Second Kings 25 Commentary.
The two-volume work collectively called the Book of Kings comes to a close with chapter 25. Zedekiah is captured, blinded, and exiled. The last thing he saw was the killing of his sons. The temple is burnt down. The palace is also burnt down, together with every other important building in the City. Jerusalem has fallen.
Seraiah the high priest, Zephaniah the priest next in rank, and other high-ranking officials of Judah are executed. The destruction is total. Both Israelite kingdoms have been scattered.
The people of Judah and Israel were as numerous as the sand on the seashore; they ate, they drank and they were happy. And Solomon ruled over all the kingdoms from the Euphrates River to the land of the Philistines, as far as the border of Egypt. These countries brought tribute and were Solomon’s subjects all his life. First Kings 4 verses 20 and 21.
We started this journey from this very high point until idolatry happened. It’s like we are reading about the first couple in the Garden of peace and tranquility. All is well until Solomon begins to import idols into the kingdom through his wives. The Northern kingdom through Jeroboam makes idolatry an official religion. Ahab and Jezebel would take it to a new summit. The LORD sends Elijah and later Elisha whose message ultimately falls on deaf ears.
The Southern kingdom isn’t very different. Manasseh would drive the nation so deep in idolatry that the LORD never looked back on His threats to scatter the remnant of his chosen people.
So Samaria would fall first, to the Assyrians in what appears as a less brutal capture compared to Judah’s fall under the yoke of Nebuchadnezzar. The scattering of a stiff-necked people is complete, exactly as determined by the LORD.
This can be very confusing. Where is the seed through whom the nations would be blessed? Has the LORD abandoned the plan? For now, we can see that the seed itself needed rescue. There still remained a need for a king in the mold of David to restore the good times.
Several centuries after, a baby would be born in Bethlehem. He claimed to be the one that Israel had been waiting for. Could he be the King? Could he be the real Moses to lead Israel back to freedom? And for the world, could he be the seed through whom the nations are blessed? The scripture invites everyone to examine for themselves these claims. The message still remains: “Come and see. Could this be the Messiah?”
The Book of Kings ends with a once-jailed Jehoiachin free and basking in the favor of the oppressor. Maybe the LORD’s plan isn’t dead, after all.
The Book of Kings ends here. Our journey continues into the Book of Chronicles.
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