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Is there a contradiction in the Bible?  Was Ahaz King of Judah..., or King of Israel?

q.gif (1639 bytes)   2nd Kings 15:27 tells us that Pekah became King of Israel and reigned for 20 years. 16:1 tells us that Ahaz became King of Judah in the 17th year of Pekah king of Israel. Now look at 2nd Chronicles 28:19 where it says: "The Lord had humbled Judah because of Ahaz KING OF ISRAEL, for.... What is wrong here? Ahaz was king of Judah not king of Israel. Please explain.


a.gif (1659 bytes)   II Kings 15:27-29 says, "In the two and fiftieth year of AZARIAH KING OF JUDAH Pekah the son of Remaliah began to reign over Israel in Samaria, and reigned twenty years. And he did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD: he departed not from the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who made Israel to sin. In the days of Pekah king of Israel came Tiglathpileser king of Assyria, and took Ijon, and Abelbethmaachah, and Janoah, and Kedesh, and Hazor, and Gilead, and Galilee, all the land of Naphtali, and carried them captive to Assyria."

II Chronicles 28 says, "Ahaz was twenty years old when he began to reign, and he reigned sixteen years in Jerusalem: but he did not that which was right in the sight of the LORD, like David his father: For he walked in the ways of the kings of Israel, and made also molten images for Baalim. Moreover he burnt incense in the valley of the son of Hinnom, and burnt his children in the fire, after the abominations of the heathen whom the LORD had cast out before the children of Israel. He sacrificed also and burnt incense in the high places, and on the hills, and under every green tree. Wherefore the LORD his God delivered him into the hand of the king of Syria; and they smote him, and carried away a great multitude of them captives, and brought them to Damascus. And he was also delivered into the hand of the king of Israel, who smote him with a great slaughter. For Pekah the son of Remaliah slew in Judah an hundred and twenty thousand in one day, which were all valiant men; because they had forsaken the LORD God of their fathers. And Zichri, a mighty man of Ephraim, slew Maaseiah the king's son, and Azrikam the governor of the house, and Elkanah that was next to the king. And the children of Israel carried away captive of their brethren two hundred thousand, women, sons, and daughters, and took also away much spoil from them, and brought the spoil to Samaria. But a prophet of the LORD was there, whose name was Oded: and he went out before the host that came to Samaria, and said unto them, Behold, because THE LORD GOD OF YOUR FATHERS WAS WROTH WITH JUDAH, he hath delivered them into your hand, and ye have slain them in a rage that reacheth up unto heaven. And now ye purpose to keep under the children of Judah and Jerusalem for bondmen and bondwomen unto you: but are there not with you, even with you, sins against the LORD your God? Now hear me therefore, and deliver the captives again, which YE HAVE TAKEN CAPTIVE OF YOUR BRETHREN: for the fierce wrath of the LORD is upon you. Then certain of the heads of the children of Ephraim, Azariah the son of Johanan, Berechiah the son of Meshillemoth, and Jehizkiah the son of Shallum, and Amasa the son of Hadlai, stood up against them that came from the war, And said unto them, Ye shall not bring in the captives hither: for whereas we have offended against the LORD already, ye intend to add more to our sins and to our trespass: for our trespass is great, and there is fierce wrath against Israel. So the armed men left the captives and the spoil before the princes and all the congregation. And the men which were expressed by name rose up, and took the captives, and with the spoil clothed all that were naked among them, and arrayed them, and shod them, and gave them to eat and to drink, and anointed them, and carried all the feeble of them upon asses, and brought them to Jericho, the city of palm trees, to their brethren: then they returned to Samaria. AT THAT TIME DID KING AHAZ SEND UNTO THE KINGS OF ASSYRIA TO HELP HIM. For again THE EDOMITES HAD COME AND SMITTEN JUDAH, and carried away captives. THE PHILISTINES ALSO HAD INVADED THE CITIES OF THE LOW COUNTRY, AND OF THE SOUTH OF JUDAH, and had taken Bethshemesh, and Ajalon, and Gederoth, and Shocho with the villages thereof, and Timnah with the villages thereof, Gimzo also and the villages thereof: and they dwelt there. FOR THE LORD BROUGHT JUDAH LOW BECAUSE OF AHAZ KING OF ISRAEL; FOR HE MADE JUDAH NAKED, AND TRANSGRESSED SORE AGAINST THE LORD. And Tilgathpilneser king of Assyria came unto him, and distressed him, but strengthened him not. For Ahaz took away a portion out of the house of the LORD, and out of the house of the king, and of the princes, and gave it unto the king of Assyria: but he helped him not. AND IN THE TIME OF HIS DISTRESS DID HE TRESPASS YET MORE AGAINST THE LORD: THIS IS THAT KING AHAZ. For he sacrificed unto the gods of Damascus, which smote him: and he said, Because the gods of the kings of Syria help them, therefore will I sacrifice to them, that they may help me. BUT THEY WERE THE RUIN OF HIM, AND OF ALL ISRAEL. And Ahaz gathered together the vessels of the house of God, and cut in pieces the vessels of the house of God, and shut up the doors of the house of the LORD, and he made him altars in every corner of Jerusalem. AND IN EVERY SEVERAL CITY OF JUDAH HE MADE HIGH PLACES TO BURN INCENSE UNTO OTHER GODS, AND PROVOKED TO ANGER THE LORD GOD OF HIS FATHERS. Now the rest of his acts and of all his ways, first and last, behold, they are written in the book of the kings of Judah and Israel. And Ahaz slept with his fathers, and they buried him in the city, even in Jerusalem: BUT THEY BROUGHT HIM NOT INTO THE SEPULCHRES OF THE KINGS OF ISRAEL: and Hezekiah his son reigned in his stead."

The nation of Israel started out as a promise to one man, whose name was Abram; or, later, Abraham. Genesis 12:1-5 says, "Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land that I will show thee: And I WILL MAKE OF THEE A GREAT NATION, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed. So Abram departed, as the LORD had spoken unto him; and Lot went with him: and Abram was seventy and five years old when he departed out of Haran. And Abram took Sarai his wife, and Lot his brother's son, and all their substance that they had gathered, and the souls that they had gotten in Haran; and they went forth to go into the land of Canaan; and into the land of Canaan they came."

God’s promise to Abraham was to make of him a great "nation." That promise was "singular," not "plural." It was never God’s will to have a divided Israel. Then how did it happen?

Israel was created as a "theocracy," a nation "ruled by God." That was fine, until ISRAEL LEFT THEIR FIRST LOVE OF GOD. They came to the point where they no longer loved the Lord and were willing to follow His leading. They now asserted their own will, and DEMANDED TO HAVE A KING (A MAN) TO FOLLOW.

I Samuel 8:4-20 says, "Then all the elders of Israel gathered themselves together, and came to Samuel unto Ramah, And said unto him, Behold, thou art old, and thy sons walk not in thy ways: NOW MAKE US A KING TO JUDGE US LIKE ALL THE NATIONS. But the thing displeased Samuel, when they said, Give us a king to judge us. And Samuel prayed unto the LORD. And THE LORD SAID UNTO SAMUEL, Hearken unto the voice of the people in all that they say unto thee: for THEY HAVE NOT REJECTED THEE, BUT THEY HAVE REJECTED ME, THAT I SHOULD NOT REIGN OVER THEM. According to all the works which they have done since the day that I brought them up out of Egypt even unto this day, wherewith they have forsaken me, and served other gods, so do they also unto thee. Now therefore hearken unto their voice: howbeit yet protest solemnly unto them, and show them the manner of the king that shall reign over them. And Samuel told all the words of the LORD unto the people that asked of him a king. And he said, This will be the manner of the king that shall reign over you: He will take your sons, and appoint them for himself, for his chariots, and to be his horsemen; and some shall run before his chariots. And he will appoint him captains over thousands, and captains over fifties; and will set them to ear his ground, and to reap his harvest, and to make his instruments of war, and instruments of his chariots. And he will take your daughters to be confectionaries, and to be cooks, and to be bakers. And he will take your fields, and your vineyards, and your oliveyards, even the best of them, and give them to his servants. And he will take the tenth of your seed, and of your vineyards, and give to his officers, and to his servants. And he will take your menservants, and your maidservants, and your goodliest young men, and your asses, and put them to his work. He will take the tenth of your sheep: and ye shall be his servants. AND YE SHALL CRY OUT IN THAT DAY BECAUSE OF YOUR KING WHICH YE SHALL HAVE CHOSEN YOU; AND THE LORD WILL NOT HEAR YOU IN THAT DAY. Nevertheless the people refused to obey the voice of Samuel; AND THEY SAID, NAY; BUT WE WILL HAVE A KING OVER US; THAT WE ALSO MAY BE LIKE ALL THE NATIONS; AND THAT OUR KING MAY JUDGE US, and go out before us, and fight our battles."

Israel had been instructed to keep the Lord as their "first love," and to teach that to their children. Deuteronomy 6:1-12 says, "Now these are the commandments, the statutes, and the judgments, which the LORD your God commanded to teach you, that ye might do them in the land whither ye go to possess it: That thou mightest fear the LORD thy God, to keep all his statutes and his commandments, which I command thee, thou, and thy son, and thy son's son, all the days of thy life; and that thy days may be prolonged. Hear therefore, O Israel, and observe to do it; that it may be well with thee, and that ye may increase mightily, as the LORD God of thy fathers hath promised thee, in the land that floweth with milk and honey. Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD: AND THOU SHALT LOVE THE LORD THY GOD WITH ALL THINE HEART, AND WITH ALL THY SOUL, AND WITH ALL THY MIGHT. And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes. And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates. And it shall be, when the LORD thy God shall have brought thee into the land which he sware unto thy fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give thee GREAT AND GOODLY CITIES, WHICH THOU BUILDEST NOT, And HOUSES FULL OF ALL GOOD THINGS, WHICH THOU FILLEDST NOT, and WELLS DIGGED, WHICH THOU DIGGEDST NOT, VINEYARDS AND OLIVE TREES, WHICH THOU PLANTEDST NOT; WHEN THOU SHALT HAVE EATEN AND BE FULL; THEN BEWARE LEST THOU FORGET THE LORD, WHICH BROUGHT THEE FORTH OUT OF THE LAND OF EGYPT, FROM THE HOUSE OF BONDAGE."

America started out as some people seeking religious freedom. NOT people seeking freedom FROM religion, but people seeking TO WORSHIP GOD FREELY as the Bible teaches. The forefathers of America spoke often of "Divine Providence," and of their dependence upon God. But America has long ago lost that first love for God. Now, when leaders run for office, there is an immediate outcry against them if they are against abortion. That shows that America no longer wants to have God’s Law govern this nation, but "the law or will of the people." That brings us to the days of the judges in Israel. Judges 21:25 says, "In those days there was no king in Israel: EVERY MAN DID THAT WHICH WAS RIGHT IN HIS OWN EYES."

The same thing has happened in the church. The Bible warns, "And there shall be, LIKE PEOPLE, LIKE PRIEST: and I will punish them for their ways, and reward them their doings." Whatever the people are like, the religious leaders will be like, other than by the grace of God; because the leaders are but people themselves. When the church loses its first love, it will start teaching what the people want to hear, instead of God’s Word. II Timothy 4:1-5 says, "I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. FOR THE TIME WILL COME WHEN THEY WILL NOT ENDURE SOUND DOCTRINE; BUT AFTER THEIR OWN LUSTS SHALL THEY HEAP TO THEMSELVES TEACHERS, HAVING ITCHING EARS; AND THEY SHALL TURN AWAY THEIR EARS FROM THE TRUTH, AND SHALL BE TURNED UNTO FABLES. But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry."

It is a very serious matter, that threatens the very existence of a local church. Revelation 2:1-5 says, "Unto the angel of the church of Ephesus write; These things saith he that holdeth the seven stars in his right hand, who walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks; I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars: And hast borne, and hast patience, and for my name's sake hast laboured, and hast not fainted. Nevertheless I HAVE SOMEWHAT AGAINST THEE, BECAUSE THOU HAST LEFT THY FIRST LOVE. Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and REPENT, AND DO THE FIRST WORKS, OR ELSE I WILL COME UNTO THEE QUICKLY, AND WILL REMOVE THY CANDLESTICK OUT OF HIS PLACE, EXCEPT THOU REPENT."

What is the "candlestick?" Revelation 1:9-20 says, "I John, who also am your brother, and companion in tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was in the isle that is called Patmos, for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ. I was in the Spirit on the Lord's day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet, Saying, I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last: and, What thou seest, write in a book, and send it unto the seven churches which are in Asia; unto Ephesus, and unto Smyrna, and unto Pergamos, and unto Thyatira, and unto Sardis, and unto Philadelphia, and unto Laodicea. And I turned to see the voice that spake with me. And being turned, I SAW SEVEN GOLDEN CANDLESTICKS; And in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like unto the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle. His head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and his eyes were as a flame of fire; And his feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and his voice as the sound of many waters. And HE HAD IN HIS RIGHT HAND SEVEN STARS: and out of his mouth went a sharp twoedged sword: and his countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength. And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last: I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death. Write the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter; The mystery of the seven stars which thou sawest in my right hand, and the seven golden candlesticks. THE SEVEN STARS ARE THE ANGELS OF THE SEVEN CHURCHES: AND THE SEVEN CANDLESTICKS WHICH THOU SAWEST ARE THE SEVEN CHURCHES."

The "candlestick" refers to the local church. It is a "light" in the community where it is located. Remember what the Lord warned them? "Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and REPENT, AND DO THE FIRST WORKS, OR ELSE I WILL COME UNTO THEE QUICKLY, AND WILL REMOVE THY CANDLESTICK OUT OF HIS PLACE, EXCEPT THOU REPENT." The Lord was warning them that if they failed to repent and get back that first love, He would remove that local church out of that place.

That is exactly what happened to Israel, too. They left their first love for God. Deuteronomy 6:5-7 says, "And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children..." When they failed to give God first place in their hearts, then they put themselves and other people in that position. That led them into IDOLATRY and IMMORALITY, and eventually, GOD REMOVED THEM FROM THEIR PLACE. He had warned that He would do that. Leviticus 20:22,23 says, "Ye shall therefore keep all my statutes, and all my judgments, and do them: THAT THE LAND, WHITHER I BRING YOU TO DWELL THEREIN, SPUE YOU NOT OUT. And ye shall not walk in the manners of the nation, which I cast out before you: for they committed all these things, and therefore I abhorred them."

The nation of Israel was one under the first king, Saul. But when Saul died, it became a divided nation for seven years. David ruled over Judah in the south, and Saul’s son ruled over the tribes of Israel in the north. For the sake of clarification, the northern tribes were often called "Israel," and the south "Judah," but THEY WERE BOTH STILL THE TRIBES OF ISRAEL. II Samuel 2:7-11 says, "Therefore now let your hands be strengthened, and be ye valiant: for your master Saul is dead, and also the house of Judah have anointed me king over them. But Abner the son of Ner, captain of Saul's host, took Ishbosheth the son of Saul, and brought him over to Mahanaim; And made him king over Gilead, and over the Ashurites, and over Jezreel, and over Ephraim, and over Benjamin, and over all Israel. Ishbosheth Saul's son was forty years old when he began to reign over Israel, and reigned two years. But the house of Judah followed David. And the time that David was king in Hebron over the house of Judah was seven years and six months."

At the end of that seven years and six months, David then reigned over all Israel for another thirty-three years. II Samuel 5:3-5 says, "So all the elders of Israel came to the king to Hebron; and king David made a league with them in Hebron before the LORD: and they anointed David king over Israel. David was thirty years old when he began to reign, and he reigned forty years. In Hebron he reigned over Judah seven years and six months: and in Jerusalem he reigned thirty and three years over all Israel and Judah."

After David, was Solomon’s reign. He reigned over all Israel. After Solomon’s reign was Rehoboam’s. He started right out with a divided kingdom, because of his attitude. I Kings 12:1-20 says, "And Rehoboam went to Shechem: for all Israel were come to Shechem to make him king. And it came to pass, when Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who was yet in Egypt, heard of it, (for he was fled from the presence of king Solomon, and Jeroboam dwelt in Egypt;) That they sent and called him. And Jeroboam and all the congregation of Israel came, and spake unto Rehoboam, saying, Thy father made our yoke grievous: now therefore make thou the grievous service of thy father, and his heavy yoke which he put upon us, lighter, and we will serve thee. And he said unto them, Depart yet for three days, then come again to me. And the people departed. And king Rehoboam consulted with the old men, that stood before Solomon his father while he yet lived, and said, How do ye advise that I may answer this people? And they spake unto him, saying, If thou wilt be a servant unto this people this day, and wilt serve them, and answer them, and speak good words to them, then they will be thy servants for ever. But he forsook the counsel of the old men, which they had given him, and consulted with the young men that were grown up with him, and which stood before him: And he said unto them, What counsel give ye that we may answer this people, who have spoken to me, saying, Make the yoke which thy father did put upon us lighter? And the young men that were grown up with him spake unto him, saying, Thus shalt thou speak unto this people that spake unto thee, saying, Thy father made our yoke heavy, but make thou it lighter unto us; thus shalt thou say unto them, My little finger shall be thicker than my father's loins. And now whereas my father did lade you with a heavy yoke, I will add to your yoke: my father hath chastised you with whips, but I will chastise you with scorpions. So Jeroboam and all the people came to Rehoboam the third day, as the king had appointed, saying, Come to me again the third day. And the king answered the people roughly, and forsook the old men's counsel that they gave him; And spake to them after the counsel of the young men, saying, My father made your yoke heavy, and I will add to your yoke: my father also chastised you with whips, but I will chastise you with scorpions. Wherefore the king hearkened not unto the people; for the cause was from the LORD, that he might perform his saying, which the LORD spake by Ahijah the Shilonite unto Jeroboam the son of Nebat. So when all Israel saw that the king hearkened not unto them, the people answered the king, saying, What portion have we in David? neither have we inheritance in the son of Jesse: to your tents, O Israel: now see to thine own house, David. So Israel departed unto their tents. But as for the children of Israel which dwelt in the cities of Judah, Rehoboam reigned over them. Then king Rehoboam sent Adoram, who was over the tribute; and all Israel stoned him with stones, that he died. Therefore king Rehoboam made speed to get him up to his chariot, to flee to Jerusalem. So Israel rebelled against the house of David unto this day. And it came to pass, when all Israel heard that JEROBOAM was come again, that they sent and called him unto the congregation, and MADE HIM KING OVER ALL ISRAEL: THERE WAS NONE THAT FOLLOWED THE HOUSE OF DAVID, BUT THE TRIBE OF JUDAH ONLY."

As we read earlier, the northern tribes were conquered and deported by the Assyrians. II Kings 17:5-18 says, "Then the king of Assyria came up throughout all the land, and went up to Samaria, and besieged it three years. In the ninth year of Hoshea THE KING OF ASSYRIA took Samaria, and CARRIED ISRAEL AWAY INTO ASSYRIA, and placed them in Halah and in Habor by the river of Gozan, and in the cities of the Medes. For so it was, that the children of Israel had sinned against the LORD their God, which had brought them up out of the land of Egypt, from under the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt, and had feared other gods, And walked in the statutes of the heathen, whom the LORD cast out from before the children of Israel, and of the kings of Israel, which they had made. And the children of Israel did secretly those things that were not right against the LORD their God, and they built them high places in all their cities, from the tower of the watchmen to the fenced city. And they set them up images and groves in every high hill, and under every green tree: And there they burnt incense in all the high places, as did the heathen whom the LORD carried away before them; and wrought wicked things to provoke the LORD to anger: For they served idols, whereof the LORD had said unto them, Ye shall not do this thing. Yet the LORD testified against Israel, and against Judah, by all the prophets, and by all the seers, saying, Turn ye from your evil ways, and keep my commandments and my statutes, according to all the law which I commanded your fathers, and which I sent to you by my servants the prophets. Notwithstanding they would not hear, but hardened their necks, like to the neck of their fathers, that did not believe in the LORD their God. And they rejected his statutes, and his covenant that he made with their fathers, and his testimonies which he testified against them; and they followed vanity, and became vain, and went after the heathen that were round about them, concerning whom the LORD had charged them, that they should not do like them. And they left all the commandments of the LORD their God, and made them molten images, even two calves, and made a grove, and worshipped all the host of heaven, and served Baal. And they caused their sons and their daughters to pass through the fire, and used divination and enchantments, and sold themselves to do evil in the sight of the LORD, to provoke him to anger. Therefore THE LORD WAS VERY ANGRY WITH ISRAEL, AND REMOVED THEM OUT OF HIS SIGHT: THERE WAS NONE LEFT BUT THE TRIBE OF JUDAH ONLY."

And then Judah followed the same path: losing their first love for the Lord, and going off into sin, so they, too, were taken out of the land of Israel. It was Nebuchadnezzar who took most of them captive and deported them. Jeremiah 52:1-15 says, "Zedekiah was one and twenty years old when he began to reign, and he reigned eleven years in Jerusalem. And his mother's name was Hamutal the daughter of Jeremiah of Libnah. And he did that which was evil in the eyes of the LORD, according to all that Jehoiakim had done. For through the anger of the LORD it came to pass in Jerusalem and Judah, till he had cast them out from his presence, that Zedekiah rebelled against the king of Babylon. And it came to pass in the ninth year of his reign, in the tenth month, in the tenth day of the month, that Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon came, he and all his army, against Jerusalem, and pitched against it, and built forts against it round about. So the city was besieged unto the eleventh year of king Zedekiah. And in the fourth month, in the ninth day of the month, the famine was sore in the city, so that there was no bread for the people of the land. Then the city was broken up, and all the men of war fled, and went forth out of the city by night by the way of the gate between the two walls, which was by the king's garden; (now the Chaldeans were by the city round about:) and they went by the way of the plain. But the army of the Chaldeans pursued after the king, and overtook Zedekiah in the plains of Jericho; and all his army was scattered from him. Then they took the king, and carried him up unto the king of Babylon to Riblah in the land of Hamath; where he gave judgment upon him. And the king of Babylon slew the sons of Zedekiah before his eyes: he slew also all the princes of Judah in Riblah. Then he put out the eyes of Zedekiah; and the king of Babylon bound him in chains, and carried him to Babylon, and put him in prison till the day of his death. Now in the fifth month, in the tenth day of the month, which was the nineteenth year of Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon, came Nebuzaradan, captain of the guard, which served the king of Babylon, into Jerusalem, And burned the house of the LORD, and the king's house; and all the houses of Jerusalem, and all the houses of the great men, burned he with fire: And all the army of the Chaldeans, that were with the captain of the guard, brake down all the walls of Jerusalem round about. Then Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard carried away captive certain of the poor of the people, and the residue of the people that remained in the city, and those that fell away, that fell to the king of Babylon, and the rest of the multitude."

The bottom line of your question is that all the while that Israel was divided as a nation, IT WAS ALWAYS ISRAEL. It just had two kings during those times. A king for the northern tribes, and a king for the southern tribe. They never changed the name of the country — it was always "Israel." BOTH MEN WERE ALWAYS TECHNICALLY "KINGS OF ISRAEL," but just over different sections or tribes of Israel. It was only to prevent confusion that the north was called "Israel," and the south was called "Judah." (sometimes the north was called "Samaria," like in I Kings 21:1). There is no contradiction. If you will read II Chronicles 28 over again, you will see that it clearly shows that Ahaz was reigning over Judah, and not confusing him as reigning over the northern tribes. Verses 16, 17 read, "At that time did king Ahaz send unto the kings of Assyria to help him. For again the Edomites had come and SMITTEN JUDAH, and carried away captives."

Israel was a great and blessed nation, but when they lost their first love for the Lord, they lost their place together.  The local church is a great and blessed gathering of believers that have banded together to serve the Lord; but when that local church loses its first love, it will cease to exist as a local gathering, and the sheep will be scattered.   The home is a great and wonderful place were two become one and a precious family is brought forth; but when that couple loses their first love for the Lord and for each other, that home is in grave danger of coming to nought, and the members of that family separated..

The answer to the nation, and the church, and the home, is to REPENT. Revelation 2:4,5 says, "Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love. Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and REPENT, AND DO THE FIRST WORKS, or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent."  It is not just praying, it is also DOING THE FIRST WORKS. That first love is not an idle love, but a love of action.  John 14:15 says, "If ye love me, KEEP my commandments."

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