The editors of 2 Kings insist that the fallThe fall refers specifically to the disobedience of Adam and Eve when they listened to Satan rather than adhering to God's command not to eat the fruit from the tree. When people act contrary to God's will, they are said to fall from from grace... More of Samaria was God’s judgment upon Israel’s apostasy and intimate a similar fate for JudahJudah was the name of Jacob's fourth son and one of the 12 tribes. More.
This crucial text functions as a justification of God’s decision to destroy Israel, an explanation of why it occurred, and a warning that Judah is next. The structure is important. Until this point, the narrative has confined itself to instances of royal apostasy: the establishment of rival sanctuaries with golden calves in Bethel and DanA son of Jacob and tribe of Israel. More and the introduction of Baal into the cult by AhabKing of Israel who opposed Elijah More (1 Kings 13:33-34; 14:16; 15:26, 30; 16:2, 19; 2 Kings 10:31; 13:2, 6, 11; 14:24; 15:9, 18, 24, 28). But this indictment is concerned with “the people of Israel” (vv. 7, 9, 22) and their continuing in the sins of “the nations whom the LORD drove out,” that is, Canaan (v. 8); the kings merely frame (vv. 8, 21-22) the indictment of the people who are said to have set up high places (v. 9) opposed in Deuteronomy 12:2-4; erected pillars, sacred poles (v. 10) opposed in Deuteronomy 7:5; and served idols (vv. 12, 15, 16) opposed in Deuteronomy 5:8; 13.
Even more curious is the attribution to Israel of sins only committed by Judah: making children pass through fire (v. 17), opposed in Deuteronomy 18:10, but only appearing in Judean contexts (2 Kings 16:3; 21:6; 23:10); employing divination and augury (v. 17), opposed in Deuteronomy 18:10-11, but only appearing in Judean contexts (2 Kings 21:6); and refusing to heed prophetic warnings (vv. 13-14)-but the prophets only announce doom in the north; they do not warning or counsel repentance.
Most curious is the intimation in verses 19-20 that Judah will share the disastrous fate of Israel unless they repentRepentance is a central biblical teaching. All people are sinful and God desires that all people repent of their sins. The Hebrew word for repent means to "turn away" from sin. The Greek word for repentance means to "change on'e mind," more specifically, it means... More. Of course, Judah did follow in the path of Israel, worshiping other gods (22:17), making idols (21:11; 23:24), and refusing to heed the prophets (21:9); as a result, God’s anger was kindled against Judah (21:6, 15; 23:19, 26; 24:20).
Finally, in verses 21-23 we arrive at what might have been the original indictment of Israel. This would mean that verses 7-20 are a later expansion, added after Judah had fallen to Babylon. As such, the indictment stands over against the people as a whole.