Then the people of the land took Jehoahaz the son of Josiah, and made him king in his father's stead in Jerusalem.
2 Chronicles 36:15-16
I. Prophecy is as old as the Hebrew nation itself, and indeed far older. The life of the nation begins with the age of Moses, but Moses in his writings leads us back to the fountain-head of man's history, and shows us the first dawn of the Divine revelation, breaking through the darkness of that old-world history, and making it bright with the promise of a glorious, though far-distant, day.
II. The national life is everywhere closely intertwined with this Divine revelation, which both precedes and survives it. The vital connection is seen most clearly in each great turning-point of the history and in each mastermind which rules the crisis that it helps to create. (Examples: Moses, Joshua, Samuel, David, Elijah.)
III. Notice a few inferences from this sketch of prophecy in its external aspect. (1) Prophecy as it existed in Israel is a fact unique in the world's history. (2) In Israel itself the prophetic gift is not general, nor even common, but each one in whom it appears is regarded as a man set apart from, and raised above, his fellows. He is pre-eminently "the man of God." (3) We find the claim of the prophets universally acknowledged by the people among whom they lived, and to whom they were as often messengers of unwelcome reproof as of comfort or promise, and as often objects of fear and hatred as of reverence and wonder.
E. H. Gifford, Voices of the Prophets, p. 51.
2 Chronicles 36:16These words contain three facts, and each one is of the greatest importance. (1) That there was—at least, at one time—a remedy. (2) That the remedy went on, and might have been used, for a very long period. (3) That there came a time when the remedy ceased.
I. All life is remedy. The conditions of things require it. Life is one great restorative process. (1) First comes that marvellous provision which God has made for our recovery in Jesus Christ. (2) Subordinate to this great remedy of the Cross of Christ, and working with it, all providences have a curative character. (3) Every one carries within himself an antidote to himself. Conscience, till it is silenced, is a sure antidote for evil.
II. Notice the word "till." It shows how slow God is to take away the remedy. His mercy still holds back the arm of justice. But we may sin ourselves into a state, not in which there is no forgiveness, but in which there will be no thought or desire to seek for forgiveness. There is the bourn—worse than any grave—from which no man has returned. "There is no remedy," not on God's account, but on your own; not in God's want of will to save you, but in your own incapacity to will your own salvation.
J. Vaughan, Sermons, 15th series, p. 213.
2 Chronicles 36:22-23I. The name of Cyrus, the point of the compass indicative of his birthplace, and the direction of his march upon Babylon are distinctly foretold.
II. Isaiah describes with remarkable accuracy the personal character of Cyrus. His warlike spirit, his towering ambition, the rapidity of his conquests, the equity of his administration, and his heathen religion are all declared after the manner of prophecy.
III. The significance of the prophecy deepens when it comes to describe the conquests achieved by Cyrus. History but repeats these prophecies in describing the facts as they occurred.
IV. Isaiah explicitly foretells the restoration of Judah from captivity and the rebuilding of the Temple at Jerusalem through the agency of Cyrus.
V. These facts suggest the admonition that young minds should guard with especial care against the beginnings of distrust in the Divine origin of the Bible. It is the word of God. True or false, it is inspired by an omniscient mind. If false, it is a fraud so stupendous that mortal man could never have originated it. The grandeur of the imposture would be as miraculous as the truth.
A. Phelps, The Old Testament a Living Book, p. 295.
Reference: 2 Chronicles 36:22, 2 Chronicles 36:23.—Expositor, J. M. Fuller, 3rd series, vol. ii., p. 469.
2 Chronicles 36:23I. The Israelites were to build a material temple.
II. Though we may best seek God in His house, we may find Him everywhere.
III. God's truest temple is the upright heart and pure.
IV. In striving to hallow in our own mortal bodies a temple for God's habitation, we shall be joining to build yet another temple—the Church or society of God's children.
V. Truth is the condition on which God will deign to dwell in the house we build.
F. W. Farrar, In the Days of thy Youth, p. 209.
Jehoahaz was twenty and three years old when he began to reign, and he reigned three months in Jerusalem.
And the king of Egypt put him down at Jerusalem, and condemned the land in an hundred talents of silver and a talent of gold.
And the king of Egypt made Eliakim his brother king over Judah and Jerusalem, and turned his name to Jehoiakim. And Necho took Jehoahaz his brother, and carried him to Egypt.
Jehoiakim was twenty and five years old when he began to reign, and he reigned eleven years in Jerusalem: and he did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD his God.
Against him came up Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, and bound him in fetters, to carry him to Babylon.
Nebuchadnezzar also carried of the vessels of the house of the LORD to Babylon, and put them in his temple at Babylon.
Now the rest of the acts of Jehoiakim, and his abominations which he did, and that which was found in him, behold, they are written in the book of the kings of Israel and Judah: and Jehoiachin his son reigned in his stead.
Jehoiachin was eight years old when he began to reign, and he reigned three months and ten days in Jerusalem: and he did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD.
And when the year was expired, king Nebuchadnezzar sent, and brought him to Babylon, with the goodly vessels of the house of the LORD, and made Zedekiah his brother king over Judah and Jerusalem.
Zedekiah was one and twenty years old when he began to reign, and reigned eleven years in Jerusalem.
And he did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD his God, and humbled not himself before Jeremiah the prophet speaking from the mouth of the LORD.
And he also rebelled against king Nebuchadnezzar, who had made him swear by God: but he stiffened his neck, and hardened his heart from turning unto the LORD God of Israel.
Moreover all the chief of the priests, and the people, transgressed very much after all the abominations of the heathen; and polluted the house of the LORD which he had hallowed in Jerusalem.
And the LORD God of their fathers sent to them by his messengers, rising up betimes, and sending; because he had compassion on his people, and on his dwelling place:
But they mocked the messengers of God, and despised his words, and misused his prophets, until the wrath of the LORD arose against his people, till there was no remedy.
Therefore he brought upon them the king of the Chaldees, who slew their young men with the sword in the house of their sanctuary, and had no compassion upon young man or maiden, old man, or him that stooped for age: he gave them all into his hand.
And all the vessels of the house of God, great and small, and the treasures of the house of the LORD, and the treasures of the king, and of his princes; all these he brought to Babylon.
And they burnt the house of God, and brake down the wall of Jerusalem, and burnt all the palaces thereof with fire, and destroyed all the goodly vessels thereof.
And them that had escaped from the sword carried he away to Babylon; where they were servants to him and his sons until the reign of the kingdom of Persia:
To fulfil the word of the LORD by the mouth of Jeremiah, until the land had enjoyed her sabbaths: for as long as she lay desolate she kept sabbath, to fulfil threescore and ten years.
Now in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, that the word of the LORD spoken by the mouth of Jeremiah might be accomplished, the LORD stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom, and put it also in writing, saying,
Thus saith Cyrus king of Persia, All the kingdoms of the earth hath the LORD God of heaven given me; and he hath charged me to build him an house in Jerusalem, which is in Judah. Who is there among you of all his people? The LORD his God be with him, and let him go up.