2 Kings 21:1-22:20 Comments by Stephen Ricker
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I Have Found The Book of the Law
Comments for Study 14

2 Kings 21:1-22:20
Memory Verse: 43

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I. Manasseh King of Judah (21:1-18)

>1. How is King Manasseh's life described in verses 1-3?

* 2 Kings 21:1-3 "Manasseh was twelve years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem fifty-five years. His mother's name was Hephzibah. 2 He did evil in the eyes of the LORD, following the detestable practices of the nations the LORD had driven out before the Israelites. 3 He rebuilt the high places his father Hezekiah had destroyed; he also erected altars to Baal and made an Asherah pole, as Ahab king of Israel had done. He bowed down to all the starry hosts and worshiped them."

* Manasseh's reign is also recorded in 2 Chronicles 33:1-20.

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>How did he desecrate the temple of the Lord? (4-5)

* 2 Kings 21:4-5 "He built altars in the temple of the LORD, of which the LORD had said, "In Jerusalem I will put my Name." 5 In both courts of the temple of the LORD, he built altars to all the starry hosts.

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>How far from love did his religious practices bring him? (6)

* 2 Kings 21:6 "He sacrificed his own son in the fire, practiced sorcery and divination, and consulted mediums and spiritists. He did much evil in the eyes of the LORD, provoking him to anger."

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>What does this say about people who refuse to worship the Lord?

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>2. What is a Asherah pole and where did he put it? (7-8)

* 2 Kings 21:7-8 "He took the carved Asherah pole he had made and put it in the temple, of which the LORD had said to David and to his son Solomon, "In this temple and in Jerusalem, which I have chosen out of all the tribes of Israel, I will put my Name forever. 8 I will not again make the feet of the Israelites wander from the land I gave their forefathers, if only they will be careful to do everything I commanded them and will keep the whole Law that my servant Moses gave them."

* "Asherah pole" -An Asherah (Ashraroth) pole is a sacred tree or pole that stood near Canaanite religious locations to honor the Ugaritic mother-goddess Asherah, consort of El. Asherah was probably also known as the Queen of Heaven. The relation of the literary references to an Asherah and archaeological finds of Judaean pillar-figurines has produced debate.

Baal and Ashraroth

* See artifacts of Ashraroth (left) and Baal (right) to the right. Clay figures such as these, depicting Ashraroth (Astarte) the naked goddesses of fertility are frequently referred to in the Bible, have been found by archaeologists all over Palestine. The fact that they occur in such numbers in the layers dating from Israelite times confirms all that the Bible has to say about the danger of idolatry spreading through the whole people. The noticeable accentuation of sexual characteristics not only makes it clear what was the nature of these Canaanite cults, but also explains why the prophets thundered against them with all the power at their command and denounced them as a menace to society. The discovery of such statuettes also helps us to see the point of many frequently misunderstood passages in the Old Testament. Baal was also one of the gods whose worship was forbidden. (The Bible as History in Pictures, Werner Keller)

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>What had the Lord promised do if they kept his law?

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>3. What was going to happen to Jerusalem because of Manasseh's sins? (10-15)

* 2 Kings 21:10-15 "The LORD said through his servants the prophets: 11 "Manasseh king of Judah has committed these detestable sins. He has done more evil than the Amorites who preceded him and has led Judah into sin with his idols. 12 Therefore this is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: I am going to bring such disaster on Jerusalem and Judah that the ears of everyone who hears of it will tingle. 13 I will stretch out over Jerusalem the measuring line used against Samaria and the plumb line used against the house of Ahab. I will wipe out Jerusalem as one wipes a dish, wiping it and turning it upside down. 14 I will forsake the remnant of my inheritance and hand them over to their enemies. They will be looted and plundered by all their foes, 15 because they have done evil in my eyes and have provoked me to anger from the day their forefathers came out of Egypt until this day."

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>How does this show us the importance of preaching the gospel?

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>4. What must have life been like under such oppressive religious practices? (16-18)

* 2 Kings 21:16-18 "Moreover, Manasseh also shed so much innocent blood that he filled Jerusalem from end to end--besides the sin that he had caused Judah to commit, so that they did evil in the eyes of the LORD. As for the other events of Manasseh's reign, and all he did, including the sin he committed, are they not written in the book of the annals of the kings of Judah? Manasseh rested with his fathers and was buried in his palace garden, the garden of Uzza. And Amon his son succeeded him as king."

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>How does this explain the rise of violence in our time?

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II. Amon King of Judah (21:19-26)

>5. How is Amon's life described in verses 19-22?

* 2 Kings 21:19-22 "Amon was twenty-two years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem two years. His mother's name was Meshullemeth daughter of Haruz; she was from Jotbah. 20 He did evil in the eyes of the LORD, as his father Manasseh had done. 21 He walked in all the ways of his father; he worshiped the idols his father had worshiped, and bowed down to them. 22 He forsook the LORD, the God of his fathers, and did not walk in the way of the LORD.

* Amon's reign is also recorded in 2 Chronicles 33:11-25.

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>How had the people of Judah followed the sins of their king? (23-26)

* 2 Kings 21:23-26 "Amon's officials conspired against him and assassinated the king in his palace. 24 Then the people of the land killed all who had plotted against King Amon, and they made Josiah his son king in his place. 25 As for the other events of Amon's reign, and what he did, are they not written in the book of the annals of the kings of Judah? 26 He was buried in his grave in the garden of Uzza. And Josiah his son succeeded him as king."

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II. Great is the Lord's Anger (22:1-20)

>6. How is Josiah's life described in verses 1-2?

* 2 Kings 22:1-2 "Josiah was eight years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem thirty-one years. His mother's name was Jedidah daughter of Adaiah; she was from Bozkath. 2 He did what was right in the eyes of the LORD and walked in all the ways of his father David, not turning aside to the right or to the left."

* Jeremiah, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, and perhaps Nahum were prophets during Josiah's reign. There was also an unnamed prophetess in the previous chapter and the prophetess Huldah in 22:13.

* Josiah's reign is also recorded in 2 Chronicles 34 to 35.

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>What did he set his mind on? (3-7)

* 2 Kings 22:3-7 "In the eighteenth year of his reign, King Josiah sent the secretary, Shaphan son of Azaliah, the son of Meshullam, to the temple of the LORD. He said: 4 "Go up to Hilkiah the high priest and have him get ready the money that has been brought into the temple of the LORD, which the doorkeepers have collected from the people. 5 Have them entrust it to the men appointed to supervise the work on the temple. And have these men pay the workers who repair the temple of the LORD-- 6 the carpenters, the builders and the masons. Also have them purchase timber and dressed stone to repair the temple. 7 But they need not account for the money entrusted to them, because they are acting faithfully."

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>What is the temple of the Lord now and how can we build it up? (1 Cor. 3:16-17; and 2 Cor. 6:16)

* 1 Corinthians 3:16-17 "Don't you know that you yourselves are God's temple and that God's Spirit lives in you? If anyone destroys God's temple, God will destroy him; for God's temple is sacred, and you are that temple."

* 2 Corinthians 6:16 "What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said: "I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people."

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>7. What did the high priest find as they were working on the temple? (8-10)

* 2 Kings 22:8-10 "Hilkiah the high priest said to Shaphan the secretary, "I have found the Book of the Law in the temple of the LORD." He gave it to Shaphan, who read it. 9 Then Shaphan the secretary went to the king and reported to him: "Your officials have paid out the money that was in the temple of the LORD and have entrusted it to the workers and supervisors at the temple." 10 Then Shaphan the secretary informed the king, "Hilkiah the priest has given me a book." And Shaphan read from it in the presence of the king."

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>What does this say about Judah in the preceding years?

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>What did King Josiah do and say when he heard the Book of the Law was found? (11-13)

* 2 Kings 22:11-13 "When the king heard the words of the Book of the Law, he tore his robes. 12 He gave these orders to Hilkiah the priest, Ahikam son of Shaphan, Acbor son of Micaiah, Shaphan the secretary and Asaiah the king's attendant: 13 "Go and inquire of the LORD for me and for the people and for all Judah about what is written in this book that has been found. Great is the LORD's anger that burns against us because our fathers have not obeyed the words of this book; they have not acted in accordance with all that is written there concerning us."

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>How did the priest go to to inquire of the Lord? (14)

* 2 Kings 22:14 "Hilkiah the priest, Ahikam, Acbor, Shaphan and Asaiah went to speak to the prophetess Huldah, who was the wife of Shallum son of Tikvah, the son of Harhas, keeper of the wardrobe. She lived in Jerusalem, in the Second District."

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>8. What was the Lord's word to Josiah? (15-16)

* 2 Kings 22:15-16 "She said to them, "This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: Tell the man who sent you to me, 16 'This is what the LORD says: I am going to bring disaster on this place and its people, according to everything written in the book the king of Judah has read."

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>Why?

* 2 Kings 22:17 "Because they have forsaken me and burned incense to other gods and provoked me to anger by all the idols their hands have made, my anger will burn against this place and will not be quenched.'"

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>9. Even though Judah has sinned what did the Lord tell Josiah? (18-19)

* 2 Kings 22:18-19 "Tell the king of Judah, who sent you to inquire of the LORD, 'This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says concerning the words you heard: Because your heart was responsive and you humbled yourself before the LORD when you heard what I have spoken against this place and its people, that they would become accursed and laid waste, and because you tore your robes and wept in my presence, I have heard you, declares the LORD."

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>How is that hope in our time?

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>10. What is the Lord's word to Josiah?

* 2 Kings 22:20 "Therefore I will gather you to your fathers, and you will be buried in peace. Your eyes will not see all the disaster I am going to bring on this place.'" So they took her answer back to the king."

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>How does this show the kindness of the Lord and the importance of leaders who love the Lord?

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