April 17th

2 Kings 20-22

  • 20:3-7 – The Lord hears Hezekiah’s prayer and answers it. God heals Hezekiah from a life threatening illness using a fig cake, or what is described in other translations as a fig poultice.
  • 20:12-19 – Hezekiah is overly hospitable to the king of Babylon, Merodach-baladan. Though it won’t happen for a while, Babylon will eventually take his people into exile. For now, Hezekiah sees Babylon as an ally- Babylon was part of the Assyrian Empire, and the Babylonian king was therefore, technically, a servant of the Assyrian king. Judah is a vassal state at this time- Assyria let’s Hezekiah rule, but only so long as he continues to send payments of tribute to the Assyrian king. Since Judah and Babylon are in the same position, it’s possible Hezekiah was hoping to forge some sort of alliance with Babylon. We know that, eventually, Babylon rebels and overthrows the Assyrian empire- maybe Hezekiah wanted to help.
  • 20:19 – Though Hezekiah’s response seems a little arrogant or lackadaisical, commentaries tell us, because he was a faithful king, his response is more likely one of thanks for the peace they have at the moment.
  • 21:7 – This was the tribe of Judah. God claims this tribe forever and it is the tribe that Jesus belonged to.
  • 21:1-9 – Manasseh was pretty much the worst of the worst. He should not be confused with Joseph’s son Manasseh who was the patriarch of one of the 12 tribes.
  • 21:12-15 – Israel had already been conquered and exiled, but Judah remained where they belonged. Manasseh’s leadership puts it over the edge though, and God explains that he’s opening them up for attack too.
  • 22:1—If it seems a little insane to you to let an eight year old rule the country, don’t worry- you’re not alone. Josiah was king at age eight because his father Amon died, but there would have high-ranking government officials from Amon’s court who handled the actual business of running the nation until Josiah was older.
  • 22:3-7 – The temple, due to sinful leadership and neglect, had fallen into disrepair so Josiah used his position as king to restore it.
  • 22:8-13—The Temple was in such bad shape, and Judah’s leadership had become so corrupt, that they had actually lost an entire book of the Bible. And not just any book- the book of the law, the single most important book of the Torah, the one that their entire religion, their entire relationship with God was based on. That’s just astounding. It also helps explain how things got so bad in Judah- by this point, nobody remembers what the law is. This doesn’t excuse them- there’s no excuse for continuing to ignore the Temple and worship false gods- but it makes things a little clearer.
  • 22:14-17 – The prophetess Huldah lets Judah know it too will be destroyed because of its sin.
  • 22:18-20 – Because King Josiah had been faithful and repentant, he would die before the destruction occurred.

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