Pekahiah and Pekah, Kings of Israel
Menahem not having died a violent death, his son Pekahiah reigned in his stead. The retributive government of God is not exercised toward Menahem, and his case, like a number of others in this history, teaches us that God's earthly government is not the measure of His righteousness nor His full retribution of the ways of men. This was the error of Job's friends, against whom Elihu rose up in anger.
During the two years of his reign, Pekahiah like all his predecessors persevered in the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat. Let us note here that which is repeated so often in the preceding chapters, that by the sins of their kings, Israel was made to sin. The sin of an individual is rendered considerably more serious when it becomes a stumbling‑stone for others, and its consequences are reckoned to those who carry away the ignorant and poorly established in the pathway of their own disobedience.
Pekah, the son of Remaliah, assisted in his conspiracy by men of Gilead, kills Pekahiah as well as two of his companions. He reigns twenty years in Samaria and follows, with regard to the Lord, the way of the kings of Israel. The results of his reign are summarized in verse 29. The Assyrian Tiglath‑Pileser comes up against him and carries away captive the Reubenites, the Gadites, and that half tribe of Manasseh, all the people settled beyond the Jordan, "and brought them to Halah, and Habor, and Hara, and to the river Gozan-unto this day" (1 Chr. 5: 26). The dismemberment of the kingdom of Ephraim begins with the tribes which, for their own convenience, had chosen their portion on the other side of the Jordan.
It is always so. Christians who do not enter resolutely and without a backward glance upon the ground where, like the Jordan, the death of Christ an insurmountable barrier between them and the world, such Christians are the first to be exposed to the attacks of the enemy and become the poor captives of the world, with which, despite their real faith, they have not consented to break completely. Thus the dismembering of the kingdom of Israel begins to take place. This would be completed under the reign of Hoshea. We shall return to Pekah in the next chapter, but before this we find mention made of the reign of Jotham.