Last time we saw that God had sent his prophets to warn the wicked kings of Israel to repent and turn away from their idolatries. They were repeatedly warned through several generations and dynasties until finally God brought the Assyrians up against those wicked kings.
Hearing the words of the prophets and seeing the approaching Assyrians many of those who were godly in Israel fled south to Judah.
The Assyrian army besieged the capital city Samaria and once Samaria fell the Assyrians deported the Israelites from the capital city Samaria and from the major cities and much of the country. Nevertheless they did not get every single person and some of those people from the various of the ten tribes of Israel remained in the land.
The fall of Samaria took place approximately 722 B.C. and the deportation of most of the people from the ten tribes of Israel was completed in 718 B.C., then in 715 BC Hezekiah became king of Judah and he sought zealously to restore true religion in Judah.
The Assyrians did come up against Jerusalem and Hezekiah prayed and the angel of the Lord killed 185 thousand Assyrians. This was such a shock to the Assyrian Empire that their expansion was stopped right there in its tracks. The Assyrian Empire continued for another 70 years and upon the death of Ashurbanipa in 631 B.C. the Assyrian Empire began to crumble.
Then Cyaxares king of the Medes and Persians broke away from the Assyrians and allied himself with the enemy of the Assyrians, Nabopolassar the ruler of the Babylonians and Chaldeans.
This was the beginning of the end for the Assyrian Empire, after establishing an alliance with the Medes and the Persians Nabopolassar and his allies besieged Nineveh the capital of the Assyrian Empire and after a three-month siege they took the Assyrian capital in 612 B.C.
Later they took the city of Haran and finally in 604 BC King Nabopolassar met the Assyrian and Egyptian allies on the field at Carchemesh, at that point the Babylonian king Nabopolassar died and his son Nebuchadnezzar assumed the throne and hurried to Carchemesh on the Euphrates to join battle against the Assyrians and Egyptians.
Then king Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon allied with the Medes and the Persians defeated the Assyrians and chased the Egyptians all the way back to Egypt.
Nebuchadnezzar and his army stopped at Jerusalem where he entered into an alliance with the king of Judah Jehoahaz. The king of Judah cemented his alliance with the king of Babylon by sending a large company of administrators, managerial personnel and craftsmen to help Nebuchadnezzar build and administer his empire. Among those who went to Babylon as allies of the Babylonian king in 604 B.C. were Ezekiel, Daniel and Daniel’s three friends.
The Egyptians were not happy with the king of Judah aligning with the king of Babylon and three months later Pharaoh Necco king of Egypt went to Jerusalem and overthrew the throne of Jehoahaz King of Judah and placed his brother Eliakim on that throne.
Jehoahaz was then taken to Egypt where he died, Eliakim allied himself and Judah with Egypt and Eliakim reigned for seven years, then Nebuchadnezzar who had been busy elsewhere returned to Jerusalem and laid siege to the city.
During the siege Eliakim was killed and the kingdom was overturned to Jehoichin also known as Jeconiah.
Jeconiah reigned for only three months and ten days until Jerusalem finally fell in 597 B.C. Nebuchadnezzar then replaced King Jeconiah with Zedekiah and took Jeconiah to Babylon where he lived and ended his life in exile.
It was during the captivity of Jeconiah approximately 591 B.C., in the seventh year of his captivity or to put this another way in the seventh year of the reign of Zedekiah, that Ezekiel received the three overturns prophecy to explain the end of the dynasty of David.
Ezekiel 21 27 “I will overturn overturn overturn it and it shall be no more” the Davidic line would end with Zedekiah “until he come whose right it is” which is the resurrected David “and I will give it to him.“
- The first overturn was when King Jehoahaz reigned for three months before his throne was overturned by Nicco Pharaoh of Egypt who overturned him and replaced him with his brother Eliakim.
- The second overturn was when Eliakim using the reignal name Jehoiachim, reigned for 7 years and was then killed in the first siege of Jerusalem about 597 BC and his kingdom was overturned to Jeconiah.
- The third overturn was when Jeconiah had reigned for only three months and ten days until King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon took Jerusalem and brought king Jeconiah to Babylon where he lived and died in exile.
King Jeconiah was replaced by Nebuchadnezzar who placed Zedekiah as king over Judah in his room and Jeconiah was taken to Babylon where he lived and died in exile
Zedekiah was the last king of the line or dynasty of David until Messiah comes with the resurrected David, who will rule over the once again United Kingdom of Israel and Judah.
The death of Zedekiah would end the dynasty of David “until he come whose right it is.” God’s promise of an everlasting Kingdom was given to David, the kingdom is David’s it belongs to David, he is the one who has the right to rule that Kingdom and when Christ comes and he is resurrected he will be placed over a once again united Israel and Judah.
Ezekiel 34 23 and that will set up one Shepherd over them and he shall feed them even my servant David he shall feed them and he shall be their Shepherd and I the Lord will be their God and my servant David a prince among them, I the LORD have spoken it.
Amos 9 11 in that day will I raise up the tabernacle [the house the family the kingdom] of David that is fallen and I will close up the breaches thereof and I will raise up his ruins and I will build it as in the days of old.
Ezekiel 37 24 and David my servant shall be king over them and they all shall have one shepherd they shall also walk in my judgments and observe my statutes and do them and they shall dwell in the land that I have given unto Jacob my servant wherein your fathers have dwelt and they shall dwell therein even they and their children and their children’s children forever and my servant David shall be their Prince forever.
When Christ comes with the resurrected David the people of all the nations of Judah and Israel will be searched out and brought back to their land and they will be united under their king the resurrected David whose right to rule is firmly established by the immutable unchangeable promise of God the Almighty.
When Messiah the Christ comes, all mankind all the earth will have been humbled and all who are existing and living at that time will be submissive to the Eternal and to his Christ and they will live by every word of God, they will turn to live by every word of God and God’s Spirit will be poured out on all flesh.
Then the division between Judah and Israel will be healed and the division between Israel and the Samaritans and the entire problem of Palestine will be corrected it will be resolved it will be fixed by Jesus Christ the coming Messiah Lord of Lord and King of Kings who will direct the Samaritans and the Israelites as to how to resolve that problem once and for all.
The three overturns prophecy given to Ezekiel was about the end of the dynasty of David and was given in the seventh year of the wicked King Zedekiah.
God also sent the Prophet Jeremiah to warn King Zedekiah to repent during his reign. Jeremiah 20:7 and all nations shall serve the king of Babylon [Nebuchadnezzar] and his son [who was Nabonidus] and his son’s son [who was Belshazar] until the very time of his land come and then many nations and great kings shall serve themselves of him.
Jeremiah also prophesied from God that after seventy years the people would begin to return and would rebuild the temple specifically saying that the Persian king Cyrus would order the temple to be rebuilt.
God promised in Jeremiah 29:10 after 70 years are accomplished at Babylon i will visit you and perform my good word toward you in causing you to return to this place.
Isaiah also records that God had appointed Cyrus to order the rebuilding of the temple
Isaiah 44:28 that saith of Cyrus he is my shepherd and shall perform and on my pleasure even saying to Jerusalem thou shalt be built and to the temple thy foundation shall be laid.
This Zedekiah was a very wicked King you can read about that through the Book of Jeremiah, and it happened that besides all his wickedness that Zedekiah’s court was divided between those desiring an alliance with Babylon and those leaning towards Egypt.
Zedekiah finally asked Jeremiah his opinion and Jeremiah told him from God that he should remain faithful to Babylon and should in no wise turn against Babylon and join with Egypt, so that is exactly what this wicked Zedekiah did he stopped paying tribute to Babylon, he broke his alliance with Babylon and he turned to embrace Egypt.
Nebuchadnezzar then came up to lay siege to Jerusalem a second time in 588 BC and the city fell 18 months later in 587 B.C.
Marshall Nebuzaradan then looted the city and the temple and the city and the temple were broken up and burned in 586 B.C.
Then Zedekiah’s sons were killed and he was blinded and Zedekiah and all the men of Jerusalem and most of the principal men of the kingdom of Judah including many of those from the ten tribes of Israel who had sought refuge there, were deported to Babylon.
King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon did leave the agricultural people the rural people the farmers and shepherds so that they could care for the land; and the city dwellers and the artisans and craftsmen were deported to Babylon in 586 B.C.
Remember that date it’s very important 586 B.C.
Before he left Jerusalem King Nebuchadnezzar appointed Babylonian governors for Palestine for the whole region and he appointed a governor over Judea a man named Gedaliah.
Now this Gedaliah along with his father were friends and supporters of the prophet Jeremiah and this was considered a very good arrangement, unfortunately Gedaliah did not take care for his own safety and the king of Amman seeking to cause more strife between Judah and Babylon hired an assassin; Ishmael by name who murdered Gedaliah and many leading men of Judah and also some of the people of Babylon that Nebuchadnezzar had left with them.
Johanin rose up and pursued Ishmael and killed him and the Jews gathered around him and they were very afraid that Nebuchadnezzar would return and punish them destroying them or killing them all because of what had happened. So the enquired of God by Jeremiah and God told the people:
Jeremiah 42:1 Then all the captains of the forces, and Johanan the son of Kareah, and Jezaniah the son of Hoshaiah, and all the people from the least even unto the greatest, came near, 42:2 And said unto Jeremiah the prophet, Let, we beseech thee, our supplication be accepted before thee, and pray for us unto the LORD thy God, even for all this remnant; (for we are left but a few of many, as thine eyes do behold us:) 42:3 That the LORD thy God may shew us the way wherein we may walk, and the thing that we may do.
42:4 Then Jeremiah the prophet said unto them, I have heard you; behold, I will pray unto the LORD your God according to your words; and it shall come to pass, that whatsoever thing the LORD shall answer you, I will declare it unto you; I will keep nothing back from you.
42:5 Then they said to Jeremiah, The LORD be a true and faithful witness between us, if we do not even according to all things for the which the LORD thy God shall send thee to us. 42:6 Whether it be good, or whether it be evil, we will obey the voice of the LORD our God, to whom we send thee; that it may be well with us, when we obey the voice of the LORD our God.
42:7 And it came to pass after ten days, that the word of the LORD came unto Jeremiah. 42:8 Then called he Johanan the son of Kareah, and all the captains of the forces which were with him, and all the people from the least even to the greatest,
42:9 And said unto them, Thus saith the LORD, the God of Israel, unto whom ye sent me to present your supplication before him; 42:10 If ye will still abide in this land, then will I build you, and not pull you down, and I will plant you, and not pluck you up: for I repent me of the evil that I have done unto you. 42:11 Be not afraid of the king of Babylon, of whom ye are afraid; be not afraid of him, saith the LORD: for I am with you to save you, and to deliver you from his hand. 42:12 And I will shew mercies unto you, that he may have mercy upon you, and cause you to return to your own land.
42:13 But if ye say, We will not dwell in this land, neither obey the voice of the LORD your God, 42:14 Saying, No; but we will go into the land of Egypt, where we shall see no war, nor hear the sound of the trumpet, nor have hunger of bread; and there will we dwell:
42:15 And now therefore hear the word of the LORD, ye remnant of Judah; Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; If ye wholly set your faces to enter into Egypt, and go to sojourn there; 42:16 Then it shall come to pass, that the sword, which ye feared, shall overtake you there in the land of Egypt, and the famine, whereof ye were afraid, shall follow close after you there in Egypt; and there ye shall die. 42:17 So shall it be with all the men that set their faces to go into Egypt to sojourn there; they shall die by the sword, by the famine, and by the pestilence: and none of them shall remain or escape from the evil that I will bring upon them.
Then Johanan and the elders of the people told Jeremiah “you lie you have said this to bring us to our ruin” and they took Jeremiah and they fled down to Egypt for a space of time.
After that Nebuchadnezzar was engaged in a siege of Tyre and when that siege was over he marched down into the land of Egypt and in 568 B.C. Nebuchadnezzar concluded a successful campaign against Pharaoh Amasis and pitched his tent in Tahpanhes where the Jews and the remnant of the ten tribes had fled, and all of the Jews and the remnant of the ten tribes who had gone down to Egypt died there, all of them.
By 568 B.C. all of the Jews and the remnant of the ten tribes of Israel had either died in Egypt or they had been taken captive to Babylon. This means that the entirety of Palestine both of the land of the ten tribes and the land of Judea were completely depopulated of the children of Jacob.
No one of Judah or Benjamin or Levi or the ten remaining tribes of Israel remained in the land.
The natural consequences of depopulating the entire land of Jews and Israelites was that the surrounding nations saw all of this farmland with houses and farm buildings, free for the taking; they saw a chance to walk into a working farm and just take it over because it lay there vacant.
So what do you suppose happened, the people of Ammon, the Philistines and Gaza and the Samaritans rushed in and they took over the land. They seized the farmland the villages everything, and they moved in because the land was vacant.
Can you imagine how discouraging it was to hear this news for the people who had been taken to Babylon? They had God’s promise to Jeremiah that after seventy years some of them would return and rebuild the temple and here it was that not a single Jew or Israelite dwelt in the land, and the land had been completely taken over by the Samaritans and other local people’s
Next time: How God miraculously caused the temple to be rebuilt