Jehoahaz (also known as Shallum) was 23 years old when he succeeded his father, Josiah, on the throne. His reign lasted three months. Pharaoh replaced him with his brother, Jehoiakim, because Jehoahaz was not favorable toward Egyptian politics. Jehoahaz was taken to Egypt, and there he died. (See 2 Chron. 36:4, 2 Kings 23:31–34.)
Jehoiakim reigned 609–598 b.c. When Nebuchadnezzar took Jerusalem, Jehoiakim was taken to Babylon along with vessels from the temple. During the time of Jehoahaz and Jehoiakim, Jeremiah warned the people that these kings were leading the nation down a wrong path.
ReadJeremiah 22:1–19. What were some of the issues with Jehoiakim that brought such a stern rebuke from the Lord?
The Lord, speaking through Jeremiah, had very sharp words for this corrupt and covetous ruler. Jehoiakim was an oppressive and greedy king who imposed heavy taxes in Judah (see 2 Kings 23:35) in order to pay the Egyptians. Worse, using forced labor, he had elaborate construction done on his own palace, in defiance of the Torah, which was clear about paying people for their work: “Thou shalt not defraud thy neighbour, neither rob him: the wages of him that is hired shall not abide with thee all night until the morning” (Lev. 19:13). Also, unlike Josiah, his father, Jehoiakim permitted pagan rites to flourish again in Judah.
Jeremiah 22:16 is a powerful text. In the context of comparing the corrupt Jehoiakim to his father, Josiah, the Lord said to him: “He defended the cause of the poor and needy, and so all went well. Is that not what it means to know me?” (NIV). In other words, the true knowledge of God comes from how one treats those who are in need; it comes when we step out of ourselves to benefit those who can really do nothing for us in return. We see here, again, as we see all through the Bible, the Lord’s concern for the poor and the helpless, as well as the obligation we have to help those who cannot help themselves.
Dwell on the idea that helping the “poor and the needy” is how we come to know the Lord. What does that mean?
Adventist Sabbath School Lesson for Adults Q4 2015 «Jeremiah» Lesson 3 – The Last Five Kings of Israel