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The Fall of Jerusalem
This chapter relates the siege and destruction of Jerusalem, the capture of king Zedekiah, and the deportation of most of the Jewish people.
1. In the tenth day] The successive stages in the overthrow of the city are carefully marked by the historian: cp. 2 Kings 25:3, 2 Kings 25:8. Forts] perhaps movable towers for throwing troops upon the walls.
3. The famine] the sufferings of the besieged are described in Jeremiah 21:7-9; Lamentations 4:8; Lamentations 5:10.
4. The city was broken up] RV ’a breach was made in the city.’ Before this happened an Egyptian force had advanced to the relief of Jerusalem, and the Babylonians in consequence retired (Jeremiah 37:5-11), but the relief was only temporary (as Jeremiah had predicted) and the siege was resumed. The king’s garden] S. of the city near the pool of Siloam (Nehemiah 3:15). The plain] RV ’the Arabah’: i.e. the valley of the Jordan. The design of the fugitives was to cross the river by the fords of Jericho.
7. Put out the eyes] Zedekiah was taken to Babylon, but he did not see it, just as Ezekiel had predicted (2 Kings 12:13). An Assyrian king is represented on one of his monuments as blinding a captive with the point of his own spear.
11. The rest of the people] i.e. those that remained in the country after the deportation related in 2 Kings 24:14, 2 Kings 24:15. Of the multitude] better, ’of the artificers.’ In addition to this deportation in Nebuchadnezzar’s 19th year Jeremiah (Jeremiah 52:29) mentions one that occurred in his 18th year and another in his 23rd year, though the first of these may be identical with the one here described.
13. The pillars of brass, etc.] see 1 Kings 7:15.; Jeremiah 52:17-23, where some of the details are given differently.
15. In gold.. in silver] better, ’as so much gold.. as so much silver.’
18. The second priest] i.e. the high priest’s deputy. For Zephaniah cp. Jeremiah 29:25; Jeremiah 29:29.
Keepers of the door] i.e. of the entrance of the Temple.
19. That.. presence] i.e. those of the king’s ministers who enjoyed freedom of access to him. The principal scribe, etc.] RM ’the scribe of the captain of the host’: i.e. the official who superintended the conscription. Nebuchadnezzar, instead of consigning the citizens to indiscriminate massacre, selected for punishment only the most responsible personages.
21. So Judah was carried away] The destruction of Jerusalem and the final deportation of its chief inhabitants took place in 586 b.c. The kingdom of Judah, like the kingdom of the ten tribes, now came to an end, as Jeremiah (Jeremiah 20:4) had predicted; and its historian here brings his record to a close, only pausing to describe the arrangements made for the government of the desolated country and the treatment received from Nebuchadnezzar’s successor by the captive Jehoiachin. The mention of the latter fact is probably due to the writer’s desire to show that the divine mercy attended the house of David even in the time of its deepest humiliation.
22. The son of Ahikam] Ahikam had befriended Jeremiah when the people sought to put him to death (Jeremiah 26:24).
23. And when all the captains, etc.] For a fuller account of the events recounted in 2 Kings 25:23-26 see Jeremiah 40:7 to Jeremiah 43:13, from which it appears that Ishmael was instigated by Baalis the king of Ammon, and murdered Gedaliah treacherously. Mizpah] perhaps Mizpah in Benjamin (1 Kings 15:22).
25. In the seventh month] subsequently observed as a fast (Zechariah 7:5).
26. Came to Egypt] In doing this the people acted in defiance of the counsel of Jeremiah, whom they took with them: see Jeremiah 42, 43.
27. Evil-merodach] son of Nebuchadnezzar, succeeding to his throne in 561 b.c. It was in the first year of his reign that he manifested to Jehoiachin the leniency here recorded.
Did lift up the head] i.e. showed favour to: cp. Genesis 40:13.
28. The kings that were with him] possibly other captive sovereigns.
29. Did eat bread.. before him] i.e. was a guest at the royal table. For a like privilege see 2 Samuel 19:3; 1 Kings 2:7.
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Dummelow, John. "Commentary on 2 Kings 25". "Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/
the Second Week of Advent