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2 Kings Chapter 24 (ESV)
10 At that time the servants of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came up to Jerusalem, and the city was besieged. 11 And Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came to the city while his servants were besieging it, 12 and Jehoiachin the king of Judah gave himself up to the king of Babylon, himself and his mother and his servants and his officials and his palace officials. The king of Babylon took him prisoner in the eighth year of his reign 13 and carried off all the treasures of the house of the Lord and the treasures of the king’s house, and cut in pieces all the vessels of gold in the temple of the Lord, which Solomon king of Israel had made, as the Lord had foretold. 14 He carried away all Jerusalem and all the officials and all the mighty men of valor, 10,000 captives, and all the craftsmen and the smiths. None remained, except the poorest people of the land. 15 And he carried away Jehoiachin to Babylon. The king’s mother, the king’s wives, his officials, and the chief men of the land he took into captivity from Jerusalem to Babylon. 16 And the king of Babylon brought captive to Babylon all the men of valor, 7,000, and the craftsmen and the metal workers, 1,000, all of them strong and fit for war.
- Jehoiachin inherited a pretty big problem from his father Jehoiakim as he rebelled against Babylon (against the advice of the Lord’s prophet). The Babylonians are now on the scene. When Nebuchadnezzar’s troops were besieging Jerusalem, the Babylonian king personally visited Judah’s capital, and Jehoiachin surrendered to him reigned only 3 months (v. 12). The sad news is that the Babylonians came at God’s command, as the prophets have spoken. Although God is little mentioned in the following report, 1 & 2 Kings hold that God has chosen Babylonia to accomplish his purposes.
- A large deportation of Judah’s population followed in 597 B.C. The first of the deportations, which includes the prophet Ezekiel, took place at this time (vv14, 16, Ezekiel 1:1-3). 2 Kings asserts that these deportations were effected by God, who “expelled [Jerusalem and Judah] from his presence” (v20). After this, God’s voice is not heard from again in 2 Kings. What a frightening prospect for a people going through horrific changes.
- For some people, times of desperation will cause their repentance and seeking after God. The people and king of Judah were so away from God that going back the true God did not appear to be an option.
With a humble heart, read this passage as my prayer of confession and repentance to God. “Surely the arm of the LORD is not too short to save, nor his ear too dull to hear. But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear.” (Is 59:1-2)