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Why would Awel-Marduk release Jehoiachin from prison?


In the thirty-seventh year of the exile of Jehoiachin king of Judah, in the year Awel-Marduk became king of Babylon, on the twenty-fifth day of the twelfth month, he released Jehoiachin king of Judah and freed him from prison. He spoke kindly to him and gave him a seat of honor higher than those of the other kings who were with him in Babylon. So Jehoiachin put aside his prison clothes and for the rest of his life ate regularly at the king’s table. Day by day the king of Babylon gave Jehoiachin a regular allowance as long as he lived, till the day of his death. Jeremiah 52:31-34
            It seems unusual that a ruling king would release a jailed king and allow him to dine at his table and even give him a daily allowance.  While there’s no specific reason given, we can only speculate:
1.      As a king coming into power, Awel-Marduk wanted to gain favor with the Jews who were still in exile under Babylonian rule.
2.      Awel-Marduk was a compassionate guy.
3.      God influenced the king to do something good.
4.      Awel-Marduk learned something from Nebuchadnezzar, the former king, who appeared to give his life to God.
The act of compassion to release Jehoiachin from prison and allow him to dine at the king’s table is an exact parallel of how God treats us.  God frees us from the prison of our sin and allows us to dine with him forever in heaven.