Thursday, May 13, 2010

Zedekiah and Jehoiachin - Jeremiah 52

Jeremiah 52:1 "Zedekiah was one and twenty years old when he began to reign, and he reigned eleven years in Jerusalem. And his mother's name was Hamutal the daughter of Jeremiah of Libnah."

I do not think that was the same Jeremiah who wrote the book.

We come to the close of the book of Jeremiah. He prophesied during the time of the end of the Jewish kingdom in Judah. He also prophesied during the captivity. He suffered at the hands of the authorities for the truth he spoke but was given his freedom by Nebuchadrezzar. He went down to Egypt and I lost his trail from there. I wonder if he made it to Babylon and met Daniel or if he went back to Judah to help in the vineyards. I do not know.

I have learned from studying this book again. I learned that Nebuchadrezzar is probably the correct spelling of the king of Babylon's name although we pronounce it Nebuchadnezzar as it was first spoken by the Hebrews.

Zedekiah was the last reigning king of Judah. However, I think Johoiachin lived the longest as described in the last part of this chapter. The real name of Zedekiah was Mettaniah. Zedekiah being given to him by Nebuchadrezzar.

Many names of the Jews were changed in Babylon. Perhaps, it was another way to wipe out their heritage. Fortunately, many remembered and kept up with their family names. I expect some who chose to stay in Babylon, when Nehemiah came back to rebuild the wall, forgot their names. Who knows, except God, where the descendants are today.

This chapter is also found in II Kings 24 and II Chronicles 36. It is the end of an era for Israel and mentioning it three times seems most appropriate.

v31-34 "And it came to pass in the seven and thirtieth year of the captivity of Jehoiachin king of Judah, in the twelfth month, in the five and twentieth day of the month, that Evilmerodach, king of Babylon in the first year of his reign lifted up the head of Jehoiachin king of Judah and brought him forth out of prison, And spake kindly unto him and set his throne above the throne of the kings that were with him in Babylon, And changed his prison garments, and he did continually eat bread before him all the days of is life. And for his diet, there was a continual diet given him of the king of Babylon, every day a portion until the day of his death, all the days of his life."

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