Day 216 (Aug. 4): Jehoahaz rules Judah for three months, Egypt’s king made Eliakim the next king and changed his name to Jehoiakim, warning that Judah will be rubble, the temple will fall, Jehoiakim rules with evil and will be punished, Jeremiah escapes death, Judah faces 70 years of captivity

Welcome to BibleBum where we are exploring the entire Bible in one year to better learn how to follow God’s instructions and discover the purpose for our lives.  The BibleBum blog uses The One Year Chronological Bible, the New Living Translation version.  At the end of each day’s reading, Rob, a cultural history aficionado and seminary graduate, answers questions from Leigh An, the blogger host, about the daily scripture.  To start from the beginning, click on “Index” and select Day 1.

2 Chronicles 36:1-4

2 Kings 23:31-37

2 Chronicles 36:5

Jeremiah 22:1-23

Jeremiah 26:1-24

2 Kings 24:1-4

Jeremiah 25:1-14

Questions & Observations

Q. (2 Chronicles 36:1-4, 2 Kings 23:31-35): This seems like an odd move of the king of Egypt to take one brother as a prisoner and make another brother ruler. The Kings’ version tells us that Jehoahaz was evil.  This isn’t why Egypt’s King Neco would remove him though, right?

A. No, Neco likely installed a sibling that he felt that he could control, and possibly one that was weak or easily manipulated.  But regardless, God was not pleased with either of the brothers and the ways that they strayed from their father’s choices.

Q. (Jeremiah 22:1-5): So at this point, Judah has been pretty much destroyed, but Jerusalem still stands in fairly good shape?  So, this is a warning told to Jehoiakim in Jerusalem?

A. It is hard to tell, but Judah’s territory did keep shrinking.  I don’t know the exact breakdown of the territory, but the warning is for the capital.

O. (26:1-19): I love this scripture because it is so clear and easy to understand what is happening.  It has a person who is saying it, a place where it is being said and a good reason for saying it.  Jeremiah has captured the people’s attention.  To me, this is a much different, much more specific style of writing than we have seen from the other prophets.

Q. (26:16, 23-24): Is there something here to make note of?  Why was Uriah killed, but not Jeremiah?

A. He was protected by God and the city elders/leaders, for reasons that only God knows, but he’s not out of danger yet.

Q. (25:11-14): Again, this is clear text and we see exactly what’s happening.  Seventy years of captivity is a long time. Does this have anything to do with 70 years would be a good amount of time for a generation to be gone which would help rid the people of their evil?

A. It is surely a multi-generational punishment (remember 40 is one of our numbers that symbolizes a generation).  The 70 years is also a round figure, corresponding to the period from roughly 605 BC to around 538 BC, when Judah began to return from exile for reasons that will be clear later.  Other scholars believe that this section is prophetic, and refers to a later action in which Jerusalem, including Solomon’s Temple, is destroyed, which takes place in 583 BC, and the rebuilding of the Temple, which begins around 515 BC.

The important thing to note is that Judah will be conquered and controlled by Babylon, but not demolished for a period of many years (roughly 605 to 583 BC).  The Babylonian leadership will begin to take the best and brightest of Judah’s leaders (royal advisors, priests, civil leaders, etc.) and bring them to Babylon as slaves in order to strengthen their own society and weaken Judah.  So by 583, the city is weak, and easily conquered, though there are still some events to come.  So this is why some of the materials that, say, Jeremiah will write will make reference to the people in captivity (Jeremiah 29 is a perfect example): he is writing to the leaders who have been taken hostage, but does so before Jerusalem is actually leveled.  I hope that information can be a guide for our next few days of reading.

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