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Book of 2 Kings - Chapter 24 - Verse 17

And the king of Babylon made Mattaniah his father's brother king in his stead, and changed his name to Zedekiah.


According to the biblical text, the verse 'And the king of Babylon made Mattaniah his father's brother king in his stead, and changed his name to Zedekiah.' can be found in 2 Kings 24:17. This verse describes the historical event when King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon appointed Mattaniah, the uncle of the previous king Jehoiachin, to be the new king of Judah. In an act of asserting his authority over the conquered kingdom, King Nebuchadnezzar changed Mattaniah's name to Zedekiah, which means "the righteous one of the Lord." This alteration in name symbolized a new beginning for the appointed king and also signified his allegiance to the Babylonian king. This action by King Nebuchadnezzar was a common practice in ancient times to solidify power and control over newly conquered territories. The changing of names often represented a new identity and loyalty to the ruling empire, ensuring compliance and submission from the newly appointed ruler.

Theological Overview

This verse from the book of 2 Kings describes the moment when the king of Babylon appoints Mattaniah, the father's brother of the previous king, as the new king and changes his name to Zedekiah. The theological interpretation of this event is significant as it highlights the power dynamics and political relationships of that time period. The choice of changing Mattaniah's name to Zedekiah is also noteworthy, as names in the Bible often carry symbolic meaning. In this case, the name Zedekiah means "Yahweh is righteous," which could be interpreted as a reflection of the hope for righteousness and justice in the leadership of the new king. Additionally, the act of changing one's name in the Bible is often associated with transformation or a new beginning, suggesting a new chapter in the history of Israel under King Zedekiah's rule.

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