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Sunday, May 8 2011

Jehoiachin Of Judah

Jehoiachin (from the Hebrew name pronounced yeh-ho-yaw-keen) was the second-last king of The Southern Kingdom of Judah (see also Kings of Israel and Judah) before it was destroyed by Babylon (see Ancient Empires - Babylon). Jehoiachin was only eighteen years old (due to a scribal error, some ancient manuscripts incorrectly list his age as eight, while others list it as eighteen - logically, an eight year old could not have done the evil that Jehoiachin did) when he was appointed as a figurehead. The other three of the last four kings of Judah were also still within the gullible and naive age (Jehoahaz 23, Jehoiakim 25, Zedekiah 21) when young men are best suited as front-line fighters, not as commanders of armies and nations who have earned the depth of wisdom and knowledge that comes from their bloody experience. At an age when they were psychologically wired to be the "heroic" pawns of kings, these pawns were seemingly made kings - but nevertheless remained pawns of the foreign kings of Egypt and Babylon who ruled over them.

The Holy Scriptures

"36:2 Jehoahaz [see Shallum / Jehoahaz Of Judah] was twenty and three years old when he began to reign, and he reigned three months in Jerusalem. 36:3 And the king of Egypt put him down at Jerusalem, and condemned the land in an hundred talents of silver and a talent of gold. 36:4 And the king of Egypt made Eliakim his brother king over Judah and Jerusalem, and turned his name to Jehoiakim. And Necho took Jehoahaz his brother, and carried him to Egypt.

36:5 Jehoiakim [see Jehoiakim Of Judah] was twenty and five years old when he began to reign, and he reigned eleven years in Jerusalem: and he did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD his God. 36:6 Against him came up Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, and bound him in fetters, to carry him to Babylon. 36:7 Nebuchadnezzar also carried of the vessels of the house of the LORD to Babylon, and put them in his temple at Babylon. 36:8 Now the rest of the acts of Jehoiakim, and his abominations which he did, and that which was found in him, behold, they are written in the book of the kings of Israel and Judah: and Jehoiachin his son reigned in his stead.

36:9 Jehoiachin was eight[teen] years old when he began to reign, and he reigned three months and ten days in Jerusalem: and he did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD. 36:10 And when the year was expired, king Nebuchadnezzar sent, and brought him to Babylon, with the goodly vessels of the house of the LORD, and made Zedekiah his brother king over Judah and Jerusalem.

36:11 Zedekiah was one and twenty years old when he began to reign, and reigned eleven years in Jerusalem. 36:12 And he did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD his God, and humbled not himself before Jeremiah the prophet speaking from the mouth of the LORD. 36:13 And he also rebelled against king Nebuchadnezzar, who had made him swear by God: but he stiffened his neck, and hardened his heart from turning unto the LORD God of Israel. 36:14 Moreover all the chief of the priests, and the people, transgressed very much after all the abominations of the heathen; and polluted the house of the LORD which he had hallowed in Jerusalem." (2 Chronicles 36:2-14 KJV)

"Jehoiachin was eighteen years old when he began to reign, and he reigned in Jerusalem three months"

The fall of Jehoiachin's predecessor Jehoiakim happened at the time that Babylon was surpassing Egypt as the "superpower." Within Judah itself however, it didn't matter who they were going to fall to - the kings, and the nation as a whole, had become corrupt beyond repair (primarily because of their "democracy" in which the people did what they decided was right, rather than what the LORD commanded was right) to which the LORD declared that He had enough of their self-worshipping rebellious nonsense. It was for that reason alone that the LORD permitted Judah to fall, just as He had permitted The Northern Kingdom of Israel to fall to the Assyrian Empire over 130 years before (see Ancient Empires - Assyria and The Galilee Captivity).

The Babylonian Empire

"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. 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 [see The Prophets: North and South]. 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; 24:4 And also for the innocent blood that he shed: for he filled Jerusalem with innocent blood; which the LORD would not pardon. 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? 24:6 So Jehoiakim slept with his fathers: and Jehoiachin his son reigned in his stead." (2 Kings 24:1-6 KJV)

Jehoiachin's "reign" lasted only 3 months.

"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. 24:9 And he did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD, according to all that his father had done." (2 Kings 24:8-9 KJV)

Jehoiachin was taken to Babylon, along with much of the population of Judah (including the family of Esther - see below).

"24:10 At that time the servants of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came up against Jerusalem, and the city was besieged. 24:11 And Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came against the city, and his servants did besiege it. 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.

24:13 And he carried out thence all the treasures of the house of the LORD [see also Raiders Of The Lost Ark], 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. 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." (2 Kings 24:10-14 KJV)

The Babylonian king appointed Jehoiachin's uncle Mattaniah, who he renamed as Zedekiah, to be the "king" of Judah in place of Jehoiachin.

"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. 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. 24:17 And the king of Babylon made Mattaniah his father's brother king in his stead, and changed his name to Zedekiah." (2 Kings 24:15-17 KJV)

In Babylon, Jehoiachin was held in a prison for thirty-seven years, from age 18 to 55, after which a later Babylonian king released him and allowed him to live the remainder of his life "free" in Babylon.

"25:27 And it came to pass in the seven and thirtieth year of the captivity of Jehoiachin king of Judah, in the twelfth month, on the seven and twentieth day of the month, that Evilmerodach king of Babylon in the year that he began to reign did lift up the head of Jehoiachin king of Judah out of prison; 25:28 And he spake kindly to him, and set his throne above the throne of the kings that were with him in Babylon; 25:29 And changed his prison garments: and he did eat bread continually before him all the days of his life. 25:30 And his allowance was a continual allowance given him of the king, a daily rate for every day, all the days of his life." (2 Kings 25:27-30 KJV)

Jehoiachin is also recorded in Bible History by two other names - Coniah (from the Hebrew name pronounced cone-yah-hoo) and Jeconiah (from the Hebrew name pronounced yek-own-yaw). It was by the name Coniah that the LORD referred to His Judgment upon Jehoiachin.

"22:24 As I live, saith the LORD, though Coniah the son of Jehoiakim king of Judah were the signet upon my right hand, yet would I pluck thee thence; 22:25 And I will give thee into the hand of them that seek thy life, and into the hand of them whose face thou fearest, even into the hand of Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon, and into the hand of the Chaldeans. 22:26 And I will cast thee out, and thy mother that bare thee, into another country, where ye were not born; and there shall ye die.

22:27 But to the land whereunto they desire to return, thither shall they not return. 22:28 Is this man Coniah a despised broken idol? is he a vessel wherein is no pleasure? wherefore are they cast out, he and his seed, and are cast into a land which they know not? 22:29 O earth, earth, earth, hear the word of the LORD. 22:30 Thus saith the LORD, Write ye this man childless, a man that shall not prosper in his days: for no man of his seed shall prosper, sitting upon the throne of David, and ruling any more in Judah." (Jeremiah 22:24-30 KJV)

Jehoiachin is called Jeconiah in Jeremiah's "naughty figs" prophecy (see also The Two Naughty Sisters).

"24:1 The LORD showed me, and, behold, two baskets of figs were set before the temple of the LORD, after that Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon had carried away captive Jeconiah the son of Jehoiakim king of Judah, and the princes of Judah, with the carpenters and smiths, from Jerusalem, and had brought them to Babylon. 24:2 One basket had very good figs, even like the figs that are first ripe: and the other basket had very naughty figs, which could not be eaten, they were so bad. 24:3 Then said the LORD unto me, What seest thou, Jeremiah? And I said, Figs; the good figs, very good; and the evil, very evil, that cannot be eaten, they are so evil. 24:4 Again the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, 24:5 Thus saith the LORD, the God of Israel; Like these good figs, so will I acknowledge them that are carried away captive of Judah, whom I have sent out of this place into the land of the Chaldeans for their good." (Jeremiah 24:1-5 KJV)

In the book of Esther, Jehoiachin is called Jeconiah. Esther's family (see also Purim) were among those people of Judah taken away to Babylon along with Jehoiachin.

"2:5 Now in Shushan the palace there was a certain Jew, whose name was Mordecai, the son of Jair, the son of Shimei, the son of Kish, a Benjamite; 2:6 Who had been carried away from Jerusalem with the captivity which had been carried away with Jeconiah king of Judah, whom Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon had carried away. 2:7 And he brought up Hadassah, that is, Esther, his uncle's daughter: for she had neither father nor mother, and the maid was fair and beautiful; whom Mordecai, when her father and mother were dead, took for his own daughter." (Esther 2:5-7 KJV)

Jehoiachin (as "Jechonias," in verse 11 below) is listed in the Messianic line from Abraham (a gentile from Iraq; see Israel's Iraqi Roots and What Made Abraham Righteous?) to Jesus Christ.

"1:1 The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham.

1:2 Abraham begat Isaac; and Isaac begat Jacob; and Jacob begat Judas and his brethren; 1:3 And Judas begat Phares and Zara of Thamar; and Phares begat Esrom; and Esrom begat Aram; 1:4 And Aram begat Aminadab; and Aminadab begat Naasson; and Naasson begat Salmon; 1:5 And Salmon begat Booz of Rachab; and Booz begat Obed of Ruth; and Obed begat Jesse; 1:6 And Jesse begat David the king; and David the king begat Solomon of her that had been the wife of Urias; 1:7 And Solomon begat Roboam; and Roboam begat Abia; and Abia begat Asa; 1:8 And Asa begat Josaphat; and Josaphat begat Joram; and Joram begat Ozias; 1:9 And Ozias begat Joatham; and Joatham begat Achaz; and Achaz begat Ezekias; 1:10 And Ezekias begat Manasses; and Manasses begat Amon; and Amon begat Josias; 1:11 And Josias begat Jechonias and his brethren, about the time they were carried away to Babylon:

1:12 And after they were brought to Babylon, Jechonias begat Salathiel; and Salathiel begat Zorobabel; 1:13 And Zorobabel begat Abiud; and Abiud begat Eliakim; and Eliakim begat Azor; 1:14 And Azor begat Sadoc; and Sadoc begat Achim; and Achim begat Eliud; 1:15 And Eliud begat Eleazar; and Eleazar begat Matthan; and Matthan begat Jacob; 1:16 And Jacob begat Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ.

1:17 So all the generations from Abraham to David are fourteen generations; and from David until the carrying away into Babylon are fourteen generations; and from the carrying away into Babylon unto Christ are fourteen generations." (Matthew 1:1-17 KJV)

Fact Finder: Was Judah's return prophesied, before they were taken away into exile in Babylon?
See Jeremiah's Field


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This Day In History, May 8

1429: The siege of Orleans ended when French troops stormed the English forts in the Hundred Years War.

1541: Spanish explorer Hernando de Soto discovered (it wasn't a discovery for the tribes of native people who lived there) the Mississippi River. He called it Rio de Espiritu Santo ("the Holy Spirit River").

1559: The Act of Supremacy was passed by which the new Queen Elizabeth I became "Supreme Governor" of the Church of England; the Act of Uniformity was passed and a Common Prayer book was introduced.

1792: British captain George Vancouver sighted and named Mount Rainier on the west coast of the continent of North America.

1794: Antoine Laurent Lavoisier, "the father of modern chemistry" (he identified the element oxygen) was guillotined in Paris by the Revolutionary Convention.

1811: The British under the Duke of Wellington defeated the French in Portugal.

1852: The Treaty of London was signed by Britain, France, Russia, Prussia, Austria and Sweden, guaranteeing the integrity of Denmark.

1882: The vast Northwest Territories of Canada were divided into 4 districts: Alberta, Saskatchewan, Assiniboia and Athabaska.

1886: Atlanta pharmacist John Styth Pemberton invented Coca Cola (as its name indicates, the original formula for "coke" contained the ingredient from which cocaine is produced).

1895: China ceded Taiwan to Japan under the Treaty of Shimonoseki.

1902: The eruption of Mt. Pelee, near St. Pierre, Martinique, destroyed the town within minutes, killing all but 2 of the town's 30,000 inhabitants.

1921: Capital punishment was abolished in Sweden.

1943: Mordecai Anielewicz, 24, the leader of the Jewish "Warsaw Uprising" against the Nazi Waffen-SS, was killed in battle.

1945: At the end of the Second World War, King Leopold of Belgium was freed from Nazi detention.

1949: The Basic Law, the constitution of the Federal Republic of Germany (West Germany), was adopted by the Parliamentary Council at Bonn.

1977: David Berkowitz pleaded guilty to the "Son of Sam" (also known as the "44 Caliber Killer") shootings that terrorized New York City. He was sentenced to 365 years in prison.

1987: Canada officially minted the first $1.00 coins. Made of a nickel with a gold-colored aureate coating, the "loonie" (a nickname from the picture of the aquatic bird, known in North America as the loon, on one side of the coin) is estimated to have a lifespan of 20 years, as compared to 9 months for the traditional $1.00 bill that it replaced.





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