2 Kings 24-25: The Epic Attack that Happened When People Disobey God

While the Assyrians scattered the people of the northern kingdom of Israel, the Babylonians took the Jews captive back to Babylon. Hence, for 70 years the Hebrews lived in exile. These last 2 chapters of 2 Kings tell the gruesome story. King Nebuchadnezzar’s conquest of Judah came in 3 waves:

  1. First, in 605 BC, that’s when he captured Judah’s best and brightest, Daniel along with his 3 friends, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah. You may recognize them by their Babylonian names — Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. We’ll hear from them in a few weeks.
  2. In 597 BC, the prophet Ezekiel was captured and taken to Babylon.
  3. Finally in 586 BC, Nebuchadnezzar destroyed Solomon’s Temple and the whole city of Jerusalem.

The last 2 chapters of 2 Kings tells the story. Let’s dig in…

2 Kings 24

(If you need to recap of the story thus far, click here.)

During Jehoiakim’s reign, King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon invaded the land of Judah. Jehoiakim surrendered and paid him tribute for three years but then rebelled. Then the Lord sent bands of Babylonian, Aramean, Moabite, and Ammonite raiders against Judah to destroy it, just as the Lord had promised through his prophets. These disasters happened to Judah because of the Lord’s command. He had decided to banish Judah from his presence because of the many sins of Manasseh, who had filled Jerusalem with innocent blood. The Lord would not forgive this.

The rest of the events in Jehoiakim’s reign and all his deeds are recorded in The Book of the History of the Kings of Judah. When Jehoiakim died, his son Jehoiachin became the next king.

The king of Egypt did not venture out of his country after that, for the king of Babylon captured the entire area formerly claimed by Egypt—from the Brook of Egypt to the Euphrates River.

Jehoiachin Rules in Judah

Jehoiachin was eighteen years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem three months. His mother was Nehushta, the daughter of Elnathan from Jerusalem. Jehoiachin did what was evil in the Lord’s sight, just as his father had done.

10 During Jehoiachin’s reign, the officers of King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon came up against Jerusalem and besieged it. 11 Nebuchadnezzar himself arrived at the city during the siege. 12 Then King Jehoiachin, along with the queen mother, his advisers, his commanders, and his officials, surrendered to the Babylonians.

In the eighth year of Nebuchadnezzar’s reign, he took Jehoiachin prisoner. 13 As the Lord had said beforehand, Nebuchadnezzar carried away all the treasures from the Lord’s Temple and the royal palace. He stripped away all the gold objects that King Solomon of Israel had placed in the Temple. 14 King Nebuchadnezzar took all of Jerusalem captive, including all the commanders and the best of the soldiers, craftsmen, and artisans—10,000 in all. Only the poorest people were left in the land.

15 Nebuchadnezzar led King Jehoiachin away as a captive to Babylon, along with the queen mother, his wives and officials, and all Jerusalem’s elite. 16 He also exiled 7,000 of the best troops and 1,000 craftsmen and artisans, all of whom were strong and fit for war. 17 Then the king of Babylon installed Mattaniah, Jehoiachin’s uncle, as the next king, and he changed Mattaniah’s name to Zedekiah.

Zedekiah Rules in Judah

18 Zedekiah was twenty-one years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem eleven years. His mother was Hamutal, the daughter of Jeremiah from Libnah. 19 But Zedekiah did what was evil in the Lord’s sight, just as Jehoiakim had done. 20 These things happened because of the Lord’s anger against the people of Jerusalem and Judah, until he finally banished them from his presence and sent them into exile.

The Fall of Jerusalem

Zedekiah rebelled against the king of Babylon.

2 Kings 24 NLT

2 Kings 25

So on January 15, during the ninth year of Zedekiah’s reign, King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon led his entire army against Jerusalem. They surrounded the city and built siege ramps against its walls. Jerusalem was kept under siege until the eleventh year of King Zedekiah’s reign.

By July 18 in the eleventh year of Zedekiah’s reign, the famine in the city had become very severe, and the last of the food was entirely gone. Then a section of the city wall was broken down. Since the city was surrounded by the Babylonians, the soldiers waited for nightfall and escaped through the gate between the two walls behind the king’s garden. Then they headed toward the Jordan Valley.

But the Babylonian troops chased the king and overtook him on the plains of Jericho, for his men had all deserted him and scattered. They captured the king and took him to the king of Babylon at Riblah, where they pronounced judgment upon Zedekiah. They made Zedekiah watch as they slaughtered his sons. Then they gouged out Zedekiah’s eyes, bound him in bronze chains, and led him away to Babylon.

The Temple Destroyed

On August 14 of that year, which was the nineteenth year of King Nebuchadnezzar’s reign, Nebuzaradan, the captain of the guard and an official of the Babylonian king, arrived in Jerusalem. He burned down the Temple of the Lord, the royal palace, and all the houses of Jerusalem. He destroyed all the important buildings in the city. 10 Then he supervised the entire Babylonian army as they tore down the walls of Jerusalem on every side. 11 Then Nebuzaradan, the captain of the guard, took as exiles the rest of the people who remained in the city, the defectors who had declared their allegiance to the king of Babylon, and the rest of the population. 12 But the captain of the guard allowed some of the poorest people to stay behind to care for the vineyards and fields.

13 The Babylonians broke up the bronze pillars in front of the Lord’s Temple, the bronze water carts, and the great bronze basin called the Sea, and they carried all the bronze away to Babylon. 14 They also took all the ash buckets, shovels, lamp snuffers, ladles, and all the other bronze articles used for making sacrifices at the Temple. 15 The captain of the guard also took the incense burners and basins, and all the other articles made of pure gold or silver.

16 The weight of the bronze from the two pillars, the Sea, and the water carts was too great to be measured. These things had been made for the Lord’s Temple in the days of Solomon. 17 Each of the pillars was 27 feet tall. The bronze capital on top of each pillar was 7 1⁄2 feet high and was decorated with a network of bronze pomegranates all the way around.

18 Nebuzaradan, the captain of the guard, took with him as prisoners Seraiah the high priest, Zephaniah the priest of the second rank, and the three chief gatekeepers. 19 And from among the people still hiding in the city, he took an officer who had been in charge of the Judean army; five of the king’s personal advisers; the army commander’s chief secretary, who was in charge of recruitment; and sixty other citizens. 20 Nebuzaradan, the captain of the guard, took them all to the king of Babylon at Riblah. 21 And there at Riblah, in the land of Hamath, the king of Babylon had them all put to death. So the people of Judah were sent into exile from their land.

Gedaliah Governs in Judah

22 Then King Nebuchadnezzar appointed Gedaliah son of Ahikam and grandson of Shaphan as governor over the people he had left in Judah. 23 When all the army commanders and their men learned that the king of Babylon had appointed Gedaliah as governor, they went to see him at Mizpah. These included Ishmael son of Nethaniah, Johanan son of Kareah, Seraiah son of Tanhumeth the Netophathite, Jezaniah son of the Maacathite, and all their men.

24 Gedaliah vowed to them that the Babylonian officials meant them no harm. “Don’t be afraid of them. Live in the land and serve the king of Babylon, and all will go well for you,” he promised.

25 But in midautumn of that year, Ishmael son of Nethaniah and grandson of Elishama, who was a member of the royal family, went to Mizpah with ten men and killed Gedaliah. He also killed all the Judeans and Babylonians who were with him at Mizpah.

26 Then all the people of Judah, from the least to the greatest, as well as the army commanders, fled in panic to Egypt, for they were afraid of what the Babylonians would do to them.

Hope for Israel’s Royal Line

27 In the thirty-seventh year of the exile of King Jehoiachin of Judah, Evil-merodach ascended to the Babylonian throne. He was kind to Jehoiachin and released him from prison on April 2 of that year. 28 He spoke kindly to Jehoiachin and gave him a higher place than all the other exiled kings in Babylon. 29 He supplied Jehoiachin with new clothes to replace his prison garb and allowed him to dine in the king’s presence for the rest of his life. 30 So the king gave him a regular food allowance as long as he lived.

2 Kings 25 NLT

When God says Judgment, He’s not kidding!

The Babylonians were different from the Assyrians. When the Assyrians took the Israelites from the northern kingdom, they scattered them throughout the nations/territories that they had conquered. The Babylonians had a different strategy. They took the Jews back to Babylon in exile. Notice how they took “Jerusalem’s elite” — the best and brightest of every walk of life. As we’ll see when we dig into the Book of Daniel, Nebuchadnezzar tried to brainwash Daniel and his friends. His goal was to get them to control the Jews under his power. We’ll see how well he did soon.

Innocent Blood

The pagan worship practices and idolatry angered God. Over and over again, He sent prophets to warn the kings and the people, but they wouldn’t listen. The worst king of all, Manasseh, actually followed the pagan worship practice of sacrificing his son to Molech. That awful practice was customary all over the pagan nations. It’s satanic ritual was brought in by Solomon’s wives and, unfortunately for all the innocents sacrificed, it spread.

How much will God throw judgment at the practice of abortion? Aren’t innocent lives being sacrificed to appease the mighty gods of pride, vanity, and greed?

The Temple Destroyed, Its Treasures Gone

Remember the treasures of King Hezekiah that he so vainly showed off for the Babylonian entourage that came to visit? Well, Nebuchadnezzar, took them all. In the final siege. It took the Babylonians 1-1/2 years to break through the walls of Jerusalem.

The Jews that Nebuchadnezzar rejected, those left behind, fled to Egypt. After 900 years, the Hebrews ended up back in Egypt. How sad.

The Lineage of David Preserved

King Jehoiachin was spared to make sure the lineage of King David continued. Otherwise, we wouldn’t have King Jesus, the Messiah, Savior, and Redeemer. The proof is in Matthew chapter 1.

God Is No Fool

by Dr. Lois Cheney, PhD.

They say that God has infinite patience, and that is a great comfort.
They say God is always there, and that is a deep satisfaction.
They say that God will always take you back, and I get lazy in that certitude.
They say that God never gives up, and I count on that.

They say you can go away for years and years, and He’ll be there, waiting, when you come back. They say you can make mistake after mistake, and God will always forgive and forget.

They say lots of things, people who never read the Old Testament. There comes a time, a definite, for sure time, when God turns around.

I don’t believe God shed His skin when Christ brought the New Testament. Christ showed us a new side of God, and it is truly wonderful. But He didn’t change God. God remains forever and ever, and that God is no fool.

Dr. Lois Cheney, PhD.

Paul wrote…

Don’t be misled—you cannot mock the justice of God. You will always harvest what you plant. Those who live only to satisfy their own sinful nature will harvest decay and death from that sinful nature. But those who live to please the Spirit will harvest everlasting life from the Spirit.

Galatians 6:7-8 NLT

It’s YOUR Choice!

Isn’t it about time you got right with God?

Believe. Repent. Be Baptized. Receive the Holy Spirit.

  • Believe — have Faith — that Jesus is the Christ and He died taking your sins away forever and that He rose from the dead 3 days later.
  • Repent of your sins — stop sinning! Do a complete 180 in your life and surrender your life to Him.
  • Be Baptized — show the world and yourself that you have died to your old life and are born again in Christ.
  • Receive the Holy Spirit in your heart.

Invite Jesus into Your Heart and Receive the Gift and Confident Hope of Eternal Life…

Jesus Messiah



Soli Deo Gloria! To God Alone Be the Glory!

Top image by Sweet Publishing from FreeBibleImages.org, (CC BY-SA 3.0)

One comment

  1. […] See, in the prior chapters, as well as in 2 Kings, God was warning the people of both kingdoms, Israel and Judah, of the coming wrath. All they had to do to avoid it was turn away from worshiping the false gods of their neighboring pagan nations and follow the One True God. Yet, they didn’t. Israel was attacked and carted away by the Assyrians and Judah was attacked 3 times and carried away to exile in Babylon. […]

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