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the Week of Proper 2 / Ordinary 7
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Bible Commentaries
2 Kings 23

Sutcliffe's Commentary on the Old and New TestamentsSutcliffe's Commentary

Verses 1-37

2 Kings 23:29 . He slew him at Megiddo, when he had seen him; as in 2 Kings 14:8. It would seem from this phrase that the two kings were engaged in single combat. This was an error for which Josiah forfeited his life, and the Israelites their glory. The king neither consulted the Lord, nor his prophets. One sad error put out the light of Israel; for with this king, all that belonged to regal virtue in David’s house seemed to expire.

REFLECTIONS. On reading the history of the Israelites in their passage through the wilderness, we are astonished at their unbelief and hardness of heart, amidst such a profusion of miracles and of mercies, and wonder how they could presume to tempt the Lord and to grieve his Holy Spirit in the manner they did, for the space of forty years; yet it seems that these provocations were only a specimen of their general character, and served the purpose of illustrating the great goodness and longsuffering of God towards them. With some few exceptions in the early part of their national history, during the reign of David and Solomon, and some others, we observe the same incorrigible spirit of unbelief and of rebellion against God, with encreasing proofs of the awful depravity and corruption of human nature, down to the latest period of their social existence.

Jehoiakim, the son of good king Josiah, whose untimely death all Judah lamented, was a most profligate and unprincipled tyrant, guilty of every species of oppression towards the people, and of impiety towards God. His odious reign of eleven years had filled the nation with such abhorrence, that the common rites of sepulture were denied him at his death; his carcase was cast out of the city like so much dung, and left apparently to rot above-ground, the greatest indignity that could be offered to human nature. Jeremiah 22:13-19.

The son of this degraded prince was Jehoiachin, sometimes called Jeconiah, and by way of contempt Coniah, Jeremiah 22:24; but in the evangelical genealogy he is called Jechonias. Matthew 1:11. Incapable of moral improvement, this Jehoiachin took no warning whatever from the example of his father, whose memory was shaded with the deepest infamy, but abandoned himself to vice and profligacy. After a short reign of little more than three months, he was dethroned by Nebuchadnezzar, and carried into Babylon, where he died in captivity, an awful monument of divine displeasure. In the former siege of Jerusalem, during the reign of Jehoiakim his father, Nebuchadnezzar carried away upwards of three thousand of the principal people, and the more valuable part of the vessels of the sanctuary. In the present instance the Chaldean monarch made more than ten thousand captives, and carried off what still remained in the temple. Thus the day of Jerusalem’s destruction, so long and frequently foretold, was now rapidly approaching, and the time of the Lord’s anger was hastening on.

Mattaniah, brother of Jehoiachin, was nominated to the vacant throne by Nebuchadnezzar, being merely his viceroy, the dominion having in effect passed into the hands of the king of Babylon. This Mattaniah, whose name the conqueror changed to Zedekiah, was the last of the kings of Judah; with him the kingdom of the two tribes totally ceased, and all went into captivity. This deputy king exhibited the same inveterate depravity as his predecessors, took no warning from their fearful example, but set at defiance the denunciations of the prophets, and even dared the vengeance of heaven. Having filled up the measure of his iniquity, after a turbulent reign of eight years, and violating his covenant with Nebuchadnezzar, he was hurled from this throne, was summoned into the presence of Nebuchadnezzar at his camp in Riblah, where his eyes were ordered to be put out; and he was then consigned to the dungeons of Babylon. In this third and last siege Jerusalem was utterly destroyed by the Chaldeans, all that remained in the temple was carried away, with numerous of the inhabitants; and thus terminated the awful catastrophe, the particulars of which are enumerated in the following chapter.

Bibliographical Information
Sutcliffe, Joseph. "Commentary on 2 Kings 23". Sutcliffe's Commentary on the Old and New Testaments. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/jsc/2-kings-23.html. 1835.
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