(Je·hoiʹa·chin) [probably, Jehovah Has Firmly Established].
At the age of 18 Jehoiachin became king and continued the bad practices of his father. (2Ki 24:8, 9; 2Ch 36:9, ftn) Jehoiachin’s father, Jehoiakim, had been under subjection to Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar but rebelled in his third year of such vassalage (618 B.C.E.). (2Ki 24:1) This resulted in a siege being laid against Jerusalem. The expression “during that time” (2Ki 24:10) may refer, not to Jehoiachin’s brief reign, but to the general period in which it fits, hence allowing for the siege to have begun during his father Jehoiakim’s reign, as Daniel 1:1, 2 seems to indicate. It appears that Jehoiakim died during this siege and Jehoiachin ascended the throne of Judah. His rule ended, however, a mere three months and ten days later, when he surrendered to Nebuchadnezzar in 617 B.C.E. (in the month of Adar, according to a Babylonian chronicle). (2Ki 24:11, 12; 2Ch 36:9; Assyrian and Babylonian Chronicles, by A. Grayson, 1975, p. 102) In fulfillment of Jehovah’s word through Jeremiah, he was taken into Babylonian exile. (Jer 22:24-27; 24:1; 27:19, 20; 29:1, 2) Other members of the royal household, court officials, craftsmen, and warriors were also exiled.—2Ki 24:14-16; see NEBUCHADNEZZAR.
The record at 2 Kings 24:12-16 states that Nebuchadnezzar took these captives into exile, along with “all the treasures of the house of Jehovah and the treasures of the king’s house.” The account at Daniel 1:1, 2 refers to only “a part of the utensils” as being taken to Babylon. The explanation may be that the treasures referred to at Second Kings involved particularly the gold utensils, which are emphasized in that account, and that other utensils were allowed to remain. Another possibility is that, when Jerusalem yielded to the Babylonian siege (which came as a result of Jehoiakim’s rebellion against the king of Babylon), “some of the utensils of the house of Jehovah” were taken to Babylon, and a short time later, when Jehoiachin himself was transferred to Babylon, other “desirable articles of the house of Jehovah” were taken along. This possibility is suggested by the account at 2 Chronicles 36:6-10. From the Chronicles account, it appears that Nebuchadnezzar, after successfully conquering Jerusalem, departed but then “sent and proceeded to bring [Jehoiachin] to Babylon with desirable articles of the house of Jehovah.” In a similar way, ten years later, in the final conquest and destruction of Jerusalem (607 B.C.E.), Nebuchadnezzar retired to Riblah “in the land of Hamath,” leaving the postconquest details to his chief of the bodyguard, Nebuzaradan.—2Ki 25:8-21.
While in Babylon, Jehoiachin fathered seven sons. (1Ch 3:16-18) In this way the royal line leading to the Messiah was preserved. (Mt 1:11, 12) But, as prophecy had indicated, none of Jehoiachin’s descendants ever ruled from earthly Jerusalem. It therefore was as though Jehoiachin had been childless, with no offspring to succeed him as king.—Jer 22:28-30.
In the fifth year of Jehoiachin’s exile, Ezekiel began his prophetic work. (Eze 1:2) About 32 years later, evidently in 580 B.C.E., Jehoiachin was released from prison by Nebuchadnezzar’s successor Evil-merodach (Awil-Marduk) and given a position of favor above all the other captive kings. Thereafter he ate at Evil-merodach’s table and received a daily allowance.—2Ki 25:27-30; Jer 52:31-34.
Babylonian administrative documents have been found listing rations for Jehoiachin and five of his sons.