Bible Society of South Africa

Bible Reading Plan – Day 194

Bible text(s)

King Jehoiakim of Judah

35King Jehoiakim collected a tax from the people in proportion to their wealth, in order to raise the amount needed to pay the tribute demanded by the king of Egypt.

36Jehoiakim was 25 years old when he became king of Judah, and he ruled in Jerusalem for eleven years. His mother was Zebidah, the daughter of Pedaiah from the town of Rumah. 37Following the example of his ancestors, Jehoiakim sinned against the LORD.

1While Jehoiakim was king, King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylonia invaded Judah, and for three years Jehoiakim was forced to submit to his rule; then he rebelled. 2The LORD sent armed bands of Babylonians, Syrians, Moabites, and Ammonites against Jehoiakim to destroy Judah, as the LORD had said through his servants the prophets that he would do. 3This happened at the LORD's command, in order to banish the people of Judah from his sight because of all the sins that King Manasseh had committed, 4and especially because of all the innocent people he had killed. The LORD could not forgive Manasseh for that.

5Everything else that Jehoiakim did is recorded in The History of the Kings of Judah. 6Jehoiakim died, and his son Jehoiachin succeeded him as king.

7The king of Egypt and his army never marched out of Egypt again, because the king of Babylonia now controlled all the territory that had belonged to Egypt, from the River Euphrates to the northern border of Egypt.

King Jehoiachin of Judah

(2 Chr 36.9–10)

8Jehoiachin was eighteen years old when he became king of Judah, and he ruled in Jerusalem for three months. His mother was Nehushta, the daughter of Elnathan from Jerusalem. 9Following the example of his father, Jehoiachin sinned against the LORD.

10It was during his reign that the Babylonian army, commanded by King Nebuchadnezzar's officers, marched against Jerusalem and besieged it. 11During the siege Nebuchadnezzar himself came to Jerusalem, 12and King Jehoiachin, along with his mother, his sons, his officers, and the palace officials, surrendered to the Babylonians. In the eighth year of Nebuchadnezzar's reign he took Jehoiachin prisoner 13and carried off to Babylon all the treasures in the Temple and the palace. As the LORD had foretold, Nebuchadnezzar broke up all the gold utensils which King Solomon had made for use in the Temple. 14Nebuchadnezzar carried away as prisoners the people of Jerusalem, all the royal princes, and all the leading men, 10,000 in all. He also deported all the skilled workmen, including the blacksmiths, leaving only the poorest of the people behind in Judah.

15Nebuchadnezzar took Jehoiachin to Babylon as a prisoner, together with Jehoiachin's mother, his wives, his officials, and the leading men of Judah. 16Nebuchadnezzar deported all the important men to Babylonia, 7,000 in all, and 1,000 skilled workers, including the blacksmiths, all of them able-bodied men fit for military duty.

17Nebuchadnezzar made Jehoiachin's uncle Mattaniah king of Judah and changed his name to Zedekiah.

King Zedekiah of Judah

(2 Chr 36.11–12; Jer 52.1–3a)

18Zedekiah was 21 years old when he became king of Judah, and he ruled in Jerusalem for eleven years. His mother was Hamutal, the daughter of Jeremiah from the city of Libnah. 19King Zedekiah sinned against the LORD, just as King Jehoiakim had done. 20The LORD became so angry with the people of Jerusalem and Judah that he banished them from his sight.

The Fall of Jerusalem

1Zedekiah rebelled against King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylonia, so Nebuchadnezzar came with all his army and attacked Jerusalem on the tenth day of the tenth month of the ninth year of Zedekiah's reign. They set up camp outside the city, built siege walls round it, 2and kept it under siege until Zedekiah's eleventh year. 3On the ninth day of the fourth month of that same year, when the famine was so bad that the people had nothing left to eat, 4the city walls were broken through. Although the Babylonians were surrounding the city, all the soldiers escaped during the night. They left by way of the royal garden, went through the gateway connecting the two walls, and fled in the direction of the Jordan Valley. 5But the Babylonian army pursued King Zedekiah, captured him in the plains near Jericho, and all his soldiers deserted him. 6Zedekiah was taken to King Nebuchadnezzar, who was in the city of Riblah, and there Nebuchadnezzar passed sentence on him. 7While Zedekiah was looking on, his sons were put to death; then Nebuchadnezzar had Zedekiah's eyes put out, placed him in chains, and took him to Babylon.

The Destruction of the Temple

8On the seventh day of the fifth month of the nineteenth year of King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylonia, Nebuzaradan, adviser to the king and commander of his army, entered Jerusalem. 9He burnt down the Temple, the palace, and the houses of all the important people in Jerusalem, 10and his soldiers tore down the city walls. 11Then Nebuzaradan took away to Babylonia the people who were left in the city, the remaining skilled workmen, and those who had deserted to the Babylonians. 12But he left in Judah some of the poorest people, who owned no property, and put them to work in the vineyards and fields.

13The Babylonians broke in pieces the bronze columns and the carts that were in the Temple, together with the large bronze tank, and they took all the bronze to Babylon. 14They also took away the shovels and the ash containers used in cleaning the altar, the tools used in tending the lamps, the bowls used for catching the blood from the sacrifices, the bowls used for burning incense, and all the other bronze articles used in the temple service. 15They took away everything that was made of gold or silver, including the small bowls and the pans used for carrying live coals. 16The bronze objects that King Solomon had made for the Temple — the two columns, the carts, and the large tank — were too heavy to weigh. 17The two columns were identical: each one was eight metres high, with a bronze capital on top, 1.3 metres high. All round each capital was a bronze grating decorated with pomegranates made of bronze.

The People of Judah are Taken to Babylonia

18In addition, Nebuzaradan, the commanding officer, took away as prisoners Seraiah the High Priest, Zephaniah the priest next in rank, and the three other important temple officials. 19From the city he took the officer who had been in command of the troops, five of the king's personal advisers who were still in the city, the commander's assistant, who was in charge of military records, and sixty other important men. 20Nebuzaradan took them to the king of Babylonia, who was in the city of Riblah 21in the territory of Hamath. There the king had them beaten and put to death.

So the people of Judah were carried away from their land into exile.

Gedaliah, Governor of Judah

22King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylonia made Gedaliah, the son of Ahikam and grandson of Shaphan, governor of Judah, and placed him in charge of all those who had not been taken away to Babylonia. 23When the Judean officers and soldiers who had not surrendered heard about this, they joined Gedaliah at Mizpah. These officers were Ishmael son of Nethaniah, Johanan son of Kareah, Seraiah son of Tanhumeth, from the town of Netophah, and Jezaniah from Maacah. 24Gedaliah said to them, “I give you my word that there is no need for you to be afraid of the Babylonian officials. Settle in this land, serve the king of Babylonia, and all will go well with you.”

25But in the seventh month of that year, Ishmael, the son of Nethaniah and grandson of Elishama, a member of the royal family, went to Mizpah with ten men, attacked Gedaliah and killed him. He also killed the Israelites and Babylonians who were there with him. 26Then all the Israelites, rich and poor alike, together with the army officers, left and went to Egypt, because they were afraid of the Babylonians.

Jehoiachin is Released from Prison

27In the year that Evilmerodach became king of Babylonia, he showed kindness to King Jehoiachin of Judah by releasing him from prison. This happened on the 27th day of the twelfth month of the 37th year after Jehoiachin had been taken away as prisoner. 28Evilmerodach treated him kindly, and gave him a position of greater honour than he gave the other kings who were exiles with him in Babylonia. 29So Jehoiachin was permitted to change from his prison clothes and to dine at the king's table for the rest of his life. 30Each day, for as long as he lived, he was given a regular allowance for his needs.

2 Kings 23:35-25:30GNBOpen in Bible reader

King Joahaz of Judah

1The people of Judah chose Josiah's son Joahaz and anointed him king in Jerusalem. 2Joahaz was 23 years old when he became king of Judah, and he ruled in Jerusalem for three months. 3King Neco of Egypt took him prisoner and made Judah pay 3.4 tonnes of silver and 34 kilogrammes of gold as tribute. 4Neco made Joahaz' brother Eliakim king of Judah and changed his name to Jehoiakim. Joahaz was taken to Egypt by Neco.

King Jehoiakim of Judah

5Jehoiakim was 25 years old when he became king of Judah, and he ruled in Jerusalem for eleven years. He sinned against the LORD his God. 6King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylonia invaded Judah, captured Jehoiakim, and took him to Babylonia in chains. 7Nebuchadnezzar carried off some of the treasures of the Temple and put them in his palace in Babylon. 8Everything that Jehoiakim did, including his disgusting practices and the evil he committed, is recorded in The History of the Kings of Israel and Judah. His son Jehoiachin succeeded him as king.

King Jehoiachin of Judah

9Jehoiachin was eighteen years old when he became king of Judah, and he ruled in Jerusalem for three months and ten days. He too sinned against the LORD. 10When spring came, King Nebuchadnezzar took Jehoiachin to Babylonia as a prisoner, and carried off the treasures of the Temple. Then Nebuchadnezzar made Jehoiachin's uncle Zedekiah king of Judah and Jerusalem.

King Zedekiah of Judah

11Zedekiah was 21 years old when he became king of Judah, and he ruled in Jerusalem for eleven years. 12He sinned against the LORD and did not listen humbly to the prophet Jeremiah, who spoke the word of the LORD.

The Fall of Jerusalem

13Zedekiah rebelled against King Nebuchadnezzar, who had forced him to swear in God's name that he would be loyal. He stubbornly refused to repent and return to the LORD, the God of Israel. 14In addition, the leaders of Judah, the priests, and the people followed the sinful example of the nations round them in worshipping idols, and so they defiled the Temple, which the LORD himself had made holy. 15The LORD, the God of their ancestors, had continued to send prophets to warn his people, because he wanted to spare them and the Temple. 16But they ridiculed God's messengers, ignoring his words and laughing at his prophets, until at last the LORD's anger against his people was so great that there was no escape.

17So the LORD brought the king of Babylonia to attack them. The king killed the young men of Judah, even in the Temple. He had no mercy on anyone, young or old, man or woman, sick or healthy. God handed them all over to him. 18The king of Babylonia looted the Temple, the temple treasury, and the wealth of the king and his officials, and took everything back to Babylon. 19He burnt down the Temple and the city, with all its palaces and its wealth, and broke down the city wall. 20He took all the survivors to Babylonia, where they served him and his descendants as slaves until the rise of the Persian Empire. 21And so what the LORD had foretold through the prophet Jeremiah was fulfilled: “The land will lie desolate for seventy years, to make up for the Sabbath rest that has not been observed.”

Cyrus Commands the Jews to Return

22In the first year that Cyrus of Persia was emperor, the LORD made what he had said through the prophet Jeremiah come true. He prompted Cyrus to issue the following command and send it out in writing to be read aloud everywhere in his empire:

23“This is the command of Cyrus, Emperor of Persia. The LORD, the God of Heaven, has made me ruler over the whole world and has given me the responsibility of building a temple for him in Jerusalem in Judah. Now, all of you who are God's people, go there, and may the LORD your God be with you.”

2 Chronicles 36:1-23GNBOpen in Bible reader
Bible Society of South Africav.4.21.8
Find us on