2 Kings 23 – 2 Kings 25
Our story of 1 & 2 Samuel and 1 & 2 Kings comes to an unfortunate end. Not long ago Israel was sent into exile by the Assyrians, and today’s reading places Judah into the hands of the Babylonians.
Despite the Josiah. Despite the resurgence in faith. Despite all the good things that seem to be taking place as one false altar after another is torn down and left in shambles. Despite all of that, the inevitable happens . . . the consequence of the peoples unfaithfulness, leads to deportation and exile.
One of thee things that I had forgotten was that a remnant is always left behind for Judah. Under the reign of Jehoiachin, as the people were deported to Babylon, “the poorest of the land” (24:15) were left behind in Jerusalem. Then again under the reign of Zedekiah as Nebuchadnezzar attacked a second time, “the captain of the guard left some of the poorest people of the land to be vinedressers and tillers of the soil” (25:12). Finally, Gedaliah is appointed as “governor over the people who remained in the land of Judah, whom King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon had left” (25:22).
All of this is an interesting feature to take note of. One might ask, why leave the remnant behind? Is this for a faithful rebuilding? I’d like to think so, however the footnote in my Bible does’t leave me too much hope. “After a few months in office he (Gedaliah) is assassinated by Ishmael and ten other men. Many of the remaining people flee to Egypt at this point, taking the prophet Jeremiah with them (Jer. 43-44). ” (Lutheran Study Bible, Augsburg Fortress, p. 636) While I know that God isn’t done with the people, the people see to be done with God or at least Jerusalem and the once Promised Land.
Our next reading: 1 Chronicles 1-2