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Bible Commentaries
2 Chronicles 36

Old & New Testament Restoration CommentaryRestoration Commentary

Introduction

Second Chronicles Chapter 36

2 Chronicles 36:1 "Then the people of the land took Jehoahaz the son of Josiah, and made him king in his father’s stead in Jerusalem."

Josiah had been a good king. The kings that followed him were evil. The decline of Judah is swift now. Jehoahaz was known as Johanan, as well. The people loved Josiah, and assumed his son would be like his father.

2 Chronicles 36:2 "Jehoahaz [was] twenty and three years old when he began to reign, and he reigned three months in Jerusalem."

This speaks of a very short reign for this son of Josiah. He was called Shallum in Jeremiah 22:11 "For thus saith the LORD touching Shallum the son of Josiah king of Judah, which reigned instead of Josiah his father, which went forth out of this place; He shall not return thither any more:"

2 Chronicles 36:3 "And the king of Egypt put him down at Jerusalem, and condemned the land in an hundred talents of silver and a talent of gold."

The time that Huldah had spoken of would come about during the reign of the next few kings. It seems, that Necho of Egypt captured him and condemned him. He set a fine on Jerusalem of 100 talents of silver, which would have been 150,000 ounces of silver and a talent of gold, which was 1,500 ounces.

2 Chronicles 36:4 "And the king of Egypt made Eliakim his brother king over Judah and Jerusalem, and turned his name to Jehoiakim. And Necho took Jehoahaz his brother, and carried him to Egypt."

Eliakim, or Jehoiakim was the brother of Jehoahaz, who had been captured. The king of Egypt thought he could control Eliakim easier.

2 Chronicles 36:5 "Jehoiakim [was] twenty and five years old when he began to reign, and he reigned eleven years in Jerusalem: and he did [that which was] evil in the sight of the LORD his God."

Jehoiakim was a puppet king for Egypt. His reign of eleven years was in name only. The Pharaoh of Egypt gave the orders. He was an evil king ruled by a heathen nation.

2 Chronicles 36:6 "Against him came up Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, and bound him in fetters, to carry him to Babylon."

He rebelled, and the king of Babylon chained him to take him back to Babylon. There was a change of plans, and he was killed in Jerusalem.

2 Chronicles 36:7 "Nebuchadnezzar also carried of the vessels of the house of the LORD to Babylon, and put them in his temple at Babylon."

The sacred vessels of the temple were many made of gold, or silver. They were gathered, and carried to Babylon, and put in the temple of the false god, Merodach, their false god of war.

2 Chronicles 36:8 "Now the rest of the acts of Jehoiakim, and his abominations which he did, and that which was found in him, behold, they [are] written in the book of the kings of Israel and Judah: and Jehoiachin his son reigned in his stead."

We have discussed before, that the kings in Chronicles, here, are, also, mentioned in the books of Kings. In fact, much of the information on them is in both books. Jehoiachin is just a slight variation on his father Jehoiakim’s name.

2 Chronicles 36:9 "Jehoiachin [was] eight years old when he began to reign, and he reigned three months and ten days in Jerusalem: and he did [that which was] evil in the sight of the LORD."

At the young age of eight, or eighteen {whichever he really was}, we can safely assume that outside influence caused him to be evil. His father was evil, and it appears, the entire nation had slipped that direction, as well. His reign was very short. He was captured and carried to Babylon for 36 years, after which he was released.

2 Chronicles 36:10 "And when the year was expired, king Nebuchadnezzar sent, and brought him to Babylon, with the goodly vessels of the house of the LORD, and made Zedekiah his brother king over Judah and Jerusalem."

This is not speaking of a year after his reign came, but in the beginning of a new year. It is saying in early spring. He was captured, and carried to Babylon, and a puppet king of the Babylonians was set up. We will find that the Babylonian captivity of the people of Judah took place over several years.

2 Chronicles 36:11 "Zedekiah [was] one and twenty years old when he began to reign, and reigned eleven years in Jerusalem."

Zedekiah was the same as Mattaniah. He was actually the uncle of Nebuchadnezzar. His name was changed to Zedekiah, when he began to reign. His 11 years as king was actually in name only. Nebuchadnezzar was the ruling authority through him.

2 Chronicles 36:12 "And he did [that which was] evil in the sight of the LORD his God, [and] humbled not himself before Jeremiah the prophet [speaking] from the mouth of the LORD."

God had sent Jeremiah to him to warn him. He did not heed the message of God. God had sent the Babylonians to Judah, to punish them for their spiritual idolatry.

2 Chronicles 36:13 "And he also rebelled against king Nebuchadnezzar, who had made him swear by God: but he stiffened his neck, and hardened his heart from turning unto the LORD God of Israel."

He did not do what God told him to do, and he even rebelled against Nebuchadnezzar. Ezekiel chapter 17, beginning with verse 12 speaks more on this. He did not submit to the will of the LORD in this

2 Chronicles 36:14 "Moreover all the chief of the priests, and the people, transgressed very much after all the abominations of the heathen; and polluted the house of the LORD which he had hallowed in Jerusalem."

This was the beginning of the end, when even the priests became evil, along with the king and the whole nation. In Ezekiel, chapter 8 verse 16 we learn that the 24 elders and the high priest, himself had turned their backs on God, and worshipped the sun. They had completely gone bad.

2 Chronicles 36:15 "And the LORD God of their fathers sent to them by his messengers, rising up betimes, and sending; because he had compassion on his people, and on his dwelling place:"

We must remember that Jeremiah was speaking out against all of this. He spoke the Words the LORD put in his mouth, but they did not heed. God loved them and wanted them to return to Him, but they would not. Isaiah, in his lifetime, had spoken out against this, until he was killed by the wicked Manasseh. Ezekiel spoke out, also. No one listened. Jeremiah chapter 25 verses 6 and 7 are such a message.

2 Chronicles 36:16 "But they mocked the messengers of God, and despised his words, and misused his prophets, until the wrath of the LORD arose against his people, till [there was] no remedy."

Finally, God would not accept anymore of their unfaithfulness. His wrath was set and there was no turning back. Our society should take a warning from this. God wants to save us, but we must be willing. Our society is just about this sick right now. We have turned our backs on godly principles to serve the filthy desires of the flesh. We must listen to the warning and repent, or we will suffer God’s wrath.

2 Chronicles 36:17 "Therefore he brought upon them the king of the Chaldees, who slew their young men with the sword in the house of their sanctuary, and had no compassion upon young man or maiden, old man, or him that stooped for age: he gave [them] all into his hand."

When God’s wrath had caused Him to turn away from His people, there would be no mercy on anyone. About this time, God’s presence left the temple, and went out the eastern gate. The presence of God was not in the temple anymore.

2 Chronicles 36:18 "And all the vessels of the house of God, great and small, and the treasures of the house of the LORD, and the treasures of the king, and of his princes; all [these] he brought to Babylon."

These vessels, that were carried out of the temple in Jerusalem to the house of the king in Babylon, would actually be the downfall of Babylon.

2 Chronicles 36:19 "And they burnt the house of God, and brake down the wall of Jerusalem, and burnt all the palaces thereof with fire, and destroyed all the goodly vessels thereof."

The judgment by fire had come upon Jerusalem. Babylon was the instrument God had used to inflict His judgment on this evil land.

2 Chronicles 36:20 "And them that had escaped from the sword carried he away to Babylon; where they were servants to him and his sons until the reign of the kingdom of Persia:"

There was just a remnant left. Some died from the sword and some died of starvation. Nebuchadnezzar was succeeded by his son Evil-Merodach. This captivity would last approximately 70 years.

2 Chronicles 36:21 "To fulfil the word of the LORD by the mouth of Jeremiah, until the land had enjoyed her sabbaths: [for] as long as she lay desolate she kept sabbath, to fulfil threescore and ten years."

For hundreds of years, the people of God had not practiced letting the land lie vacant on the seventh year for sabbath. These seventy years that the land was desolate, made up for those missed sabbaths for the land.

2 Chronicles 36:22 "Now in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, that the word of the LORD [spoken] by the mouth of Jeremiah might be accomplished, the LORD stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom, and [put it] also in writing, saying,"

This happened about the end of the 70 years of Babylonian captivity. God would rebuild his people in their promised land with the remnant that was left. He puts into the heart of Cyrus the necessity to re-build the temple. Jeremiah had prophesied this very thing. It was possible that Daniel planted a seed of thought into Cyrus, and God watered, and made grow the thought He had Daniel plant. We do not know exactly how God brought this about.

2 Chronicles 36:23 "Thus saith Cyrus king of Persia, All the kingdoms of the earth hath the LORD God of heaven given me; and he hath charged me to build him an house in Jerusalem, which [is] in Judah. Who [is there] among you of all his people? The LORD his God [be] with him, and let him go up."

This was at the height of the Persian rule. Cyrus seemed to be familiar with the writings of Isaiah, Jeremiah, Daniel, and Ezekiel. He seemed to be at least acquainted with the LORD. He was aware the desire to build the temple was from God. Cyrus will now seek out the men of Judah to carry out this tremendous task. The return to Jerusalem and the re-building of the temple will continue in Ezra.

2 Chronicles 36 Questions

1. Who reigned in Josiah’s stead?

2. What mistaken assumption had the people made about him?

3. How long did he reign?

4. What happened to him?

5. What is he called in Jeremiah chapter 22?

6. How much silver and gold did they give in tribute?

7. Who did the king of Egypt replace him with?

8. What did he change his name to?

9. How long did Jehoiakim reign?

10. Who was the king of Babylon at the time of his capture?

11. What terrible thing did the king of Babylon do, spoken of in 2 Chronicles 36:7?

12. How long was Jehoiachin kept captive in Babylon?

13. Who reigned in his stead?

14. What was his name changed to?

15. Who tried to prophecy to him of God’s will?

16. Who sent the Babylonians to Judah?

17. Who did he rebel against beside God?

18. 2 Chronicles 36:14 is speaking of the beginning of the end. Who had even the priests begun to worship?

19. Who was one voice that was crying out for them to repent?

20. How does our society today relate to the sinful activities of the people then.

21. What happened because they would not heed the warning from God?

22. When was there no mercy on anyone?

23. What happened that showed God had left His people?

24. What did they do to the temple of God?

25. Who was left to carry captive?

26. How long was the captivity?

27. In 2 Chronicles 36:21 we find that during these years of captivity, the land took its _________ of ______.

28. Who did God move upon to re-build the temple?

29. He was king of _________.

30. Who would he send to do it?

Verses 1-4

2Ch 36:1-4

2 Chronicles 36:1-4

GOD TERMINATES ISRAEL AS A KINGDOM

JEHOAHAZ (609 B.C.)

"Then the people of the land took Jehoahaz the son of Josiah, and made him king in his father’s stead in Jerusalem. Jehoahaz was twenty and three years old when he began to reign; and he reigned three months in Jerusalem. And the king of Egypt deposed him at Jerusalem, and fined the land a hundred talents of silver and a talent of gold. And the king of Egypt make Eliakim his brother king over Judah and Jerusalem, and changed his name to Jehoiakim. And Neco took Joahaz his brother, and carried him to Egypt."

Joahaz mentioned in 2 Chronicles 36:4 is only the abbreviated name of the deposed king Jehoahaz. At this point, Neco was master of Judah and Jerusalem, and God’s people were merely vassals of Egypt.

E.M. Zerr:

2 Chronicles 36:1. Made him king refers to the ceremonies of publicly acknowledging him as their king; he was actually made king by succession. It might be compared to the inauguration rites of a man who has been already elected to an office.

2 Chronicles 36:2. Jehoahaz was the ruler by natural rights and thus the regular heir to the throne, yet he held it for 3 months only. The circumstances that made his reign so short will be reported soon.

2 Chronicles 36:3. The inspired record does not explain why the Egyptian king was suffered to take such a prominent part in the affairs of Jerusalem. This is the same king who was opposed by Josiah, father of Jehoahaz. The Assyrians were in power at the time of Josiah’s death, but were nearing the end of their rule. In fact, it occurred in the beginning of the reign of Jehoiakim, of whom we will read in the next verse. Jehoahaz was dethroned and the land condemned, which means it was put under a tribute of money.

2 Chronicles 36:4. We are not told why Necho changed the name of Eliakim to Jehoiakim, but the name was recognized afterward by the writers of the Bible. The simple statement is made that Jehoahaz was taken to Egypt. But Jeremiah the prophet said he was to die there, never having seen his native land again. (Jeremiah 22:11-12.)

Verses 5-8

2Ch 36:5-8

2Ch 36:5-8

JEHOIAKIM (609-598 B.C.).

THE ELEVEN YEAR REIGN OF JEHOIAKIM

"And Jehoiakim was twenty and five years old when he began to reign; and he reigned eleven years in Jerusalem: and he did that which was evil in the sight of Jehovah his God. Against him came up Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, and bound him in fetters to carry him to Babylon. Nebuchadnezzar also carried of the vessels of the house of Jehovah to Babylon, and put them in his temple at Babylon. Now the rest of the acts of Jehoiakim, and his abominations which he did, and that which was found in (against) him, behold, they are written in the book of the kings of Israel and Judah: and Jehoiakin his son reigned in his stead."

(See our comments in the parallel under Second Kings 23:34-24:7.)

E.M. Zerr:

2Ch 36:5. This reign of 11 years included the years he was sitting on the throne, but subject to the king of Babylon. Soon after he was put on the throne by Necho, the Assyrian power was overthrown by the Chaldeans, otherwise known as Babylonians, of whom Nebuchadnezzar was ruler at the time. As soon as he came into power in Babylon, he went to Jerusalem and induced Jehoiakim to acknowledge his supremacy; but after 3 years he rebelled against that relationship. (2 Ki. 24:1.) The king of Babylon then put him under greater subjection. Jehoiakim was permitted to occupy the throne in Jerusalem for 8 years longer, but subject to the king of Babylon. (2 Ki. 24:2-4.)

2Ch 36:6. The events of this verse came at the end of the entire reign of Jehoiakim that was referred to in the preceding verse. The corruptions under the reign of this king were so many that God became weary with them and caused the Babylonian king to come up to Jerusalem and take him from his throne. More details of the affair are given in 2 Ki. 24:2-4. The king was bound with fetters to be taken to Babylon.

2Ch 36:7. Nebuchadnezzar also took the valuable vessels of the temple with him, and placed them in his own temple in Babylon, which was his capital. This great event may be said to have completed the first captivity, which was begun at the end of the third year of Jehoiakim. That was also the beginning of the famous 70 years captivity, of which we will hear much when we come to the study of the prophecies. That is, the beginning of the 4th year of Jehoiakim marks the date, not only of the beginning of the "seventy years captivity," but the date of the 1st of the "three captivities." I have gone so much into detail about these "three captivities" at their account in the book of Kings, that not much space will be taken for it here. I ask the reader to consult carefully all the comments on 2 Ki. 24 and 25.

2Ch 36:8. There is very little said as to the details of Jehoiakim’s reign, either here or in the corresponding passage in 2 Ki. 24. Hence we have a very clear reason in this case, why it was so often stated that the "rest of the acts" of rulers was written in those outside reading books. See the comments at 1 Ki. 14:19.

Verses 9-10

2Ch 36:9-10

2 Chronicles 36:9-10

JEHOIAKIN (CONIAH) (598 B.C.)

"Jehoiachin was eight years old when he began to reign: and he reigned three months and ten days in Jerusalem: and he did that which was evil in the sight of Jehovah. And at the turn of the year king Nebuchadnezzar sent, and brought him to Babylon, with the goodly vessels of the house of Jehovah, and made Zedekiah his brother king over Judah and Jerusalem."

E.M. Zerr:

2 Chronicles 36:9. Jehoiachin has two other forms for his name in other parts of the Bible, and it will be well for the student to bear them in mind in order to avoid confusion. They are, Jeconiah and Coniah. The common text says he was 8 ears old when he began to reign. The corresponding passage in 2 Kings 24:8 says he was 18. The one in Kings evidently is the correct one. But the critic of the Bible will have nothing to boast about, or to claim it to have been the work of man. The difference is too plain not to have been noticed by the men who composed the volume, had it been the work of uninspired man. Had the two accounts been so written originally as they now stand, the mistake would have been noticed by the writers on their first reading of it, and would have been corrected. But a blurred manuscript could easily have been misread by a copyist. Jehoiachin at the age of 18 years, was old enough to be "on his own" in the kingship. He was an evil ruler and the Lord suffered his political superior (Nebuchadnezzar) to take him away into the captivity.

2 Chronicles 36:10. Jehoiachin was permitted to reign but a few months when Nebuchadnezzar came up against him and his capital, and took him away to Babylon. At the same time he took the goodly vessels of the house of the Lord; that is, he took some of them. 2 Chronicles 36:7 says he took of the vessels, which would still leave a part of them, and at the time we are now considering he took some more of them but left some. He made a change in the rulership also. Jehoiachin was only 18 years of age when he was taken from his throne. It is not likely that he had any children to inherit his place. But the entire regime was under the subjection of Babylon anyway, so that whatsoever changes that country would see fit to make could be expected. Men had more than one name in those days and they were used interchangeably. For instance, Mattaniah was one name and Zedekiah another of the same man, and he was a son of Josiah. Another thing to remember is that a relative of a man was sometimes spoken of as his own relative of the same rank; so a man’s father’s brother might be said to be his brother. It was that way in the case at hand. Zedekiah was really the brother of Jehoiakim, father of Jehoiachin, but here spoken of as his brother. We should consider 2 Kings 24:17 and 1 Chronicles 3:15 in connection with this verse, in order to get this relationship clear in our minds. The taking of Jehoiachin to Babylon constituted the 2nd of the three captivities already spoken of. Because he reigned such a small fraction of a year, any date based on the years after "Jehoiachin’s captivity" or on the number of years of Zedekiah’s reign would be the same date. The fuller account of Jehoiachin’s captivity is given in 2 Kings 24:10-16. It can be seen at that place that it was the most important of the "three captivities" in the way of casualties. At that time the king of Babylon took away most of the vessels of the temple and stored them in the heathen building in his own capital city. He took also the best portions of the inhabitants, leaving only the poorest sort of the people. Among the great men whom he took away was the prophet Ezekiel. (Ezekiel 1:2; Ezekiel 40:1.)

Verses 11-16

2Ch 36:11-16

2 Chronicles 36:11-16

ZEDEKIAH (598-587 B.C.);

ZEDEKIAH’S WICKEDNESS REACHES A POINT OF NO RETURN

"Zedekiah was twenty and one years old when he began to reign; and he reigned eleven years in Jerusalem: and he did that which was evil in the sight of Jehovah his God; he humbled not himself before Jeremiah the prophet speaking from the mouth of Jehovah. And he also rebelled against king Nebuchadnezzar, who had made him swear by God: but he stiffened his neck, and hardened his heart, against turning unto Jehovah, the God of Israel. Moreover all the chiefs of the priests, and the people, trespassed very greatly after all the abominations of the nations; and they polluted the house of Jehovah which he had hallowed in Jerusalem. And Jehovah, the God of their fathers, sent to them by his messengers, rising up early and sending, because he had compassion on his people, and on his dwelling place: but they mocked the messengers of God, and despised his words, and scoffed at his prophets, until the wrath of Jehovah arose against his people, till there was no remedy."

This is only a tiny summary of the wickedness of Israel during the reign of Zedekiah. Jeremiah reveals much of that wickedness. Also, Ezekiel describes the pollution of the temple, discussed in the Commentary on Ezekiel. Zedekiah thought he found in the words of God’s prophets. Also, Second Kings, chapter 25, gives additional details.

E.M. Zerr:

2 Chronicles 36:11. This verse is a general statement of the entire reign of Zedekiah. Some of the details of the reign will be given in the following verses. Other details are recorded in the writings of Ezekiel, scattered through several chapters of his book. From these different sources it can be seen that the 11 years of the reign of Zedekiah were filled with evil. He was rebellious and proud, and unmindful of his obligation to the king of Babylon.

2 Chronicles 36:12. The conduct of Zedekiah was evil in the sight of the Lord. That is what counts, whether man approves or not. Humility is placed opposite of evil, and it should be so placed. Pride is manifested in more than one way. If a man refuses to cease his evil ways, the Lord considers it to be an evidence of pride. That is especially true if he has been admonished and offered instruction. This wicked man had just such opportunities in the service of Jeremiah the prophet. In Jeremiah 21 is the record of the circumstance when Zedekiah sent to the prophet for information. It was given him, and he was admonished to submit to the rule of Nebuchadnezzar. He was further told that resistance would be in vain and that it would be better for him personally to cease his evil ways. But the admonition was spurned and he thought he could evade the doom that God had decreed against him and the nation for their disobedience.

2 Chronicles 36:13. In rebelling against Nebuchadnezzar, he not only wags disobeying the word of God as spoken by the prophet, but broke his own word of oath with the Babylonian king. Stiffened his neck is a figure of speech found frequently in the Bible, meaning to become stubborn and unyielding to the law. The expression is used in this place with special reference to the obligation to Nebuchadnezzar, who was his superior at that time, having become so by the operations of war, and with the approval of God. Hardened his heart is another figure of speech, similar to the one just considered, and used with special application to his personal attitude to God. The thought is, that even though he might feel at liberty to oppose Nebuchadnezzar, he being a heathen king, yet he should have been considerate of his personal duty to the true God.

2 Chronicles 36:14. Although the Babylonians had put the king and his country under their rule, they had been lenient enough to leave the temple for their use. They could have continued in a partial observance of the services at least, in the holy building. But instead of doing so, this wicked king had even encouraged the priests and people in their heathen practices. They had carried their transgressions to the extent of polluting the temple that God had accepted and declared to be holy to him.

2 Chronicles 36:15. God is ever compassionate and desirous of sparing his people all the sorrow possible. The nation as a whole was bound to go into captivity to fulfill the divine decree, which was destined to rid it of its great national sin of idolatry. But that would not prevent giving personal favors to those who were righteous as individuals, or who would become so upon being admonished. This is another place where I will insist that the student read the comments at 2 Kings 22:17. In keeping with these principles, God continued to warn and admonish his people through his messengers. This is from the Hebrew word MALAK and Strong defines it, "from an unused root meaning to dispatch as a deputy; a messenger; specifically of God, i. e. an angel (also a prophet, priest or teacher)." So the word has a wide extent of meaning, but retains throughout the common idea of a special communication from one person to another. And this varied meaning of the word again reminds us of Hebrews 1:1." Betimes means to be prompt in whatever matter is on hands. It would apply not only to the promptness of God in recognizing the need for a message, and for making ready a messenger for the purpose, but also that the messenger would be prompt in attending to his duty.

2 Chronicles 36:16. They mocked the messengers, which means they derided or ridiculed them. They despised the words of God sent by the messengers, which denotes that they belittled them. This attitude was persisted in so long that the wrath of God was aroused against them, to the extent that the nation got beyond remedy. (2 Kings 22:17.)

Verses 17-21

2Ch 36:17-21

2 Chronicles 36:17-21

JERUSALEM DESTROYED BY NEBUCHADNEZZAR;

THE TEMPLE SACKED AND BURNED;

THE PEOPLE DEPORTED

"Therefore he brought upon them the king of the Chaldeans, who slew their young men with the sword in the house of their sanctuary, and had no compassion upon young man or virgin, old men or hoary-headed: he gave them all into his hand. And all the vessels of the house of God, great and small, and the treasures of the house of Jehovah, and the treasures of the king, and of his princes, all these he brought to Babylon. And they burnt the house of God, and brake down the wall of Jerusalem, and burnt all the palaces thereof with fire, and destroyed all the goodly vessels thereof. And them that had escaped from the sword carried he away to Babylon; and they were servants to him and his sons until the reign of the kingdom of Persia: to fulfill the word of Jehovah by the mouth of Jeremiah, until the land had enjoyed its sabbaths: for as long as it lay desolate it kept sabbath, to fulfil threescore and ten years."

This was the second fall of Jerusalem to Babylon. There had also been the captivity of Daniel, Ezekiel and others at the beginning of the reign of Zedekiah. This second destruction of the city would probably never have happened if Zedekiah had honored his sacred oath of loyalty to the king of Babylon.

E.M. Zerr:

2 Chronicles 36:17. The Chaldees were the same as the Babylonians as far as this history is concerned. Babylonians is the name derived from the country and its capital city. The Chaldeans were a distinct tribe of the people that had existed for a long time, and were in authority of the country at the time we are studying. God used them as his instrument for chastising his people. They were suffered to take over the temple, even using violence against the young men while they engaged in the service thereof.

2 Chronicles 36:18. Some of the holy vessels were taken at each of the previous raids, but at this time they were all taken, including the royal treasury, and the valuables of the princes.

2 Chronicles 36:19. The temple had been spared through the previous years that the Babylonians had possession of the country. But even such a favor did not keep the Jews from their evil practices; now the complete destruction will take place. The besiegers did not stop at the temple, but destroyed the city wall also. They likewise destroyed the palaces and their valuabe contents. We think of a palace primarily as the home of a king or other royal person. But there was only one of such in Jerusalem, while this word is plural. It is from an original that means any high and dignified structure. There were many of them in the city and they were all burnt. The beloved city of the nation of God; the capital of the mighty empire of David and Solomon was left in ruins by the relentless, destructive power of the Babylonians.

2 Chronicles 36:20. This verse is the climax of the 3rd captivity. (See comments at 2 Kings 24:1.) It came after a siege of about 2 years. (2 Kings 25:1-2.) In that siege many perished from famine, and when the final assault was made, many died by the sword. Those who did not perish in the attack were carried off to Babylon to remain until the time of the Persian dominion. That event is mentioned because it coincides with the end of the "seventy years’ captivity" that began with the 4th year of Jehoiakim. (2 Kings 24:1-4.) After coming to Babylon these Jews were made to serve the king as long as he lived, and then his successors until the end of the period described.

2 Chronicles 36:21. To fulfill refers to the preceding verse. That is, by remaining in captivity until the reign of Persia over Babylon, the prophecy will be fulfilled that was made by Jeremiah. That prophecy may be seen in his book, 2 Chronicles 25:9; 2 Chronicles 25:11-12; and 2 Chronicles 29:10. The Babylonian captivity was to last 70 years, beginning with the 4th year of Jehoiakim in 606 B. c., and going to 536 B. c. In Leviticus 25 is the law that required the land should rest every 7th year. It had been disobeyed until the land had been cheated out of 70 years. The captivity was to give it a chance to "catch up." Verses 22, 23. This passage is the same as the first two verses of the next book, and the comments on it will be given there. The verses were attached to this book as a connecting link for the reader who might not have the Book of Ezra at hand. This was possible before the books of the Bible were collected into one volume.

Verses 22-23

2Ch 36:22-23

2Ch 36:22-23

THE DECREE OF CYRUS THE KING OF PERSIA

"Now in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, that the word of Jehovah by the mouth of Jeremiah might be accomplished, Jehovah stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, so that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom, and put it also in writing, saying, Thus saith Cyrus king of Persia, All the kingdoms of the earth hath Jehovah, the God of heaven, given me; and he hath charged me to build him a house in Jerusalem, which is in Judah. Whoever there is among you of all his people, Jehovah his God be with him, and let him go up."

Through the two great prophets Isaiah and Jeremiah God had foretold and prophesied exactly what and when the captivity of the Children of Israel would be terminated. It was Jeremiah who prophesied the exact duration of the captivity in Jeremiah 25 of his great prophecy. (See comments on that chapter.)

But another great prophet, namely Isaiah, had foretold and prophesied the nature and source of the very decree of Cyrus mentioned here even naming Cyrus generations before he was born. (See Commentary on Isaiah. The prophecy is recorded in Isaiah 45:1f.)

There is no logical doubt whatever of the validity and integrity of those prophecies. The Jewish historian Josephus verifies them; and the very fact of such a thing as a captive nation being given permission to return to their own land, and even to be encouraged to do so, and aided financially in the project, is so contrary to the inclinations of human nature, so unheard of in any other instance, that the only intelligent conclusion must allow God as the Author of the prophecies.

E.M. Zerr:

Bibliographical Information
"Commentary on 2 Chronicles 36". "Old & New Testament Restoration Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/onr/2-chronicles-36.html.
 
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