Judah Was Taken into Captivity
Thank you for continuing this journey of The Gospel Project® for Kids. Last week the kids learned that even though Jehoiakim burned Jeremiah’s warnings from God, the people of Judah would be punished and exiled because of their sins. Warnings had come from the prophets for decades. God patiently waited for His people to turn from their sin. The prophet Jeremiah spared few details when he warned Judah what would happen if they did not turn from their evil ways. (See Jeremiah 25:1-14.)
The people of Judah did not change their ways. The time of judgment had come. Like God had warned through Jeremiah, He used the king of Babylon—King Nebuchadnezzar—to deport the people from Judah to Babylon. King Nebuchadnezzar went to Judah when Jehoiakim was king. He put Jehoiakim in chains and took him to Babylon. His son Jehoiachin became king, and Nebuchadnezzar came back for him too. Many of the people in Judah were taken, along with treasures from the Lord’s temple. Nebuchadnezzar put Jehoiakim’s brother Zedekiah on the throne in Jerusalem.
The people of Judah were unfaithful to God. Zedekiah rebelled against King Nebuchadnezzar, and God poured out His wrath on Judah. Nebuchadnezzar showed no mercy to the people of Jerusalem. The Babylonians set fire to the Lord’s temple and the king’s palace. They destroyed the wall around Jerusalem. King Nebuchadnezzar’s armies carried most of the people away to Babylon as prisoners; only poor farmers were allowed to stay and work the land. The people were held captive in Babylon, serving the king for the next 70 years.
God did not abandon His people, though. The prophet Jeremiah told what would happen next: “The days are certainly coming … when I will restore the fortunes of My people Israel and Judah” (Jeremiah 30:3). God righteously punished His people for their sin but remained faithful to them, keeping the promise He made to David to provide a king. Ultimately, God punished our sin through His Son, Jesus, and made Him our King forever.
Judah Was Taken into Captivity
2 Chronicles 36:1-21
The last four kings of Judah came from King Josiah’s family. His three sons—Jehoahaz (jih HOH uh haz), Jehoiakim (jih HOY uh kim), and Zedekiah (ZED uh KIGH uh)—each ruled as king of Judah. Even Josiah’s grandson Jehoiachin (jih HOY uh kin) was king of Judah at one time.
The people of Judah made Jehoahaz king, but he wasn’t king for
very long. He did what was evil in the sight of God. The king of Egypt came and made Jehoahaz a prisoner. He made Jehoahaz give him lots of silver and gold. Then he put Jehoahaz’s brother Jehoiakim on the throne. The king of Egypt took Jehoahaz to Egypt.
When Jehoiakim was king of Judah, he too did what was evil in
the sight of God. The king of Babylon attacked Jehoiakim, put him in shackles, and took him to Babylon. The king of Babylon also took some of the things from the Lord’s temple and put them in his own temple. When Jehoiakim was taken away, his son Jehoiachin became king of Judah.
Jehoiachin was king of Judah for just three months. He too did what was evil in the sight of God, just like his father had done. The king of Babylon sent for Jehoiachin and brought him to Babylon. The king of Babylon made Jehoiachin’s uncle Zedekiah king of Judah.
Zedekiah was just like his brothers; he did what was evil in the sight of God. He led the people of Judah to do evil things. The prophet Jeremiah warned Zedekiah that God’s judgment was coming, but Zedekiah did not listen.
God was angry with the people of Judah. They did not obey God. They lived however they wanted to live. They sinned and were unfaithful to God. God loved His people. He didn’t want to destroy them. God sent prophets to warn the people to stop sinning and to turn back to God, but the people didn’t listen. They laughed at the prophets and made fun of them.
Finally, it was time to punish the people of Judah for their sin. God sent His judgment. God brought the king of Babylon to Judah. The king and his armies attacked the people of Judah. Many people died. The king of Babylon took everything out of the Lord’s temple and carried it to Babylon. He took whatever he could nd from the
king of Judah and his leaders. Then the king and the Babylonian army burned the temple. They tore down the wall that protected the city of Jerusalem, and they burned the palaces. Anything they did not carry back to Babylon was destroyed.
All the people who were still alive were taken back to Babylon. The king of Babylon forced them to be slaves. They served the king and his family for many years. All of this happened just as God said it would happen when He warned the people through the prophet Jeremiah.
Christ Connection: God righteously punished His people for their sin but remained faithful to them, keeping the promise He made to David to provide a king. Ultimately, God punished our sin through His Son, Jesus, and made Him our King forever.