2 Kings 23:37
And he did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD, according to all that his fathers had done.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
2 Kings 23:37. He did that which was evil, &c. — By idolatry, the oppression of his people, and the persecution of the prophets and other good men. For he killed the Prophet Urijah, and was at the charge to fetch him out of Egypt, whither he fled to save his life, Jeremiah 26:20-21, &c. And if it had not been for Ahikam, the son of Shaphan, who had been a great man in his father Josiah’s courts, he would have served Jeremiah in the same manner, 2 Kings 23:24. And from hence it is evident, that the reformation of the people, in general, was not sincere in the time of Josiah, but that they dissembled in obedience to the king’s command; otherwise it cannot be supposed that this young king would have immediately set at naught, and gone directly contrary to, all his father had done: but, Josiah being dead, it is likely the people threw off their mask, and showed how vehemently they were inclined to idolatry, and this young king was thereby soon induced to join with them in it.

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.Twenty and five years old - Jehoiakim was therefore two years older than his half-brother, Jehoahaz 2 Kings 23:31. See his character in 2 Kings 23:37; 2 Chronicles 36:8; Ezekiel 19:5-7; Jeremiah 22:13-17; Jeremiah 26:20-23, Jeremiah 36:29. In his days Pharaoh-nechoh—(See 2Ch 35:20-27). By idolatry, the oppression of his people, and the persecution of the prophets, and other good men, Jeremiah 26:21 Ezekiel 19:5-7.

And he did that which was evil in the sight of the Lord, according to all that his fathers had done. Amon and Manasseh; see 2 Kings 23:32. And he did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD, according to all that his fathers had done.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Verse 37. - And he did that which was evil in the sight of the Lord, according to all that his fathers had done. Jeremiah says of Jehoiakim, "Woe unto him that buildeth his house by unrighteousness, and his chambers by wrong; that useth his neighbor's service without wages, and giveth him not for his work; that saith, I will build me a large house and wide chambers, and cutteth him out windows; and it is coiled with cedar, and painted with vermilion. Shalt thou reign, because thou closest thyself in cedar? did not thy father eat and drink, and do judgment and justice, and then it was well with him? He judged the cause of the poor and needy; then it was well with him: was not this to know me? saith the Lord. But thine eyes and thine heart are not but for thy covetousness, and for to shed innocent blood, and for oppression, and for violence, to do it" (Jeremiah 22:13-17). Josephus calls him "an unjust man and an evil-doer, neither pious in his relations towards God nor equitable in his dealings with his fellow men" ('Ant. Jud.,' 10:5. § 2). His execution of Urijah, the son of Shemalah, for prophesying the destruction of Jerusalem (Jeremiah 26:20-23), was an act at once of cruelty and impiety. It is suspected (Ewald, 'History of Israel,' vol. 4. p. 252) that, besides reintroducing into Judah all the foreign rites extirpated by his father, he added Egyptian rites to their number. The tyranny which he practiced was likewise of an Egyptian cast, including, as it did, the exaction of forced labor from his subjects (Jeremiah 22:13), an old custom of the Pharaohs, and it is quite possible that his "passion for building splendid and costly houses" (Ewald) was awakened by his knowledge of the magnificence which characterized the monarchs of the Saitic dynasty, who revived in Egypt the architectural glories of the Ramessides (see Herod., 2:153, 175, 176).



2 Kings 23:37Reign of Jehoiakim (cf. 2 Chronicles 36:5-8). - Jehoiakim reigned eleven years in the spirit of his ungodly forefathers (compare 2 Kings 23:37 with 2 Kings 23:32). Jeremiah represents him (2 Kings 22:13.) as a bad prince, who enriched himself by the unjust oppression of his people, "whose eyes and heart were directed upon nothing but upon gain, and upon innocent blood to shed it, and upon oppression and violence to do them" (compare 2 Kings 24:4 and Jeremiah 26:22-23). Josephus therefore describes him as τὴν φύσιν ἄδικος καὶ κακοῦργος, καὶ μήτε πρὸς Θεὸν ὅσιος, μήτε πρὸς ἀνθρώπους ἐπιεικής (Ant. x. 5, 2). The town of Rumah, from which his mother sprang, is not mentioned anywhere else, but it has been supposed to be identical with Aruma in the neighbourhood of Shechem (Judges 9:41).
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