Jehoahaz, an evil king, only reigns for 3 months before the king of Egypt, Necho, takes him off to captivity in Egypt. Necho then puts Jehoahaz’s brother Eliakim on the throne and changes his name to Jehoiakim.
Jehoiakim taxes the people to pay Egypt the silver and gold demanded by Necho. Jehoiakim is also a wicked king so the Lord sends Jeremiah with messages for both Jehoahaz and Jehoiakim, the sons of Josiah. Jeremiah tells them that the palace will be destroyed; Jehoahaz, “Shall die in the place where they have led him captive”; and Jehoiakim shall have a disgraceful burial and be, “Dragged and cast out beyond the gates of Jerusalem.”
Then Jeremiah, standing outside the temple, warns the people to turn from their evil ways and heed the words of the Lord or He, “Will make this city a curse to all the nations of the earth.” Well, this message from the Lord is not what the people want to hear so they tell Jeremiah – “You will surely die!” 😳 But Jeremiah does not back down. He says do what you want but if you kill me just know that you will have innocent blood on your hands bc the Lord sent me with His Words. 💪
Others come to the defense of Jeremiah. They say remember when Micah also spoke against Jerusalem during the reign of Hezekiah and no one killed him. In fact, it led the people to repentance. So Jeremiah escapes death with the intervention of Ahikam, the son of Shaphan who was Josiah’s scribe during the religious reform.
After 3 years of being a vassal nation of Babylon, Jehoiakim rebels against the Babylonians. Therefore the Lord sends raiding bands, “Against Judah to destroy it, according to the word of the Lord which He has spoken by His servants the prophets.” Jeremiah says since the people would never listen to the Lord, He is going to send them off to captivity, “And this whole land shall be a desolation and an astonishment, and these nations shall serve the king of Babylon seventy years.”
After 70 years, the Lord will judge Babylon for their sins and bring His people home.
In a couple of days, the Divided Kingdom Era ends and we begin the Captivity Era so keep reading.
(2 Chronicles 36:1-4, 2 Kings 23:31-37, 2 Chronicles 36:5, Jeremiah 22:1-23, Jeremiah 26:1-24, 2 Kings 24:1-4, Jeremiah 25:1-14)