Harper’s Bible Dictionary
edited by Paul J. Achtemier (San Francisco: Harper and Row, 1985)
You are strongly recommended to add to your library the excellent revised edition of Harper's Bible Dictionary titled, The Harper Collins Bible Dictionary, Revised Edition [book review], edited by Paul J. Achtemeier, with the Society of Biblical Literature (NY: Harper Collins, 1996). It is currently the best one-volume Bible dictionary in English, and it is available at Border's Books, Christian Science Reading Rooms, http://www.borders.com, or http://www.christianbook.com.
Jehoiachin (also called Joiachin, Jeconiah, Jechoniah, and Coniah), one of the last two kings of Judah. He came to the throne in 597 b.c. at the age of eighteen after the death of his father, Jehoiakim (2 Kings 24:8). At that time, Babylon besieged Jerusalem, and, after he had reigned only three months, he, his mother, wives, servants, princes, and officers surrendered themselves captive to Nebuchadnezzar (2 Kings 24:12; reflected in the prophecy of Jer. 22:24-30). The Babylonians also exiled ten thousand soldiers, officers, craftsmen, and smiths, leaving the land impoverished of skilled labor and administrators (2 Kings 24:14, 16; Jer. 24:1; 29:2). The Temple and palace treasures were also looted. According to Daniel, this exile included Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah (Dan. 1:1-7), and, according to Esther 2:6, it included Mordecai. Ezekiel was also among the captives (Ezek. 1:1-21; cf. Jer. 29:1).
Jeremiah prophesied the divine redemption of these captives of the first Babylonian exile (Jer. 24:4-7), but this would only come after a hiatus of seventy years (29:10-14; cf. vv. 1-7). Thus, he was at odds with Hananiah the son of Azzur, who predicted the immediate return of Jehoiachin and the exiles (28:1-4).
Several Babylonian food-rationing lists mention Jehoiachins name or call him King of Judah. Since he apparently surrendered quickly (2 Kings 24:12), he may have been treated fairly well. The Bible tells us (2 Kings 25:27-30; Jer. 52:31-34) that in the thirty-seventh year of Jehoiachins captivity (561 b.c.), Nebuchadnezzars successor, Evil-merodach, raised his status to that of a valued court retainer. For a people then wholly exiled, this fact served to provide hope that the tide had turned, and that the promised redemption would not long be delayed.
Edited for BibleTexts.com by Robert Nguyen Cramer