2 Kings 24-25: Rebellion and Captivity
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2 Kings 24-25: Rebellion and Captivity

Original Publication Date
February 18, 2017
Updated
Oct 7, 2023 2:18 AM
Tags
2 KingsChapter StudyBabylonJerusalemCaptivity
Bible References
2 Kings 24-25
Status
Done
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Table of Contents
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This page was originally posted on my Blogger version of the blog on February 18, 2017 The content below has a few minor tweaks for clarity, and additional references, and some updated information.

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 all the way back into idolatry at this point.

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).

Babylon Attacks

Prompted by the rebellion started by Jehoiakim, Babylon takes advantage of Israel's weakness and attacks 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 imprisoning 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 see 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.

The Fall of Judah

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 70Β AD. After almost 2000 years, Israel was re-establish in the 1960's as 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.

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 siege 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]

References and Footnotes

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

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