2nd Kings Survey

2 Kings Survey

 Pr Edi Giudetti








This book speaks of the end of the historical account of Israel. Only the Ezra and Nehemiah and Esther are given later historical reference, but 2 Kings and 2 Chronicles, which we will look at in a few weeks, these two books relate the end of the Kingdom.  No more kings have come to take the throne of David since, but there is one to come who will be upon that throne for ever, the Lord Jesus Christ.

Sadly, the 2nd book of the Kings does not end well, not a positive note but a warning sound is heard for all who will hear.

God has called a nation to listen, but they would not. God sent forth his son that all may hear him, but most will not.

Israel and Judah would not hear, and even to this day do they have a veil over their hearts so they will not yet hear. But will you?

These have turned away from the Lord, the word is Apostasy. (Apostasy is defined as “the abandonment or renunciation of a religious or political belief.”) Yet Since the time of Christ, billions have turned to him, will you?

The Pursuit of God for Israel

13 Yet the Lord testified against Israel, and against Judah, by all the prophets, and by all the seers, saying, Turn ye from your evil ways, and keep my commandments and my statutes, according to all the law which I commanded your fathers, and which I sent to you by my servants the prophets. 14 Notwithstanding they would not hear, but hardened their necks, like to the neck of their fathers, that did not believe in the Lord their God. (2 Kings 17:13-14)

How often can an alarm be sounded before a people take warning?  We ask ourselves this question each time the Gospel is shared, each time the members of Churches sit in seats in Churches the world over, in faithful churches where the Gospel is actually preached, each time they hear the warning yet take no counsel in it.

Not because they DID not hear it, but because they WOULD NOT hear it.

This is that which we find given here for the nation of Israel, that Northern kingdom that had separated from Judah, those ten tribes whom God had separated from the King who had been given the opportunity to remain faithful but turned in Apostasy. That nation was then given to Jeroboam, a man whom God had also given opportunity to faithfulness.  God promised Jeroboam that his governing of these ten tribes had the potential to go on continually if he remained faithful to the Lord.

We recall that it was the people who desired a King. We recall that up to that time the people had judges that ruled over them who themselves where governed by the Lord.

These judges that ruled did not rule over the entire nation as Kings for many seemed to have run consecutively. We are confident in this for there was only a few generations between Rahab the mother of Boaz and David, the second King of Israel, yet there were some 16 judges including Eli and Samuel.

The people did not follow the Lord during the time of the Judges, and, having no King in Israel the book of Judges concludes that “Every man did that which was right in his own eyes”. Then in 1 Samuel we read of their desire for a king to judge them like all the other nations. YET Samuel charged them just as Moses did, that they should remain faithful.

So this kingdom was united in Saul, David and Solomon and separated in Rehoboam the son of Solomon. Jeroboam now the King of the separated ten tribes of Israel, known also as the Northern Kingdom.

Last week we identified some 19 kings in Israel, none of which were good. We recognised that this kingdom would conclude in only 210 years approximately, and this conclusion is found here in the 17th Chapter of 2nd Kings.

BUT, 2 GREAT PROPHETS are given to pursue Israel and turn them back to the Lord their God.

But, for this nation filled with idolatry, God had given arguably the two greatest prophets of the old testament. Elijah and Elisha. Their predominant work was done in this northern Kingdom of Israel, God pursuing his own people with the greatest of fervency to repent and return.

But would they hear?

14 Notwithstanding they would not hear, but hardened their necks, like to the neck of their fathers, that did not believe in the Lord their God. (2 Kings 17:14)

Notice please that it is not a question of ABILITY, they certainly COULD HEAR! But it is a question of the WILL, “they WOULD NOT hear”. This is that which ALLWAYS comes BEFORE APOSTASY.

The ministry of Elijah lasted some 18 years before he was caught up to the Lord in a Chariot of Fire. The incredible miracles he performed gave witness to this nation that God is in PURSUIT OF HIS PEOPLE ISRAEL.

In those 18 years Elijah;

  1. Told King Ahab that No rain will come apart from his word. Drought filled the land for several years in 1 Kings 17:1.
  2. Within that time, he provided continual sustenance to a woman and her child by the multiplication of food. (1 k 17:14)
  3. Brought a child back to life in 1 k 17:22
  4. Called fire to come down from heaven to consume a water soaked sacrifice against Jezebel’s 400 prophets of Baal in 1 k 18:38
  5. He brought the rain to end the drought three verses later in 1 k 18:41
  6. He called fire to fall upon two sets of 50 of the kings soldiers, enemies of Elijah, on two separate occasions in 2 k 1:10
  7. He divided the Jordon river in 2 k 2:8
  8. And finally gets translated to heaven, Elijah did not see death but was caught up to the Lord. The second person in history that was raptured to God.

All this done for the benefit of the Northern Kingdom of Israel, God pursuing his people to repent and return to the Lord, But would they hear?

14 Notwithstanding they would not hear, but hardened their necks, like to the neck of their fathers, that did not believe in the Lord their God. (2 Kings 17:14)

Please take note, they “WOULD NOT HEAR”, this is not a question of ability, but a question of the WILL!

Before the end of Elijah’s ministry he laid his mantel on another man who would take up where Elijah left off. It is this man who features as the key prophet of 2nd Kings. Before his translation to heaven Elijah spoke to Elisha, turn back with me to 2 Kings 2:7

And fifty men of the sons of the prophets went, and stood to view afar off: and they two stood by Jordan. And Elijah took his mantle, and wrapped it together, and smote the waters, and they were divided hither and thither, so that they two went over on dry ground. And it came to pass, when they were gone over, that Elijah said unto Elisha, Ask what I shall do for thee, before I be taken away from thee. And Elisha said, I pray thee, let a double portion of thy spirit be upon me. 10 And he said, Thou hast asked a hard thing: nevertheless, if thou see me when I am taken from thee, it shall be so unto thee; but if not, it shall not be so. 11 And it came to pass, as they still went on, and talked, that, behold, there appeared a chariot of fire, and horses of fire, and parted them both asunder; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven. 12 And Elisha saw it, and he cried, My father, my father, the chariot of Israel, and the horsemen thereof. And he saw him no more: and he took hold of his own clothes, and rent them in two pieces. 13 He took up also the mantle of Elijah that fell from him, and went back, and stood by the bank of Jordan; 14 And he took the mantle of Elijah that fell from him, and smote the waters, and said, Where is the Lord God of Elijah? and when he also had smitten the waters, they parted hither and thither: and Elisha went over.

He asks for a double portion of grace,–2 Kings 2:9.

He divides the Jordan,–2 Kings 2:14.

He heals the bitter waters,–2 Kings 2:19-22.

The cursing of the mocking children,–2 Kings 2:23-24.

The provision of water from an army, making a valley full of ditches,–2 Kings 3:15-20.

The increasing of the widow’s oil to settle debts,–2 Kings 4:1-7.

The raising of a dead child to life,–2 Kings 4:18-37.

The healing of the deadly stew,–2 Kings 4:38-41.

The feeding of the multitude,–2 Kings 4:42-44.

The healing of Naaman, the leper,–2 Kings 5:5-15.

The smiting of Gehazi with leprosy,–2 Kings 5:20-27.

The causing of the iron to swim,–2 Kings 6:1-7.

The disclosing of the plans of the king of Syria,–2 Kings 6.

He prays God to reveal to his servant the spiritual army he has at his disposal 2 Kings 6:17

Smites the Syrians with blindness,–2 Kings 6:18-20.

His prophecy of plenty for a famine-stricken city,–2 Kings 7:1-18.

Secures the restoration of her land to the Shunammite woman,–2 Kings 8:3-6.

Prophecies concerning the exaltation of Hazael,–2 Kings 8:7-15.

Commands the anointing of Jehu as king,–2 Kings 9:1-6.

Retains his prophetic power on his deathbed,–2 Kings 13:14-19.

Elisha’s ministry extends to over 50 years and yet even when the prophet was dead and buried in a sepulchre, a dead man was cast into Elisha’s sepulchre and when his body made contact with the bones of Elisha he revived to life. 2 Kings 13:20-21.

The nation of Israel and particularly their kings, were indeed witnesses of these miracles, they wrote them in a book so they would not forget, but did they repent? Did they hear and return to the Lord?

14 Notwithstanding they would not hear, but hardened their necks, like to the neck of their fathers, that did not believe in the Lord their God.

Please take note, they “WOULD NOT HEAR”, this is not a question of ability, but a question of the WILL! Note also, that it is a question of will that prevents FAITH, they did not believe in the Lord their God.

Please note also that It’s also not a question of Gods warnings being vague, it’s not about THE CLARITY of the warning, but a question of the will!

If there was a Cliff ahead on the road as you travelled, and the council placed a vague warning that had the sign upside down and wrong way around, who is to blame if you find yourself off the edge if the warning is vague or unclear? You will still drive off the cliff, but who’s fault is it?

But if the warnings are clear, lit up with lights; men waving you down to warn you, rising up early being sent; sirens sounding; your radio interrupted with the warning; road blocks put in your path… who’s fault is it then?

It is not a question of clarity or ability, but a question of the WILL. They WOULD NOT HEAR! God pursued Israel to the end, as he does you.

The Apostasy of Israel


Then the king of Assyria came up throughout all the land, and went up to Samaria, and besieged it three years. In the ninth year of Hoshea the king of Assyria took Samaria, and carried Israel away into Assyria, and placed them in Halah and in Habor by the river of Gozan, and in the cities of the Medes.

For so it was, that the children of Israel had sinned against the Lord their God, which had brought them up out of the land of Egypt, from under the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt, and had feared other gods, And walked in the statutes of the heathen, whom the Lord cast out from before the children of Israel, and of the kings of Israel, which they had made. And the children of Israel did secretly those things that were not right against the Lord their God, and they built them high places in all their cities, from the tower of the watchmen to the fenced city. 10 And they set them up images and groves in every high hill, and under every green tree: 11 And there they burnt incense in all the high places, as did the heathen whom the Lord carried away before them; and wrought wicked things to provoke the Lord to anger: 12 For they served idols, whereof the Lord had said unto them, Ye shall not do this thing. (2 Kings 17:5-12)

They were taken away to be seen again no more.  Brethren this is the end of the history of these people. God is not a respecter of persons, he did use Israel to judge the nations they came in to conquer. God used Israel to do his work as a judge upon the wicked.

The Assyrian empire was one of the first large empires in the East at this time. Shalmaneser came into Samaria, the capital of Israel, and took away the people and placed them into the land of the Medes.  Then he undertook an exchange of people, turn to 2 Kings 17:24

24 And the king of Assyria brought men from Babylon, and from Cuthah, and from Ava, and from Hamath, and from Sepharvaim, and placed them in the cities of Samaria instead of the children of Israel: and they possessed Samaria, and dwelt in the cities thereof.

But look what happened next as the new arrivals did not fear the Lord of the land;

25 And so it was at the beginning of their dwelling there, that they feared not the Lord: therefore the Lord sent lions among them, which slew some of them. 26 Wherefore they spake to the king of Assyria, saying, The nations which thou hast removed, and placed in the cities of Samaria, know not the manner of the God of the land: therefore he hath sent lions among them, and, behold, they slay them, because they know not the manner of the God of the land.

27 Then the king of Assyria commanded, saying, Carry thither one of the priests whom ye brought from thence; and let them go and dwell there, and let him teach them the manner of the God of the land.

So the king was going to call one of the priests of Israel back to Samaria to help teach the new arrivals how to live for the Lord.  How do you think this will go?


And Turn back with me for a moment to 1 Kings 12:28-31 We are back to Jeroboam the first King of the divided nation of Israel, and in verse 26 he is concerned that some would turn and go back to Jerusalem to worship on the feast days and he was concerned they might return to Judah.

28 Whereupon the king took counsel, and made two calves of gold, and said unto them, It is too much for you to go up to Jerusalem: behold thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt. 29 And he set the one in Beth-el, and the other put he in Dan. 30 And this thing became a sin: for the people went to worship before the one, even unto Dan. 31 And he made an house of high places, and made priests of the lowest of the people, which were not of the sons of Levi.

He made priest of the most noble of the people??? The highest of the people???? and made priests of the lowest of the people, which were not of the sons of Levi.

 Turn back now to 2 Kings 17:27

27 Then the king of Assyria commanded, saying, Carry thither one of the priests whom ye brought from thence; and let them go and dwell there, and let him teach them the manner of the God of the land.

28 Then one of the priests whom they had carried away from Samaria came and dwelt in Beth-el, and taught them how they should fear the Lord.

Now how do you think it will work out?

29 Howbeit every nation made gods of their own, and put them in the houses of the high places which the Samaritans had made, every nation in their cities wherein they dwelt. 30 And the men of Babylon made Succoth-benoth, and the men of Cuth made Nergal, and the men of Hamath made Ashima, 31 And the Avites made Nibhaz and Tartak, and the Sepharvites burnt their children in fire to Adrammelech and Anammelech, the gods of Sepharvaim. 32 So they feared the Lord, and made unto themselves of the lowest of them priests of the high places, which sacrificed for them in the houses of the high places. 33 They feared the Lord, and served their own gods, after the manner of the nations whom they carried away from thence.

At first we see the extreme pursuit of God for Israel, but now we see with all clarity the complete APOSTASY OF ISRAEL and even of the nation’s its “priests” came to teach “the way of the God of the land” You see, they WOULD NOT HEAR THE WARNINGS OF THE LORD and he has taken them away as he saw good to do.

The Pursuit of God for Judah

Judah were retained by the Lord in the land for almost twice the length of the northern kingdom of Israel.  Judah did not have kings that ruled by overthrow as we had seen so often occurring in the Northern Kingdom of Israel, they were all of the same family line, the line of David following on from King Solomon.

It would be this unbroken line to which Jesus could legally claim the Royal throne of David. A line of generations given us, name by name in the Gospel of Mathew chapter 1.

Judah was blessed with half of its rulers who feared God and kept his commandments. This blessing permitted the nation to prosper at greater length than Israel. But not even Godly men can continue living, they too die as do the ungodly. Sadly the other half of the kings were ungodly.

Democratic nations choose their own kings in the likeness of their own natures, the Kings of Judah where of the one line. How many reflect the nature of the people is not given to us to know, but certainly many Kings did.

Turn to Isaiah 1

1 The vision of Isaiah the son of Amoz, which he saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem in the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah.

Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth:

For the Lord hath spoken,

I have nourished and brought up children,

And they have rebelled against me.

The ox knoweth his owner,

And the ass his master’s crib:

But Israel doth not know,

My people doth not consider.

Ah sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity,

A seed of evildoers, children that are corrupters:

They have forsaken the Lord,

They have provoked the Holy One of Israel unto anger,

They are gone away backward.

Isiah was the prophet to Judah.  Israel were still a nation, not yet taken away by the Assyrians, Uzziah (AKA Azariah) was a Godly king, so too Jotham and so too Hezekiah. Ahaz alone was godless and wicked and turned not to the Lord. But we see God’s condemnation of the people and not so much on the kings during the life of Isaiah.

To them were the prophets sent, in fact many were sent.

Turn to Jeremiah chapter 7:23-28

Jeremiah was a prophet who lived during the reigns of several very wicked Kings, what is evident is how quickly a nation continues its downward spiral when both the kings and the people are turned from the Lord.

23 But this thing commanded I them, saying, Obey my voice, and I will be your God, and ye shall be my people: and walk ye in all the ways that I have commanded you, that it may be well unto you. 24 But they hearkened not, nor inclined their ear, but walked in the counsels and in the imagination of their evil heart, and went backward, and not forward. 25 Since the day that your fathers came forth out of the land of Egypt unto this day I have even sent unto you all my servants the prophets, daily rising up early and sending them: 26 Yet they hearkened not unto me, nor inclined their ear, but hardened their neck: they did worse than their fathers. 27 Therefore thou shalt speak all these words unto them; but they will not hearken to thee: thou shalt also call unto them; but they will not answer thee. 28 But thou shalt say unto them, This is a nation that obeyeth not the voice of the Lord their God, nor receiveth correction: truth is perished, and is cut off from their mouth.

The pursuit of God for Judah was as fervent as that of Israel, and even more so. For to them were given the oracles of God, they had his word, His temple, his feasts, his City (Jerusalem) and his kings.  Yet they turned not to his face but turned away.

Turn to Ezekiel 16

 Ezekiel bridged the fall of Jerusalem, he was both a prophet before the fall and remained during their captivity.  In this passage of waring to Judah he refers to Israel as Sodom and Samaria, a sister to Judah. This is how he warns Judah

Ezekiel 16:47-50

47 Yet hast thou not walked after their ways, nor done after their abominations: but, as if that were a very little thing, thou wast corrupted more than they in all thy ways. 48 As I live, saith the Lord God, Sodom thy sister hath not done, she nor her daughters, as thou hast done, thou and thy daughters. 49 Behold, this was the iniquity of thy sister Sodom, pride, fulness of bread, and abundance of idleness was in her and in her daughters, neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy. 50 And they were haughty, and committed abomination before me: therefore I took them away as I saw good.


How can you warn of danger to come without warning of the danger to come? How much clearer can this be done but with examples? How much more convicting can an example be but that which is spoken BEFORE IT OCCURS, history revealing its truth???

Judah had the same warnings as its sister Israel, but would they hear?

14 Notwithstanding they would not hear, but hardened their necks, like to the neck of their fathers, that did not believe in the Lord their God. (2 Kings 17:14)

Remember that this is verse 14 of our passage in 2 Kings 17, verse thirteen tells us to whom it is addressed, saying;

13 Yet the Lord testified against Israel, and against Judah, by all the prophets, and by all the seers, saying, Turn ye from your evil ways

So would they hear? They too “WOULD NOT HEAR”, this is not a question of ability, but a question of the WILL! This is not a question of Gods warnings being vague, it’s not about the clarity of the warning, but a question of the will!

Neither Israel nor Judah would hear, and what of their end?

The Apostasy of Judah

2 Kings 24:11-15

11 And Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came against the city, and his servants did besiege it. 12 And Jehoiachin the king of Judah went out to the king of Babylon, he, and his mother, and his servants, and his princes, and his officers: and the king of Babylon took him in the eighth year of his reign. 13 And he carried out thence all the treasures of the house of the Lord, and the treasures of the king’s house, and cut in pieces all the vessels of gold which Solomon king of Israel had made in the temple of the Lord, as the Lord had said. 14 And he carried away all Jerusalem, and all the princes, and all the mighty men of valour, even ten thousand captives, and all the craftsmen and smiths: none remained, save the poorest sort of the people of the land. 15 And he carried away Jehoiachin to Babylon, and the king’s mother, and the king’s wives, and his officers, and the mighty of the land, those carried he into captivity from Jerusalem to Babylon.

Deuteronomy 28:15

15 But it shall come to pass, if thou wilt not hearken unto the voice of the Lord thy God, to observe to do all his commandments and his statutes which I command thee this day; that all these curses shall come upon thee, and overtake thee:

The passage goes on to speak of the curses, we will look at the last of them. Go down to verse 41.

41 Thou shalt beget sons and daughters, but thou shalt not enjoy them; for they shall go into captivity. 42 All thy trees and fruit of thy land shall the locust consume. 43 The stranger that is within thee shall get up above thee very high; and thou shalt come down very low. 44 He shall lend to thee, and thou shalt not lend to him: he shall be the head, and thou shalt be the tail. 45 Moreover all these curses shall come upon thee, and shall pursue thee, and overtake thee, till thou be destroyed; because thou hearkenedst not unto the voice of the Lord thy God, to keep his commandments and his statutes which he commanded thee: 46 And they shall be upon thee for a sign and for a wonder, and upon thy seed for ever.

Did the people hear Moses? Did the people hear the words spoken by God warning them of what will come upon them if they did not believe him?

because thou hearkenedst not unto the voice of the Lord thy God


Moses wrote this passage some 700 years before the captivity of Judah. His condemnation of them was a simple one, they WOULD NOT HEAR!




The Pursuit of God for you

The historical accounts of Christ and his death on the cross is found in the Bible as well as in the books of Roman historians such as Tacitus and Pliny the younger, Jewish historians Josephus and the Babylonian Talmud, Greek satirist Lucian of Samosata.

They individually wright of Christ having lived, having been crucified and being honoured on a certain day and worshipped as a God.

God has pursued you through all eternity, manifest in the flesh for your witness of him. he suffered death on a Cross for your sins, and with his stripes YOU are healed IF YOU WOULD BELIEVE.

Your personal sins have separated you from God, and should you remain this way till death, LIKE ISRAEL, you will be cast away from the Lord, into outer darkness, not for a short while, but for eternity. Your death is immanent, have you secured your future state?

Its not a question of ability. Its not a question of the clarity of his warnings. It’s a question of the WILL.

Will you believe in Jesus for the salvation of your soul?







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