Summary: As we approach this character study, I am reminded of the Christmas Season Character of Scrooge. Yet, as the story of Scrooge goes, even he has some redeeming qualities evident by the end of his tail. Not so with Jehoiakim. This king goes from bad to w
BURYING THE BIBLE BURNER
Jeremiah 22, 23, 26, 33
INTRODUCTION: As we approach this character study, I am reminded of the Christmas Season Character of Scrooge. Yet, as the story of Scrooge goes, even he has some redeeming qualities evident by the end of his tail. Not so with Jehoiakim. This king goes from bad to worse
I IT ALL STARTS WITH THE TRUTH
A Jeremiah tells it like it is – Jer 22:13-18
Jeremiah 22:13-18 "Woe to him who builds his palace by unrighteousness, his upper rooms by injustice, making his countrymen work for nothing, not paying them for their labor. 14He says, ’I will build myself a great palace with spacious upper rooms.’ So he makes large windows in it, panels it with cedar and decorates it in red.
15"Does it make you a king to have more and more cedar? Did not your father have food and drink? He did what was right and just, so all went well with him. 16He defended the cause of the poor and needy, and so all went well. Is that not what it means to know me?" declares the LORD. 17"But your eyes and your heart are set only on dishonest gain, on shedding innocent blood and on oppression and extortion."
18Therefore this is what the LORD says about Jehoiakim son of Josiah king of Judah: "They will not mourn for him: ’Alas, my brother! Alas, my sister!’ They will not mourn for him: ’Alas, my master! Alas, his splendor!’
1 A nation is financial poverty
a Paying high taxes to Egypt
2 A King living in splendor
a Son of Josiah
b Josiah carried about the people
c Remember he meddled with God – and the result is the subjugation of Israel by Egypt
2 Chron. 35:20-24 After all this, when Josiah had set the temple in order, Neco king of Egypt went up to fight at Carchemish on the Euphrates, and Josiah marched out to meet him in battle. 21But Neco sent messengers to him, saying, "What quarrel is there between you and me, O king of Judah? It is not you I am attacking at this time, but the house with which I am at war. God has told me to hurry; so stop opposing God, who is with me, or he will destroy you."
22Josiah, however, would not turn away from him, but disguised himself to engage him in battle. He would not listen to what Neco had said at God’s command but went to fight him on the plain of Megiddo. 23Archers shot King Josiah, and he told his officers, "Take me away; I am badly wounded." 24So they took him out of his chariot, put him in the other chariot he had and brought him to Jerusalem, where he died. He was buried in the tombs of his fathers, and all Judah and Jerusalem mourned for him.
B A Puppet King
1 Jehoiakim was a puppet king of the Egyptian Pharaoh
2 Forced to pay tribute
2 Kings 23:33-35 Pharaoh Neco put him in chains at Riblah in the land of Hamath so that he might not reign in Jerusalem, and he imposed on Judah a levy of a hundred talents of silver and a talent of gold. 34Pharaoh Neco made Eliakim son of Josiah king in place of his father Josiah and changed Eliakim’s name to Jehoiakim. But he took Jehoahaz and carried him off to Egypt, and there he died. 35Jehoiakim paid Pharaoh Neco the silver and gold he demanded. In order to do so, he taxed the land and exacted the silver and gold from the people of the land according to their assessments.
a A Talent of Gold was worth as much as 5.76 million dollars
b A Talent of Silver was worth as much as $384,000 dollars
c So the tribute would have been as much as $44.16 million dollars – per year!
3 In the midst of all of this the king builds a house with
a Large rooms
b Large windows
c Cedar ceilings and walls
d Painted red with “vermillion”
1) A highly prized pigment
4 Jehoiakim is a ruthless king
a Exercised control through brutality
2 Kings 24:4 including the shedding of innocent blood. For he had filled Jerusalem with innocent blood, and the LORD was not willing to forgive.
Jeremiah 22:17 "But your eyes and your heart are set only on dishonest gain, on shedding innocent blood and on oppression and extortion."
b Exercised control through murder
Jeremiah 26:20-23 (Now Uriah son of Shemaiah from Kiriath Jearim was another man who prophesied in the name of the LORD; he prophesied the same things against this city and this land as Jeremiah did. 21When King Jehoiakim and all his officers and officials heard his words, the king sought to put him to death. But Uriah heard of it and fled in fear to Egypt. 22King Jehoiakim, however, sent Elnathan son of Acbor to Egypt, along with some other men. 23They brought Uriah out of Egypt and took him to King Jehoiakim, who had him struck down with a sword and his body thrown into the burial place of the common people.)