Pekah

(Watch)

2 Kings 15:27-31

Contemporary Prophet: Oded.

“Righteousness tendeth to life: so he that pursueth evil pursueth it to his own death.”—Proverbs 11:19

“In the two and fiftieth year of Azariah (Uzziah) 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.” How painfully this oft-recurring testimony, like a sad refrain, falls upon the ear! But this is the last time. Under Hoshea, Pekah’s slayer and successor, God made “to cease the kingdom of the house of Israel” (Hos. 1:4). And he, though he wrought iniquity, did it “not as the kings of Israel that were before him” (2 Kings 17:2).

“In the days of Pekah king of Israel came Tiglath-pileser king of Assyria, and took Ijon, and Abel-beth-maachah, and Janoah, and Kedesh, and Hazor, and Gilead, and Galilee, all the land of Naphtali, and carried them captive to Assyria.” This occurred after Pekah’s unprovoked and dastardly attack on Jerusalem, in concert with Rezin king of Damascus. See Ahaz. And the king of Assyria’s invasion and devastation of his land was his just reward for his “fierce anger” and “evil counsel” against the house of David, which he sought to overthrow by conspiracy and revolution. See Isa. 7:4-6.

He slew in his “fierce anger” one hundred thousand Jews in one day (2 Chron. 28:6); and God requited him in kind; for as he had so treacherously shed man’s blood, by man was his blood also treacherously shed. “And Hoshea the son of Elah made a conspiracy against Pekah the son of Remaliah, and smote him, and slew him, and reigned in his stead, in the twentieth year of Jotham the son of Uzziah.”

Josephus says Hoshea was “a friend” of Pekah’s (Ant. ix. 13). In his death the prophecy of Isaiah (chap. 7:16) was fulfilled. His name, meaning watch, is from a root, “to open” (as the eyes); figuratively, to be observant (Strong). But watch as he might, his very friend in whom he trusted became, in the ordering of God, his slayer; so impossible is it for the wicked to escape their merited retribution from the hand of Him who has said, “Vengeance is Mine; I will repay.” Read Amos 9:1-5.

“And the rest of the acts of Pekah, and all that he did, behold, they are written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel.”