April 18th

2 Kings 23-25

  • 23:1-24 – Josiah took the law he found in the temple very seriously and methodically destroyed any remnants of anything dedicated to any other God.
  • 23:31 – This is not Jeremiah the prophet.
  • 23:32 – Interesting that Josiah was more faithful than any of the kings before him and yet his son, Jehoahaz, did evil.
  • 23:33-35 – Pharaoh Neco removes Jehoahaz from the throne after only 3 months and puts Eliakim/Jehoiakim in power. Pharaoh’s appointment and name change makes it clear that the king of Judah is now subject to him- again, Kings is focused on the interplay of the various kings of Judah and Israel with God, not with the rest of the world, so it glosses over some important details. The Assyrian Empire has collapsed into civil war and rebellion at this point, Babylon has captured Ninevah (the Assyrian capital) and is still consolidating its power. Egypt, now free from Assyrian rule, is challenging Babylonian power- for the next several decades, these two superpowers will be locked in an economic and military battle for supremacy. This is an aggressive move by Egypt to increase its own power by controlling Judah.
  • 24:1—Nebucahdnezzar will be the most powerful king Babylon ever has; he’s the one who’s building projects will turn Babylon into one of the most famous cities of the ancient world. He’ll also expand Babylonian power to it’s greatest extent, and he starts here by taking Judah away from the Egyptians. Jehoiakim foolishly rebels against him.
  • 24:3 – This is Manasseh the king, not the tribe.
  • 24:7-8—Jehoiakim didn’t rebel alone- he was helped by the Egyptians, who wanted control of Judah back from Babylon. This goes badly, as not only does Nebucahdnezzar defeat and depose Jehoiakim, but he then finally conquers Egypt as well, leaving Babylon as the sole surviving superpower of its time. Jehoiachin now ascends to the throne.
  • 24:10-17—This is essentially punishment for Jehoiakims actions. Jerusalem is captured, Jehoiachin is taken prisoner, the Temple is ransacked and looted, the government officials, soliders, and ten thousand of the richest and most well educated, most skilled people of the city of carried off as prisoners.
  • 24:18—Zedekiah is put in place as a puppet king by Nebuchadnezzar. Like his grandfather, he will rebel against Babylon
  • 25:1-21—Babylon captures Jerusalem a second time, and this time they will take no chances- the Temple is completely destroyed, the king is killed, and this time everyone in the city is taken captive and carried off to Babylon. It’s hard to imagine what this was like; Judah idolized the city of Jerusalem and most people were absolutely certain that it could never be defeated because Jerusalem was the city of God. The message is clear to them now: God is not with them.

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