The Fall of Jerusalem (2 Kings 25; 2 Chronicles 36:15 – 23)

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2 Kings 25

2 Chronicles 36:15 – 23

The end has finally come. The fall of Jerusalem is recorded 4 times . . .

  • Sept 14: Jeremiah 39

  • Sept 16: Jeremiah 52

  • Today: 2 Kings 25 and 2 Chronicles 36:15 – 23

1. Do you know anyone who lives in a war zone? Occupied territory? The inner city? Why don’t they move?

2. This conflict story poses a dilemma: Is surrender ever noble? In what way do you need to surrender? To keep fighting? How do you know when to do what?

3. Is God still angry today? Over the same things? Does God judge nations and bring disaster on them? Why or why not?

4. Has God ever pulled everything out from under you? Without your last crutch or means of support, what happened when you fell? Do you dread falling again? Are you less afraid now?

5. Jehoiachin went into exile two years before the rest of Judah, but was given amnesty halfway through the 70-year period of exile? Why do you suppose that was?

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The Reign of Zedekiah King of Judah (2 Kings 24:15 – 20; 2 Chronicles 36:9 – 14)

No questions today.

2 Kings 24:15 – 20

Nebuchadnezzar took Jehoiachin captive to Babylon. He also took from Jerusalem to Babylon the king’s mother, his wives, his officials and the prominent people of the land. 16 The king of Babylon also deported to Babylon the entire force of seven thousand fighting men, strong and fit for war, and a thousand skilled workers and artisans. 17 He made Mattaniah, Jehoiachin’s uncle, king in his place and changed his name to Zedekiah.

18 Zedekiah was twenty-one years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem eleven years. His mother’s name was Hamutal daughter of Jeremiah; she was from Libnah. 19 He did evil in the eyes of the Lord, just as Jehoiakim had done. 20 It was because of the Lord’s anger that all this happened to Jerusalem and Judah, and in the end he thrust them from his presence.

Now Zedekiah rebelled against the king of Babylon.

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2 Chronicles 36:9 – 14

Jehoiachin was eighteen years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem three months and ten days. He did evil in the eyes of the Lord. 10 In the spring, King Nebuchadnezzar sent for him and brought him to Babylon, together with articles of value from the temple of the Lord, and he made Jehoiachin’s uncle, Zedekiah, king over Judah and Jerusalem.

11 Zedekiah was twenty-one years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem eleven years. 12 He did evil in the eyes of the Lord his God and did not humble himself before Jeremiah the prophet, who spoke the word of the Lord. 13 He also rebelled against King Nebuchadnezzar, who had made him take an oath in God’s name. He became stiff-necked and hardened his heart and would not turn to the Lord, the God of Israel. 14 Furthermore, all the leaders of the priests and the people became more and more unfaithful, following all the detestable practices of the nations and defiling the temple of the Lord, which he had consecrated in Jerusalem.

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Jehoaichin King of Judah and the Great Deportation(2 Kings 24:8 – 20)

Scripture Text:

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2 Kings 24:8 – 20

1. Were you ever banished from the presence of your parents or peers? Where were you sent – your room, the principal’s office, a relative’s home, etc.?

2. How does Jehoiachin continue his father’s policies toward God and Babylon (verses 8 – 11)?

3. Why not resist the invaders as Hezekiah (see 2 Kings 19)?

  • Judah is weary of war.
  • The prophet is not encouraging. (see Jeremiah 22:28 – 30)
  • Another miracle would be needed. (see 2 Kings 19:35)
  • Jehoiachin knows the odds.

4. Who does the conquest affect (verses 12 – 14)? Who’s not affected? Why does Babylon deport the upper class?

5. Why does the name change from Mattaniah (“Gift of Yahweh”) to Zedekiah (“Righteousness of Yahweh”) (verses 16 and 17)?

6. When hope for survival dims, how do you cope? What role does faith play in that?

7. Is forgiveness ever beyond reach? Explain. Is the “snowball effect” sometimes impossible to stop, as in the last days before the fall of Jerusalem?

8. Why do the poor care the least who holds power? Why do you care about who’s in or out of government?

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