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Jehoiakim King of Judah

King Jehoiakim became the ruler of Judah when his father was marched away to an Egyptian jail that is where he appears on the Bible Timeline. King Necho of Egypt disposed of King Jehoazah because he was a potential threat to his military operations in the Middle East. After he had imprisoned King Jehoahaz, Necho made his son Eliakim the next ruler of Judah. He changed his name to Jehoiakim and then forced this king to pay him tribute. The young king taxed all of his subjects to pay the required levy.

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In the meantime, Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon invaded Judah. King Jehoiakim realized that he would not be able to defeat Babylon and paid tribute to this empire as well. King Jehoiakim had to pay tribute to two foreign powers, and he eventually rebelled against Babylon. When Judah rebelled, Nebuchadnezzar sent his forces to sack the kingdom. God had given them the power to accomplish this because he already prophesized that they would. God was finally paying back Judah for their sins of idolatry and for murdering innocent people during the reign of Manasseh.

One thing about God is that he is patient because he wants to give people a chance to repent and turn from their sins. He delays judgments so many times for this reason alone. The kings of Judah, who had not been living right, were given opportunities to repent, but they refused to turn back from their idolatry. During the rule of the righteous king Hezekiah, God warned the people that destruction was going to come on them if they did not repent.

King Hezekiah was a leader that took God seriously about the matter, but many other kings such as Jehoahaz didn’t. God knew that he was going to have to fulfill his judgments sooner or later. So he decided to use the pagan nation of Babylon to carry out this purpose. Hopefully, this would cause the people to repent of their sins.

One day during Hezekiah’s reign he had showed representatives from Babylon all of his treasures and wealth. God told Hezekiah that everything that he showed to Babylon was going to be taken over by this nation. God spared Hezekiah from experiencing this event while he was alive. God waited until Jehoiakim’s reign to allow this judgment to take place. King Jehoiakim wasn’t any different from the other kings before him who indulged in idolatry. So when God allowed the Babylonian captivity to begin during his reign, it was a just act from God.

The Babylonians began to take captives out of Judah back to their territory, but they left Jehoiakim in power. Jehoiakim remained in power for eleven years before he died, and his name means “raised by God”. After the Babylonian’s had taken over control of Judah, King Necho of Egypt didn’t go near the country ever again. He realized that God was with the Babylonians, and he didn’t want to challenge them at all. He left Judah completely alone. After Jehoiakim had died his son Jehoiachin became the next ruler.

Biblical References:

  • 2 Chronicles 36: 5 Ruled for 11 years and 25 when he ruled. He was evil in God’s sight.
  • 2 Chronicles 36: 6 – 8 Captured by the King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon and taken into captivity in chains. Nebuchadnezzar carries away treasures from the temple during his reign.
  • 2 Kings 23: 35 King Jehoiakim forces the people to pay a tax to pay Nero‘s tribute.
  • 2 Kings 24: 1, 2 Babylon invades Judah and Jehoiakim are forced to pay tribute for 3 years, but then he rebelled. God sends Babylonians to destroy Judah to fulfill his prophecies.
  • 2 Kings 24: 3, 4 God decided to eliminate Judah for Manasseh’s evil. He killed a lot of innocent blood, and God did not forgive his acts.
  • 2 Kings 24: 5 -20 King Necho came back to Judah after Babylon because the Babylonians became the dominant power in the region. Jehoiachin takes over after his father passes away.