Kings & Prophets

Few Christians have a deep understanding of the Old Testament kings of Israel, or the prophets and their messages. The purpose of this series is to allow anybody to quickly gain a better understanding of those things, as well as an appreciation of how that information is relevant today. The Old Testament prophets were real people who proclaimed important messages from God that have stayed true for thousands of years. Jesus and the apostles thought the kings and prophets were important, so we should, too.

It is no wonder that few Christians have deep familiarity of the kings and prophets. Christians tend to read the New Testament, while the kings and prophets are in the Old Testament. The books of the kings and prophets  are not arranged in chronological order, the history of ancient Israel and its neighbors is complex, and the geography of the region is an ever-shifting jigsaw puzzle. The language of the prophets is often symbolic or metaphorical, and the intended messages seem to be shrouded in mystery. Lastly, many people assume that Old Testament prophecies have mostly been fulfilled, so they must not still be very important.

Perhaps our attitudes would change if we thought of prophets as truth tellers, not fortune tellers. Their truths stand important today. Besides, it may be that a number of their prophecies of the future have not yet been fulfilled.

End of the Southern Kingdom

Hezekiah was followed by his son, Manasseh. Manasseh was followed by his son, Amon. Amon was followed by his son, Josiah.

Manasseh was twelve years old when he became king, the late-in-life son of a proud, old man. Manasseh led the Southern Kingdom for fifty-five years. He did what was evil in the sight of the Lord.

Manasseh rebuilt the places to worship false gods, listened to fortune tellers and sorcerers, and even burned his own children as sacrifices to false gods in the Valley of Hinnom. He also stooped to worship false gods in the Temple.

He was so bad that God had the king of Assyria capture him, bind him with hooks and chains, and take him to Babylon. Although he eventually repented and made some changes, he caused immense spiritual damage to the Southern Kingdom, and would be the final straw that broke its back.

Amon was twenty-two years old when he became king, and he reigned only two years. He was as evil as his father, but did not repent. His servants conspired against him and killed him.

King Josiah, Jeremiah
Primary Scriptures:
2 Kings 21-23, 2 Chronicles 33-36, Zephaniah
Story Summary:
Events leading to the end of the Southern Kingdom
700-610 BC