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International Standard Bible Encyclopedia
The story of his reign is told in 2 Kings 24:8-16 , and more briefly in 2 Chronicles 36:9-10 . Then, after the reign of his successor Zedekiah and the final deportation are narrated, the account of his release from prison 37 years afterward and the honor done him is given as the final paragraph of 2 Ki (2 Chronicles 25:27 -30). The same thing is told at the end of the Book of Jer ( Jeremiah 52:31-34 ). Neither for this reign nor for the succeeding is there the usual reference to state annals; these seem to have been discontinued after Jehoiakim. In Jeremiah 22:24-30 there is a final pronouncement on this king, not so much upon the man as upon his inevitable fate, and a prediction that no descendant of his shall ever have prosperous rule in Judah.
2. His Reign
Of the brief reign of Jehoiachin there is little to tell. It was rather a historic landmark than a reign; but its year, 597 bc, was important as the date of the first deportation of Jewish captives to Babylon (unless we except the company of hostages carried away in Jehoiakim's 3rd (4th) year, Daniel 1:1-7 ). His coming to the throne was just at or near the time when Nebuchadnezzar's servants were besieging Jerusalem; and when the Chaldean king's arrival in person to superintend the siege made apparent the futility of resistance, Jehoiachin surrendered to him, with all the royal household and the court. He was carried prisoner to Babylon, and with him ten thousand captives, comprising all the better and sturdier element of the people from prince to craftsman, leaving only the poorer sort to constitute the body of the nation under his successor Zedekiah. With the prisoners were carried away also the most valuable treasures of the temple and the royal palace.
3. The Two Elements
Ever since Isaiah fostered the birth and education of a spiritually-minded remnant, for him the vital hope of Israel, the growth and influence of this element in the nation has been discernible, as well in the persecution it has roused (see under
4. Thirty-Seven Years Later
In the first year of Nebuchadnezzar's successor, perhaps by testamentary edict of Nebuchadnezzar himself, a strange thing occurred. Jehoiachin, who seems to have been a kind of hostage prisoner for his people, was released from prison, honored above all the other kings in similar case, and thenceforth to the end of his life had his portion at the royal table (2 Kings 25:27-30; Jeremiah 52:31-34 ). This act of clemency may have been due to some such good influence at court as is described in the Book of Daniel; but also it was a tribute to the good conduct of that better element of the people of which he was hostage and representative. It was the last event of Judean royalty; and suggestive for the glimpse it seems to afford of a people whom the Second Isaiah could address as redeemed and forgiven, and of a king taken from durance and judgment (compare Isaiah 53:8 ), whose career makes strangely vivid the things that are said of the mysterious "Servant of Yahweh."
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Orr, James, M.A., D.D. General Editor. Entry for 'Jehoiachin'. International Standard Bible Encyclopedia. https://www.studylight.org/encyclopedias/eng/isb/j/jehoiachin.html. 1915.
the Week of Proper 20 / Ordinary 25