1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Jehoiakim

JEHOIAKIM (Heb. “Yah[weh] raiseth up”), in the Bible, son of Josiah (q.v.) and king of Judah (2 Kings xxiii. 34-xxiv. 6). On the defeat of Josiah at Megiddo his younger brother Jehoahaz (or Shallum) was chosen by the Judaeans, but the Egyptian conquerer Necho summoned him to his headquarters at Riblah (south of Hamath on the Orontes) and removed him to Egypt, appointing in his stead Eliakim, whose name (“El [God] raiseth up”) was changed to its better-known synonym, Jehoiakim. For a time Jehoiakim remained under the protection of Necho and paid heavy tribute; but with the rise of the new Chaldean Empire under Nebuchadrezzar II., and the overthrow of Egypt at the battle of Carchemish (605 B.C.) a vital change occurred. After three years of allegiance the king revolted. Invasions followed by Chaldeans, Syrians, Moabites and Ammonites, perhaps the advance troops despatched by the Babylonian king; the power of Egypt was broken and the whole land came into the hands of Nebuchadrezzar. It was at the close of Jehoiakim’s reign, apparently just before his death, that the enemy appeared at the gates of Jerusalem, and although he himself “slept with his fathers” his young son was destined to see the first captivity of the land of Judah (597 B.C.). (See Jehoiachin.)

Which “three years” (2 Kings xxiv. 1) are intended is disputed; it is uncertain whether Judah suffered in 605 B.C. (Berossus in Jos. c. Ap. i. 19) or was left unharmed (Jos. Ant. x. 6. 1); perhaps Nebuchadrezzar made his first inroad against Judah in 602 B.C. because of its intrigue with Egypt (H. Winckler, Keilinschrift. u. d. alte Test., pp. 107 seq.), and the three years of allegiance extends to 599. The chronicler’s tradition (2 Chron. xxxvi. 5-8) speaks of Jehoiakim’s captivity, apparently confusing him with Jehoiachin. The Septuagint, however, still preserves there the record of his peaceful death, in agreement with the earlier source in 2 Kings, but against the prophecy of Jeremiah (xxii. 18 seq., xxxvi. 30), which is accepted by Jos. Ant. x. 6. 3. The different traditions can scarcely be reconciled. Nothing certain is known of the marauding bands sent against Jehoiakim; for Syrians (Aram) one would expect Edomites (Edom), but see Jer. xxxv. 11; some recensions of the Septuagint even include the “Samaritans”! (For further references to this reign see especially Jeremiah; see also Jews: History, § 17.)  (S. A. C.)