- 2 Kings 24:6b, 8-9
- Jer. 22:24-30
- 2 Kings 24:10-12; 2 Chron. 36:10a
- 2 Kings 24:13-16; Dan. 1:2
- 2 Kings 24:17-18; Jer. 37:1
- 2 Kings 24:19-20a
- 2 Chron. 36:12, 13b-16; Jer. 37:2
After Jehoiakim, son of Josiah, died, his son Jehoiachin reigned in Jerusalem for three months. He was 18 when he became king and he did evil like his father. Nebuchadnezzar took Jehoiachin to Babylon where he stayed until he died. Nebuchadnezzar removed the gold and treasures from the temple and took them to Babylon and put them in the temple of his idol. He carried off all the officers, fighting men, craftsmen and artisans—a total of 10,000 people, along with the king's mothers, wives, officials and the leading men of Israel. Only the poorest of the land were left behind.
Nebuchadnezzar made Mattaniah, the third son of Josiah, a puppet king in Jerusalem and he changed his name to Zedekiah. Zedekiah reigned 11 years in Jerusalem and he did evil. He hardened his heart and refused to turn to GOD for help. All the leaders of the priests and the people became more and more unfaithful, defiling the temple and doing evil. In one of the saddest statements in all of GOD's word, GOD says of these people:
15 And the LORD God of their fathers sent warnings to them by His messengers, rising up early and sending them, because He had compassion on His people and on His dwelling place. 16 But they mocked the messengers of God, despised His words, and scoffed at His prophets, until the wrath of the LORD arose against His people, till there was no remedy.
(2 Chron. 36:15-16 NKJV)
20 For because of the anger of the LORD this happened in Jerusalem and Judah, that He finally cast them out from His presence.
(2 Kings 24:20a NKJV)
This dark period of time among GOD's people is commonly known as "the great deportation." It is so sad an ending to the nation of Judah. It is amazing and astonishing that people will refuse to humble themselves and turn to GOD despite being in such obvious need where only He can save them. Never allow your heart to be so hardened such that you refuse to hear His call of repentance.