Jehoiakim was basically the puppet of Pharaoh Necho, and paid the tribute that Necho commanded by taxing the people of Judah.  He was twenty-five years old when he became king, and reigned eleven years, but mostly in servitude to other nations.  He did evil in the sight of the Lord.  Nebuchadnezzar came and made Jehoiakim his vassal for three years.  He rebelled against this arrangement, but then the Lord sent raiding bands of Chaldeans against him, as well as bands of Syrians, Moabites, and Ammonites to destroy Judah.  This fulfilled the prophecy of the Lord spoken earlier against Manasseh and his shedding of innocent blood.  Then Johoiakim died, and his son Johoiachin reigned in his place.  Pharaoh did not come up against them anymore, for the king of Babylon had conquered all the land from the Brook of Egypt to the River Euphrates

Jehoiakim assumed the throne of Israel after Jehoahaz was taken to Egypt to die, but he was not a king in the regular sense of the word in Judah.  He was oppressed, taxed, and made a subject of other kings like Necho of Egypt and Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon.  This was the beginning of the judgement of the Lord on Judah for their sin.  They would face this type of oppression, and eventually be taken out of Judah and into captivity.  The judgement has begun.  An interesting point is that the power in the area shifted during this period.  While, up until now, the major powers spoken of in the Bible were Egypt and Assyria primarily.  In this story, though, Babylon seems to take on more of the power in the region.  It says that Babylon conquered all the land from the River Euphrates to the Brook of Egypt.  While the immediate assumption might be that this Brook was the Nile River, it was actually the Wadi el-Arish, the natural border between the Negev Desert area of Israel and the Sanai Peninsula of Egypt.  Basically, though, the description shows that all of Israel and Judah were now under the control of one nation, Babylon, which ends up being a prominent name in Bible prophecy even into the book of Revelation.  God’s plan will be fulfilled, in spite of all opposition.  God promised to protect Israel as long as they obeyed His word.  When they failed, He gave then numerous chances to repent, some of which they heeded, but eventually His righteousness required payment.  This is the beginning of that payment on the part of the nation: tribute and captivity.

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