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Saturday, February 12, 2022

II Kings 17:23

Until the LORD removed Israel out of his sight, as he had said by all his servants the prophets. So was Israel carried away out of their own land to Assyria unto this day.

For further study - II Kings 17:1-23

The year is 722 BC, the location is what is today northern Israel, and the situation is Assyria, led by King Shalmaneser, is taking the ten northern tribes, known as Israel, into captivity. Remember, after the death of King Solomon, I Kings 11, the twelve tribes of Israel had divided.

Jeroboam had taken ten tribes out of Jerusalem to the north and established "Israel" with these ten tribes. Rehoboam, the son of King Solomon, remained in the south with two tribes. These two tribes, Benjamin and Judah, became known as "Judah".

A number of years later, the Assyrians came and took captive Israel, these ten northern tribes. The author of II Kings, who is unknown, but a man writing under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, II Timothy 3:16, reveals the sins of Israel, the reason for their capture.

Verse 7 says it all in the statement that "Israel had sinned against the Lord their God". The manifestation of that indictment was that the ten tribes had feared other gods more so than the Lord their God, verse 7. They also did secret things against the Lord, verse 9. They were involved with idol worship, verse 12. In reality, the bottom line was that they would not listen to the Lord and they hardened their necks against Him, verse 14.

The Lord had warned these ten tribes, Israel, as He always did, by the prophets that this would happen. The Jews failed to repent and return in obedience unto the Lord so He followed through on His warning and allowed their enemies to capture them taking them out of their promised land into Assyria.

By the way, the last three words of verse 23, "unto this day", refers to the time of the writing of II Kings, not until our day. I bring that to your attention because these ten tribes are not the "Ten Lost Tribes of Israel" as some try to say.

The Assyrians took the ten tribes, Israel, into captivity. But remember, the Babylonians defeated the Assyrians and took under its Kingdom all of the people of Assyria including these ten tribes.

These tribes are not lost - they were under the Kingdom of Babylon and representatives of these ten tribes returned to Jerusalem after the Medo-Persian Empire came to place and Cyrus allowed almost 50,000 Jews to return to Jerusalem to rebuild the temple.

Ezra, chapters 2 and 6, records that all of Israel, all twelve tribes or at least a family or two from these tribes returned to Israel. This is key, in light of the prophecy of Ezekiel 37:15-23, when once again the twelve tribes will be divided into two Jewish states, Israel and Judah.

The truth be known, the Jewish state of Israel today is so divided that Ezekiel's prophecy could happen in the near future. Our reading today helps us to see the background for the future fulfillment of Bible prophecy.

PRAYER THOUGHT: Help me, Lord, to not sin against you and have to face Your chastisement.