The name Zedekiah in the Bible
There are five men named Zedekiah in the Bible, but probably the most famous one is Zedekiah the son of Jehoiakim and Hamutal, and last king of Judah (2 Kings 24:17). This man was originally named Mattaniah, and he was the uncle of king Jehoiachin. The latter was deported to Babylon and Nebuchadnezzar made Zedekiah king in his place.
Four years into his reign, he appears to have had an audience in Babylon (Jeremiah 51:59), but in or close to his ninth year he figured he could succeed in a revolt against Babylon, entered into an alliance with Egypt (Ezekiel 17:15), and gave it a try. Within two years he was captured (2 Kings 25:6). Chaldean soldiers killed his children in front of him and then gauged his eyes out. They demolished the temple and took everything—king, people and spoils—to Babylon.
Probably the most enigmatic detail of this cycle is that the Ark of the Covenant isn't mentioned among the goods taken. It has subsequently been missing every since.
Other men named Zedekiah are:
- A mendacious prophet, son of Chenaanah, who rivals the good prophet Micaiah son of Imla (and probably Elijah the Tishbite too) in the time of king Ahab of Israel and king Jehoshaphat of Judah (1 Kings 22:11).
- Another false prophet, son of Maaseiah, also working during the time of Ahab (Jeremiah 29:21).
- A man among the signers of the post-exilic covenant (Nehemiah 10:1).
- A son of Hananiah and official at the court of Jehoiakim who is present when Baruch reads the scroll of Jeremiah (Jeremiah 36:12).
Etymology of the name Zedekiah
The name Zedekiah consists of two elements. The first part of our name comes from the verb צדק (sadeq), meaning to be just:
The second part of the name Zedekiah is formed from the appellative יה (Yah) = יהו (Yahu) = יו (Yu), which are abbreviated forms of the Tetragrammaton; the name of the Lord: YHWH.
For a meaning of the name Zedekiah, NOBSE Study Bible Name List reads Yahweh Is Righteousness. Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names has Justice Of The Lord, and BDB Theological Dictionary says Yah Is Righteousness.