Updated: Dec 14, 2020
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INTRODUCTION. When Jehu destroyed Baal worship in Israel, the Lord was gracious to Israel for a time and had compassion on them because of his covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. He would not destroy them or cast them from his presence (II Kings 13:23).
THE END OF THE NORTHERN KINGDOM OF ISRAEL. Jehu’s dynasty continued
after his death for sixty-some years with his son, grandson, great-grandson, and
great great-grandson (four generations) succeeding him on the throne of Israel. The
kingdom then fell into a period of tumult and rapid decline. Meanwhile the ancient
kingdom of Assyria located in northern Mesopotamia between the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers commenced its greatest period about 745 B. C. The Assyrians were fierce, warlike, and extremely cruel.
In 723 B. C. the nation of Assyria conquered the northern kingdom of Israel and car-
ried the people captive into foreign lands. This marked the end of the northern king-
dom which had been ruled by wicked kings for slightly more than two hundred years.
The Assyrians then brought into Israel peoples from other nations they had conquered. Eventually these foreigners intermarried with the Israelites who remained in the land. This was the beginning of the mixed race of Samaritans who were held in contempt by the Jews in New Testament times.
THE SOUTHERN KINGDOM OF JUDAH ALONE. In Judah the descendants of
David continued to reign for another one hundred and thirty-some years. Some of
the kings were righteous and some were wicked. The fifth king to rule after Joash
was Hezekiah who reigned about 715-686 B. C. shortly after the northern kingdom
had been taken captive. Hezekiah was righteous and cleansed the land, reforming
and restoring the true worship of God.
After conquering the northern kingdom of Israel, the Assyrians soon turned their at-
tention to Judah, invading the land and conquering some of the cities. The king of Assyria, Sennacherib, sent a message to Hezekiah, warning him to surrender Jerusalem, for Judah was not strong enough to withstand the mighty Assyrian army.