The king of Babylon took him prisoner in the eighth year of his reign. He carried off all the treasures of the house of the Lord, and the treasures of the king’s house; he cut in pieces all the vessels of gold in the temple of the Lord, which King Solomon of Israel had made, all this as the Lord had foretold. He carried away all Jerusalem, all the officials, all the warriors, ten thousand captives, all the artisans and the smiths; no one remained, except the poorest people of the land. He carried away Jehoiachin to Babylon; the king’s mother, the king’s wives, his officials, and the elite of the land, he took into captivity from Jerusalem to Babylon.
The king of Babylon brought captive to Babylon all the men of valor, seven thousand, the artisans and the smiths, one thousand, all of them strong and fit for war. The king of Babylon made Mattaniah, Jehoiachin’s uncle, king in his place, and changed his name to Zedekiah.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved (http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translations/ ).
Jechoiachin was eighteen years old when he became king of Juda, and he…sinned against the Lord. It was during his reign that the Babylonian army … marched against Jerusalem and…carried away as prisoners the people of Jerusalem —2 Kings 24:8-10,24
Josiah and Jeremiah failed to shake the complacency of Judah and to move the people to reform, as a nation. A warning came in the form of the Babylonian army. But it only brought Judah to her knees, not to her senses. Some people even boasted, saying in effect, “Our city and our Temple are still intact. See, God is protecting us!”
How complacent am I about the moral status of my personal life? Our nation?
Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope…Those ripples build a current that can sweep down the mightiest wall of oppression and resistance. — Robert F. Kennedy
—Excerpted from Mission, by Fr. Mark Link, S.J. ©2000 RCL Enterprises, Inc., Allen TX. For more prayer resources from Fr. Link, please visit www.staygreat.com
O my God, teach me to be generous: to serve you as you deserve to be served; to give without counting the cost; to fight without fear of being wounded; to work without seeking rest; and to spend myself without expecting any reward, but the knowledge that I am doing your holy will.