Zedekiah, the last Judean king, heeded not the prophet Jeremiah’s counsel to surrender to Babylon’s king, thereby dooming the people, himself, and Jerusalem. The Babylonians besieged the city, some Jews turned to cannibalism, the king tried to escape and was caught. His sons were killed before his eyes, then his eyes were put out, and he was taken to Babylon and died in prison. The book of Kings ends with the end of the Hebrew kings, the temple, the kingdom and the freedom of the people who were carried away captive.
Here are the last kings of Judah, sons of Judah’s last good king, King Josiah. All of his sons that ascended the throne after him were apostate idolaters and plunged the kingdom into God’s judgment. The prophets for millennium had been warning about the coming judgments for rejecting the God of Israel. They were not joking and subsequent history records the awful reality of their warnings and the fulfillments. The New Testament apostles and writers were not joking either about the judgments of God to come to those opposed to the Son of God.
As a result of finding the lost book of the Law of God, King Josiah was no going to allow this finding be wasted. Everything that occurs in his life since then is the direct result of Scripture in his life. He called for a national reading of Scripture, a covenant from the people to serve God, the eradication of idols from God’s house and the territories of Judah and as far as he could in Israel. Then the Passover celebration like none before. He pulverized paganism in Judah. However, his death was the result of presumption. Still, Josiah was a hero king.
The history of Israel proves that Scripture is wasted on some people. It also proves that it is not wasted on all the people. This was the case with King Josiah and the remnant that shared his love for Yahweh. At age 16 he sought Yahweh; At age 20 he began a major reformation, purging Judah and much of Israel of idols. At age 26 he began renovating the temple, and it was at that time the loss scroll of Moses was found and it had a profound impact on King Josiah. Scripture was unwasted on him and he remnant supporting him.
We meet three kings in this chapter, each one a person of interest. The first two kings, Manasseh and Amon, are of interest to lost souls. These two are similar to the two outlaws on the cross next to Christ on His Cross. The first king, Manasseh, was an apostate butcher and anti-Yahweh, yet he gets saved. His son, King Amon is as evil but does not repent and dies young and lost. Lastly we meet King Josiah, a God send.