I’ve read 2 Kings several times in the past. The lists of names and the repeated descriptions of the various kings, good or bad, didn’t mean much to me. I thought the repetition made the books boring.
I’m now reading and studying 2 Kings from a new, broader perspective and I am no longer bored. I’ve been studying 1 and 2 Samuel, 1 Kings, and now 2 Kings using a Hebrew Roots view of the Old Testament. This view ties in all the history and God patterns in the Old Testament that, when understood from a Hebrew view, gives so much more depth and meaning to the events and lessons in the New Testament.
Since God hasn’t and never will change the way He did things in Israel and in the people’s lives, He is still doing it. The God patterns in the Old Testament are not different from the God patterns of our current age. When people think the Old Testament is no longer relevant, the patterns that continue into the New Testament are often missed.
One way the God patterns are made clear is by not reading or studying the “historical” books in isolation. I’m intrigued and propelled to new understanding of God, His plans for the world, and the patterns that will be continued in the End Times. How is this occurring? By integrating the accounts in the different history books with each other. Along with that, inserting the various prophetic books into the historical narrative gives me understanding of Scriptures insights that I never had before.
I cannot explain every situation where the cross-references are important. Here in 2 Kings 15, the accounts of the same events in 2 Chronicles 26 add extensive information that make the 2 Kings passages much more full and worthwhile to read. In the opening verses of 2 Kings 15 we are told of Azariah (also called Uzziah). We know from verses 3-4 what God thought of Azariah as king:
“He did what was right from Adonai’s perspective, following the example of everything his father Amatzyah had done. However, the high places were not taken away; the people still sacrificed and offered on the high places” (NASB).
In verse 5, it says that the king (Azariah) was struck with a disease. English translations say leprosy, but the Hebrew word is tzara’at. Tzara’at was an outward sign of a spiritual sickness, usually only seen in the Hebrew people when their souls, minds, or hearts were not right with God. There is no correlation today of a similar specific skin disease that is the same. But that’s a whole other blog article’s worth of information I could share about this. There is another example of this in 2 Kings 5, where the man repented and the tzara’at left him (in my blog article from April 23, 2020 I talk a little about it).
I was left with trying to figure out why this happened, when there were other quasi-good kings that didn’t suffer this fate. So the commentator took us to 2 Chronicles 26:16-23, and the answers were there. I’d suggest reading both the 2 Kings 15 passage and the 2 Chronicles 26 passage to get answers for yourselves. There is a whole treasure chest of additional information in 2 Chronicles (as well as Hosea chapters 4 and 5, and Isaiah 7) to better understand what are the God patterns.
I’m excited to see where my continuing study will lead me. I hope you will be able to find the appropriate cross-references to augment your understanding of the seemingly dry and boring historical books of the Old Testament.