2 Kings 14–25

Old Testament Teacher Resource Manual, (2003), 140–43


Introduction

Moses listed the blessings or cursings that would come upon the Israelites, depending on how they kept their covenants (see Deuteronomy 28). Samuel warned of the destructions that would come as a result of unrighteous kings (see 1 Samuel 8). In 1 Kings and in earlier chapters of 2 Kings we learned how God was patient in His judgments and repeatedly offered the people and their kings opportunities to repent. In the final chapters of 2 Kings are recorded the tragic consequences the kingdom of Israel suffered at the hands of Assyria and the kingdom of Judah suffered at the hands of Babylon because the people and their kings would not heed prophetic warnings.

Even while God’s judgments were being poured out upon each nation, He offered the people opportunities to repent (see Ezekiel 18:30–32). Some accepted the invitation (see 1 Nephi 1:20–2:3), but the majority rejected the Lord and His blessings.

Many Old Testament prophets lived during the time period covered in 2 Kings 14–25, including Jonah, Amos, Hosea, Isaiah, Micah, Zephaniah, Nahum, Habbakuk, and Jeremiah.

Some Important Gospel Principles to Look For

Suggestions for Teaching

video icon Old Testament Video presentation 19, “Eyewitness News at Six (Hundred B.C.)” (14:56), can be used in teaching 2 Kings 14–25 (see Old Testament Video Guide for teaching suggestions).

2 Kings 14–19. The kingdom of Israel lost the Lord’s protection because of wickedness and apostasy. The kingdom of Judah was miraculously delivered and retained their freedom. (45–60 minutes)

Note: This suggestion can be used as a continuation of the teaching suggestion for 2 Kings 6–13 (p. 140).

Follow the instructions for the chart activity in the teaching suggestion for 2 Kings 6–13 and assign groups of students the following kings:

After they have researched their verses, have each group fill in an entry for their king on the chart.

Review Moses’ prophecy about the children of Israel in Deuteronomy 28:1–26, specifically verses 1 and 15. Ask students what the children of Israel needed to do to receive the Lord’s blessings and protection.

Refer to the chart of the kings of Israel and Judah. Have students count the number of righteous kings each kingdom had. Read 2 Kings 17:1–23 with them and discuss what those verses teach about why the kingdom of Israel fell to the Assyrians (see enrichment section D and the commentaries for 2 Kings 17 in Old Testament Student Manual: 1 Kings–Malachi, pp. 113–16, 126–27).

Compare Israel’s wicked kings with Judah’s somewhat more righteous kings. Have students read 2 Kings 18:1–7 and tell what Judah’s King Hezekiah was doing about the same time the Assyrians were destroying Israel.

Use the commentaries for 2 Kings 18–19 in Old Testament Student Manual: 1 Kings–Malachi (pp. 127–28) to help you decide what parts of those chapters to have your students read. You may choose to summarize 2 Kings 18, but it would be good to read 2 Kings 19:1–7, 32–37 with your students and discuss what the Lord did to save Judah from the Assyrians and why.

Ask students:

  • What can we learn from the destruction of the northern kingdom of Israel and the loss of the ten tribes?

  • How are Satan’s attitude and intentions toward us like those the Assyrians had toward Israel?

Have students read 2 Nephi 1:13–16; 2:27; Helaman 3:27–30; 5:12 and tell what the Lord has counseled us to do to avoid being taken captive by Satan. Discuss what it means to “lay hold upon the word of God” (Helaman 3:29). Consider sharing experiences from your life that testify of the joy and peace that come from building your life on the foundation of Jesus Christ, who is Jehovah, God of the Old Testament.

2 Kings 20–25. Righteousness is not the result of a single act. It is part of a lifelong process of choosing good. (45–60 minutes)

On the board, write the name of a familiar person from the scriptures who is known for making wicked choices. Ask students:

  • Do you think that person ever did a kind or a good deed? (Probably.)

  • Why, then, are they known as being wicked instead of good?

  • What more does the Lord expect of us than an occasional good deed? (see D&C 14:7).

Review with students how the kingdom of Judah was delivered from the Assyrians (see 2 Kings 19:32–37) and ask:

  • Why was Judah spared when Israel was taken captive (see 2 Kings 19:32–37)?

  • Was Judah guaranteed protection forever? Why or why not?

  • Why was it important for the people of Judah to continually guard themselves against unrighteousness?

Follow the instructions for the chart activity in the teaching suggestions for 2 Kings 6–13 and 2 Kings 14–19 (pp. 141–42). Assign groups of students the following kings:

After they have researched their verses, have each group fill in an entry for their king on the chart. Ask:

  • What do you notice about the kings of Judah after Josiah that is similar to the last several kings of Israel?

  • What would you suppose would be Judah’s fate because they became as wicked as Israel was?

Read 2 Kings 25:1–21 and discuss what eventually happened to the kingdom of Judah (see also the commentaries for 2 Kings 24–25 in Old Testament Student Manual: 1 Kings–Malachi, pp. 215–17). Read 1 Nephi 1:4 and ask:

  • What did the Lord do to try to save Judah?

  • Who were some of the prophets who preached in Jerusalem then? (Jeremiah, Zephaniah, Obadiah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Ezekiel, and Lehi; see Bible Dictionary, “chronology,” pp. 637–39.)

  • How did the kings and the people of Judah respond to the prophets? (see Jeremiah 20:1–2; 1 Nephi 1:19–20).

  • What have the Lord’s prophets warned us about today?

  • How does the way people disregard the prophets’ teachings today compare to the way the people of Judah responded to their prophets?

  • How should we respond to the messages of the modern prophets?

  • What will be the consequences if we ignore the prophets? (see Ether 2:10–11; D&C 1:1–17).

Work through the following questions and scriptures and compare our times with those of the kingdom of Judah.

2 Kings 22:3–23:3. The scriptures have power to change our lives if we allow them to. (15–25 minutes)

Ask students to write answers to the following questions. Tell them that their answers are for their own use and will not be shown to others.

  1. 1.

    Where in your home do you keep your personal set of scriptures?

  2. 2.

    How often do you read your scriptures?

  3. 3.

    On a scale from 1 (lowest) to 10 (highest):

    1. a.

      How well do you treat your scriptures—such as carefully marking them, properly putting them away, and carefully turning the pages?

    2. b.

      If your scriptures were lost, stolen, or damaged, how much would your life be affected?

  4. 4.

    Name one person you know who truly values and respects their scriptures.

  5. 5.

    How do you feel when you see the scriptures treated disrespectfully?

Read 2 Kings 22:3–7 and find out what work King Josiah asked to be done. Read verses 8–10 and look for what the high priest discovered while they were working. Ask students:

  • What do those verses reveal about how important the scriptures had been to the people?

  • How often do you think they read them?

  • What was Josiah’s reaction when he read the scriptures? (see verses 11–13).

  • Why do you think he reacted that way?

Have students read 2 Kings 23:1–25 and discuss how the scriptures affected Josiah’s life. Help them understand the effect scriptures can have in our day by reading the following two statements.

President Ezra Taft Benson said:

“Often we spend great effort in trying to increase the activity levels in our stakes. We work diligently to raise the percentages of those attending sacrament meetings. We labor to get a higher percentage of our young men on missions. We strive to improve the numbers of those marrying in the temple. All of these are commendable efforts and important to the growth of the kingdom. But when individual members and families immerse themselves in the scriptures regularly and consistently, these other areas of activity will automatically come. Testimonies will increase. Commitment will be strengthened. Families will be fortified. Personal revelation will flow” (“The Power of the Word,” Ensign, May 1986, 81).

Elder L. Lionel Kendrick, a member of the Seventy, said:

“The scriptures should be of the greatest importance in our lives. Our spiritual survival during the stresses of our society and the temptations of our time is greatly dependent upon the strength we will receive from searching the scriptures and listening to the words of the prophets, seers, and revelators.

“People as well as nations perish without scriptures. The scriptures are spiritual food for our spirits, which is just as important as physical food for our bodies” (in Conference Report, Apr. 1993, 14; or Ensign, May 1993, 14).

Ask students to share what impressed them most about Josiah. Invite them to consider again the questions asked at the beginning of this teaching suggestion. Ask: How have the scriptures affected your life? Read 2 Timothy 3:15–17; 1 Nephi 15:23–24; 2 Nephi 32:3; Alma 31:5; 37:38, 43–45; and Helaman 3:29–30 to teach about the power the scriptures can have in our lives.