Good morning! With this reading, we are 1/3rd of the way through the entire Bible! I know it’s a long slog sometimes, but together we are accomplishing something that most people never do, and those of us who have read through before are picking up so much more this time because of our communal insights. I certainly am! Whether you are able to read all or only part, whether you comment or simply observe, thank you for your dedication to this effort. We’ll get all the way through—one day at a time! 🙂
In 2 Kings 24, we finally see the Babylonian invasion which was foretold to Hezekiah. Jehoiakim reigns while bands of various enemies come against Judah in waves, weakening it according to the will of God for punishment of Manasseh’s sins. Jehoiachin his son (there must must have been a shortage of other consonants and vowels in Judah) takes the throne as Jerusalem is besieged by Babylon. Jehoiachin surrenders to Nebuchadnezzar, and the Babylonian captivity begins. Babylon’s king carries off all the treasure, royalty, leading officials and craftspeople, leaving just the poorest Israelite people to remain as subsistence farmers.
Zedekiah is set up by Babylon as a puppet king, but when he rebels Nebuchadnezzar besieges Jerusalem for two years. Zedekiah eventually tries to make a break for it with his soldiers, but Babylonian forces capture him and put his eyes out, his last sight being the death of his children. In the aftermath, all of Jerusalem is burned to the ground, its walls broken apart, and still more residents forced to march away in exile. Babylon loots everything worth having from the temple and palace that Solomon had built. Babylonian forces round up figureheads and leaders of Jerusalem to be killed by Nebuchadnezzar. The governor who was put in charge, Gedaliah, dies at the hands of Israel’s remaining patriots, but then even these run away to Egypt for fear of Babylon.
The strong and united Israel that formed under Saul, flourished under David, and fattened under Solomon has now been entirely erased, and according to this telling, it was the doing of Israel’s own God. Tomorrow we’ll start a review of these same events again according to a different narrator, in Chronicles. “Happy” reading!
Please join discussion of this passage at the Daily Bible Facebook group, or comment below. The passage for tomorrow is 1 Chronicles 1-2. Thanks for reading!