Important elections in the Bible | 2020 Edition

As people go and vote for who they want to win in America for over 7,000 races, we honor the elections for political and religious leaders in the Bible. It is a theme befitting Election Day 2020 on November 3, 2020.

“Put them in mind to be subject to principalities and powers, to obey magistrates, to be ready to every good work, To speak evil of no man, to be no brawlers, but gentle, shewing all meekness unto all men” (Titus 3:1-2).

The Most Important Election

God created this world and elected it to be the mastery of His Love (Genesis 1:1-3; John 1:1-10; 1 John 4:8). He also elected humans to have dominion over the earth, what a destiny! He has chosen specific people to have eternal destiny (John 15:16; 2 Thessalonians 2:13; Romans 6:23). God expects His People to be a holy people that glorifies Him (Deuteronomy 7:6).

As His People, and to all people really, they are expected to be subject to governing authorities (what the Holy Bible calls “The Powers That Be”). God has ordained governing authorities to take care of people, including His People. They will keep His People safe, provide for them, and ensure they are well taken care of. This may be hard to believe about politicians, but the Bible is clear to be in submission! (Romans 13:1-14).

For people that would lead the Tribes of Israel back in Moses’ time, it was instructed that a leader be chosen for each of the Tribes (Deuteronomy 1:13). His People of that day valued when a good and righteous ruler ruled, but had severe anxiety when a wicked leader would rule (Proverb 29:2). Therefore, it was best to choose a noble leader, something that should not be undertaken lightly, because whoever has charge over people must be very demonstrative that he will rule well and righteously and take care of people well.

No matter the case, God has sovereignty (Psalm 22:28): “I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty” (1 Timothy 2:1-2). Pray for your leaders!

Electing Abraham

Genesis 12:1-3, “1Now the Lord had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee: 2And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: 3And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.”

Electing Moses and the Tribes’ rulers

“17 And Moses’ father in law said unto him, The thing that thou doest is not good. 18 Thou wilt surely wear away, both thou, and this people that is with thee: for this thing is too heavy for thee; thou art not able to perform it thyself alone. 19 Hearken now unto my voice, I will give thee counsel, and God shall be with thee: Be thou for the people to God-ward, that thou mayest bring the causes unto God: 20 And thou shalt teach them ordinances and laws, and shalt shew them the way wherein they must walk, and the work that they must do. 21 Moreover thou shalt provide out of all the people able men, such as fear God, men of truth, hating covetousness; and place such over them, to be rulers of thousands, and rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens:

22 And let them judge the people at all seasons: and it shall be, that every great matter they shall bring unto thee, but every small matter they shall judge: so shall it be easier for thyself, and they shall bear the burden with thee. 23 If thou shalt do this thing, and God command thee so, then thou shalt be able to endure, and all this people shall also go to their place in peace. 24 So Moses hearkened to the voice of his father in law, and did all that he had said. 25 And Moses chose able men out of all Israel, and made them heads over the people, rulers of thousands, rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens. 26 And they judged the people at all seasons: the hard causes they brought unto Moses, but every small matter they judged themselves.

~From: Exodus 18:17-26

The election of Samuel

1 Samuel 3:1-18: “1And the child Samuel ministered unto the LORD before Eli. And the word of the LORD was precious in those days; there was no open vision. 2And it came to pass at that time, when Eli was laid down in his place, and his eyes began to wax dim, that he could not see; 3And ere the lamp of God went out in the temple of the LORD, where the ark of God was, and Samuel was laid down to sleep; 4That the LORD called Samuel: and he answered, Here am I. 5And he ran unto Eli, and said, Here am I; for thou calledst me. And he said, I called not; lie down again. And he went and lay down. 6And the LORD called yet again, Samuel. And Samuel arose and went to Eli, and said, Here am I; for thou didst call me. And he answered, I called not, my son; lie down again. 7Now Samuel did not yet know the LORD, neither was the word of the LORD yet revealed unto him. 8And the LORD called Samuel again the third time. And he arose and went to Eli, and said, Here am I; for thou didst call me. And Eli perceived that the LORD had called the child. 9Therefore Eli said unto Samuel, Go, lie down: and it shall be, if he call thee, that thou shalt say, Speak, LORD; for thy servant heareth. So Samuel went and lay down in his place.

10And the LORD came, and stood, and called as at other times, Samuel, Samuel. Then Samuel answered, Speak; for thy servant heareth. 11And the LORD said to Samuel, Behold, I will do a thing in Israel, at which both the ears of every one that heareth it shall tingle. 12In that day I will perform against Eli all things which I have spoken concerning his house: when I begin, I will also make an end. 13For I have told him that I will judge his house for ever for the iniquity which he knoweth; because his sons made themselves vile, and he restrained them not. 14And therefore I have sworn unto the house of Eli, that the iniquity of Eli’s house shall not be purged with sacrifice nor offering for ever.

15And Samuel lay until the morning, and opened the doors of the house of the LORD. And Samuel feared to shew Eli the vision. 16Then Eli called Samuel, and said, Samuel, my son. And he answered, Here am I. 17And he said, What is the thing that the LORD hath said unto thee? I pray thee hide it not from me: God do so to thee, and more also, if thou hide any thing from me of all the things that he said unto thee. 18And Samuel told him every whit, and hid nothing from him. And he said, It is the LORD: let him do what seemeth him good.”

The election of Saul

1 Samuel 9:16-10:18 states… “16 To morrow about this time I will send thee a man out of the land of Benjamin, and thou shalt anoint him to be captain over my people Israel, that he may save my people out of the hand of the Philistines: for I have looked upon my people, because their cry is come unto me. 17 And when Samuel saw Saul, the Lord said unto him, Behold the man whom I spake to thee of! this same shall reign over my people. 18 Then Saul drew near to Samuel in the gate, and said, Tell me, I pray thee, where the seer’s house is. 19 And Samuel answered Saul, and said, I am the seer: go up before me unto the high place; for ye shall eat with me to day, and to morrow I will let thee go, and will tell thee all that is in thine heart. 20 And as for thine asses that were lost three days ago, set not thy mind on them; for they are found. And on whom is all the desire of Israel? Is it not on thee, and on all thy father’s house? 21 And Saul answered and said, Am not I a Benjamite, of the smallest of the tribes of Israel? and my family the least of all the families of the tribe of Benjamin? wherefore then speakest thou so to me? 22 And Samuel took Saul and his servant, and brought them into the parlour, and made them sit in the chiefest place among them that were bidden, which were about thirty persons.

23 And Samuel said unto the cook, Bring the portion which I gave thee, of which I said unto thee, Set it by thee. 24 And the cook took up the shoulder, and that which was upon it, and set it before Saul. And Samuel said, Behold that which is left! set it before thee, and eat: for unto this time hath it been kept for thee since I said, I have invited the people. So Saul did eat with Samuel that day. 25 And when they were come down from the high place into the city, Samuel communed with Saul upon the top of the house. 26 And they arose early: and it came to pass about the spring of the day, that Samuel called Saul to the top of the house, saying, Up, that I may send thee away. And Saul arose, and they went out both of them, he and Samuel, abroad. 27 And as they were going down to the end of the city, Samuel said to Saul, Bid the servant pass on before us, (and he passed on), but stand thou still a while, that I may shew thee the word of God.

10:1 Then Samuel took a vial of oil, and poured it upon his head, and kissed him, and said, Is it not because the Lord hath anointed thee to be captain over his inheritance? 2 When thou art departed from me to day, then thou shalt find two men by Rachel’s sepulchre in the border of Benjamin at Zelzah; and they will say unto thee, The asses which thou wentest to seek are found: and, lo, thy father hath left the care of the asses, and sorroweth for you, saying, What shall I do for my son? 3 Then shalt thou go on forward from thence, and thou shalt come to the plain of Tabor, and there shall meet thee three men going up to God to Bethel, one carrying three kids, and another carrying three loaves of bread, and another carrying a bottle of wine: 4 And they will salute thee, and give thee two loaves of bread; which thou shalt receive of their hands.

5 After that thou shalt come to the hill of God, where is the garrison of the Philistines: and it shall come to pass, when thou art come thither to the city, that thou shalt meet a company of prophets coming down from the high place with a psaltery, and a tabret, and a pipe, and a harp, before them; and they shall prophesy: 6 And the Spirit of the Lord will come upon thee, and thou shalt prophesy with them, and shalt be turned into another man. 7 And let it be, when these signs are come unto thee, that thou do as occasion serve thee; for God is with thee. 8 And thou shalt go down before me to Gilgal; and, behold, I will come down unto thee, to offer burnt offerings, and to sacrifice sacrifices of peace offerings: seven days shalt thou tarry, till I come to thee, and shew thee what thou shalt do. 9 And it was so, that when he had turned his back to go from Samuel, God gave him another heart: and all those signs came to pass that day. 10 And when they came thither to the hill, behold, a company of prophets met him; and the Spirit of God came upon him, and he prophesied among them.”

A reminder from Psalm 146:3-10

Remember: Submission is vital, but trust not so much…

“3 Put not your trust in princes, nor in the son of man, in whom there is no help. 4 His breath goeth forth, he returneth to his earth; in that very day his thoughts perish. 5 Happy is he that hath the God of Jacob for his help, whose hope is in the Lord his God: 6 Which made heaven, and earth, the sea, and all that therein is: which keepeth truth for ever: 7 Which executeth judgment for the oppressed: which giveth food to the hungry. The Lord looseth the prisoners: 8 The Lord openeth the eyes of the blind: the Lord raiseth them that are bowed down: the Lord loveth the righteous: 9 The Lord preserveth the strangers; he relieveth the fatherless and widow: but the way of the wicked he turneth upside down. 10 The Lord shall reign for ever, even thy God, O Zion, unto all generations. Praise ye the Lord.”

The election of David as King

First the demotion of Saul… 1 Samuel 13:13-14, “13 And Samuel said to Saul, Thou hast done foolishly: thou hast not kept the commandment of the Lord thy God, which he commanded thee: for now would the Lord have established thy kingdom upon Israel for ever. 14 But now thy kingdom shall not continue: the Lord hath sought him a man after his own heart, and the Lord hath commanded him to be captain over his people, because thou hast not kept that which the Lord commanded thee.”

David’s call in 1 Samuel 16:14-23, “14 But the Spirit of the Lord departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the Lord troubled him. 15 And Saul’s servants said unto him, Behold now, an evil spirit from God troubleth thee. 16 Let our lord now command thy servants, which are before thee, to seek out a man, who is a cunning player on an harp: and it shall come to pass, when the evil spirit from God is upon thee, that he shall play with his hand, and thou shalt be well. 17 And Saul said unto his servants, Provide me now a man that can play well, and bring him to me. 18 Then answered one of the servants, and said, Behold, I have seen a son of Jesse the Bethlehemite, that is cunning in playing, and a mighty valiant man, and a man of war, and prudent in matters, and a comely person, and the Lord is with him. 19 Wherefore Saul sent messengers unto Jesse, and said, Send me David thy son, which is with the sheep. 20 And Jesse took an ass laden with bread, and a bottle of wine, and a kid, and sent them by David his son unto Saul. 21 And David came to Saul, and stood before him: and he loved him greatly; and he became his armourbearer. 22 And Saul sent to Jesse, saying, Let David, I pray thee, stand before me; for he hath found favour in my sight. 23 And it came to pass, when the evil spirit from God was upon Saul, that David took an harp, and played with his hand: so Saul was refreshed, and was well, and the evil spirit departed from him.”

The election of Solomon

1 Kings chapter 1: ” 1 Now king David was old and stricken in years; and they covered him with clothes, but he gat no heat. 2 Wherefore his servants said unto him, Let there be sought for my lord the king a young virgin: and let her stand before the king, and let her cherish him, and let her lie in thy bosom, that my lord the king may get heat. 3 So they sought for a fair damsel throughout all the coasts of Israel, and found Abishag a Shunammite, and brought her to the king. 4 And the damsel was very fair, and cherished the king, and ministered to him: but the king knew her not. 5 Then Adonijah the son of Haggith exalted himself, saying, I will be king: and he prepared him chariots and horsemen, and fifty men to run before him. 6 And his father had not displeased him at any time in saying, Why hast thou done so? and he also was a very goodly man; and his mother bare him after Absalom. 7 And he conferred with Joab the son of Zeruiah, and with Abiathar the priest: and they following Adonijah helped him. 8 But Zadok the priest, and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, and Nathan the prophet, and Shimei, and Rei, and the mighty men which belonged to David, were not with Adonijah. 9 And Adonijah slew sheep and oxen and fat cattle by the stone of Zoheleth, which is by Enrogel, and called all his brethren the king’s sons, and all the men of Judah the king’s servants: 10 But Nathan the prophet, and Benaiah, and the mighty men, and Solomon his brother, he called not. 11 Wherefore Nathan spake unto Bathsheba the mother of Solomon, saying, Hast thou not heard that Adonijah the son of Haggith doth reign, and David our lord knoweth it not? 12 Now therefore come, let me, I pray thee, give thee counsel, that thou mayest save thine own life, and the life of thy son Solomon. 13 Go and get thee in unto king David, and say unto him, Didst not thou, my lord, O king, swear unto thine handmaid, saying, Assuredly Solomon thy son shall reign after me, and he shall sit upon my throne? why then doth Adonijah reign?

14 Behold, while thou yet talkest there with the king, I also will come in after thee, and confirm thy words. 15 And Bathsheba went in unto the king into the chamber: and the king was very old; and Abishag the Shunammite ministered unto the king. 16 And Bathsheba bowed, and did obeisance unto the king. And the king said, What wouldest thou? 17 And she said unto him, My lord, thou swarest by the Lord thy God unto thine handmaid, saying, Assuredly Solomon thy son shall reign after me, and he shall sit upon my throne. 18 And now, behold, Adonijah reigneth; and now, my lord the king, thou knowest it not: 19 And he hath slain oxen and fat cattle and sheep in abundance, and hath called all the sons of the king, and Abiathar the priest, and Joab the captain of the host: but Solomon thy servant hath he not called. 20 And thou, my lord, O king, the eyes of all Israel are upon thee, that thou shouldest tell them who shall sit on the throne of my lord the king after him. 21 Otherwise it shall come to pass, when my lord the king shall sleep with his fathers, that I and my son Solomon shall be counted offenders. 22 And, lo, while she yet talked with the king, Nathan the prophet also came in.

23 And they told the king, saying, Behold Nathan the prophet. And when he was come in before the king, he bowed himself before the king with his face to the ground. 24 And Nathan said, My lord, O king, hast thou said, Adonijah shall reign after me, and he shall sit upon my throne? 25 For he is gone down this day, and hath slain oxen and fat cattle and sheep in abundance, and hath called all the king’s sons, and the captains of the host, and Abiathar the priest; and, behold, they eat and drink before him, and say, God save king Adonijah. 26 But me, even me thy servant, and Zadok the priest, and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, and thy servant Solomon, hath he not called. 27 Is this thing done by my lord the king, and thou hast not shewed it unto thy servant, who should sit on the throne of my lord the king after him? 28 Then king David answered and said, Call me Bathsheba. And she came into the king’s presence, and stood before the king. 29 And the king sware, and said, As the Lord liveth, that hath redeemed my soul out of all distress, 30 Even as I sware unto thee by the Lord God of Israel, saying, Assuredly Solomon thy son shall reign after me, and he shall sit upon my throne in my stead; even so will I certainly do this day. 31 Then Bathsheba bowed with her face to the earth, and did reverence to the king, and said, Let my lord king David live for ever.

32 And king David said, Call me Zadok the priest, and Nathan the prophet, and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada. And they came before the king. 33 The king also said unto them, Take with you the servants of your lord, and cause Solomon my son to ride upon mine own mule, and bring him down to Gihon: 34 And let Zadok the priest and Nathan the prophet anoint him there king over Israel: and blow ye with the trumpet, and say, God save king Solomon. 35 Then ye shall come up after him, that he may come and sit upon my throne; for he shall be king in my stead: and I have appointed him to be ruler over Israel and over Judah. 36 And Benaiah the son of Jehoiada answered the king, and said, Amen: the Lord God of my lord the king say so too. 37 As the Lord hath been with my lord the king, even so be he with Solomon, and make his throne greater than the throne of my lord king David. 38 So Zadok the priest, and Nathan the prophet, and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, and the Cherethites, and the Pelethites, went down, and caused Solomon to ride upon king David’s mule, and brought him to Gihon. 39 And Zadok the priest took an horn of oil out of the tabernacle, and anointed Solomon. And they blew the trumpet; and all the people said, God save king Solomon.

40 And all the people came up after him, and the people piped with pipes, and rejoiced with great joy, so that the earth rent with the sound of them. 41 And Adonijah and all the guests that were with him heard it as they had made an end of eating. And when Joab heard the sound of the trumpet, he said, Wherefore is this noise of the city being in an uproar? 42 And while he yet spake, behold, Jonathan the son of Abiathar the priest came; and Adonijah said unto him, Come in; for thou art a valiant man, and bringest good tidings. 43 And Jonathan answered and said to Adonijah, Verily our lord king David hath made Solomon king. 44 And the king hath sent with him Zadok the priest, and Nathan the prophet, and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, and the Cherethites, and the Pelethites, and they have caused him to ride upon the king’s mule: 45 And Zadok the priest and Nathan the prophet have anointed him king in Gihon: and they are come up from thence rejoicing, so that the city rang again. This is the noise that ye have heard. 46 And also Solomon sitteth on the throne of the kingdom.

47 And moreover the king’s servants came to bless our lord king David, saying, God make the name of Solomon better than thy name, and make his throne greater than thy throne. And the king bowed himself upon the bed. 48 And also thus said the king, Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, which hath given one to sit on my throne this day, mine eyes even seeing it. 49 And all the guests that were with Adonijah were afraid, and rose up, and went every man his way. 50 And Adonijah feared because of Solomon, and arose, and went, and caught hold on the horns of the altar. 51 And it was told Solomon, saying, Behold, Adonijah feareth king Solomon: for, lo, he hath caught hold on the horns of the altar, saying, Let king Solomon swear unto me today that he will not slay his servant with the sword. 52 And Solomon said, If he will shew himself a worthy man, there shall not an hair of him fall to the earth: but if wickedness shall be found in him, he shall die. 53 So king Solomon sent, and they brought him down from the altar. And he came and bowed himself to king Solomon: and Solomon said unto him, Go to thine house.”

Jesus Christ is Savior of the world

Isaiah 7:14, “14 Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.”

Luke 2:22-39, “22 And when the days of her purification according to the law of Moses were accomplished, they brought him to Jerusalem, to present [him] to the Lord;23 (As it is written in the law of the Lord, Every male that openeth the womb shall be called holy to the Lord;)24 And to offer a sacrifice according to that which is said in the law of the Lord, A pair of turtledoves, or two young pigeons.25 And, behold, there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name [was] Simeon; and the same man [was] just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel: and the Holy Ghost was upon him.26 And it was revealed unto him by the Holy Ghost, that he should not see death, before he had seen the Lord’s Christ.27 And he came by the Spirit into the temple: and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him after the custom of the law,

28 Then took he him up in his arms, and blessed God, and said,29 Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word:30 For mine eyes have seen thy salvation,31 Which thou hast prepared before the face of all people;32 A light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel.33 And Joseph and his mother marvelled at those things which were spoken of him.34 And Simeon blessed them, and said unto Mary his mother, Behold, this [child] is set for the fall and rising again of many in Israel; and for a sign which shall be spoken against;35 (Yea, a sword shall pierce through thy own soul also,) that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.36 And there was one Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Aser: she was of a great age, and had lived with an husband seven years from her virginity;37 And she [was] a widow of about fourscore and four years, which departed not from the temple, but served [God] with fastings and prayers night and day.38 And she coming in that instant gave thanks likewise unto the Lord, and spake of him to all them that looked for redemption in Jerusalem.39 And when they had performed all things according to the law of the Lord, they returned into Galilee, to their own city Nazareth.”

John 2:13 – 3:36, “13 And the Jews’ passover was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem,14 And found in the temple those that sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the changers of money sitting:15 And when he had made a scourge of small cords, he drove them all out of the temple, and the sheep, and the oxen; and poured out the changers’ money, and overthrew the tables;16 And said unto them that sold doves, Take these things hence; make not my Father’s house an house of merchandise.17 And his disciples remembered that it was written, The zeal of thine house hath eaten me up.18 Then answered the Jews and said unto him, What sign shewest thou unto us, seeing that thou doest these things?19 Jesus answered and said unto them, Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.

20 Then said the Jews, Forty and six years was this temple in building, and wilt thou rear it up in three days?21 But he spake of the temple of his body.22 When therefore he was risen from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this unto them; and they believed the scripture, and the word which Jesus had said.23 Now when he was in Jerusalem at the passover, in the feast [day], many believed in his name, when they saw the miracles which he did.24 But Jesus did not commit himself unto them, because he knew all [men],25 And needed not that any should testify of man: for he knew what was in man.

3:1 There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews:2 The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him.3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.4 Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born?5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and [of] the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.7 Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.8 The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.

9 Nicodemus answered and said unto him, How can these things be?10 Jesus answered and said unto him, Art thou a master of Israel, and knowest not these things?11 Verily, verily, I say unto thee, We speak that we do know, and testify that we have seen; and ye receive not our witness.12 If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you [of] heavenly things?13 And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, [even] the Son of man which is in heaven.14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up:

15 That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.19 And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.20 For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.21 But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.

22 After these things came Jesus and his disciples into the land of Judaea; and there he tarried with them, and baptized.23 And John also was baptizing in Aenon near to Salim, because there was much water there: and they came, and were baptized.24 For John was not yet cast into prison.25 Then there arose a question between [some] of John’s disciples and the Jews about purifying.26 And they came unto John, and said unto him, Rabbi, he that was with thee beyond Jordan, to whom thou barest witness, behold, the same baptizeth, and all [men] come to him.27 John answered and said, A man can receive nothing, except it be given him from heaven.28 Ye yourselves bear me witness, that I said, I am not the Christ, but that I am sent before him.

29 He that hath the bride is the bridegroom: but the friend of the bridegroom, which standeth and heareth him, rejoiceth greatly because of the bridegroom’s voice: this my joy therefore is fulfilled.30 He must increase, but I [must] decrease.31 He that cometh from above is above all: he that is of the earth is earthly, and speaketh of the earth: he that cometh from heaven is above all.32 And what he hath seen and heard, that he testifieth; and no man receiveth his testimony.33 He that hath received his testimony hath set to his seal that God is true.34 For he whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God: for God giveth not the Spirit by measure [unto him].35 The Father loveth the Son, and hath given all things into his hand.36 He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.”

The election of the Twelve Disciples

John 1:35-51, “35 Again the next day after John stood, and two of his disciples;36 And looking upon Jesus as he walked, he saith, Behold the Lamb of God!37 And the two disciples heard him speak, and they followed Jesus.38 Then Jesus turned, and saw them following, and saith unto them, What seek ye? They said unto him, Rabbi, (which is to say, being interpreted, Master,) where dwellest thou?39 He saith unto them, Come and see. They came and saw where he dwelt, and abode with him that day: for it was about the tenth hour.40 One of the two which heard John [speak], and followed him, was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother.41 He first findeth his own brother Simon, and saith unto him, We have found the Messias, which is, being interpreted, the Christ.

42 And he brought him to Jesus. And when Jesus beheld him, he said, Thou art Simon the son of Jona: thou shalt be called Cephas, which is by interpretation, A stone.43 The day following Jesus would go forth into Galilee, and findeth Philip, and saith unto him, Follow me.44 Now Philip was of Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter.45 Philip findeth Nathanael, and saith unto him, We have found him, of whom Moses in the law, and the prophets, did write, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.46 And Nathanael said unto him, Can there any good thing come out of Nazareth? Philip saith unto him, Come and see.47 Jesus saw Nathanael coming to him, and saith of him, Behold an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile!

48 Nathanael saith unto him, Whence knowest thou me? Jesus answered and said unto him, Before that Philip called thee, when thou wast under the fig tree, I saw thee.49 Nathanael answered and saith unto him, Rabbi, thou art the Son of God; thou art the King of Israel.50 Jesus answered and said unto him, Because I said unto thee, I saw thee under the fig tree, believest thou? thou shalt see greater things than these.51 And he saith unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Hereafter ye shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of man.”

The election of the Priesthood of all believers into the Kingdom of God

1 Peter 2:5–9, “5 Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ. 6 Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded. 7 Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner, 8 And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed. 9 But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light.”

Hebrews 4:14-16, “14 Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. 15 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. 16 Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.”

Conclusion

It is hoped that your election day goes smooth as you await the election results. Hope you are blessed by this post and enjoy it, share it, and have a good time!

Esther and the story of Haman

“As the days wherein the Jews rested from their enemies, and the month which was turned unto them from sorrow to joy, and from mourning into a good day: that they should make them days of feasting and joy, and of sending portions one to another, and gifts to the poor.” –Esther 9:22 … this I believe shows the awesome power of rest!

The Book of Esther, written around 460-400 BC by an anonymous author, covers a period after the exile during the reign of King Xerxes. The Book talks much about a person named Esther who was chosen to become queen, about a plan that was crafted to destroy the Jews (and how it occurred), and about the triumphant Jews.

In the beginning of the book, an exhibition of riches was displayed before the officials and citizens, which lasted for many months. The current queen, Queen Vashti, was asked by the king to display her beauty before drunken men at this banquet, but she refused. This was defiance of the king’s authority, so therefore, she was removed from power. Soon, many young and beautiful women in the land were brought together in the palace, so that the king might choose one of them to be a queen. Among those women was a Jew, whom was also an orphan, named Esther. However, she didn’t make it known she was a Jew. After all the preparations, the women were brought before the king, and then he chose Esther and crowned her.

Now, a man named Haman, the king’s chief minister, had begun to demand people to worship him. Mordecai (cousin of Esther), refused to do this, because he was a Jew and worshiping Haman was against his religion. Haman wanted revenge because of this, and therefore decided to kill all of the Jews. Haman then gained the king’s permission to do so after he spoke that killing the Jews would greatly increase the royal treasury. The king trusted him that he gave Haman his ring, so that Haman could sign legal documents and put things into order.

However, Haman had to wait for eleven months before proceeding (to kill them). Haman decreed he would do it, which disturbed many of the people. Mordecai knew that Esther was a Jew and only she could help, so he asked Esther to have the king cancel the decree. God wanted His People alive, and so the urgency was great for Esther to do this, even though she’d be risking her life. However, she agreed to approach the king thusly, and attempt to get the problem resolved.

After a few days had passed, Esther invited the king and Haman to a couple of dinners, in hope to get favor from one or both of them. Haman was positive about the queen, likely flattered that he may have gotten the queen’s approval for killing the Jews. Haman then asked for a royal favor, in hopes to get Mordecai killed right away. However, when Haman made the request to the king, the king was hesitant because Mordecai had saved his life at an earlier time.

The king wanted to reward Mordecai, as we see in chapter six. However, Haman didn’t know about the reward, it seems, so Haman was astonished that the honor would go to Mordecai (not execution). Haman was humiliated and felt betrayed by the royal family. Later that night, another dinner was between the king, queen, and Haman, where Esther brought the case before the king that Haman had been plotting to kill the Jews (admitting she was also Jewish) and killing her, and therefore the king was angry because of it. Haman began weeping with anguish before the king, which was interpreted by the king as rape or other form of tactic by Haman to hurt the queen. Therefore, the king wanted Haman immediately executed.

Next, we see Mordecai promoted to chief minister. However, the king’s decree (from Haman’s proposal to kill the Jews) was still intact, but the king gave Mordecai and the queen power to counteract it with a new decree. Therefore, they acted promptly, and gave the Jews permission to do anything they could to defend themselves against attacks on the day (of war against them). When the day came for the Jews to be attacked, only a few of the enemies actually attacked them.

However, the Jews fought hard, it seems, and were even given an extra day to defend themselves and get revenge on the enemies. After the Jews won (and survived by the grace of God), a feast was thrown in celebration (which was done every year after that, as well). The book concluded quickly by talking about the reign of Mordecai, and how he helped the Jewish people under his leadership. Mordecai continued rule for many years.

Nehemiah: One filled with sorrow

Nehemiah was filled with sorrow because the walls of Jerusalem were broken down and gates were burned. The King was concerned about Nehemiah’s sadness and allowed him to return to Jerusalem for the purpose of going back and helping to rebuild Jerusalem. It took 52 days to rebuild the walls. When the walls were completed, they were solemnly dedicated and guarded continually.

The Book of Nehemiah, presumed to have been written by both Ezra and Nehemiah, around 430-420 BC details Nehemiah’s return to Jerusalem, the rebuilding of the city wall, and all about Nehemiah’s reforms.

The book begins by talking about Nehemiah’s return to Jerusalem, for thirteen years had passed since Artaxerxes issued the decree for Ezra to go and reform Israel. Now, Ezra’s work had been an early success, but when the Jews wanted to rebuild the city wall, they ran into many problems. Many of Israelite enemies accused them of rebellion against Persia, so the Israelites avoided any building of a wall.

We read about Nehemiah, for in Persia, Nehemiah, who was a Jewish official in the king’s palace, had become a cupbearer (which I have recognized is someone who is a wine steward). The Jews heard about Nehemiah and wanted to speak with him, for someone so trusted had to be someone they could trust also maybe. Nehemiah, though, was a man of God who prayed much, and therefore, knew the people’s troubles were resulting from sin. Therefore, Nehemiah brought a confession before God and interceded before Him for four months.

He prepared to speak to the king about this, but the king was taken aback about Nehemiah’s return. However, he was given permission after all to return and carry out the reconstruction of the wall that was planned. He obtained the necessary building materials. Soon, the rebuilding of the city wall had commenced. During the period of building this wall, a lot of antagonism had occurred. Much of the antagonism involved mockery, treachery, extortion, compromise, insults, and other forms of disloyalty – before it was finally accomplished, as we see in chapters six through seven. Right before it was completed; there was a significant event, in which people attempted to draw Nehemiah out of the city in order to kill him. However, Nehemiah knew their tactics and did not budge from the plan of completing the wall. In completing the wall, Nehemiah made a record of all of those that lived in Jerusalem now.

Next, now that the wall was finished, it was time to execute Nehemiah’s reformation. By the end of the sixth month, the wall was complete, which was right before Israel’s mid-year meetings and festivals had occurred, so he thought this is the perfect time for a celebration of the completion of the wall. After this, the people requested that Ezra, assisted by some Levites, would read the Law and explain it to the people, because it had been so long since they heard it. When people looked upon themselves and figured how far they had departed from the Law, they began to grieve and worry. Nehemiah thought that the festivities were going to be filled with a bunch of sad people. Nevertheless, to his surprise, there wasn’t much to worry about. People were intently focused on attending every reading of the Law.

After the end of the Feast of the Tabernacles, more readings of the Law occurred. Then, there was a time of confession and worship that was led by the Levites. After confession, a fresh covenant promise was made so that they would be faithful unto God. An oath was created as well, which was signed by many leaders. All of the people involved in this oath were bound to the covenant document that told them to be obedient to the Law. There were specific matters in the document, which involved mixed marriages, temple taxes, the Sabbath Day and Sabbatical Year, maintenance of the temple and rituals, and tithes and offerings. After that, listings were created of residents, and priests and Levites. Then, we see the dedication of the wall. After the reading of the Law and miscellaneous celebrations, it appears that they dedicated the wall. People joined in offering sacrifices, praised, and rejoiced God. Officials were then assigned to watch over the money and supplies that were brought by people to the temple. All of the Israelites gave one-tenth of their income to the central fund. After the funds would be collected, it would be distributed among the Levites, as they worked in different functions in the temple. People were also reminded to keep God’s temple holy and that Pagans were not allowed inside.

Now, after serving about twelve years governing Jerusalem, Nehemiah had been called back to Persia for a while. Some of the Jews’ old enemies had returned and caused issues, such as a mixed marriage for example. Nehemiah had heard and quickly corrected this situation, since it was a violation of the promise made. Also, they hadn’t paid tithes in quite a while, and because of this, the Levites no longer worked at the temple, but went to the fields to work instead. If that wasn’t bad enough, people were working and trading on the Sabbath.

All of these things broke the covenant promise that was made. Nehemiah was furious and intent on putting an end to it. He closed the city gates on the Sabbath, which prevented people from bringing goods into the city to sell. He made doubly sure that no one sold right outside the gate either. Nehemiah had continued to correct the people and helped them follow God’s Law the best they can. Nehemiah was remarkable in trying to keep up with the reformation and overall was helpful in continuing Israelite living in Jerusalem.

Book of Ezra in the Bible

“Now when Ezra had prayed, and when he had confessed, weeping and casting himself down before the house of God, there assembled unto him out of Israel a very great congregation of men and women and children: for the people wept very sore.” –Ezra 10:1

King Cyrus of Persia had hoped that the prophecy by Jeremiah might be fulfilled, so he made a proclamation, which involved building a house at Jerusalem (in Judah). The chief of the fathers of Judah and Benjamin, as well as the priests and Levites, went to go build the house of the Lord. Vessels were brought and placed in the house of his gods. When the seventh month came, people gathered themselves as one in Jerusalem, and an altar was built to offer burnt offerings as it is written in the Law of Moses. They praised and worshiped God in the house.

The prophecy was that King Cyrus would be a shepherd performing His pleasure, to which, he shall say to Jerusalem be built, and to the Temple would the foundation be laid. He is to also subdue nations before him, and the power of kings will be weakened so that he is made to be conqueror.

In chapter 7, we see Ezra’s genealogy. We also see the priests, Levites, and Ezra going up to Jerusalem, which involves the commission of Artaxerxes to Ezra. Ezra also blesses God for his favor to the people. In chapter 8, we see Ezra’s companions returning from Babylon. He sends Levites to Iddo to be ministers for the Temple, keeps a fast at Ahava (for a safe and prosperous journey), and committed the treasures to the custody of the priests. After Ahava, they go to Jerusalem, where the treasure is weighed in the Temple. Lastly, the commission is delivered to their adversaries, and they further the house of God (by making sacrifices).

After Ezra prayed and confessed, it was proposed by Shechaniah that those who had married strange wives should put them away with their children – to which, they had sworn to do so. A proclamation is made through the land for a meeting at Jerusalem in three days – to which, they attended. At exhortation from Ezra, all had agreed to do it, and there were persons set up to see it done. The work was completed in three months, and a list of names of them are given who married strangely and now put away – which were of the priests, Levites, and other Israelites.

Synopsis

The Book of Ezra, written by Ezra himself around 450-420 BC, is a continuation of where Second Chronicles left off. This book deals with the first return of the exiles to Jerusalem resulting from King Cyrus, and the second return of the exiles to Jerusalem led by Ezra. Many main events that occurred involved the return of the exiles, restoration of the temple/reconstruction, and Ezra’s work.

Cyrus ruled in Persia for a while before conquering Babylon in 539 BC. After this conquest, he gave the Jew permission to return to Jerusalem. The Jews, according to Jeremiah’s prophecy, were released from the Babylonian captivity and were allowed to return and rebuild their nation. Many people had chosen to remain in Babylon; it appears, however, Cyrus wanted as many to return as possible. He even provided for many of the exiles to return, and helped people rebuild their lives overall, it seems.

The primary leaders were Zerubbabel and Joshua over the returned exiles. The total number returned was around 50,000. Many people, when returned, contributed to the rebuilding of the temple. So then, the temple work began for rebuilding, where the Jews got the provisions and got to work right away. However, a halt was placed on the rebuilding, even though much of it was complete – for Artaxerxes thought that it was necessary to postpone it.

Next, we find that the temple rebuilding continued, after not being worked on for about sixteen years. The prophets Haggai and Zechariah encouraged the work to re-begin for the temple work. Although some rejected the idea, others caught on and completed the temple rebuilding and rededication within four years. A while after the dedication, a new annual festival was to be held in the temple. This was the Feast of Passover and Unleavened Bread. Celebrations were held for the restoration of their homeland.

Now, the return of Ezra is detailed, as the temple being completed in 516 BC, Ezra came back around 458 BC. This was a time when Artaxerxes I was still reigning. Ezra had big plans to reform, as he was both a priest and scribe. He had much knowledge of Jewish Law, it seems, and had the ability and funds to be able to conduct a reform. Ezra could also appoint judges to set up courts and carry out punishments as necessary. So, under this mission, authorized by the king, a journey was conducted for Ezra and others that accompanied him to Jerusalem. The journey was set to take around four months, and Ezra was fully intent on this reform.

Ezra went to the Persian officials and presented the documents that authorized him to take control of the Jewish homeland. Therefore, being allowed to do so, Ezra began his reformation as planned. Ezra was quite grieved; it appears, at mixed marriages. Israelite men married non-Israelite women; making families by them. Ezra was aware that this could destroy the religion of Israel, and therefore, he wanted this changed first. Ezra confessed sin on behalf of the nation, before presenting his case.

People heard and met with Ezra, confessed their troubles, and made an oath that it would be corrected. The work of this, though, took around three months to complete. People, though, were intent on relieving the grief of Ezra, confessing their sins, and making sacrifices as necessary. Ezra was successful in this reformation, and was great leader who had influenced many in the Israelite region.

2 Chronicles guide and info on the kings

“And the fear of God was on all the kingdoms of those countries, when they had heard that the LORD fought against the enemies of Israel.” -2 Chronicles 20:29

List of Kings mentioned

  • Rehoboam – He was made king, and a relaxation was requested for him. He also refused counsel from the old men, but in the end, raised an army to subdue Israel.
  • Abijah – He was the son of Rehoboam and inherited his throne. He warred against Jeroboam and overcame him by trusting in God.
  • (Jeroboam – a King of Israel, who was shown warring with several kings of Judah.)
  • Asa was king after Abijah, to which, he was most known for destroying idolatry, promoting peace, and putting his faith in God.
  • Jehoshaphat was made king after him, to which, he sent Levites with the princes to teach Judah, was feared by the nations, and joined up with Ahab to be against Ramoth-gilead.
  • Jehoram is made king after him, and ruled wickedly – to which, a prophecy was made against him by Elijah, the Philistines and Arabians oppress him, and he had an incurable disease that brought death.
  • Ahaziah, another wicked king, takes the throne, to which he made confederacy with Joram the son of Ahab, and was then slain by Jehu.
  • Athaliah came in and usurped the kingdom, destroying the entire seed royal, and saving Joash.
  • Joash was made king, and soon after, Athaliah is slain. He reigned well, fell into idolatry, and slayed Zechariah.
  • Amaziah succeeded him on the throne. He began by slaying his father’s murderers, hired an army of Israelites against the Edomites, and successfully overthrew the Edomites.
  • Uzziah is then made king, and reigned well. He invaded the priest’s office and was smitten with leprosy.
  • Jotham succeeded Uzziah, to which, he was a prosperous king, but with little Scriptural record.
  • Ahaz was the next king, in which, he reigned in a bad way. He asked for help from the king of Assyria against the Philistines and Edomites, but to no avail. He was heavily involved in idolatry.
  • Hezekiah then took the throne after him. He restored religion, offered solemn sacrifices, and sung with praise. Also, he destroyed the altars of idolatry.
  • Manasseh would succeed him, and was wicked. Even so, he believed in God, and prayed – still dealing with idolatry.
  • Amon would reign shortly. He was slain by his servants (Amon was usually found guilty of trespassing), which ended his kingship quickly.

About Josiah: Josiah was best known for having a good reign starting at eight years old and being right in the eyes of the Lord. He walked in the ways of David, his father. He chose to destroy idolatry, which involved purging Judah and Jerusalem of all high places, carved images, and other molten images and groves. He also takes order of the repair of the Temple. Hilkiah the priest found the Book of the Law, and therefore, the king asked that people do after all that is written in the book. Finally, he makes a covenant with the Lord to walk after Him, keep His commandments, His testimonies, His statutes with all of his heart and soul. He desired to keep the words of the covenant, which are in the book. He led others to believe in God and never to depart from Him!

The Temple: The Temple was made as sacred as possible, with all the decorative furniture and “heavenly” things added to make it appear more holy. Since it was wonderfully made, and now that God has established his Temple within us instead of a building, we are fearfully and wonderfully made.

Queen of Sheba: Queen of Sheba heard about Solomon’s fame, and therefore, visited him. She admired his wisdom, and blessed him with her words. She saw that God blessed him, and that he was working for the glory of God, for God had loved Israel. She gave him 120 talents of gold, spices in great abundance, precious stones, and other gifts were brought as well. Therefore, King Solomon gave to the queen all that she desired or asked, and then she left. (Solomon had 1,400 chariots and 12,000 horsemen. He made silver and gold at Jerusalem that was as much as stones (which probably means quite a bit), and cedar trees he had. A chariot out of Egypt brought 600 shekels of silver, and a horse for 150 (horses were brought for all the kings of the Hittites and the Kings of Syria).)

1:11-12 says, “And God said to Solomon, Because this was in thine heart, and thou hast not asked riches, wealth, or honour, nor the life of thine enemies, neither yet hast asked long life; but hast asked wisdom and knowledge for thyself, that thou mayest judge my people, over whom I have made thee king: Wisdom and knowledge is granted unto thee; and I will give thee riches, and wealth, and honour, such as none of the kings have had that have been before thee, neither shall there any after thee have the like.”

Synopsis

The Book of Second Chronicles, a book written by Ezra (most presume, or some other chronicler), was done around 450-420 BC. Much as First Chronicles was, Second Chronicles continues where it left off – which was the detail of the redemptive history of Israel. While the genealogy was detailed as well as David’s reign as king in First Chronicles, then in Second Chronicles, Solomon’s reign was detailed as well as the listing of Judah’s kings. The chronicler details the reigns of certain kings in Judah, especially those responsible for revival and reformation. Some of it focuses on the evil kings that caused problems, including the corruption and collapse of the kingdom.

The writer here is very focused on the dynasty continuance through Solomon from David. Solomon was another very important figure as he was to build the temple and create a lasting way for people to be able to worship God and bring sacrifices unto Him. Solomon’s devotion to God was great at the beginning of his reign, in that he arranged a ceremony at the tabernacle in Gibeon and had been offered a gift from God – to which he chose wisdom to be able to reign in Israel. So, Solomon’s wisdom would be at work in the everyday affairs of people’s lives, especially in how he managed his kingdom. Solomon also would write words of wisdom and songs – some people would record the wisdom he would speak. His wisdom was so widely known. But, more importantly, the plans for building the temple were to be done. The writer shows the enjoyment Israel had under King Solomon. They trusted that he would carry out the temple project successfully.

Solomon had help from King Hiram of Tyre in preparing the materials and arranging a workforce to build the temple. Construction lasted for seven years – to which the temple and all its furnishings were completely done and prepared ceremonially. After that, the temple was dedicated to God. Solomon wanted to preserve the holiness of his throne, so he had a palace built for his Egyptian wife. The writer emphasized that the Davidic line of kings wanted to stay faithful to God. Anyway, temple services were organized according to the plans laid out by David and him.          After noting a bit more about the wisdom of Solomon, his ability in business, and his fame and wealth – the writer closes with talking about the death of Solomon. Rehoboam, his son, took the helm after his death.

Next, the writer deals with an outlined explanation of all of the important reigns of Judah’s kings. He starts with Rehoboam, who took the kingly throne after the death of Solomon. Rehoboam began his reign well, which was influenced by priests and Levites who came to Judah from Israel. Rehoboam, the son of Solomon, took Judah’s throne, which caused the Davidic line to be under “Judah” rather than “Israel.” During the kingdom division, Israel was divided, and two of the tribes went into their own kingdom called Judah. Jeroboam ruled in Israel, and Rehoboam ruled in Judah.

Next, the writer details the reformation under Asa, and then talked about the end of his reign before Ahab came to power in the north. Under the influence of his wife, Jezebel, Baalism became a norm in Israel. This “Baalism” was very evil and powerful than others had practiced, and this concerned the other kingdom. After the reign of Asa and Ahab was outlined, then the writer talks about the reign of Jehoshaphat. Jehoshaphat carried on the reformation of Asa, and destroyed all of the Baal shrines that remained in Judah. Jehoshaphat also reformed and reorganized the judicial system in Judah, because of the need to eliminate injustice and to be sure, that people are treated fair.

The Baalism of Ahab and Jezebel had remained to be strong in the northern kingdom during the reigns of Ahaziah and Joram. It had spread to Judah in the reign of Jehoram. When Judah had died, Athaliah seized the throne herself and she ruled for six years – doing all she could to establish the northern Baalism for her parents in Judah. However, the death of Athaliah was also the end of Jezebel’s Baalism in Judah.

Another proponent of David was Joash, whom encouraged better worship among his people. However, Joash was reported to have turned away from God and encouraged Canaanite worship – and in this, he came under God’s judgment. His death was a punishment, because he murdered a priest who had rebuked him. The writer, then, moves forward in other kings he details, such as Amaziah, Uzziah, Jotham, and Ahaz. On Hezekiah’s work, great detail was added, because he began a very thorough reformation of Judah’s religion, which was prompted by the prophet Micah.

Hezekiah’s work affected the temple, priests, and Levites – as they neglected the temple because of God’s anger with Judah. The temple was to be cleansed and prepared for a renewal of services. Services were held, offerings were made, and the temple was successfully rededicated. A Passover feast was held after, and all of the traces of false religions were removed from Jerusalem. His reformations helped Judah to be more prosperous, but pride led him on to becoming friends with Babylon, which was the current rising power in that area. Later, this brought disaster upon Judah.

With Manasseh ruling next, he destroyed all the good work of his father, and drug the nation down to a very low condition spiritually. However, when his life was ending, he tried to quickly reform it and undo the damage, but it was impossible to do with so many years of damage. Amon followed and removed the reform that was beginning from Manasseh. However, once Josiah stepped in, a big reform came, and a Passover feast followed – just like during the reform of Hezekiah.

The Ark was returned to the temple where it belonged, and many good things happened during his reign – until he was killed in battle. Hezekiah and Josiah were two great kings who had successfully reformed in Judah. However, once Josiah died, Judah returned to its wicked ways, and the successors for the throne kept following disastrous policies that only hurt Judah so much more. God, then, allowed one final judgment upon the nation by allowing Babylon to conquer Judah, destroy Jerusalem, and take the people captive to another land. Many of the reasons for the destruction included the unfaithfulness of the priests and people, their refusal to heed the warnings of the messengers of God, and kept on with their sinful acts.

God, however, was not through with His People just yet, as a new king was raised up named Cyrus of Persia, who conquered Babylon – as well as freeing the Jews to be able to return and rebuild their homeland. The nation then centered its life on the temple in Jerusalem. King Cyrus desired that the Lord be with them once again.

2 Kings paves the road to Kingdoms

“But the LORD your God ye shall fear; and he shall deliver you out of the hand of all your enemies.” -2 Kings 17:39

Some other key verses:

  • 2:1-2: This shows that Elijah shall be taken up into heaven by a whirlwind, and therefore, he told Elisha to stay with him, because the Lord had sent Elijah to Bethel. Elisha promised not to leave him, but to go with him.
  • 2:7-11: Elijah is seen taking the mantle, wrapping it together, smiting the waters, and they were divided – so that him and Elisha could proceed on dry ground. Elijah offered to do something for Elisha before he was to part, and Elisha requested a double portion of his spirit. Elijah acknowledge it would be difficult, but it would be dependent (on the Lord’s power?) on whether Elisha saw him afterward or not. Elijah then ascends into a whirlwind to heaven.
  • 9:30-35: Jezebel is shown here mocking in fear, for her heart was hardened against God. She planned to continue braving it, seducing others to wickedness. However, her attendants delivered her up to be put to death, and it was the end of pride and cruelty.

List of dynasties noted in 2 Kings

  • Of Israel:
    • Ahaziah
    • Joram
    • Jehu
    • Jehoahaz
    • Jehoash
    • Jeroboam II
    • Shallum
    • Menahem
    • Pekah
    • Pekahiah
    • Hoshea
    • (Zechariah was one of them, but we don’t see info on him in 2 Kings.)
  • Of Judah:
    • Jehoram
    • Ahaziah
    • Athaliah
    • Joash
    • Amaziah
    • Azariah
    • Jotham
    • Ahaz
    • Hezekiah
    • Manasseh
    • Amon
    • Josiah
    • Jehoahaz
    • Jehoiakim
    • Jehoiachin
    • Zedekiah.

Background

The authorship of 2 Kings is credited to Jeremiah. After the death of Jehoram, Jehu succeeded him and destroyed the wicked house of Ahab but not all idol worship. The restoration of the Temple took place during Joash’s reign, but later he was despised by the people for trying to buy peace by giving the Temple treasure to the Syrians. The King who was remembered “as one of Judah’s better kings” and was affected by “leprosy” was  Azariah.

Israel experienced a series of six kings in a very short period, only Menahem was not violently slain and then Israel fell into the hands of the Assyrians. During the reign of Ahaz in Judah, all manner of restoration and extension were restored, and the prophet Isaiah ministered in Jerusalem during his days. In 721 B.C. the Northern Kingdom of Israel made up of ten tribes came to an end and they were taken into captivity in the area now known as Persia.

The prophet Isaiah was at the right hand of King Hezekiah of Judah. While Sennacherib, King of Africa made war with Judah, Micah wrote his Book of the Bible. The great Babylonian Empire builder was Nebuchadnezzar II and Judah fell into his hands in 606 B.C. when Judah as a state ended. Bad Kings reigned for about 373 years, and Good Kings reigned for 383 years.

Synopsis

Second Kings, a book written by an unknown author in 560-550 BC; details the ministry of Elisha, and the continual division & multiples reigns of the kingdoms of Israel and Judah. In addition, we see the single kingdom arisen as Judah after Israel’s collapse.

First, it’s best to detail the entire reign of all of the kings. Ahaziah had continued to reign in Israel, and then it was Joram. Jehoam, then Ahaziah took over the throne in Judah. Jehu was next in line for Israel, and Athaliah and Joash were next in Judah. Jehoahaz and Jehoash followed for Israel, before Amaziah took over in Judah. Then, it was Jeroboam II in Israel and Azariah in Judah. Azariah lasted for quite a while, while Israel had new reigns from Zechariah, Shallum, Menahem, Pekahiah, and Pekah. After that, we see Jotham and then Ahaz in Judah, and Hoshea in Israel. After Hoshea was imprisoned, Israel had collapsed, especially when Israel was taken into captivity. The land of Israel, after that, was resettled, for Judah was now the single kingdom, which would come under the reign of Hezekiah.

Before the reign of Hezekiah is detailed, Elisha’s ministry should be detailed separately – for the things that Elisha did were part of God’s plan, of course. Elijah knew his time had come, where he would have to pass on his work to Elisha. A test was given for Elisha, who was able to pass the test. Since he knew that he was Elijah’s spiritual heir, he had to remain with Elijah to the end so that he would receive the spiritual power to carry on his work. When Elijah was supernaturally carried away, Elisha gained power from God to go and do the Lord’s work. Elisha’s first two miracles involved blessing and cursing. At Jericho, he brought healing, and at Bethel, he brought God’s curse on those who rejected his message.

Elisha continued his miracles; he helped preserve the small body of believers in Israel who remained faithful to God. The collection of stories from chapters four through six show the supernatural powers that Elisha had to help preserve this small remnant of believers. The second collection of stories in chapters six through eight deals with the part of his work, which was concerned with the judgment on the nation of Israel. In the first collection of stories, some of the things that were detailed included Elisha moving around the schools of the young prophets, where he would instruct and encourage the faithful people. Foods were scarce in one school, but God provided for them through Elisha. On another occasion, we see God’s care for the faithful shown, when a farmer had brought an offering of food that was miraculously multiplied to feed Elisha and a hundred of his followers. This was a prophetic picture of Christ’s miracles to multiply food.

Some of Elisha’s remaining work was concerned with his dealings with the rulers of Israel and Syria, because God was going to use Syria to punish Israel for its sin (in the period of the Omri dynasty). However, Elisha, first, was to teach the two nations. Elisha had repeatedly warned the Israelite king of the ambushes that were coming from Syria. When Syria’s king heard of the failings of his ambushes, he had found out Elisha was doing such things to impede the success of the ambushes.

Therefore, the Syrian king sent out capture for Elisha; however, Elisha controlled the Syrian soldiers and led them to the Israelite capital (which was Samaria). Israel’s king thought it was a good idea to just kill them, but Elisha directed him to just feed them, and then release them. Peace was temporarily restored between Syria and Israel. Elisha, later, had one final responsibility, and that was to anoint Israel’s army commander, Jehu, as king. Jehu needed to rid Israel of the entire family of Ahab and Jezebel (especially because of the Baalism spread unto Judah). That closed Elisha’s good and helpful work.

After Elisha’s work, we read of anti-Baal movements being done and other chaos that was occurring throughout Israel. Then, Hezekiah was ushered in as new king. Hezekiah ruled for quite a while, which would bring a revival and reform in Israel. However, later Hezekiah would become quite ill and then be healed, before his foolishness caused death. Babylon started increasing in power, and this brought trouble for the nation.

This would sadly usher in an evil reign for Manasseh. After the reign of Manasseh, we would see the reigns of Amon, Josiah, Jehoahaz, and Jehoiakim. Josiah, when he reigned, had his own revival and reformation, to which he wanted extensive repairs to be done for the temple, because it had been damaged during the reigns of Manasseh and Amon. His biggest part of reform, it seems, was that he re-established the worship of Yahweh by keeping the Passover. He also tried to control idolatry, by forcing people to remove their private gods (in their households) and prohibiting spiritism and fortune telling. However, his reforms, mainly on idolatry, were unsuccessful.

Later, God prepared Babylon as a tool to punish Judah. Judah would soon lose its independence, as Pharaoh Necho considered himself the controller of Judah, where he wouldn’t accept a king that was chosen by the people of Judah. Soon, we read about the reign of Jehoiachin and Zedekiah, before we see the fall of Jerusalem, destruction of the temple and city walls, and the final deportation of the people to Babylon.

The Book of 2 Samuel detailed

We see in this book that David obtained the ark from Baale of Judah, so he can bring it to his own city; however, Uzzah was smitten for his error of touching the ark and died. David was displeased at this and left the ark at the house of Obededom for three months, which brought a blessing to that house. David heard of this and the joy accompanying, and decided to post offerings in its place as well as give gifts to the people. However, Michal, his wife, was displeased with some of his gestures during this occasion, and brought trouble between them and resentment from the Lord for his behavior. Therefore, Michal became barren because of this situation.

God declared that the line of David would be enduring, and that it would rule perpetually over the nation. The one condition made was that disobedience would result in chastisement, but it would not void the covenant nonetheless. David had a desire to build a temple, but God would not let him because of the blood shed in which he had been involved.

Synopsis

In late tenth century BC, an unknown author wrote Second Samuel. Second Samuel is a book that outlines the civil war, the establishment of David’s kingdom, and other conflicts and problems that were dealt with.

David learned about Saul’s death from one of Saul’s men, and lamented over his death and Jonathan’s death. He cursed the place where Saul died, and praised the bravery of both of them, for Saul brought prosperity to the people. Onward to chapter two, we learn that the Philistines now controlled much of Israel’s territory located west of Jordan. The Philistines then allowed David to become king over Judah in the South. David’s side, during battles, had consistent victories. In becoming the king in Judah, David had a good rule over Judah. This was by ending the line of Saul successfully.

David was then enthroned king of all of Israel, and began to establish his kingdom, where he conquered Jerusalem and established it as the political center. After that, his kingdom was extended. The ark was brought to Jerusalem, but somebody touched the ark and was killed. David feared a setback, and removed it. However, after figuring out God wasn’t angry at that, he moved the ark again. Upon bringing it back to Jerusalem, everyone was rejoicing and celebrating its arrival. David had expressed a desire to build a permanent dwelling place for God, but was soon reminded that God was not to be contained to one place. God was not overtly concerned about them building a temple, but He wanted the house of David built and firmly established. The dynasty of David is what the Lord was seeking, not a palace or dwelling place. David would have a royal descendant line, which would rule for generation after generation in Israel. This was God’s final plan, it seems, for kingly rule in Israel, was for David’s line of descendants to rule in Israel forever.

This could be also a prophecy of Jesus’ reign as king over the spiritual Israel, as Jesus came from the line of David. It would show that the old Israel (ruled by many generations of kings) transitioned into the New Israel (that would arise as a spiritual Israel, one where Jesus was the king). Anyway, this was to be a permanent dynasty that God established through David. David fully supported God in this, and prayed for the plan to be carried out. Therefore, the Davidic covenant was established. After that, we see that God was strengthening the royal house of David, as many military victories had occurred. David’s army had victories over Philistia, Moab, Zobah, Aram, Edom, and Ammon.

But, soon, we see a big problem of sin/transgressions from David, as he was found to have committed adultery with Bathsheba, and then he murdered Uriah (and tried to cover it up). Nathan the prophet pronounced over David the guilt and judgment. David confessed his sin before God, where God had pardoned him. However, that didn’t remove the consequences/punishment resulting.

David would then see years of reaping the consequences of his sin, where we see the judgment on David’s household, which involved death. His son of adultery would die (the one by Bathsheba and him), and David felt it was the responsibility of God’s judgment, in which the child died. We learn that Solomon was born to David and Bathsheba later. Other issues had occurred because of the sins of David; where we see that Amnon rapes Tamar, and then Absalom kills Amnon in revenge.

We also see the judgment on David’s kingdom, which involved Absalom conducting an insurrection – one where he wanted to seize the throne. Soon, David flees to Jerusalem in disgrace of this; meanwhile, Absalom seized power in Jerusalem later on. This didn’t last long, as Absalom was then overthrown and murdered, which caused grief to David. However, soon David would be restored as king and continue his rule. After this, we see Sheba’s revolt against David by leading people of the northern tribes to break away from David. Nevertheless, this revolt only brought death unto Sheba.

We then see the last years of David as king, where it first starts out with a three-year famine, which was caused by God’s judgment on Israel for Saul slaughtering the Gibeonites. The oath of Joshua was broken for the Gibeonites unto God. Saul’s sin needed to be eradicated, so seven of Saul’s descendants were executed. After this, the judgment on Israel was lifted. Only for soon, a battle began with the Philistines. This didn’t worry David, as we see that David wrote a couple psalms of praise for the victory over his enemies.

After that, we see Scripture outlining the mighty men that David had built, which were strong/tough in fighting. Israel’s strength and prosperity increased under David, so God allowed satan to tempt David to take a census of the people. This tested the pride of David, and the pride became sinful. A punishment was to come to Israel, for God acted in judgment and gave David a choice between three calamities. However, David trusted God and His mercy for the decision. So therefore, a plague broke out in Israel, which physically weakened the nation. Nevertheless, God, soon, in His mercy, stopped the plague before it would destroy Israel. David repented and interceded with God, for God had shown mercy!