2 Kings 23:35
And Jehoiakim gave the silver and the gold to Pharaoh; but he taxed the land to give the money according to the commandment of Pharaoh: he exacted the silver and the gold of the people of the land, of every one according to his taxation, to give it to Pharaohnechoh.
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THE REIGN OF JEHOIAKIM (2Kings 23:35 to 2Kings 24:7).

(35) And Jehoiakim gave.And the silver and the gold did Jehoiakim give . . . He had to pay for his elevation. The raising of the fine of 2Kings 23:33 is described in this verse.

But he taxed . . .—The king kept his pledge to Pharaoh, but not out of his own means. He exacted the money from “the people of the land,” i.e., the people of all classes, levying a fixed contribution even upon the poorest of his subjects. As in 2Kings 11:14; 2Kings 14:21; 2Kings 21:24, Thenius insists that “the people of the land” are the national militia, and he renders: “he exacted the silver and the gold, along with (i.e., by the help of) the people of the land.” But this is, to say the least, very questionable. (See Note on 2Kings 11:14.)

(36) He reigned eleven years.—Not eleven full years. (Comp. Jeremiah 25:1 with 2Kings 24:12; and Jeremiah 3 with 2Kings 25:8.)

His mother’s name was Zebudah.—So the Hebrew margin and Targum. Hebrew text, Syriac, Vulg., Arabic, Zebidah. Zebadiah may have been the real name. The mother of Jehoahaz was Hamutal (2Kings 23:31). Thus Josiah had at least two wives, and probably more. (Comp. 2Kings 24:15.) He could not have been over fourteen when he begot Jehoiakim.

Rumah.—Perhaps Arumah, near Shechem (Judges 9:41), as Josephus has Abumah. This is interesting as a slight indication that Josiah’s power extended over the territory of the former kingdom of Samaria.

(37) He did that which was evil . . .—Jeremiah represents him as luxurious, covetous, and violent (Jeremiah 22:13 seq.). He murdered Urijah a prophet (Jeremiah 26:20 seq.). Ewald thinks that he introduced Egyptian animal-worship (Ezekiel 8:7 seq.), which is rendered highly probable by his relation of dependence on Necho. (Comp. the introduction of Assyrian star-worship under Ahaz.)

23:31-37 After Josiah was laid in his grave, one trouble came on another, till, in twenty-two years, Jerusalem was destroyed. The wicked perished in great numbers, the remnant were purified, and Josiah's reformation had raised up some to join the few who were the precious seed of their future church and nation. A little time, and slender abilities, often suffice to undo the good which pious men have, for a course of years, been labouring to effect. But, blessed be God, the good work which he begins by his regenerating Spirit, cannot be done away, but withstands all changes and temptations.In the room of Josiah his father - Not "in the room of Jehoahaz his brother;" the phrase is intended to mark the fact, that Neco did not acknowedge that Jehoahaz had ever been king.

Turned his name to Jehoiakim - Compare 2 Kings 23:30 and 2 Kings 24:17. It seems likely, from their purely Jewish character, that the new names of the Jewish kings, though formally imposed by the suzerain, were selected by the individuals themselves. The change now made consisted merely in the substitution of יהוה yehovâh for אל 'êl ("God, Yahweh, will set up"). Both names alike refer to the promise which God made to David 2 Samuel 7:12 and imply a hope that, notwithstanding the threats of the prophets, the seed of David would still be allowed to remain upon the throne.

29. In his days Pharaoh-nechoh—(See 2Ch 35:20-27). No text from Poole on this verse. And Jehoiakim gave the silver and gold to Pharaoh,.... The one hundred talents of silver and the talent of gold, which he imposed as a tribute upon the land:

but he taxed the land to give the money according to the commandment of Pharaoh; he did not take it out of his own treasures nor the treasures of the house of the Lord, which perhaps might be exhausted, but levied it of the people of the land:

he exacted the silver and gold of the people of the land, required them to pay it in:

of everyone according to his taxation, to give it unto Pharaohnechoh: everyone was taxed according to his abilities, in proportion to what he was worth, or to the estate he was possessed of.

And Jehoiakim gave the silver and the gold to Pharaoh; but he taxed the land to give the money according to the commandment of Pharaoh: he exacted the silver and the gold of the people of the land, of every one according to his taxation, to give it unto Pharaohnechoh.
35. he exacted the silver and the gold of the people of the land] The king did not undertake to pay, as had been done aforetime (cf. 2 Kings 16:8; 2 Kings 18:15) this tax out of any treasures in the house of the Lord, or of the king’s house. In those troublous days there was likely to be but little in store, so a tax was laid on the whole people.

2 Kings 23:36 to 2 Kings 24:7. Jehoiakim king of Judah. Nebuchadnezzar makes him tributary. His many adversaries. Jehoiachin, his son, succeeds him (2 Chronicles 36:5-8)Verse 35. - And Jehoiakim gave the silver and the gold to Pharaoh. Jehoiakim, i.e., paid the tribute, which Nechoh had fixed (ver. 33), regularly. He did not, however, pay it out of the state treasury, which was exhausted. But he taxed the land to give the money according to the commandment of Pharaoh: he exacted the silver and the gold of the people of the land, of every one according to his taxation, to give it unto Pharaoh-Nechoh; rather, he had the land valued (comp. Leviticus 27:8), and "exacted the silver and the gold of the people of the land, of every one according to his valuation." Compare 2 Chronicles 35:20-24. The predicted catastrophe was brought to pass by the expedition of Necho the king of Egypt against Assyria. "In his days (i.e., towards the end of Josiah's reign) Pharaoh Necho the king of Egypt went up against the king of Asshur to the river Euphrates." Necho (נכה or נכו, 2 Chronicles 35:20; Jeremiah 46:2; called Νεχαώ by Josephus, Manetho in Jul. Afric., and Euseb., after the lxx; and Νεκώς by Herod. ii. 158,159, iv. 42, and Diod. Sic. i. 33; according to Brugsch, hist. d'Eg. i. p. 252, Nekou) was, according to Man., the sixth king of the twenty-sixth (Saitic) dynasty, the second Pharaoh of that name, the son of Psammetichus I and grandson of Necho I; and, according to Herodotus, he was celebrated for a canal which he proposed to have cut in order to connect the Nile with the Red Sea, as well as for the circumnavigation of Africa (compare Brugsch, l.c., according to whom he reigned from 611 to 595 b.c.). Whether "the king of Asshur" against whom Necho marched was the last ruler of the Assyrian empire, Asardanpal (Sardanapal), Saracus according to the monuments (see Brandis, Ueber den Gewinn, p. 55; M. v. Niebuhr, Gesch. Assurs, pp. 110ff. and 192), or the existing ruler of the Assyrian empire which had already fallen, Nabopolassar the king of Babylon, who put an end to the Assyrian monarchy in alliance with the Medes by the conquest and destruction of Nineveh, and founded the Chaldaean or Babylonian empire, it is impossible to determine, because the year in which Nineveh was taken cannot be exactly decided, and all that is certain is that Nineveh had fallen before the battle of Carchemish in the year 606 b.c. Compare M. v. Niebuhr, Gesch. Assurs, pp. 109ff. and 203, 204. - King Josiah went against the Egyptian, and "he (Necho) slew him at Megiddo when he saw him," i.e., caught sight of him. This extremely brief notice of the death of Josiah is explained thus in the Chronicles: that Necho sent ambassadors to Josiah, when he was taking the field against him, with an appeal that he would not fight against him, because his only intention was to make war upon Asshur, but that Josiah did not allow himself to be diverted from his purpose, and fought a battle with Necho in the valley of Megiddo, in which he was mortally wounded by the archers. What induced Josiah to oppose with force of arms the advance of the Egyptian to the Euphrates, notwithstanding the assurance of Necho that he had no wish to fight against Judah, is neither to be sought for in the fact that Josiah was dependent upon Babylon, which is at variance with history, nor in the fact that the kingdom of Judah had taken possession of all the territory of the ancient inheritance of Israel, and Josiah was endeavouring to restore all the ancient glory of the house of David over the surrounding nations (Ewald, Gesch. iii. p. 707), but solely in Josiah's conviction that Judah could not remain neutral in the war which had broken out between Egypt and Babylon, and in the hope that by attacking Necho, and frustrating his expedition to the Euphrates, he might be able to avert great distress from his own land and kingdom.

(Note: M. v. Niebuhr (Gesch. Ass. p. 364) also calls Josiah's enterprise "a perfectly correct policy. Nineveh was falling (if not already fallen), and the Syrian princes, both those who had remained independent, like Josiah, and also the vassals of Asshur, might hope that, after the fall of Nineveh, they would succeed in releasing Syria from every foreign yoke. Now well-founded this hope was, is evident from the strenuous exertions which Nabukudrussur was afterwards obliged to make, in order to effect the complete subjugation of Syria. It was therefore necessary to hinder at any price the settlement of the Egyptians now. Even though Necho assured Josiah that he was not marching against him (2 Chronicles 35:21), Josiah knew that if once the Egyptians were lords of Coele-Syria, his independence would be gone.")

This battle is also mentioned by Herodotus (ii. 159); but he calls the place where it was fought Μάγδολον, i.e., neither Migdol, which was twelve Roman miles to the south of Pelusium (Forbiger, Hdb. d. alten Geogr. ii. p. 695), nor the perfectly apocryphal Magdala or Migdal Zebaiah mentioned by the Talmudists (Reland, Pal. p. 898,899), as Movers supposes. We might rather think with Ewald (Gesch. iii. p. 708) of the present Mejdel, to the south-east of Acca, at a northern source of the Kishon, and regard this as the place where the Egyptian camp was pitched, whereas Israel stood to the east of it, at the place still called Rummane, at Hadad-Rimmon in the valley of Megiddo, as Ewald assumes (Gesch. iii. p. 708). But even this combination is overthrown by the face that Rummane, which lies to the east of el Mejdel at the distance of a mile and three-quarters (geogr.), on the southern edge of the plain of Buttauf, cannot possibly be the Hadad-Rimmon mentioned in Zechariah 12:11, where king Josiah died after he had been wounded in the battle. For since Megiddo is identical with the Roman Legio, the present Lejun, as Robinson has proved (see at Joshua 12:21), and as is generally admitted even by C. v. Raumer (Pal. p. 447, note, ed. 4), Hadad-Rimmon must be the same as the village of Rmmuni (Rummane), which is three-quarters of an hour to the south of Lejun, where the Scottish missionaries in the year 1839 found many ancient wells and other traces of Israelitish times (V. de Velde, R. i. p. 267; Memoir, pp. 333, 334). But this Rummane is four geographical miles distant from el Mejdel, and Mediggo three and a half, so that the battle fought at Megiddo cannot take its name from el Mejdel, which is more than three miles off. The Magdolon of Herodotus can only arise from some confusion between it and Megiddo, which was a very easy thing with the Greek pronunciation Μαγεδδώ, without there being any necessity to assume that Herodotus was thinking of the Egyptian Migdol, which is called Magdolo in the Itin. Ant. p. 171 (cf. Brugsch, Geogr. Inschriften altgypt. Denkmler, i. pp. 261,262). If, then, Josiah went to Megiddo in the plain of Esdrelom to meet the king of Egypt, and fell in with him there, there can be no doubt that Necho came by sea to Palestine and landed at Acco, as des Vignoles (Chronol. ii. p. 427) assumed.

(Note: This is favoured by the account in Herodotus (ii. 159), that Necho built ships: τριήρεες αἱ μὲν ἐπὶ τῇ βορηΐ́η θαλάσσῃ ... αἱ δὲ ἐν τῷ Ἀραβίῳ κόλπῳ (triremes in septentrionale et australe mare mittendas. Bhr) - καὶ ταυτῃσί τε ἐχρᾶτο ἐν τῷ δέοντι· καὶ Σύροισι πεζῇ ὁ Νεκὼς συμβαλὼν ἐν Μαγδόλῳ ἐνίκησε; from which we may infer that Necho carried his troops by sea to Palestine, and then fought the battle on the land. M. v. Niebuhr (Gesch. p. 365) also finds it very improbable that Necho used his fleet in this war; but he does not think it very credible "that he embarked his whole army, instead of marching them by the land route so often taken by the Egyptian army, the key of which, viz., the land of the Philistines, was at least partially subject to him," because the ὅλκαδες (ships of burden) required for the transport of a large army were hardly to be obtained in sufficient numbers in Egypt. But this difficulty, which rests upon mere conjecture, is neutralized by the fact, which M. Duncker (Gesch. i. p. 618) also adduces in support of the voyage by sea, namely, that the decisive battle with the Jews was fought to the north-west of Jerusalem, and when the Jews were defeated, the way to Jerusalem stood open for their retreat. Movers (Phniz. ii. 1, p. 420), who also imagines that Necho advanced with a large land-army towards the frontier of Palestine, has therefore transferred the battle to Magdolo on the Egyptian frontier; but he does this by means of the most arbitrary interpretation of the account given by Herodotus.)

For if the Egyptian army had marched by land through the plain of Philistia, Josiah would certainly have gone thither to meet it, and not have allowed it to advance into the plain of Megiddo without fighting a battle.

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