“‘Are you a king
Because you compete in cedar?
Did not your father eat?
Did not your father drink?
Did not your father do justice?
Did not your father do righteousness?
Then it was well with him.
He judged the cause of the poor.
He judged the cause of the needy.
Then it was well.
Is not this to know me?’
‘But your eyes
With your heart
Are only on your dishonest gain,
Are only for shedding innocent blood,
Are only for practicing oppression,
Are only for violence.’”
Yahweh, via Jeremiah, takes on King Jehoiakim or King Eliakim (609-598 BCE) by making a comparison with his father King Josiah (640-609 BCE). His father rightly judged the cases of the needy and the poor. He never tried to build a great house of cedar. He ate and drank, but was filled with justice and righteousness. Thus, everything went well with him. On the other hand, King Jehoiakim has turned his eyes and heart to dishonest gain, shedding innocent blood, practicing oppression, and doing violence. Which king would you rather have?