The stages of growth God’s people must go through to come to a mature faith in Christ (Eph 4:13), which leads to our going unto perfection on the third day (Luk 13:32), are typified by the journeys of Judah and Israel in the old covenant.
Eph 4:13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:
Luk 13:32 And he said unto them, Go ye, and tell that fox, Behold, I cast out devils, and I do cures to day and to morrow, and the third day I shall be perfected.
We looked at part of the journey last week that symbolized the period of time when the generational curse of Adam was coming to the forefront for Israel, typified by the fourth generation spoken of in 2 Kings 15:12. God will be faithful to judge all in Adam [the fourth representing the whole of humanity that must experience this judgment] each man in his order, starting with Israel, who typifies the Israel of God who were reaping what they sowed, this all being a work of the Lord for our sakes (2Ki 10:30, Rom 9:21-23).
2Ki 15:12 This was the word of the LORD which he spake unto Jehu, saying, Thy sons shall sit on the throne of Israel unto the fourth generation. And so it came to pass.
2Ki 10:30 And the LORD said unto Jehu, Because thou hast done well in executing that which is right in mine eyes, and hast done unto the house of Ahab according to all that was in mine heart, thy children of the fourth generation shall sit on the throne of Israel.
Rom 9:21 Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour?
Rom 9:22 What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction:
Rom 9:23 And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory,
The Lord’s promise toward Israel (2Ki 10:30) would be carried through because of Jehu’s, the king of Israel, judgment against Ahab, “Because thou hast done well in executing that which is right in mine eyes, and hast done unto the house of Ahab according to all that was in mine heart, thy children of the fourth generation shall sit on the throne of Israel.” From a natural perspective it sounds like God is giving Jehu the credit, but knowing God is sovereign tells us that this ability to execute rightly in God’s eyes in declaring judgment on our enemies is only possible through Christ, and that is at every stage of our maturing in the Lord (Joh 8:36).
Joh 8:36 If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.
The outline of this promise of God that Jehu’s son would sit on the throne was a time of proving and showing the kings of Israel their inability to rule rightly before God and the nation. “Thy sons shall sit on the throne of Israel unto the fourth generation. And so it came to pass.” The ‘fourth’ represents the whole judgment culminating in having the nation of Israel go into captivity of which we read in the 17th chapter of 2 Kings (2Ki 17:6, 2Ki 17:18). Before that, God anointed Jehu king over Israel and avenged the blood of his prophets and servants at Jezebel’s hand, slaying the whole house of Ahab, which was discussed in earlier chapters (2Ki 9:6-10).
Christ is the fourth man spoken of in this living parable found in Daniel 3:25, which again reminds us that it is all a work of God’s sovereign hand making it possible for us to go through a process of judgment  because of that fourth man, Jesus Christ, who is with us in the fiery trials of our life not leaving us comfortless (Isa 33:14, Isa 43:2, Joh 14:18, 1Co 10:13).
Dan 3:25 He answered and said, Lo, I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they have no hurt; and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God.
Isa 33:14 The sinners in Zion are afraid; fearfulness hath surprised the hypocrites. Who among us shall dwell with the devouring fire? who among us shall dwell with everlasting burnings? [those who are going through a process of judgement  with Christ  in the midst of their lives]
Isa 43:2 When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee.
1Co 10:13 There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.
Another ‘fourth’ that was recently reviewed is found in Larry Groenewald’s Foundational Themes in Genesis – Study 59, and I quote:
“The rule with the rod of iron of God’s Word is what brings the iron or flesh into subjection until the day we are finally released from this wretched body of death to inherit our spiritual land which Abram was looking forward to (Rom 7:18-25):
Gen 15:16 But in the fourth generation they shall come hither again: for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet full.
The number four is the symbol of wholeness or entirety, as Israel only came out of slavery in the fourth generation. When we think we stand and are self-fulfilled to look down on others, these lustful and proud Amorites in us are not yet fully revealed to us (Luk 18:10-14; 1Co 10:12).” **end quote
The primary lesson we are learning in the book of kings is that, whether it was a good king or bad king or a somewhat-in-between king, every man’s work must be tried with fire to reveal what sort it is, and Israel’s very fleshly works will be revealed in this section of kings that leads to them going into exile, an exile that typifies the deeper and more profound trials of our life of much tribulation that Christ gives us the faith to endure through, as the author and finisher of that faith (1Co 3:13, Heb 12:2, Php 1:6).
Our hope is that the Lord will start and finish this work of grace through faith (Eph 2:8) in the lives of those who have been predestined from the foundation of this world for that purpose, revealing His firstfruit workmanship which God’s people are to the world (Eph 1:4, Eph 2:10).
Eph 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
Eph 1:4 According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:
Eph 2:10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
2Ki 15:16 Then Menahem smote Tiphsah, and all that were therein, and the coasts thereof from Tirzah: because they opened not to him, therefore he smote it; and all the women therein that were with child he ripped up.
2Ki 15:17 In the nine and thirtieth year of Azariah king of Judah began Menahem the son of Gadi to reign over Israel, and reigned ten years in Samaria.
2Ki 15:18 And he did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD: he departed not all his days from the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who made Israel to sin.
This evil king of Israel ruled for  years, symbolizing a fleshly rule in the capital Samaria, and he began to reign in the [39th] year of Azariah of Judah symbolizing a process of judgment he is going to go through as he tried to expand his empire, as explained in verse 16 – “Then Menahem smote Tiphsah, and all that were therein, and the coasts thereof from Tirzah.” This carnal king’s desire to expand his borders typifies how we oppressed people when we were in Babylon with all our false doctrines, trying to make proselytes (Mat 23:13-15, 2Pe 2:19) of others even as we rejected what little undeveloped truth they had, symbolized by this horrific event, “all the women therein that were with child he ripped up“, where “all the women” symbolize the churches of Babylon and the “child he ripped up” represents doctrine.
Mat 23:13 But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in.
Mat 23:14 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye devour widows’ houses, and for a pretence make long prayer: therefore ye shall receive the greater damnation.
Mat 23:15 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves.
2Pe 2:19 While they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption: for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage.
Menahem,H4505 whose name means “comforter”, represents for us how our flesh wants to proceed to take the kingdom of God by force or violence via selfish means (Mat 11:12), even making deals (2Ki 15:19-20) with those from whom we should really be separating ourselves for the kingdom’s sake, and rather using them to advance our own control over others (2Co 6:17). The comfort therefore that Menahem typifies is devilish and akin to a Nicolaitan spirit which we should hate as God does (Jud 1:19, Jas 3:15), and that spirit is comprised of the lust of the flesh, the lusts of the eyes and the pride of life (1Jn 2:16). He’s an in-it-for-himself king who is not someone who is losing his life for his subjects, but rather gaining his life at the expense of all those he “smote” (Mat 10:39). Verse eighteen just comes out and declares the outcome of this king’s life long-pursuit of eating, drinking and being merry (Luk 12:19-21) with these words: “And he did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD: he departed not all his days from the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who made Israel to sin.”
Jud 1:19 These be they who separate themselves, sensual, having not the Spirit.
Jas 3:15 This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish.
Luk 12:19 And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry.
Luk 12:20 But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided?
Luk 12:21 So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.
Rev 2:6 But this thou hast, that thou hatest the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate.
2Ki 15:19 And Pul the king of Assyria came against the land: and Menahem gave Pul a thousand talents of silver, that his hand might be with him to confirm the kingdom in his hand.
2Ki 15:20 And Menahem exacted the money of Israel, even of all the mighty men of wealth, of each man fifty shekels of silver, to give to the king of Assyria. So the king of Assyria turned back, and stayed not there in the land.
2Ki 15:21 And the rest of the acts of Menahem, and all that he did, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel?
2Ki 15:22 And Menahem slept with his fathers; and Pekahiah his son reigned in his stead.
Pul, the worldly Assyrian king, came against the land and therefore Menahem, who should have seen this as a declaration of war, ends up making a treaty with his enemy by bribing him with “a thousand talents of silver.” Why? So “that his hand might be with him to confirm the kingdom in his hand.” So Pul was like a hired hit-man that Menahem was going to use to exact money from the nation of Israel so he could remain in power. We may not think of the churches of Babylon this way, but God’s word says that when we reject Him as being sovereign over us in all things in our life and remain subject to the powers and principalities that rule men’s heavens, we are in fact denying Christ as we try to take the kingdom by force, meaning by our own strength and means as we deny His power and sovereignty in all things (2Ti 3:5, Php 2:12-13, Mic 6:8).
2Ti 3:5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.
Php 2:12 Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.
Php 2:13 For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.
Mic 6:8 He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?
Rev 2:6 But this thou hast, that thou hatest the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate.
Mal 3:8 Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings [by operating in our flesh with a spirit of a Nicolaitan].
Mal 3:9 Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation.
Mal 3:10 Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.
Mal 3:11 And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground; neither shall your vine cast her fruit before the time in the field, saith the LORD of hosts.
Mal 3:12 And all nations shall call you blessed: for ye shall be a delightsome land, saith the LORD of hosts.
Mal 3:13 Your words have been stout against me, saith the LORD. Yet ye say, What have we spoken so much against thee?
Mal 3:14 Ye have said, It is vain to serve God: and what profit is it that we have kept his ordinance, and that we have walked mournfully before the LORD of hosts [Ecc 7:2-4, 1Co 15:31]?
Mal 3:15 And now we call the proud happy; yea, they that work wickedness are set up; yea, they that tempt God are even delivered [Psa 73:2-3, Psa 84:10] .
Mal 3:16 Then they that feared the LORD spake often one to another: and the LORD hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the LORD, and that thought upon his name.
Mal 3:17 And they shall be mine, saith the LORD of hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels; and I will spare them, as a man spareth his own son that serveth him. Mal 3:18 Then shall ye return, and discern between the righteous and the wicked, between him that serveth God and him that serveth him not.
In the negative use of ‘silver’, Pul is given “one thousand talents of silver” representing a controlling work of the flesh which is based on fleshly-manipulated coinage rather than true repentance that, in the positive, is also associated with silver. Menahem “exacted the money of Israel, even of all the mighty men of wealth, of each man fifty shekels of silver, to give to the king of Assyria“, which is again a negative example of God’s chastening grace (5X10) as this “fifty shekels of silver” represents the burdens of putting people under the law, or physical tithing, or days, months, times and years. etc… and then ‘fleecing the flock’ of their money which goes into the hand of the Assyrian king that, in this story, represents Satan who owns all the wealth of the land (Mat 23:4, Mat 4:9).
Mat 23:3 All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do; but do not ye after their works: for they say, and do not.
Mat 23:4 For they bind heavy burdens and grievous to be borne, and lay them on men’s shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers.
Mat 4:9 And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me.
The end result of this unholy dynamic between king Pul and king Menahem is that “the king of Assyria turned back, and stayed not there in the land” — that is, as long as this agreement was in place, otherwise that hedge was coming down. This peace Israel was experiencing was no peace at all (Jer 6:14), which would later prove to be the case for Israel. God was going to take down that wall of safety and bring the nation into captivity, a lot like the story of Job who had a wall hedged around him based on his being self-assured in his own flesh as both these kings were.
Jer 6:14 They have healed also the hurt of the daughter of my people slightly, saying, Peace, peace; when there is no peace.
In typical fashion, we’re then told: “And the rest of the acts of Menahem, and all that he did, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel? And Menahem slept with his fathers; and Pekahiah his son reigned in his stead.” We see this standard ending to remind us of where our old man is going to end up, “And Menahem slept with his fathers“, and to remind God’s people today that these words are also an admonition and witness for us being written in two (2) places (the book of kings and the book of chronicles) and recorded for our sakes upon whom the end of the ages is come (1Co 10:11).
1Co 10:11 Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.
2Ki 15:23 In the fiftieth year of Azariah king of Judah Pekahiah the son of Menahem began to reign over Israel in Samaria, and reigned two years.
2Ki 15:24 And he did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD: he departed not from the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who made Israel to sin.
2Ki 15:25 But Pekah the son of Remaliah, a captain of his, conspired against him, and smote him in Samaria, in the palace of the king’s house, with Argob and Arieh, and with him fifty men of the Gileadites: and he killed him, and reigned in his room.
2Ki 15:26 And the rest of the acts of Pekahiah, and all that he did, behold, they are written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel.
We are witnessing, via these kings, a typical view of the four generations of our own flesh which must be brought into subjection to Christ by much tribulation (Act 14:22). That would explain the manipulating spirit of Menahem, and Pul’s divide-and-conquer approach, along with the betrayal we now read of that the new king of Israel [Pekahiah son of Menahem] is going to experience at the hand of Pekah the son of Remaliah. All of this reminds us that the heart is deceitful and desperately wicked above all, and unless the Lord rules in our heavens, we cannot make war against this beastly nature that we have (Jer 17:9, Rev 13:4).
Jer 17:9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?
Rev 13:4 And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him?
Pekahiah, the son of Menahem, reigned over Israel in Samaria for two years, and this happened in the fiftieth year of Azariah king of Judah, and witnesses [2 years] to us that this evil king is also going to be chastened by the Lord for our sakes and have his kingdom overthrown. The result of all his troubles as the new king stems back to the same cause “he did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD: he departed not from the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who made Israel to sin“, and the means by which God was going to take away the kingdom from him is by “Pekah the son of Remaliah, a captain of his, [who] conspired against him, and smote him in Samaria, in the palace of the king’s house, with Argob and Arieh, and with him fifty men of the Gileadites: and he killed him, and reigned in his room.” Killing him with “fifty men of the Gileadites” was according to the counsel of God’s will and was a chastening that led to death and not to life, as it did in the life of Saul whose experience was given to him to demonstrate how God will one day begin to work with all these corrupt kings who will be shown great mercy and a pattern of longsuffering just as there was with Paul (1Ti 1:16).
1Ti 1:16 Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might shew forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting.
2Ki 15:27 In the two and fiftieth year of Azariah king of Judah Pekah the son of Remaliah began to reign over Israel in Samaria, and reigned twenty years.
2Ki 15:28 And he did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD: he departed not from the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who made Israel to sin.
We are told it is in the 52nd year of Azariah king of Judah that “Pekah the son of Remaliah began to reign over Israel in Samaria” and he did so for “twenty years.” The 52 years witness to the chastening grace that Pekah is going to experience (5 and 2=52) and the 20 years ruling is a witness to us that he was ruling in his flesh (2X10=20) and was therefore not fit to be a king who was living to serve his flesh only, as most of these kings did. This was the bad fruit of their lives that again has its origins in not departing “from the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who made Israel to sin.“
2Ki 15:29 In the days of Pekah king of Israel came Tiglathpileser king of Assyria, and took Ijon, and Abelbethmaachah, and Janoah, and Kedesh, and Hazor, and Gilead, and Galilee, all the land of Naphtali, and carried them captive to Assyria.
2Ki 15:30 And Hoshea the son of Elah made a conspiracy against Pekah the son of Remaliah, and smote him, and slew him, and reigned in his stead, in the twentieth year of Jotham the son of Uzziah.
2Ki 15:31 And the rest of the acts of Pekah, and all that he did, behold, they are written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel.
Taking all these cities into captivity (which Gill makes note was the first captivity of Israel in which half their tribes were carried away), represents those things in us that have to be overcome through His chastening grace that teaches us to forsake ungodliness and worldly lust in this age (Tit 2:11-12). It is wicked men who are His sword whom God uses (“Tiglathpileser king of Assyria” – Psa 17:13), to accomplish this chastening.
Tit 2:11 For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men,
Tit 2:12 Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;
Psa 17:13 Arise, O LORD, disappoint him, cast him down: deliver my soul from the wicked, which is thy sword:
Yet we know that it is by little and by little (Exo 23:30) that our eyes are opened and our flesh is put off, just as all these names and places suggest. Here’s a look at verse 29 using both Strong’s numbers and the Proper Name Bible version:
In the days of PekahH6492 (opening) king of IsraelH3478 (he will rule with god) came TiglathpileserH8407 (captive taker) king of AssyriaH804 (plain), and took all the land of Naphtali,H5321 (my struggle), and carried them captive to Assyria.H804 (plain):
Here are the names of the places in the land of “my struggle” that were taken:
Ijon,H5859 ruin (ruins), and
Abelbethmaachah, H62 (origins from ‘grassy’ and ‘house’ and ‘pierce/bruise’) (oppression’s house is mourning), and
Janoah, H3239 (origin from ‘cast down’) (he will give rest), and
Kedesh, H6943 (origin from ‘prepare, purify)(sanctuary), and
Hazor, H2674 (origin from ‘surrounded by walls’) (village) and
Gilead, H1568 (origin from ‘witness heap’) (mound of testimony), and
Galilee, H1551 (origin from ‘roll’, ‘remove’, ‘seek occasion’) (revolving wheel),
Hoshea, who was the nineteenth and last king of Israel before their complete exile, was an opportunistic king who “made a conspiracy against Pekah the son of Remaliah, and smote him, and slew him, and reigned in his stead, in the twentieth year of Jotham the son of Uzziah” and represents and witnesses to us (2×10=20) how flesh finds a way to get its own way, and that way leads to death (Pro 11:27-28, Pro 14:12).
Pro 11:27 He that diligently seeketh good procureth favour: but he that seeketh mischief, it shall come unto him.
Pro 11:28 He that trusteth in his riches shall fall: but the righteous shall flourish as a branch.
Pro 14:12 There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.
2Ki 15:32 In the second year of Pekah the son of Remaliah king of Israel began Jotham the son of Uzziah king of Judah to reign.
2Ki 15:33 Five and twenty years old was he when he began to reign, and he reigned sixteen years in Jerusalem. And his mother’s name was Jerusha, the daughter of Zadok.
2Ki 15:34 And he did that which was right in the sight of the LORD: he did according to all that his father Uzziah had done.
Now we see it is in the “second year of Pekah the son of Remaliah king of Israel” that Jotham the king of Judah begins to reign. He was twenty-five years old and reigned for sixteen years. The second year of Pekah of Judah reigning coincides with the fact that Jotham was twenty-five years old at this point and reigned for sixteen years. It is a positive witness when the king does what is right in the sight of the LORD as he did, and being 25 when he began his 16 year reign, tells us that his rulership was going to witness to God’s chastening and grace (5×5=25) in type and shadow that will make his rulership successful for those 16 years (1+6=7), but wait for it!
2Ki 15:35 Howbeit the high places were not removed: the people sacrificed and burned incense still in the high places. He built the higher gate of the house of the LORD.
Yes, “Howbeit the high places were not removed: the people sacrificed and burned incense still in the high places. He built the higher gate of the house of the LORD” meaning the story is not over for Judah yet and despite the exile they will experience and the dispersion of their nation that would take them far away from their culture and home, God would use this time of great testing to further refine the nation. This should encourage us to see that God really is longsuffering toward us and demonstrates this via the patterns He is working in the lives of all these people, just as He is growing the body of Christ up in the patience and faith of the saints which we will need to be able to endure to the end through the many humbling trials of this life.
2Ki 15:36 Now the rest of the acts of Jotham, and all that he did, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah?
2Ki 15:37 In those days the LORD began to send against Judah Rezin the king of Syria, and Pekah the son of Remaliah.
2Ki 15:38 And Jotham slept with his fathers, and was buried with his fathers in the city of David his father: and Ahaz his son reigned in his stead.
More kings are being introduced and being sent against Judah, specifically Rezin the king of Syria, and Pekah the son of Remaliah king of Israel, all telling us that God is not finished working with us as the author and finisher of our faith – “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works“, and those works can only be fashioned through fiery trials which is what “Rezin the king of Syria, and Pekah the son of Remaliah” would be used to create in Judah (1Pe 4:12, 1Pe 4:17, Rev 3:18) as we will see next week.
1Pe 4:12 Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you:
1Pe 4:17 For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: [“For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works“] and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?
Rev 3:18 I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.