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"Zedekiah and Pilate"
Parallel Lives of the Old and New Testaments
Part 12 of 12
Clarence E. Macartney
The last chapter in the history of the Hebrew monarchy
makes melancholy reading. After Nebuchadnezzar had set
up and then set aside two kings, he stripped the land
of its soldiers, its workmen, and its artisans, and
set up as king, Mattanniah, a son of the great and
good Josiah, whose name he changed to Zedekiah, which
means "the justice of the Lord."
Zedekiah was twenty-one years old when he began to
reign and he reigned eleven years in Jerusalem, not as
an independent king, but as the creature of
Nebuchadnezzar. Into these eleven years he packed a
great deal of iniquity. The chronicler records of him:
"And he did that which was evil in the sight of the
Lord his God, and humbled not himself before Jeremiah
the prophet speaking from the mouth of the Lord. And
he also rebelled against King Nebuchadnezzar, who had
made him swear by God: but he stiffened his neck, and
hardened his heart from turning unto the Lord God of
Israel. Moreover all the chief of the priests, and the
people, transgressed very much after all the
abominations of the heathen: and polluted the house of
the Lord which he had hallowed in Jerusalem. And the
Lord God of their fathers sent to them by his
messengers, rising up betimes, and sending; because He
had compassion on His people, and on His dwelling
place: but they mocked the messengers of God, and
despised His words, and misused His prophets, until
the wrath of the Lord arose against His people, till
there was no remedy."
Disregarding the counsel of the prophet Jeremiah,
Zedekiah revolted against Nebuchadnezzar in the ninth
year of his reign. For two years Nebuchadnezzar
besieged Jerusalem, during which period there was
great famine and suffering in the city. In an effort
to escape, Zedekiah led a night sortie from Jerusalem,
but was overtaken by the Cha ...
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