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2Ki 15:1-7. AZARIAH'S REIGN OVER JUDAH.
1-7. In the twenty and seventh year of Jeroboam--It is thought that
the throne of Judah continued vacant eleven or twelve years, between
the death of Amaziah and the inauguration of his son Azariah. Being a
child only four years old when his father was murdered, a regency was
appointed during Azariah's minority.
2Ki 15:8-16. ZECHARIAH'S REIGN OVER ISRAEL.
8-10. In the thirty and eighth year of Azariah king of Judah did Zechariah the son of Jeroboam reign over Israel--There was an interregnum from some unknown cause between the reign of Jeroboam and the accession of his son, which lasted, according to some, for ten or twelve years, according to others, for twenty-two years, or more. This prince pursued the religious policy of the calf-worship, and his reign was short, being abruptly terminated by the hand of violence. In his fate was fulfilled the prophecy addressed to Jehu (2Ki 10:30; also Ho 1:4), that his family would possess the throne of Israel for four generations; and accordingly Jehoahaz, Joash, Jehoram, and Zechariah were his successors--but there his dynasty terminated; and perhaps it was the public knowledge of this prediction that prompted the murderous design of Shallum.
13-17. Shallum . . . reigned a full month--He was opposed and slain by Menahem, who, according to JOSEPHUS, was commander of the forces, which, on the report of the king's murder, were besieging Tirzah, a town twelve miles east of Samaria, and formerly a seat of the kings of Israel. Raising the siege, he marched directly against the usurper, slew him, and reigned in his stead.
16. Menahem . . . smote Tiphsah--Thapsacus, on the Euphrates, the border city of Solomon's kingdom (1Ki 4:24). The inhabitants refusing to open their gates to him, Menahem took it by storm. Then having spoiled it, he committed the most barbarous excesses, without regard either to age or sex.
2Ki 15:17-21. MENAHEM'S REIGN.
19. Pul the king of Assyria--This is the first Assyrian king after
Nimrod who is mentioned in biblical history. His name has been recently
identified with that of Phalluka on the monuments of Nineveh, and that
of Menahem discovered also.
2Ki 15:22-24. PEKAHIAH'S REIGN.
23. Pekahiah . . . son of Menahem began to reign--On comparing the date given with Azariah's reign, it seems that several months had intervened between the death of Menahem and the accession of Pekahiah, probably owing to a contest about the throne.
25. with Argob and Arieh, &c.--Many commentators view these as the captain's accomplices. But it is more probable that they were influential friends of the king, who were murdered along with him.
2Ki 15:27-31. PEKAH'S REIGN.
29. in the days of Pekah king of Israel came Tiglath-pileser--This monarch, who succeeded Pul on the throne of Assyria, is the only one of all the kings who does not give his genealogy, and is therefore supposed to have been an usurper. His annals have been discovered in the Nimroud mound, describing this expedition into Syria. The places taken are here mentioned as they occurred and were conquered in the progress of an invasion.
30. Hoshea the son of Elah made a conspiracy . . . and slew him--He
did not, however, obtain possession of the kingdom till about nine or
ten years after the perpetration of this crime [HALES].
2Ki 15:32-38. JOTHAM'S REIGN OVER JUDAH.
33. Five and twenty years was he when he began to reign--that is, alone--for he had ruled as his father's viceroy [2Ki 15:5].
37. the Lord began to send against Judah Rezin the king of Syria, &c.--This is the first intimation of the hostile feelings of the kings of Israel and Syria, to Judah, which led them to form an alliance and make joint preparations for war. [See on 2Ch 27:5.] However, war was not actually waged till the reign of Ahaz.