Biography

Zedekiah (/ˌzɛdɪˈkaɪə/), also written Tzidkiyahu,[a] originally called Mattanyahu or Mattaniah, was a biblical character, the last king of Judah before the destruction of the kingdom by Babylon. Zedekiah had been installed as king of Judah by Nebuchadnezzar II, king of Babylon, after a siege of Jerusalem in 597 BC, to succeed his nephew, Jeconiah, who was overthrown as king after a reign of only three months and ten days.

William F. Albright dates the start of Zedekiah's reign to 598 BC, while E. R. Thiele gives the start in 597 BC.[1] On that reckoning, Zedekiah was born in c. 617 BC or 618 BC, being twenty-one on becoming king. Zedekiah's reign ended with the siege and fall of Jerusalem to Nebuchadnezzar II, which has been dated to 587 or 586 BC.[2]

The prophet Jeremiah was his counselor, yet he did not heed the prophet and his epitaph is "he did evil in the sight of the Lord". (2 Kings 24:19–20; Jeremiah 52:2–3)

Overthrow of Jerusalem

According to the Hebrew Bible, Zedekiah was made king of Judah by Nebuchadnezzar II in 597 BC at the age of twenty-one. This is in agreement with a Babylonian chronicle, which states, "The seventh year: In the month Kislev the king of Akkad mustered his army and marched to Hattu. He encamped against the city of Judah and on the second day of the month Adar he captured the city (and) seized (its) king. A king of his own choice he appointed in the city (and) taking the vast tribute he brought it into Babylon."[7]

The kingdom was at that time tributary to Nebuchadnezzar II. Despite the strong remonstrances of Jeremiah, Baruch ben Neriah and his other family and advisors, as well as the example of Jehoiakim, he revolted against Babylon, and entered into an alliance with Pharaoh Hophra of Egypt. Nebuchadnezzar responded by invading Judah (2 Kings 25:1). Nebuchadnezzar began a siege of Jerusalem in December 589 BC. During this siege, which lasted about thirty months,[8] "every worst woe befell the city, which drank the cup of God's fury to the dregs" (2 Kings 25:3; Lamentations 4:4, 5, 9).

At the end of Zedekiah's eleven-year reign, Nebuchadnezzar succeeded in capturing Jerusalem. Zedekiah and his followers attempted to escape, making their way out of the city, but were captured on the plains of Jericho, and were taken to Riblah.

There, after seeing his sons put to death, his own eyes were put out, and, being loaded with chains, he was carried captive to Babylon (2 Kings 25:1–7; 2 Chronicles 36:12; Jeremiah 32:4–5; 34:2–3; 39:1–7; 52:4–11; Ezekiel 12:13), where he remained a prisoner until he died.

After the fall of Jerusalem, Nebuzaradan was sent to destroy it. The city was plundered and razed to the ground. Solomon's Temple was destroyed. Only a small number of vinedressers and husbandmen were permitted to remain in the land (Jeremiah 52:16).


Siblings



Children



Offspring of Zedekiah or Mattaniah and unknown parent
Name Birth Death Joined with
Mulek










Jehoahaz of Judah
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Jeconias
19th King of Judah
Sole reign: 597 to 586 B.C.
Succeeded by
NONE

References



Footnotes (including sources)

Some information in this article or section has not been verified and may not be reliable.
Please check for any inaccuracies, and modify and cite sources as needed.
Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.