2 Kings 24:12; 25:27-30  King Jehoiachin of Judah, along with his mother, his servants, his officials, and his eunuchs surrendered to the king of Babylon. The king of Babylon, in the eighth year of his reign, took Jehoiachin prisoner. [597 BC] … 27 In the thirty-seventh year of the exile of King Jehoiachin of Judah, on the twenty-seventh day of the twelfth month [March 22, 561 BC], King Evil-Merodach [Amel-Marduk] of Babylon [son of Nebuchadnezzar, 562-560 BC], in the first year of his reign, pardoned King Jehoiachin of Judah and released him from prison. 28 He spoke kindly to him and gave him a more prestigious position than the other kings who were with him in Babylon. 29 Jehoiachin took off his prison clothes and ate daily in the king’s presence for the rest of his life. 30 He was given daily provisions by the king for the rest of his life until the day he died.

During his excavation of Babylon in 1899-1917, Robert Koldeway discovered a royal archive room of King Nebuchadnezzar near the Ishtar Gate.  It contained tablets dating to 595-570 BC.  The tablets were translated in the 1930s by the German Assyriologist, Ernst Weidner. Four of these tablets list rations of oil and barley given to various individuals—including the deposed King Jehoiachin—by Nebuchadnezzar from the royal storehouses, dated five years after Jehoiachin was taken captive.

One tablet reads:

“10 (sila of oil) to the king of Judah, Yaukin; 2 1/2 sila (oil) to the offspring of Judah’s king; 4 sila to eight men from Judea.”  Another reads, “1 1/2 sila (oil) for three carpenters from Arvad, 1/2 apiece; 11 1/2 sila for eight wood workers from Byblos. . .; 3 1/2 sila for seven Greek craftsman, 1/2 sila apiece; 1/2 sila to the carpenter, Nabuetir; 10 sila to Ia-ku-u-ki-nu, the son of Judah’s king[1]; 2 1/2 sila for the five sons of the Judean king.”

Notice how much more Jehoiachin got than everyone else.  Obviously he had the king’s favor.

Significance:

  1. This confirms the existence of Jehoiachin.
  2. This confirms the Biblical account of his rations.

The Babylonian chronicles are currently housed in the Pergamum Museum in Berlin.


[1]Perhaps Jehoiachin is referred to as the son of the king because he only reigned for 3 months.

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