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The Babylonian invasion of Judah

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CHAPTER 24 Sep. 17 
The Last Kings of Judah
In his days Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came up, and Jehoiakim became his servant three years, then rebelled against him. 2Yahweh sent against him bands of the Chaldeans, the Syrians, Moabites and of the children of Ammon, and sent them against Judah to destroy it, according to the word of Yahweh, which He spoke by His servants the prophets. 3Surely at the commandment of Yahweh came this on Judah, to remove them out of His sight, for the sins of Manasseh, according to all that he did, 4and also for the innocent blood that he shed; for he filled Jerusalem with innocent blood, which Yahweh would not pardon. 5Now the rest of the acts of Jehoiakim, and all that he did, aren’t they written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah? 6So Jehoiakim slept with his fathers; and Jehoiachin his son reigned in his place. 7The king of Egypt didn’t come again out of his land any more; for the king of Babylon had taken, from the brook of Egypt to the river Euphrates, all that pertained to the king of Egypt. 8Jehoiachin was eighteen years old when he began to reign; and he reigned in Jerusalem three months. His mother’s name was Nehushta the daughter of Elnathan of Jerusalem. 9He did that which was evil in the sight of Yahweh, according to all that his father had done. 10At that time the servants of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came up to Jerusalem, and the city was besieged. 11Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came to the city while his servants were besieging it; 12and Jehoiachin the king of Judah went out to the king of Babylon, he, his mother, his servants, his princes and his officers; and the king of Babylon took him prisoner in the eighth year of his reign. 13He carried out from there all the treasures of the house of Yahweh 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 Yahweh’s temple, as Yahweh had said. 14He carried away all Jerusalem, all the princes and all the mighty men of valour, even ten thousand captives, and all the craftsmen and the smiths; none remained, except the poorest sort of the people of the land. 15He carried away Jehoiachin to Babylon; and the king’s mother, the king’s wives, his officers and the chief men of the land, he carried into captivity from Jerusalem to Babylon. 16All the men of might, even seven thousand, and the craftsmen and the smiths one thousand, all of them strong and apt for war, even them the king of Babylon brought captive to Babylon. 17The king of Babylon made Mattaniah, Jehoiachin’s father’s brother, king is his place, and changed his name to Zedekiah. 18Zedekiah was twenty-one years old when he began to reign; and he reigned eleven years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Hamutal the daughter of Jeremiah of Libnah. 19He did that which was evil in the sight of Yahweh, according to all that Jehoiakim had done. 20For through the anger of Yahweh, it happened in Jerusalem and Judah, until He had cast them out from His presence, that Zedekiah rebelled against the king of Babylon.


24:1 Three years- During which time the attacks of :2 occurred. This corresponds exactly with other indications that in the latter day judgment of Israel there will be an extended period of Arab raiding and desolation of Israel (for three and a half years?), culminating in the final invasion of the land by 'Babylon' and her smaller Arab allies in order to take Jerusalem.
24:3 For the sins of Manasseh- A whole community can be damaged by the long term influence and consequence of one man’s sin, even if he later repents as Manasseh did.
24:20 God’s anger was such that He propelled Zedekiah and Judah further down the downward spiral they had chosen. He has the ability to give people mindsets and to make decisions which are humanly unwise; and we see Him doing this here, by making Zedekiah rebel against the king of Babylon, when this was political suicide. And yet as the book of Jeremiah makes clear, God at the same time was pleading with Zedekiah through the prophet Jeremiah to repent. So whilst God confirms people in the downward spiral in which they chose to go, He still earnestly seeks their repentance and doesn’t abandon them totally until they themselves have totally broken away from Him and He can do no more without excessively controlling their own freewill.