2 Kings 24&25: Rebellion and Captivity

2 Kings 24 and 25 reveal the last days of the southern kingdom before it is taken captive by Babylon. Just as the last days of Earth will be for us, these days were filled with turmoil.

Introduction

2 Kings 24 and 25 reveal the last days of the southern kingdom before it is taken captive by Babylon. Just as the last days of Earth will be for us, these days were filled with turmoil. Jehoiakim, who was already indebted to Egypt, falls to Babylon and is forced to be a servant to them for 3 years before he rebels against them. During his reign, he is attacked by the Chaldeans, the Syrians, Moabites, and Ammonites. This was all punishment for the sins Judah has committed under Manasseh and for the innocent blood that had been spilled. Since Jehoiakim was an evil king, the Israelites had likely drifted back into idolatry at this point.
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A New King

When Jehoiakim dies, his son Jehoiachin takes over the throne. Jehoiachin is 18 years old when he begins to rule. He only reigns 3 months before taken captive by the king of Babylon. Like his father, Jehoiachin led the people to idolatry and rebelled against God's law. Perhaps if these two men had been more like Josiah, Judah would not have fallen to Babylon (and perhaps they would have lived longer, as well).
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Babylon Attacks

Prompted by the rebellion started by Jehoiakim, Babylon takes advantage of Israel's weakness and attack the city of Jerusalem. The people of Jerusalem are taken captive after this siege. At least 10,000 men ranging from craftsmen to the poorest men are taken back to Babylon, including princes, soldiers, and the king's family. Wealth and stature did not exempt anyone from being taken prisoner.

After improsioning Jehoiachin, who was reigning as king, the king of Babylon appoints the brother of Jehoiakim, Mattaniah, to be king. Just as Egypt changed Eliakim's name to Jehoiakim, Mattaniah's name is changed to Zedekiah by the king of Babylon. In many cultures it is thought that changing someone's name gives you power over that person. In changing these kings' names, the other kings were exerting their power and claiming superiority. Note that many celebrities in our world also undergo name changes. In the Bible, we that both God and pagan kings change the names of people, which means the practice is not exclusively good or evil. We must listen carefully to discern if it is in God's will that our name change when such opportunities arise.
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The Fall of Judah

Photocredit: ShutterStock.com/Akos Nagy
2 Kings 25 discusses the capture of the southern kingdom, known as Judah. Once Judah fell, the nation of Israel ceased to be for quite some time. It is interesting to think about this because it isn't the only time the nation of Israel was eradicated then reborn. The Israelites of Judah eventually find their way back to Israel only to be dismantled by the Romans after the siege on Jerusalem in 70 ad. After almost 2000 years of being scattered, the Jews reclaimed Israel in the 1960's and created the modern country of Israel. God was true to His promise that though He would scatter them, He would always bring them back.

The final siege lasted so long it caused a famine! The king of Judah was forced to watch his sons murdered. The Temple was raided and all the wealth was taken to Babylon. In the end, Babylon releases Jehoiachin from prison and sets him up as a fake king.
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Extra Biblical Evidence

Atheists and agnostics don't view the Bible as a valid history source, though for some reason secular history sources are automatically seen as valid sources. Nonetheless, the seige and captivity of Judah is coraborated by the Babylonian chronicles. Excavations of Babylon have also turned up tablets referencing the rations of Jehoiachin, who is confirmed as the king of Judah and a captive of Babylon.[1][2]
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References

  1. "Babylonian Captivity". Wikipedia; visited February 2017
  2. "Biblical Archaeology 24: Jehoiachin’s Rations". Theosophical. August 25, 2011

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About

Author Image Author Image I love reading the Word of God. With prayer God's Word reveals so much: from comfort to temperance, from perspective to affirmation. Digging into the depths of the Word, cross-referencing history, language and time differences, is a passion of mine. In March of 2015 I decided to go back through the Bible doing an in depth study on each section I read. Eventually I decided to share my journal of notes as I partake in this journey. I hope you are blessed by God and inspired to pursue a deeper relationship with Him. I love reading and learning about God, nature, and science. I am interested in how it all connects. The Creator's fingerprints are all over his creation. We can learn so much about Him and how we came to be by exploring the world around us. Join me as I explore the world and draw closer to the One who created it all.
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