1It was during his reign that Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon invaded the country. Jehoiakim became his puppet. But after three years he had had enough and revolted.
2-4God dispatched a succession of raiding bands against him: Babylonian, Aramean, Moabite, and Ammonite. The strategy was to destroy Judah. Through the preaching of his servants and prophets, God had said he would do this, and now he was doing it. None of this was by chance—it was God’s judgment as he turned his back on Judah because of the enormity of the sins of Manasseh—Manasseh, the killer-king, who made the Jerusalem streets flow with the innocent blood of his victims. God wasn’t about to overlook such crimes.
5-6The rest of the life and times of Jehoiakim is written in The Chronicles of the Kings of Judah. Jehoiakim died and was buried with his ancestors. His son Jehoiachin became the next king.
7The threat from Egypt was now over—no more invasions by the king of Egypt—for by this time the king of Babylon had captured all the land between the Brook of Egypt and the Euphrates River, land formerly controlled by the king of Egypt.
Jehoiachin of Judah
8-9Jehoiachin was eighteen years old when he became king. His rule in Jerusalem lasted only three months. His mother’s name was Nehushta daughter of Elnathan; she was from Jerusalem. In God’s opinion he also was an evil king, no different from his father.
10-12The next thing to happen was that the officers of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon attacked Jerusalem and put it under siege. While his officers were laying siege to the city, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon paid a personal visit. And Jehoiachin king of Judah, along with his mother, officers, advisors, and government leaders, surrendered.
12-14In the eighth year of his reign Jehoiachin was taken prisoner by the king of Babylon. Nebuchadnezzar emptied the treasuries of both The Temple of God and the royal palace and confiscated all the gold furnishings that Solomon king of Israel had made for The Temple of God. This should have been no surprise—God had said it would happen. And then he emptied Jerusalem of people—all its leaders and soldiers, all its craftsmen and artisans. He took them into exile, something like ten thousand of them! The only ones he left were the very poor.
15-16He took Jehoiachin into exile to Babylon. With him he took the king’s mother, his wives, his chief officers, the community leaders, anyone who was anybody—in round numbers, seven thousand soldiers plus another thousand or so craftsmen and artisans, all herded off into exile in Babylon.
17Then the king of Babylon made Jehoiachin’s uncle, Mattaniah, his puppet king, but changed his name to Zedekiah.
Zedekiah of Judah
18Zedekiah was twenty-one years old when he started out as king. He was king in Jerusalem for eleven years. His mother’s name was Hamutal the daughter of Jeremiah. Her hometown was Libnah.
19As far as God was concerned Zedekiah was just one more evil king, a carbon copy of Jehoiakim.
20The source of all this doom to Jerusalem and Judah was God’s anger—God turned his back on them as an act of judgment. And then Zedekiah revolted against the king of Babylon.