1. Exposition

What is the sad implication of the death of Hiel's children?

1 Kings 16:34 (ESV)

34 In his days Hiel of Bethel built Jericho. He laid its foundation at the cost of Abiram his firstborn, and set up its gates at the cost of his youngest son Segub, according to the word of the LORD, which he spoke by Joshua the son of Nun.

God puts to death Hiel’s family, which means that Hiel has now lost his place among God’s people. He would not live on in future generations. His inheritance in the covenant was no more. His name was erased from Israel, just like Achan’s. Neither Hiel nor Achan observed God’s Word about this city; they didn’t know what it meant to tremble at the holy promises of this Word. Achan was punished for taking a small part of the city; Hiel wanted to completely rebuild it.

Jericho was fortified, and so became a monument to Ahab’s defence strategy. But it wasn’t the only monument there. Right next to Hiel’s finished project, you find Hiel’s family burial plot. You see the graves of at least Abiram and Segub. These are monuments, testaments to the Lord’s certain judgment. They are bound to the completed walls of Jericho. So Jericho never stopped proclaiming the message of truth.