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Jehoiachin and Nebuchadnezzar
This chapter recounts the reigns of Jehoiakim and Jehoiachin, the invasion of Judah by Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon (who carried into captivity Jehoiachin and numbers of the people), and the reign of Zedekiah.
1. Nebuchadnezzar] called more accurately in Jeremiah 25:9 and elsewhere ’Nebuchadrezzar.’ He was the son of the Nabopolassar who conquered Nineveh (see on 2 Kings 23:29), and, as his father’s general, defeated the Egyptians in 605 at Carchemish on the Euphrates (Jeremiah 46:2). This success left the countries lying between the two great powers of Babylon and Egypt at the mercy of the former (2 Kings 24:7); and consequently when Nebuchadnezzar succeeded his father, Jehoiakim (as here related) submitted to him. Some inscriptions of Nebuchadnezzar have been discovered in various parts of Palestine, but such as are decipherable relate not to his campaigns but to his buildings.
Became bis servant three years] It is rather difficult to harmonise the statements respecting Jehoiakim’s reign contained in this chapter with 2 Chronicles 36:5-8 and in Daniel 1:2. In 2 Chronicles 36:6; Jehoiakim is said to have been bound in fetters by Nebuchadnezzar in order to be carried to Babylon, and in Daniel his capture is described as having taken place in his third year. He was, however, in his own capital in the ’fourth’ year of his reign (Jeremiah 36:1); so that if these passages are to be reconciled with Kings it must be assumed that he was restored to his throne by the Babylonian king, and that the events here related took place after his restoration.
2. The Chaldees] here used to designate the Babylonians. Syrians.. Moabites.. Ammon] For these as enemies of Judah at this period see Jeremiah 35:11; Jeremiah 48:27; Ezekiel 25:1.
His servants the prophets] The most prominent of the prophets who denounced judgment against the offending nation at this time was Jeremiah: see especially Jeremiah 25, 26, 35, 36, 45. Unlike his predecessor Isaiah, the prophet declared that Jerusalem would be totally destroyed if its inhabitants did not repent; and for this he was adjudged worthy of death, though his life was preserved by the interference of certain elders. Another prophet named Urijah, who also prophesied against the city, fled to Egypt to escape destruction, but he was surrendered to Jehoiakim by the Egyptian king and put to death: see Jeremiah 26.
5. The rest of the acts] The circumstances of Jehoiakim’s death are uncertain. The predictions of Jeremiah (Jeremiah 22:18-19; Jeremiah 36:30) suggest that he died a violent death and that his corpse was left unburied, and Josephus states that Nebuchadnezzar, to whom Jehoiakim had capitulated, broke his pledges and slew him. But 2 Kings 24:6 is rather opposed to this.
7. The river of Egypt] see on 1 Kings 8:65.
8. Jehoiachin] also called Coniah and Jeconiah (Jeremiah 22:24; Jeremiah 24:1).
11. And.. besiege it] RV ’while his servants were besieging it,’ implying that the city was invested before Nebuchadnezzar, who was engaged in besieging Tyre, appeared in person to conduct the war.
12. His mother] i.e. the queen-mother: see on 1 Kings 2:19. In the eighth year] i.e. of Nebuchadnezzar’s reign. In Jeremiah 52:28 mention is made of a capture of 3,023 persons in Nebuchadnezzar’s seventh year, of which there is no record in Kings, while Jeremiah makes no allusion to the deportation of prisoners here related.
14. The poorest sort] They were as worthless in character as obscure in station: see Jeremiah 24:1-8. Among the better class who were carried away on this occasion was the prophet Ezekiel.
16. Seven thousand.. a thousand] If these numbers are included in the 10,000 of 2 Kings 24:14, it must be assumed that the princes and their numerous retainers constituted the remaining 2,000.
17. Mattaniah] as Mattaniah was brother of Jehoiakim, he must have been uncle of Jehoiachin; so that 2 Chronicles 36:10 in describing him as brother of the latter uses the term vaguely. In 1 Chronicles 3:16 he is called son of Jeconiah, in the sense of successor. Changed his name] see on 2 Kings 23:34.
18. Hamutal] Zedekiah was only half-brother of Jehoiakim but full brother of Jehoahaz (see 2 Kings 23:31), and as Jehoahaz was imprisoned by the king of Egypt, Nebuchadnezzar may have calculated that in his brother he would find a loyal vassal who would support Babylonian rather than Egyptian interests.
19. He did that which was evil] cp. Jeremiah 37:2. Zedekiah seems to have been weak but not unmerciful, and he was unable to cope with the princes who were his advisers: cp. Jeremiah 38:4, Jeremiah 38:5. When the latter put Jeremiah in prison on a charge of deserting to the enemy, Zedekiah delivered him (Jeremiah 39:11-18); and on a second occasion, when he was flung into a foul dungeon, he was once more rescued with the king’s consent (Jeremiah 38:6.).
20. Rebelled] Zedekiah was bound by oath to Nebuchadnezzar (2 Chronicles 36:13; Ezekiel 17:13), but overtures from Edom, Moab, Tyre, and other countries drew him from his allegiance, in spite of the opposition of the prophet Jeremiah (Jeremiah 27), and as hopes were entertained of Egyptian help rebellion was finally resolved on.
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Dummelow, John. "Commentary on 2 Kings 24". "John Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/
the Week of Proper 6 / Ordinary 11