1The people of the land took Jehoahaz, Josiah’s son, and made him the next king in Jerusalem. 2Jehoahaz was 23 years old when he became king, and he ruled for three months in Jerusalem. 3The king of Egypt removed him from office in Jerusalem. The Egyptian king imposed a fine on the land totaling one hundred kikkars of silver and one kikkar of gold. 4Then the king of Egypt made Jehoahaz’s brother Eliakim king of Judah and Jerusalem, and changed his name to Jehoiakim. Neco took his brother Jehoahaz prisoner and carried him off to Egypt.
5Jehoiakim was 25 years old when he became king, and he ruled for eleven years in Jerusalem. He did what was evil in the Lord’s eyes. 6Babylon’s King Nebuchadnezzar attacked him, bound him with bronze chains, and took him to Babylon. 7Nebuchadnezzar also took some equipment from the Lord’s temple to Babylon and placed them in his own temple there. 8The rest of Jehoiakim’s deeds, including his detestable practices and all that was charged against him, are written in the official records of Israel’s and Judah’s kings. His son Jehoiachin succeeded him as king.
9Jehoiachin was 18#LXX, 2 Kgs 24:8; MT eight years old when he became king, and he ruled for three months#2 Kgs 24:8; MT adds and ten days. in Jerusalem. He did what was evil in the Lord’s eyes. 10In the springtime, King Nebuchadnezzar sent for him to be brought to Babylon, along with valuable equipment from the Lord’s temple. Then he made Zedekiah his uncle the next king of Judah and Jerusalem.
11Zedekiah was 21 years old when he became king, and he ruled for eleven years in Jerusalem. 12He did what was evil in the Lord his God’s eyes and didn’t submit before the prophet Jeremiah, who spoke for the Lord. 13Moreover, he rebelled against King Nebuchadnezzar, despite the solemn pledge Nebuchadnezzar had forced him to swear in God’s name. He became stubborn and refused to turn back to the Lord, Israel’s God. 14All the leaders of the priests and the people also grew increasingly unfaithful, following all the detestable practices of the nations. They polluted the Lord’s temple that God had dedicated in Jerusalem. 15Time and time again, the Lord, the God of their ancestors, sent word to them through his messengers because he had compassion on his people and his dwelling. 16But they made fun of God’s messengers, treating God’s words with contempt and ridiculing God’s prophets to such an extent that there was no hope of warding off the Lord’s rising anger against his people.
17So God brought the Babylonian#Heb Chaldean king against them. The king killed their young men with the sword in their temple’s sanctuary, and showed no pity for young men or for virgins, for the old or for the feeble. God handed all of them over to him. 18Then the king hauled everything off to Babylon, every item from God’s temple, both large and small, including the treasures of the Lord’s temple and those of the king and his officials. 19Next the Babylonians burned God’s temple down, demolished the walls of Jerusalem, and set fire to all its palaces, destroying everything of value. 20Finally, he exiled to Babylon anyone who survived the killing so that they could be his slaves and the slaves of his children until Persia came to power. 21This is how the Lord’s word spoken by Jeremiah was carried out. The land finally enjoyed its sabbath rest. For as long as it lay empty, it rested, until seventy years were completed.
22In the first year of Persia’s King Cyrus, to carry out the Lord’s promise spoken through Jeremiah, the Lord moved Persia’s King Cyrus to issue the following proclamation throughout his kingdom, along with a written decree:
23This is what Persia’s King Cyrus says: The Lord, the God of heaven, has given me all the earth’s kingdoms and has instructed me to build a temple for him at Jerusalem in Judah. Whoever among you belong to God’s people, let them go up, and may the Lord their God be with them!
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