jesus
Jehoiachin is the last king we hear about for a long time in Judah’s history. His line is preserved. God had a promise to David that a son of his would have an eternal kingdom. Lets have a look at David’s and Jehoiachin’s genealogy;
1 The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham.
2 Abraham was the father of Isaac, and Isaac the father of Jacob, and Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers, 3 and Judah the father of Perez and Zerah by Tamar, and Perez the father of Hezron, and Hezron the father of Ram, 4 and Ram the father of Amminadab, and Amminadab the father of Nahshon, and Nahshon the father of Salmon, 5 and Salmon the father of Boaz by Rahab, and Boaz the father of Obed by Ruth, and Obed the father of Jesse, 6 and Jesse the father of David the king.
6b And David was the father of Solomon by the wife of Uriah, 7 and Solomon the father of Rehoboam, and Rehoboam the father of Abijah, and Abijah the father of Asaph, 8 and Asaph the father of Jehoshaphat, and Jehoshaphat the father of Joram, and Joram the father of Uzziah, 9 and Uzziah the father of Jotham, and Jotham the father of Ahaz, and Ahaz the father of Hezekiah, 10 and Hezekiah the father of Manasseh, and Manasseh the father of Amos, and Amos the father of Josiah, 11 and Josiah the father of Jechoniah and his brothers,
at the time of the deportation to Babylon. 12 And after the deportation to Babylon:
Jechoniah was the father of Shealtiel, and Shealtiel the father of Zerubbabel, 13 and Zerubbabel the father of Abiud, and Abiud the father of Eliakim, and Eliakim the father of Azor, 14 and Azor the father of Zadok, and Zadok the father of Achim, and Achim the father of Eliud, 15 and Eliud the father of Eleazar, and Eleazar the father of Matthan, and Matthan the father of Jacob, 16 and Jacob the father of Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom Jesus was born, who is called Christ.
17 So all the generations from Abraham to David were fourteen generations, and from David to the deportation to Babylon fourteen generations, and from the deportation to Babylon to the Christ fourteen generations. (Mt 1:1–17)
Was it the end? No. Jesus, who is called Christ is still to come.
Copyright © Joshua Washington and thescripturesays, 2014. All Rights Reserved.