Tale of Two Kings – Daniel 1

JehoiakimI am working on a message on Daniel 1.  The Hebrew text frequently hints at things that are not clearly said.  One has to pay attention.

Daniel 1:1 In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came to Jerusalem and besieged it. 

Jehoiakim is the second king after Josiah.

In a previous message, we explored how Josiah came to hear, for the first time, the “Book of the Law” which was found, having been lost in the temple.  Upon hearing the word read, Josiah repented, inquired of the Lord and set out to rid the Temple, the Royal City and the Nation of a cluster of abominations placed there by previous kings.  Josiah is warned that judgment was coming, but that he would not live to see it.  (II Kings 22,23)

Now Jehoiakim, a son of Josiah enters the kingship.  He does not follow the example of Josiah.  An interesting story is told in Jeremiah 36, where the Prophet dictated a scroll to Baruch, who took it to be read in the Temple grounds.  The book was finally brought to this king, who had it read to him, and as it was read, he cut out the pages and tossed them in the fire. No repentance, only disrespect.

So Daniel 1:1 reports that after 3 years of his reign, he is besieged by Nebuchadnezzar.  the holy vessels of the temple are taken away and placed in Babylonian temples – presumably for safe keeping until the 70 year exile would end.

The end of the chapter, after Daniel and his three companions survive a test of faith and loyalty, it is said that Daniel served in exile until King Cyrus – the instrument of restoration – came to power 65 years later.

In the heart of the city of God and the house of worship was unfaithfulness and a disregard for the word of God – under Jehoiakim.  In the heart of the city associated with magic, decadence, and idolatry, we find faithfulness and care in keeping the Word of God, with Daniel.

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