ZEDEKIAH, the name of several biblical figures. (1) The son of Chenaanah, one of the prophets of Samaria in the time of ahab king of Israel and jehoshaphat king of Judah (I Kings 22; II Chron. 18). Zedekiah appears to have been one of the court prophets dependent upon the king and in consequence strove to win Ahab's approval by prophesying what he wished to hear – that he would be successful in the battle of Ramoth-Gilead. For this purpose he even made horns of iron and said: "Thus says the Lord, 'With these you shall push the Arameans until they are destroyed'" (I Kings 22:11). According to the Bible, his words were contrary to those of micaiah son of Imlah, a prophet of the Lord, who prophesied defeat for the armies of Israel and Judah. Thereupon Zedekiah obsequiously smote Micaiah on the cheek and presented him as a false prophet, saying: "How did the Spirit of the Lord go from me, to speak to you" (I Kings 22:24; cf. II Chron. 18:23). In reply, Micaiah prophesied to Zedekiah: "Behold, you shall see on that day when you go into an inner chamber to hide yourself" (I Kings 22:25; cf. II Chron. 18:24). (2) The son of Maaseiah, mentioned together with Ahab son of Kolaiah in Jeremiah (29:21–23). Both were accused by Jeremiah of performing folly in Israel, committing adultery with their neighbors' wives, and speaking in the name of God lying words which He did not command them. Jeremiah prophesied that Zedekiah and Ahab would be punished at the hands of the king of Babylon, and that their fate would serve as a symbol among the exiles of Judah who would say: "The Lord make you like Zedekiah and Ahab, whom the king of Babylon roasted in the fire" (29:22). The background of Jeremiah's prophecy appears to be the support given by Zedekiah and Ahab to opposition to Babylon, in contrast to Jeremiah's view on this matter. (3) zedekiah , king of Judah. (Hanoch Reviv)

Encyclopedia Judaica. 1971.

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