New American Standard Bible

2 Chronicles 36

Jehoahaz, Jehoiakim, then Jehoiachin Rule

1Then the people of the land took [a]Joahaz the son of Josiah, and made him king in place of his father in Jerusalem. Joahaz was twenty-three years old when he became king, and he reigned three months in Jerusalem. Then the king of Egypt deposed him at Jerusalem, and imposed on the land a fine of one hundred talents of silver and one talent of gold. The king of Egypt made Eliakim his brother king over Judah and Jerusalem, and changed his name to Jehoiakim. But Neco took Joahaz his brother and brought him to Egypt.

Jehoiakim was twenty-five years old when he became king, and he reigned eleven years in Jerusalem; and he did evil in the sight of the Lord his God. Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came up against him and bound him with bronze chains to take him to Babylon. Nebuchadnezzar also brought some of the articles of the house of the Lord to Babylon and put them in his temple at Babylon. Now the rest of the acts of Jehoiakim and [b]the abominations which he did, and what was found against him, behold, they are written in the Book of the Kings of Israel and Judah. And Jehoiachin his son became king in his place.

Jehoiachin was eight years old when he became king, and he reigned three months and ten days in Jerusalem, and he did evil in the sight of the Lord.

Captivity in Babylon Begun

10 At the turn of the year King Nebuchadnezzar sent and brought him to Babylon with the valuable articles of the house of the Lord, and he made his kinsman Zedekiah king over Judah and Jerusalem.

Zedekiah Rules in Judah

11 Zedekiah was twenty-one years old when he became king, and he reigned eleven years in Jerusalem. 12 He did evil in the sight of the Lord his God; he did not humble himself before Jeremiah the prophet [c]who spoke for the Lord. 13 He also rebelled against King Nebuchadnezzar who had made him swear allegiance by God. But he stiffened his neck and hardened his heart against turning to the Lord God of Israel. 14 Furthermore, all the officials of the priests and the people were very unfaithful following all the abominations of the nations; and they defiled the house of the Lord which He had sanctified in Jerusalem.

15 The Lord, the God of their fathers, sent word to them again and again by His messengers, because He had compassion on His people and on His dwelling place; 16 but they continually mocked the messengers of God, despised His words and scoffed at His prophets, until the wrath of the Lord arose against His people, until there was no remedy. 17 Therefore He brought up against them the king of the Chaldeans who slew their young men with the sword in the house of their sanctuary, and had no compassion on young man or virgin, old man or infirm; He gave them all into his hand. 18 All the articles of the house of God, great and small, and the treasures of the house of the Lord, and the treasures of the king and of his officers, he brought them all to Babylon. 19 Then they burned the house of God and broke down the wall of Jerusalem, and burned all its fortified buildings with fire and destroyed all its valuable articles. 20 Those who had escaped from the sword he carried away to Babylon; and they were servants to him and to his sons until the rule of the kingdom of Persia, 21 to fulfill the word of the Lord by the mouth of Jeremiah, until the land had enjoyed its sabbaths. All the days of its desolation it kept sabbath [d]until seventy years were complete.

Cyrus Permits Return

22 Now in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia—in order to fulfill the word of the Lord by the mouth of Jeremiah—the Lord stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, so that he sent a proclamation throughout his kingdom, and also put it in writing, saying, 23 “Thus says Cyrus king of Persia, ‘The Lord, the God of heaven, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth, and He has appointed me to build Him a house in Jerusalem, which is in Judah. Whoever there is among you of all His people, may the Lord his God be with him, and let him go up!’”

  1. 2 Chronicles 36:1 I.e. short form of Jehoahaz
  2. 2 Chronicles 36:8 Lit his
  3. 2 Chronicles 36:12 Lit from the mouth of the Lord
  4. 2 Chronicles 36:21 Lit to fulfill seventy years

New International Reader's Version

2 Chronicles 36

36 The people of the land went and got Jehoahaz. He was the son of Josiah. The people made Jehoahaz king in Jerusalem in place of his father.

Jehoahaz King of Judah

Jehoahaz was 23 years old when he became king. He ruled in Jerusalem for three months. The king of Egypt removed him from his throne in Jerusalem. The king of Egypt made the people of Judah pay him a huge tax. The tax was almost four tons of silver and 75 pounds of gold. Necho, the king of Egypt, made Eliakim king over Judah and Jerusalem. Eliakim was a brother of Jehoahaz. Necho changed Eliakim’s name to Jehoiakim. But Necho took Eliakim’s brother Jehoahaz with him to Egypt.

Jehoiakim King of Judah

Jehoiakim was 25 years old when he became king. He ruled in Jerusalem for 11 years. He did what was evil in the eyes of the Lord his God. Nebuchadnezzar attacked him. Nebuchadnezzar was king of Babylon. He put Jehoiakim in bronze chains. And he took him to Babylon. Nebuchadnezzar also took to Babylon objects from the Lord’s temple. He put them in his own temple there.

The other events of Jehoiakim’s rule are written in the records of the kings of Israel and Judah. He did things the Lord hated. Those things and everything that happened to him are also written in those records. Jehoiakim’s son Jehoiachin became the next king after him.

Jehoiachin King of Judah

Jehoiachin was 18 years old when he became king. He ruled in Jerusalem for three months and ten days. He did what was evil in the eyes of the Lord. 10 In the spring, King Nebuchadnezzar sent for him. He brought him to Babylon. He also brought things of value from the Lord’s temple. He made Zedekiah king over Judah and Jerusalem. Zedekiah was Jehoiachin’s uncle.

Zedekiah King of Judah

11 Zedekiah was 21 years old when he became king. He ruled in Jerusalem for 11 years. 12 He did what was evil in the eyes of the Lord his God. He didn’t pay any attention to the message the Lord spoke through Jeremiah the prophet. 13 Zedekiah also refused to remain under the control of King Nebuchadnezzar. The king had forced Zedekiah to make a promise in God’s name. But Zedekiah’s heart became very stubborn. He wouldn’t turn to the Lord, the God of Israel. 14 And that’s not all. The people and all the leaders of the priests became more and more unfaithful. They followed all the practices of the nations. The Lord hated those practices. The people and leaders made the Lord’s temple “unclean.” The Lord had set the temple in Jerusalem apart in a special way for himself.

The Fall of Jerusalem

15 The Lord, the God of Israel, sent word to his people through his messengers. He sent it to them again and again. He took pity on his people. He also took pity on the temple where he lived. 16 But God’s people made fun of his messengers. They hated his words. They laughed at his prophets. Finally the Lord’s great anger was stirred up against his people. Nothing could save them. 17 The Lord brought the king of the Babylonians against them. The Babylonian army killed their young people with their swords at the temple. They didn’t spare young men or young women. They didn’t spare the old people or weak people either. God handed all of them over to Nebuchadnezzar. 18 Nebuchadnezzar carried off to Babylon all the objects from God’s temple. Some of those things were large. Others were small. He carried off the treasures of the temple. He also carried off the treasures that belonged to the king and his officials. 19 The Babylonians set God’s temple on fire. They broke down the wall of Jerusalem. They burned all the palaces. They destroyed everything of value there.

20 Nebuchadnezzar took the rest of the people to Babylon as prisoners. They had escaped from being killed by swords. They served him and those who ruled after him. That lasted until the kingdom of Persia came to power. 21 The land of Israel enjoyed its sabbath years. It rested. That deserted land wasn’t farmed for a full 70 years. What the Lord had spoken through Jeremiah came true.

22 It was the first year of the rule of Cyrus. He was king of Persia. The Lord inspired him to send a message all through his kingdom. It happened so that what the Lord had spoken through Jeremiah would come true. The message was written down. It said,

23 “Cyrus, the king of Persia, says,

“ ‘The Lord is the God of heaven. He has given me all the kingdoms on earth. He has appointed me to build a temple for him at Jerusalem in Judah. Any of his people among you may go up to Jerusalem. And may the Lord their God be with them.’ ”