8. The Kingdom Of Judah

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The Last Century


The Bid of Assyria

1. Remember: Between the death of Hezekiah and the final fall of Jerusalem one hundred years had passed.

2. The Assyrian Empire was at the time of its greatest expansion and Manasseh became a loyal vassal.

3. Sennacherib was murdered by several of his sons. One, Esar-haddon, consolidated the empire and brought Egypt in line.

4. During a long reign, Manasseh remained a vassal of Assyria.

5. The local shrines of Yahweh were restored. Magic was rampant. Even human sacrifice came back.

6. The voice of prophecy was silenced. The few that did speak branded Manasseh as about the worst king ever to rule Judah.

7. We are entering upon the last days of the Assyrian Empire. The Medes and Persians are coming into power, as well as the Cimmerians and Scythians.

8. Asshur-banapal makes one last heroic effort to save Assyria, spends two years subduing Babylon, wreaks havoc on the Arab tribes, and transplants strangers in Samaria.

9. The Assyrian Empire toppled and fell in less than 20 years.

10. With the end of Assyria, once more Judah was free by default. Josiah ascended the throne and began his reforms.

11. The major reforms of Josiah were:

a. The temple repairs.
b. Finding Deuteronomy in the temple.
c. Repudiation of the Assyrian cult and gods.
d. Restoration of the Passover.
e. Destruction of idols.
f. End of magic practices.
g. Closing of the Bethel temple.

12. The book of Deuteronomy was the basis of all of the king’s later reforms.

13 In the later years of Josiah a new group of prophets arose.

14. Josiah lost his life defending Haran on the battlefield of Megiddo, at the hands of the invading Egyptians.


1. The end of Assyria did not bring full peace to Judah. The death of Josiah marked the end of independence.

2. Josiah, as an ally of Babylon, tried to stop Nechoh, the Egyptian, at Megiddo. Josiah was killed in this disastrous battle.

3. Egypt took control of all Palestine (609-605). Next, the Babylonians took over.

4. Nebuchadnezzar ascended the throne of Babylon. Jehoiakim, king of Judah, became vassal of Babylon.

5. Ambassadors of Edom, Moab, Ammon, Tyre, and Sidon gathered in Jerusalem to plan revolt. Jeremiah denounced them.

6. Zedekiah went to Babylon in a final effort to make peace.

7. Finally Judah went into rebellion. In January 588 the Babylonian army arrived for the blockade of Jerusalem.

8. The walls were breached and the city destroyed. The fleeing Zedekiah was overtaken, blinded, and taken to Babylon.

9. The Babylonians made Palestine a province, appointing Gedaliah governor. His seat of government was Mizpah.

10. They killed or deported most of the people—leaving only a few farmers alive.


1. The Hebrew theology was unprepared for the crisis of the captivity. They thought Yahweh had promised David an eternal dynasty.

2. When Isaiah’s promise that Jerusalem would not be taken was fulfilled—they were confirmed in the belief of the inviolability of the temple.

3. These false hopes drove the nation headlong into suicidal rebellion.

4. Habakkuk views the Babylonians as the instrument of Yahweh’s discipline. Hab 1:2-11.

5. The tragic Jeremiah did his utmost to show the Jews the true meaning of what had happened.

6. Both Jeremiah and Zephaniah pointed out the paganism of Manasseh. They intimated that the reforms had been only superficial.

7. Jeremiah began to preach the nation’s funeral oration. Jer 11:9-17. They brought it on themselves by forsaking Yahweh. Jer 2:14-17.

8. The prophets promised that the punishment was only temporary, that deliverance would come from the north.

9. Jeremiah pronounced the belief in Yahweh’s eternal protection a fraud— a lie. Jer 7:l-15.

10. By bitter persecution Jeremiah was driven almost to suicidal despair.

11. Ezekiel, in Babylon, among the captives, joined Jeremiah in voicing warnings and admonitions.

12. The prophets doomed Israel for the time being, but they did save it from extinction.

13. The vicissitudes of the worship of Yahweh were shown in the fickle conduct of Israel’s kings. Solomon went after the gods of Moabites and Ammonites. Jeroboam set up golden calves at Bethel and Dan. Jezebel, Ahab’s Phoenician queen, conducted the worship of Baal. Manasseh reared up altars to the “host of heaven.”

14. The Jews are losing their prophets. They are failing to become a missionary people. They are depending on:

a. Sacramentalism.
b. Legalism.
c. Philosophy—wisdom.
d. Apocalypticism.

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