Turned his name to Jehoiakim - These names are precisely the same in signification: Eliakim is God shall arise; Jehoiakim, Jehovah shall arise; or, the resurrection of God; the resurrection of Jehovah. That is, God's rising again to show his power, justice, etc. The change of the name was to show Nechoh's supremacy, and that Jehoiakim was only his vassal or viceroy. Proofs of this mode of changing the name, when a person of greater power put another in office under himself, may be seen in the case of Mattaniah, changed into Zedekiah; Daniel, Mishael, Hananiah, and Azariah, into Belteshazzar, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego; and Joseph into Zaphnath-paaneah. See Daniel 1:6, Daniel 1:7; Genesis 41:45.
In the room of Josiah his father - Not “in the room of Jehoahaz his brother;” the phrase is intended to mark the fact, that Neco did not acknowedge that Jehoahaz had ever been king.
Turned his name to Jehoiakim - Compare 2 Kings 23:30 and 2 Kings 24:17. It seems likely, from their purely Jewish character, that the new names of the Jewish kings, though formally imposed by the suzerain, were selected by the individuals themselves. The change now made consisted merely in the substitution of יהוה yehovâh for אל 'êl (“God, Yahweh, will set up”). Both names alike refer to the promise which God made to David 2 Samuel 7:12 and imply a hope that, notwithstanding the threats of the prophets, the seed of David would still be allowed to remain upon the throne.
Thus the prophet stood firmly for the sound principles of right living so clearly outlined in the book of the law. But the conditions prevailing in the land of Judah were such that only by the most decided measures could a change for the better be brought about; therefore he labored most earnestly in behalf of the impenitent. “Break up your fallow ground,” he pleaded, “and sow not among thorns.” “O Jerusalem, wash thine heart from wickedness, that thou mayest be saved.” Jeremiah 4:3, 14. PK 412.1
But by the great mass of the people the call to repentance and reformation was unheeded. Since the death of good King Josiah, those who ruled the nation had been proving untrue to their trust and had been leading many astray. Jehoahaz, deposed by the interference of the king of Egypt, had been followed by Jehoiakim, an older son of Josiah. From the beginning of Jehoiakim's reign, Jeremiah had little hope of saving his beloved land from destruction and the people from captivity. Yet he was not permitted to remain silent while utter ruin threatened the kingdom. Those who had remained loyal to God must be encouraged to persevere in rightdoing, and sinners must, if possible, be induced to turn from iniquity. PK 412.2
The crisis demanded a public and far-reaching effort. Jeremiah was commanded by the Lord to stand in the court of the temple and speak to all the people of Judah who might pass in and out. From the messages given him he must diminish not a word, that sinners in Zion might have the fullest possible opportunity to hearken and to turn from their evil ways. PK 412.3Read in context »