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In 2 kings 24:6 it is recorded that king Jehoiakim died with his ancestors וישכב יהויקים עם אבותיו. This clearly implies that he died a natural peaceful death in his own land. However, in 2 Chronicles 36:6 and in Daniel 1:1-2 it is recorded that he was taken by Nebuchadnezzar to Babylon in fetters. But nothing of this is recorded in the book of kings. Furthermore according to the prophecy of Jeremiah 22:19, king Jehoiakim was to die a horrible death and be thrown like the carcass of a donkey outside the walls of Jerusalem.

The funny thing with the version of the book of kings is that it records that Jehoiakim rebelled against the king of Babylon (24:1), but it leaves us hanging in the middle without giving us a clue as to what happened in the end. It just moves on to the reign of his son Jehoiachin and states dryly that Jehoiakim died with his ancestors. But what happened to the rebellion, did he die in the middle of the siege laid by Nebuchadnezzar mentioned later in verse 10, or was he captured by Nebuchadnezzar, or maybe he died before Nebuchadnezzar laid siege altogether? The book of kings doesn't give us a clue! (Note that verse 8 strongly suggests that Jerusalem wasn't captured until three months after Jehoiachin's reign. This proves once more that according to the author of kings Jehoiakim was not captured by Nebuchadnezzar).

So my question is

  1. how are we to understand the narrative in the book of kings regarding Jehoiakim's reign and rebellion.
  2. being that there are conflicting versions regarding king Jehoiakim's end (Chronicles, Daniel, Jeremiah and Kings), which one is more likely to have occurred?
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The phrase “slept with his fathers” (NASB / KJV) does not imply a natural and peaceful death. It's just another way of saying that he died. 1 Kings 22:40 says that “Ahab slept with his fathers” (NASB / KJV), but he died in battle by being shot with an arrow and bleeding all over the floor of his chariot (1 Kings 22:29-40).

Daniel 1:1-2 (NASB) does not actually say that Jehoiakim was taken to Babylon in fetters. It only says that Nebuchadnezzar successfully laid siege to Jerusalem and carried some of the temple articles to Babylon:

1 In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came to Jerusalem and besieged it. 2 The Lord gave Jehoiakim king of Judah into his hand, along with some of the vessels of the house of God; and he brought them to the land of Shinar, to the house of his god, and he brought the vessels into the treasury of his god.

Additional temple articles were carried away to Babylon afterwards, during the reign of Jehoiachin (2 Kings 24:8-13 & 2 Chronicles 36:9-10) and again during the reign of Zedekiah (2 Kings 24:17-20; 25:1, 13-15 & 2 Chronicles 36:11-13, 18).

Jeremiah 22:18-19 (NASB) does say that Jehoiakim would have the burial of a donkey:

18 Therefore thus says the Lord in regard to Jehoiakim the son of Josiah, king of Judah, "They will not lament for him: 'Alas, my brother!' or, 'Alas, sister!' They will not lament for him: 'Alas for the master!' or, 'Alas for his splendor!' 19 "He will be buried with a donkey's burial, Dragged off and thrown out beyond the gates of Jerusalem.

which would be quite undignified and not really any burial at all. Jeremiah 36:30 (NASB) later portrays that his dead body would be cast aside, again implying he would not have any real burial:

Therefore thus says the Lord concerning Jehoiakim king of Judah, "He shall have no one to sit on the throne of David, and his dead body shall be cast out to the heat of the day and the frost of the night.

2 Chronicles 36:6 (NASB) says that Nebuchadnezzar put Jehoiakim in chains to carry him to Babylon:

Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came up against him and bound him with bronze chains to take him to Babylon.

but it's important to note that, like in Daniel 1, it doesn't actually say Jehoiakim ever made it to Babylon—only that Nebuchadnezzar intended to take him there.

The exact circumstances of Jehoiakim's death were not recorded, and what is an even more interesting question to me is why they weren't recorded by the author of 2 Kings or the Chronicler. However, from the book of Jeremiah, we can be assured that Jehoiakim did not die peacefully and only received the burial of a donkey, which involved his dead body essentially being cast aside with no real burial at all.


In response to a comment that said:

I still remain unconvinced that Jehoiakim never made it to Babylon. The authors of Daniel and Chronicles clearly intended to convey that the Judean king ended up in Shinar, though you have tried to interpret it alternatively. But i do agree that the term "slept with his fathers" does not necessarily convey a peaceful death. Still the manner of his death and end of Nebuchadnezzar's siege still remains a mystery.

I find it very strange that I am accused of interpreting the authors alternatively to what they said, especially when 2 Chronicles very clearly says that Jehoiachin was taken to Babylon in the next few verses, but most definitely does not say that about Jehoiakim. 2 Chronicles 36:9-10 (NASB):

9 Jehoiachin was eight years old when he became king, and he reigned three months and ten days in Jerusalem, and he did evil in the sight of the Lord. 10 At the turn of the year King Nebuchadnezzar sent and brought him to Babylon with the valuable articles of the house of the Lord, and he made his kinsman Zedekiah king over Judah and Jerusalem.

Daniel and 2 Chronicles never say that Jehoiakim "ended up in Shinar." Daniel 1:1 says it was the third year of Jehoiakim's reign, but 2 Kings 23:36 and 2 Chronicles 36:5 both say he reigned for 11 years in Jerusalem. So I would argue that it is very clear that Jehoaikim never went to Shinar at all.

In response to another comment that said:

Why do you insist that Jehoiakim did not end up in Shinar since you agree that Nebuchadnezzar captured him, and that the former died a violent death and did not even get a proper burial? I'll repeat again, 2 Chronicles 36:6 strongly suggests that he was taken to Babylon; though the verse only says that he "intended to" take him there, it is assumed that he was taken there, and the verse does not have to spell it out! If Nebuchadnezzar intended to take him there but wasn't able to (for whatever reason you'll come up with) the verse wouldn't be silent about it.

Again I'm accused of misinterpreting for reasons I don't really understand. As I have already pointed out, 2 Chronicles 36:6 does not strongly suggest that Jehoiakim was taken to Babylon, only that Nebuchadnezzar intended to take him there.

2 Kings 24:1 (NASB) clearly says that when Nebuchadnezzar came up to Jerusalem, he made Jehoiakim his servant for 3 years until Jehoiakim rebelled:

In his days Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came up, and Jehoiakim became his servant for three years; then he turned and rebelled against him.

You don't become another king's servant unless you lose the battle. And you don't rebel some time later unless you are still in Jerusalem. Furthermore, Jeremiah 36:9 (NASB) states that Jehoiakim was still in Jerusalem in the 5th year of his reign:

Now in the fifth year of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah, king of Judah, in the ninth month, all the people in Jerusalem and all the people who came from the cities of Judah to Jerusalem proclaimed a fast before the Lord.

And as I previously mentioned, Jehoiakim reigned in Jerusalem 11 years.

Nebuchadnezzar came against Jerusalem 3 times:

  1. the first time was during Jehoiakim's reign (2 Kings 24:1)
  2. the second was during Jehoiachin's short reign (2 Kings 24:8-16), when Jehoiachin surrendered to Nebuchahnezzar (2 Kings 24:12)
  3. the third was during Zedekiah's reign (2 Kings 24:17--25:21), when Jerusalem was pretty much burned to the ground (2 Kings 25:8-10)

It doesn't really matter whether he ended up in Babylon or not, the real problem here is: what happened to king Jehoiakim? and why the book of Kings is so silent about it? These were my original questions and i'm still in the dark.

I already answered this as best as could be expected when I said that the exact circumstances of his death were not recorded.

I also said I'd like to know why the author of Kings didn't record how Jehoiakim died too. Was it such a horrible death that it shouldn't be recorded, such as him getting dismembered, or some other terribly painful or humiliating death? Or was there some other reason?

Unfortunately not all of these questions can be answered, but what can be answered is that Jehoiakim did not die peacefully and he did not end up in Shinar.

  • Welcome to BH.SE! Please take the tour to get a feel for how the site functions. Good job with your first answer! – enegue Oct 7 '17 at 4:36
  • I still remain unconvinced that Jehoiakim never made it to Babylon. The authors of Daniel and Chronicles clearly intended to convey that the Judean king ended up in Shinar, though you have tried to interpret it alternatively. But i do agree that the term "slept with his fathers" does not necessarily convey a peaceful death. Still the manner of his death and end of Nebuchadnezzar's siege still remains a mystery. – Bach Oct 8 '17 at 1:38
  • Why do you insist that Jehoiakim did not end up in Shinar since you agree that Nebuchadnezzar captured him, and that the former died a violent death and did not even get a proper burial? I'll repeat again, 2 Chronicles 36:6 strongly suggests that he was taken to Babylon; though the verse only says that he "intended to" take him there, it is assumed that he was taken there, and the verse does not have to spell it out! If Nebuchadnezzar intended to take him there but wasn't able to (for whatever reason you'll come up with) the verse wouldn't be silent about it. – Bach Oct 11 '17 at 21:31
  • It doesn't really matter whether he ended up in Babylon or not, the real problem here is: what happened to king Jehoiakim? and why the book of Kings is so silent about it? These were my original questions and i'm still in the dark. – Bach Oct 11 '17 at 21:38
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From studying all the biblical sources and with the help of @Saunterman i will try to summarize here what happened during the tumultuous reign of Jehoiakim and his son; what we do know and what we don't know, and what is most likely to have occurred.

This is the picture that emerges from the book of Kings and the other biblical sources.

First year of king Jehoiakim's reign: The kingdom of Judah is in decline, Pharaoh Necho removes Jehoachaz from the throne and replaces him with his brother Jehoiakim (2 Kings 23:33-35).

Eighth-Ninth year of king Jehoiakim's reign: The tide has turned and Babylon has now become the dominant empire in the Middle east, Nebuchadnezzar has defeated Egypt and Assyria in the battle of Charchemish and no one is able to stop him now (see 2 chronicles 35:20). Somewhere between the eighth and ninth year of Jehoiakim's reign Nebuchadnezzar reaches Jerusalem and captures it and makes him his vassal and levies heavy taxes (see 2 Kings 24:1). The sources in Daniel 1 and 2 Chronicles 36 suggest that Nebuchadnezzar bound him up in chains and took him to back to Babylon, but the book of Kings doesn't mention any of this. Since the latter was written earlier than the other sources it is considered more reliable, so i favor it over the others. It is reasonable to assume that he was just reduced to a vassal king as the book of Kings attest. Others have suggested that the book of Daniel never says that he actually took him to Babylon, only that he intended to take him there, so in reality there is no contradiction.

(Another point, Daniel is not reconcilable with Kings for another reason; it claims that Nebuchadnezzar came up during the third year of Jehoiakim's reign and captured him, while according to Kings Nebuchadnezzar came up much later since Jehoiakim only served him three years and rebelled afterwards which led to to his demise and the fall of Jerusalem right after that! There are other difficulties with the tradition in Daniel which i cannot go into detail now. But according to Kings the chronology is clear.)

Eleventh year of king Jehoiakim's reign: For three years Jehoiakim has accepted sovereignty but now he has had enough, he make an alliance with Egypt and rebels against the king of Babylon. Nebuchadnezzar comes up to Jerusalem once again and captures it, but Jehoiakim is no longer alive, instead his son Jehoiachin eight years old is on the throne. Nebuchadnezzar exiles him to Babylon and replaces him with Zedekiah.

We don't know what happened to Jehoiakim and how he died, but 2 Kings 24:10 strongly suggests that he died before Nebuchadnezzar reached Jerusalem ("At that time..."). It could be that he died in battle while fighting a Chaldean army that was sent by Nebuchadnezzar to crush the rebellion. We cannot rule out death caused by disease as the source in Kings seems to suggest (of the lack of description of his death), but the book of Jeremiah clearly predicts a violent and brutal death. In any case, the people of Judah are in a dire situation since they are left without a king, so they take his son and crown him though he is only eight years old. By now its too late, Nebuchadnezzar comes up and besieges the city and captures it after three months.

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The following are examples that somewhat refute the claim that the language of 2 Kings 24:6 is always to be interpreted as strictly linear. Each of them uses somewhat the same terminology(i.e. a king dies and his son reigns in his stead), but they do not always mean that the king actually died before the son began to reign.

Ahab's reign overlaps his son Ahaziah's reign(1Ki 16:29,22:41[22 - 4 = 18];51[17]) despite 1Ki 22:40.

Jehoshaphat's reign overlaps his son Jehoram's reign(Jehoram of Israel began to reign in the 18th year of Jehoshaphat[2Ki 3:1] and Jehoshaphat died 7 years later[1Ki 22:42] but his son Jehoram began to reign in the 5th year of Jehoram of Israel[2Ki 8:16-17]) despite 1Ki 22:50.

Jehoram of Judah's reign overlaps his son Ahaziah's reign(Jehoram of Judah began to reign in the 5th year of Jehoram of Israel and reigned 8 years[2Ki 8:16-17] but his son Ahaziah began to reign in the 11th year of Jehoram of Israel[2Ki 9:29] which difference is clearly less than 8 years) despite 2Ki 8:24.

Jehoahaz of Israel's reign overlaps his son Joash of Israel's reign(Jehoahaz began to reign in the 23rd year of Joash of Judah and reigned 17 years[2Ki 13:1] but his son Joash began to reign in the 37th year of Joash[2Ki 13:10]) despite 2Ki 13:9.

Joash of Judah's reign overlaps his son Amaziah's reign(Joash began to reign in the 7th year of Jehu and reigned 40 years[2Ki 12:1] but in the 37th year of Joash Joash of Israel began to reign[2Ki 13:10] and in his 2nd year Amaziah the former's son began to reign[2Ki 14:1, that is, the 38th year of Joash, 37 + 1 < 40) despite 2Ki 12:21.

Ahaz's reign overlaps his son Hezekiah's reign(Ahaz reigned 16 years[2Ki 16:2] and Hoshea of Israel began to reign in Samaria in his 12th year[2Ki 17:1] but Hezekiah his son began to reign in the 3rd year of Hoshea[2Ki 18:1]) despite 2Ki 16:20.

All of the above therefore potentially suggest that Jehoiakim could have lived past his son Jehoiachin when he began to reign in 2 Kings 24:6, by way of similar terminology. If this is accepted, then comparing Ezekiel 17:12-18[also Dan 1:1-5] would seem to imply that it was Jehoiakim who died in Babylon, having been taken there[2Ch 36:5-8], which account would then logically be placed prior to the captivity of Jehoiachin(assuming it doesn't somehow rather refer to Zedekiah).

  • All you proved is that the reign of one king can overlap the others, i'm fine with that, but how did you answer my question? my question was based on verse 6 which connotes a peaceful death thus contradicting the narrative in Chronicles and Daniel. Furthermore, it is highly unlikely that Jehoiakim overlapped his son Jehoiachin's reign given the fact that the latter was eight years old when he reigned! This suggests that there was a crisis (Jehoiakim dies suddenly) and they needed someone to take over immediately. Otherwise why would they choose an 8 year old over his capable father Jehoiakim? – Bach Jul 19 '17 at 13:48
  • It seems to me the only basis of your claim that he died a peaceable death was 2 Kings 24:6, based on the language, one dies, then his son reigns. Other than that what evidence do you give that says he died a 'peaceful' death? – user20742 Jul 19 '17 at 15:21
  • The other thing is that the statement 'he slept with his fathers' does not necessarily mean that person died in perfect standing, for example 1 Kings 16:25-28. – user20742 Jul 19 '17 at 15:55
  • i have no idea what you saw in 1 Kings 16:25-28. Indeed Omri dies in perfect standing. regarding your other comment, yes it is based on the expression "he died with his fathers" and on the fact that nothing else about his death or rebellion is mentioned. Why would the author omit such important information if he believed that the king of babylon captured him? in this case we say, "whats left unsaid, says it all". Also you haven't addressed my other question about your theory of overlapping reigns: "why would they choose an 8 year old over his capable father Jehoiakim?" – Bach Jul 19 '17 at 18:02
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Jehoiakim died on 7th December 598 BC, and the Babylonian siege of Jerusalem occurred on 18th December 598 BC, around 10 days before. This makes me rule out the death of Jehoiakim during the siege. Instead, he died between peacefully death and intrigue by party of pro-babyionian in the country.

  • Welcome to BH.SE! Please take the tour to get a feel for how the site functions. The dates you have given indicate you have access to supporting information, but unless you cite the source then what you say is unlikely to convince the readers. – enegue Oct 15 '17 at 22:45
  • I'm not absolutely sure what you mean by, "between peacefully death and intrigue by party of pro-babyionian in the country". I think you are saying he was assassinated. So, besides adding some support for the dates, please edit your answer to make clear what you are saying in the last sentence. – enegue Oct 15 '17 at 22:54
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Third King after Josiah - his grandson Jehoiachin started his reign when he was 18 years old - 2 Kings 24:8. On this the Masoretic Text and the LXX B and A agree. The age of 8 years in 2 Chronicles 36:9 in the 1008 AD Masoretic Text and the medieval hybrid LXX B is incorrect. The older LXX A at 2 Chronicles 36:9 has 18 years which agrees with 2 Kings 24:8. Thus the LXX A removes this particular often claimed contradiction between the two passages. Other study in progress including this whole topic of the last 4 Kings of Judah after Josiah. Thank you all for your insights which have yet to be further weighed.

At this stage the conclusion is like many other places in the proto-MT/MT is the historical rabbinical alteration of the Torah after Christ starting with Aquila in about 128 AD whom then Rabbi Akiba falsely propped up Simon bar Kochba as the Jewish Messiah which failed miserably when the then Greek and Hebrew agreed. i.e. the Jewish 5,500 year prophecy which ignored Daniel 9 about the actual Messaiah but which then used the then accepted Hebrew and Greek longer chronology to promote Simon. When this failed - the rabbis then directed Aquila to alter the Torah and then produced their Seder Olam Rabbah - the Great Chronology of the World - which is some 1,400 years shorter than the original Hebrew and Greek Creation AM. The LXX A and even B AM creation date appears to be 5,504 AM. Thus MT, Ussher etc have 4004 AM and even shorter Modern Hebrew 3671 BC. Reason? There can only be ONE: The denial of Christ and the spirit of anti-Christ that worketh in most men.

Hint: Research the rabbinical/Jewish medieval "hillifums" or Book of Differences which highlight the differences between BA and BN MT texts. The BN went on to become the 1008 AD MT whilst there is some consensus that the BA texts are the original unaltered line which more greatly correspond to the pre-Christ Ezra Hebrew and 250 BC Greek "Translation of the Seventy" or LXX. Summary: Most modern bibles are based on the BN/MT texts. Texual comparison is the answer as God is not the author of confusion but rather man is.

  • 1
    The Ben Asher text in Chronicles 36:9 is exactly the same as the Ben Naphtali text. The Hillufim also makes no mention of any difference. Seder Olam refers to both versions (8 and 18 years old) from Kings and Chronicles. I don't understand why you associate LXX B with Aquila, and Wikipedia gives no reason to believe there is a connection between the two. – b a Jun 24 '18 at 11:10
  • This is very difficult to read. Could you please use separate paragraphs for different points and could you please put referenced quotations into the usual highlighted form. See other answers for the accepted format. Thanks. – – Nigel J Jun 26 '18 at 12:47
  • Hi B A - can you provide online or otherwise sources or copies for the BA and BN, the Hillufim and the Seder Olam that you are using please? – Alex Young Jul 7 '18 at 3:09

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