1 The people of the land crowned Josiahs son Jehoahaz as their new king in Jerusalem in place of his father.
2 Jehoahaz was twenty-three years old when he became king. He was king in Jerusalem for three months.
3 The king of Egypt removed him from office in Jerusalem and fined the country seven thousand five hundred pounds of silver and seventy-five pounds of gold.
4 The king of Egypt made Jehoahazs brother Eliakim king of Judah and Jerusalem and changed Eliakims name to Jehoiakim. Necho took Jehoahaz away to Egypt.
5 Jehoiakim was twenty-five years old when he became king. He ruled for eleven years in Jerusalem. He did what Jehovah his God considered evil.
6 Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon attacked Jehoiakim and put him in bronze shackles to take him to Babylon.
7 Nebuchadnezzar also brought some of the utensils of Jehovahs Temple to Babylon. He put them in his palace temple in Babylon.
8 Everything about Jehoiakim, the disgusting things he did and all the charges against him are written in the Book of the Kings of Israel and Judah. His son Jehoiakin succeeded him as king.
9 Jehoiakin was eight years old when he began to rule as king. He was king for three months and ten days in Jerusalem. He did what Jehovah considered evil.
10 In the spring King Nebuchadnezzar sent for Jehoiakin and brought him to Babylon with the valuable utensils from Jehovahs Temple. Nebuchadnezzar made Jehoiakins uncle Zedekiah king of Judah and Jerusalem.
11 Zedekiah was twenty-one years old when he began to rule. He ruled for eleven years in Jerusalem.
12 He did what Jehovah his God considered evil. He did not humble himself in front of the prophet Jeremiah, who spoke Jehovahs word.
13 Zedekiah also rebelled against King Nebuchadnezzar. Nebuchadnezzar made Zedekiah swear an oath of allegiance to him in Gods name. But Zedekiah became so stubborn and so impossible to deal with that he refused to turn back to Jehovah the God of Israel.
14 All the officials, the priests, and the people became increasingly unfaithful and followed all the disgusting practices of the nations. Although Jehovah made the Temple in Jerusalem holy, they made the Temple unclean.
15 Jehovah the God of their ancestors repeatedly sent messages through his prophets because he wanted to spare his people and his dwelling place.
16 They mocked Gods messengers. They despised his words, and made fun of his prophets until Jehovah became angry with his people. He could no longer heal them.
17 So he had the Babylonian king attack them and execute their best young men in their holy temple. He did not spare the best men or the unmarried women, the old people or the sick people. God handed all of them over to him.
18 He brought to Babylon each of the utensils from Gods temple, the treasures from Jehovahs Temple, and the treasures of the king and his officials.
19 He burned down the Temple and the city, with all its palaces and its wealth, and broke down the city wall.
20 The survivors were taken to Babylonia as prisoners. They served as slaves of the king and his sons, until Persia became a powerful nation.
21 This fulfilled the word of Jehovah that was spoken by the mouth of Jeremiah, until the land had enjoyed its Sabbaths. All the days of its desolation it kept Sabbath until seventy years were complete.
22 In the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, in order to fulfill the word of Jehovah by the mouth of Jeremiah, Jehovah stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia. He sent a proclamation throughout his kingdom, and also put it in writing. He said:
23 Thus says Cyrus king of Persia: »Jehovah, the God of heaven, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth. He has appointed me to build him a house in Jerusalem, which is in Judah. Whoever there is among you of all his people, may Jehovah his God be with him, and let him go up!«