Commentaries
English
Matthew
  
9… and Ahaz begot Hezekiah.10Hezekiah begot Manasseh, Manasseh begot Amon, and Amon begot Josiah.11Josiah begot Jeconiah and his brothers about the time they were carried away to Babylon.


The Assyrian empire dominated the Middle East with great power. It was situated between the Tigris and the Nile. The small Jewish kingdom around Jerusalem was a thorn in the eye of the colonizer. So the Assyrians began to besiege the city of peace in 701 BC and the siege stopped unexpectedly with the help of the Lord when Sennacherib’s army was struck by a plague and about 185 000 soldiers died all at once.
At that time, a devout king named Hezekiah lived in Jerusalem. He worked side by side with Isaiah, the noble prophet. The Lord of Hosts appeared to Isaiah and sent him as a mighty prophet to call his king and people to repentance and to a firm belief in the faithfulness of the Most High. The Jewish people shook, but they did not changed nor renew themselves to godliness. Instead, they kept leading a life of ease and pride.
One hundred years after this divine miracle, the godly king Josiah came and made a radical reformation that covered religious and social issues. He gathered the people and read in their ears the Book of the Law that was found in the temple. He repaired the temple of the Lord and arranged its rituals so that the people might truly be sanctified. But, since the law has no ability to overcome sin, the corruption was deeper than what was apparent.
At that time, God sent a mighty prophet called Jeremiah (626-580 BC) who warned his people that the southern kingdom would pass away. His enthusiastic call to repent still attracts us today. The prophet suffered greatly from the persecution of his kings for he saw the end of the kingdom and called his tribe to politically listen to reason and yield to the enemy.
At that time, the Assyrians were defeated in Mesopotamia. Babylon took a great deal of the Assyrian culture and properties, and forced the tribe of Judah to pay exorbitant tribute to the new Babylonian king. And when the Jews rebelled against the Babylonians in 597 BC, the armies of Nebuchadnezzar invaded and occupied Jerusalem without delay, and this king offered the Jewish people a chance of their nobles and carried them into exile. Those remaining were so blind that they did not even ponder their spiritual and political weakness. This small tribe rebelled in 587 BC at the time of Zedekiah, and as a result, their city was destroyed and they were all taken into captivity.
God’s judgment will not exclude his elect if they become corrupt and depart from him and do not repent. His holy love for them is the motive for such chastisement in order to bring about repentance so he can release the captive and renew them.

Prayer
O Lord, please forgive me of my narrow mindedness. Teach me how to change my mind that I may not take gold, nor comfort, nor weapons, as god of my life. Give me your Holy Spirit to sanctify me for acceptable behavior in truth, purity, love and self-denial, such as the behavior of your Christ on earth. Your kingdom come, your will be done in my life as it is in heaven.
Question
How did God protect the southern kingdom, and how did he deliver it into captivity?