New Defender's Study Bible Notes
15:5 was a leper. The reason for this affliction was Azariah’s attempt to burn incense in the temple. See II Chronicles 26:16-21. Jotham, his son, served as co-regent with Azariah until the latter’s death. At least two ancient seals have been found with Uzziah’s name on them.
15:12 unto the fourth generation. Even though Jehu continued in the sins of Jeroboam I and his calf-worship, he did serve as the Lord’s instrument for purging the land of Baalism and the house of Ahab. Accordingly, God had promised him that four generations of his sons would be kings in Israel (II Kings 10:30). These turned out to be Jehoahaz, Joash, Jeroboam II and Zachariah. Then, however, as prophesied by Amos during the long reign of Jeroboam II (Amos 7:9), the line would be cut off by the sword. And so it was.
15:19 the king of Assyria. Except for Jonah’s mission to Nineveh, this is the first mention of contact between Israel and the great Assyrian empire.
15:22 Menahem. Menahem is mentioned in an Assyrian inscription, in which Pul, the king (same as Tiglath-Pileser III), boasts of receiving tribute from him (as mentioned in II Kings 15:19). Pul’s various inscriptions also mention Kings Uzziah and Ahaz of Judah and Kings Pekah and Hoshea of Israel.
15:23 reigned two years. The imminent disintegration of the northern kingdom of Israel is foreshadowed by the brief, wicked, and violent reigns of several of the kings of this period. Zachariah ruled just six months before being assassinated by Shallam, who then held the throne only one month before Menahem murdered him. Menahem, the most evil of all, did manage to reign for ten years, being succeeded by his son Pekahiah who was killed two years later by Pekah. By this time the Assyrians had begun their conquest of the nation.
15:29 carried them captive. It was during Pekah’s reign that the Assyrian captivity of Israel began. He in turn was eventually assassinated by Hoshea, who was Israel’s last king before the final stages of the Assyrian conquest and captivity were accomplished (II Kings 17:6).
15:37 send against Judah. While Israel was being besieged by the Assyrians, her king Pekah had joined with the Syrians to attack Judah. Isaiah had begun his prophetic ministry in Judah by this time, and encouraged the people not to fear this doomed confederacy (Isaiah 7:1-9). This prophecy included the promise of the coming virgin-born Messiah (Isaiah 7:14).
15:38 Ahaz his son. A clay seal has recently been found at the southern end of the West Bank in Israel, bearing the inscription “Ahaz [son of] Yotam, King of Judah.”