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“Jehoiakim Slept with his Fathers…” (II Kings 24:6) – Did He?

This study of the different accounts concerning the circumstances of the death of Jehoiakim and of his burial place leads to the conclusion that he died after an eleven-year reign and was buried in Jerusalem, exactly on the eve of Nebuchadrezzar’s campaign. His death saved the city from destruction and enabled the small kingdom an additional eleven years of rule. Insofar as the writer in Kings knew of the events in Judah in the last years of the kingdom, the king’s death was not attended by any unusual circumstances. Did secret events take place in the royal palace that were unknown to the residents of the city? Was Jehoiakim’s death the result of a sophisticated conspiracy whose perpetrators or circumstances were unknown to his contemporaries? This may be the case, but it is better to remember that there is no contemporary information of that kind, and later accounts of it are filling in the gaps and try to create harmony between the lacunae in the Book of Kings and the curses concerning the fate of the sinner king that were proclaimed by the prophet Jeremiah.

Author(s):  Lipschits, Oded
Format:  Article
Date:  2003
Source:  The Journal of Hebrew Scriptures
Volume:  4