2 Chronicles 36

Judah's people choose Jehoahaz to become king

1 Then the people in Judah chose Josiah's son, Jehoahaz to become king in Jerusalem instead.

Pharaoh Neco chooses Eliakim to be king

2 Jehoahaz was 23 years old when he started to rule. He ruled in Jerusalem for three months. 3 Then the king of Egypt said that Jehoahaz must not be king in Jerusalem. And he caused Judah's people to pay a lot of money to him. It was about 3,400 kilos (7,500 pounds) of silver and about 34 kilos (75 pounds) of gold. 4 The king of Egypt chose Jehoahaz's brother Eliakim to be king over Judah and Jerusalem. And he changed Eliakim's name to Jehoiakim. But Neco took his brother Jehoahaz to Egypt.

5 Jehoiakim was 25 years old when he started to rule. He ruled in Jerusalem for 11 years. He did very wrong things that the Lord his God did not like. 6 Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon came and he attacked him. He tied his hands and his feet together with metal chains to take him away to Babylon. 7 Also, Nebuchadnezzar took some things from the Lord's house. He took them to Babylon and he put them in his temple in Babylon.

36:5Jehoiakim ruled from about 609 to 598 BC.

8 The other things that Jehoiakim did are in the Book about the Kings of Israel and Judah. That includes all the very wrong things that he did. It includes all the things that God did not like about him. And his son Jehoiachin ruled instead.

Jehoiachin becomes king of Judah

9 Jehoiachin was 8 years old when he started to rule. And he ruled in Jerusalem for three months and 10 days. He did very wrong things that the Lord did not like. 10 In the spring, King Nebuchadnezzar sent his soldiers to fetch Jehoiachin and they brought him to Babylon. Also, he brought the valuable things from the Lord's house to Babylon. And Nebuchadnezzar chose Jehoiachin's father's brother, Zedekiah to be king over Judah and Jerusalem.

Zedekiah king of Judah

11 Zedekiah was 21 years old when he started to rule. And he ruled in Jerusalem for 11 years. 12 He did very wrong things that the Lord his God did not like. Jeremiah the prophet spoke the Lord's words to him. But he did not make himself humble when he listened to them. 13 King Nebuchadnezzar had caused Zedekiah to promise in God's name that he would obey Nebuchadnezzar. But he decided not to obey Nebuchadnezzar. And he became proud and he would not change his mind. And so he would not turn to the Lord, Israel's God. 14 Also, all the leaders of the priests and the people were not obeying the Lord. They were always worshipping all the very bad idols that the people in other nations worshipped. The Lord had made the temple in Jerusalem holy. But they spoiled it by the things that they did.

36:11Zedekiah was a son of Josiah. He became king at the age of 21 in about 597 BC. He was the last of the 20 rulers of the kingdom called Judah.

Judah's people make the Lord very angry

15 The Lord, the God of their ancestors, sent men to them with messages from him. He was very careful to tell them that they must not do those things. He knew that he would have to punish them. But he did not want to punish them because he was sorry for his people and for his house. 16 But they said that the men with God's messages were silly. And they thought that God's words were not important. They said that his prophets were saying silly things. Then the Lord became very angry with his people until nothing could help them.

Enemies win the fight for Jerusalem

17 So, the Lord brought the king of Babylon to attack them. The king killed their young men with swords in their holy temple. He did not feel sorry for the young men or for the young women. He did not feel sorry for the old men or for the very old people. God let him take all those people away. 18 And he took all the things that were still in God's house. He took all the big things and he took all the small things too. He took the valuable things from the house of the Lord. And he took the valuable things of the king and of his officers. He took all those things to Babylon. 19 Nebuchadnezzar's men burned the house of God and they broke down the wall round Jerusalem. They burned all the king's houses in Jerusalem and they destroyed all the valuable things in Jerusalem.

36:17The army of Babylon surrounded Jerusalem. After one and a half years, there was no more food in Jerusalem. In 587 BC, the soldiers from Babylon broke down the walls of the city.

20 Nebuchadnezzar took all the people that he had not killed to Babylon. They became slaves for him and for his sons. They were slaves until the king of Persia began to rule everywhere. 21 So, what the Lord had told Israel's people by the mouth of his prophet Jeremiah happened. The country was empty until it had its Sabbath rest. It was empty and it had rest for 70 whole years.

22 But Cyrus, king of Persia, began to rule Babylon. And during his first year as king, the Lord did what he had promised by the mouth of Jeremiah. The Lord caused Cyrus, king of Persia to decide something. He wrote it down. And he sent servants to read it in every place that he ruled over. And this is what it said:

36:22In 539 BC, the army of Cyrus king of Persia fought against Babylon and won. So, Cyrus became king of Babylon.

23 ‘Cyrus, king of Persia says, “The Lord is the God of heaven. And he has caused me to rule over all the kingdoms on the earth. He has told me that I must build a temple for him at Jerusalem in Judah. I will let anyone among you who belongs to his people go to Jerusalem. I pray that the Lord their God will be with those people.” ’