1. The people of the land took Jehoahaz, son of Josiah, and made him king in Jerusalem in his father's stead.

2. Jehoahaz was twenty-three years old when he became king, and he reigned three months in Jerusalem.

3. The king of Egypt deposed him in Jerusalem and fined the land one hundred talents of silver and a talent of gold.

4. Then the king of Egypt made his brother Eliakim king over Judah and Jerusalem, and changed his name to Jehoiakim. Neco took his brother Jehoahaz away and brought him to Egypt.

5. Jehoiakim was twenty-five years old when he became king, and he reigned eleven years in Jerusalem. He did evil in the sight of the LORD, his God.

6. Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, came up against him and bound him with chains to take him to Babylon.

7. Nebuchadnezzar also carried away to Babylon some of the vessels of the house of the LORD and put them in his palace in Babylon.

8. The rest of the acts of Jehoiakim, the abominable things that he did, and what therefore happened to him, can be found written in the book of the kings of Israel and Judah. His son Jehoiachin succeeded him as king.

9. Jehoiachin was eighteen years old when he became king, and he reigned three months (and ten days) in Jerusalem. He did evil in the sight of the LORD.

10. At the turn of the year, King Nebuchadnezzar sent for him and had him brought to Babylon, along with precious vessels from the temple of the LORD. He made his brother Zedekiah king over Judah and Jerusalem.

11. Zedekiah was twenty-one years old when he became king, and he reigned eleven years in Jerusalem.

12. He did evil in the sight of the LORD, his God, and he did not humble himself before the prophet Jeremiah, who spoke the word of the LORD.

13. He also rebelled against King Nebuchadnezzar, who had made him swear by God. He became stiff-necked and hardened his heart rather than return to the LORD, the God of Israel.

14. Likewise all the princes of Judah, the priests and the people added infidelity to infidelity, practicing all the abominations of the nations and polluting the LORD'S temple which he had consecrated in Jerusalem.

15. Early and often did the LORD, the God of their fathers, send his messengers to them, for he had compassion on his people and his dwelling place.

16. But they mocked the messengers of God, despised his warnings, and scoffed at his prophets, until the anger of the LORD against his people was so inflamed that there was no remedy.

17. Then he brought up against them the king of the Chaldeans, who slew their young men in their own sanctuary building, sparing neither young man nor maiden, neither the aged nor the decrepit; he delivered all of them over into his grip.

18. All the utensils of the house of God, the large and the small, and the treasures of the LORD'S house and of the king and his princes, all these he brought to Babylon.

19. They burnt the house of God, tore down the walls of Jerusalem, set all its palaces afire, and destroyed all its precious objects.

20. Those who escaped the sword he carried captive to Babylon, where they became his and his sons' servants until the kingdom of the Persians came to power.

21. All this was to fulfill the word of the LORD spoken by Jeremiah: "Until the land has retrieved its lost sabbaths, during all the time it lies waste it shall have rest while seventy years are fulfilled."

22. In the first year of Cyrus, king of Persia, in order to fulfill the word of the LORD spoken by Jeremiah, the LORD inspired King Cyrus of Persia to issue this proclamation throughout his kingdom, both by word of mouth and in writing:

23. "Thus says Cyrus, king of Persia: 'All the kingdoms of the earth the LORD, the God of heaven, has given to me, and he has also charged me to build him a house in Jerusalem, which is in Judah. Whoever, therefore, among you belongs to any part of his people, let him go up, and may his God be with him!'"



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