2 Chronicles 36: The final kings of Judah
& the Exile
Notes: This chapter
is initially a sad recollection of the last kings of Judah, a
steady spiritual decline and clear declaration of the folly of
the sinfulness of a people who should have known better, that
resulted in Nebuchadnezzar destroying Jerusalem and taking the
majority of the people into exile. Although in most of the book
there is little spiritual commentary, this final chapter is not
sparing of its denunciation of the sin of the people leading to
their destruction. Yet the book concludes on a high note with
the record of Cyrus receiving God's instruction to have the temple
back in the ruined Jerusalem rebuilt. There is an element of hope
for the nation.]
Jehoahaz king of Judah
the people of the land took Jehoahaz son of
Josiah and made him king in Jerusalem in place of his father.
was twenty-three years old when he became king, and he reigned
in Jerusalem for three months.
king of Egypt dethroned him in Jerusalem and imposed on Judah
a levy of a hundred talents of silver and a talent of gold.
king of Egypt made Eliakim, a brother of Jehoahaz,
king over Judah and Jerusalem and changed Eliakim's name to Jehoiakim.
But Necho took Eliakim's brother Jehoahaz and carried him off
Jehoiakim king of Judah
was twenty-five years old when he became king, and he
reigned in Jerusalem for eleven years. He did evil in the eyes
of the Lord
king of Babylon attacked him and bound him with bronze shackles
to take him to Babylon.
also took to Babylon articles from the temple of the Lord
and put them
in his temple there.
other events of Jehoiakim's reign, the detestable things he did
and all that was found against him, are written in the book of
the kings of Israel and Judah. And Jehoiachin
his son succeeded him as king.
Jehoiachin king of Judah
was eighteen years old when he became king, and he reigned
in Jerusalem for three months and ten days. He did evil in
the eyes of the Lord.
the spring, King Nebuchadnezzar sent for him and brought him to
Babylon, together with articles of value from the temple of the
and he made Jehoiachin's uncle, Zedekiah, king
over Judah and Jerusalem.
Zedekiah king of Judah
Zedekiah was twenty-one years old when he became
king, and he reigned in Jerusalem for eleven years.
did evil in the eyes of the Lord
did not humble himself before Jeremiah the prophet, who spoke
the word of the Lord
also rebelled against King Nebuchadnezzar, who had made him take
an oath in God's name. He became stiff-necked and hardened his
heart and would not turn to the Lord,
the God of Israel.
all the leaders of the priests and the people became more
and more unfaithful, following all the detestable practices of
the nations and defiling the temple of the Lord,
he had consecrated in Jerusalem.
The Fall of Jerusalem
the God of their ancestors, sent word to them through his messengers
again and again, because he had pity on his people and on his
they mocked God's messengers, despised his words and scoffed at
his prophets until the wrath of the Lord
against his people and there was no remedy.
brought up against them the king of the Babylonians, who killed
their young men with the sword in the sanctuary, and did not spare
young men or young women, the elderly or the infirm. God gave
them all into the hands of Nebuchadnezzar.
carried to Babylon all the articles from the temple of God, both
large and small, and the treasures of the Lord's
temple and the treasures of the king and his officials.
set fire to God's temple and broke down the wall of Jerusalem;
they burned all the palaces and destroyed everything of value
carried into exile to Babylon the remnant, who escaped from the
sword, and they became servants to him and his successors until
the kingdom of Persia came to power.
A glimpse of the future
land enjoyed its sabbath rests; all the time of its desolation
it rested, until the seventy years were completed in fulfilment
of the word of the Lord
the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, in order to fulfil the
word of the Lord
Jeremiah, the Lord
heart of Cyrus king of Persia to make a proclamation throughout
his realm and also to put it in writing:
is what Cyrus king of Persia says:
the God of heaven, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth
and he has appointed me to build a temple for him at Jerusalem
in Judah. Any of his people among you may go up, and may the Lord
be with them.”'