Following the rise and fall of American sports teams has always been fascinating to me. I look at the history of nations in a similar way.
2,600 years ago the mighty Assyrian empire is coming to an end. The Egyptians will then briefly rise up but quickly loose out to the new rising empire- the Babylonians. In between these large empires, we have Judah (known today as Israel). At first we had a wonderful king named Josiah, who unfortunately was killed by the Egyptians. The Egyptians, in turn, took is brother, Jehoiakim, and put him on the throne.
We then get to the next stage. The Babyloneans whip the Egyptians and take over Judea. At this point Jehoiakim makes a very bad political decision and he rebels against the Babyloneans. Our next chess move will be Nebbuchadnezzar, King of Babylon, plundering Jerusalem and deporting Jehoiakim with 10,000 nobles, artisans and young men to Babylon.
We’re still in the game, though, as Nebuchadnezzar puts Zedekiah (Jehoiakim’s uncle) on the throne. Serious Game of Thrones going on here. Zedekiah, though, not learning from the mistakes of his nephew, makes another bad chess move. He too rebels against Babylon. The result? A horrible 18 month siege on Jerusalem. Horrific descriptions of a starving Jerusalem “The famine was sore in the city, young children faint for hunger at the top of every street” (Jeremiah).
In the end, of the 9th day of the month of Av (July/August) The First Temple was destroyed along with the rest of the city “..He burned the house of the Lord, the king’s palace, and all the houses of Jerusalem. He burned down the house of every notable person” (Kings 2).
The Jews wept over Jerusalem, as we read in Lamentations “She weepeth sore in the night and her tears are on her cheeks. Among her lovers, she has none to comfort her”.