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2 Chronicles 25-26-27-28, Bible Highlights: week starting december 28

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Highlights From Bible Reading: 2 Chronicles 25-28. Information for personal study.

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Dec. 28 Bible reading: 2 Chronicles 25-28


(2 CHRONICLES 25:6)

“Further, he hired from Israel 100,000 mighty warriors for 100 silver talents.”

*** it-1 p. 77 Alliance ***
Obeying divine counsel, Amaziah of Judah wisely decided against the use of mercenary troops from Israel though it meant a loss of 100 talents of silver ($660,600) paid to them as a fee.—2Ch 25:6-10.

(2 CHRONICLES 25:7)

“But a man of the true God came to him, saying: “O king, do not let the army of Israel go with you, for Jehovah is not with Israel, not with any of the Eʹphra•im•ites.”

*** it-1 p. 754 Ephraim ***
As the dominant tribe of the northern kingdom, Ephraim came to stand for the entire ten-tribe kingdom. (2Ch 25:7; Jer 7:15)

(2 CHRONICLES 25:12)

“And the men of Judah captured 10,000 alive. So they brought them to the top of the crag and threw them down from the top of the crag, and they were all dashed to pieces.”

*** it-1 p. 550 Crime and Punishment ***
Precipitation, that is, throwing one off a cliff or high place, was not enjoined by law, but King Amaziah of Judah inflicted this punishment on 10,000 men of Seir. (2Ch 25:12)

(2 CHRONICLES 25:23)

“King Je•hoʹash of Israel captured King Am•a•ziʹah of Judah, son of Je•hoʹash son of Je•hoʹa•haz, at Beth-sheʹmesh. Then he brought him to Jerusalem and made a breach in the wall of Jerusalem from the Gate of Eʹphra•im to the Corner Gate, 400 cubits.”

*** it-1 p. 63 Ahaziah ***
Ahaziah is also referred to as “Azariah” at 2 Chronicles 22:6 (though here 15 Hebrew manuscripts read “Ahaziah”), and as “Jehoahaz” at 2 Chronicles 21:17; 25:23 (a case of transposing the divine name to serve as a prefix instead of as a suffix).

*** it-1 p. 894 Gate, Gateway ***
Corner Gate. This gate was evidently located in the NW angle of the city wall, W of the Gate of Ephraim. (2Ki 14:13; 2Ch 25:23) It was on the E side of the Valley of Hinnom, apparently in the W wall of the old city at the point where it joined the Broad Wall.

*** it-1 p. 894 Gate, Gateway ***
Gate of Ephraim. The Gate of Ephraim was located in the Broad Wall 400 cubits (178 m; 583 ft) E of the Corner Gate. (2Ki 14:13; 2Ch 25:23) It was an exit N in the direction of the territory of Ephraim. It, too, has been identified by some researchers with the Middle Gate (Jer 39:3), by others with the First Gate. (Zec 14:10) It is thought to be (or correspond to) the Gennath or Garden Gate spoken of by the Jewish historian Josephus. (The Jewish War, V, 146 [iv, 2]) Near the Gate of Ephraim there was a public square in which the people made booths to celebrate the Festival of Booths in Nehemiah’s time. (Ne 8:16) This gate is not named in Nehemiah’s reconstruction text, evidently because it did not need extensive repairs.

(2 CHRONICLES 26:5)

“And he kept searching for God in the days of Zech•a•riʹah, who taught him to fear the true God. During the time he was searching for Jehovah, the true God made him prosper.”

*** w07 12/15 p. 10 Do You Have a Spiritual Mentor? ***
Do You Have a Spiritual Mentor?
AT THE tender age of 16, Uzziah became king of the southern kingdom of Judah. He reigned for over 50 years, from the late ninth to the early eighth century B.C.E. From a young age, Uzziah “kept doing what was right in Jehovah’s eyes.” What influenced him to take an upright course? The historical record states: “[Uzziah] continually tended to search for God in the days of Zechariah, the instructor in the fear of the true God; and, in the days of his searching for Jehovah, the true God made him prosperous.”—2 Chronicles 26:1, 4, 5.
Not much is known about Zechariah, the adviser to the king, apart from this account in the Bible. Yet, as “the instructor in the fear of the true God,” Zechariah exercised a fine influence on the young ruler to do what was right. The Expositor’s Bible observes that Zechariah was obviously “a man versed in sacred learning, rich in spiritual experience, and able to communicate his knowledge.” One Bible scholar concluded about Zechariah: “He was well versed in prophecy and . . . was an intelligent, devout, good man; and, it seems, had great influence with Uzziah.”
Uzziah’s faithful course brought him many blessings, and he “displayed strength to an extraordinary degree” because “the true God continued to help him.” Yes, success in his secular efforts followed his spiritual success “in the days of Zechariah.” (2 Chronicles 26:6-8) After Uzziah became successful, he left the teachings of Zechariah, his mentor. Uzziah’s “heart became haughty even to the point of causing ruin, so that he acted unfaithfully against Jehovah.” As a result of a particularly irreverent act, he was struck with a loathsome skin disease, which incapacitated him, so that he could no longer serve as king in the fullest sense.—2 Chronicles 26:16-21.
Do you have someone who might be called an instructor, a mentor, who influences you “to search for God”? This can be so whether you are young or past the days of your youth, whether you are male or female. Treasure such a mentor, for his or her admonition can help you to keep doing what is right in Jehovah’s eyes. Listen to this mature Christian, and seriously consider the advice he gives. May you never turn aside from the wise words of such an “instructor in the fear of the true God.”—Proverbs 1:5; 12:15; 19:20.

(2 CHRONICLES 26:6)

“He went out and fought against the Phi•lisʹtines and broke through the wall of Gath, the wall of Jabʹneh, and the wall of Ashʹdod. Then he built cities in the territory of Ashʹdod and among the Phi•lisʹtines.”

*** it-2 pp. 633-634 Philistia ***
Prophetic References. The prophecy of Joel indicated that because of their selling “the sons of Judah” and “the sons of Jerusalem” to “the sons of the Greeks,” the Philistines would experience like treatment. (Joe 3:4-8) Since the words of the prophet Joel appear to have been recorded in the ninth century B.C.E., the defeats of the Philistines at the hands of Uzziah (2Ch 26:6-8) and Hezekiah (2Ki 18:8) could have been included in the fulfillment of this prophecy.
However, a larger fulfillment evidently came after the Israelites returned from Babylonian exile. Notes commentator C. F. Keil: “Alexander the Great and his successors set many of the Jewish prisoners of war in their lands at liberty (compare the promise of King Demetrius to Jonathan, ‘I will send away in freedom such of the Judaeans as have been made prisoners, and reduced to slavery in our land,’ Josephus, Ant. xiii. 2, 3), and portions of the Philistian and Phoenician lands were for a time under Jewish sway.” (Commentary on the Old Testament, 1973, Vol. X, Joel, p. 224) (Compare Ob 19, 20.) Noteworthy, too, is the fact that Alexander the Great took the Philistine city of Gaza. Many of the inhabitants were slain, and the survivors were sold into slavery. A number of other prophecies likewise pointed to the execution of Jehovah’s vengeance upon the Philistines.—Isa 14:31; Jer 25:9, 20; 47:1-7; Eze 25:15, 16; Am 1:6-8; Zep 2:5; Zec 9:5-7; for details see ASHDOD; ASHKELON; EKRON; GATH; GAZA No. 1.

(2 CHRONICLES 26:9)

“Moreover, Uz•ziʹah built towers in Jerusalem by the Corner Gate, the Valley Gate, and the Buttress, and he fortified them.”

*** it-1 p. 894 Gate, Gateway ***
Uzziah built a tower by this gate; whether or not it was the Tower of the Bake Ovens is not stated. (2Ch 26:9) Both Jeremiah and Zechariah appear to refer to the Corner Gate as being on the western edge of the city.—Jer 31:38; Zec 14:10.
There is no other gate described as existing in the W wall from the Corner Gate to the Valley Gate in the SW wall, this no doubt being because of the steep slope of the Valley of Hinnom, making any other gate impractical. The Corner Gate does not appear in Nehemiah’s accounts; again the reason may be that it did not need extensive repairs. The account does speak of repairing the Tower of the Bake Ovens, which seems to have been a part of, or near, the Corner Gate.—Ne 3:11.

(2 CHRONICLES 26:10)

“Further, he built towers in the wilderness and dug many cisterns (for he had a great deal of livestock); he also did so in the She•pheʹlah and on the plain. He had farmers and vinedressers in the mountains and in Carʹmel, for he loved agriculture.”

*** it-1 p. 865 Fortifications ***
Besides these city towers, other towers (Heb., migh•dalʹ; plural, migh•da•limʹ) were built in isolated places. These were constructed as “police stations” to protect wells or other water sources, highways, frontiers, communication lines, or supply lines. King Uzziah of Judah is noted for building towers in Jerusalem as well as in the wilderness; these apparently were erected to protect the cisterns that he built for watering his livestock. (2Ch 26:9, 10) Several of such towers have been found in the Negeb.

(2 CHRONICLES 26:15)

“Further, in Jerusalem he made engines of war designed by engineers; they were set on the towers and on the corners of the walls and could shoot arrows and large stones. So his fame spread far and wide, for he received tremendous help and he became strong.”

*** it-2 p. 43 Jerusalem ***
Uzziah also equipped the towers and corners with “engines of war,” perhaps mechanical catapults for shooting arrows and large stones. (2Ch 26:14, 15)

(2 CHRONICLES 26:16)

“However, as soon as he was strong, his heart became haughty to his own ruin, and he acted unfaithfully against Jehovah his God by entering the temple of Jehovah to burn incense on the altar of incense.”

*** it-1 p. 1044 Haughtiness ***
Even a person whose heart has been humble in service of God can become haughty because of gaining wealth or power or by reason of his beauty, success, wisdom, or the acclaim of others. King Uzziah of Judah was such a person. He ruled well and enjoyed Jehovah’s blessing for many years. (2Ch 26:3-5) But the Bible record states: “However, as soon as he was strong, his heart became haughty even to the point of causing ruin, so that he acted unfaithfully against Jehovah his God and came into the temple of Jehovah to burn incense upon the altar of incense.” (2Ch 26:16) Uzziah lifted himself up to perform priestly duties, which privilege God had expressly withheld from the kings of Israel, making kingship and priesthood separate.

(2 CHRONICLES 26:17)

“Immediately Az•a•riʹah the priest and 80 other courageous priests of Jehovah went in after him.”

*** it-1 p. 224 Azariah ***
14. A high priest, son of Johanan, descendant of Aaron. (1Ch 6:1-10) When King Uzziah presumptuously attempted to offer incense in the temple, perhaps it was this Azariah who then ordered him out, and when he resisted, Jehovah struck the king with leprosy. (2Ch 26:16-21)

(2 CHRONICLES 26:18)

“They confronted King Uz•ziʹah and said to him: “It is not proper for you, Uz•ziʹah, to burn incense to Jehovah! It is only the priests who should burn incense, for they are the descendants of Aaron, those who have been sanctified. Go out from the sanctuary, for you have acted unfaithfully and you will receive no glory from Jehovah God for this.””

*** it-1 p. 224 Azariah ***
14. A high priest, son of Johanan, descendant of Aaron. (1Ch 6:1-10) When King Uzziah presumptuously attempted to offer incense in the temple, perhaps it was this Azariah who then ordered him out, and when he resisted, Jehovah struck the king with leprosy. (2Ch 26:16-21)

(2 CHRONICLES 26:19)

“But Uz•ziʹah, who had a censer in his hand to burn incense, became enraged; and during his rage against the priests, leprosy broke out on his forehead in the presence of the priests in the house of Jehovah next to the altar of incense.”

*** nwt p. 1698 Glossary ***
Fire holders. Utensils made of gold, silver, or copper, used at the tabernacle and the temple for burning incense and for removing coals from the sacrificial altar and burnt lampwicks from the golden lampstand. They were also called censers.—Ex 37:23; 2Ch 26:19; Heb 9:4.

*** it-1 p. 849 Forehead ***
When King Uzziah presumptuously and illegally usurped a priest’s duties in attempting to offer incense upon the altar of incense in the temple of Jehovah, his sin and Jehovah’s judgment were plainly and immediately made manifest by leprosy flashing up in his forehead.—2Ch 26:16, 19, 20.

(2 CHRONICLES 26:20)

“When Az•a•riʹah the chief priest and all the priests turned toward him, they saw that he had been stricken with leprosy in his forehead! So they rushed him out of there, and he himself hurried out, because Jehovah had struck him.”

*** nwt p. 1695 Glossary ***
Chief priest. An alternate term for “high priest” in the Hebrew Scriptures. In the Christian Greek Scriptures, the expression “chief priests” evidently denoted the principal men of the priesthood, possibly including any deposed high priests and the heads of the 24 priestly divisions.—2Ch 26:20; Ezr 7:5; Mt 2:4; Mr 8:31.

(2 CHRONICLES 26:23)

“Then Uz•ziʹah was laid to rest with his forefathers, and they buried him with his forefathers, but in the burial field that belonged to the kings, for they said: “He is a leper.” And his son Joʹtham became king in his place.”

*** it-1 p. 379 Burial, Burial Places ***
Leprous King Uzziah was buried “with his forefathers, but in the burial field that belonged to the kings, for they said: ‘He is a leper.’” This would seem to indicate the placement of his diseased body in the ground rather than in a tomb hewed out of rock.—2Ch 26:23.

*** it-2 p. 1146 Uzziah ***
Concerning his death and burial, 2 Chronicles 26:23 reports: “Finally Uzziah lay down with his forefathers; and so they buried him with his forefathers, but in the burial field that belonged to the kings, for they said: ‘He is a leper.’” This may mean that, because of his leprosy, Uzziah was buried in the ground of a field connected with the royal cemetery instead of being placed in a rock-hewn tomb.
A limestone plaque, found at Jerusalem and thought to date from the first century C.E., bears the following inscription: “Hither were brought the bones of Uzziah, king of Judah. Not to be opened.”—PICTURE, Vol. 1, p. 960.

(2 CHRONICLES 27:3)

“He built the upper gate of Jehovah’s house, and he did much building on the wall of Oʹphel.”

*** it-1 p. 897 Gate, Gateway ***
“Upper gate of the house of Jehovah.” This may have been a gate leading to the inner court, possibly “the new gate of Jehovah,” where Jeremiah was tried; also where Jeremiah’s secretary Baruch read the scroll before the people. (Jer 26:10; 36:10) Jeremiah may have called it “the new gate” because it had not been so anciently built as the others; possibly it was “the upper gate of the house of Jehovah” built by King Jotham.—2Ki 15:32, 35; 2Ch 27:3.

(2 CHRONICLES 27:5)

“He waged war against the king of the Amʹmon•ites and eventually prevailed against them, so that the Amʹmon•ites gave him in that year 100 silver talents, 10,000 cor measures of wheat, and 10,000 of barley. The Amʹmon•ites also paid this to him in the second and third years.”

*** it-1 p. 94 Ammonites ***
The strong government of Uzziah (829-778 B.C.E.) once more made the Ammonites tributaries of Judah (2Ch 26:8), and Uzziah’s son Jotham reimposed this dominance over Ammon, exacting from them 100 silver talents ($660,600) and 10,000 cor measures (2,200 kl; 62,500 bu) of wheat and 10,000 of barley. (2Ch 27:5) The ability of the Ammonites to pay this large sum during three successive years may have been due to their favorable position along one of the major trade routes from Arabia to Damascus and to the relative fertility of the Jabbok Valley region, wheat and barley still being principal products in this area.

*** it-1 p. 256 Barley ***
King Jotham of Judah exacted tribute of the king of Ammon that included 10,000 cor measures (2,200 kl; 62,500 bu) of barley. (2Ch 27:5)

(2 CHRONICLES 27:7)

“As for the rest of the history of Joʹtham, all his wars and his ways, it is written in the Book of the Kings of Israel and of Judah.”

*** w09 3/15 p. 32 Questions From Readers ***
On the other hand, certain references may be to books that have names similar to books of the Bible but that are not actually part of the Bible. We might illustrate this with four ancient books: “the book of the affairs of the times of the kings of Judah,” “the Book of the Kings of Judah and of Israel,” “the Book of the Kings of Israel,” and “the Book of the Kings of Israel and of Judah.” While those names may sound similar to the names of the Bible books we know as 1 Kings and 2 Kings, the four books were not inspired, nor do those books find a place in the Bible canon. (1 Ki. 14:29; 2 Chron. 16:11; 20:34; 27:7) They were likely just historical writings available back in the period when the prophet Jeremiah and Ezra wrote the accounts that we have in the Bible.

(2 CHRONICLES 28:1)

“Aʹhaz was 20 years old when he became king, and he reigned for 16 years in Jerusalem. He did not do what was right in Jehovah’s eyes as David his forefather had done.”

*** it-1 p. 61 Ahaz ***
1. The son of King Jotham of Judah. Ahaz began to reign at the age of 20 and continued for 16 years.—2Ki 16:2; 2Ch 28:1.
Since Ahaz’ son Hezekiah was 25 when he began to reign, this would mean that Ahaz was less than 12 years old when fathering him. (2Ki 18:1, 2) Whereas puberty in males is usually reached between the ages of 12 and 15 in temperate climates, it may come earlier in warmer climates. Marriage customs also vary. Zeitschrift für Semitistik und verwandte Gebiete (edited by E. Littmann, Leipzig, 1927, Vol. 5, p. 132) reported that child marriage is frequent in the Promised Land even in modern times, one case being cited of two brothers aged 8 and 12 who were married, the wife of the older attending school with her husband. However, one Hebrew manuscript, the Syriac Peshitta, and some manuscripts of the Greek Septuagint at 2 Chronicles 28:1 give “twenty-five years” as the age of Ahaz when beginning to reign.

(2 CHRONICLES 28:15)

“Then the men who had been designated by name rose up and took hold of the captives, and they provided clothes from the spoil for all those among them who were naked. So they clothed them and gave them sandals, food and drink, and oil for their skin. Furthermore, they transported the feeble on donkeys and brought them to their brothers in Jerʹi•cho, the city of palm trees. After that they returned to Sa•marʹi•a.”

*** it-1 p. 113 Anointed, Anointing ***
Greasing the head with oil was a sign of favor. (Ps 23:5) The headmen of Ephraim took favorable action toward the captured Judean soldiers by greasing them and returning them to Jericho, as advised by the prophet Oded. (2Ch 28:15)

(2 CHRONICLES 28:16)

“At that time King Aʹhaz asked the kings of As•syrʹi•a for help.”

*** it-2 p. 1102 Tiglath-pileser (III) ***
At 2 Chronicles 28:16 Ahaz is spoken of as sending “to the kings of Assyria for them to help him.” While the plural “kings,” occurring in the Hebrew Masoretic text, appears in the singular (“king”) in the Septuagint and in other ancient manuscripts, there are modern translations that favor the Hebrew plural. (JP, NW) Some scholars view the plural here as merely indicating the sum of majesty and greatness ascribed to the one monarch (Tiglath-pileser III) as the “king of kings.” Yet attention is also called to the boastful claim of the Assyrian monarch recorded at Isaiah 10:8: “Are not my princes at the same time kings?” It is thus possible that the reference to “Pul the king of Assyria” (2Ki 15:19) may also be applied in the sense of his being the ruler of an Assyrian province prior to becoming head of the entire empire.

(2 CHRONICLES 28:20)

“King Tilʹgath-pil•neʹser of As•syrʹi•a eventually came against him and caused him distress rather than strengthening him.”

*** it-1 p. 62 Ahaz ***
Vassalage to Assyria, and Death. Rather than put faith in Jehovah, however, Ahaz, out of fear of the Syro-Israelite conspiracy, chose the shortsighted policy of bribing Tiglath-pileser III of Assyria to come to his aid. (Isa 7:2-6; 8:12) Whatever relief the ambitious Assyrian king now brought to Ahaz by smashing Syria and Israel was only temporary. In the end it “caused him distress, and did not strengthen him” (2Ch 28:20), since Ahaz had now brought the heavy yoke of Assyria on Judah.

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