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Bible Commentaries

James Nisbet's Church Pulpit Commentary
2 Kings 24

 

 

Verse 10

THE GOD-FORSAKEN CITY

‘The city was besieged.’

2 Kings 24:10

When wrong has been going on for some time it gathers a momentum, which gets beyond men’s power to control. It is like a carriage without a brake descending a steep hill. All is easy and pleasant at first, but as the descent continues the carriage gets beyond the driver’s control, and is dashed to pieces, and not only does the careless driver suffer, but those who are in the carriage suffer also, and some of them may even be killed.

I. King after king had done wrong in Judah, and as each king came to the throne he inherited the evil that his predecessors had done.—For a time the catastrophe was stayed by the long reigns of good men like Hezekiah and Josiah. But it had got beyond control, beyond the possibility of prevention. And as the new kings came—Jehoiakim, Jehoiachin, and Zedekiah—they seemed to grow more reckless the nearer the danger came, till at last the hand of God came down upon them and they and their country suffered the due reward of their deeds.

II. Yes, it was the hand of God. That is stated in a most striking way.—It is said that Zedekiah went on with his wickedness, and even rebelled against Nebuchadnezzar, because God was angry with him. We may think that God should have warned him and prevented him from doing so disastrous a thing as to rebel against the powerful King of Babylon. But God had warned till warning was no use. Nothing was of any use now except punishment. And so God must punish. If He did not punish He would not be the merciful God that He is. He punishes that the evil and all its misery may be stopped.

III. Zedekiah suffered terribly.—He first saw his sons killed before his eyes, and then his eyes were put out. After that he was loaded with chains and carried to Babylon. He suffered more, you may think, than his sins deserved. But he suffered for the sins of his friends as well as for his own. Just as we are benefited if we live with those who are good, so also we suffer if we live with those who are bad. We are bound together, and one who does wrong may not only suffer for it himself, but cause great suffering to others also. And one who does right will be blessed himself and a blessing to all who know him.

Illustrations

(1) ‘In the place of Jehoiachin, Nebuchadnezzar appointed Jehoiachin’s uncle Zedekiah as tributary king of Judah.

For the first few years of his reign Zedekiah was faithful to the Babylonian supremacy. Egypt, however, was, as usual, busily employed in trying to form a Palestinian alliance against Babylon. In the fifth year of his reign (593 b.c.), when the Babylonians were busily engaged in suppressing the Elamite insurgents in the east, Zedekiah suffered himself to be entangled in this conspiracy. Four years later (589 b.c), in the ninth year of Zedekiah’s reign, Nebuchadnezzar found himself free to deal with the Palestinian insurrection. Again the Babylonian army appeared in Syria. And now what Jeremiah had predicted so often was about to come to pass.’

(2) ‘Jeremiah wrote a book of sorrow over the distress. While food or money lasted, a few who had hoarded it away could have a little bread, or buy a drink of water or a little wood to cook the last meal. But the days came when people fainted for hunger, were parched with thirst; children cried for bread, but no one could give it; ladies who had worn robes of scarlet searched in heaps of filth for a mouthful of food. Sickness came with starvation; wounds with war; arrows tipped with fire came flying in the streets; noises like thunder were heard night and day, as great battering-engines pushed by companies of men shook the walls or hurled great stones which wounded and killed the brave soldiers within, who were doing their best to keep their enemies out.’

 


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Bibliography Information
Nisbet, James. "Commentary on 2 Kings 24:4". Church Pulpit Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cpc/2-kings-24.html. 1876.

Lectionary Calendar
Saturday, December 14th, 2019
the Second Week of Advent
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