Jehoahaz. 1a The people of the land took Jehoahaz, son of Josiah, and made him king in Jerusalem to succeed his father. 2Jehoahaz was twenty-three years old when he became king, and he reigned three months in Jerusalem. 3The king of Egypt deposed him in Jerusalem and fined the land one hundred talents of silver and a talent of gold. 4Then the king of Egypt made Eliakim, the brother of Jehoahaz, king over Judah and Jerusalem, changing his name to Jehoiakim. Neco took Jehoahaz his brother away and brought him to Egypt.
Jehoiakim. 5Jehoiakim was twenty-five years old when he became king, and he reigned eleven years in Jerusalem. He did what was evil in the sight of the LORD, his God.b 6c Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, attacked and bound him in chains to take him to Babylon.* 7Nebuchadnezzar also carried away to Babylon some of the vessels of the house of the LORD and put them in his palace in Babylon. 8The rest of the acts of Jehoiakim, the abominable things that he did, and what therefore happened to him, are recorded in the book of the kings of Israel and Judah. His son Jehoiachin succeeded him as king.d
Jehoiachin. 9Jehoiachin was eighteen years old when he became king, and he reigned three months and ten days in Jerusalem. He did what was evil in the LORD’s sight.e 10At the turn of the year, King Nebuchadnezzar sent for him and had him brought to Babylon, along with precious vessels from the house of the LORD. He made his brother Zedekiah* king over Judah and Jerusalem.f
Zedekiah. 11Zedekiah was twenty-one years old when he became king, and he reigned eleven years in Jerusalem.g 12He did what was evil in the sight of the LORD, his God, and he did not humble himself before Jeremiah the prophet, who spoke for the LORD.h 13He also rebelled against King Nebuchadnezzar, who had made him swear by God. He became stiff-necked and hardened his heart rather than return to the LORD, the God of Israel.i 14Likewise all the princes of Judah, the priests, and the people added treachery to treachery, practicing all the abominations of the nations and defiling the LORD’s house which he had consecrated in Jerusalem.
The Fall of Judah. 15Early and often the LORD, the God of their ancestors, sent his messengers to them, for he had compassion on his people and his dwelling place.j 16But they mocked God’s messengers, despised his words, and scoffed at his prophets, until the LORD’s anger against his people blazed up beyond remedy.k 17Then he brought up against them the king of the Chaldeans, who killed their young men with the sword in their own sanctuary, with compassion for neither young men nor young women, neither the old nor the infirm; all of them he delivered into his power.l 18All the utensils of the house of God, large and small, the treasures of the LORD’s house, and the treasures of the king and his princes, all these he brought to Babylon.m 19They burnt the house of God, tore down the walls of Jerusalem, burnt down all its palaces, and destroyed all its precious objects.n 20Those who escaped the sword he carried captive to Babylon, where they became servants to him and his sons until the Persian kingdom came to power. 21All this was to fulfill the word of the LORD spoken by Jeremiah: Until the land has retrieved its lost sabbaths, during all the time it lies waste it shall have rest while seventy years are fulfilled.
Decree of Cyrus. 22* In the first year of Cyrus, king of Persia, in order to realize the word of the LORD spoken by Jeremiah, the LORD roused the spirit of Cyrus, King of Persia, to spread this proclamation throughout his kingdom, both by word of mouth and in writing:o 23“Thus says Cyrus, king of Persia: The LORD, the God of heaven, has given to me all the kingdoms of the earth. He has also charged me to build him a house in Jerusalem, which is in Judah. All among you, therefore, who belong to his people, may their God be with them; let them go up.”
* [36:6] Nebuchadnezzar…bound him in chains to take him to Babylon: the Chronicler does not state that Jehoiakim was actually taken to Babylon. According to 2 Kgs 24:1–6, Jehoiakim revolted after being Nebuchadnezzar’s vassal for three years; he died in Jerusalem before the city surrendered to the Babylonians. Dn 1:1–2, apparently based on 2 Chr 36:6–7, does speak of Jehoiakim’s deportation to Babylon.
* [36:10] His brother Zedekiah: Zedekiah was actually the brother of Jehoiakim and the uncle of Jehoiachin (2 Kgs 24:17; Jer 37:1), though scarcely older than his nephew (2 Kgs 24:8, 18; 2 Chr 36:9, 11).