web analytics
October 20, 2014 / 26 Tishri, 5775
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post
Meir Panim with Soldiers 5774 Roundup: Year of Relief and Service for Israel’s Needy

Meir Panim implements programs that serve Israel’s neediest populations with respect and dignity. Meir Panim also coordinated care packages for families in the South during the Gaza War.



The Painful Path To Destruction

The period that preceded the destruction of the first Jerusalem Temple was one of the most tumultuous in our nation’s history. It was a time of quick, decisive change, as the nation shifted from a period of morass and idol worship under the wicked Menasheh to an era of widespread repentance inspired by his grandson Yoshiyahu.

However, even the great prophet Yirmiyahu could not keep the people and their leaders on the proper path. Just a few years after Yoshiyahu’s untimely death, the embattled prophet would watch helplessly as the magnificent Temple burned at the hands of Nevuchadnezzar’s Babylonian forces.

Of the six rulers who reigned following Menasheh’s death, the greatest was his grandson Yoshiyahu, son of Amoz. Like his great-grandfather Chizkiyahu, Yoshiyahu made tremendous strides in uprooting pagan behavior in Judah, almost managing to undo Menasheh’s destructive inroads.

Toward the end of Yoshiyahu’s reign, the Babylonians emerged as the world’s new power. For centuries an ongoing struggle had raged in the Fertile Crescent between the Assyrians in the north and the Babylonians in the south. The latter finally gained the upper hand, with some assistance from the Medes, who sacked and looted the once powerful Assyrian city of Nineveh.

At the same time, there was a rising force to the south of Judah: the Twenty-sixth Egyptian Dynasty. Earlier, the Assyrians had formed an alliance with Egypt in the hope of strengthening their position against invading Babylonian and Mede armies. In the year 445 BCE, Pharaoh Necho II marched a large Egyptian force through Israel in an attempt to reach Assyria and assist his ally in battle. Yoshiyahu tried to stop him but was killed.

The Egyptians arrived at Carchemish in northwest Syria where the Assyrians joined them. The two armies then marched on the Babylonian city Harran. Nevuchadnezzar, son of king Nabopolassar, led the Babylonians and achieved a decisive victory. As the Egyptian army returned home, Necho marched his armies back through Judah, setting up a puppet king, Yehoyakim, who had displayed loyalty to Egypt. Necho then imposed a heavy tax on Judah, which the Jewish vassal king passed on to the people.

In 442 BCE Nevuchadnezzar, now the Babylonian king, campaigned throughout most of Philistia and Judah, destroying every city in his path. Despite the Babylonian triumph at Carchemish, Yehoyakim continued to remain in alliance with Egypt. That proved to be a costly error. Despite several pleas for help, the Egyptians never responded. Yehoyakim surrendered to Babylon in 441 BCE, sparing Jerusalem for the time being.

This submission would prove short lived. Two years later Nevuchadnezzar attacked Egypt proper. During this campaign both sides incurred heavy losses. Nevuchadnezzar retreated empty-handed. Encouraged by this turn of events, Yehoyakim rebelled, again joining with the Egyptians.

In response to Yehoyakim’s defiance, Nevudachdnezzar marched on Jerusalem in Yehoyakim’s fourth year.

 

[He took with him] some of the vessels of the house of God…[and] certain of the children of Israel, and of the royal seed, and of the nobles, youths in whom was no blemish, but fair to look on, and skilful in all wisdom, and skilful in knowledge, and discerning in thought, and such as had ability to stand in the king’s palace; and that he should teach them the learning and the tongue of the Chaldeans. [Daniel 1:1-4]

 

These youths would later become some of the most prominent advisers to Babylonian kings and leaders of Babylonian Jewry. The best known include Daniel, Chananiah, Mishael, and Azariah.

Seven years later, the Babylonians returned to the area and again marched on Jerusalem. Yehoyakim died shortly thereafter. His eighteen-year-old son Yechanya was raised to the throne in his place. Three months later Yechanya wisely surrendered to Nevuchadnezzar, thus temporarily saving Judah from destruction. He was exiled together with members of the royal family, other heads of state, the Judean military, and many artisans.

About the Author: Rabbi Naphtali Hoff is an executive coach and president of Impactful Coaching & Consulting (www.ImpactfulCoaching.com). He can be reached at President@ImpactfulCoaching.com.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

One Response to “The Painful Path To Destruction”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Ismail Haniyeh, highest ranking Hamas member in Gaza, pictured Nov. 25, 2012.
Hamas Leader’s Daughter Treated in Israeli Hospital; #BDSFail
Latest Indepth Stories
Arab children look at pictures of two of a kind - Arafat and Barghouti.

{Originally posted on author’s site, FirstOne Through} The town of Sayreville, New Jersey is in mourning. The superintendent of the town shut the high school’s football program for the rest of the year due to reports of sexual assaults made by upper classmen of the football team against the junior classmen. According to initial reports, […]

Jordan's King Abdullah

The Arab Spring has challenged Jordan with the task of gradual reform with regard to its monarchy.

The Kinneret/Sea of Galilee

Israel offered Syria the entire Golan Heights, only to find that the Syrians were demanding MORE!

Bibeye doctor

Israeli hasbara too can be described at best as pathetic, at worst non existent.

A ‘good news’ story from the Nepal avalanche disaster to warm your heart. Take out your Kleenex.

Journalists see the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as morality play: Israel=evil; Palestine=innocent

Warsaw Ghetto: At its height, the Nazis walled in some 500,000 Jews within the1.3 square mile area.

While police officers face dangers every day on the job, Jews also face danger in their daily lives.

Carter developed a fondness for Arafat believing “they were both ordained to be peacemakers by God”

If Hamas is ISIS, the world asks, why didn’t Israel destroy it given justification and opportunity?

That key is the disarming of Hamas and the demilitarization of Gaza – as the U.S., EU, and others agreed to in principle at the end of Operation Protective Edge.

We have no doubt there are those who deeply desire to present themselves as being of a gender that is not consistent with their anatomy, and we take no joy in the pain and embarrassment they suffer.

Does it not seem ironic that just on the day all of Israel is joyously celebrating another year of having concluded the public reading of the entire Pentateuch, we must mournfully and even tearfully commemorate the death of the individual who imparted to us God’s Torah in the first place?

Why is “Palestine” worthier of “statehood recognition” than ISIS, another terrorist gang seeking it?

More Articles from Rabbi Naphtali Hoff

Of all the Jewish holidays, I would say Sukkos is far and away the least appreciated.

Front-Page-082914

While there is no formula that will work for everyone, there are some strategies that if followed carefully and consistently can help our children – and us – gain the most from the upcoming school year.

“If Israel’s offering of land, economic improvements, and even autonomy will not help, what will?”

For breaking his oath of allegiance, Tzidkiyahu was forced to witness the death of his sons before he himself was blinded and exiled to Babylon.

It’s as if Hamas has pulled a page out of Pharaoh’s handbook.

As a guide to others and a foremost member of the Great Assembly, Ezra provided strong leadership and a moral conscience to a people that had lost its way.

For our children, technology is not just another activity that is forbidden on Shabbos.

I can testify from experience, however, that despite such experience and/or training, top-tier leaders often begin their tasks unprepared for the rigors of their new position, particularly when the experience and training focused on instructional leadership (such as classroom observation and curriculum) rather than organizational stewardship and management.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/front-page/the-painful-path-to-destruction/2014/07/30/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: