This article is part of a series of Bible passages, which together are mainly about how the Bible says the Jewish race developed and were given laws, how they settled in ancient Israel, and how it says God sometimes punished them for disobeying his commands, which led to them changing their ways.
This is Part 8 (of 11) in Section 8: "The Kings of Israel and Judah, and Disaster and Prosperity Brought on the Two Kingdoms According to Their Obedience or Disobedience to God".
Some parts of the Old Testament and the Book of Revelation are very unpleasant. If you become offended by anything, please read An Attempt to Explain Gruesome Bible Passages.
The purpose of the Old Testament seems to have been mainly to try to scare lawless societies into behaving decently, giving up the cruel ways the Bible says they were guilty of. Hence much of the gruesomeness, which is at least in part meant to warn people committing cruel and hurtful actions to change.
2 Kings chapter 15 (GWT)
8 In Azariah's thirty-eighth year as king of Judah, Jeroboam's son Zechariah was king of Israel in Samaria for six months. 9 He did what the LORD considered evil, as his ancestors had done. He didn't turn away from the sins that Jeroboam (Nebat's son) led Israel to commit.
10 Shallum, son of Jabesh, plotted against Zechariah, attacked him at Kabal Am, killed him, and succeeded him as king.
11 Everything else about Zechariah is written in the official records of the kings of Israel.
12 It happened exactly as the LORD had told Jehu: "Four generations of your descendants will sit on the throne of Israel."
13 Shallum, son of Jabesh, became king in Azariah's thirty-ninth year as king of Judah. Shallum ruled for an entire month in Samaria. 14 Then Menahem, son of Gadi, came from Tirzah to Samaria, attacked Shallum (son of Jabesh), killed him, and succeeded him as king.
15 Everything else about Shallum--all about his conspiracy--is written in the official records of the kings of Israel.
16 Then Menahem attacked Tiphsah, everyone there, and its territory. Because the city didn't open its gates for him, he attacked it and ripped open all its pregnant women.
17 In Azariah's thirty-ninth year as king of Judah, Menahem, son of Gadi, began to rule as king of Israel. He ruled for 10 years in Samaria. 18 He did what the LORD considered evil. During his entire life he never turned away from the sins that Jeroboam (Nebat's son) led Israel to commit.
19 King Pul of Assyria came to [attack] the country. So Menahem gave Pul 75,000 pounds of silver to gain his support and help strengthen his hold on the kingdom. 20 Menahem raised the money from all the wealthy men in Israel. Each gave 20 ounces of silver for the king of Assyria. Then the king of Assyria left the country.
21 Isn't everything else about Menahem--everything he did--written in the official records of the kings of Israel? 22 Menahem lay down in death with his ancestors, and his son Pekahiah succeeded him as king.
23 In Azariah's fiftieth year as king of Judah, Menahem's son Pekahiah began to rule. Pekahiah was king of Israel in Samaria for two years. 24 He did what the LORD considered evil. He didn't turn away from the sins that Jeroboam (Nebat's son) led Israel to commit.
25 His officer Pekah, son of Remaliah, plotted against him. With 50 men from Gilead, Pekah attacked Pekahiah, Argob, and Arieh in the fortress of the royal palace in Samaria. Pekah killed him and succeeded him as king.
26 Everything else about Pekahiah--everything he did--is written in the official records of the kings of Israel.
27 In Azariah's fifty-second year as king of Judah, Pekah, son of Remaliah, began to rule Israel in Samaria. He ruled for 20 years. 28 He did what the LORD considered evil. He did not turn away from the sins that Jeroboam (Nebat's son) led Israel to commit.
Psalm 55 (NLT)
1 For the choir director: A psalm of David, to be accompanied by stringed instruments.
Listen to my prayer, O God.
Do not ignore my cry for help!
2 Please listen and answer me,
for I am overwhelmed by my troubles.
3 My enemies shout at me, making loud and wicked threats.
They bring trouble on me,
hunting me down in their anger.
4 My heart is in anguish.
The terror of death overpowers me.
5 Fear and trembling overwhelm me.
I can't stop shaking.
6 Oh, how I wish I had wings like a dove;
then I would fly away and rest!
7 I would fly far away to the quiet of the wilderness.
8 How quickly I would escape -
far away from this wild storm of hatred.
9 Destroy them, Lord, and confuse their speech,
for I see violence and strife in the city.
10 Its walls are patrolled day and night against invaders,
but the real danger is wickedness within the city.
11 Murder and robbery are everywhere there;
threats and cheating are rampant in the streets.
12 It is not an enemy who taunts me - I could bear that.
It is not my foes who so arrogantly insult me - I could have hidden from them.
13 Instead, it is you - my equal, my companion and close friend.
14 What good fellowship we enjoyed as we walked together to the house of God.
15 Let death seize my enemies by surprise;
let the grave swallow them alive,
for evil makes its home within them.
16 But I will call on God, and the LORD will rescue me.
17 Morning, noon, and night I plead aloud in my distress,
and the LORD hears my voice.
18 He rescues me and keeps me safe from the battle waged against me,
even though many still oppose me.
19 God, who is king forever, will hear me and will humble them.
For my enemies refuse to change their ways;
they do not fear God.
20 As for this friend of mine,
he betrayed me; he broke his promises.
21 His words are as smooth as cream,
but in his heart is war.
His words are as soothing as lotion,
but underneath are daggers!
22 Give your burdens to the LORD, and he will take care of you.
He will not permit the godly to slip and fall.
23 But you, O God, will send the wicked down to the pit of destruction.
Murderers and liars will die young,
but I am trusting you to save me.
2 Chronicles chapter 26 (NLT)
3 Uzziah ... became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem fifty-two years.
23 Uzziah died, and ... his son Jotham became the next king.
2 Chronicles chapter 27 (TEV)
1 Jotham became king at the age of twenty-five, and he ruled in Jerusalem for sixteen years. His mother was Jerushah, the daughter of Zadok. 2 He did what was pleasing to the Lord, just as his father had done; but unlike his father he did not sin by burning incense in the Temple. The people, however, went on sinning.
3 It was Jotham who built the North Gate of the Temple and did extensive work on the city wall in the area of Jerusalem called Ophel. 4 In the mountains of Judah he built cities, and in the forests he built forts and towers.
5 He fought against the king of Ammon and his army and defeated them. Then he forced the Ammonites to pay him the following tribute each year for three years: four tons of silver, fifty thousand bushels of wheat, and fifty thousand bushels of barley.
6 Jotham grew powerful because he faithfully obeyed the Lord his God.
7 The other events of Jotham's reign, his wars, and his policies, are all recorded in [The History of the Kings of Israel and Judah.] 8 Jotham was twenty-five years old when he became king, and he ruled in Jerusalem for sixteen years. 9 He died and was buried in David's City and his son Ahaz succeeded him as king.
2 Chronicles chapter 28 (TEV)
1 Ahaz became king at the age of twenty, and he ruled in Jerusalem for sixteen years. He did not follow the good example of his ancestor King David; instead, he did what was not pleasing to the Lord 2 and followed the example of the kings of Israel. He had metal images of Baal made, 3 burned incense in Hinnom Valley, and even sacrificed his own sons as burnt offerings to idols, imitating the disgusting practice of the people whom the Lord had driven out of the land as the Israelites advanced. 4 At the pagan places of worship, on the hills, and under every shady tree Ahaz offered sacrifices and burned incense.
5 Because King Ahaz sinned, the Lord his God let the king of Syria defeat him and take a large number of Judeans back to Damascus as prisoners. The Lord also let the king of Israel, Pekah son of Remaliah, defeat Ahaz and kill 120,000 of the bravest Judean soldiers in one day. The Lord, the God of their ancestors, permitted this to happen, because the people of Judah had abandoned him.
7 An Israelite soldier named Zichri killed King Ahaz' son Maaseiah, the palace administrator Azrikam, and Elkanah, who was second in command to the king.
8 Even though the Judeans were their own relatives, the Israelite army captured 200,000 women and children as prisoners and took them back to Samaria, along with large amounts of loot.
9 A man named Oded, a prophet of the Lord, lived in the city of Samaria. He met the returning Israelite army with its Judean prisoners as it was about to enter the city, and he said,
"The Lord God of your ancestors was angry with Judah and let you defeat them, but now he has heard of the vicious way you slaughtered them. 10 And now you intend to make the men and women of Jerusalem and Judah your slaves. Don't you know that you also have committed sins against the Lord your God? 11 Listen to me! These prisoners are your brothers and sisters. Let them go, or the Lord will punish you in his anger."
12 Four of the leading men of the Northern Kingdom, Azariah son of Jehohanan, Berechiah son of Meshillemoth, Jehizkiah son of Shallum, and Amasa son of Hadlai also opposed the actions of the army. 13 They said,
"Don't bring those prisoners here! We have already sinned against the Lord and made him angry enough to punish us. Now you want to do something that will increase our guilt."
14 So then the army handed the prisoners and the loot over to the people and their leaders, 15 and the four men were appointed to provide the prisoners with clothing from the captured loot. They gave them clothes and sandals to wear, gave them enough to eat and drink, and put olive oil on their wounds. Those who were too weak to walk were put on donkeys, and all the prisoners were taken back to Judean territory at Jericho, the city of palm trees. Then the Israelites returned home to Samaria.
2 Chronicles chapter 28 (GWT)
16 At that time King Ahaz sent for help from the kings of Assyria. 17 The Edomites had again invaded and defeated Judah and captured prisoners. 18 The Philistines had raided the foothills and the Negev in Judah. They captured and began living in Beth Shemesh, Aijalon, Gederoth, Soco and its villages, Timnah and its villages, and Gimzo and its villages. 19 The LORD humbled Judah because of King Ahaz of Israel. Ahaz had spread sin throughout Judah and was unfaithful to the LORD.
20 King Tillegath Pilneser of Assyria attacked Ahaz. Instead of strengthening Ahaz, Tillegath Pilneser made trouble for him. 21 Ahaz took some of the things from the LORD's temple, the royal palace, and the princes, and he gave them to the king of Assyria. But that didn't help him.
22 When he had this trouble, King Ahaz became more unfaithful to the LORD. 23 He sacrificed to the gods of Damascus, the gods who had defeated him. He thought, "The gods of the kings of Aram are helping them. I'll sacrifice to them so that they will help me." But they ruined him and all Israel.
24 Ahaz collected the utensils in God's temple, cut them up, and closed the doors to the LORD's temple. He made altars for himself on every corner in Jerusalem. 25 And in each city of Judah, he made places of worship to sacrifice to other gods. So he made the LORD God of his ancestors angry.
26 Everything else about him--everything from beginning to end--is written in the Book of the Kings of Judah and Israel.
27 Ahaz lay down in death with his ancestors and was buried in the city of Jerusalem because they didn't put him into the tombs of the kings of Israel. His son Hezekiah succeeded him as king.
Modern Western Paganism is devoid of such gruesome practices as child sacrifice and the dedication of girls to the gods as prostitutes. Some Pagans have been slandered by people who imagine that they must be involved in gruesome activities, perhaps because of widespread reports of generational Satanic ritual abuse in which girls are made to breed babies for the purposes of human sacrifice. To find out more about the reports, read the views of a policeman who says there is no physical evidence for such things having happened, and believes the stories to have been invented during harmful therapies: 'Occult Cop' (IPT Journal).
Psalm 140 (NLT)
1 For the choir director: A psalm of David.
O LORD, rescue me from evil people.
Preserve me from those who are violent,
2 those who plot evil in their hearts
and stir up trouble all day long.
3 Their tongues sting like a snake;
the poison of a viper drips from their lips.
4 O LORD, keep me out of the hands of the wicked.
Preserve me from those who are violent,
for they are plotting against me.
5 The proud have set a trap to catch me;
they have stretched out a net;
they have placed traps all along the way.
6 I said to the LORD,
"You are my God!"
Listen, O LORD,
to my cries for mercy!
7 O Sovereign LORD, my strong savior,
you protected me on the day of battle.
8 LORD, do not give in to their evil desires.
Do not let their evil schemes succeed, O God.
13 Surely the godly are praising your name,
for they will live in your presence.
Isaiah chapter 7 (TEV)
1 When King Ahaz, the son of Jotham and grandson of Uzziah, ruled Judah, war broke out. Rezin, king of Syria, and Pekah son of Remaliah, king of Israel, attacked Jerusalem, but were unable to capture it. 2 When word reached the king of Judah that the armies of Syria were already in the territory of Israel, he and all his people were so terrified that they trembled like trees shaking in the wind.
3 The Lord said to Isaiah, "Take your son Shear Jashub, and go to meet King Ahaz. You will find him on the road where the cloth makers work, at the end of the ditch that brings water from the upper pool. 4 Tell him to keep alert, to stay calm, and not to be frightened or disturbed. The anger of King Rezin and his Syrians and of King Pekah is no more dangerous than the smoke from two smoldering sticks of wood. 5 Syria, together with Israel and its king, has made a plot. 6 They intend to invade Judah, terrify the people into joining their side, and then put Tabeel's son on the throne.
7 "But I, the Lord, declare that this will never happen. 8 Why? Because Syria is no stronger than Damascus, its capital city, and Damascus is no stronger than King Rezin. As for Israel, within sixty-five years it will be too shattered to survive as a nation. 9 Israel is no stronger than Samaria, its capital city, and Samaria is no stronger than King Pekah.
"If your faith is not enduring, you will not endure."
10 The Lord sent another message to Ahaz: 11 "Ask the Lord your God to give you a sign. It can be from deep in the world of the dead or from high up in heaven."
12 Ahaz answered, "I will not ask for a sign. I refuse to put the Lord to the test."
13 To that Isaiah replied, "Listen, now, descendants of King David. It's bad enough for you to wear out the patience of people-do you have to wear out God's patience too? 14 Well then, the Lord himself will give you a sign:
Isaiah chapter 7 (NLT)
14 ... The virgin will conceive a child! She will give birth to a son and will call him Immanuel - 'God is with us.'
Isaiah chapter 7 (TEV)
15 By the time he is old enough to make his own decisions, people will be drinking milk and eating honey. 16 Even before that time comes, the lands of those two kings who terrify you will be deserted.
17 "The Lord is going to bring on you, on your people, and on the whole royal family, days of trouble worse than any that have come since the kingdom of Israel separated from Judah-he is going to bring the king of Assyria. 18 "When that time comes, the Lord will whistle as a signal for the Egyptians to come like flies from the farthest branches of the Nile, and for the Assyrians to come from their land like bees. 19 They will swarm in the rugged valleys and in the caves in the rocks, and they will cover every thorn bush and every pasture.
20 "When that time comes, the Lord will hire a barber from across the Euphrates-the emperor of Assyria!-and he will shave off your beards and the hair on your heads and your bodies.
21 "When that time comes, even if a farmer has been able to save only one young cow and two goats, 22 they will give so much milk that he will have all he needs. Yes, the few survivors left in the land will have milk and honey to eat.
23 "When that time comes, the fine vineyards, each with a thousand vines and each worth a thousand pieces of silver, will be overgrown with thorn bushes and briers. 24 People will go hunting there with bows and arrows. Yes, the whole country will be full of briers and thorn bushes. 25 All the hills where crops were once planted will be so overgrown with thorns that no one will go there. It will be a place where cattle and sheep graze."
Isaiah chapter 9 (NLT)
8 The Lord has spoken out against that braggart Israel, 9 and the people of Israel and Samaria will soon discover it. In their pride and arrogance they say, 10 "Our land lies in ruins now, but we will rebuild it better than before. We will replace the broken bricks with cut stone, the fallen sycamore trees with cedars." 11 The LORD will reply to their bragging by bringing Rezin's enemies, the Assyrians, against them - 12 along with Arameans from the east and Philistines from the west. With bared fangs, they will devour Israel. But even then the LORD's anger will not be satisfied. His fist is still poised to strike. 13 For after all this punishment, the people will still not repent and turn to the LORD Almighty.
Isaiah chapter 10 (NLT)
5 "Destruction is certain for Assyria, the whip of my anger. Its military power is a club in my hand. 6 Assyria will enslave my people, who are a godless nation. It will plunder them, trampling them like dirt beneath its feet. 7 But the king of Assyria will not know that it is I who sent him. He will merely think he is attacking my people as part of his plan to conquer the world. 8 He will say, 'Each of my princes will soon be a king, ruling a conquered land. 10 Yes, we have finished off many a kingdom whose gods were far greater than those in Jerusalem and Samaria. 11 So when we have defeated Samaria and her gods, we will destroy Jerusalem with hers.'"
12 After the Lord has used the king of Assyria to accomplish his purposes in Jerusalem, he will turn against the king of Assyria and punish him - for he is proud and arrogant. 13 He boasts, "By my own power and wisdom I have won these wars. By my own strength I have captured many lands, destroyed their kings, and carried off their treasures. 14 By my greatness I have robbed their nests of riches and gathered up kingdoms as a farmer gathers eggs. No one can even flap a wing against me or utter a peep of protest."
15 Can the ax boast greater power than the person who uses it?
Is the saw greater than the person who saws?
Can a whip strike unless a hand is moving it?
Can a cane walk by itself?
16 Listen now, king of Assyria! Because of all your evil boasting, the Lord, the LORD Almighty, will send a plague among your proud troops, and a flaming fire will ignite your glory. 17 The LORD, the Light of Israel and the Holy One, will be a flaming fire that will destroy them. In a single night he will burn those thorns and briers, the Assyrians. 18 Assyria's vast army is like a glorious forest, yet it will be destroyed. The LORD will completely destroy Assyria's warriors, and they will waste away like sick people in a plague. 19 Only a few from all that mighty army will survive - so few that a child could count them!
20 Then at last those left in Israel and Judah will trust the LORD, the Holy One of Israel. They will no longer depend on the Assyrians, who would destroy them. 21 A remnant of them will return to the Mighty God.
22 But though the people of Israel are as numerous as the sand on the seashore, only a few of them will return at that time. The LORD has rightly decided to destroy his people. 23 Yes, the Lord, the LORD Almighty, has already decided to consume them.
24 So this is what the Lord, the LORD Almighty, says:
"My people in Jerusalem, do not be afraid of the Assyrians when they oppress you just as the Egyptians did long ago. 25 It will not last very long. In a little while my anger against you will end, and then my anger will rise up to destroy them." 27 In that day the LORD will end the bondage of his people. He will break the yoke of slavery and lift it from their shoulders.
2 Kings chapter 17 (TEV)
1 In the twelfth year of the reign of King Ahaz of Judah, Hoshea son of Elah became king of Israel, and he ruled in Samaria for nine years. 2 He sinned against the Lord, but not as much as the kings who had ruled Israel before him.
3 Emperor Shalmaneser of Assyria made war against him; Hoshea surrendered to Shalmaneser and paid him tribute every year. 4 But one year Hoshea sent messengers to So, king of Egypt, asking for his help, and stopped paying the annual tribute to Assyria. When Shalmaneser learned of this, he had Hoshea arrested and put in prison. 5 Then Shalmaneser invaded Israel and besieged Samaria.
In the third year of the siege, 6 which was the ninth year of the reign of Hoshea, the Assyrian emperor captured Samaria, took the Israelites to Assyria as prisoners, and settled some of them in the city of Halah, some near the Habor River in the district of Gozan and some in the cities of Media.
7 Samaria fell because the Israelites sinned against the Lord their God, who had rescued them from the king of Egypt and had led them out of Egypt. They worshiped other gods, 8 followed the customs of the people whom the Lord had driven out as his people advanced, and adopted customs introduced by the kings of Israel. 9 The Israelites did things that the Lord their God disapproved of:
They aroused the Lord's anger with all their wicked deeds 12 and disobeyed the Lord's command not to worship idols.
13 The Lord had sent his messengers and prophets to warn Israel and Judah: "Abandon your evil ways and obey my commands, which are contained in the Law I gave to your ancestors and which I handed on to you through my servants the prophets."
14 But they would not obey; they were stubborn like their ancestors, who had not trusted in the Lord their God. 15 They refused to obey his instructions, they did not keep the covenant he had made with their ancestors, and they disregarded his warnings.
18 The Lord was angry with the Israelites and banished them from his sight, leaving only the kingdom of Judah. 19 But even the people of Judah did not obey the laws of the Lord their God; they imitated the customs adopted by the people of Israel.
20 The Lord rejected all the Israelites, punishing them and handing them over to cruel enemies until at last he had banished them from his sight.
21 After the Lord had separated Israel from Judah, the Israelites made Jeroboam son of Nebat their king. Jeroboam caused them to abandon the Lord and led them into terrible sins. 22 They followed Jeroboam and continued to practice all the sins he had committed, 23 until at last the Lord banished them from his sight, as he had warned through his servants the prophets that he would do. So the people of Israel were taken into exile to Assyria, where they still live.
The next file in this section (Part 9), is entitled: "Judgment By Wild Beasts On People From Other Lands Resettled In Israel; King Hezekiah Of Judah; And The Assyrian Threat To Jerusalem".
The main Bible pages on this site:
|Bible Part 1: Bible Quotations, The Holy Spirit, People And Their Stories|
|Bible Part 2: The Lives and Suffering of the Ancient Israelites|
|Bible Part 3: The Bible, Articles About Alleged Inaccuracies in it, And Stories of People who Became Christians.|
|If you have found parts of the Old Testament or the Book of Revelation offensive, please read An Attempt to Explain Gruesome Bible Passages.|
The selections of Bible quotations have been put together by Diana Holbourn.
Throughout this series, wherever the initials TEV appear, they stand for Today's English Version (The Good News Bible).Other initials:
Don't be afraid to question the truth of what a religious authority figure tells you, or even the Bible or other holy books themselves, or certain people's interpretation of them. Nothing to do with religion or the supernatural is so well established in fact it shouldn't be questioned. To find out why caution is a good idea, visit:
Are you up to trying the challenges of the New Testament's moral guidelines, and would you like to know more of what it says about the love of Jesus? Here are some links to Bible quotes about the beautiful ideals the New Testament encourages Christians to try to live up to:
There are a lot of pages on this website with quotations from the Old Testament on them. Many of these are unfortunately rather gruesome, since the main theme of the Old Testament is warnings and stories about how it says societies were punished for mass lawless and hurtful behaviour, even to the extent of having war brought on them by God, that seem to have been designed to scare societies where crime and violence were rampant into behaving more ethically. In case there is any misunderstanding, it should be understood that this website does not endorse war as anything other than a last resort. The position of the website owner can be gleaned from the articles:
Fancy some light relief or laughter therapy? Then go to the first of our jokes pages:
If you have a problem affecting your mental health or well-being, like depression, a difficulty with life-damaging worry, panic attacks, phobias or OCD, marriage problems, an addiction, an eating disorder, recovering from the trauma of sexual abuse or domestic violence, coping with bullies in the workplace, or bullying and teasing at school, trying to lose weight, raising difficult teenagers, caring for someone with a disease like Alzheimer's, wanting to recover from anorexia or self-harm, or grieving for someone you were close to or feeling lonely, and you'd like some ideas on coping or getting past it, visit our Self-help series.
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