2 Kings 23:31-25:30 Comments by Stephen Ricker
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The End of the Kingdom of Judah
Comments for Study 16

2 Kings 23:31-25:30
Memory Verse: 24:20

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I. Jehoahaz and Jehoiakim, Evil Kings (23:31-24:7)

>1. How was Jehoahaz's life summarised? (31-32)

* 2 Kings 23:31-32 "Jehoahaz was twenty-three years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem three months. His mother's name was Hamutal daughter of Jeremiah; she was from Libnah. 32 He did evil in the eyes of the LORD, just as his fathers had done."

* Jeremiah, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, and perhaps Nahum were prophets during Jehoahaz's reign. Huldah was also the prophetess. (22:13)

* Jehoahaz's reign is also recorded in 2 Chronicles 36:1-4.

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>What did the Pharaoh of Egypt do? (33-35)

* 2 Kings 23:33-35 "Pharaoh Neco put him in chains at Riblah in the land of Hamath so that he might not reign in Jerusalem, and he imposed on Judah a levy of a hundred talents of silver and a talent of gold. Pharaoh Neco made Eliakim son of Josiah king in place of his father Josiah and changed Eliakim's name to Jehoiakim. But he took Jehoahaz and carried him off to Egypt, and there he died. Jehoiakim paid Pharaoh Neco the silver and gold he demanded. In order to do so, he taxed the land and exacted the silver and gold from the people of the land according to their assessments."

* Israel was defeated by Egypt (south west of Israel) in 609 B.C. (2 Ki. 23:33,34) Egypt made Jehoiakim king of Judah. (2 Ki. 23:33,34).

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>What must have it been like to live in Judah at this time?

* God had made a conditional covenant with Israel at Mt. Sinai, after he led them out of Egypt. They continually broke the covenant. God did not. From God's point of view he was using the captivity to punish Israel and Judah.

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>2. How was Jehoiakim's life summarised? (36-37)

* 2 Kings 23:36-37 "Jehoiakim was twenty-five years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem eleven years. His mother's name was Zebidah daughter of Pedaiah; she was from Rumah. 37 And he did evil in the eyes of the LORD, just as his fathers had done."

* Jehoiakim's reign is also recorded in 2 Chronicles 36:5-8.

* Babylon (north east of Israel) attacked and defeated Egypt in 605 B.C. (2 Ki. 24:1-7) This brought Babylonian influence to Judah (and Israel). However, Judah was allowed to maintained their national, spiritual, and cultural identity. Jehoiakim, the king of Israel attacked Babylon in 597 B.C. Nebuchadnezzar defeated them and tightened his control over Judah. One of the things he did was to take around 10,000 selected captives. Among these including Daniel and his friends (Daniel 1:1) and even the prophet Ezekiel. The captivity lasted 70 years dating from Nebuchadnezzar's first decent on Judah and Egypt.

* Assyria ruled the Mideast until Babylon defeated them a few years before Judea was taken into captivity. Babylon's rule over the Mideast ended when the Persian Empire defeated them. The Persian Empire was larger than Assyria and Babylon's Empires. The Persian Empire was an alliance of the Medes and the Persians. Under their rule the Jews were allowed to return to their homeland.

* This was the end of David's offspring earthly kingdom. In fact no Israelite or Jew reigned over Israel until 1948 A.D.

>Who invaded Judah? (24:1; Jer. 46:2)

* 2 Kings 24:1 "During Jehoiakim's reign, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon invaded the land, and Jehoiakim became his vassal for three years. But then he changed his mind and rebelled against Nebuchadnezzar."

* Jeremiah 46:2 "Concerning Egypt: This is the message against the army of Pharaoh Neco king of Egypt, which was defeated at Carchemish on the Euphrates River by Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon in the fourth year of Jehoiakim son of Josiah king of Judah:"

* Nebuchadnezzar might have thought that he could defeat Isreal so easily because their God was weak. He did not know the truth. Even thought he thought like this God did not exclude him from being an instrument in bringing about his plan.

* "Nebuchadnezzar" -Nebuchadnezzar (634562 B.C.) was king of the Neo-Babylonian Empire, who reigned 605 B.C.562 B.C. The Akkadian name means "O god Nabu, preserve/defend my firstborn son". Nabu is the Babylonian deity of wisdom, and son of the god Marduk. In an inscription, Nebuchadnezzar styles himself as Nabu's "beloved" and "favourite". Nebuchadnezzar was the oldest son and successor of Nabopolassar, who delivered Babylon from its three centuries of vassalage to its fellow Mesopotamian state Assyria, and in alliance with the Medes, Persians, Scythians and Cimmerians, laid Nineveh in ruins. During the last century of Nineveh's existence, Babylon had been greatly devastated, not only at the hands of Sennacherib and Assurbanipal, but also as a result of her ever renewed rebellions. Nebuchadnezzar, continuing his father's work of reconstruction, aimed at making his capital one of the world's wonders.

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Nebukadnessar inscription

* See an engraving on an eye stone of onyx with an inscription of Nebuchadnezzar II to the right.

>Even though Nebuchadnezzar allowed Jehoiakim to rule Judah what was must have his reign been like? (2-4)

* 2 Kings 24:2-4 "The LORD sent Babylonian, Aramean, Moabite and Ammonite raiders against him. He sent them to destroy Judah, in accordance with the word of the LORD proclaimed by his servants the prophets. 3 Surely these things happened to Judah according to the LORD's command, in order to remove them from his presence because of the sins of Manasseh and all he had done, 4 including the shedding of innocent blood. For he had filled Jerusalem with innocent blood, and the LORD was not willing to forgive."

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>How extensive was Nebuchadnezzar's power? (5-7)

* 2 Kings 24:5-7 "As for the other events of Jehoiakim's reign, and all he did, are they not written in the book of the annals of the kings of Judah? 6 Jehoiakim rested with his fathers. And Jehoiachin his son succeeded him as king. 7 The king of Egypt did not march out from his own country again, because the king of Babylon had taken all his territory, from the Wadi of Egypt to the Euphrates River."

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II. Judah and Jerusalem Thrust From the Lord's Presence (24:7-20)

>3. When Babylon defeated them the first time did young Jehoiachin repent? (8-12)

* 2 Kings 24:8-12 "Jehoiachin was eighteen years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem three months. His mother's name was Nehushta daughter of Elnathan; she was from Jerusalem. 9 He did evil in the eyes of the LORD, just as his father had done. 10 At that time the officers of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon advanced on Jerusalem and laid siege to it, 11 and Nebuchadnezzar himself came up to the city while his officers were besieging it. 12 Jehoiachin king of Judah, his mother, his attendants, his nobles and his officials all surrendered to him. In the eighth year of the reign of the king of Babylon, he took Jehoiachin prisoner."

* Daniel 1:1 "In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came to Jerusalem and besieged it."

* Jehoiachin's reign is also recorded in 2 Chronicles 36:9-10.

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Babylonian Soldiers on Horses

* See carving of Babylonian soldiers on horses to the right.

>How does this explain Nebuchadnezzar's return?

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>How did the Lord fulfill his word through a Gentile pagan? (13-14)

* 2 Kings 24:13-14 "As the LORD had declared, Nebuchadnezzar removed all the treasures from the temple of the LORD and from the royal palace, and took away all the gold articles that Solomon king of Israel had made for the temple of the LORD. 14 He carried into exile all Jerusalem: all the officers and fighting men, and all the craftsmen and artisans--a total of ten thousand. Only the poorest people of the land were left."

* Daniel 1:2 "And the Lord delivered Jehoiakim king of Judah into his hand, along with some of the articles from the temple of God. These he carried off to the temple of his god in Babylonia and put in the treasure house of his god."

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>Who did Nebuchadnezzar place in charge of Judah and what did he change his name to? (15-17)

* 2 Kings 24:15-17 "Nebuchadnezzar took Jehoiachin captive to Babylon. He also took from Jerusalem to Babylon the king's mother, his wives, his officials and the leading men of the land. 16 The king of Babylon also deported to Babylon the entire force of seven thousand fighting men, strong and fit for war, and a thousand craftsmen and artisans. 17 He made Mattaniah, Jehoiachin's uncle, king in his place and changed his name to Zedekiah."

* Daniel 1:3-7 "Then the king ordered Ashpenaz, chief of his court officials, to bring in some of the Israelites from the royal family and the nobility-- 4 young men without any physical defect, handsome, showing aptitude for every kind of learning, well informed, quick to understand, and qualified to serve in the king's palace. He was to teach them the language and literature of the Babylonians. 5 The king assigned them a daily amount of food and wine from the king's table. They were to be trained for three years, and after that they were to enter the king's service. 6 Among these were some from Judah: Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah. 7 The chief official gave them new names: to Daniel, the name Belteshazzar; to Hananiah, Shadrach; to Mishael, Meshach; and to Azariah, Abednego."

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>4. Did Zedekiah repent? (18-19)

* 2 Kings 24:18-19 "Zedekiah was twenty-one years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem eleven years. His mother's name was Hamutal daughter of Jeremiah; she was from Libnah. 19 He did evil in the eyes of the LORD, just as Jehoiakim had done."

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>What did the prophet Jeremiah tell him? (Jer. 21:3-7)

* Jeremiah 21:3-7 "But Jeremiah answered them, "Tell Zedekiah, 'This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: I am about to turn against you the weapons of war that are in your hands, which you are using to fight the king of Babylon and the Babylonians who are outside the wall besieging you. And I will gather them inside this city. I myself will fight against you with an outstretched hand and a mighty arm in anger and fury and great wrath. I will strike down those who live in this city--both men and animals--and they will die of a terrible plague. After that, declares the LORD, I will hand over Zedekiah king of Judah, his officials and the people in this city who survive the plague, sword and famine, to Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon and to their enemies who seek their lives. He will put them to the sword; he will show them no mercy or pity or compassion.'"

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>Why? (20)

* 2 Kings 24:20 "It was because of the LORD's anger that all this happened to Jerusalem and Judah, and in the end he thrust them from his presence. Now Zedekiah rebelled against the king of Babylon."

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III. Judah Taken Into Captivity (25:1-30)

>5. What was Babylon's siege like against Jerusalem? (1-3)

* 2 Kings 25:1-3 "So in the ninth year of Zedekiah's reign, on the tenth day of the tenth month, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon marched against Jerusalem with his whole army. He encamped outside the city and built siege works all around it. 2 The city was kept under siege until the eleventh year of King Zedekiah. 3 By the ninth day of the [fourth] month the famine in the city had become so severe that there was no food for the people to eat."

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>Was Judah's king able to excape the Lord's wrath? (4-6)

* 2 Kings 25:4-6 "Then the city wall was broken through, and the whole army fled at night through the gate between the two walls near the king's garden, though the Babylonians were surrounding the city. They fled toward the Arabah, 5 but the Babylonian army pursued the king and overtook him in the plains of Jericho. All his soldiers were separated from him and scattered, 6 and he was captured. He was taken to the king of Babylon at Riblah, where sentence was pronounced on him."

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>Did his sons survive?

* 2 Kings 25:7 "They killed the sons of Zedekiah before his eyes. Then they put out his eyes, bound him with bronze shackles and took him to Babylon."

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>6. Why was it important that Jerusalem be burned? (8-9)

* 2 Kings 25:8-9 "On the seventh day of the fifth month, in the nineteenth year of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, Nebuzaradan commander of the imperial guard, an official of the king of Babylon, came to Jerusalem. 9 He set fire to the temple of the LORD, the royal palace and all the houses of Jerusalem. Every important building he burned down."

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>Who were the only Jews allowed to remain in Judah? (10-12)

* 2 Kings 25:10-12 "The whole Babylonian army, under the commander of the imperial guard, broke down the walls around Jerusalem. 11 Nebuzaradan the commander of the guard carried into exile the people who remained in the city, along with the rest of the populace and those who had gone over to the king of Babylon. 12 But the commander left behind some of the poorest people of the land to work the vineyards and fields."

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>Will something similar happen again when the Antichrist sets up the abomination that causes desolation? (Dan. 9:26-27, 11:31-35, 12:11-12; Matt. 24:15-22)

* Daniel 9:26-27 "After the sixty-two 'sevens,' the Anointed One will be cut off and will have nothing. The people of the ruler who will come will destroy the city and the sanctuary. The end will come like a flood: War will continue until the end, and desolations have been decreed. He will confirm a covenant with many for one 'seven.' In the middle of the 'seven' he will put an end to sacrifice and offering. And on a wing [of the temple] he will set up an abomination that causes desolation, until the end that is decreed is poured out on him"."

* Daniel 11:31-35 "His armed forces will rise up to desecrate the temple fortress and will abolish the daily sacrifice. Then they will set up the abomination that causes desolation. With flattery he will corrupt those who have violated the covenant, but the people who know their God will firmly resist him. Those who are wise will instruct many, though for a time they will fall by the sword or be burned or captured or plundered. When they fall, they will receive a little help, and many who are not sincere will join them. Some of the wise will stumble, so that they may be refined, purified and made spotless until the time of the end, for it will still come at the appointed time."

* Daniel 12:11-12 "From the time that the daily sacrifice is abolished and the abomination that causes desolation is set up, there will be 1,290 days. Blessed is the one who waits for and reaches the end of the 1,335 days."

* Matthew 24:15-22 "So when you see standing in the holy place 'the abomination that causes desolation,' spoken of through the prophet Daniel--let the reader understand-- then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. Let no one on the roof of his house go down to take anything out of the house. Let no one in the field go back to get his cloak. How dreadful it will be in those days for pregnant women and nursing mothers! Pray that your flight will not take place in winter or on the Sabbath. For then there will be great distress, unequaled from the beginning of the world until now--and never to be equaled again. If those days had not been cut short, no one would survive, but for the sake of the elect those days will be shortened."

>7. What happened to the temple? (13-17)

* 2 Kings 25:13-17 "The Babylonians broke up the bronze pillars, the movable stands and the bronze Sea that were at the temple of the LORD and they carried the bronze to Babylon. 14 They also took away the pots, shovels, wick trimmers, dishes and all the bronze articles used in the temple service. 15 The commander of the imperial guard took away the censers and sprinkling bowls--all that were made of pure gold or silver. 16 The bronze from the two pillars, the Sea and the movable stands, which Solomon had made for the temple of the LORD, was more than could be weighed. 17 Each pillar was twenty-seven feet high. The bronze capital on top of one pillar was four and a half feet high and was decorated with a network and pomegranates of bronze all around. The other pillar, with its network, was similar."

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>What had happened to the leaders and elders of Judah? (18-21)

* 2 Kings 25:18-21 "The commander of the guard took as prisoners Seraiah the chief priest, Zephaniah the priest next in rank and the three doorkeepers. 19 Of those still in the city, he took the officer in charge of the fighting men and five royal advisers. He also took the secretary who was chief officer in charge of conscripting the people of the land and sixty of his men who were found in the city. 20 Nebuzaradan the commander took them all and brought them to the king of Babylon at Riblah. 21 There at Riblah, in the land of Hamath, the king had them executed. So Judah went into captivity, away from her land."

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>How should this be a warning to leaders today?

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>8. What advice was given the poor who was left in Judah? (22-24)

* 2 Kings 25:22-24 "Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon appointed Gedaliah son of Ahikam, the son of Shaphan, to be over the people he had left behind in Judah. 23 When all the army officers and their men heard that the king of Babylon had appointed Gedaliah as governor, they came to Gedaliah at Mizpah--Ishmael son of Nethaniah, Johanan son of Kareah, Seraiah son of Tanhumeth the Netophathite, Jaazaniah the son of the Maacathite, and their men. 24 Gedaliah took an oath to reassure them and their men. "Do not be afraid of the Babylonian officials," he said. "Settle down in the land and serve the king of Babylon, and it will go well with you."

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>How did Jesus teach us to live when under the rule of oppressive governments? (Matt. 22:17-21)

* Matthew 22:17-21 "Tell us then, what is your opinion? Is it right to pay taxes to Caesar or not?" But Jesus, knowing their evil intent, said, "You hypocrites, why are you trying to trap me? Show me the coin used for paying the tax." They brought him a denarius, and he asked them, "Whose portrait is this? And whose inscription?" "Caesar's," they replied. Then he said to them, "Give to Caesar what is Caesar's, and to God what is God's."

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>9. Why might Nethaniah kill those Babylon had put in charge of Judah? (25-26)

* 2 Kings 25:25-26 "In the seventh month, however, Ishmael son of Nethaniah, the son of Elishama, who was of royal blood, came with ten men and assassinated Gedaliah and also the men of Judah and the Babylonians who were with him at Mizpah. 26 At this, all the people from the least to the greatest, together with the army officers, fled to Egypt for fear of the Babylonians."

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>What does this show about sinful man?

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>10. How did Jehoiachin's life in prison change? (27-30)

* 2 Kings 25:27-30 "In the thirty-seventh year of the exile of Jehoiachin king of Judah, in the year Evil-Merodach became king of Babylon, he released Jehoiachin from prison on the twenty-seventh day of the twelfth month. 28 He spoke kindly to him and gave him a seat of honor higher than those of the other kings who were with him in Babylon. 29 So Jehoiachin put aside his prison clothes and for the rest of his life ate regularly at the king's table. 30 Day by day the king gave Jehoiachin a regular allowance as long as he lived."

* Jeremiah 52:31-34 also records this.

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