II Kin. 24:5-9; II Chron. 36:8, 9; Jer. 22:18-30; 13:15-27
Jehoiakim’s death ended an evil reign in Judah. It is customary to lament and mourn for even a wicked one who has passed from this life. However, Jehoiakim’s wickedness was so great that the Lord forbade lamenting for him. He was also denied what would be considered a proper burial—only to be, “Dragged and cast out beyond the gates of Jerusalem.”
One would hope that with a new king there would be improved spiritual changes. However, Jehoiachin, the eighteen-year-old son of Jehoiakim continued in the evil ways of his father. Judah’s chief ally, Egypt had fallen to the Babylonians and they refused to hear the Lord, their only hope for salvation. God spoke to Jeremiah regarding the new king that he and his mother would be cast out of the land and into a country where he had not been born. He would have no child to succeed him on the throne of David. His reign only lasted for three months and ten days.
Jeremiah continued to warn the heads of the Judean government, but because of their pride, his words fell upon deaf ears. They had the power and authority to lead their people back to God, but refused to accept that responsibility. The cities of the south would be carried away into captivity by the cities of the north. Even in their deep sinful state, God would have still made them clean if they would have turned back to Him in sincere repentance.