II Kings

Chapter 24

"Nebuchadnezzar's Move Against Jehoiakim [1-7]"
"Reign of Jehoiachin [8-17]."
"Zedekiah Starts his Reign Over Judah [18-20]."

This Bible Study is written by Roger Christopherson, and it's transcription is provided with written permission by http://www.theseason.org

In the last two chapters of the book of II Kings, Pharaoh is out as a power over Judah, and the king of Babylon then reigned. Babylon moved against Assyria some years prior and took the kingdom from Esarhaddon, king of Assyria. Then Nebuchadnezzar moved against the king of Egypt, and took all the land all the way to the Nile. When Nebuchadnezzar came to Jerusalem and the land of the house of Judah, there was no resistance and Jehoiakim, the son of Josiah, gladly agreed to pay tribute to Nebuchadnezzar, instead of going to war against Babylon. Remember all the while that this was taking place, the prophet of God, Jeremiah was going through the land preaching that Jerusalem would go into captivity because of their sins, just as the prophetess Huldah said they would. For saying such things in Jerusalem, he received great tribulation from both the people and the king.

Remember that the things that are happening in at this ancient times of the Old Testament are types of those things that shall happen again in the final generation at the time of the end. The Book of Revelation uses the king of Babylon as an example of how it shall be in the final days.

Revelation 17:4 "And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet colour, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication:"

This woman that was on the throne over the people of the world was the one world religious system that would control the world at this coming period of time.

Revelation 17:5 "And upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH."

The point to focus on here is that the name of the woman is therefore a secret sign or symbol of "that great city" which she personifies. the "harlots" are all of the religious forms that are practiced in the world, and those religious forms are now taking their foothold in the churches and religious counsels around the world. They will all be accepted in the Babylon of the final days. Remember that "Babylon", is derived from the word "Babel", which means "confusion". Babylon was the fountain-head of all idolatry and systems of false worship. This is also the "mystery of iniquity", spoken of in II Thessalonians 2:7.

II Thessalonians 2:7 "For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way."

The word "letteth, or let" means "to be held or stopped". Satan is the one being held by Michael until the appointed time when Satan and his angels will be released to the earth for the final five months. This time of "the mystery of iniquity" is when the entire world [except God's elect] will worship Satan as God. That time is not here yet, but we are in the generation that shall see it come to pass. So Satan as the king of Babylon will be a type of this king Nebuchadnezzar, that came against Jehoiakim, and completely destroyed Judah. So we see these are types in prophecy, set up as examples of what we shall see in these end times.

II Kings 24:1 "In his days Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came up, and Jehoiakim became his servant three years: then he turned and rebelled against him."

Remember that Jehoiakim was paying his taxes to Pharaoh, and now that king Nebuchadnezzar pushed Pharaoh back to Egypt, those taxes would now being going to Babylon. In time Jehoiakim and the house of Judah grew tired of paying the steep taxes to Babylon, and rebelled against Nebuchadnezzar. Remember what happened in Boston when the people got tired of paying the taxes to Britain? They rebelled also, and threw the tea overboard.

II Kings 24:2 "And the Lord sent against him bands of the Chaldees, and bands of the Syrians, and bands of the Moabites, and bands of the children of Ammon, and sent them against Judah to destroy it, according to the word of the Lord, which He spake by His servants the prophets."

This is why the words that the prophets spake should be important to us today, for God will do exactly as He has said that He would do, and has warned us through the mouths of His prophets. The Prophet Ezekiel was living at this time, and would be taken captive in the first wave, right along with Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego. Ezekiel had been in captivity in Babylon for thirty years, when his first vision came to him.

Ezekiel 1:1 "Now it came to pass in the thirtieth year in the fourth month, in the fifth day of the month, as I was among the captives by the river of Chebar, that the heavens were opened, and I saw visions of God."

Most of Ezekiel was prophecies concerning the end times, and from the fortieth chapter on is all dealing with the Millennium age. Naturally much of Ezekiel has not taken place yet, however we are seeing much of his prophecy being fulfilled right before our eyes today. The prophecies dealing with the Millennium age will not take place until Christ returns at the second advent. Friend, when someone tells you that the Old Testament is history and not for our times, look out for them, for they just don't know what they are talking about. Though it is history, it also is prophecy for the times that we are living in today, and the times forth into the eternity.

II Kings 24:3 "Surely at the commandment of the Lord came this upon Judah, to remove them out of His sight, for the sins of Manasseh, according to all that he did;"

The fall of Judah should be no surprise to Judah, for God promised them that this would happen. Remember when Josiah heard the fate that would come to Jerusalem, he repented and tried to destroy all the forms of idolatry that his father had allowed in the kingdom, yet at his death, his son Jehoahaz went right back to the same heathen religious forms that his grandfather Manasseh allowed.

II Kings 24:4 "And also for the innocent blood that he shed: for he filled Jerusalem with innocent blood; which; which the Lord would not pardon,"

It is important to pay attention here, spilling innocent blood is murderer. There simply is no pardon by God for the taking of innocent blood here on earth. The pardon, if any does come, is when that murderer faces his victims in the presence of Almighty God. That is the way it is, and the way that our heavenly Father has made it, even under the laws of Moses. There are no unsolved mysteries with our heavenly Father, for He sees all, and He even knows the thoughts and intents of the mind of the person taking the life of an innocent individual. Remember that it is well documented by Josephus that many prophets of God were murdered, including the prophet Isaiah.

II Kings 24:5 "Now the rest of the acts of Jehoiakim, and all that he did, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah:"

The subject in verses three and four was Manasseh and his evil acts. Those acts are the acts that will cause the fall of Jerusalem. However now in this verse, we are talking about the acts of Jehoiakim. Those acts are recorded in II Chronicles 36:2-9.

II Kings 24:6 "So Jehoiakim slept with his fathers: and Jehoiachin his son reigned in his stead."

Jehoiachin reigned only a very short time.

II Kings 24:7 "And the king of Egypt came not again any more out of his land: for the king of Babylon had taken from the river of Egypt unto the river Euphrates all that pertained to the king of Egypt."

Babylon was then in control of all the land from the Nile river in Egypt, all the way to the Euphrates and all the land that the king of Egypt had take in his war with Assyria. That war claimed the life of Josiah. The first siege took place by the Assyrians, then came the Pharaoh and his siege, and now Babylon is moved against Jerusalem with another siege. There were three sieges against Jerusalem. Now that Jerusalem would fall to Babylon, Nebuchadnezzar would would appoint caretaker kings to look after the affairs of the people of Jerusalem.

II Kings 24:8 "Jehoiachin was eighteen years old when he began to reign, and he reigned in Jerusalem three months. And his mother's name was Nehushta, the daughter of Elnathan of Jerusalem."

II Kings 24:9 And he did that which was evil in the sight of the Lord, according to all that he father had done."

In II Chronicles 36:9 it reads: "Jehoiachin was eight years old when he began to reign, and he reigned three months and ten days in Jerusalem."

In the Massorah text II Kings 24:9 is correct for Jehoiachin was eighteen years old when he started his reign. "Eight years" was an error by some scribe doing the translating. Considering that the scribes were Kenites, it is obvious that whoever he was, he was very careless in his job as were those over him. II Chronicles 2:55; "And the families of the scribes which dwelt at Jabez [Jerusalem], the Tirathites, the Shimeathites, and Suchathites. These are the Kenites that came of Hemath, the father of the house of Rechab." These men were Sopherites and were not Levitical priests, but assumed the role of the Levitical priests during the times that all the wickedness that went on in Judah. These Kenites used their position to try to hide themselves in the translations, and thus there is much distorting of the truth from the Massorah text, which guards against such carelessness. This is well documented in the foot notes of the Companion Bible.

II Kings 24:10 "And that time the servants of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came against Jerusalem, and the city was besieged."

It was at the close of the three months of the reign of this teenager king Jehoiachin that the city of Jerusalem was completely taken over by Nebuchandnezzar of Babylon.

II Kings 24:11 "And Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon come against the city, and his servants did besiege it."

Nebuchadnezzar did not have a hard time taking the city of Jerusalem.

II Kings 24:12 "And Jehoiachin the king of Judah went out to the king of Babylon, he, and his mother, and his servants, and his princes, and his officers: And the king of Babylon took him in the eighth year of his reign."

This may sound like a contradiction, but Jehoiachin was given regal or legal authority some eight years prior, even before he actually took the throne. This is shown by the prophet Jeremiah in Jeremiah 25:1; "The word that came to Jeremiah concerning all the People of Judah in the fourth year of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah king of Judah, that was the first year of Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon." The Scripture is accurate.

Jehoiachin listened to the prophets of God, that Jerusalem would be delivered into the hand of Babylon, and he simply gave up. He raised the white flag, opened the gate and with is mother, his princes and all his royal household, marched into Nebuchadnezzar's camp and surrendered. Along with Jehoiakim, was the children of the princes, and in that number included with them were the great prophets like Daniel, Ezekiel and all the other that would spend their life in Babylon revealing the Word of the Lord.

II Kings 24:13 "And he carried out thence all the treasures of the house of the Lord, and the treasures of the king's house, and cut in pieces all the vessels of gold which Solomon king of Israel had made in the temple of the Lord, as the Lord had said."

The taking of Jerusalem and the sacking of the Temple and the city of his gold and silver should not have been a surprise, for the Prophet Isaiah over a hundred years prior had prophesied that this is exactly what would happen. When Hezekiah took the ambassadors into the house of the Lord, and into his treasury to show off all that he had, including his military strength, Isaiah told him that Babylon would come in time and take all that was in Judah. [go back five chapters and read.]

II Kings 20:16 "And Isaiah said unto Hezekiah, "Hear the word of the Lord."

II Kings 20:17 " `Behold, the days come, that all that is in thine house, and that which thy fathers have laid up in store unto this day, shall be carried into Babylon: nothing shall be left', saith the Lord."

Here it is a century later, and God's Word has come to pass. God said that he was going to allow Babylon to come in and clean the entire house out. this was the reason that Isaiah was killed by Manasseh a few years later.

II Kings 24:14 "And he carried away all Jerusalem, and all the princes, and all the mighty men of valour, even ten thousand captives, and all the craftsmen and smiths: none remained, save the poorest sort of the People of the land."

Nebuchadnezzar left only the farmers and the poor and out caste of the cities behind to maintain the land, and keep the area in tact. He took with him all those that were trained to fight within his army, and those with the skills that could be used in building his capital and monuments back in Babylon. The princes and children of the wealthy were sent to Babylonian schools to learn the Chaldee language, to be used in various capacities in Babylon.

II Kings 24:15 "And he carried away Jehoiachin to Babylon, and the king's mother, and the king's wives, and his officers, and the mighty of the land, those carried he into captivity from Jerusalem to Babylon."

This is the start of the captivity of Judah, for the king and all the royal family as well as the military and skilled of the land are all uprooted out of Judah and taken to Babylon. The Babylonians were very strong on learning, and their god was "Nebo", the god of learning. Nebuchadnezzar was a great scholar in his day. He had great schools and libraries, and when the children of the princesses' of Judah went into captivity, they were made eunuchs, trained well and used in the courts of Babylon.

Daniel 1:2 "And the Lord gave Jehoiakim king of Judah into his hand, with part of the vessels of the house of God: which he carried into the land of Shinar to the house of his God [Nebo]; and he brought the vessels into the treasure house of his god. "

Daniel 1:3 "And the king spake unto Ashpenaz the master of his eunuchs, that he should bring certain of the children of Israel, and of the king's seed, and of the princes;"

These children of Jehoiakim and the rest of the princes' of Judah were made eunuchs upon their arrival into Shinar, in Babylon. And then they were fed well and trained in the school systems of the Babylon.

Daniel 1:4 "Children whom was no blemish, but well favoured, and skilful in all wisdom, and cunning in knowledge, and understanding science, and such as had ability in them to stand in the king's palace, and whom they might teach the learning and the tongue of the Chaldeans."

These were children who were brought up with royal protocol, and knew how to pay respect to a king. Nebuchadnezzar trained these children to be brought up in his line of thinking, and he would protect these children even while they were in captivity. Though these people of Judah were considered captive, they were allowed to own land, have business, raise their crops and sell it on the market, and live much as the Babylonians did at that time. However, for those left back in Judah, things did not go as well for them. Things went well for you as long as you obeyed the king of Babylon, and sought to uphold the laws of the land. That is basically the way it is in any nation, for as long as you obey the laws of any land, that nation will protect your rights of that land.

II Kings 24:16 "And all the men of might, even seven thousand, and craftsmen and smiths a thousand, all that were strong and apt for war, even them the king of Babylon brought captive to Babylon."

With the fighting men and the craftsmen all taken out of Jerusalem, and out of Judah, any strength in Judah was gone. They were all removed out of Judah and taken to Shinar the capital of Babylon.

II Kings 24:17 "And the king of Babylon made Mattaniah his father's brother king in his stead, and changed his name to Zedekiah."

"Mattaniah" in the Hebrew tongue means "gift of God". Nebuchadnezzar changed the name of Mattaniah to "Zedekiah", and made him king in Jerusalem. "Zedekiah" means the "just of God" and Nebuchadnezzar hoped that Zedekiah would be a just ruler in Jerusalem, over the poor folks that were left behind, and the farmers that were out in their fields.

II Kings 24:18 "Zedekiah was twenty and one years old when he began to reign, and he reigned eleven years in Jerusalem. And his mother's name was Hamutal, the daughter of Jeremiah of Libnah."

This was not the prophet Jeremiah, for Hamutal would be the grandmother of Zedekiah, and the cousin to Jehoahaz, who reigned for only three months in Jerusalem, as we read in chapter 23:31.

II Kings 24:19 "And he did that which was evil in the sight of the Lord, according to all that Jehoiakim had done."

Jehoiakim was the father of Jehoiachin, the king that opened the gate and went with Nebuchadnezzar off to Babylon. Remember that the Temple had been stripped of all the vessels of the Lord, and all that was the shell or walls of the temple. All the higher educated of the priesthood were gone into captivity. And in the place, the weakened state that Zedekiah was in, he rebelled against God. It simply doesn't matter what situation you are in, you are not going to rebel against God and get away with it. You can't hide your thoughts from God, for he knows the intent of your mind.

II Kings 24:20 "For through the anger of the Lord it came to pass in Jerusalem and Judah, until He had cast them out of His presence, that Zedekiah rebelled against the king of Babylon."

This will be Zedekiah last mistake for when he rebelled against the king of Babylon, Nebuchadnezzar will not put up with it, and he will kill all of Zedekiah's sons and then put Zedekiah's eyes out, so that this will be the last thing that Zedekiah ever sees. When the final battle came, there wasn't much left in the city to defend, and Zedekiah fled in the night. Nebuchadnezzar caught up to him at Riblah in Hamath and put an end of Zedekiah. Zedekiah would be the last king to rule in Jerusalem before the city was completely destroyed, and the people would all be hauled into captivity.

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