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2 Chronicles 36:1-23

Context
Jehoahaz’s Reign

36:1 The people of the land took Jehoahaz son of Josiah and made him king in his father’s place in Jerusalem. 1  36:2 Jehoahaz was twenty-three years old when he became king, and he reigned three months in Jerusalem. 36:3 The king of Egypt prevented him from ruling in Jerusalem and imposed on the land a special tax 2  of one hundred talents 3  of silver and a talent of gold. 36:4 The king of Egypt made Jehoahaz’s 4  brother Eliakim king over Judah and Jerusalem, and changed his name to Jehoiakim. Necho seized his brother Jehoahaz and took him to Egypt.

Jehoiakim’s Reign

36:5 Jehoiakim was twenty-five years old when he became king, and he reigned for eleven years in Jerusalem. 5  He did evil in the sight of 6  the Lord his God. 36:6 King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon attacked him, 7  bound him with bronze chains, and carried him away 8  to Babylon. 36:7 Nebuchadnezzar took some of the items in the Lord’s temple to Babylon and put them in his palace 9  there. 10 

36:8 The rest of the events of Jehoiakim’s reign, including the horrible sins he committed and his shortcomings, are recorded in the Scroll of the Kings of Israel and Judah. 11  His son Jehoiachin replaced him as king.

Jehoiachin’s Reign

36:9 Jehoiachin was eighteen 12  years old when he became king, and he reigned three months and ten days in Jerusalem. 13  He did evil in the sight of 14  the Lord. 36:10 At the beginning of the year King Nebuchadnezzar ordered him to be brought 15  to Babylon, along with the valuable items in the Lord’s temple. In his place he made his relative 16  Zedekiah king over Judah and Jerusalem.

Zedekiah’s Reign

36:11 Zedekiah was twenty-one years old when he became king, and he ruled for eleven years in Jerusalem. 17  36:12 He did evil in the sight of 18  the Lord his God. He did not humble himself before Jeremiah the prophet, the Lord’s spokesman. 36:13 He also rebelled against King Nebuchadnezzar, who had made him vow allegiance 19  in the name of God. He was stubborn and obstinate, and refused to return 20  to the Lord God of Israel. 36:14 All the leaders of the priests and people became more unfaithful and committed the same horrible sins practiced by the nations. 21  They defiled the Lord’s temple which he had consecrated in Jerusalem.

The Babylonians Destroy Jerusalem

36:15 The Lord God of their ancestors 22  continually warned them through his messengers, 23  for he felt compassion for his people and his dwelling place. 36:16 But they mocked God’s messengers, despised his warnings, 24  and ridiculed his prophets. 25  Finally the Lord got very angry at his people and there was no one who could prevent his judgment. 26  36:17 He brought against them the king of the Babylonians, who slaughtered 27  their young men in their temple. 28  He did not spare 29  young men or women, or even the old and aging. God 30  handed everyone over to him. 36:18 He carried away to Babylon all the items in God’s temple, whether large or small, as well as what was in the treasuries of the Lord’s temple and in the treasuries of the king and his officials. 36:19 They burned down the Lord’s temple and tore down the wall of Jerusalem. 31  They burned all its fortified buildings and destroyed all its valuable items. 36:20 He deported to Babylon all who escaped the sword. They served him and his sons until the Persian kingdom rose to power. 36:21 This took place to fulfill the Lord’s message delivered through Jeremiah. 32  The land experienced 33  its sabbatical years; 34  it remained desolate for seventy years, 35  as prophesied. 36 

Cyrus Allows the Exiles to Go Home

36:22 In the first year of the reign of 37  King Cyrus of Persia, in fulfillment of the promise he delivered through Jeremiah, 38  the Lord moved 39  King Cyrus of Persia to issue a written decree throughout his kingdom. 36:23 It read: “This is what King Cyrus of Persia says: ‘The Lord God of the heavens has given to me all the kingdoms of the earth. He has appointed me to build for him a temple in Jerusalem 40  in Judah. May the Lord your God energize you who belong to his people, so you may be able to go back there!” 41 

1 map For location see Map5 B1; Map6 F3; Map7 E2; Map8 F2; Map10 B3; JP1 F4; JP2 F4; JP3 F4; JP4 F4.

2 tn Or “a fine.”

3 tn The Hebrew word כִּכַּר (kikar, “circle”) refers generally to something that is round. When used of metals it can refer to a disk-shaped weight made of the metal or, by extension, to a standard unit of weight. According to the older (Babylonian) standard the “talent” weighed 130 lbs. (58.9 kg), but later this was lowered to 108.3 lbs. (49.1 kg). More recent research suggests the “light” standard talent was 67.3 lbs. (30.6 kg). Using this as the standard for calculation, the weight of the silver was 6,730 lbs. (3,060 kg).

4 tn Heb “his”; the referent (Jehoahaz) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

5 map For location see Map5 B1; Map6 F3; Map7 E2; Map8 F2; Map10 B3; JP1 F4; JP2 F4; JP3 F4; JP4 F4.

6 tn Heb “in the eyes of.”

7 tn Heb “came up against him.”

8 tn Heb “to carry him away.”

9 tn Or “temple.”

10 tn Heb “in Babylon.” Repeating the proper name “Babylon” here would be redundant in contemporary English, so “there” has been used in the translation.

11 tn Heb “As for the rest of the events of Jehoiakim, and his horrible deeds which he did and that which was found against him, look, they are written on the scroll of the kings of Israel and Judah.”

12 tc The Hebrew text reads “eight,” but some ancient textual witnesses, as well as the parallel text in 2 Kgs 24:8, have “eighteen.”

13 map For location see Map5 B1; Map6 F3; Map7 E2; Map8 F2; Map10 B3; JP1 F4; JP2 F4; JP3 F4; JP4 F4.

14 tn Heb “in the eyes of.”

15 tn Heb “sent and brought him.”

16 tn Heb “and he made Zedekiah his brother king.” According to the parallel text in 2 Kgs 24:17, Zedekiah was Jehoiachin’s uncle, not his brother. Therefore many interpreters understand אח here in its less specific sense of “relative” (NEB “made his father’s brother Zedekiah king”; NASB “made his kinsman Zedekiah king”; NIV “made Jehoiachin’s uncle, Zedekiah, king”; NRSV “made his brother Zedekiah king”).

17 map For location see Map5 B1; Map6 F3; Map7 E2; Map8 F2; Map10 B3; JP1 F4; JP2 F4; JP3 F4; JP4 F4.

18 tn Heb “in the eyes of.”

19 tn Or “made him swear an oath.”

20 tn Heb “and he stiffened his neck and strengthened his heart from returning.”

21 tn Heb “like the abominable practices of the nations.”

22 tn Heb “fathers.”

23 tn Heb “and the Lord God of their fathers sent against them by the hand of his messengers, getting up early and sending.”

24 tn Heb “his words.”

25 tn All three verbal forms (“mocked,” “despised,” and “ridiculed”) are active participles in the Hebrew text, indicating continual or repeated action. They made a habit of rejecting God’s prophetic messengers.

26 tn Heb “until the anger of the Lord went up against his people until there was no healer.”

27 tn Heb “killed with the sword.”

28 tn Heb “in the house of their sanctuary.”

29 tn Or “show compassion to.”

30 tn Heb “he”; the referent (God) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

31 map For location see Map5 B1; Map6 F3; Map7 E2; Map8 F2; Map10 B3; JP1 F4; JP2 F4; JP3 F4; JP4 F4.

32 tn Heb “to fulfill the word of the Lord by the mouth of Jeremiah.”

33 tn Or “accepted.”

34 sn According to Lev 25:4, the land was to remain uncultivated every seventh year. Lev 26:33-35 warns that the land would experience a succession of such sabbatical rests if the people disobeyed God, for he would send them away into exile.

35 sn Concerning the seventy years see Jer 25:11.

36 tn Heb “all the days of the desolation it rested to fulfill the seventy years.”

sn Cyrus’ edict (see vv. 22-23) occurred about fifty years after the fall of Jerusalem in 586 b.c., which is most naturally understood as the beginning point of the “days of desolation” mentioned in v. 21. The number “seventy” is probably used in a metaphorical sense, indicating a typical lifetime and suggesting a thorough or complete judgment that would not be lifted until an entirely new generation emerged.

37 tn The words “the reign of” are supplied in the translation for clarification.

38 tn Heb “to complete the word of the Lord by the mouth of Jeremiah.”

sn Regarding the promise he delivered through Jeremiah see Jer 29:10.

39 tn Heb “stirred the spirit of.”

40 map For location see Map5 B1; Map6 F3; Map7 E2; Map8 F2; Map10 B3; JP1 F4; JP2 F4; JP3 F4; JP4 F4.

41 tn Heb “Whoever [is] among you from all his people – may the Lord his God [be] with him so that he may go up.”



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