Alexander Rofe8
Zedekiah from the Bible to Qumran

The Prophet Jeremiah despised Jehoiachin and maintained a friendly attitude towards Zedekiah. Jeremiah's Deuteronomistic disciples turned the tables: for them Jehoiachin and his exiles were righteous, while Zedekiah and his party were sinners who deserved a most severe punishment. The same stand is attested by the Book of Ezekiel. The shorter edition of Jeremiah, mainly attested by the Septuagint , contains a reworking of the material in the same direction: Zedekiah and his people were all but annihilated. These processes of expansion on one hand and curtailment on the other, express the viewpoint of Jehoiachin's exiles and their descendants in the Chaldean and Persian periods. The rehabilitation of King Zedekiah in 4Q470 constitutes a late tendancy to redress the balance, thus doing justice to a wronged hero. The Angel Michael will make a covenant with him in front of the congregation.