(Jehovah will establish)
(2 Kings 24:8-17)
Contemporary Prophets: Jeremiah; Zephaniah; Ezekiel.
“He looseth the bond of kings, and girdeth their loins with a girdle.”—Job 12:18
“Jehoiachin was eighteen years old when he I began to reign, and he reigned in Jerusalem
three months. And his mother’s name was Nehushta, the daughter of Elnathan of Jerusalem. And he did that which was evil in the sight of the Lord, according to all that his father had done” (2 Kings 24:8, 9). 2 Chron. 36:9 makes him eight years old at the beginning of his reign, instead of eighteen, as here: so in LXX and Vulg. But some Hebrew MSS., Syriac, and Arabic, read “eighteen “in Chronicles; so “eight” must be an error of transcription. All the internal evidence is in favor of eighteen. See Jer. 22:28-30; Ezek. 19:7.
His character was no different from that of his two predecessors. It is the same sad, unvarying record:” He did that which was evil.” How the godly must have longed .for that “King” mentioned by Isaiah, who should “reign in righteousness”! They little knew, or even suspected, perhaps, all that their nation would have to suffer, and the long, weary centuries—aye, millenniums—that would have to wear themselves away before that day of “righteousness and peace” should come. But there was something about even this wicked king that could give them hope—his name,
Jehovah will establish. They might not know the time; the
fact they were assured of. And so they could “with patience wait for it.”
Nehushta, his mother’s name, means
copper. It refers to anything of copper, whether a copper coin, or a copper mirror
or fetters: and both she and her son, with all his family and retinue, were carried captive to Babylon. “And Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came against the city, and his servants did besiege it. And Jehoiachin the king of Judah went out to the king of Babylon, he, and his mother, and his servants, and his princes, and his officers: and the king of Babylon took him in the eighth year of his [Nebuchadnezzar’s] reign. And he carried out thence all the treasures of the house of the Lord, and the treasures of the king’s house, and cut in pieces all the vessels of gold which Solomon king of Israel had made in the temple of the Lord, as the Lord had said. And he carried away all Jerusalem, and all the princes, and all the mighty men of valor, even ten thousand captives, and all the craftsmen and smiths: none remained, save the poorest sort of the people of the land. And he carried away Jehoiachin to Babylon, and the king’s mother, and the king’s wives”
(wives, confirming the reading
eight}, “and his officers, and the mighty of the land, those carried he into captivity from Jerusalem to Babylon.” This was all
“as the Lord said”
through His prophet Jeremiah (Jer. 20:5). Heaven and earth will pass away and perish, but not one word of God.
The temple was despoiled of its remaining treasures. A few years before the king of Babylon had carried away the solid and smaller vessels (2 Chron. 36:7). On this occasion he (lit.) “
cut the gold off” the larger plated vessels—the ark, the altar of incense, the show-bread table, etc. There is no contradiction here, or any where in Scripture, for “the Scripture cannot be broken.” The king’s mother would be the queen
mother mentioned in Jer. 13:18.
The Babylonian captivity dates from Jehoiachin’s reign. He never returned from his captivity. There he spent thirty-six years in prison until the death of Nebuchadnezzar in his eighty-third, or eighty-fourth year, after a reign of forty-three years. His son Evil-merodach succeeded him on the throne. This son had once been himself shut up in prison by his father, where he probably made the acquaintance of the royal Hebrew captive. He was not like the ungrateful butler who, when out of prison, “forgat Joseph”; he remembered his old prison companion. “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 Evil-merodach 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 his 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” (Jer. 52:31-34).
He was not the first king of David’s house to be held a prisoner there. Some time before, his father’s great-grandfather, Manasseh, was brought a prisoner, and there, in his affliction he sought and found the Lord. Whether Jehoiachin ever did so, we cannot say. His name (as “Jechonias”) is the last of the kings of Judah, mentioned in the list of Matthew, chap. 1. The next is “Jesus who is called Christ,” anointed King, not of Israel or the Jews only, but of the nations also (Rev. 15:3, marg.)
Jeremiah said of Jehoiakim, (Jehoiachin’s father) “He shall have none to sit upon the throne of David” (Jer. 36:30). The word “sit” here means to “
firmly sit,”or “dwell”; and Jehoiachin’s short three months’ reign was not that surely. And Zedekiah, Jehoiachin’s successor, was Jehoiakim’s
brother, not his son.
Though, like his father, “he did evil
in the sight of the Lord”
Jehoiachin appears to have been a favorite with the populace. “Is this man Coniah13 a despised broken idol?” (or, “vase”) ironically inquired the prophet. But he immediately adds, “Is he a vessel wherein is no pleasure?”—which is really what he was in God’s eyes. “Wherefore are they cast out, he and his seed, and are cast into a land which they knew not? O earth, earth, earth, hear the word of the Lord: Thus saith the Lord, Write ye this man childless, a man that shall not prosper in his days: for no man of his seed shall prosper, sitting upon the throne of David, and ruling any more in Judah”(Jer. 22:28-30). “Childless” here does not mean without descendants (for the prophecy itself mentions “his seed”) but “no direct lineal heir to the throne” (Fausset). Matt. 1:12 shows conclusively that he had descendants (“Jechonias begat Salathiel”), as does also 1 Chron. 3:17 (“The sons of Jeconiah; Assir,” etc.). The prophecy probably refers to his uncle’s succeeding him to the throne instead of his son Assir—his first-born, probably; or it may have been a prophecy of Assir’s premature death; and this may be why Assir is not mentioned in the genealogy in Matthew. Anyway, God made no mistake. He speaks, and it is done; He commands, and it stands fast. “And the word of our God shall stand forever.”
13 In 1 Clnon. 3:17 Jehoiachin is given as Jeconiah, of which “Coniah” is an abbreviation.