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a 3 month king...

There are some kings in the Bible whose stories span several chapters, if not entire books. There are good kings, evil kings, rich kings, wise kings, kings who reigned for decades, kings who God called His own. Then, there was Jehoiachin. We see his short story in a few places, covering no more than 9 verses in any given circumstance - in 2 Kings 24:8-17, 25:27-30, 2 Chronicles 36:9-10, and Jeremiah 52:31-34.

It is a story that is easy to skip over, a part of a reading plan to check mark off, but his story is so much more...a story that speaks of a coming King who would be a Savior to all. Jehoiachin was the 19th king of Judah in the 6th century BC (approximately 590), the grandson of the good king Josiah. He ruled only 3 months and 10 days before his capture and dethronement by the King of Babylon (King Nebuchadnezzar II). Tragically, the line of kings from David's family would end with him.

Isaiah 53 is a passage we all know - known in church circles as the "Suffering Servant", a passage that prophesies of a coming Messiah, written in 140 BC (400+ years after the reign of Jehoiachin). We can clearly see the suffering servant as Jesus, because we know Jesus, we know the story. These people did not. They didn't have the New Testament, they hadn't yet experienced the Messiah, they leaned into traditions and stories passed down and relied on the readings of the Old Testament, with word pictures as their source of understanding. They would have certainly known or heard about the kings - even Jehoiachin. So when Isaiah 53 was read, I wonder if they thought of Jehoiachin - the similarities are striking and Jehoiachin would be what theologians would call a Christ-type (a shadow of things to come).

Is 53:1-3 "...a young plant, a man of suffering, people turned away from..."

Jehoiachin was 18 when he became king, 3 months into his reign, he was taken captive. Surely, the people thought he was dead or would die in captivity, therefore, they turned away from him, and someone was put in his place to reign.

Is 53:4-6 "...he bore our sicknesses...carried our pains...was pierced because of our transgressions...we all went astray, all turned to our own way, we are healed by His wounds...and the Lord punished Him for the iniquity of us all."

Whether Jehoiachin surrendered or was taken by the Babylonians, he knew he could not fight against him or everything would be destroyed, after so much had been rebuilt. By being taken captive, there was a hope that something would be preserved and their people would not be annihilated. He was held in captivity for 30+ years - a seemingly harsh punishment but one he must have accepted for there was no other way. What the people saw as being healed by his wounds would be a shadow of things to come, because what the people couldn't yet see was that Jehoiachin was in the lineage of Jesus. Jehoiachin would be a part of a much larger sacrifice to come.

Is 53:12 "...I will give him the many as a portion...He will receive the mighty as spoil..."

After 30+ years in captivity, he found favor in the eyes of the new king of Babylon and was released. A symbol of God's forgiveness and hope that was on the horizon. The King of Babylon not only released him, but gave him a portion (of food) to be eaten at the kings table each day until the day of his death. He also set Jehoiachin's throne above the thrones of the kings who were with him.

At the beginning of his life, he wasn't much - a king that didn't have a long rule, a king who didn't have a lot to his name, a king who would be held captive for years upon years, until the victory from death came, until he was given his rightful place at the kings table. His name means "Yahweh will establish". Yahweh would indeed establish the King of Kings, the Savior of the World, the Prince of Peace in the years to come and all the world would rejoice.

"But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love that He had for us, made us alive with the Messiah even though we were dead in trespasses. You are saved by grace!" Galatians 2:4-5


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