23 Oct. 2 Kings 24:8-18

23 Oct. King Nebuchadnezzar conquers Jerusalem

“Jehoiachin was eighteen years old when he became king, and he was king for three months in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Nehushta daughter of Elnathan from Jerusalem. Jehoiachin did what the LORD said was wrong, just as his father had done.”

“At that time the officers of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came up to Jerusalem. When they reached the city, they attacked it. Nebuchadnezzar himself came to the city while his officers were attacking it.”

“Jehoiachin king of Judah surrendered to the king of Babylon, along with Jehoiachin’s mother, servants, elders and officers. So Nebuchadnezzar made Jehoiachin a prisoner in the eighth year he was king of Babylon.”

“Nebuchadnezzar took all the treasures from the Temple of the LORD and from the palace. He cut up all the gold objects Solomon king of Israel had made for the Temple of the LORD. This happened as the LORD had said it would.”

“Nebuchadnezzar took away all the people of Jerusalem, including all the leaders, all the wealthy people, and all the craftsmen and metal workers. There were 10,000 prisoners in all. Only the poorest people in the land were left.”

“Nebuchadnezzar carried away Jehoiachin to Babylon, as well as the king’s mother and his wives, the officers and the leading men of the land. They were taken captive from Jerusalem to Babylon. The king of Babylon also took all 7,000 soldiers, who were strong and able to fight in war, and about 1,000 craftsmen and metal workers. Nebuchadnezzar took them as prisoners to Babylon.”

“Then he made Mattaniah, Jehoiachin’s uncle, king in Jehoiachin’s place. He also changed Mattaniah’s name to Zedekiah. Zedekiah was 21 years old when he became king, and he was king in Jerusalem for eleven years… Zedekiah did what the LORD said was wrong, just as Jehoiakim had done.”

          (2 Kings 24:8-18)

 

 

The rise of Babylon during the 7th century BC was astonishing. In 729BC, Babylonia had been conquered by King Tiglath-Pileser III of Assyria, who had also conquered the northern parts of Israel in 733 BC, and Syria in 731 BC (see 2 Kings 15:29). It remained under Assyrian rule for a hundred years until Babylon rebelled on the death of the Assyrian King Ashurbanipal in 627BC. With the help of the Medes, King Nabopolassar of Babylonia sacked Nineveh and conquered the Assyrians in 612BC.

Nabopolassar established what is now generally known as the ‘Chaldean’ or New Babylonian Empire. Under Nabopolassar’s son Nebuchadnezzar II, Babylonia once again became the dominant power of the civilised world. Nebuchadnezzar invaded Judah in 605 BC and King Jehoiakim of Judah became subservient to the King of Babylon. Having defeated Pharaoh Neco of Egypt at the Battle of Carchemish in 606BC (see 2 Kings 23:9), the Babylonians also succeeded in taking the lands of the Mediterranean coastal plain from the hands of the Egyptians (see 2 Kings 24:7).

Three years later, however, Pharaoh Neco re-gained Gaza, so Jehoiakim rebelled against Nebuchadnezzar (see 2 Kings 24:1).

During the winter of 598 BC, Nebuchadnezzar besieged Jerusalem and Jehoiakim’s son, Jehoiachin surrendered on 16th March 597BC. He was taken to Babylon, along with the gold furnishings from the Temple and ten thousand captives (including the prophet Ezekiel), and Zedekiah was installed as a puppet king for eleven years (597-587BC) (see 2 Kings 24:10-14).

This first conquest of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar in 597BC is recorded on a clay tablet known as the ‘Babylonian Chronicle’ which can be seen in the British Museum in London.

The photo shows the ‘Babylonian Chronicle’ for the years 605-594 BC at the British Museum.

You can read more about the Babylonians @ https://www.thebiblejourney.org/biblejourney2/33-judah-after-the-fall-of-israel/king-nebuchadnezzar-of-babylon-invades-judah-/


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