1. The people of the nation took Jehoahaz, son of Josiah and made him king in Jerusalem in succession to his father.
2. Jehoahaz was twenty-three years old when he became king and he reigned for three months in Jerusalem.
3. The king of Egypt took him prisoner and made the people of Judah pay 7,500 pounds of silver and 75 pounds of gold as tribute.
4. The king of Egypt then made Eliakim, brother of Jehoahaz, king of Judah and Jerusalem, and changed his name to Jehoiakim. Neco took his brother Jehoahaz to Egypt.
5. Jehoiakim was twenty-five years old when he became king and he reigned for eleven years in Jerusalem. He did what was evil in the eyes of Yahweh his God.
6. Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon attacked him, put him in chains and carried him off to Babylon.
7. Nebuchadnezzar also carried off to Babylon some of the treasures of the House and put them in his palace at Babylon.
8. The rest of the history of Jehoiakim, the disgusting things he did and those discovered to his discredit, these are recorded in the Book of Kings of Israel and Judah. His son Jehoiakim succeeded him.
9. Jehoiakim was eight years old when he became King and he reigned for three months and ten days in Jerusalem. He did what was evil in the eyes of Yahweh.
10. When spring came, King Nebuchadnezzar sent for him and had him taken to Babylon as a prisoner, with the treasures of the temple and made Zedekiah, his brother, king of Judah and Jerusalem in his place.
11. Zedekiah was twenty-one years old when he became king and he reigned for eleven years in Jerusalem.
12. He did what was evil in the eyes of Yahweh his God. He did not listen humbly to the prophet Jeremiah, accredited by Yahweh himself.
13. He also rebelled against King Nebuchadnezzar who had forced him to swear in God's name that he would be loyal. He became stubborn, and obstinately refused to return to Yahweh the God of Israel.
14. Furthermore, all the heads of the priesthood, and the people, too, were exceedingly unfaithful, following the disgusting example of the nations around them, and so they defiled the house which Yahweh himself had made holy.
15. Yahweh, the God of their ancestors, continued to send prophets to warn his people, since he had compassion on them and on his dwelling place.
16. But they mocked the messengers of God, ignored his words, and laughed at his prophets, until at last the anger of Yahweh rose so high against his people that there was no further remedy.
17. Then he brought against them the king of the Chaldeans who killed with the sword the young men of Judah even in the House; he spared neither youth nor virgin, neither old man nor aged cripple: God handed them all over to him.
18. All the furnishings of the house of God, large and small, the treasures of Yahweh's House, the treasures of the king and his officials, he carried off to Babylon.
19. They burned down the house of God, broke down the walls of Jerusalem, set fire to all its palaces, and destroyed everything of value in it.
20. The survivors were deported by Nebuchadnezzar to Babylon; they were to serve him and his descendants as slaves until the kingdom of Persia came to power.
21. This is how the work of Yahweh was fulfilled that he spoke through Jeremiah, "The land will lie desolate for seventy years, to make up for its Sabbath rests that have not been observed."
22. And in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, to fulfill what he had said through the prophet Jeremiah, Yahweh stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia to issue the following command and send it out in writing to be read aloud everywhere in his kingdom:
23. "Thus speaks Cyrus king of Persia: Yahweh, the God of heaven, who has given me all the kingdoms of the earth, has ordered me to build him a house in Jerusalem, in Judah. Now, all of you who belong to his people, go there and may Yahweh your God be with you."