Defiance Leads to Devastation
1Then the people of the land took Jehoahaz the son of Josiah, and made him king in Jerusalem in his father’s place.
2Joahaz was 23 years old when he became king, and he reigned three months in Jerusalem.
3The king of Egypt deposed him in Jerusalem and imposed a fine on the land of 100 talents of silver and a talent of gold.
4The king of Egypt made Eliakim, his brother, king over Judah and Jerusalem, and changed his name to Jehoiakim. But Neco took Joahaz his brother, and carried him to Egypt.
5Jehoiakim was 25 years old when he became king, and he reigned 11 years in Jerusalem. He did evil in the sight of Adonai his God.
6Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon marched against him and bound him with bronze chains to take him to Babylon.
7Nebuchadnezzar also took some of the vessels of the House of Adonai to Babylon and put them in his temple in Babylon.
8Now the rest of the acts of Jehoiakim, the detestable things he did, and all that was found against him, behold, they are written in the book of the kings of Israel and Judah. Jehoiachin his son reigned in his place.
9Jehoiachin was eight years old when he became king, and he reigned three months and ten days in Jerusalem. He did evil in the sight of Adonai.
10At the turn of the year, King Nebuchadnezzar sent and had him brought to Babylon along with the precious articles from the House of Adonai and made his brother Zedekiah king over Judah and Jerusalem.
11Zedekiah was 21 years old when he became king and he reigned 11 years in Jerusalem.
12He did evil in the sight of Adonai his God and did not humble himself before Jeremiah the prophet who spoke from the mouth of Adonai.
13He also rebelled against King Nebuchadnezzar who had made him take an oath by God. He also stiffened his neck and hardened his heart so as not to turn to Adonai, the God of Israel.
14Furthermore, all the leading kohanim and the people became very unfaithful, following all the abominations of the nations. They defiled the House of Adonai, which He had consecrated in Jerusalem.
15Adonai, the God of their fathers, sent word to them through His messengers again and again, because He had compassion on His people and on His dwelling place.
16But they mocked the messengers of God and despised His words, and scoffed at His prophets until the wrath of Adonai rose against His people, until there was no remedy.
17Therefore He brought up against them the king of the Chaldeans, who killed their young men with the sword in the House of their Temple. He had no pity on young man or virgin, elderly or infirm—He gave them all into his hand.
18All the vessels of the House of God, large and small, and the treasures of the House of Adonai, as well as the treasures of the king and his officers were all brought to Babylon.
19They burned the House of God, broke down the wall of Jerusalem, burned all the palaces with fire and destroyed everything of value.
20He exiled to Babylon those who had escaped the sword and they became slaves to him and his sons until the reign of the kingdom of Persia—
21in fulfillment of the word of Adonai by the mouth of Jeremiah, until the land had paid back her Shabbat rests—for as long as it lay desolate—the Shabbat rest was kept till 70 years were complete.
Proclamation of Cyrus of Persia
22Now in the first year of King Cyrus of Persia—fulfilling the word of Adonai by the mouth of Jeremiah—Adonai stirred up the spirit of King Cyrus of Persia so that he sent a proclamation throughout all his kingdom and also put it in writing, saying:
23“Thus says King Cyrus of Persia ‘Adonai, the God of heaven, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth. He has appointed me to build Him a House in Jerusalem, which is in Judah. Whoever among you of all His people may go up and may Adonai his God be with him.’”