2 Kings 23:26-37

Talks for Growing Christians

The Death of King Josiah; The Reigns of Jehoahaz and Jehoiakim

2 Kings 23:26-37

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Lesson Number 38

Background Notes

Doctrinal Point(s)

  1. 1. Godly leaders can make costly mistakes.
  2. 2. Ungodly leaders can oppress many people.

Practical Application

  1. Listen when God speaks to you through an unbeliever.


  1. Review some of the reforms instituted by King Josiah.
  2. In what sense was Josiah’s revival “too little too late”?
  3. Explain some of the historical background involving Assyria at this time.
  4. The next two kings of Judah were brothers. Did they carry on the godly reign of their father Josiah?
  5. We read more about the wicked reign of King Jehoiakim in the book of Jeremiah. Name a few of his evil ways here.


  1. The pagan shrines and all the high places were removed, the idolatrous altars were defiled, and the illegal and immoral priests were executed. This revival even swept north to some of the cities of Samaria.
  2. Josiah’s revival was effective during his time and the Lord rewarded his faithfulness by postponing His judgment until after Josiah’s death. But Judah turned back to her sinful ways and the past sins of the people still required judgment. Within 35 years of Josiah’s revival God allowed the beautiful Temple to be destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar and the Babylonians in 586 B.C.
  3. The Assyrian empire was waning in power at this point in history, 609 B.C. Egypt and Babylon were maneuvering against one another to take over and fill this power vacuum. Josiah should have stayed out of this conflict. Instead he intercepted Pharaoh Neco at Megiddo where there was a major crossroads in the ancient world. Here good King Josiah was killed.
  4. No, they were both evil kings who led Judah back to the sinful ways that were practiced under wicked kings Manasseh and Amon.
  5. Jehoiakim had a good prophet named Uriah murdered. He also took the Word of God and deliberately cut it with a knife and burned it.


  1. 1. Although he was a godly leader, King Josiah made a costly mistake which ended his life and reign. Godly leaders can make costly mistakes – then and today. Give an example you have seen of this.
  2. 2. These two kings of Judah were wicked, but it was the people who were suffering under the oppression. Tribute had to be paid to Egypt because the nation was suffering the consequences of bad leadership. Can you give an example of the people suffering because of ungodly leadership?


  1. God spoke to Josiah through the pagan Pharoah Neco, but Josiah would not listen and he died as a result. God may use a non-Christian to speak to you. Will you listen?

Key Verses

  • “Nevertheless the LORD did not turn from the fierceness of His great wrath, with which His anger was aroused against Judah, because of all the provocations with which Manasseh had provoked Him.” 2 Kings 23:26
  • “In his days Pharaoh Necho king of Egypt went to the aid of the king of Assyria, to the River Euphrates; and King Josiah went against him. And Pharaoh Necho killed him at Megiddo when he confronted him.” 2 Kings 23:29

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