Jehoiachin: The Captive King
Issue No. 223
Jehoiachin was the King of Judah in Jerusalem for just three months before being taken captive to Babylon in 597 B.C. He was just 18 years old at the time.
His story is told in 2 Kings 24:8-16, and the final story of his elevation above the other captive kings in Babylon is told in 2 Kings 25:27-30.
Jehoiachin’s story is also recorded in 2 Chron. 36:9, 10. In this account Jehoiachin is said to be just 8 years old when he began to rule, rather than 18. However, it is likely that his father, Jehoiakim, had made him a co-regent for the previous 10 years. Then when Nebuchadnezzar took Jehoiakim in chains to Babylon, his son Jehoiachin came to the throne for just three months, after which time he, too, was taken to Babylon as a captive.
To understand the prophetic significance of this story of Jehoiachin and how it is relevant to us today, we have to begin many centuries before that king was even born.
Canaan’s Time Debt
We read in Genesis 12 that God called Abraham and told him to go to Canaan. He accepted the call of God and left Ur of the Chaldees by faith, not really knowing where he was going or what would be required of him.
It is doubtful that he understood the details of the divine law that were later revealed through Moses. Even so, he was responsible to observe the laws of God. If he had been a farmer, owning land, and sowing seed each year, he would have been responsible to keep the Sabbath land-rest years and Jubilees. But he owned no land, and so those laws were not particularly relevant to him.
However, the Canaanites naturally assumed authority over Abraham, for he was living as a guest in their land. The Canaanites did not believe or understand the calling upon Abraham’s life, for if they had truly believed it, they would have appointed him as the King of Canaan. But they did not do this. In assuming authority over Abraham, they became liable for him as well, for authority and responsibility always go in equal measures.
The Canaanites and Philistines did farm the land, especially in the Plain of Sharon. They did not know that they had suddenly become liable before the divine law to keep the Sabbath rest-years and Jubilees. When they did not keep them, these years became a “debt” to them.
And so, from the time that Abraham moved to Canaan and the year that the Birthright holder (Joseph) was sold by his brothers into Egypt, there were 38 rest-years and Jubilees that the Canaanites did not observe. They owed God 38 years as a sin-debt.
Their liability ended when Joseph left Canaan and went to Egypt, simply because the Birthright was Joseph’s (1 Chron. 5:1, 2).
Egypt’s Time Debt
The year Joseph went to Egypt, the Egyptians then became liable before God to observe the divine law, but they certainly did not believe or understand their liability. By the time of the Exodus, Egypt had accumulated a time debt of 37 years.
Israel Assumes Liability for Canaan’s Debt
God brought Israel to the border of Canaan at the time of the 50th Jubilee from Adam (the year 2,450 from Adam, 50 x 49 years). It was time to enter at the Jubilee and to bring judgment upon Canaan to “collect” on its debt.
Israel then refused to enter the land (Num. 13, 14), and by this refusal, Israel assumed Canaan’s time debt. It is a principle of law that a judge (in this case, Israel) does not have the right to forgive sin or debt. If the judge fails to execute the law, the judge himself assumes the liability for the sin. Or, it may be the case that a judge wants to be merciful to the sinner, in which case he pays the penalty himself. Either way, though, the penalty of the law must be paid by someone—either the sinner or the judge.
In this case, Israel was called to bring judgment upon Canaan. In their refusal to do so at that time, they assumed the debt of Canaan. Hence, Israel assumed Canaan’s 38-year debt and had to remain in the wilderness for the next 38 years.
The negative side to this was the fact that Israel came under divine judgment. The positive side to this was the fact that Israel acted as an intercessor paying the debt for the sins of another. Israel was a priestly nation, or a kingdom of priests, and intercession is one of the primary functions of the priesthood.
Israel Assumes Liability for Egypt’s Debt
Egypt’s time debt to the law was 37 years. Although God did nothing for many years to foreclose upon Egypt for this particular debt, this does not mean God had forgotten about it or was doing nothing about it. It is not uncommon for God to give long periods of grace even after giving nations proper warning.
Centuries later, Solomon came to the throne. One of the first things he did was to marry the daughter of Pharaoh (1 Kings 3:1 and 7:8). When a man marries, he assumes the debts of his wife. By this marriage, Solomon assumed Egypt’s time debt of 37 years and ensured that he or one of his descendants would have to pay it at some point.
This was ultimately paid by Jehoiachin toward the end of the Kingdom of Judah and just before the destruction of Jerusalem at the hand of the Babylonians. Jehoiachin was a direct descendant of Solomon. He was imprisoned for 37 years from 597-560 B.C.
When King Nebuchadnezzar died, his son Evil-merodach came to the throne of Babylon. We do not know his motives, but this king brought Jehoiachin out of prison and treated him well for the rest of his life. Jehoiachin had gone into prison at the age of 18 and therefore was released at the age of 55.
The number 18 signifies oppression or bondage. The number 55 is the number of mercy. This number is related to 5, which is the number of grace. And so Jehoiachin was given mercy at the age of 55, after paying Egypt’s time debt that Solomon had assumed by marrying Pharaoh’s daughter a few centuries earlier.
The Timing of Jehoiachin’s Captivity
The length of Jehoiachin’s dungeon experience was 37 years. It was set by the time Israel was in Egypt from Joseph’s arrival to Israel’s exodus under Moses.
But the timing of Jehoiachin’s captivity was actually set by King Saul 414 years earlier. Jehoiachin was unfortunate enough to become king precisely 414 years after King Saul had consulted the witch of En-dor the night before his death.
Saul himself had died on Judged Time 434 years after Israel had refused to enter Canaan (Num. 13, 14). Judged Time signifies late obedience, and in this case, Israel was 38 years late in obeying God’s command to enter Canaan. Saul paid the price for Israel’s late obedience 434 years later.
But the night before he died, he consulted with the witch of En-dor, because God had refused to speak to him any further. Because he could get no word from God, he was desperate enough to find a witch.
Civil and religious leaders have little knowledge that their actions always have consequences. They themselves do not always end up paying the penalty, for often these consequences are long-term. In this case, Saul’s action put the monarchy on Cursed Time (414). It meant that the kings would be given a grace period and would be tested in 414 years to see if they had truly repented.
Saul died 2884 years from Adam, and 414 years later came to the year 3298, which we know as 597 B.C., the year of Jehoiachin’s captivity. All of these years are proven meticulously in my book, Secrets of Time.
And so, to summarize, Egypt incurred the time debt of 37 years. Solomon assumed that debt by marrying Pharaoh’s daughter. Saul determined when the sentence would begin by consulting the witch of En-dor and putting the monarchy on Cursed Time. And finally, Jehoiachin paid the debt in a Babylonian dungeon.
Jehoiachin Released from Prison
We are told the story of Jehoiachin’s release in 2 Kings 25:27-30. It reads,
27 Now it came about in the thirty-seventh year of the exile of Jehoiachin king of Judah, in the twelfth month, on the twenty-seventh day of the month, that Evil-merodach king of Babylon, in the year that he became king, released Jehoiachin king of Judah from prison; 28 and he spoke kindly to him and set his throne above the throne of the kings who were with him in Babylon. 29 And Jehoiachin changed his prison clothes, and had his meals in the king’s presence regularly all the days of his life; 30 and for his allowance, a regular allowance was given him by the king, a portion for each day, all the days of his life.
Certainly, this must be an important event, for it is precisely dated not only the year but also the month and precise day.
Those who pay debts for others are redeemers and intercessors. This is a good example of how judgment for sin is both positive and negative. To spend 37 years in a dungeon was certain a negative experience to him. But the divine judgments are remedial, because they remove the debt to the law and bring ultimate forgiveness and mercy.
The Number 37
Ed Vallowe, in his book, Biblical Mathematics, says that the number 37 means “The Word of God.” Evidence shows that 37 has more to do with us becoming the Living Word. Jesus was the first to demonstrate this, but His Body is also becoming the Word made flesh through the power of the feast of Tabernacles.
Thus, we find Bethlehem mentioned 37 times in the New Testament—because Jesus was the Word made flesh. Caleb’s name also appears 37 times in the Old Testament. Caleb is a type of Christ, but also a type of overcomer who receives an inheritance in the Kingdom.
The Hebrew word laqat, “to glean,” appears 37 times as well. I learned many years ago that the gleanings in the law represented Christ and the overcomers, who were given to feed the poor in the land.
Vallowe also points out that “circumcise” (mul) and uncircumcised (arel) each appears 37 times in the Old Testament. This also speaks of heart circumcision which the overcomers will receive in its full outworking on the Day of Atonement just prior to the fulfillment of the feast of Tabernacles.
Thus, we find that the 37th psalm, which is known today as the 38th psalm, was read on the Day of Atonement. The numbering of the psalms is a bit confusing, but the discrepancy is because Psalms 9 and 10 are two halves of the same psalm. Thus, to see the 37th psalm as originally arranged in Scripture, one must read Psalm 38. If you have a Septuagint Greek translation of the Old Testament, you will see the psalms numbered as they were originally intended.
The point is that the 37th Psalm was associated with the Day of Atonement, the day of repentance for the Church and Jubilee for the overcomers. This day was prefigured in the story of Jacob in Genesis 32, where he wrestled with the angel and received his new name, Israel. This was an early prophetic type of the Jubilee and the new name written upon our foreheads.
So it was no coincidence that Jehoiachin was released after 37 years in prison. By this time no doubt he had repented, probably through the ministry of Daniel. It would not surprise me if Daniel often visited him and ministered to him. Daniel was a few years older and had been taken to Babylon even before Jehoiachin.
The Long-Term Prophecy
Jehoiachin’s prison time was 37 years, but the nation itself was sentenced to 70 years in Babylon—a year for every rest-year and Jubilee that they had refused to observe. We read this in 2 Chron. 36:20 and 21,
20 And those who had escaped from the sword he carried away to Babylon; and they were servants to him and to his sons until the rule of the kingdom of Persia, 21 to fulfill the word of the Lord by the mouth of Jeremiah, until the land had enjoyed its sabbaths. All the days of its desolation it kept sabbath until the seventy years were complete.
I showed in my book, Secrets of Time, that part of Israel’s land laws included Sabbaths, where they were to give the land a rest every seventh year. After seven rest years, they were to observe an extra year, the Jubilee, in the 50th year.
There is not evidence that they actually kept these Sabbaths, at least not prior to their Babylonian captivity. After the Babylonian captivity, they observed the rest-years but did not observe the Jubilees. Nehemiah 8:17 tells us that in addition to the Sabbaths, they had not observed the feast of Tabernacles since the days of Joshua.
They were not obligated to observe land-rest years while in the wilderness, but once they crossed the border into Canaan and began to eat the fruit of the land, they were required to keep the Sabbaths. The fact that they did not do so is evidenced by 2 Samuel 24, where God brought Israel into judgment.
We find that in the 38th year of David, Israel owed God a time-debt of 70 rest-years and Jubilees which they had not kept since their entry into Canaan. God then foreclosed upon them, and 70,000 men lost their lives (2 Sam. 24:15). That was 1,000 for every rest-year that they owed.
Understanding timing is the key to knowing why God was suddenly “angry” with Israel (2 Sam. 24:1) and why He moved David to number Israel. It was not a sin to number the people, for Moses did it twice. But Moses had followed the law and had collected the half-shekel from each person numbered to protect them against the plague (Ex. 30:12). Israel was protected by that half-shekel until such time as they would take another census. If David had collected the half-shekel from each Israelite, they would have been protected. But God knew that David was not aware of this law, and that his numbering the people would remove the divine protection from Israel, allowing God to judge them by the “plague.”
This was how God worked to bring judgment upon Israel for its violation of the land-rest law. Thus, in the 38th year of David the 70-year time debt was paid.
However, Israel again did not observe its land-rest laws. By the time of the Babylonian captivity, the people owed God another 70 years. This, then, became the measure of Israel’s time in their Babylonian captivity before God allowed them to return to the land.
Jehoiachin’s 37-years in prison may have seemed long to him, but it was actually a short-term prophetic cycle. It was the first 37 years out of 70 such cycles. Instead of a year for a day, it was 37 years per “year” of captivity.
In other words, it was 37 x 70 years = 2,590 years. The time began in 597 B.C., at which time all of the holy vessels of the temple were taken to Babylon (2 Chron. 36:10).
The end of this long-term Babylonian captivity of 2,590 years came to the year 1994 A.D. By the Hebrew calendar, this year began in September of 1993.
This roughly coincided with the end of the 40 Jubilees of the Pentecostal Age (and the reign of “Saul”). Saul “died” on Pentecost, May 30, 1993. Six months later we were led to begin the Jubilee Prayer Campaign to be released from Mystery Babylon.
This was timed according to the long-term prophetic “release” of King Jehoiachin after 70 cycles of 37 years under the Babylonian succession of beast-empires. His prophetic “release” began at this time, although it is now clear that this too would take some time to be completed.
Today we are seeing some indication that the precise date of Jehoiachin’s release may be pertinent to the year 2007. This year, the 27th day of the 12th month on the Hebrew calendar falls on March 17, 2007. We will be watching for any indications that might confirm this possible fulfillment. Such an event may or may not be reported in the newspapers.
And for those of you who are on a Jones-watch to find some cause by which you may stone me, please keep in mind that I am not prophesying here. I am only sharing my thoughts about a certain date that I am watching. I have no expectation of the “rapture” on that date, nor am I making any attempt to date the second coming of Christ.
The Year 1994
February 1994 was 80 years after the President Wilson signed the Federal Reserve Act, which put America and much of the world into economic bondage to Mystery Babylon.
1914 itself was an important year, because it was 2,520 years after the original Babylonian Empire was established in 607 B.C. And so, after “seven times” (7 x 360 years – 2,520 years), we find Mystery Babylon being established as heir to the original Babylonian Empire.
The original Babylonian Empire lasted precisely 70 years from 607 – 537 B.C. when Darius the Mede took the city in Daniel 5:31. If we project that same pattern to modern Mystery Babylon, the 70-year period would run from 1914 – 1984. Many years ago I thought we could see the fall of Mystery Babylon in the year of George Orwell’s famous date of 1984, which is the title of his book.
But in 1994 I learned that there were other factors previously unknown. The revelation of the ten-year Hezekiah Factor was the most crucial unknown factor until it was revealed in October 1994. Only then did I begin to realize that our Jubilee Prayer Campaign in late 1993, along with its “Part 2” in late January of 1994 was ten years after Babylon’s 70 years were completed.
By the Hezekiah Factor, which I wrote about in Secrets of Time, Babylon received an extra ten years to 1994. Only then were we led to go before the Divine Court in the Jubilee Prayer Campaign to petition for the overthrow of Mystery Babylon.
This turned out to be a 7-year prayer campaign in itself, ending finally on November 29, 2000. The next day, Nov. 30, was precisely seven years and six months after the death of “Saul” on May 30, 1993, according to the biblical pattern of transition from Saul to David (2 Sam. 5:5).
The Jehoiachin Factor
Understanding the story of Jehoiachin is important because he is a type of overcomer at the age of 55, the biblical number for mercy. He was given authority over the other kings of the earth. He was given new garments in exchange for his prison garments, which speaks of the garments of transfiguration. And he was given a daily ration of food—the hidden manna, the spirit of revelation, as promised in Rev. 2:17. This reveals God’s underlying purpose and plan for us today.