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Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible


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JEHOIAKIM , whose original name was Eliakim , was placed upon the throne of Judah by Pharaoh-necho, who deposed the more popular Jehoabaz. His reign of eleven years is not well spoken of by Jeremiah. The religious abuses which had been abolished by Josiah seem to have returned with greater strength than ever. At a time when the kingdom was impoverished by war and by the exactions of Egypt, Jehoiakim occupied himself in extravagant schemes of building to be carried out by forced labour ( 2 Kings 23:24 to 2 Kings 24:7 ). Things were so had that in the fourth year of his reign Jeremiah dictated to Baruch a summary of all his earlier discourses, and bade him read it in public as though to indicate that there was no longer any hope. The king showed his contempt for the prophetic word by burning the roll. Active persecution of the prophetic party followed, in which one man at least was put to death. Jeremiah’s escape was due to powerful friends at court ( Jeremiah 22:13-19 ; Jeremiah 36:1-26 ; Jeremiah 26:20-24 ). It was about the time of the burning of the Book of Jeremiah that the Egyptian supremacy was ended by the decisive battle of Carchemish. The evacuation of Palestine followed, and Jehoiakim was obliged to submit to the Babylonians. His heart, however, was with the Pharaoh, to whom he owed his elevation. After three years he revolted from the Babylonian rule. Nebuchadrezzar thought to bring him into subjection by sending guerilla bands to harry the country, but as this did not succeed, he invaded Judah with an army of regulars. Before he reached Jerusalem, Jehoiakim died, and the surrender which was inevitable, was made by his son. Whether Jeremiah’s prediction that the corpse of the king should be denied decent burial was fulfilled is not certain.

H. P. Smith.

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These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of Used by Permission.

Bibliography Information
Hastings, James. Entry for 'Jehoiakim'. Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible. 1909.

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