The LORD will judge kings that are evil.
22:1These messages are about the kings who were after King Josiah.
1 ‘Go down to the house of the king of Judah’, the LORD said to me. ‘You must say this to them there. 2 “Hear the LORD's message, king of Judah, who sits on the throne of David. These words are for you. And they are for your officers and for all the people who come here. 3 The LORD says, ‘You must do the things that are right and fair. If someone has taken away a person's things, you should save that person. Save him from the man who took them. Do not hurt foreign people or children without living parents. Do not hurt widows. Do not kill anyone who has not done anything wrong. 4 If you are careful to obey all these rules, your kings will stay here. The descendants of David will ride in on horses, and on chariots. Their officers and people will come with them. 5 But you will have trouble if you do not obey my rules’, the LORD says. ‘I, myself, promise that your enemies will break down your house.’ ” ’
6 The LORD says this: He is speaking about the palace of the king of Judah.
‘I will make you like a desert.
You may be like Gilead or like the mountains of Lebanon.
But I will make you like towns where nobody lives.
7 I will send enemies against you with their weapons.
They will cut down your strong walls of wood
and they will throw them into the fire.
8 People from many countries will pass by. They will ask, “Why has the LORD done this to such a great city?” 9 Other people will answer, “They have not done what they promised to the LORD, their God. They have worshipped other gods, and they have become their servants. That is why he has done this.” ’
10 Do not cry because the king is dead. Do not be sad that he is gone.
But cry much for the people that enemies have taken to a foreign country.
Cry because they will never come back.
They will never see their own country again.
11 The LORD says this about Shallum, son of Josiah: ‘He became king after his father, but he has gone away. He will never return to this place. 12 He will die in the place that they have taken him to. They have put him in a prison there. He will not see this country again.’
22:12Many Bible students think that Shallum is another name for Jehoahaz.
13 ‘A man might use the bad things that he does to build his palace.
But he will never be happy.
The person who is not fair to his workers will also never be happy.
He causes people in his own country to work for nothing.
He does not give to them the money for their work.
14 He says, “I will build myself a great palace.
I will build rooms on the ground and big rooms over them.
I will make big windows and I will cover the walls with nice smelling wood.
I will make it beautiful with red paint.”
15 But red wood does not make you a greater king.
Your father had enough food and drink.
And he did what was right and fair. So his life was good.
16 He helped people who were poor. And he helped those who needed his help.
So everything was good for you.
That happens when people know me’,
the LORD says.
17 ‘But you only want to get rich in ways that are not fair.
People do not do anything wrong, but you kill them.
And you cause people to give money to you that is not yours.’
18 So the LORD says this about Jehoiakim, son of Josiah, king of Judah.
‘They will not be sad when he dies.
They will not say, “My brother, how sad, my sister.”
They will not say, “My poor master, how great he was.”
19 They will bury him like a dead animal.
They will pull his dead body to the gate and they will throw it outside Jerusalem.
20 Go up to Lebanon and shout.
Shout loudly in Bashan.
Shout out from Abarim.
Shout because all your friends are gone.
21 I did tell you that it would happen.
But you thought that you were safe.
And you said, “I will not listen!”
You have been like that since you were young.
You have not obeyed me.
22 Your rulers will leave you, as if the wind had blown them away.
Enemies will take your friends to a country far away.
Then you will be ashamed and you will feel sad.
You will be sorry for all the wrong things that you have done.
23 Some of you live in Lebanon in houses of wood that smells nice.
But you will shout with pain when you start to have troubles.
It will be like the pain of a woman who is having a baby.’
24 ‘This is as sure as the fact that I am alive’, says the LORD. ‘I will let this happen to you, Coniah, son of Jehoiakim, king of Judah. I will pull you off as I would pull a valuable ring from my right hand. 25 I will give you to those men that you are afraid of. I will give you to those people who want to kill you. I will give Nebuchadnezzar and the people from Babylon power over you. 26 I will throw you and your mother into another country. I will send you both to a country that you do not know. It is a country where neither of you was born. You will both die there. 27 You will never return to the country where you want to be.’
28 This man Coniah must be like a pot that somebody has broken. Nobody seems to want him.
He and his children will go out into a country that they do not know.
29 Country, country, country, listen to the LORD's message!
30 ‘Write this man's name. Write it as the name of a man without any children.’
The LORD says,
‘Nothing good will happen to this man while he lives.
And no good thing will happen to his descendants.
Not one descendant will sit on the throne of David.
None of them will rule in Judah.’