JEHOIAKIM, je-hei'a-kim: Seventeenth king of Judah, second son of Josiah, and successor of Jehoahaz. His dates, according to the old chronology, are 609-598 B.C.; according to recent authorities 608-597 B.C. He was set on the throne by Pharaoh Necho in place of his brother Jehoahaz (q.v.), and his name changed from Eliakim. Through the defeat of Necho at Carchemish the Egyptian overlordship of Hither Asia was broken and the Judeana came practically under the sway of the Babylonians, though not for some time did a Babylonian force appear in the land. After remaining a vassal of Nebuchadrezzar for three years Jehoiakim rebelled, doubtless at the instigation of Egypt while the neighboring Edomites, Moabites, and Ammonites were encouraged to ravage his territory, Finally Jerusalem was besieged by the Babylonians, and possibly during the siege Jehoiakim died (II Kings xxiv. 6), though the Chronicler reports that Nebuchadrezzar put him in chains, which may be due to a confusion of Jehoiakim with his successor, or to an omission indicated in the Septuagint, which adds to II Chron. xxxvi. 8 "and buried him in the garden of Uzza." Ewald is of the opinion that the difficulties occasioned both by the brevity of the accounts and by their lack of agreement are solved by supposing that Jehoiakim was * ? ? ? * the city, an assault made on him to take him prisoner, and that he was killed in the mle; in this way he accounts for the definiteness in the lamentation of Jeremiah.

Jehoiakim (Joiakim) is also the name of a post-exilic high priest (Neh. iii-10 sqq.), and (Joakim) of the husband of Susanna.


In 609 B.C. Pharaoh Necho advanced from Egypt against Babylon. Josiah, king of Judah, as ally of Babylon met him at Megiddo, was defeated and slain (II Kings xxiii. 29). The people of Jerusalem then made Jehoahaz king, passing by the elder brother, Jehoiakim, with the purpose doubtless of continuing the pro-Babylonian policy of Josiah. Three months later Necho placid Jehoiakim upon the throne and carried Jehoahaz to Egypt. Jerusalem was distracted. The court party favored Egypt, but Jehoiakim was not the people's choice. The anti-Egyptian party was incensed at the fine which Necho imposed--not on the royal treasury, but on the inhabitants (II Kings xxiii. 34, 35), and Jeremiah earnestly warned against the Egyptian alliance (Jer. xxvi).

The Egyptian and Babylonian armies did not meet in 608, but the conflict was only postponed, and four years later, 605, Necho was back again.

The intervening time was employed by Nebuchadrezzar in making alliances and suppressing enemies on the line of Necho's projected return. This appears from Berosus (Josephus, Apion, i. 19), who says that after the defeat of Necho at Carchemish in 605, "Nebuchadrezzar was sent by his father against the parts of Cœle-Syria and Phenicia which had revolted from him, and that he reduced the country under his dominion again." If they revolted they must have been in subordination of some sort. The interval 608 to 605 suggests itself as the time when that subordination took place. Judah was one of those countries. It had been friendly under Josiah. It must be made friendly under Josiah's son. The three years' vassalage (II Kings xxiv. 1) fits into this interval, It is a meaningless phrase applied to any other portion of Jehoiakim's reign. Jeremiah's silence also from the "beginning of Jehoiakim's reign to the "fourth year" of that reign (Jer, xxxvi. 1) is consistent with friendly relations between Judah and Babylon. During this interval, i.e., in 606 B.C., the young nobles of Judah were taken to Babylon (Dan. i. 1) to be brought up at court--an arrangement designed to promote good feeling between the subordinate and the dominant powers. That these young men became captives along with their whole nation was due to Jehoiakim's folly.

But when, in 605, the tramp of the Egyptian army was heard again Jehoiakim put aside pretense and joined Necho. Necho's defeat at Carchemish threw the whole country into Nebuchadrezzar's hands. He punished the nations which had fallen away from allegiance to him by transporting some of their people to Mesopotamia (Josephus, ut sup.). Jerusalem was in great fear. A fast was proclaimed in Jehoiakim's fifth year (Jer. xxxxi * ? ? ? * Nebuchadrezzar venge* ? ? ? * of the clladrezzar,a vengeance did not fall ' g test Jehoiakimagw ement are solved Nebuchadrezzar contented himself Immediately all - , C11aldeana, Ammonites, and twith


ravage Judah (II Kings xxiv. 2). The Jewish monarchy existed thereafter only on sufferance.

Jehoiakim reigned eleven years, dying in 597 B.C. He was not put to death by Nebuchadrezzar, as Josephus says, but may have perished by assassination, for he had filled Jerusalem with innocent blood and was a curse to his country.


BIBLIOGRAPHY: Sources are II Kings xxiii. 34-xxiv. 7; II Chron. xxxvi. 4-8; Jer. vii.-ix., x. 17-25, xiv.-xvii. 18, xviii.-xx., etc.; and the Book of Habakkuk. The subject is treated in the pertinent sections of the literature named under AHAB and in the Bible Dictionaries.


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