1During Jehoiakim’s rule, Nebuchadnezzar marched into the land and attacked it. He was king of Babylon. He became Jehoiakim’s master for three years. But then Jehoiakim decided he didn’t want to remain under Nebuchadnezzar’s control. 2The Lord sent robbers against Jehoiakim from Babylon, Aram, Moab and Ammon. He sent them to destroy Judah. That’s what the Lord had said would happen. He had spoken that message through his servants the prophets. 3These things happened to Judah in keeping with what the Lord had commanded. He brought enemies against his people in order to remove them from his land. He removed them because of all the sins Manasseh had committed. 4Manasseh had spilled the blood of many people who weren’t guilty of doing anything wrong. In fact, he spilled so much of their blood that he filled Jerusalem with it. So the Lord refused to forgive him.
5The other events of the rule of Jehoiakim are written down. Everything he did is written in the official records of the kings of Judah. 6Jehoiakim joined the members of his family who had already died. Jehoiakim’s son Jehoiachin became the next king after him.
7The king of Egypt didn’t march out from his own country again. That’s because the king of Babylon had taken so much of his territory. It reached from the Wadi of Egypt all the way to the Euphrates River.
Jehoiachin King of Judah
8Jehoiachin was 18 years old when he became king. He ruled in Jerusalem for three months. His mother’s name was Nehushta. She was the daughter of Elnathan. She was from Jerusalem. 9Jehoiachin did what was evil in the eyes of the Lord. He did just as his father Jehoiakim had done.
10At that time the officers of Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon, marched to Jerusalem. They surrounded it and got ready to attack it. 11Nebuchadnezzar himself came up to the city. He arrived while his officers were attacking it. 12Jehoiachin, the king of Judah, handed himself over to Nebuchadnezzar. Jehoiachin’s mother did the same thing. And so did all his attendants, nobles and officials.
The king of Babylon took Jehoiachin away as his prisoner. It was in the eighth year of Nebuchadnezzar’s rule. 13Nebuchadnezzar removed the treasures from the Lord’s temple. He also removed the treasures from the royal palace. He cut up the gold objects that Solomon, the king of Israel, had made for the temple. That’s what the Lord had announced would happen. 14Nebuchadnezzar took all the people of Jerusalem to the land of Babylon as prisoners. That included all the officers and fighting men. It also included all the skilled workers. The total number of prisoners was 10,000. Only the poorest people were left in the land.
15Nebuchadnezzar took Jehoiachin to Babylon as his prisoner. He also took the king’s mother from Jerusalem to Babylon. And he took Jehoiachin’s wives, his officials and the most important people of the land. 16The king also forced the whole army of 7,000 soldiers to go away to the land of Babylon. Those men were strong and able to go to war. And the king forced 1,000 skilled workers to go to Babylon. 17Nebuchadnezzar made Jehoiachin’s uncle Mattaniah king in his place. And Nebuchadnezzar changed Mattaniah’s name to Zedekiah.
Zedekiah King of Judah
18Zedekiah was 21 years old when he became king. He ruled in Jerusalem for 11 years. His mother’s name was Hamutal. She was the daughter of Jeremiah. She was from Libnah. 19Zedekiah did what was evil in the eyes of the Lord. He did just as Jehoiakim had done. 20The enemies of Jerusalem and Judah attacked them because the Lord was angry. In the end the Lord threw them out of his land.
The Fall of Jerusalem
Zedekiah also refused to remain under the control of Nebuchadnezzar.