5.84 2 Kings -- Kings of Judah

After Joash's assassination, his son Amaziah came to power.   He killed his father's murderers, and also launched a successful war against Edom.  However, afterwards, he was defeated and captured by Jehoash of Israel,  who also broke down part of Jerusalem's wall and looted the Temple (2 Kings 14:11-14).  So it was not enough for the foreign nations to attack Israel, we have now reached the low point of civil war.  Israel, which managed to gain a brief respite from constant war with Aram, used its scarce resources against its own blood relations.

       

Amaziah was followed by Azariah, his son, who had the second longest reign of any of the kings of Israel or Judah - 52 years (2 Kings 15:1-2).  For such a long reign, there is very little information about him.  The only facts recorded by Kings are that "he did what was right in the eyes of the Lord," and that God afflicted him with leprosy.  There is no causal relationship here! -- as if doing right leads to punishment.  The Old Testament upholds the idea that both health and sickness are from the hand of God (Ex 23:25Deut 7:15).  Nevertheless, Elisha himself died of an unspecified illness (2 Kings 13:14), so it is not true that the righteous never fell ill.

       

The grandson of Azariah was Ahaz, the first evil king of Judah in many generations:

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        He walked in the ways of the kings of Israel and even sacrificed his son in the fire, following the detestable ways of the nations the Lord had driven out before the Israelites (2 Kings 16:3).