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Introduction to Incidents During the Reign of Zedekiah

37 Zedekiah son of Josiah succeeded Jeconiah[a] son of Jehoiakim as king. He was elevated to the throne of the land of Judah by King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon.[b] Neither he nor the officials who served him nor the people of Judah paid any attention to what the Lord said through the prophet Jeremiah.[c]

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  1. Jeremiah 37:1 tn Heb “Coniah.” For explanation of the rendering here see the translator’s note on 22:24.
  2. Jeremiah 37:1 tn Heb “And Zedekiah son of Josiah, whom Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon made king in the land of Judah, ruled as king instead of Coniah son of Jehoiakim.” The sentence has been restructured and simplified to better conform to contemporary English style.
  3. Jeremiah 37:2 sn These two verses (37:1-2) are introductory to chs. 37-38 and aim to characterize Zedekiah and his regime as disobedient, just as Jehoiakim and his regime had been (Jer 36:27; cf. 2 Kgs 24:19-20). This characterization is important because Zedekiah is portrayed in the incidents that follow in 37-38 as seeking the Lord’s help or seeking a word from the Lord. However, though he did send to inquire of Jeremiah three times, he did not pay attention to the warnings he received in reply and so was ultimately responsible for the fall of Jerusalem (Jer 39). As elsewhere in this book, Jeconiah’s reign is passed over in silence because it was negligible, and Jeremiah did not wish to legitimize the hopes of many in Israel and Babylon that Jeconiah would return from exile and resume rule over Judah (see further the study notes on 22:24, 30 and 36:30).

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