The Last Years Of The Kings Of Judah; And God's Call Of Some Of The Prophets Who Predicted The Disasters That Came On The Two Kingdoms



This article is part of a series of Bible passages, which together are mainly about how the Bible says the Jewish race developed and were given laws, how they settled in ancient Israel, and how it says God sometimes punished them for disobeying his commands, which led to them changing their ways.
This is Part 11 (of 11) in Section 8: "The Kings of Israel and Judah, and Disaster and Prosperity Brought on the Two Kingdoms According to Their Obedience or Disobedience to God".


Some parts of the Old Testament and the Book of Revelation are very unpleasant. If you become offended by anything, please read An Attempt to Explain Gruesome Bible Passages.

The purpose of the Old Testament seems to have been mainly to try to scare lawless societies into behaving decently, giving up the cruel ways the Bible says they were guilty of. Hence much of the gruesomeness, which is at least in part meant to warn people committing cruel and hurtful actions to change.


In the Second Book of Kings in the Old Testament, the Bible says:

2 Kings chapter 22 (TEV)

1 Josiah became king of Judah, and he ruled in Jerusalem for thirty-one years. 2 Josiah did what was pleasing to the Lord; he followed the example of his ancestor King David, strictly obeying all the laws of God.

2 kings chapter 23 (TEV)

25 There had never been a king like him before, who served the Lord with all his heart, mind, and strength, obeying all the Law of Moses; nor has there been a king like him since. 26 But the Lord's fierce anger had been aroused against Judah by what King Manasseh had done, and even now it did not die down. 27 The Lord said, "I will do to Judah what I have done to Israel: I will banish the people of Judah from my sight, and I will reject Jerusalem, the city I chose, and the Temple, the place I said was where I should be worshiped." 28 Everything else that King Josiah did is recorded in [The History of the Kings of Judah.] 29 While Josiah was king, King Neco of Egypt led an army to the Euphrates River to help the emperor of Assyria. King Josiah tried to stop the Egyptian army at Megiddo and was killed in battle. 30 His officials placed his body in a chariot and took it back to Jerusalem, where he was buried in the royal tombs.

The people of Judah chose Josiah's son Joahaz and anointed him king.

31 Joahaz was twenty-three years old when he became king of Judah, and he ruled in Jerusalem for three months. 32 Following the example of his ancestors, he sinned against the Lord. 33 His reign ended when King Neco of Egypt took him prisoner in Riblah, in the land of Hamath, and made Judah pay 7,500 pounds of silver and 75 pounds of gold as tribute. 34 King Neco made Josiah's son Eliakim king of Judah as successor to Josiah, and changed his name to Jehoiakim. Joahaz was taken to Egypt by King Neco, and there he died. 35 King Jehoiakim collected a tax from the people in proportion to their wealth, in order to raise the amount needed to pay the tribute demanded by the king of Egypt. 36 Jehoiakim was twenty-five years old when he became king of Judah, and he ruled in Jerusalem for eleven years. 37 Following the example of his ancestors, Jehoiakim sinned against the Lord.

2 Kings chapter 24 (TEV)

1 While Jehoiakim was king, King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylonia invaded Judah, and for three years Jehoiakim was forced to submit to his rule; then he rebelled. 2 The Lord sent armed bands of Babylonians, Syrians, Moabites, and Ammonites against Jehoiakim to destroy Judah, as the Lord had said through his servants the prophets that he would do. 3 This happened at the Lord's command. 6 Jehoiakim died, and his son Jehoiachin succeeded him as king. 7 The king of Egypt and his army never marched out of Egypt again, because the king of Babylonia now controlled all the territory that had belonged to Egypt, from the Euphrates River to the northern border of Egypt.

8 Jehoiachin was eighteen years old when he became king of Judah, and he ruled in Jerusalem for three months. 9 Following the example of his father, Jehoiachin sinned against the Lord. 10 It was during his reign that the Babylonian army, commanded by King Nebuchadnezzar's officers, marched against Jerusalem and besieged it. 11 During the siege Nebuchadnezzar himself came to Jerusalem, 12 and King Jehoiachin, along with his mother, his sons, his officers, and the palace officials, surrendered to the Babylonians. In the eighth year of Nebuchadnezzar's reign he took Jehoiachin prisoner 13 and carried off to Babylon all the treasures in the Temple and the palace. As the Lord had foretold, Nebuchadnezzar broke up all the gold utensils which King Solomon had made for use in the Temple. 14 Nebuchadnezzar carried away as prisoners the people of Jerusalem, all the royal princes, and all the leading men, ten thousand in all. He also deported all the skilled workers, including the blacksmiths, leaving only the poorest of the people behind in Judah. 15 Nebuchadnezzar took Jehoiachin to Babylon as a prisoner, together with Jehoiachin's mother, his wives, his officials, and the leading men of Judah. 16 Nebuchadnezzar deported all the important men to Babylonia, seven thousand in all, and one thousand skilled workers, including the blacksmiths, all of them able-bodied men fit for military duty. 17 Nebuchadnezzar made Jehoiachin's uncle Mattaniah king of Judah and changed his name to Zedekiah.

18 Zedekiah was twenty-one years old when he became king of Judah, and he ruled in Jerusalem for eleven years. 19 King Zedekiah sinned against the Lord, just as King Jehoiakim had done. 20 The Lord became so angry with the people of Jerusalem and Judah that he banished them from his sight.

2 Kings chapter 25 (NLT)

1 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. 2 Jerusalem was kept under siege until the eleventh year of King Zedekiah's reign. 3 By July 18 of Zedekiah's eleventh year, the famine in the city had become very severe, with the last of the food entirely gone. 4 Then a section of the city wall was broken down, and all the soldiers made plans to escape from the city. But since the city was surrounded by the Babylonians, they waited for nightfall and fled through the gate between the two walls behind the king's gardens. They made a dash across the fields, in the direction of the Jordan Valley. 5 But the Babylonians chased after them and caught the king on the plains of Jericho, for by then his men had all abandoned him. 6 They brought him to the king of Babylon at Riblah, where sentence was passed against him. 7 The king of Babylon made Zedekiah watch as all his sons were killed. Then they gouged out Zedekiah's eyes, bound him in bronze chains, and led him away to Babylon.

8 On August 14 of that year, which was the nineteenth year of Nebuchadnezzar's reign, Nebuzaradan, captain of the guard, an official of the Babylonian king, arrived in Jerusalem. 9 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 the captain of the guard supervised the entire Babylonian army as they tore down the walls of Jerusalem. 11 Nebuzaradan, captain of the guard, then took as exiles those who remained in the city, along with the rest of the people and the troops who had declared their allegiance to the king of Babylon. 12 But the captain of the guard allowed some of the poorest people to stay behind in Judah to care for the vineyards and fields.

13 The Babylonians broke up the bronze pillars, the bronze water carts, and the bronze Sea that were at the LORD's Temple, and they carried all the bronze away to Babylon. 14 They also took all the pots, shovels, lamp snuffers, dishes, and all the other bronze utensils used for making sacrifices at the Temple. 15 Nebuzaradan, captain of the guard, also took the firepans and basins, and all the other utensils made of pure gold or silver. 16 The bronze from the two pillars, the water carts, and the Sea was too great to be weighed. These things had been made for the LORD's Temple in the days of King 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 The captain of the guard took with him as prisoners Seraiah the chief priest, his assistant Zephaniah, and the three chief gatekeepers. 19 And of the people still hiding in the city, he took an officer 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 commander 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.



Old Testament prophets had predicted disasters.


In the New Testament, the Bible says when referring to prophecy:

2 Peter chapter 1 (NLT)

20 ... You must understand that no prophecy in Scripture ever came from the prophets themselves 21 or because they wanted to prophesy. It was the Holy Spirit who moved the prophets to speak from God.


In the Book of Hosea, the Bible says:

Hosea chapter 1 (NLT)

1 The LORD gave these messages to Hosea son of Beeri during the years when Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah were kings of Judah, and Jeroboam son of Jehoash was king of Israel.

Hosea chapter 4 (TEV)

1 The Lord has an accusation to bring against the people who live in this land. Listen, Israel, to what he says: "There is no faithfulness or love in the land, and the people do not acknowledge me as God. 2 They make promises and break them; they lie, murder, steal, and commit adultery. Crimes increase, and there is one murder after another.

3 And so the land will dry up, and everything that lives on it will die. All the animals and birds, and even the fish, will die."

11 The Lord says, "Wine, both old and new, is robbing my people of their senses!

Hosea chapter 4 (NLT)

12 They are asking a piece of wood to tell them what to do! They think a stick can tell them the future! Longing after idols has made them foolish. They have played the prostitute, serving other gods and deserting their God. 13 They offer sacrifices to idols on the tops of mountains. They go up into the hills to burn incense in the pleasant shade of oaks, poplars, and other trees. That is why your daughters turn to prostitution, and your daughters-in-law commit adultery. 14 Why should I punish them? For you men are doing the same thing, sinning with whores and shrine prostitutes. O foolish people! You will be destroyed, for you refuse to understand. 15 Their worship is mere pretense as they take oaths in the LORD's name. 18 The men of Israel finish up their drinking bouts and off they go to find some prostitutes. Their love for shame is greater than their love for honor. 19 So a mighty wind will sweep them away. They will die in shame because they offer sacrifices to idols.

Hosea chapter 7 (NLT)

3 The people make the king glad with their wickedness. The princes laugh about the people's many lies. 4 They are all adulterers, always aflame with lust. They are like an oven that is kept hot even while the baker is still kneading the dough.

5 "On royal holidays, the princes get drunk. The king makes a fool of himself and drinks with those who are making fun of him. 6 Their hearts blaze like a furnace with intrigue. Their plot smolders through the night, and in the morning it flames forth like a raging fire. 7 They kill their kings one after another, and no one cries out to me for help.

Hosea chapter 14 (NIV)

1 Return, O Israel, to the LORD your God. Your sins have been your downfall!



Examples of the Kinds of Problems People Living Today Need to Help Resolve or Stop Causing, in Accordance With What the Bible's Trying to Teach Here

Modern Examples of Murder and Prostitution, Including Ritual Prostitution


In the Book of Amos, the Bible says:

Amos chapter 1 (NLT)

1 This message was given to Amos, a shepherd from the town of Tekoa in Judah. He received this message in visions two years before the earthquake, when Uzziah was king of Judah and Jeroboam II, the son of Jehoash, was king of Israel. 2 This is his report of what he saw and heard:

"The LORD's voice roars from his Temple on Mount Zion; he thunders from Jerusalem! Suddenly, the lush pastures of the shepherds dry up. All the grass on Mount Carmel withers and dies."

Amos chapter 7 (NLT)

1 The Sovereign LORD showed me a vision. I saw him preparing to send a vast swarm of locusts over the land. This was after the king's share had been harvested from the fields and as the main crop was coming up. 2 In my vision the locusts ate everything in sight that was green. Then I said, "O Sovereign LORD, please forgive your people! Unless you relent, Israel 16 will not survive, for we are only a small nation." 3 So the LORD relented and did not fulfill the vision. "I won't do it," he said.

4 Then the Sovereign LORD showed me another vision. I saw him preparing to punish his people with a great fire. The fire had burned up the depths of the sea and was devouring the entire land. 5 Then I said, "O Sovereign LORD, please don't do it. Unless you relent, Israel will not survive, for we are only a small nation." 6 Then the LORD turned from this plan, too. "I won't do that either," said the Sovereign LORD.

7 Then he showed me another vision. I saw the Lord standing beside a wall that had been built using a plumb line. He was checking it with a plumb line to see if it was straight. 8 And the LORD said to me, "Amos, what do you see?"

I answered, "A plumb line."

And the Lord replied, "I will test my people with this plumb line. I will no longer ignore all their sins. 9 The pagan shrines of your ancestors and the temples of Israel will be destroyed, and I will bring the dynasty of King Jeroboam to a sudden end."


At the beginning of the Book of Jeremiah, the Bible says:

Jeremiah chapter 1 (TEV)

1 This book is the account of what was said by Jeremiah son of Hilkiah, one of the priests of the town of Anathoth in the territory of Benjamin. 2 The Lord spoke to Jeremiah in the thirteenth year that Josiah son of Amon was king of Judah, 3 and he spoke to him again when Josiah's son Jehoiakim was king. After that, the Lord spoke to him many times, until the eleventh year of the reign of Zedekiah son of Josiah. In the fifth month of that year the people of Jerusalem were taken into exile.

4 The Lord said to me, 5 "I chose you before I gave you life, and before you were born I selected you to be a prophet to the nations."

6 I answered, "Sovereign Lord, I don't know how to speak; I am too young."

7 But the Lord said to me, "Do not say that you are too young, but go to the people I send you to, and tell them everything I command you to say. 8 Do not be afraid of them, for I will be with you to protect you. I, the Lord, have spoken!"

9 Then the Lord reached out, touched my lips, and said to me, "Listen, I am giving you the words you must speak.


Later in the Book of Jeremiah, the Bible says:

Jeremiah chapter 18 (TEV)

5 The Lord said to me, 7 If at any time I say that I am going to uproot, break down, or destroy any nation or kingdom, 8 but then that nation turns from its evil, I will not do what I said I would. 9 On the other hand, if I say that I am going to plant or build up any nation or kingdom, 10 but then that nation disobeys me and does evil, I will not do what I said I would.

11 Now then, tell the people of Judah and of Jerusalem that I am making plans against them and getting ready to punish them. Tell them to stop living sinful lives-to change their ways and the things they are doing.

12 They will answer, "No, why should we? We will all be just as stubborn and evil as we want to be.' "

Jeremiah chapter 2 (NIV)

30 "In vain I punished your people; they did not respond to correction.

Jeremiah chapter 3 (NIV)

2 You have defiled the land with your prostitution and wickedness. 3 Therefore the showers have been withheld, and no spring rains have fallen. Yet you have the brazen look of a prostitute; you refuse to blush with shame. 4 Have you not just called to me: 'My Father, my friend from my youth, 5 will you always be angry? Will your wrath continue forever?' This is how you talk, but you do all the evil you can."

Jeremiah chapter 26 (TEV)

13 You must change the way you are living and the things you are doing, and must obey the Lord your God. If you do, he will change his mind about the destruction that he said he would bring on you.


At the beginning of the book of the prophet Ezekiel, the Bible says:

Ezekiel chapter 1 (NLT)

1 On July 31 of my thirtieth year, while I was with the Judean exiles beside the Kebar River in Babylon, the heavens were opened to me, and I saw visions of God. 2 This happened during the fifth year of King Jehoiachin's captivity. 3 The LORD gave a message to me, Ezekiel son of Buzi, a priest, there beside the Kebar River in the land of the Babylonians, and I felt the hand of the LORD take hold of me.

28 ... I heard someone's voice speaking to me.

Ezekiel chapter 2 (TEV)

1 saying, "Mortal man, stand up. I want to talk to you." 2 While the voice was speaking, God's spirit entered me and raised me to my feet, and I heard the voice continue, 3 "Mortal man, I am sending you to the people of Israel. They have rebelled and turned against me and are still rebels, just as their ancestors were. 4 They are stubborn and do not respect me, so I am sending you to tell them what I, the Sovereign Lord, am saying to them. 5 Whether those rebels listen to you or not, they will know that a prophet has been among them.

6 "But you, mortal man, must not be afraid of them or of anything they say. They will defy and despise you; it will be like living among scorpions. Still, don't be afraid of those rebels or of anything they say. 7 You will tell them whatever I tell you to say, whether they listen or not. Remember what rebels they are.

8 "Mortal man, listen to what I tell you. Don't be rebellious like them. Open your mouth and eat what I am going to give you."

Ezekiel chapter 2 (NIV)

9 Then I looked, and I saw a hand stretched out to me. In it was a scroll, 10 which he unrolled before me. On both sides of it were written words of lament and mourning and woe.

Ezekiel chapter 3 (NIV)

1 And he said to me, "Son of man, eat what is before you, eat this scroll; then go and speak to the house of Israel." 2 So I opened my mouth, and he gave me the scroll to eat. 3 Then he said to me, "Son of man, eat this scroll I am giving you and fill your stomach with it." So I ate it, and it tasted as sweet as honey in my mouth. 4 He then said to me: "Son of man, go now to the house of Israel and speak my words to them. 5 You are not being sent to a people of obscure speech and difficult language, but to the house of Israel- 6 not to many peoples of obscure speech and difficult language, whose words you cannot understand. Surely if I had sent you to them, they would have listened to you. 7 But the house of Israel is not willing to listen to you because they are not willing to listen to me, for the whole house of Israel is hardened and obstinate. 8 But I will make you as unyielding and hardened as they are. 9 I will make your forehead like the hardest stone, harder than flint. Do not be afraid of them or terrified by them, though they are a rebellious house." 10 And he said to me, "Son of man, listen carefully and take to heart all the words I speak to you. 11 Go now to your countrymen in exile and speak to them. Say to them, 'This is what the Sovereign LORD says,' whether they listen or fail to listen."

14 The Spirit then lifted me up and took me away, and I went in bitterness and in the anger of my spirit, with the strong hand of the LORD upon me. 15 I came to the exiles who lived at Tel Abib near the Kebar River. And there, where they were living, I sat among them for seven days-overwhelmed.

16 At the end of seven days the word of the LORD came to me: 17 "Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel; so hear the word I speak and give them warning from me. 18 When I say to a wicked man, 'You will surely die,' and you do not warn him or speak out to dissuade him from his evil ways in order to save his life, that wicked man will die for his sin, and I will hold you accountable for his blood. 19 But if you do warn the wicked man and he does not turn from his wickedness or from his evil ways, he will die for his sin; but you will have saved yourself.
20 "Again, when a righteous man turns from his righteousness and does evil, and I put a stumbling block before him, he will die. Since you did not warn him, he will die for his sin. The righteous things he did will not be remembered, and I will hold you accountable for his blood. 21 But if you do warn the righteous man not to sin and he does not sin, he will surely live because he took warning, and you will have saved yourself."

22 The hand of the LORD was upon me there, and he said to me, "Get up and go out to the plain, and there I will speak to you." 23 So I got up and went out to the plain. And the glory of the LORD was standing there, like the glory I had seen by the Kebar River, and I fell facedown. 24 Then the Spirit came into me and raised me to my feet. He spoke to me and said: "Go, shut yourself inside your house. 25 And you, son of man, they will tie with ropes; you will be bound so that you cannot go out among the people. 26 I will make your tongue stick to the roof of your mouth so that you will be silent and unable to rebuke them, though they are a rebellious house. 27 But when I speak to you, I will open your mouth and you shall say to them, 'This is what the Sovereign LORD says.' Whoever will listen let him listen, and whoever will refuse let him refuse; for they are a rebellious house.

Ezekiel chapter 4 (TEV)

1 God said, "Mortal man, get a brick, put it in front of you, and scratch lines on it to represent the city of Jerusalem. 2 Then, to represent a siege, put trenches, earthworks, camps, and battering rams all around it. 3 Take an iron pan and set it up like a wall between you and the city. Face the city. It is under siege, and you are the one besieging it. This will be a sign to the nation of Israel.

16 And he added, "Mortal man, I am going to cut off the supply of bread for Jerusalem. The people there will be distressed and anxious as they measure out the food they eat and the water they drink. 17 They will run out of bread and water; they will be in despair, and they will waste away because of their sins."

Ezekiel chapter 9 (NIV)

1 Then I heard him call out in a loud voice, "Bring the guards of the city here, each with a weapon in his hand." 2 And I saw six men coming from the direction of the upper gate, which faces north, each with a deadly weapon in his hand. With them was a man clothed in linen who had a writing kit at his side. They came in and stood beside the bronze altar. 3 Now the glory of the God of Israel went up from above the cherubim, where it had been, and moved to the threshold of the temple. Then the LORD called to the man clothed in linen who had the writing kit at his side 4 and said to him, "Go throughout the city of Jerusalem and put a mark on the foreheads of those who grieve and lament over all the detestable things that are done in it." 5 As I listened, he said to the others, "Follow him through the city and kill, without showing pity or compassion. 6 Slaughter old men, young men and maidens, women and children, but do not touch anyone who has the mark. Begin at my sanctuary." So they began with the elders who were in front of the temple.

Ezekiel chapter 21 (NIV)

1 The word of the LORD came to me: 2 "Son of man, set your face against Jerusalem and preach against the sanctuary. Prophesy against the land of Israel 3 and say to her: 'This is what the LORD says: I am against you. I will draw my sword from its scabbard and cut off from you both the righteous and the wicked. 4 Because I am going to cut off the righteous and the wicked, my sword will be unsheathed against everyone from south to north. 5 Then all people will know that I the LORD have drawn my sword from its scabbard; it will not return again.' 6 "Therefore groan, son of man! Groan before them with broken heart and bitter grief. 7 And when they ask you, 'Why are you groaning?' you shall say, 'Because of the news that is coming. Every heart will melt and every hand go limp; every spirit will become faint and every knee become as weak as water.' It is coming! It will surely take place, declares the Sovereign LORD ."



This is the last file in this section. The next section is entitled "The predictions Old Testament prophets gave of total disaster at the hands of invaders as a punishment from God for their sins", and the first file in it is entitled "God's Call Of The Prophet Isaiah; Condemnation Of Sins Including Selfishness With Wealth, Oppression Of The Poor And Injustice; And Warnings Of Disaster".
Bible

If you have found parts of the Old Testament or the Book of Revelation offensive, please read An Attempt to Explain Gruesome Bible Passages.


The selections of Bible quotations have been put together by Diana Holbourn.

Throughout this series, wherever the initials TEV appear, they stand for Today's English Version (The Good News Bible).

Other initials: