This Series is all about the Holy Bible, God and Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior. This is Chapter 7 of #13. No Greater Joy Ministries has the DVD set to this Animated Biblical Series: http://nogreaterjoy.org/shop/good-and-evil-the-animated-series-dvd
The struggle between Judah and Babylon was long and ultimately disastrous for Judah. During the reign of King Jehoiakim (609—597 BC), “Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came up, and Jehoiakim became his servant for three years” (2 Kings 24:1). The beginning of Jehoiakim’s servitude was 605 BC. Three years later, Judah’s king rebelled against Babylon, refusing to pay the tribute. Nebuchadnezzar quelled the rebellion and took prisoners back to Babylon—Daniel and his three friends among them. After Jehoiakim’s death in 597 BC, his 18-year-old son, Jehoiachin, became king, reigning for three months and doing evil in God’s sight (verses 8–9).
During Jehoiachin’s reign, in 597 BC, King Nebuchadnezzar besieged the city of Jerusalem. Jehoiachin gave himself up, and we have the following report: “The king of Babylon took him prisoner in the eighth year of his reign and carried off all the treasures of the house of the LORD and the treasures of the king’s house, and cut in pieces all the vessels of gold in the temple of the LORD, which Solomon king of Israel had made, as the LORD had foretold. He carried away all Jerusalem and all the officials and all the mighty men of valor, 10,000 captives, and all the craftsmen and the smiths. None remained, except the poorest people of the land” (2 Kings 24:11–14). This second deportation of Jews to Babylon included the priest Ezekiel, who later wrote the book that bears his name.
The nation of Judah continued to exist under Babylonian rule with King Zedekiah installed in Jerusalem as a puppet king. But Zedekiah, too, rebelled, and “Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came with all his army against Jerusalem and laid siege to it. And they built siegeworks all around it. So the city was besieged till the eleventh year of King Zedekiah” (2 Kings 25:1–2).
The city fell in 586 BC: “[Nebuchadnezzar] burned the house of the LORD and the king’s house and all the houses of Jerusalem; every great house he burned down. And all the army of the Chaldeans, who were with the captain of the guard, broke down the walls around Jerusalem. And the rest of the people who were left in the city and the deserters who had deserted to the king of Babylon, together with the rest of the multitude, Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard carried into exile. (2 Kings 25:9–12).
After the destruction of Jerusalem, Gedaliah was placed in charge as a governor in Judah (2 Kings 25:22). He was killed two months after his appointment (seven months after the fall of Jerusalem, cp. verses 8 and 25), causing many of the remaining Jews to flee to Egypt in fear of their lives (verse 26). This group of refugees included the prophet Jeremiah, who was forced against his will to go to Egypt.
The book of 2 Kings ends with King Jehoiachin being released from prison in Babylon and given freedom to dine at the king’s table in Babylon. Though originally a king, Jehoiachin became a foreign prisoner of war and was thankful to be released from prison. These dire events had all been predicted by God’s prophets. The Jews’ exile in Babylon lasted for 70 years, as Jeremiah predicted (Jeremiah 25:12). Then the Jews were allowed to return to Jerusalem and start rebuilding. That period of history is described in the books of Ezra and Nehemiah.
The life of Daniel can be read in his own writings in the book of Daniel and in Ezekiel 14:14, 20; 28:3; and Mark 13:14. There are some striking similarities between the life of Daniel and that of Jacob’s son Joseph. Both of them prospered in foreign lands after interpreting dreams for their rulers, and both were elevated to high office as a result of their faithfulness to God.
Daniel’s integrity as a man of God gained him favor with the secular world, yet he refused to compromise his faith in God. Even under the intimidation of kings and rulers, Daniel remained steadfast in his commitment to God. Daniel also teaches us that, no matter who we are dealing with, no matter what their status is, we are to treat them with compassion. See how concerned he is when delivering the interpretation to Nebuchadnezzar’s second dream (Daniel 4:19). As Christians, we are called to obey the rulers and authorities that God has put in place, treating them with respect and compassion; however, as we see from Daniel’s example, obeying God’s law must always take precedence over obeying men.
As a result of his devotion, Daniel not only found favor with those around him, but above all he found favor with God and was held in high esteem by Him (Daniel 9:20-23). Notice also in those verses what the angel Gabriel told Daniel about how swiftly the answer to his prayer was dispatched. This shows us how ready the Lord is to hear the prayers of His people.