2 Kings 24:6—Did Jehoiakim die in Jerusalem, as this passage suggests, or did he die in Babylon, as 2 Chronicles 36:6 implies?
Problem: The statement in 2 Kings 24:6 indicates that Jehoiakim died a peaceful death at home. However, 2 Chronicles 36:6 describes Jehoiakim’s capture and deportation to Babylon by Nebuchadnezzar, which indicates that Jehoiakim died a terrible death in a foreign land. Which is correct?
Solution: The fact is that neither passage actually identifies where Jehoiakim died. The deportation described in 2 Kings 24:10–16 is not the same event as that described in 2 Chronicles 36:5–8. There is a difference in the severity of the action of Nebuchadnezzar. Whereas 2 Chronicles 36:7 indicates that Nebuchadnezzar took only Jehoiakim and some of the articles of the temple, 2 Kings 24:13 points out that Nebuchadnezzar took all of the treasures of the house of the Lord, that he carried all of Jerusalem into captivity (v. 14), and that only the poorest were left in the land (v. 14). The two accounts clearly report two different events. Consequently, it is quite possible that after the first captivity—when Jehoiakim was taken to Babylon, according to the report in 2 Chronicles 36—Jehoiakim was allowed to return to Jerusalem at a later time and died there. However, it is also possible that Jehoiakim died in captivity. The Scriptures are simply silent on this point.
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This excerpt is from When Critics Ask: A Popular Handbook on Bible Difficulties (Wheaton, Ill.: Victor Books, 1992). © 2014 Norman Geisler and Thomas Howe. All rights reserved. Used by permission. Click here to purchase this book.