Reading for Today:
- 2 Kings 22:1–24:20
- Psalm 74:18-23
- Proverbs 19:3
- Acts 2:22-47
2 Kings 22:8 the Book of the Law. A scroll containing the Torah (the Pentateuch), the revelation of God through Moses to Israel (23:2; Deut. 28:61). Manasseh may have destroyed all the copies of God’s Law that were not hidden. This could have been the official copy laid beside the ark of the covenant in the Most Holy Place (Deut. 31:25, 26). It may have been removed from its place under Ahaz, Manasseh, or Amon (2 Chr. 35:3), but was found during repair work.
2 Kings 23:25 no king like him. Of all the kings in David’s line, including David himself, no king more closely approximated the royal ideal of Deuteronomy 17:14–20 than Josiah (Matt. 22:37). Yet, even Josiah fell short of complete obedience because he had multiple wives (vv. 31, 36). However, even this righteous king could not turn away the Lord’s wrath because of Manasseh’s sin (vv. 26, 27).
2 Kings 24:1 Nebuchadnezzar. Nebuchadnezzar II was the son of Nabopolassar, king of Babylon from 626 to 605 B.C. As crown prince, Nebuchadnezzar had led his father’s army against Pharaoh Necho and the Egyptians at Carchemish on the Euphrates River in northern Syria (605 B.C.). By defeating the Egyptians, Babylon was established as the strongest nation in the ancient Near East. Egypt and its vassals, including Judah, became vassals of Babylon with this victory. Nebuchadnezzar followed up his victory at Carchemish by invading the land of Judah. Later, in 605 B.C., Nebuchadnezzar took some captives to Babylon, including Daniel and his friends (Dan. 1:1–3). Toward the end of 605 B.C., Nabopolassar died and Nebuchadnezzar succeeded him as king of Babylon, 3 years after Jehoiakim had taken the throne in Judah (Jer. 25:1).Nebuchadnezzar reigned from 605 to 562 B.C. three years. Nebuchadnezzar returned to the west in 604 B.C. and took tribute from all of the kings of the west, including Jehoiakim of Judah. Jehoiakim submitted to Babylonian rule from 604 to 602 B.C. In 602 B.C., Jehoiakim rebelled against Babylon, disregarding the advice of the prophet Jeremiah (Jer. 27:9–11).
2 Kings 24:14–16 In 597 B.C., Nebuchadnezzar took an additional 10,000 Judeans as captives to Babylon, in particular the leaders of the nation. This included the leaders of the military and those whose skills would support the military. Included in this deportation was the prophet Ezekiel (Ezek. 1:1–3). Only the lower classes remained behind in Jerusalem. The Babylonian policy of captivity was different from that of the Assyrians, who took most of the people into exile and resettled the land of Israel with foreigners (17:24). The Babylonians took only the leaders and the strong, while leaving the weak and poor, elevating those left to leadership and thereby earning their loyalty. Those taken to Babylon were allowed to work and live in the mainstream of society. This kept the captive Jews together, so it would be possible for them to return, as recorded in Ezra.
Acts 2:42 apostles’ doctrine. The foundational content for the believer’s spiritual growth and maturity was the Scripture, God’s revealed truth, which the apostles received and taught faithfully. fellowship. Literally, “partnership” or “sharing.” Because Christians become partners with Jesus Christ and all other believers (1 John 1:3), it is their spiritual duty to stimulate one another to righteousness and obedience (Rom. 12:10; 13:8; 15:5; Gal. 5:13; Eph. 4:2, 25; 5:21; Col. 3:9; 1 Thess. 4:9; Heb. 3:13; 10:24, 25;1 Pet. 4:9, 10). breaking of bread. A reference to the Lord’s Table, or Communion, which is mandatory for all Christians to observe (1 Cor. 11:24–29). prayers. Of individual believers and the church corporately (see 1:14, 24; 4:24–31; John 14:13, 14).
DAY 17: In response to Peter’s sermon, what instructions were given on how to become a Christian?
Those who listened to that powerful sermon were “cut to the heart” (v. 37).The Greek word for cut means “pierce” or “stab,” and thus denotes something sudden and unexpected. In grief, remorse, and intense spiritual conviction, Peter’s listeners were stunned by his indictment that they had killed their Messiah.
“Repent” (v. 38).This refers to a change of mind and purpose that turns an individual from sin to God (1 Thess. 1:9). Such change involves more than fearing the consequences of God’s judgment. Genuine repentance knows that the evil of sin must be forsaken and the Person and work of Christ totally and singularly embraced. Peter exhorted his hearers to repent; otherwise, they would not experience true conversion.
“Be baptized.” This Greek word means “be dipped” or “immersed” in water. Peter was obeying Christ’s command from Matthew 28:19 and urging the people who repented and turned to the Lord Christ for salvation to identify, through the waters of baptism, with His death, burial, and resurrection (19:5; Rom. 6:3, 4; 1 Cor. 12:13; Gal. 3:27). This is the first time the apostles publicly enjoined people to obey that ceremony. Prior to this, many Jews had experienced the baptism of John the Baptist and were also familiar with the baptism of Gentile converts to Judaism (proselytes).
“In the name of Jesus Christ.” For the new believer, it was a crucial but costly identification to accept. “For the remission of sins.” This might better be translated “because of the remission of sins.” Baptism does not produce forgiveness and cleansing from sin. The reality of forgiveness precedes the rite of baptism (v. 41). Genuine repentance brings from God the forgiveness (remission) of sins (Eph. 1:7); and because of that, the new believer was to be baptized.
“Receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” The one-time act by which God places His Spirit into the believer’s life.