Old Testament: 2 Kings 23:31-25:30
2 Kings 23:31-25:21 The Final Four
1) Bad King In Judah: Jehoahaz was not a good king. He only reigned for three months. Pharaoh Neco imprisoned him and fined Judah $2,306,718.75 of silver and $1,442,437.50
2) Bad King In Judah: Jehoiakim was not a good king. He was born Eliakim but the Pharaoh changed his name to Jehoiakim indicating he controlled Judah. Jehoiakim paid off but taxed everyone to raise the money. Jehoiakim was twenty-five when he became king and reigned for eleven years. He also was involved in idol worship and was the puppet king of Egypt and Babylon.
Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon defeated Pharaoh Neco (cf. v. 7) and then came against Judah. Jehoiakim submitted to Nebuchadnezzar for three years but then rebelled. But Yahweh sent the Chaldeans, Arameans, Moabites and Ammonites against him. Yahweh was punishing Judah for the sins of its King Manasseh and for killing people unnecessarily.
3) Bad King In Judah: Jehoiachin was not a good king. He was Jehoiakim’s son. Jehoiachin was eighteen when he took over and only lasted three months as king. He was an idol worshipper, too. The Jews were taken into exile and captivity to Babylon during his reign.
4) Bad King In Judah: Zedekiah was not a good king. His real name was Mattaniah but the king of Babylon changed his name to show that he owned him. He was twenty-one when he became king and ruled for eleven years. He rebelled against Babylon. Nebuchadnezzar besieged Jerusalem for two years. When there was no food left for the people, he broke into the city and the Judean army and their king fled. The Chaldean army pursued them and they scattered. They captured the king who had been with them. The Chaldeans killed the king’s sons in front of him and then poked his eyes out so that the last thing he saw was the slaughtering of his sons. They bound him in bronze chains and took him to Babylon.
King Nebuchadnezzar’s captain, Nebuzaradan, burnt down all the landmarks in Jerusalem including the Temple, the Palace, and all the houses in town. Then they took all the people into captivity to Babylon except the poorest people who were left to tend the farms.
The precious parts and utensils in the Temple were nothing to the Chaldeans but scrap metal so they broke everything down and brought it home with them. They killed the most important priests and the high priest.
2 Kings 25:22-25:30 The End
Nebuchadnezzar appointed Gedaliah to be governor of Judah who swore to the people that he would be a benevolent dictator. Despite that, after seven months, Ishmael came with ten men and struck down Gedaliah. Then all the people fled to Egypt because they didn’t trust the Chaldeans.
Jehoiachin had been in exile for thirty-seven years, the new king of Babylon, Evil-merodoch (he wasn’t evil, that was just his name), released Jehoiachin from prison and let him eat at his table. He gave him civilian clothing and ranked him above all the other captured kings. He even gave him an allowance.
New Testament: Acts 22:17-23:10
Acts 22:17-23:10 Paul’s Speech Continued
11) When Paul returned to the Temple in Jerusalem and was praying, he fell into a trance
12) He could see Jesus telling him to get out of Jerusalem quickly because no one would believe he had done an about-face regarding Him
13) Paul admitted to Jesus that there was cause to distrust him: he had had Christians imprisoned and beaten and even protected those who killed Stephen
14) Jesus told him that his mission was to go far from the Jews to the Gentiles with the Gospel
15) The last statement really peeved the Jews who started calling for his head again, they started making a fuss, throwing their cloaks and dust into the air
16) The commander thought that a scourging would cause Paul to spit out the reason everyone was thrown into an uproar when he spoke
17) When Paul was about to be ripped, he asked the centurion in charge if it was lawful to whip an untried Roman who hadn’t been sentenced
18) The centurion reported this information to his boss who asked Paul about being a citizen, saying he had become a Roman by paying an enormous amount of cash
19) Paul said he was born a Roman which scared the commander who not only wasn’t supposed to beat a citizen but wasn’t supposed to have put him in chains!
20) The next day the commander determined to find out why the Jews were in such an uproar over Paul and called a council of the chief priests with Paul as the honored guest.
Acts 23: 1 – 10 Paul’s Trip Counciled
Paul addressed the council, looking them all right in the eyes.
He spoke thus:
1) Paul said he had lived his life before God with a clean conscience every day of his life.
2) The High Priest, Ananias, ordered those near Paul to sock him in the mouth.
3) Paul called Ananias a “whitewashed wall” and rebuked him for that order which was in violation of the law.
4) Others standing there asked Paul if he was talking back disrespectfully to Yahweh’s high priest which was against the law.
5) Paul said, “I didn’t realize he was the high priest. My bad.”
6) When Paul realized that there were opposing groups of Jews (Pharisees and Sadducees), he declared that he, himself, was a Pharisee and from a family of Pharisees who had the hope of a resurrection.
7) He did this on purpose to pit the two groups against each other and make a point about the resurrection. Sadducees don’t believe in the resurrection or angels or spirits in contrast to the Pharisees (that is why they are “sad you see” . . . LOL).
8) This really sent the group into a frenzy. The experts in law of the Pharisees rose up in defense of Paul. They said maybe a “spirit or an angel” had given him some good information (v. 9).
9) The commander was afraid that the crowd would rip Paul limb from limb and ordered his guys to take him away and put him in the barracks.