2Kings 24:1 ¶ In his days Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came up, and Jehoiakim became his servant three years: then he turned and rebelled against him.
2Kings 24:2 And the LORD sent against him bands of the Chaldees, and bands of the Syrians, and bands of the Moabites, and bands of the children of Ammon, and sent them against Judah to destroy it, according to the word of the LORD, which he spake by his servants the prophets.
2Kings 24:3 Surely at the commandment of the LORD came this upon Judah, to remove them out of his sight, for the sins of Manasseh, according to all that he did;
2Kings 24:4 And also for the innocent blood that he shed: for he filled Jerusalem with innocent blood; which the LORD would not pardon.
A few years after Jehoiakim became king, Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, came up against Judah; and Jehoiakim became his servant. This was in 605 BC.
Guzik provides some historical insight: “This specific attack is documented by the Babylonian Chronicles, a collection of tablets discovered as early as 1887, held in the British Museum. In them, Nebuchadnezzar’s 605 b.c. presence in Judah is documented and clarified. When the Babylonian chronicles were finally published in 1956, they gave us first-rate, detailed political and military information about the first 10 years of Nebuchadnezzar’s reign…. This campaign of Nebuchadnezzar was interrupted suddenly when he heard of his father’s death and raced back to Babylon to secure his succession to the throne….Nebuchadnezzar only had the time to take a few choice captives (such as Daniel and his three friends), a few treasures and a promise of submission from Jehoiakim.”
After three years of being a puppet king, Jehoiakim rebelled against Neb. Because of his rebellion, the LORD sent groups from the Chaldees, the Syrians, the Moabites and the Ammonites against Judah to destroy it—just as His prophets had foretold. The LORD had declared that He would not pardon the sins of Manasseh for all the innocent blood he shed.
2 Kings 21:11–12 “Because Manasseh king of Judah hath done these abominations, and hath done wickedly above all that the Amorites did, which were before him, and hath made Judah also to sin with his idols: Therefore thus saith the LORD God of Israel, Behold, I am bringing such evil upon Jerusalem and Judah, that whosoever heareth of it, both his ears shall tingle.”
2Kings 24:5 Now the rest of the acts of Jehoiakim, and all that he did, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah?
2Kings 24:6 So Jehoiakim slept with his fathers: and Jehoiachin his son reigned in his stead.
The historian closes his account on Jehoiakim by noting that more was written about him in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah. When he died, his son Jehoiachin became king.
Gill points out that Jehoiachin is also called Jeconiah and Coniah in scripture. This is significant because the LORD goes on to declare that Coniah will never have a descendant that sits on the throne of David.
Jeremiah 22:24&30 “As I live, saith the LORD, though Coniah the son of Jehoiakim king of Judah were the signet upon my right hand….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.”
I will add that the Chronicler tells us that Jehoiakim was taken prisoner to Babylon. Eerdmans Dictionary sums up his death as follows: “The death of Jehoiakim is shrouded in mystery. 2 Kings seems to indicate that Jehoiakim died peacefully in Jerusalem and “slept with his ancestors” (2 Kgs. 24:6). 2 Chronicles, however, suggests that he was taken prisoner by Nebuchadnezzar to Babylon where he eventually died (2 Chr. 36:5-8; 1 Esdr. 1:39-42). In somewhat conventional language, Jeremiah predicts the humiliating death of Jehoiakim (Jer. 22:18-19; 36:30; cf. Josephus Ant. 10.6.3), without reference to a specific location.”
2Kings 24:7 And the king of Egypt came not again any more out of his land: for the king of Babylon had taken from the river of Egypt unto the river Euphrates all that pertained to the king of Egypt.
The historian notes that the king of Egypt stayed home to avoid confrontation with the king of Babylon because he had become so strong and taken possession of all the land from the Nile River to the Euphrates River.
2Kings 24:8 ¶ Jehoiachin was eighteen years old when he began to reign, and he reigned in Jerusalem three months. And his mother’s name was Nehushta, the daughter of Elnathan of Jerusalem.
2Kings 24:9 And he did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD, according to all that his father had done.
Jehoiachin was 18 years of age when he became king, and he reigned for three months. His mother was Nehushta, daughter of Elnathan of Jerusalem. He was yet another of the evil kings of Judah.
2Kings 24:10 At that time the servants of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came up against Jerusalem, and the city was besieged.
2Kings 24:11 And Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came against the city, and his servants did besiege it.
2Kings 24:12 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 reign.
At this time (which history records as 597 BC), Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon set siege to Jerusalem. Jehoiachin surrendered to the king of Babylon along with his mother, his servants, his princes and his officers. Neb took Jehoiachin as his prisoner in his eighth year as king of Babylon.
2Kings 24:13 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.
2Kings 24:14 And he carried away all Jerusalem, and all the princes, and all the mighty men of valour, even ten thousand captives, and all the craftsmen and smiths: none remained, save the poorest sort of the people of the land.
2Kings 24:15 And he carried away Jehoiachin to Babylon, and the king’s mother, and the king’s wives, and his officers, and the mighty of the land, those carried he into captivity from Jerusalem to Babylon.
2Kings 24:16 And all the men of might, even seven thousand, and craftsmen and smiths a thousand, all that were strong and apt for war, even them the king of Babylon brought captive to Babylon.
At this time, Nebuchadnezzar took away all the treasures from the house of the LORD and from the palace. He cut in pieces the vessels of gold from the temple. He also took captive 10,000 men, including princes, mighty warriors, craftsmen and smiths. Only the poorest of the people were allowed to remain in the land. Besides taking Jehoiachin captive, Neb also took his wives and officers. It is noted that among the captives were 7000 men of might and 1000 craftsmen and smith, all who were strong and apt for war. In other words, he left no one behind whom he thought could cause him a problem.
It was at this time that the prophet Ezekiel was taken captive to Babylon.
2Kings 24:17 And the king of Babylon made Mattaniah his father’s brother king in his stead, and changed his name to Zedekiah.
2Kings 24:18 Zedekiah was twenty and one years old when he began to reign, and he reigned eleven years in Jerusalem. And his mother’s name was Hamutal, the daughter of Jeremiah of Libnah.
2Kings 24:19 And he did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD, according to all that Jehoiakim had done.
2Kings 24:20 For through the anger of the LORD it came to pass in Jerusalem and Judah, until he had cast them out from his presence, that Zedekiah rebelled against the king of Babylon.
Nebuchadnezzar made Mattaniah, Jehoiachin’s uncle (yet another son of Josiah), the king and changed his name to Zedekiah. He was 21 years old when he became king, and he ruled for 11 years in Jerusalem. His mother was Hamutal, daughter of Jeremiah of Libnah, making him the full brother of Jehoahaz. Zedekiah was yet another evil king of Judah. When Zedekiah rebelled against the king of Babylon, the LORD determined that it was time to “wipe the plate clean” as had been foretold.
2 Kings 21:13–15 “And I will stretch over Jerusalem the line of Samaria, and the plummet of the house of Ahab: and I will wipe Jerusalem as a man wipeth a dish, wiping it, and turning it upside down. And I will forsake the remnant of mine inheritance, and deliver them into the hand of their enemies; and they shall become a prey and a spoil to all their enemies; Because they have done that which was evil in my sight, and have provoked me to anger, since the day their fathers came forth out of Egypt, even unto this day.”