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Two Chronicles Thirty Six

by Dr. Henry M. Morris

(taken from the Defender's Study Bible)

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2 Chronicles 36:1 Then the people of the land took Jehoahaz the son of Josiah, and made him king in his father's stead in Jerusalem.

Jehoahaz. Three sons of good king Josiah each occupied the throne of Judah for a brief time, and all did “evil in the sight of the Lord”: Jehoahaz (2 Kings 23:32); Jehoiakim (2 Kings 23:37); and Zedekiah (2 Kings 24:19). A grandson, Jehoiachin, reigned for a very short time between Jehoiakim and Zedekiah, and he also “did that which was evil in the sight of the Lord” (2 Kings 24:9). The combined rule of all four Kings lasted only twenty-two and one-half years, and all were essentially vassals of either Egypt or Babylon. See note on 2 Kings 24:12.

2 Chronicles 36:2 Jehoahaz was twenty and three years old when he began to reign, and he reigned three months in Jerusalem.

2 Chronicles 36:3 And the king of Egypt put him down at Jerusalem, and condemned the land in an hundred talents of silver and a talent of gold.

2 Chronicles 36:4 And the king of Egypt made Eliakim his brother king over Judah and Jerusalem, and turned his name to Jehoiakim. And Necho took Jehoahaz his brother, and carried him to Egypt.

2 Chronicles 36:5 Jehoiakim was twenty and five years old when he began to reign, and he reigned eleven years in Jerusalem: and he did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD his God.

2 Chronicles 36:6 Against him came up Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, and bound him in fetters, to carry him to Babylon.

came up Nebuchadnezzar. See note on 2 Kings 24:1.

2 Chronicles 36:7 Nebuchadnezzar also carried of the vessels of the house of the LORD to Babylon, and put them in his temple at Babylon.

2 Chronicles 36:8 Now the rest of the acts of Jehoiakim, and his abominations which he did, and that which was found in him, behold, they are written in the book of the kings of Israel and Judah: and Jehoiachin his son reigned in his stead.

2 Chronicles 36:9 Jehoiachin was eight years old when he began to reign, and he reigned three months and ten days in Jerusalem: and he did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD.

Jehoiachin was eight years old. This is apparently a copyist error, as he already had “wives” at the time (2 Kings 24:15). While he also “did evil” during his very short reign, he was not as much a rebel against God as his father and his two uncles. He was thus eighteen years old at the time (not eight—see 2 Kings 24:8) and, even though carried captive to Babylon, was treated kindly there (2 Kings 25:27-30). He did not rebel against Babylonian rule, as had Jehoiakim and Zedekiah, against the warnings of Jeremiah (Jeremiah 36:24-31; 38:17-18). Note 2 Chronicles 36:12. Jehoiachin only reigned three months, and the context would indicate his actions to have been culpable as an adult.

2 Chronicles 36:10 And when the year was expired, king Nebuchadnezzar sent, and brought him to Babylon, with the goodly vessels of the house of the LORD, and made Zedekiah his brother king over Judah and Jerusalem.

2 Chronicles 36:11 Zedekiah was one and twenty years old when he began to reign, and reigned eleven years in Jerusalem.

2 Chronicles 36:12 And he did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD his God, and humbled not himself before Jeremiah the prophet speaking from the mouth of the LORD.

2 Chronicles 36:13 And he also rebelled against king Nebuchadnezzar, who had made him swear by God: but he stiffened his neck, and hardened his heart from turning unto the LORD God of Israel.

2 Chronicles 36:14 Moreover all the chief of the priests, and the people, transgressed very much after all the abominations of the heathen; and polluted the house of the LORD which he had hallowed in Jerusalem.

2 Chronicles 36:15 And the LORD God of their fathers sent to them by his messengers, rising up betimes, and sending; because he had compassion on his people, and on his dwelling place:

2 Chronicles 36:16 But they mocked the messengers of God, and despised his words, and misused his prophets, until the wrath of the LORD arose against his people, till there was no remedy.

2 Chronicles 36:17 Therefore he brought upon them the king of the Chaldees, who slew their young men with the sword in the house of their sanctuary, and had no compassion upon young man or maiden, old man, or him that stooped for age: he gave them all into his hand.

2 Chronicles 36:18 And all the vessels of the house of God, great and small, and the treasures of the house of the LORD, and the treasures of the king, and of his princes; all these he brought to Babylon.

brought to Babylon. It is noteworthy that, while the great temple is destroyed, and all its treasures taken to Babylon, no mention whatever is made of its most sacred occupant, the Ark of the Covenant. God evidently would not allow it to be desecrated again, and so translated it directly (like Enoch and Elijah) to the heavenly temple, where it was seen by John five hundred years later when he himself was translated into the distant future of the end-times (Revelation 11:19).

2 Chronicles 36:19 And they burnt the house of God, and brake down the wall of Jerusalem, and burnt all the palaces thereof with fire, and destroyed all the goodly vessels thereof.

2 Chronicles 36:20 And them that had escaped from the sword carried he away to Babylon; where they were servants to him and his sons until the reign of the kingdom of Persia:

2 Chronicles 36:21 To fulfil the word of the LORD by the mouth of Jeremiah, until the land had enjoyed her sabbaths: for as long as she lay desolate she kept sabbath, to fulfil threescore and ten years.

mouth of Jeremiah. This prophecy by Jeremiah of a seventy year captivity is found in Jeremiah 25:11 and 29:10. See also Daniel 9:2.

threescore and ten years. The law had required that the land be allowed to “rest” every seventh year (Leviticus 25:4). Evidently this law had been ignored for some 490 or so years, since about the time of Solomon. Therefore God enforced the law in this most impressive way.

2 Chronicles 36:22 Now in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, that the word of the LORD spoken by the mouth of Jeremiah might be accomplished, the LORD stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom, and put it also in writing, saying,

Cyrus king of Persia. The last two verses of the Chronicles (2 Chronicles 36:22-23) are essentially the same as the first three verses of Ezra (Ezra 1:1-3). Quite possibly, this could have been a device used by Ezra to tie the two books together. Although it cannot be proved definitely, the consensus of conservative Old Testament scholars is that Ezra was indeed the author of Chronicles.

2 Chronicles 36:23 Thus saith Cyrus king of Persia, All the kingdoms of the earth hath the LORD God of heaven given me; and he hath charged me to build him an house in Jerusalem, which is in Judah. Who is there among you of all his people? The LORD his God be with him, and let him go up.