2 Kings 24

Nebuchadnezzar attacks Judah

1 While Jehoiakim was king, Nebuchadnezzar attacked the country (Judah). Nebuchadnezzar was the king of Babylon. Jehoiakim had to be his servant for three years. But then, Jehoiakim changed his mind. He decided not to be Nebuchadnezzar's servant. 2 The Lord sent armies against Jehoiakim. They came from Babylon, Aram, Moab and Ammon. The Lord sent them to destroy Judah. He had said that he would do that. He had said it by his prophets. His prophets were his servants. 3 It is sure that these things should happen to Judah. The Lord had said that they must happen. That is why they happened. They had to happen to remove Judah from where the Lord was. That was because of the sins of Manasseh and because of everything that he had done. 4 Manasseh had poured out blood from people who had not done anything wrong. He had filled Jerusalem with the blood of those people. The Lord did not want to excuse him. 5 The other things that King Jehoiakim did are in a book. It is called ‘the reports about the kings of Judah’. Everything that he did is in that book. 6 Jehoiakim died like his ancestors. And Jehoiachin, his son, became king after him. 7 The king of Egypt did not march out with his army from his own country again. That was because the king of Babylon had taken a lot of his ground. He had taken all the ground from the Valley of Egypt to the River Euphrates.

24:3See the note to verse 20.

8 Jehoiachin was 18 years old when he became king. And he ruled in Jerusalem for three months. His mother's name was Nehushta. She was the daughter of Elnathan and she came from Jerusalem. 9 The Lord saw that Jehoiachin did very bad things, as his father had done.

10-11 The leaders of Nebuchadnezzar's army marched to Jerusalem. They stayed all round it. And Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon, himself came up to the city Jerusalem. He came while his army leaders were there.

12 All these people went out to the king of Babylon Nebuchadnezzar:

Jehoiachin, the king of Judah

his mother

Jehoiachin's servants, his leaders and his eunuchs.

And the king of Babylon took Jehoiachin away when Nebuchadnezzar had ruled for less than 8 years.

13 Nebuchadnezzar took all the valuable things from the house of the Lord and from the king's palace. He cut into pieces all the things that Solomon had made from gold, for the house of the Lord. The Lord had said that this would happen. 14 Nebuchadnezzar took away all the people from Jerusalem into exile. He took 10,000 people. They were officers, soldiers and people that could make beautiful things. He left only the very poor people in the country. 15 Nebuchadnezzar took Jehoiachin to a place like a prison in Babylon. He also took from Jerusalem the king's mother, his wives, his officers and the important men in the country. 16 The king of Babylon also took away to Babylon the whole army of 7,000 men. They were strong men and ready for war. He also took 1,000 people that could make beautiful things. 17 Jehoiachin's father's brother was called Mattaniah. Nebuchadnezzar made him king instead of Jehoiachin. Nebuchadnezzar changed Mattaniah's name to Zedekiah.

18 Zedekiah was 21 years old when he became king. And he ruled in Jerusalem for 11 years. His mother's name was Hamutal. She was the daughter of Jeremiah and she came from Libnah. 19 The Lord saw that Zedekiah did bad things, as Jehoiakim had done. 20 All this happened to Jerusalem and to Judah because the Lord was so angry with them. In the end, the Lord sent them away from where he was. Then Zedekiah began to fight against the king of Babylon.

24:20At this time, many people believed that a god was only powerful in his own country. But the Lord God is powerful everywhere! He left Jerusalem when Nebuchadnezzar took the people into exile. Isaiah tells us something very important. Before the people would return to Judah, God would return to Jerusalem. (See Isaiah 40:9-11.)