Nebuchadnezzar - This man, so famous in the writings of the prophets, was son of Nabopolassar. He was sent by his father against the rulers of several provinces that had revolted; and he took Carchemish, and all that belonged to the Egyptians, from the Euphrates to the Nile. Jehoiakim, who was tributary to Nechoh king of Egypt, he attacked and reduced; and obliged to become tributary to Babylon. At the end of three years he revolted; and then a mixed army, of Chaldeans, Syrians, Moabites, and Ammonites, was sent against him, who ravaged the country, and took three thousand and twenty-three prisoners, whom they brought to Babylon, Jeremiah 52:28.
Nebuchadnezzar - or Nebuchadrezzar, which is closer to the original, Nabu-kudurri-uzur. This name, like most Babylonian names, is made up of three elements, Nebo, the well-known god Isaiah 46:1, kudur, of doubtful signification (perhaps “crown” perhaps “landmark”), and uzur “protects.” Nebuchadnezzar, the son of Nabopolassar, and second monarch of the Babylonian empire, ascended the throne, 604 B.C., and reigned 43 years, dying 561 B.C. He married Amuhia (or Amyitis), daughter of Cyaxares, king of the Medes, and was the most celebrated of all the Babylonian sovereigns. No other pagan king occupies so much space in Scripture. He was not actual king at this time, but only Crown Prince and leader of the army under his father. As he would be surrounded with all the state and magnficence of a monarch, the Jews would naturally look upon him as actual king.
Came up - Nebuchadnezzar began his campaign by attacking and defeating Neco‘s Egyptians at Carchemish Jeremiah 46:2. He then pressed forward toward the south, overran Syria, Phoenicia, and Judaea, took Jerusalem, and carried off a portion of the inhabitants as prisoners Daniel 1:1-4: after which he proceeded southward, and had reached the borders of Egypt when he was suddenly recalled to Babylon by the death of his father.
Three years - Probably from 605 B.C. to 602 B.C. Jehoiakim rebelled because he knew Nebuchadnezzar to be engaged in important wars in some other part of Asia.
The first years of Jehoiakim's reign were filled with warnings of approaching doom. The word of the Lord spoken by the prophets was about to be fulfilled. The Assyrian power to the northward, long supreme, was no longer to rule the nations. Egypt on the south, in whose power the king of Judah was vainly placing his trust, was soon to receive a decided check. All unexpectedly a new world power, the Babylonian Empire, was rising to the eastward and swiftly overshadowing all other nations. PK 422.1
Within a few short years the king of Babylon was to be used as the instrument of God's wrath upon impenitent Judah. Again and again Jerusalem was to be invested and entered by the besieging armies of Nebuchadnezzar. Company after company—at first a few only, but later on thousands and tens of thousands—were to be taken captive to the land of Shinar, there to dwell in enforced exile. Jehoiakim, Jehoiachin, Zedekiah—all these Jewish kings were in turn to become vassals of the Babylonian ruler, and all in turn were to rebel. Severer and yet more severe chastisements were to be inflicted upon the rebellious nation, until at last the entire land was to become a desolation, Jerusalem was to be laid waste and burned with fire, the temple that Solomon had built was to be destroyed, and the kingdom of Judah was to fall, never again to occupy its former position among the nations of earth. PK 422.2Read in context »
Taking another roll, Jeremiah gave it to Baruch, “who wrote therein from the mouth of Jeremiah all the words of the book which Jehoiakim king of Judah had burned in the fire: and there were added besides unto them many like words.” Verses 28, 32. The wrath of man had sought to prevent the labors of the prophet of God; but the very means by which Jehoiakim had endeavored to limit the influence of the servant of Jehovah, gave further opportunity for making plain the divine requirements. PK 437.1
The spirit of opposition to reproof, that led to the persecution and imprisonment of Jeremiah, exists today. Many refuse to heed repeated warnings, preferring rather to listen to false teachers who flatter their vanity and overlook their evil-doing. In the day of trouble such will have no sure refuge, no help from heaven. God's chosen servants should meet with courage and patience the trials and sufferings that befall them through reproach, neglect, and misrepresentation. They should continue to discharge faithfully the work God has given them to do, ever remembering that the prophets of old and the Saviour of mankind and His apostles also endured abuse and persecution for the Word's sake. PK 437.2
It was God's purpose that Jehoiakim should heed the counsels of Jeremiah and thus win favor in the eyes of Nebuchadnezzar and save himself much sorrow. The youthful king had sworn allegiance to the Babylonian ruler, and had he remained true to his promise he would have commanded the respect of the heathen, and this would have led to precious opportunities for the conversion of souls. PK 437.3Read in context »