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Jehoahaz King of Judah(A)

36 The people of ·Judah [L the land] ·chose [L took] Josiah’s son Jehoahaz and made him king in Jerusalem in his father’s place.

Jehoahaz was twenty-three years old when he became king, and he ·was king [reigned] in Jerusalem for three months. Then King Neco of Egypt ·removed Jehoahaz from being king [dethroned/deposed him] in Jerusalem. Neco made the people of Judah pay a ·tax [or fine] of ·about seventy-five hundred pounds [L one hundred talents] of silver and ·about seventy-five pounds [L one talent] of gold. The king of Egypt made Jehoahaz’s brother Eliakim the king of Judah and Jerusalem and changed his name to Jehoiakim. But Neco took his brother Jehoahaz to Egypt [C as a prisoner].

Jehoiakim King of Judah(B)

Jehoiakim was twenty-five years old when he became king, and he ·was king [reigned] in Jerusalem for eleven years. He did ·what the Lord said was wrong [evil in the Lord’s sight/eyes]. King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon attacked ·Judah [L him], ·captured Jehoiakim [bound him], put bronze chains on him, and ·took him [carried him away] to Babylon. Nebuchadnezzar removed some of the ·things [articles; vessels] from the ·Temple [L house] of the Lord, took them to Babylon, and put them in his own ·palace [or temple; L house].

The ·other things Jehoiakim did as king [rest of the events/acts/history of Jehoiakim], the ·hateful [detestable; abominable] things he did, and everything ·he was guilty of doing [found against him], ·are [L are they not…?] written in the ·book [scroll] of the kings of Israel and Judah. And Jehoiakim’s son Jehoiachin became king in his place.

Jehoiachin King of Judah(C)

Jehoiachin was ·eight [or eighteen; 2 Kin. 24:8] years old when he became king of Judah, and he ·was king [reigned] in Jerusalem for three months and ten days. He did ·what the Lord said was wrong [L evil in the Lord’s sight/eyes]. 10 ·In the spring [L At the turn of the year] King Nebuchadnezzar sent for Jehoiachin and brought him and some valuable ·treasures [articles; vessels] from the ·Temple [L house] of the Lord to Babylon. Then Nebuchadnezzar made Jehoiachin’s ·uncle [relative; L brother] Zedekiah the king of Judah and Jerusalem.

Zedekiah King of Judah(D)

11 Zedekiah was twenty-one years old when he became king of Judah, and he ·was king [reigned] in Jerusalem for eleven years. 12 Zedekiah did ·what the Lord said was wrong [L evil in the Lord’s sight/eyes]. The prophet Jeremiah spoke ·messages from [L from the mouth of] the Lord, but Zedekiah did not ·obey [L humble himself]. 13 Zedekiah turned against King Nebuchadnezzar, who had forced him to ·swear [vow; take an oath] in God’s name to be loyal to him. But Zedekiah ·became stubborn [L stiffened his neck] and ·refused to obey [L hardened his heart against seeking] the Lord, the God of Israel. 14 Also, all the ·leaders [officials] of the priests and the people of Judah became more ·wicked [unfaithful], following the ·evil example [detestable/abominable practices] of the other nations. The Lord had ·made holy [consecrated; sanctified] the ·Temple [L house] in Jerusalem, but the leaders ·made it unholy [defiled/polluted it].

The Fall of Jerusalem

15 The Lord, the God of their ·ancestors [fathers], sent ·prophets [L messengers] again and again to warn his people, because he had ·pity [compassion] on them and on his ·Temple [dwelling place]. 16 But they ·made fun of [mocked] God’s ·prophets [L messengers] and hated God’s ·messages [L words]. They ·refused to listen to the [ridiculed/scoffed at his] prophets until, finally, the Lord became so angry with his people that ·he could not be stopped [there was no remedy/L healer]. 17 So God brought the king of ·Babylon [the Chaldeans] to attack them. The king ·killed [slaughtered; L killed with the sword] the young men even when they were in the ·Temple [L house of their sanctuary]. He had no ·mercy [pity; compassion] on the young men or women, the old men or those who were ·sick [infirm]. God handed all of them over to Nebuchadnezzar. 18 Nebuchadnezzar carried away to Babylon all the ·things [articles; vessels] from the ·Temple [L house] of God, both large and small, and all the treasures from the ·Temple [L house] of the Lord and from the king and his ·officers [officials]. 19 Nebuchadnezzar and his army ·set fire to [burned down] God’s ·Temple [L house] and broke down Jerusalem’s wall and burned all the ·palaces [or fortifications; L houses]. They destroyed every valuable thing in Jerusalem.

20 Nebuchadnezzar took ·captive [into exile] to Babylon the people who ·were left alive [L escaped the sword], and he forced them to be ·slaves [servants] for him and his descendants. They remained there as ·slaves [servants] until the Persian kingdom ·defeated Babylon [L came/rose to power]. 21 And so ·what the Lord had told Israel through the prophet Jeremiah happened [L the word of the Lord through the mouth of Jeremiah was fulfilled; C he prophesied the fall of Jerusalem]: The country ·was an empty wasteland [lay desolate/fallow] for seventy years ·to make up for the years of Sabbath rest [Lev. 25:1–7] that the people had not kept [or enjoying its sabbath rest; C a bitter observation that the land experienced an ironic “rest” while the Israelites were in exile; Lev. 25:4, 26:33–35].

The Return from Exile(E)

22 In the first year Cyrus was king of Persia [539–38 bc], the Lord ·had Cyrus [L stirred the heart/spirit of Cyrus to] send an ·announcement to [decree/proclamation throughout] his whole kingdom. This happened ·so the Lord’s message spoken by Jeremiah would come true [to fulfill the word of the Lord in the mouth of Jeremiah]. He wrote:

23 ·This is what Cyrus king of Persia says [T Thus says Cyrus king of Persia]:

The Lord, the God of ·heaven [the heavens], has given me all the kingdoms of the earth, and he has appointed me to build a ·Temple [L house] for him at Jerusalem in Judah. Now may the Lord your God ·be with [accompany; fill] all of you who are his people. You are free to go [C back to Jerusalem at the end of the exile; Ezra 1].

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