(killed by conspiracy)
||(5th Cycle Discipline)|
|1||Rehoboam||17||lost 10 Tribes that split into N. Kingdom; invaded by Shishak, king of Egypt (1 Ki 14:25-26; 2 Ch 12:2-9)||.||(1 Ki 14:21), rejected the Law (2 Ch 12:1)|
|3||.||trusted in the Lord and defeated the army of Jeroboam, killed 500,000 (2 Ch 13:17)||(1 Ki 15:1-2), became powerful, had 14 wives (2 Chron 13:21)|
|3||Asa||41||.||destroyed idols and cult prostitutes||(1 Ki 15:10), devoted to the Lord (1 Ki 15:14)|
|4||Jehoshaphat||25||punished for alignment with Israel Ahaziah (2 Chron 20:37)||expelled the cult prostitutes (1 Ki 22:46)||(1 Ki 22:42), peace from enemies (2 Ch 20:30), fought with Ahab against Aram; let his son marry daughter of Ahab and Jezebel (2 Ch 18:1)|
|1||Jehoram||8||Severe sickness Sin Unto Death, Judah invaded by Philistines and Arabs and plundered; his wives and sons taken except Jehoahaz (2 Ch 21:17)||killed his brothers in a purge (2 Chron 21:4)||(2 Ki 8:16-17), son of Jehoshaphat, married Ahab's daughter (2 Chron 21:6); Fifth Cycle of Discipline averted due to the Davidic Covenant (2 Chron 21:7)|
|2||Ahaziah||1||died under the Curse of Ahab (2 Ki 9:27-29; 2 Ch 22:7, 9)||.||(2 Ki 8:24), mother's name was Athaliah, granddaughter of Omri king of Israel (2 Ki 8:26)|
|6||under family Four Gen. Curse; executed (2 Ki 11:16; 8:26)||killed the King's sons, but one was hidden.||(2 Ki 11:1-3), daughter of Ahab & Jezebel (2 Ki 8:18), granddaughter of Omri (2 Ki 8:26), usurped the throne|
|40||.||killed by a conspiracy (2 Ki 12:20-21)||became King age 7 (2 Ki 11:21); paid tribute to Aram (2 Ki 12:18)|
|1||Amaziah||29||The Lord was angry with him for his idolatry (2 Ch 25:15)||defeated and captured by Joash, King of Israel (2 Ki 14:13); killed by conspiracy (2 Ch 25:27)||2 Ki 14:1-2|
|52||Cursed with leprosy for violating Temple sanctity (2 Ki 15:5; 2 Ch 26:16, 20)||.||(2 Ki 15:2), raised a great army, became great and famous (2 Ch 26:6-9), but his pride was his downfall and he became a type of Satan; Jotham his son governed for him|
|3||Jotham||6||.||.||(2 Ki 15:32-33), followed the Lord, fortified Jerusalem, defeated Ammonites (2 Ch 27:5), mighty (2 Ch 27:6)|
|4||Ahaz||16||.||.||(2 Ki 16:2), made son pass through fire (2 Ki 16:3), paid Assyria to deliver from Aram (2 Ki 16:7-9); erected an Assyrian altar in the Temple (2 Ki 16:10-18)|
|1||Hezekiah||29||Fifth Cycle Discipline averted, Sennacherib's army destroyed (2 Ki 19:35); delivered from Sin Unto Death (2 Ki 20:1-11)||tore down the idols||(2 Ki 18:2), kept the commandments, refused to serve Assyria, but formed alliance with Egypt and later paid tribute to Assyria|
|2||Manasseh||55||Fifth Cycle Discipline decreed (2 Ki 21:12-15)||.||2 Ki 21:1|
|3||Amon||2||killed by a conspiracy (2 Ki 21:23-24)||.||2 Ki 21:19|
|4||Josiah||31||Judah still liable for Fifth Cycle Discipline (2 Ki 23:27)||cleaned up the Temple, destroyed the idols and houses of the cult prostitutes||(2 Ki 22:1), Law discovered (2 Ki 22:8), obeyed (2 Ki 23:3), kept Passover (2 Ki 23:21-23), turned to the Lord with all his heart (2 Ki 23:25)|
|1||Jehoahaz||3 mo.||imprisoned by Pharaoh Necho (2 Ki 23:33)||.||2 Ki 15:23|
|2||Jehoiakim||11||.||.||(2 Ki 23:36), vassal to Egypt and then Babylon, rebelled against Babylon; Judah invaded (2 Ki 24:2)|
|3||Jehoiachin||3 mo.||Curse of Coniah: He would be cast out and his line cut off (Jer 22:24-30); taken captive by Babylon (2 Ki 24:12),||.||(2 Ki 24:8), Jerusalem treasures taken by Babylon (2 Ki 24:13), thousands exiled to Babylon (2 Ki 24:14-16)|
|4||Zedekiah||11||Fifth Cycle Discipline,
Nebuchadnezzar burned, plundered Jerusalem, nation exiled, Zedekiah taken captive to Babylon (2 Ki 25:6-21)
|.||(2 Ki 24:18), Jehoiachin's uncle; rebelled against Babylon;|
Rehoboam became the first king of the Southern Kingdom of Judah after the death of his father Solomon (1 Ki 11:43). As previously explained, like Jeroboam, he was also the fourth generation of the kings of the nation of Israel. He got off to a rocky start and lost ten tribes to Jeroboam. This bothered him since the name Jeroboam means who enlarges the people, for one who expands the nation (Ex 34:24). However, when he understood from the prophet that the ten tribes were taken away because of Solomon (1 Ki 12:24), he spent the first three years of his reign getting his kingdom in order (2 Chron 11:11-12). The Levitical priests returned to Jerusalem and supported him (2 Ch 11:16-17).
However, Rehoboam and the nation failed the Four Generation Test and fell into more sin and evil than their fathers (1 Ki 14:22). Rather than obey the Law and worship God in the new Temple that Solomon had built in Jerusalem, they built high places, sacred pillars, and Asherim everywhere (1 Ki 14:23).
High places were places of worship, originally on hills or mountains, since they were closer to God, and later under trees or in the city. They were used to worship the Lord before the Temple was built (1 S 9:12–25; 10:5, 13) and for worshiping idols (Nu 22:41 Je 19:5 32:35).
"Sacred pillars" were not actual images of gods, but stones set up as memorials. Stone pillars had originally been used to worship the Lord (Gen. 31:13, 35:20; Ex. 24:4) or as monuments in commemoration of a Divine revelation (Gen. 28:18, 22, 35:14). They were forbidden under the Law because they easily degenerated into idolatry (Ex. 23:24, 34:13; Deut. 7:5).
Asherah was the Canaanite goddess of love (Prostitute of Babylon). The Asherah was made of wood (1 Ki 15:13, 18:19; 2 Ki 21:7), often a tree trunk or pole planted beside an altar of Baal as a symbol of the goddess (Deut 16:21; 1 Ki 16:33' 2 Ki 13:6; 17:16; 18:4; 21:3; 23:6, 15). The Asherah was prohibited by the Law (Deut 16:21) and burned by Gideon (Judg 6:25, 26, 28, 30).
The high places were on every high hill and under every luxuriant tree. "Luxuriant" is the Hebrew /n^u^r*(ra`anan), meaning luxuriant and often translated green (Deut 12:2; 1 Ki 14:23; 2 Ki 16:4 = 2 Ch 28:4; 2 Ki 17:10; Ps 37:35; Is 57:5; Je 2:20; 3:6, 13; Ezek 6:13; Hos 14:9).
"There were also cult prostitutes in the land" (1 Ki 14:24). Here the Hebrew vd@q* (qadesh), for temple prostitute, is indeed masculine singular, but it is collective and used for male and female. The plural is used in 1 Ki 15:12. The males were emasculated Canaanites, who came into Israel to practice idolatry. They were like the Roman Galli, who were emasculated males who posed as females and worshiped Sibyl. Temple prostitutes were prohibited (Deut 23:17). The problem, however, has never gone away. The business model of a house of prostitution (with different agendas and menus) has been used extensively throughout history.
Rehoboam's failure of the Four Generation Test is seen in his preoccupation with his family. After three years of getting his kingdom in order (2 Ch 11:17), he got married and had children (2 Ch 11:18). Then he took a second wife Maacah, the granddaughter of Absalom (daughter of Tamar) (2 Ch 11:20). He loved her the most and picked the firstborn son Abijah as the heir to the throne (2 Ch 11:22).
Rehoboam reigned 17 years, had 18 wives, 60 concubines, 28 sons and 60 daughters (2 Ch 11:21). He placed his sons throughout the kingdom in cities under different governors. He provided their food and arranged marriages for them. This was a public relations blitz, but it was also slavery to Four Generation Family Curse. His earthly family with its human traditions (human good) took precedence over his spiritual family and Divine viewpoint.
Thus, Rehoboam failed the prosperity test. When the kingdom was strong, Rehoboam and all Israel forsook the Law (2 Ch 12:1). They practiced idolatry (1 Ki 14:22-24). Therefore, the nation fell into the Fourth Cycle of Discipline and was invaded by a foreign power. In Rehoboam's fifth year, Shishak of Egypt invaded and plundered Judah and captured cities (2 Ch 12:2).
When the vast Egyptian army advanced to Jerusalem, the prophet Shemaiah delivered a message to Rehoboam and the princes of Judah: "Thus says the LORD, 'You have forsaken Me, so I also have forsaken you to the hand of Shishak'" (2 Ch 12:5). So Rehoboam and the princes humbled themselves under the Lord's authority and acknowledged that He was Righteous in His Judgment (2 Ch 12:6). Because they humbled themselves, the Lord granted them some relief.
2 Chronicles 12:7Jerusalem will not be destroyed.
And when the Lord saw that they humbled themselves, the word of the Lord came to Shemaiah, saying, "They have humbled themselves so I will not destroy them, but I will grant them deliverance in a little while (a short time). My wrath shall not be poured out on Jerusalem by the hand of Shishak."
2 Chronicles 12:8They would become Shishak's servants so they could learn from experience the difference between the rule of God and the oppressive rule of the kings of the world.
But they will become his servants so that they may learn the difference between My service and the service of the kingdoms of the countries.
Shishak attacked Jerusalem and plundered the Temple and King's Palace (2 Ch 12:9; 1 Ki 14:25-26). He took the gold shields of Solomon (1 Ki 10:16) from the house of the forest of Lebanon (1 Ki 10:17; 7:2). Rehoboam replaced the gold shields with bronze shields and had them carried in royal pomp every time he went to the Temple to perform idolatrous worship (1 Ki 14:27-28). The Temple had been corrupted with evil things and practices for worship of idols.
Rehoboam continued to be liable for destruction and faced additional crises. When he humbled himself the Lord's wrath was turned away so that he was not completely destroyed (2 Ch 12:12). The other reason the Lord turned away His wrath was: "Moreover in Judah there were Good deeds." There was Divine Good production in Judah as later with King Jehoshaphat (2 Ch 19:3). Some of the people were executing the Spiritual life. However, Rehoboam did not execute the Spiritual life and recover from the Four Generation Curse.
2- Abijam (Abijah)
Rehoboam was succeeded by his son Abijam (called Abijah in Chronicles), who was one of the great leaders. He went into battle against Jeroboam with 400,000 men against Jeroboam's 800,000 (2 Ch 13:3). Before the battle he stood on a mountain in Ephraim and gave Jeroboam a sermon (2 Ch 13:4-12). He claimed victory based upon the Davidic Covenant, which promised David's posterity on the throne forever. And he prophesied Jeroboam's defeat because he rebelled against his master and surrounded himself with worthless men and scoundrels. He denounced Jeroboam's golden calves and his phony priesthood. He told him that the people of Judah were the true worshippers of the Lord.
When the battle began, Jeroboam set an ambush fore and aft of the army of Judah. When the army of Judah saw that it was ambushed, it cried out to the Lord and the priests blew the trumpets (2 Ch 13:14). The army of Judah raised a war cry and routed the army of Israel. Israel fled before Judah. The Lord gave Israel into Judah's hand, and 500,000 men of Israel were killed (2 Ch 13:15-17). Judah was victorious because it trusted the Lord (2 Ch 13:18). Abijam exploited the victory and captured several cities of Israel (2 Ch 13:19).
Jeroboam never recovered from his defeat; however, Abijam became powerful and prosperous (2 Ch 13:20). Abijah reigned 3 years and had 14 wives, 22 sons, 16 daughters. Like his father, he place high value on his harem. Rather than concentrate on recovering from the Four Generation Curse by executing the Spiritual life, he was carrying on family tradition after the pattern of Solomon and Rehoboam. This was a sign that he failed to recover from the Four Generation Curse.
When Abijam died, he was succeeded by his son Asa, who reigned for 41 years and did good. Asa means physician or healer. Asa sought to heal the land by leading the people to seek the Lord, keep the Law, and destroy their idols (2 Ch 14:3-4). Asa destroyed idols and cult prostitutes from the land. He was devoted to the Lord (1 Ki 15:14). The land was undisturbed during the reign of Asa for 10 years (2 Ch 14:2).
Asa raised a strong military (2 Ch 14:8). He was challenged by the Ethiopian Army with an estimated infantry of 1 million soldiers and 300 chariots (2 Ch 14:9). Asa went out with a smaller army to meet them, and the two armies faced each other at Mareshah, which is West of Hebron. Before the battle Asa called on the Lord for help. He recognized that the "battle is the Lord's" and used Faith-Rest (2 Ch 14:11).
The Lord routed the Ethiopians, and they fled before the army of Asa and Judah (2 Ch 14:12). They pursued them as far as Gerar (East of Gaza on map of Tribes of Israel) (2 Ch 14:13). They destroyed the Philistine cities around Gerar and took great spoil, including large herds of livestock (2 Ch 14:14-15).
After Asa returned to Jerusalem as great conquering King, the prophet Azariah, endued with the Holy Spirit, went to Asa and the Tribes of Judah and Benjamin with a stern warning (2 Ch 15:1-2). He said:
The LORD was with you because you were with Him. If you seek Him, He will be found by you; and if you forsake Him, He will forsake you. (2 Ch 15:2b)Azariah reminded them of the importance of obeying the Lord. "If you seek Him" addresses the importance of seeking the Lord in the Spiritual life. This is quoted frequently (Isa 55:6, 7; Jer 29:13; Mt 7:7, 8). Those who forsake the Lord will be forsaken (2 Ki 21:14; 2 Ch 24:20; 12:5; 28:9).
Asa is being warned to seek the Lord, learn doctrine, and execute the Spiritual life. He must not turn away in Reversionism, for then the Lord will separate from him and punish him severely. The Lord gave Asa a great victory, but he is in danger of losing his Spiritual life.
The prophet Azariah continued with a prophecy (2 Ch 15:2-7). The prophecy is not a prediction so much as a timeless message that occurs periodically throughout history. It was applicable to the time of Asa and the wars in his time.
In the prophecy Israel was "without a teaching priest and without law." Priests were supposed to teach the Law (Lev 10:11; Deut 33:10; 2 Ch 17:9). "Without law" is a state of anarchy. But when Israel turned to the Lord, He returned to them (2 Ch 15:4). The prophecy concludes with an exhortation.
2 Chronicles 15:7 ExhortationWhen Asa heard the prophecy, he obeyed the exhortation of the prophet.
But you, be strong; do not be slack, for there is a reward for your work.
2 Chronicles 15:8Asa took the exhortation of the prophet to heart and set about removing idolatry from the land and the cities of Ephraim that his father had conquered (2 Ch 13:19). He held a big reform festival in Jerusalem (2 Ch 15:9-10). The Tribes of Judah, Benjamin, Ephraim, Manasseh, and Simeon assembled at Jerusalem to celebrate the reforms. Animals were sacrificed from spoils of War with Edom (2 Ch 15:11).
When Asa heard the exhortation and the prophecy, he took courage and removed the abominable idols from all the land of Judah and Benjamin and from the cities which he had taken in the mountains of Ephraim, and he repaired the Altar of the LORD, which was before the Porch of the LORD.
They renewed the Covenant (2 Ch 15:12). They pledged to uphold the Mosaic Covenant (Deut 4:29). Those who didn't seek the Lord would be put to death (2 Ch 15:13). Rejecting the Covenant amounted to idolatry, which carried the death penalty (Deut 17:2-6). The Lord honored their commitment. Because they served the Lord, they had rest from their enemies (2 Ch 15:15). Asa even removed the Queen Mother Maacah because she had made an Asherah (1 Ki 15:13; 2 Ch 15:16).
After the great revival in the 15th year of Asa's reign (2 Ch 15:10), there was no more war until the next year. This is recorded erroneously as the 35th and 36th years in 2 Ch 15:19 and 2 Ch 16:1. The 35th and 36th years can be taken as the years since the division of the Kingdom or they can be changed to the 15th and 16th years of Asa's reign. Either is correct.
In the 36th year of the Southern Kingdom war with Baasha began (2 Ch 16:1; 1 Ki 15:17). Baasha began fortifying Ramah. Ramah was near Mizpah in the heart of Benjamin near the main highway North from Jerusalem. Note, Mizpah is shown on the maps North of Jerusalem. This was a major escalation of war as Baasha prepared to attack the cities that Abijam had previously taken. Baasha was blocking all traffic North of Jerusalem.
In the face of a military crisis, Asa ignored the Divine solution and opted for the human solution. He took all the silver and gold left in the treasuries of the Temple and Palace and sent them to the King of Syria to bribe him to break his treaty with Israel and attack it (2 Ch 16:2-3; 1 Ki 15:18-19). King Ben-hadad of Syria listened to Asa and attacked Israel, and Baasha withdrew from Ramah (2 Ch 16:4-5; 1 Ki 15:20-21). Asa took the stone and timber from Ramah and fortified Geba and Mizpah of Benjamin. (2 Ch 15:6; 1 Ki 15:22).
Then the Prophet Hanani rebuked Asa for his alliance with Syria (2 Ch 16:7-8). By forming the alliance, he lost his chance to not only defeat Israel but also Damascus (kill two birds with one stone).
2 Chronicles 16:9The eyes of the Lord symbolize His Grace support for believers. Asa rejected the Divine solution (Jer 17:5). He rejected Grace and failed to use Faith-Rest. He failed the test a year after his great emotional revival. Asa exhibited a tragic flaw. Because he acted foolishly, he would have wars as Divine punishment.
For the eyes of the LORD move to and fro throughout the earth that He may strongly support those whose heart is completely His. You have acted foolishly in this. Indeed, from now on you will surely have wars.
Asa rejected the authority of the Prophet Hanani and became angry. He went into a rage and threw Hanani in the stock-house – corresponding to a Cosmic Babylon attack. He also oppressed some of the people who were sympathetic with the seer – corresponding to a Political Babylon attack. Asa rejected the communicator – corresponding to an Ecumenical Babylon attack. He became a dictator and an Evil King.
Asa should never have persecuted the prophet. He had the power but not the authority to do so. For this he was sentenced to the Sin Leading to Death. He became diseased in his feet in the 39th year of his reign, where the number 39 is for the Sin Leading to Death. Even though his sickness was severe, he refused to seek the Lord, but chose to rely wholly on the physicians. Consequently, he died because physicians cannot heal the Sin Leading to Death (2 Ch 16:13). Here physician is the Hebrew ap*r* (rapha'), meaning literally to sew up. It is a different word for physician than Asa (Hebrew as*a*).
So, Asa trusted the Lord for a great victory over the Ethiopians, and he held a great revival, and rededicated his life to observe the Mosaic Covenant. However, when faced with the next military crisis, he turned from doctrine and failed the test. He failed to Rebound and threw the Prophet Hanani in prison. He even trusted in physicians in the face of the Sin Leading to Death, but he died anyway.
Asa's tragic flaw was lack of faith. He was willing to trust the Lord up to a point. He trusted the Lord in the battle with the Ethiopians because he had no choice. He humbled himself under the Lord's authority and renewed the Covenant because he had nothing to lose. However, he refused to risk his kingdom to rely on the Lord in the Baasha crisis. In his arrogance he rejected Grace and solved his problem himself. Then to maintain face as King, he threw the prophet into prison and oppressed the opposition.
Asa had pledged his life to God in the renewal of the Covenant ceremony. God blessed the ceremony and allowed Asa to learn doctrine apart from interference from Satan. However, after the ceremony God allowed Satan to cross examine just as He did in the Garden. Asa was a believer in childhood who had not yet reached Spiritual adulthood. Satan was allowed to test him through suffering to qualify him for adulthood. Satan brought Baasha against Asa. Satan frightened and pressured Asa and gave him the idea to bribe the king of Syria for help. In the crisis Asa was behaving like Satan, who wanted to be like the Most High. Asa's priority was preserving his royal crown - not risking it to wait for Grace.
In the crisis Asa should have resisted the temptation to go for a worldly solution. He should have used Faith-Rest, but instead he caved in to Satan's pressure. The king of Syria was an Evil King, and Asa should have known better than to form a partnership with him. Asa had rather do business with the devil than to risk losing his crown.
Even after the prophet confronted him with his evil ways, Asa hardened his heart, rejected the message, and threw the prophet into prison along with the people who opposed him. These decisions came from the counterattacks of Cosmic, Political, and Ecumenical Babylon. Asa became an Evil King in the Cosmic System enslaved to Satan. Asa refused to Rebound and return to the Grace of God. Even under Divine punishment with his foot disease, he trusted the physicians rather than God.
The disease in Asa's feet came from a head (authority) problem. His heart was hardened, and he rejected Grace by trusting in the physicians instead of the Lord. He could not admit his failure and be humble. Consequently he died in his sins and failed to recover from the Four Generation Curse.
The fourth king was Jehoshaphat (1 Ki 22:41; 2 Ch 17:1). He was a contemporary with Ahab. Jehoshaphat was 35 when he became king. He had rest from his enemies (2 Ch 14:7; 20:30). Jehoshaphat means the Lord has judged. Jehoshaphat appointed judges in all the fortified cities (2 Ch 19:5-6) and appointed a Supreme Court in Jerusalem (2 Ch 19:8). The Supreme Court handled cases that could not be decided in the cities. It decided disputes about the Law (religious disputes) and civil disputes related to the king (2 Ki 19:11).
Jehoshaphat did not deviate from the ways of his father Asa (1 Ki 22:43). This means Jehoshaphat obeyed the Law and did Good. However, it also means he followed in family tradition and failed the Four Generation Curse. He served the Lord according to the example of David (2 Ch 17:3).
2 Chronicles 17:6He sent teachers of the Law all over Judah (2 Ch 17:7-9). He was paid tribute by neighboring countries and became very prosperous (2 Ch 17:11-12). He raised a large army (2 Ch 17:13-18). He was not afraid to go into battle and fought with Ahab against Syria (1 Ki 22:2-37). He made peace with Israel, which was evil under Ahab and Jezebel (1 Ki 22:44).
His (Jehoshaphat's) heart was encouraged in the ways of the LORD, and he again removed the high places and the Asherim from Judah.
However, he failed to separate from the world. He let his son Jehoram marry Athaliah, the daughter of Ahab and Jezebel, in a state marriage (2 Ch 8:18; 18:1; 21:6). The state marriage was evil, Political Babylon. Jehoshaphat failed to separate from the world. His son Joram married the Prostitute of Babylon.
Later in his reign, Judah was invaded by armies from Edom, Moab, and Ammon. These three armies corresponded to Ecumenical, Political, and Cosmic Babylon. Satan was behind the attack on Judah. The group from Edom came from Mount Seir, which is the mountain range that runs through Edom south of the Dead Sea. The Maunites from the city of Maan near Petra on Mount Seir were non-Edomites (2 Ch 20:1; 26:7; 1 Ch 4:41). However, the region of Mt. Seir is generally called Edom.
2 Chronicles 20:2The lookout reported that a great army was coming from Edom – not Aram (which is a mistake in the text). The army had reached Engedi on the west side of the Dead Sea.
And they came and reported to Jehoshaphat, saying, "A great multitude is coming against you from beyond the (Dead) sea, out of Edom and behold, they are in Hazazon-tamar (that is Engedi)."
2 Chronicles 20:3In the face of a national crisis, Jehoshaphat sought the Lord. He needed Divine viewpoint to understand what to do. Because of the gravity of the crisis, he proclaimed a national fast in all of Judah, and people came from all around to pray (2 Ch 20:4).
Then Jehoshaphat was afraid and turned his attention to seek the LORD, and proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah.
Then Jehoshaphat went to the Temple and stood in the new court and prayed (2 Ch 20:5, 6, 7, 8-13). The new court was the outer court of the temple, which Solomon built (2 Ch 4:9). All the people were gathered round. The Holy Spirit came upon Jahaziel, a Levite, with the answer (2 Ch 20:14).
2 Chronicles 20:15First, they must not be afraid because fear is a sin. Next, the battle is God's (1 Sam 17:47).
and he said, "Listen, all Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem and King Jehoshaphat: Thus says the LORD to you, 'Do not fear or be dismayed because of this great multitude, for the battle is not yours but God's.' "
The Lord directed Jehoshaphat to go out tomorrow and he would find the armies at the end of the valley before the desert Jeruel, which is the desert East of Tekoa. Judah would not have to fight because the Lord would handle it (2 Ch 20:17).
The next morning the army of Jehoshaphat went out to the desert of Tekoa (2 Ch 20:20).
2 Chronicles 20:21 Levitical Singers Before the ArmyAs the army marched, Jehoshaphat commanded the Levitical singers to march before the army singing praises to the Lord dressed in their holy attire. They were to "Give thanks to the LORD, for His Gracious Love is everlasting."
And after he had counseled the people, he placed singers of the LORD to sing praise in holy adornment, as they marched out before the army saying, "Give thanks to the LORD, for His Gracious Love is everlasting."
2 Chronicles 20:22When they began singing and praising in the vicinity of the enemy armies, an ambush was sprung. Those from Mt. Seir (Edom) were the losers.
And when they began singing and praising, the Lord set an ambush against the sons of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir, who had come against Judah; so that they were routed (or struck down).
2 Chronicles 20:23The explanation given indicates that the inhabitants of Mount Seir (Edom) were set apart and destroyed by the armies of Ammon and Moab. So, those from Edom probably were the ones in ambush. They likely attacked because the men of Ammon and Moab were loaded with booty from Israel. When the men from Edom were destroyed, the armies of Moab and Ammon then turned on each other and destroyed each other.
For the men of Ammon and Moab rose up against the inhabitants of Mount Seir (Edom) destroying them completely, and when they had finished with the inhabitants of Seir, they helped to destroy one another.
When the army of Judah came to the watch-tower of the desert, all they saw was corpses (2 Ch 20:24). The army of Judah spent three days taking the spoil because there was so much (2 Ch 20:25).
After the great victory over the armies of Edom, Moab, and Ammon, the dread of God fell on all the surrounding kingdoms when they heard how the Lord fought for Israel (2 Ch 20:29).
2 Chronicles 20:30Because of the great demonstration of military might of the Lord, Judah had peace. God gave Jehoshaphat rest from all sides.
So the kingdom of Jehoshaphat was at peace, for his God gave him rest on all sides.
After great demonstrations of faith, Jehoshaphat never understood the need to separate from the world. The King of Israel, Ahaziah, talked him into building a naval fleet of Tarshish ships and forming an alliance to go to Ophir for gold (1 Ki 22:48; 2 Ch 20:35). Tarshish ships were made in Tarshish on the Mediterranean coast of Spain where there was wood suitable for building ships capable of long voyages.
2 Chronicles 20:36Ships like those going to Tarshish were those like the ones in Tarshish. The purpose of the naval fleet was to trade, like Solomon's fleet.
He (Jehoshaphat) allied himself with him (Ahaziah) for building ships like those going to Tarshish, and they made the ships in Ezion-geber.
Eliezer prophesied against Jehoshaphat for forming the alliance with the Evil King Ahaziah, and the Lord punished Jehoshaphat when his ships were apparently damaged in a storm (2 Chron 20:37). Jehoshaphat finally wised up because when Ahaziah again asked Jehoshaphat to form a naval alliance, Jehoshaphat refused (1 Ki 22:49).
So, in spite of his faith and leadership ability, Jehoshaphat had a weakness for his family - the family that he had created by the marriage of his son to the daughter Ahab and Jezebel. After witnessing the death of Ahab and all his great Spiritual victories, he was still psychologically bound to his family. The personal love for his family prevented him from separating from the world and breaking the Four Generation Curse.
Jehoshaphat did not understand that to love Ahab and Ahaziah, who were Evil Kings, amounted to the sin of idolatry. He finally got the message that he couldn't form a naval alliance with Ahaziah, but he did not break his friendship with him. His personal love for his family prevented him from separating from the world to have a mature love relationship with God. He didn't understand that friendship with the world is enmity with God (Jas 4:4). Therefore, he did not break the Four Generation Curse in the royal line, and the curse fell upon the next generation.
5/1- Jehoram - Four Generation Curse
When Jehoshaphat died, he was succeeded by his first born son Jehoram. The previous four kings in spite of some high points were not able to avert the Four Generation Curse, which was now due. The Curse was administered during the reign of Jehoram, the fifth king. Jehoram had married the daughter of Ahab and Jezebel, and he walked in the ways of Ahab and the kings of Israel (2 Ki 8:17; 2 Chron 21:6). As soon as he was secure, he killed his brothers in a purge (2 Chron 21:4).
Because he had turned away from the Lord God, Edom and Libnah revolted against his rule (2 Ch 21:8-10). He tried to retake Edom, but he got cutoff from his army, which fled, and he barely escaped alive (2 Ki 8:21).
Jehoram made high places in the mountains where the people practiced idolatry (2 Ch 21:11). Consequently, Elijah wrote him a letter and prophesied a great calamity against the nation and the Sin Leading to Death of Jehoram in which his bowels would fall out (2 Ch 21:12-13, 14, 15).
Judah was subsequently invaded by the Philistines and Arabs and the king's palace was plundered. Jehoram's sons and wives were taken captive, and only Jehoahaz was left (2 Ch 21:16-17). Jehoram was stricken with a disease that made his bowels fall out in two years, and he died (2 Ch 21:18-19). However, the Fifth Cycle of Discipline was averted due to the Davidic Covenant (2 Chron 21:7).
So, after Asa thought more of his royal family than the Lord and Jehoshaphat loved his relatives like Ahab more than the Lord, Jehoram had the accumulated evil of four generations of ancestors. He was an Evil King married to the daughter of Jezebel. He murdered his brothers and other officials to preserve his claim to the crown. He worshipped idols. Because of his evil, the palace was plundered, his wives and children were taken captive, and he was sentenced to the Sin Leading to Death. The Four Generation Curse was brought to bear on Jehoram, and the Fifth Cycle of Discipline was only averted due to the Davidic Covenant.
Jehoram's son Ahaziah became the second king in the next series of four. His mother was Athaliah, the daughter of Ahab and Jezebel (2 Ki 8:26). He lasted a year before he was killed by Jehu under the Curse of Ahab (2 Ki 9:27-29).
Ahaziah went out with Jehoram, King of Israel, to wage war with the king of Syria (2 Ch 22:5). However, Jehoram was wounded and returned to Jezreel to recuperate. When Ahaziah went to be with the injured Jehoram, Jehu came up and killed both of them (2 Ch 22:6, 7, 9). The death of Ahaziah was because he was the friend of the son of Ahab who was under the Curse of Ahab. Ahab, his family, and friends were under the curse and must die.
3- Athaliah (Queen)
When Ahaziah died, his mother Athaliah, killed his sons and usurped the throne. However, one of the sons was hidden for six years while Athaliah ruled (2 Ki 11:2-3; 2 Ch 22:11, 12). The son was hidden by Jehosheba, the half-sister of Ahaziah and wife of the High Priest, Jehoiada. He was hidden in the "house of the Lord," which was the High Priest's house.
Athaliah worshipped Baal like her mother Jezebel. She was an Evil Queen under demon power as the Prostitute of Babylon. She desecrated the Temple for Baal Worship (2 Ch 24:7).
In the seventh year the son, Jehoash (Joash), who had been hidden, was brought out by Jehoiada the High Priest and proclaimed king. Jehoiada organized the security with Levites and trusted centurions of the royal bodyguard (2 Ki 11:4-11; 2 Ch 23:1-10). Joash was brought out of the house where he was staying and into the Temple court, where he was anointed King (2 Ki 11:12; 2 Ch 23:11).
When Athaliah heard the celebration for the new king, she came out and cried, "Treason!" (2 Ki 11:13-14; 2 Ch 23:12-13). Jehoiada gave orders for her to be taken and executed (2 Ki 11:15; 2 Ch 23:14). She was dragged out of the Temple and executed (2 Ki 11:16; 2 Ch 23:15). Athaliah was also under the Four Generation Family Curse of the family of Ahab as his daughter.
The new seven-year-old king was taken into the royal palace and seated on the throne (2 Ki 11:19). He was escorted by the "Carites and the guards," the royal body-guard. Carites, or Cherethites, means executioners (e.g. halberdiers). Their job was to inflict capital punishment and to convey the king's mandates as quickly as possible. "Guards" is the Hebrew rutz, meaning runners (as royal escorts) and used for the royal body-guard. Thus, Carites and guards refer collectively to the body-guard of the king.
Jehoash (Joash) became the fourth king in sequence at age 7 (2 Ki 11:21). He reigned 40 years and did right in the sight of the Lord. However, the high places for idolatry were not destroyed (2 Ki 12:3).
Joash started out right under the watchful eye of Jehoiada the High Priest, who instructed him in what to do (2 Ki 12:2; 2 Ch 24:1-3). The King, the High Priest, and the people made a covenant to be the Lord's people (2 Ch 23:16). They tore down the Temple of Baal and killed the priest of Baal (2 Ch 23:17). And the Levitical Priests were appointed to manage the Temple and make it operational again after Athaliah had made it unfit for true worship (2 Ch 23:18-20). After getting rid of Athaliah, Jerusalem "had quiet" (2 Ch 23:21).
However, in spite of all their good intentions, in the 23rd year of Joash's reign the Temple still had not been repaired (2 Ki 12:6). So Joash summoned Jehoiada about the problem (2 Ki 12:7; 2 Ch 24:6). Jehoiada started collecting money from the people and used it to repair the Temple (2 Ki 12:9-15; 2 Ch 24:8-14). Then the Temple was placed back in service for as long as Jehoiada lived.
However, when Jehoiada died, Joash proved to be a poor manager and a weak leader. Joash was swayed by the peer pressure of the officials (2 Ch 24:17). Without the leadership of Jehoiada, the people also quit worshipping in the Temple and returned to idolatry (2 Ch 24:18). Prophets were sent, but they rejected them (2 Ch 24:19).
The enduement of the Holy Spirit came upon Zechariah, the son of Jehoiada, and he prophesied against the people.
2 Chronicles 24:20 Zechariah ProphesiesZechariah the High Priest "stood above the people." He was in the inner, higher court above the people who were in the lower, outer court. He pointed out that they were transgressing the Lord's commandments, and that is why they did not prosper. Since they had forsaken the Lord, He had forsaken them.
Then the Spirit of God came on Zechariah the son of Jehoiada the (High) priest; and he stood above the people and said to them, "Thus says God, 'Why do you transgress the commandments of the LORD so that you do not prosper? Because you have forsaken the LORD, He has also forsaken you.' "
The people rejected the Divine Authority of the Holy Spirit and became angry. They conspired to kill the messenger. The king caved in to peer pressure and assented to Zechariah's execution. He was a dupe in the conspiracy. Satan was behind the attack.
By killing Zechariah the king and the people of Judah became guilty under the Four Generation Curse. Jehoiada the High Priest was a mature believer who stood in the gap for the nation. However, when he died, Satan entered the void. The people rejected the Law and fell into idolatry. They did not know Good from evil or Light from darkness. When Zechariah tried to warn them under the power of the Holy Spirit, Satan convinced them to murder him.
In scarcely a year ("at the turn of the year"), the Syrian Army attacked Judah under the Fourth Cycle of National Cursing (2 Ch 24:23). "They (the Syrian Army) destroyed all the princes of the people." The Syrian Army killed and injured all the leaders of the army of Judah. They sent their spoil to the king of Damascus. The spoil refers to the treasures that Joash gave them (2 Ki 12:19). Joash gave away all the money in the treasury along with all the sacred things to Hazael king of Syria to get him to leave.
The Syrians struck Judah with a smaller army, but the Lord gave the Syrians victory as Divine punishment to Judah (2 Ch 24:24). Joash was severely injured in the battle (2 Ch 24:25). While he lay on his sick bed, his own men conspired against him and murdered him (2 Ki 12:20-21). This was Divine retribution for the "blood of the son of Jehoiada (Zechariah)" (2 Ch 24:25). Joash was murdered because he murdered Zechariah, the High Priest.
5/1 Amaziah - Four Generation Curse
Amaziah became the fifth king in sequence and was liable for the Four Generation Curse. He also did right in the sight of the Lord, but he left the high places for idolatry. He executed the conspirators who had killed his father Jehoash (2 Ki 14:5).
After Amaziah defeated the Edomites, he brought their idols back home and worshipped them (2 Ch 25:14). The Lord was angry with Amaziah because of the idolatry and sent a prophet to warn him, but he would not listen to the prophet (2 Ch 25:15, 16). Amaziah's idolatry was further liability for the Four Generation Curse.
Then Amaziah picked a fight with Jehoash king of Israel. The army of Israel defeated the army of Judah, and Amaziah was captured (2 Ki 14:11-13; 2 Ch 25:23). The king of Israel breached the wall of Jerusalem, plundered the Temple and the Treasury, and carried away captives (2 Ki 14:13-14).
Amaziah lived 15 years after the death of Jehoash king of Israel. He reigned 29 years until he was run out of town by a conspiracy and killed (2 Ch 25:27). Thus, in the Four Generation Curse Amaziah went into idolatry, the army of Judah was defeated, Jerusalem was plundered, and Amaziah was eventually killed by a conspiracy.
2- Azariah (Uzziah)
Azariah (Uzziah), son of Amaziah, became the second king in sequence. He quickly established himself as a great leader. He learned Bible Doctrine from the prophet Zechariah, and God gave him success.
2 Chronicles 26:5"He was seeking God" – indicates his positive volition. "As long as he sought the LORD" – refers to fellowship with the Lord in obedience to His authority. "God gave him success." His success came from the Grace of God. He was on God's side – not Satan's. This was the opposite of the evil kings of the Northern Kingdom who practiced idolatry.
He (Uzziah) was seeking God in the days of Zechariah, who instructed him in the fear of God; and as long as he sought the LORD, God gave him success.
Early in his reign he completed the subjugation of the Edomites began by his father. He captured and fortified the seaport of Eloth (or Elath) on the Gulf of Aqaba (2 Ch 26:2). God helped him against the Philistines and Arabians (2 Ch 26:7). They had plundered Jerusalem under Jehoram (2 Ch 21:16-17).
He raised a great army and went to war against the Philistines and conquered them. He built cities among the Philistines, meaning that he had subdued them (2 Ch 26:6).
Uzziah became powerful and his fame spread (2 Ch 26:8). He fortified the walls of Jerusalem (2 Ch 26:9) and set up defenses for his livestock ("towers in the wilderness') for protection against marauding Edomites and Arabs (2 Ch 26:10).
He organized and equipped a large army. He had a large battle-ready fully equipped army of 307,500. He deployed catapults and missile launchers on the walls of Jerusalem.
2 Chronicles 26:15However, Uzziah fell into pride and the power of Satan.
In Jerusalem he manufactured machines of war, inventions of creative men to be on the towers and battlements to shoot with arrows and large stones. Hence his fame spread afar, for he was marvelously helped until he was strong.
2 Chronicles 26:16Uzziah had become a great king. This was temporal authority, but he fell into pride and Satan took him. Uzziah become a type of Satan. His pride was a sign of Satanic influence. He was like Satan who wanted to be like the Most High (Isa 14:14). Uzziah wanted to be the High Priest (spiritual leader) in addition to the King (temporal leader). He was driven by inordinate ambition, like Satan. Uzziah failed the prosperity test.
But when he had become strong, his heart was lifted up in pride even to his acting corruptly, and he was unfaithful to the LORD his God, for he entered the Temple of the LORD to burn incense on the Altar of Incense.
The High Priest and 80 other priests confronted Uzziah and told him that he was not authorized to burn incense in the Temple. That was reserved for members of the Levitical priesthood from Aaron (2 Ch 26:18). Uzziah was unsanctified and could not be a priest. However, Uzziah became enraged at the priests (2 Ch 26:19). He was out of control and emotion had taken over. God struck him with the curse of leprosy in his forehead (2 Ch 26:20).
Uzziah was escorted out of the Temple, but he had leprosy until the day of his death. He lived in a separate house, a hospital, and his son Jotham governed (2 Ch 26:21; 2 Ki 15:5). Leprosy is an unclean disease, symbolizing lack of sanctification. Not only did Uzziah violate the Divine sanctity of the Temple, but he was under the influence of Satan.
Due to his leprosy, Uzziah lived in a hospital. He was cut off from the Temple. The latter state of Uzziah with leprosy and cut off from the Temple corresponds to Satan after his fall. Satan was cut off from a relationship with the Holy God. Uzziah had a great life under the Grace of God, but under the power of Satan, he destroyed his life.
Jotham, son of Uzziah, became the third king in sequence. He obeyed the Lord even though the people did not.
Ahaz, the son of Jotham, became the fourth king in sequence. He was an evil king who made idols, practiced idolatry, and worshipped Baal (2 Ch 28:2-4). This was primarily making molten calves, which were used in the worship of the Lord in apostasy. Ahaz "made his son pass through the fire" (2 Ki 16:3), which refers to sacrificing children to Moloch (see Manasseh).
Because of his evil, God delivered Judah into the hand of the King of Syria, who defeated the Army of Judah and carried away captives (2 Ch 28:5). Then Pekah, King of Israel, delivered an even greater defeat in which 120,000 of Judah's army were killed in one day (2 Ch 28:6). High ranking officers were killed, including a royal prince – not the king's son, but probably a relative, since the king wasn't old enough to have a son in the army (2 Ch 28:7). And 200,000 captives were taken back to Samaria (2 Ch 28:8).
However, a prophet in Israel prevailed upon the army to return the captives (2 Ch 28:9-11). He explained with Divine viewpoint that Israel did not win and act so cruelly from its own power but because the Lord delivered over Judah for punishment. Therefore, unless they were without sin, they should not make slaves of the people of Judah. Some of the leaders of Israel then took care of the captives and took them back to Jericho, where they were reunited with their relatives (2 Ch 28:15).
In addition, the Edomites attacked Judah and took captives, and the Philistines captured cities in the Negev (2 Ch 28:17, 18). Ahaz was in distress and sought help from the king of Assyria. Ahaz took silver and gold from the Temple and the Treasury and bribed the king of Assyria for help. The king of Assyria captured Damascus and killed the king of Syria (2 Ki 16:5, 7, 8, 9). Tiglath-pileser also conquered much of the Northern Kingdom of Israel, but he did not help Ahaz in spite of the bribes (2 Ch 28:20, 21).
Ahaz went up to Damascus to meet Tiglath-pileser, king of Assyria. There he saw an altar used for offering by the Syrians. He had a copy of the altar made and placed in the Temple in Jerusalem. He used the altar for his own offerings and ordered the priest to use it for offerings to the Lord. The original Brazen Altar in Solomon's Temple was moved to the side (2 Ki 16:10-16). This was an abomination, but Ahaz made other alterations to the Temple (2 Ki 16:17-18). He had no fear of the Lord.
In his distress Ahaz became even more unfaithful to the Lord (2 Ch 28:22). He sacrificed to the gods of Syria, thinking that since they helped the Syrians, they could help him. However, this was his ruin (2 Ch 28:23). He took the utensils from the Temple and closed the doors. He cut up the utensils to make altars for himself in every corner of Jerusalem (2 Ch 28:24). The idolatry of Ahaz was liability for the next Four Generation Curse.
Hezekiah, son of Ahaz, became king after his father's death. Hezekiah was the fifth king in sequence and liable for the Four Generation Curse. He became king in the third year of King Hoshea (2 Ki 18:1), the last king of Israel before it fell in the Fifth Cycle of Discipline.
Hezekiah trusted the Lord and obeyed the commandments (2 Ki 18:5-6). He fought the Philistines and rebelled against the king of Assyria, whom his father had paid for protection. In the sixth year of Hezekiah the Northern Kingdom fell to Assyria (2 Ki 18:10). In the fourteenth year of Hezekiah, Sennacherib, king of Assyria, invaded Judah and seized all the fortified cities (2 Ki 18:13). Hezekiah agreed to pay tribute to him to keep him from destroying Jerusalem (2 Ki 18:14-16).
Hezekiah sent gold and silver to Assyria, but that was not enough. Sennacherib sent Rabshakeh, his Secretary of State, with an ultimatum that Hezekiah surrender. Hezekiah requested that Isaiah pray, and Rabshakeh left, but he returned with a letter demanding surrender.
Hezekiah was facing the Fifth Cycle of Discipline, and he had run out of options. So he took the letter to the Temple and prayed to God for help (2 Ki 19:14-19). God answered his prayer through Isaiah (2 Ki 19:20-34). That night the Angel of the Lord (preincarnate Christ) went into the Assyrian camp and killed 185,000 (2 Ki 19:35). All the Assyrian soldiers were dead. So Sennacherib returned home, where he was assassinated (2 Ki 19:36-37).
Thus Judah was brought to the brink of destruction under the Fifth Cycle of Disciple, but it was averted. After all this Hezekiah failed the prosperity test and Isaiah was sent to tell him he would die the Sin Leading to Death. However, he humbled himself before the Lord and requested more time. So Isaiah interceded for him and he received a reprieve of 15 years.
After Hezekiah recovered from the Sin Leading to Death, he worked to rid the nation of idolatry. He destroyed the high places, sacred pillars, and Asherim, and he broke in pieces the bronze serpent that Moses had made and to which the people were burning incense in idolatry (Nu 21:8, 9; 2 Ki 18:4). The worship of the bronze serpent was like the worship of Beelzebub (Matt 12:24) - Satan as the healer.
Hezekiah's son Manasseh succeeded him. He became king at age 12 and fell in with the degenerate leaders who led him into idolatry. He rebuilt the high places that his father had destroyed. He worshipped Baal like Ahab and Jezebel (2 Ki 21:2-5). He made his sons pass through the fire and practiced witchcraft and divination (2 Ki 21:6).
Because of the evil of Manasseh, the Lord decreed the curse of the Fifth Cycle of Discipline against Judah (2 Ki 21:12-15).
Manasseh's son Amon succeeded him. He became king at age 22, for cursing. He did evil like his father had done (2 Ki 21:20-22). He only lasted 2 years before he was killed by a conspiracy (2 Ki 21:23-24).
Manasseh's son Josiah became king at age 8. He was the fourth king in sequence. He had positive volition and began to seek God in the eighth year of his reign (age 15). In the 12th year (age 19) he began to tear down the high places and idols (2 Ch 34:3-7). In the 18th year of his reign (age 25) after he had cleaned out the Temple of its idols and repaired it, he sent a scribe to pay the workmen (2 Ki 22:3-7). The High Priest Hilkiah reported that he had found the Book of the Law in the Temple (2 Ki 22:8).
The High Priest gave the Book of the Law to the scribe, who brought it back to King Josiah and read it to him (2 Ki 22:10). When the King heard it, he tore his clothes (2 Ki 22:11). Then he commanded the High Priest and his servants to go inquire of the Lord concerning the words of the book.
2 King 22:13Josiah understood the meaning of the Four Generation Curse. He understood that Judah was due great wrath because of the sins of the fathers.
Go, inquire of the LORD for me and the people and all Judah concerning the words of this book that has been found, for great is the wrath of the LORD that is kindled against us, because our fathers have not listened to the words of this book, to do according to all that is written concerning us.
The High Priest and servants went to Huldah, the prophetess, in Jerusalem, and she communicated the Lord's answer. The Lord would bring all the curses written in the Law against Judah (2 Ch 34:24). The Lord's wrath would be poured out on Judah (2 Ch 34:25), but He would spare Josiah, who had humbled himself.
2 Chronicles 34:27The Lord said that Josiah would go to his grave in peace, and he would not see all the evil that He would bring on Judah (2 Ch 34:28).
"Because your heart was tender and you humbled yourself before God when you heard His doctrine against this place and against its inhabitants, and because you humbled yourself before Me, tore your clothes and wept before Me, I truly have heard you," declares the LORD.
Then Josiah gathered all the people of Judah from the greatest to the least and read to them all of the Book of the Law (2 Ch 34:30). Then the King made a covenant to obey all the commandments, testimonies, and statutes of the Law with all his heart (2 Ch 34:31).
Then Josiah called for a Passover celebration, and there was a great Passover celebration such as had not occurred since the time of Samuel (2 Ch 35:1-17, 18). The Passover was reinstituted in the 18th year of the reign of Josiah. However, the Lord did not relent concerning the decree of the Fifth Cycle of Discipline against Judah due to the sins of Manasseh (2 Ki 23:26-27).
In his last days Josiah went out to fight Pharaoh Necho at Megiddo. Necho was headed North to ally himself with Assyria against Babylon at Carchemish on the Euphrates River (2 Ki 23:29; 2 Ch 35:20). Necho sent an ambassador to Josiah to tell him that the Egyptian Army was headed North to Assyria and there was no reason for Josiah to interfere with the will of God and be destroyed (2 Ch 35:21). However, Josiah would not heed the warning of Necho (an unbeliever) from the mouth of God. Here an unbeliever was used to prophesy the death of Josiah.
Josiah would not heed the warning but proceeded to engage the Egyptians in battle at Megiddo (2 Ch 35:22). Josiah was mortally wounded by the archers and taken to Jerusalem where he died (2 Ch 35:23-24). Necho proceeded to Carchemish where the Egyptians and the Assyrians were defeated by the Babylonian Army. There was some strategy in the decision of Josiah to attack Necho, since Egypt and Assyria were enemies of Judah. And since Babylon was going to win at Carchemish, Judah may have been viewed a little more favorably by Babylon. However, in the long term Babylon would soon come after Judah.
5/1- Jehoahaz – Four Generation Curse
Jehoahaz, son of Josiah, became the fifth king in sequence. However, after the defeat of the army in the Battle of Megiddo, he had no army to protect him. Pharaoh Necho deposed him after three months and took him captive to Riblah (2 Ki 23:33-34), which was Necho's headquarters North of Damascus. Later Jehoahaz was taken to Egypt where he died.
Necho forced Judah to pay tribute of 100 talents of silver and one of gold (2 Ki 23:33). And Necho installed Eliakim as a vassal king and changed his name to Jehoiakim.
So, three months after the death of Josiah, Judah was subject to Egypt with a vassal king.
Jehoiakim, son of Josiah, was the second king in sequence. He was a vassal to Egypt. Then Nebuchadnezzar, King of Babylon, came up and made Jehoiakim his vassal. However, after three years Jehoiakim rebelled against Babylon, and Judah was invaded (2 Ki 24:1, 2). Jehoiakim was taken captive in chains to be taken to Babylon (2 Ch 36:6), but he was apparently left on the throne as a vassal. Nebuchadnezzar also took some of the articles from the Temple and put them in his temple in Babylon (2 Ch 36:7).
According to the prophecy in Jeremiah, Jehoiakim was very unpopular and would be buried like an a ass – i.e. thrown out in the field without a burial (Jer 22:18, 19).
Jehoiachin, son of Jehoiakim, became king after his father died. He is the third king in sequence. He became king at age 18 (2 Ki 24:8) and reigned 3 months and 10 days (2 Ch 36:9) (age 8 is a typographical error).
Jehoiachin, who was called Coniah by Jeremiah, was a vile louse who was despised and upon whom special curses were evoked. Under the Curse of Coniah, pronounced by the Lord, Coniah would be cast out of the Land and exiled to Babylon along with his mother. There he would die. Furthermore, Coniah would never have a son to sit on the throne. His royal line would be cut off (Jer 22:24-30).
Nebuchadnezzar's Army of Babylon laid siege to Jerusalem, and when Jehoiachin came out to meet them, he was taken captive. He was led into exile to Babylon along with his mother, his wives, his officials, and the nobles of the land (2 Ki 24:15). Also taken into exile were 7,000 valiant soldiers, 1,000 draftees along with craftsmen and smiths. The treasures of the Temple and the King's Castle were also taken to Babylon (2 Ki 24:16).
4- Zedekiah - Fifth Cycle of Discipline
Nebuchadnezzar made Jehoiachin's uncle Mattaniah king in his place, and changed his name to Zedekiah (2 Ki 24:17). The uncle was picked in fulfillment of the Curse of Coniah and because Jehoiachin had no son. Zedekiah was the youngest son of Josiah (Jer. 1:3; 37:1).
Nebuchadnezzar made Zedekiah swear allegiance by God, but Zedekiah broke his covenant and rebelled and went down to Egypt for help (2 Ch 36:13; Ezek 17:13-18). Zedekiah was weak and a pawn of the powerful men in the kingdom (Jer 38:5, 24-26). The officials and priests were also unfaithful and defiled the Temple (2 Ch 36:14). The Lord had sent prophets time after time to Judah, but they were mocked and disregarded (2 Ch 36:15-16). Zedekiah did not listen to Jeremiah, the prophet (Jer 37:2; 2 Ch 36:12).
Therefore, Nebuchadnezzar came and laid siege to Jerusalem (2 Ki 25:1). After four groups of four kings, the nation was destroyed under the Fifth Cycle of Discipline. The walls of Jerusalem were breached, the Temple was plundered and burned, the city was burned, the people were killed and the women raped. Those who survived were taken captive into Babylon (2 Ki 25:6-21; 2 Ch 36:17-20).
Zedekiah escaped with some soldiers at night, but he was captured. He was taken to Riblah, where he was sentenced. Zedekiah's sons were slaughtered before his eyes, and he was blinded and taken in chains to Babylon.
Like the Northern Kingdom of Israel, the Southern Kingdom of Judah went out under the Fifth Cycle of Discipline after the fourth Four Generation Curse – "visiting (punishing) the iniquity of the fathers on the children, on the third and the fourth generations of those who hate Me" (Ex 20:5). The last king was Zedekiah, who was the fourth king in the fifth group of four kings.
Group 1 Four Generation Curse
After three good kings, Jehoram was an Evil King. He was a murderer and married to the daughter of Jezebel under the power of the Prostitute of Babylon. He was a type of Satan. Jehoram and his wife were like Ahab and Jezebel. The Fifth Cycle of Discipline was only averted by the Davidic Covenant.
Group 2 Four Generation Curse
Amaziah was cursed for his idolatry. In his arrogance he picked a fight with Israel. His army was defeated and he was captured. The Temple and treasury were plundered and captives were carried into exile. Amaziah was later killed by a conspiracy.
Group 3 Four Generation Curse
Hezekiah was arrogant but turned to the Lord. He was delivered from the Fifth Cycle of Discipline and later from the Sin Leading to Death. He celebrated the Passover and worked to rid the nation of idolatry, but he was not successful.
Group 4 Four Generation Curse
After all the good deeds of Josiah, Jehoahaz only lasted three months before he was deposed by Pharaoh Necho of Egypt. All the kings that followed were subject to Egypt and then Babylon.
Group 5 – Fifth Cycle of Discipline
The Southern Kingdom of Judah went out under the Fifth Cycle of Discipline in 586 BC under Zedekiah, who was the fourth king in the group. Zedekiah's heart was hardened and he rejected the best advice from Jeremiah. Just as the Lord had hardened Pharaoh's heart to destroy Egypt, the Lord installed Zedekiah to deliver his promises of destruction of Judah.
The judgment of the Four Generation Curse was due in the Northern Kingdom in the reign of:
After the first four kings, the Southern Kingdom of Judah was under liability for the Fifth Cycle of Disciple, but it was averted due to the Davidic Covenant. In the third group of four kings Hezekiah was delivered from the Fifth Cycle of Discipline when the Lord destroyed Sennacherib's army.
The judgment of the Four Generation Curse was due in the Southern Kingdom in the reign of:
The Fifth Cycle of Discipline was not administered in Israel or Judah because of the kings. The kings were the temporal leadership of the nation and could never deliver the nation spiritually. The negative volition of the people was responsible for the fall of the nation - not the kings. The reason the Northern Kingdom fell is given in scripture (2 Ki 17:7-23).
Author: Larry Wood, Released Sept. 23, 2016