July 28, 2015: Daily Bible Reading with Commentary for 2 Kings 21-25
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Context: Hezekiah was the greatest king since David. He was also a terrible father like David. Hezekiah’s son, Manasseh was the worst king Judah had, inciting the anger of the Lord against Judah, leading to the fall of Jerusalem. Manasseh was briefly followed by his son Amon, who was quickly assassinated. Following Amon was Josiah, the last good king. Because Josiah inspired change and return to worship of the Lord, the Lord spared Judah from destruction for a time. Corruption had run rampant through the nation, but Josiah returned to Law of Moses, destroying all pagan alters and worship sites. Unfortunately, Josiah’s life ended too soon, as he was killed in battle with the Egyptians, a battle of which he did not have to become part. After Josiah, the kings quickly went downhill, reverting to pagan worship and rejecting the Lord. Jerusalem was captured and completely destroyed in 586 BC by King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon. The people were taken and scattered.
World History: Nebuchadnezzar II reigned from 605 BC to 562 BC. In addition to the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem, he is also credited with creating the fabled Hanging Gardens of Babylon, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.