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Bible Commentaries
2 Kings 24

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - UnabridgedCommentary Critical Unabridged

Verse 1

In his days Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came up, and Jehoiakim became his servant three years: then he turned and rebelled against him.

Nebuchadnezzar. The name as written on the monuments is Nabukudurri-uzur, and signifies, according to Sir H. Rawlinson, 'Nebo protects the youth;' according to Dr. Hincks, 'Nebo has formed a warrior.' He was the son of Nabopolassar, the founder of the Chaldee monarchy. The rulers who are entitled 'kings of Babylon' belong to two different periods, separated by the interval of nearly seven centuries. The first period was coeval with the origin of the Assyrian empire, in the 20th century B.C., and terminated in the middle of the 16th century B.C. After the lapse of two centuries, Nineveh rose to be the metropolis of the great Assyrian empire and Babylon being only a provincial capital, the Assyrian kings never assumed to themselves, nor permitted any one to appropriate, the title of king of Babylon. But on the decline and fall of Nineveh, Babylon recovered its metropolitan pre-eminence, and the kings of Assyria again called themselves 'kings of Babylon.' This invasion took place in the inch year of Jehoiakim's, and the first of Nebuchadnezzar's reign (Jeremiah 25:1 cf. 46:2 ). The young king of Assyria being probably detained at home on account of his father's demise, despatched, along with the Chaldean troops on his border, an army composed of the tributary nations that were contiguous to Judea, to chastise, Jehoiakim's revolt from his yoke. But this hostile band was only an instrument in saluting the divine judgment (2 Kings 24:2) denounced by the prophets against Judah for the sins of the people; and hence, though marching by the orders of the Assyrian monarch, they are described as sent by the Lord, 2 Kings 24:3.

Verse 2

And the LORD sent against him bands of the Chaldees, and bands of the Syrians, and bands of the Moabites, and bands of the children of Ammon, and sent them against Judah to destroy it, according to the word of the LORD, which he spake by his servants the prophets.

The Lord sent against him bands of the Chaldees, [ Kasdiym (H3778)]. This is either a new race or the same people under a different name who supplanted the Assyrians and Babylonians. They appear in Scripture in three different states-first, as nomad tribes (Job 1:17; Jeremiah 40:10); secondly, as a priestly caste, men of science so-called, such as astrology and divination (Daniel 2:1-49); and thirdly, they appear as a great and powerful nation, under Nebuchadnezzar, who is called "king of the Chaldees," 2 Chronicles 36:17: cf. Daniel 9:1; Habakkuk 1:6 [Septuagint, chaldaioi]. From other notices in the sacred history (Genesis 11:28; Genesis 15:7), it would appear that they inhabited a district north of Babylon; while several classical writers assign their locality to the southwestern part of the Babylonian empire-a district now known as Irak al Araby. Afterward the name Chaldea was used as synonymous with Mesopotamia.

Verses 3-5

Surely at the commandment of the LORD came this upon Judah, to remove them out of his sight, for the sins of Manasseh, according to all that he did;

No JFB commentary on these verses.

Verse 6

So Jehoiakim slept with his fathers: and Jehoiachin his son reigned in his stead.

Jehoiakim slept with his fathers. This phraseology can mean nothing more than that he died, because he was not buried with his royal ancestors; and whether he fell in battle, or his body was subjected to posthumous insults, he was, according to the prediction, Jeremiah 22:19, not honoured with the rites of sepulture (Jeremiah 36:30).

Jehoiachin his son reigned in his stead. The very brief reign of this prince, which lasted only three months, during which be was a humble vassal of the Assyrians, is scarcely deserving to be taken into account, and therefore is no way contradictory to the prophetic menace denounced against his father (Jeremiah 36:30).

Verse 7

And the king of Egypt came not again any more out of his land: for the king of Babylon had taken from the river of Egypt unto the river Euphrates all that pertained to the king of Egypt.

The king of Egypt - i:e., Pharaoh-nechoh.

For the king of Babylon had taken from the river of Egypt unto the river Euphrates all that pertained to the king of Egypt. He was defeated at Carchemish by the forces of the young king Nebuchadnezzar, who wrested from him all his acquisitions both in Northern, and Southern Syria (see Rawlinson's Herodotus, 2:, p.


Verse 8

Jehoiachin was eighteen years old when he began to reign, and he reigned in Jerusalem three months. And his mother's name was Nehushta, the daughter of Elnathan of Jerusalem.

Jehoiachin - i:e., God appointed; contracted into Jeconiah and Coniah (Jeremiah 22:24).

Eighteen years old when he began to reign. At the age of eight his father took him into partnership in the government (2 Chronicles 36:9). He began to reign alone at eighteen.

Verse 9

And he did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD, according to all that his father had done.

He did that which was evil in the sight of the Lord. Untaught by experience, and deaf to the prophetic warnings, he pursued the evil courses which had brought so many disasters upon the royal family as well as the people of Judah. This bad character is figuratively but strongly depicted, Ezekiel 19:5-7.

Verse 10

At that time the servants of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came up against Jerusalem, and the city was besieged.

At that time - within three months after his accession to the throne; it was the spring of the year (2 Chronicles 36:10): so early did he indicate a feeling hostile to the interests of his Assyrian liege-lord, by forming a league with Egypt. Nebuchadnezzar sent his generals to besiege Jerusalem, as Jeremiah had foretold (Jer. 22:38; 24:30 ), and soon after followed in person. Convinced of the hopelessness of making any effectual resistance, Jehoiachin, going to the Camp of the besiegers, surrendered (2 Kings 24:12), in the expectation, probably, of being allowed to retain his throne as a vassal of the Assyrian empire. But Nebuchadnezzar's clemency toward the kings of Judah was now exhausted; so that Jehoiachin was sent as a captive to Babylon, according to Jeremiah's prediction (Jeremiah 22:24), accompanied by the queen-mother (the same who had held that dignity under Jehoahaz, 2 Kings 23:31), his generals, and officers. This happened in the eighth year of Nebuchaduezzar's reign, computing from the time when he was associated with his father in the government. Those that were left consisted chiefly of the poorer Sort of people and the unskilled workmen. The palace and the temple were ransacked. The smaller golden vessels had been taken on the first capture of Jerusalem, and placed by Nebuchadnezzar in the temple of his god, as tokens of victory, and used by Belshazzar at his impious feast, for the purpose of rewarding his army with these trophies, among which were, probably the golden candlesticks, ark etc. (cf. 2 Chronicles 36:7; Daniel 1:2). Now the gold plating was torn off all the larger temple furniture.

Verses 11-12

And Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came against the city, and his servants did besiege it.

No JFB commentary on these verses.

Verse 13

And he carried out thence all the treasures of the house of the LORD, and the treasures of the king's house, and cut in pieces all the vessels of gold which Solomon king of Israel had made in the temple of the LORD, as the LORD had said.

As the Lord had said - (cf. 2 Kings 20:17; Isaiah 39:6; Jeremiah 15:13; Jeremiah 17:3.) The elite of the nation for rank, usefulness, and moral worth, all who might be useful in Babylon or dangerous in Palestine, were carried off to Babylon, to the number of 10,000 (2 Kings 24:14). These are specified, 2 Kings 24:15-16 - Warriors, 7,000; craftsmen and smiths, 1,000; kings wives, officers, and princes, also priests and prophets (Jeremiah 29:1; Ezekiel 1:13), 2,000-equal to 10,000 captives in all. This was the second deportation from Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar.

Verse 14

And he carried away all Jerusalem, and all the princes, and all the mighty men of valour, even ten thousand captives, and all the craftsmen and smiths: none remained, save the poorest sort of the people of the land.

All the craftsmen and smiths, [ kaal (H3605) hechaaraash (H2796) wªhamacgeer (H4525)] - all the artisans and forgers of arms.

Verses 15-16

And he carried away Jehoiachin to Babylon, and the king's mother, and the king's wives, and his officers, and the mighty of the land, those carried he into captivity from Jerusalem to Babylon.

No JFB commentary on these verses.

Verse 17

And the king of Babylon made Mattaniah his father's brother king in his stead, and changed his name to Zedekiah.

Mattaniah his father's brother king in his stead. Adhering to his former policy of maintaining a show of monarchy, Nebuchadnezzar appointed the third and youngest son of Josiah (1 Chronicles 3:15), full brother of Jehoahaz, and uncle of the captive Jehoiachin. But according to the custom of conquerors, who changed the names of the great men they took captive in war, in token of their supremacy, he gave him the new name of Zedekiah - i:e., 'The righteousness of God.' This being a purely Hebrew name, it seems that he allowed the puppet king to choose his own name, which was confirmed. His heart toward God was the same as that of Jehoiakim impenitent and heedless of Gods word.

Verses 18-19

Zedekiah was twenty and one years old when he began to reign, and he reigned eleven years in Jerusalem. And his mother's name was Hamutal, the daughter of Jeremiah of Libnah.

No JFB commentary on these verses.

Verse 20

For through the anger of the LORD it came to pass in Jerusalem and Judah, until he had cast them out from his presence, that Zedekiah rebelled against the king of Babylon.

Through the anger of the Lord ... he ... cast them out from his presence - i e., in the course of God's righteous providence his policy as king would prove ruinous to his country.

Zedekiah rebelled. Instigated by ambassadors from the neighbouring states, who came to congratulate him on his accession to the throne (cf. Jeremiah 17:3 with 28:1), and at the same time get him to join them in a common league to throw off the Assyrian yoke. Though warned by Jeremiah against this step, the infatuated and perjured (Ezekiel 17:13) Zedekiah persisted in his revolt, by forming an alliance with Pharaoh-hophra - i:e., Apries, grandson of Nechoh, king of Egypt, and the most energetic and successful monarch of that kingdom since Psammeticus.

Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on 2 Kings 24". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/jfu/2-kings-24.html. 1871-8.
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