II Kings – Chapter 24

Nebuchadnezzar Strikes

By Rabbi Jack Abramowitz

During the reign of Yehoyakim, Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylonia, invaded Judah. Yehoyakim served him for three years, then rebelled. The armies of Kasdim, Aram, Moav, and Ammon all mobilized against Judah. This was orchestrated by G-d, as He had said through the prophets.

Yehoyakim reigned for 11 years. When he died, he was succeeded by his son Yehoyachin. Egypt was no longer the military threat, since the Babylonians had moved in.

Like Yehoachaz, Yehoyachin reigned for a mere three months. Another evil king, he was captured in battle by the forces of Nebuchadnezzar. Nebuchadnezzar also carried off some of Yehoyachin’s family, his officers, and all the treasures of the Temple and his palace, as had been foretold by Isaiah to Chizkiyahu. 10,000 people were exiled from Jerusalem, leaving only the weakest and poorest, who would pose no threat.

Nebuchadnezzar crowned Yehoyachin’s uncle Matanya king of Judah and changed his name to Tzidkiyahu. Tzidkiyahu would be the last king of Judah.

Tzidkiyahu was one of the bad kings and he reigned for 11 years. Perhaps unwisely, he rebelled against the powerful Nebudchadnezzar, who had appointed him.

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