King Jehoahaz of Judah—2
1 Then people of the land took Josiah’s son Jehoahaz and made him king in Jerusalem in place of his father. 2 Jehoahaz was 23 years old when he became king, and he was king in Jerusalem for 3 months. 3 The king of Egypt removed him from office in Jerusalem and fined the country 7,500 pounds of silver and 75 pounds of gold. 4 The king of Egypt made Jehoahaz’s brother Eliakim king of Judah and Jerusalem and changed Eliakim’s name to Jehoiakim. Neco took Jehoahaz away to Egypt.
King Jehoiakim of Judah—2
5 Jehoiakim was 25 years old when he began to rule, and he ruled for 11 years in Jerusalem. He did what the Lord his God considered evil. 6 King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon attacked Jehoiakim and put him in bronze shackles to take him to Babylon. 7 Nebuchadnezzar also brought some of the utensils of the Lord’s temple to Babylon. He put them in his palace in Babylon.
8 Everything else about Jehoiakim—the disgusting things he did and all the charges against him—is written in the Book of the Kings of Israel and Judah. His son Jehoiakin succeeded him as king.
King Jehoiakin of Judah—2
9 Jehoiakin was eight years old when he began to rule as king. He was king for three months and ten days in Jerusalem. He did what the Lord considered evil.
10 In the spring King Nebuchadnezzar sent for Jehoiakin and brought him to Babylon with the valuable utensils from the Lord’s temple. Nebuchadnezzar made Jehoiakin’s uncle Zedekiah king of Judah and Jerusalem.
King Zedekiah of Judah—2
Kings 24:18–25:21; Jeremiah 39:1–10; 52:1–27
11 Zedekiah was 21 years old when he began to rule, and he ruled for 11 years in Jerusalem. 12 He did what the Lord his God considered evil and didn’t humble himself in front of the prophet Jeremiah, who spoke for the Lord. 13 Zedekiah also rebelled against King Nebuchadnezzar. Nebuchadnezzar had made Zedekiah swear an oath of allegiance to him in God’s name. But Zedekiah became so stubborn and so impossible to deal with that he refused to turn back to the Lord God of Israel.
14 All the officials, the priests, and the people became increasingly unfaithful and followed all the disgusting practices of the nations. Although the Lord had made the temple in Jerusalem holy, they made the temple unclean.#“Unclean” refers to anything that Moses’ Teachings say is not presentable to God.15 The Lord God of their ancestors repeatedly sent messages through his messengers because he wanted to spare his people and his dwelling place. 16 But they mocked God’s messengers, despised his words, and made fun of his prophets until the Lord became angry with his people. He could no longer heal them.
17 So he had the Babylonian king attack them and execute their best young men in their holy temple. He didn’t spare the best men or the unmarried women, the old people or the sick people. God handed all of them over to him. 18 He brought to Babylon each of the utensils from God’s temple, the treasures from the Lord’s temple, and the treasures of the king and his officials. 19 They burned God’s temple, tore down Jerusalem’s walls, burned down all its palaces, and destroyed everything of value. 20 The king of Babylon took those who weren’t executed to Babylon to be slaves for him and his sons. They remained captives until the Persian Empire began to rule. 21 This happened so that the Lord’s words spoken through Jeremiah would be fulfilled. The land had its years of rest and was made acceptable ⌊again⌋. While it lay in ruins, ⌊the land had its⌋ 70 years of rest.
King Cyrus Allows the Jews to Return from Babylon
22 The promise the Lord had spoken through Jeremiah was about to come true in Cyrus’ first year as king of Persia. The Lord inspired the king to make this announcement throughout his whole kingdom and then to put it in writing.
23 This is what King Cyrus of Persia says: The Lord God of heaven has given me all the kingdoms of the world. And he has ordered me to build a temple for him in Jerusalem (which is in Judah). May the Lord God be with all of you who are his people. You may go.
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