Jehoahaz, Jehoiakim, then Jehoiachin Rule
1Then the people of the land took Joahaz the son of Josiah, and made him king in Jerusalem in place of his father. 2Joahaz was twenty-three years old when he became king, and he reigned [only] three months in Jerusalem. 3Then the king of Egypt deposed him at Jerusalem, and imposed a fine on the land of a hundred talents of silver and one talent of gold. 4The king of Egypt made Eliakim, the brother of Joahaz, king over Judah and Jerusalem, and changed his name to Jehoiakim. But Neco took Joahaz his brother, and brought him to Egypt.
5Jehoiakim was twenty-five years old when he became king, and he reigned for eleven years in Jerusalem; and he did evil in the sight of the Lord his God. 6Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came up against him and bound him with bronze [chains] to take him to Babylon. 7Nebuchadnezzar also brought some of the articles of the house (temple) of the Lord to Babylon and put them in his temple there. 8Now the rest of the acts of Jehoiakim and the repulsive acts which he committed, and what was found against him, behold, they are written in the Book of the Kings of Israel and Judah. And his son Jehoiachin became king in his place.
9Jehoiachin was eight[teen] years old when he became king, and he reigned for three months and ten days in Jerusalem, and he did evil in the sight of the Lord.
Captivity in Babylon Begun
10Now at the turn of the year [in the spring], King Nebuchadnezzar sent word and had him brought to Babylon with the valuable articles of the house of the Lord, and made his brother Zedekiah king over Judah and Jerusalem.
Zedekiah Rules in Judah
11Zedekiah was twenty-one years old when he became king, and he reigned for eleven years in Jerusalem. 12He did evil in the sight of the Lord his God; he did not humble himself before Jeremiah the prophet, who spoke for the Lord. 13He also rebelled against King Nebuchadnezzar who had made him swear allegiance by God. He stiffened his neck and hardened his heart against turning to the Lord God of Israel. 14Also, all the officials of the priests and the people were very unfaithful, following all the repulsive acts of the [pagan] nations; and they defiled the house of the Lord which He had sanctified in Jerusalem.
15The Lord, the God of their fathers, sent word to them again and again by His messengers, because He had compassion on His people and on His dwelling place. 16But they kept mocking the messengers of God and despising His words and scoffing at His prophets until the wrath of the Lord arose against His people, until there was no remedy or healing. 17Therefore He brought the king of the Chaldeans against them, who killed their young men with the sword in the house of their sanctuary, and had no compassion on young man or virgin, old man or infirm; He gave them all into his hand. 18And as for all the articles of the house of God, great and small, and the treasures of the house of the Lord, and the treasures of the king and of his officials, he brought them all to Babylon. 19Then they burned the house of God and tore down the wall of Jerusalem, and burned all its fortified buildings with fire, and destroyed all its valuable articles. 20He deported to Babylon those who had escaped from the sword; and they were servants to him and to his sons until the kingdom of Persia was established there, 21to fulfill the word of the Lord by the mouth of Jeremiah, until the land had restored its Sabbaths; for as long as the land lay desolate it kept Sabbath until seventy years were complete.
Cyrus Permits Return
22Now in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia—in order to fulfill the word of the Lord by the mouth of Jeremiah—the Lord stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, so that he sent a proclamation throughout his kingdom, and also put it in writing, saying, 23“Thus says Cyrus king of Persia: ‘The Lord, the God of heaven, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth, and He has appointed me to build Him a house in Jerusalem, which is in Judah. Whoever there is among you of all His people, may the Lord his God be with him, and let him go up [to Jerusalem]!’ ”