From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia - View original article

Jump to: navigation, search
For other people of the same name, see Joachim (given name).
Jehoiakim from Guillaume Rouillé's Promptuarii Iconum Insigniorum

Jehoiakim (pronounced /ɨˈhɔɪ.əkɪm/; Hebrew יְהוֹיָקִים "he whom Jehovah has set up", also sometimes spelled Jehoikim (Greek: Ιωακιμ; Latin: Joakim), c. 635-597 BC, was a king of Judah. He was the second son of king Josiah by Zebidah, the daughter of Pedaiah of Rumah.[1] His birth name was Eliakim (אֶלְיָקִים Greek: Ελιακιμ; Latin: Eliakim).

On Josiah's death, Jehoiakim's younger brother Jehoahaz (or Shallum) was proclaimed king, but after three months pharaoh Necho II deposed him and replaced him with the elder son, Eliakim,[2] who adopted the name Jehoiakim and became king at the age of twenty-five.

Jehoiakim reigned for eleven years to 598 BC[3] and was succeeded by his son Jeconiah, (also known as Jehoiachin), who reigned for only three months.[4] Jehoahaz died in exile in Egypt.[5]


Jehoiakim was appointed king by Necho II, King of Egypt, in 608 BC, upon the latter’s return from the battle in Haran, three months after he had killed King Josiah at Megiddo.[6] Necho deposed Jeoiakim's younger brother Jehoahaz after a reign of only three months and took him to Egypt, where he died. Jehoiakim ruled originally as a vassal of the Egyptians, paying a heavy tribute. To raise the money he "taxed the land and exacted the silver and gold from the people of the land according to their assessments."

However, after the Egyptians were defeated by the Babylonians at Carchemish in 605 BC, Nebuchadnezzar II then besieged Jerusalem. So, in his 3rd year, Jehoiakim changed allegiances to avoid the destruction of Jerusalem. He paid tribute from the treasury in Jerusalem, some temple artifacts, and some of the royal family and nobility as hostages. "Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, invaded the land and Jehoiakim became his vassal for three years."[6]

The subsequent failure of the Babylonian invasion into Egypt undermined the Babylonian control of the area, and after three years, Jehoiakim switched allegiance back to the Egyptians and ceased paying the tribute to Babylon.[6] In 599 BC, Nebuchadnezzar II invaded Judah and again laid siege to Jerusalem. In 598 BC, Jehoiakim died [3] and his body was thrown out of the walls.[7] He was succeeded by his son Jeconiah (also known as Jehoiachin). Jerusalem fell within three months.[4] Jeconiah was deposed by Nebuchadnezzar, who installed Zedekiah, Jehoiakim's younger brother, in his place. Jeconiah, his household, and many of the elite and craftsmen of Judah were exiled to Babylon.[8] while Zedekiah was compelled to pay tribute, and continued to be king of the devastated kingdom.

According to the Babylonian Chronicles,[9] Jerusalem eventually fell on 2 Adar (March 16) 597 BC. The Chronicles state:

The seventh year (of Nebuchadnezzar-599 BC.) in the month Chislev (Nov/Dec) the king of Babylon assembled his army, and after he had invaded the land of Hatti (Syria/Palestine) he laid siege to the city of Judah. On the second day of the month of Adar (16 March) he conquered the city and took the king (Jeconiah) prisoner. He installed in his place a king (Zedekiah) of his own choice, and after he had received rich tribute, he sent (them) forth to Babylon.[10]


Jehoiakim is remembered for burning the manuscript of one of the prophecies of Jeremiah.[11] Jeremiah had criticised the king's policies, insisting on repentance and strict adherence to the law. Another prophet, Uriah ben Shemaiah, proclaimed a similar message and was executed on the orders of the king. Jeremiah was spared from this fate, perhaps because he was well-connected.[12]

Regnal titles
Preceded by
King of Judah
609–598 BC
Succeeded by


  1. ^ 2 Kings 23:36
  2. ^ 2 Kings 23:34
  3. ^ a b Dan Cohn-Sherbok, The Hebrew Bible, Continuum International, 1996, page x. ISBN 0-304-33703-X
  4. ^ a b King p.23.
  5. ^ King p.20.
  6. ^ a b c Lipshits, Oded. "Jehoiakim Slept with his Fathers…”, The Department of Jewish History, Tel-Aviv University
  7. ^ Jeremiah 22, 19.
  8. ^ King p.21.
  9. ^ Geoffrey Wigoder, The Illustrated Dictionary & Concordance of the Bible Pub. by Sterling Publishing Company, Inc. (2006)
  10. ^ No 24 WA21946, The Babylonian Chronicles, The British Museum
  11. ^ Jeremiah 36:1-32
  12. ^ James Maxwell Miller, John Haralson Hayes, A History of Ancient Israel and Judah (Westminster John Knox Press, 1986) page 404-405.