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Bible Commentaries
2 Kings 25

Old & New Testament Restoration CommentaryRestoration Commentary


Second Kings Chapter 25

2 Kings 25:1 "And it came to pass in the ninth year of his reign, in the tenth month, in the tenth [day] of the month, [that] Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came, he, and all his host, against Jerusalem, and pitched against it: and they built forts against it round about."

This is speaking of the ninth year of the reign of Zedekiah. He has now rebelled and brought the fury of Nebuchadnezzer down on the city and on him in particular. This battle will last just under two years. It appears that they circled the city where no one could go in or out. The attack was first against all the land of Judah and the outer lying cities. They were not well fortified and fell immediately. Jerusalem was another story. This city is walled and better prepared to withstand such a siege. Notice, this time, the king of Babylon comes himself. In fact the greater part of the Babylonian army comes against Jerusalem.

2 Kings 25:2 "And the city was besieged unto the eleventh year of king Zedekiah."

This siege brought about terrible circumstances inside of Jerusalem. No food could come in from the farms.

2 Kings 25:3 "And on the ninth [day] of the [fourth] month the famine prevailed in the city, and there was no bread for the people of the land."

The faces of the people grew black from the famine. They were nothing but skin over bones. This is one of the worst famines in recorded history. The famine was so great that parent ate their children. A third part of the city died from the famine. Jeremiah was in this city during this terrible famine. It took flour to make bread and there was not any to be had.

2 Kings 25:4 "And the city was broken up, and all the men of war [fled] by night by the way of the gate between two walls, which [is] by the king’s garden: (now the Chaldees [were] against the city round about:) and [the king] went the way toward the plain."

This is saying that the king and his men escaped during the night. The city wall was broken into by the army on the north and Zedekiah broke out on the south. They stayed between the two walls as far as they could and then broke through the gate and ran away from the battle in Jerusalem.

2 Kings 25:5 "And the army of the Chaldees pursued after the king, and overtook him in the plains of Jericho: and all his army were scattered from him."

The army pursued after Zedekiah and his men as soon as they knew they had fled. They would not let up following them because they knew Nebuchadnezzer would hold them responsible for capturing them. It seemed as soon as they had gotten out away into the plain, the men of war scattered and ran for their lives. They caught Zedekiah near Jericho.

2 Kings 25:6 "So they took the king, and brought him up to the king of Babylon to Riblah; and they gave judgment upon him."

During the nearly two year siege of Jerusalem, Nebuchadnezzer had moved back into Riblah and set his headquarters up there. He could live more comfortably while this siege was taking place. Now his army has brought the king of Judah to him for judgment.

2 Kings 25:7 "And they slew the sons of Zedekiah before his eyes, and put out the eyes of Zedekiah, and bound him with fetters of brass, and carried him to Babylon."

One of the most terrible things a person could experience is seeing your own children killed. These sons could be no more than youngsters since Zedekiah was 32 years old. They were killed, not for their offences, but for those of their father. Zedekiah saw them killed and then they put his eyes out. This form of cruel punishment is not unusual in this part of the world. He was chained feet and hands and humiliated even more in that he must be led to his captivity.

2 Kings 25:8 "And in the fifth month, on the seventh [day] of the month, which [is] the nineteenth year of king Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, came Nebuzar-adan, captain of the guard, a servant of the king of Babylon, unto Jerusalem:"

2 Kings 25:9 "And he burnt the house of the LORD, and the king’s house, and all the houses of Jerusalem, and every great [man’s] house burnt he with fire." 1 Kings 9:7 "Then will I cut off Israel out of the land which I have given them; and this house, which I have hallowed for my name, will I cast out of my sight; and Israel shall be a proverb and a byword among all people:" 1 Kings 9:8 "And at this house, [which] is high, every one that passeth by it shall be astonished, and shall hiss; and they shall say, Why hath the LORD done thus unto this land, and to this house?" Babylon might have done the physical destruction, but this was ordained of God for the punishment of the people. The fire will purify these grounds where all of the false worship took place in God’s own house.

2 Kings 25:10 "And all the army of the Chaldees, that [were with] the captain of the guard, brake down the walls of Jerusalem round about."

This beautiful walled city, which had been the envy of the whole known world in the time of Solomon, now lay in destruction. Their wall is completely destroyed also.

2 Kings 25:11 "Now the rest of the people [that were] left in the city, and the fugitives that fell away to the king of Babylon, with the remnant of the multitude, did Nebuzar-adan the captain of the guard carry away."

2 Kings 25:12 "But the captain of the guard left of the poor of the land [to be] vinedressers and husbandmen."

The people who remained were divided into two groups. The farmers and wine dressers were left behind, and everyone else who was not killed were taken captive. It was a separation of the upperclass and the poor.

2 Kings 25:13 "And the pillars of brass that [were] in the house of the LORD, and the bases, and the brasen sea that [was] in the house of the LORD, did the Chaldees break in pieces, and carried the brass of them to Babylon."

The reason for breaking them up was because they were so heavy. The pillars of brass were the ones that had been named Jachin and Boaz. There was no thought given to the workmanship of these things. They just wanted the metal.

2 Kings 25:14 "And the pots, and the shovels, and the snuffers, and the spoons, and all the vessels of brass wherewith they ministered, took they away."

2 Kings 25:15 "And the firepans, and the bowls, [and] such things as [were] of gold, [in] gold, and of silver, [in] silver, the captain of the guard took away."

They did not break these up, because they were not too heavy to carry. These also might be used in the form they were already in. They would find out much later that the use of these vessels for other purposes than what they were intended greatly displeased God.

2 Kings 25:16 "The two pillars, one sea, and the bases which Solomon had made for the house of the LORD; the brass of all these vessels was without weight."

Being without weight, just means there was a great deal of it. They were extremely heavy.

2 Kings 25:17 "The height of the one pillar [was] eighteen cubits, and the chapiter upon it [was] brass: and the height of the chapiter three cubits; and the wreathen work, and pomegranates upon the chapiter round about, all of brass: and like unto these had the second pillar with wreathen work."

These pillars were 24 feet high plus the chapiter was 4 and ½ feet high. This chapiter of brass was engraved beautifully. To destroy these was a great shame, but they were too large to transport in one piece.

2 Kings 25:18 "And the captain of the guard took Seraiah the chief priest, and Zephaniah the second priest, and the three keepers of the door:"

2 Kings 25:19 "And out of the city he took an officer that was set over the men of war, and five men of them that were in the king’s presence, which were found in the city, and the principal scribe of the host, which mustered the people of the land, and threescore men of the people of the land [that were] found in the city:"

This is speaking of the religous leaders and the civil leaders in the land being taken separately. The king of Babylon feels that they must not leave them with the people because they might lead the people into revolt.

2 Kings 25:20 "And Nebuzar-adan captain of the guard took these, and brought them to the king of Babylon to Riblah:"

2 Kings 25:21 "And the king of Babylon smote them, and slew them at Riblah in the land of Hamath. So Judah was carried away out of their land."

Nebuchadnezzer is the king of Babylon. He is aware the power that these people might have would be dangerous to his keeping the rest of people under his control. The captain brought them for the king to judge. His judgment is that they must die. He had them killed at Riblah, instead of taking them back to Babylon.

2 Kings 25:22 "And [as for] the people that remained in the land of Judah, whom Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon had left, even over them he made Gedaliah the son of Ahikam, the son of Shaphan, ruler."

Gedaliah was Hebrew, but he was not descended from the royal family. Jeremiah the prophet remained in Judah. He was not carried into Babylon. Ahikam had protected Jeremiah earlier. It appears that perhaps his influence over Gedaliah had saved Jeremiah. Of course we know that God really saved Jeremiah. The people immediately went back to farming.

2 Kings 25:23 "And when all the captains of the armies, they and their men, heard that the king of Babylon had made Gedaliah governor, there came to Gedaliah to Mizpah, even Ishmael the son of Nethaniah, and Johanan the son of Careah, and Seraiah the son of Tanhumeth the Netophathite, and Jaazaniah the son of a Maachathite, they and their men."

These captains of these armies were the ones that had fled Jerusalem and hid until the battle in Jerusalem was over. Now they have come back to join in with Gedaliah. They brought with them their men that were under them.

2 Kings 25:24 "And Gedaliah sware to them, and to their men, and said unto them, Fear not to be the servants of the Chaldees: dwell in the land, and serve the king of Babylon; and it shall be well with you."

Gedaliah had offered them the right to work and not be taken captive to Babylon. Gedaliah wanted peace. He knew that they would be valuable to the cleaning up and rebuilding that needed to be done. He had forgotten they were military men. He had also forgotten that he was not of the royal family and would not be recognized as king by these men.

2 Kings 25:25 "But it came to pass in the seventh month, that Ishmael the son of Nethaniah, the son of Elishama, of the seed royal, came, and ten men with him, and smote Gedaliah, that he died, and the Jews and the Chaldees that were with him at Mizpah."

This Ishmael was probably a descendent of the royal family. The connection is not told in the Scriptures, however. Gedaliah had just 330 reigned 2 months when this incident occurs. Probably what happened was they came to see him, and he suspected nothing. They possibly caught him unawares and killed him and his men. His guard seemed to consist of soldiers of the Chaldees.

2 Kings 25:26 "And all the people, both small and great, and the captains of the armies, arose, and came to Egypt: for they were afraid of the Chaldees."

There was reason to fear the army of the Chaldees and this would certainly be found out. They felt they might be safe in Egypt, because Egypt was having problems with the Chaldees themselves. The poor people, and Jeremiah who had been left behind went with these captains for safety.

2 Kings 25:27 "And it came to pass in the seven and thirtieth year of the captivity of Jehoiachin king of Judah, in the twelfth month, on the seven and twentieth [day] of the month, [that] Evil-merodach king of Babylon in the year that he began to reign did lift up the head of Jehoiachin king of Judah out of prison;"

Evil-merodach reigned in the stead of Nebuchadnezzer. Some believe his real name was Avil-marduk. Jehoiachin had been in prison for 36 years. We remember they had put his eyes out before he went to prison. He had 36 years of torture remembering them killing his young sons. We do not know exactly why he released him from prison. He was a relative of the family but I doubt that had much to do with his release.

2 Kings 25:28 "And he spake kindly to him, and set his throne above the throne of the kings that [were] with him in Babylon;"

He showed him the honor due a king in exile. His father, Nebuchadnezzer, probably never forgave him for his treachery when he broke away from him in Judah. The son does not remember all of that and feels sorry for him. He sets him up as if he were a king.

2 Kings 25:29 "And changed his prison garments: and he did eat bread continually before him all the days of his life."

It appears that he actually lived in the house of the king. He was dressed as a king and he ate the food of a king the rest of his life.

2 Kings 25:30 "And his allowance [was] a continual allowance given him of the king, a daily rate for every day, all the days of his life."

We see that the king had compassion on him and he had the necessities of life furnished to him for the continuation of his life. I am pleased that the book of kings ends on a more pleasant note than some of the things we studied in this book. If we learn but one lesson from all of this book it should be that blessings are abundant for those who keep the commandments of God and are faithful to him. The other side is that judgment comes to those who turn away from, God to false gods.

2 Kings 25 Questions

1. In verse 1, who attacked Jerusalem?

2. How long would the battle last?

3. Why did it take so long to defeat Jerusalem?

4. What year of Zedekiah’s reign was the war over?

5. When did the famine begin in Jerusalem?

6. The faces of the people grew _________ from the famine.

7. What terrible thing did the people do because of the famine?

8. What caused the men of war and Zedekiah to run at midnight? 9. What prophet was in Jerusalem at this time?

10. Where did the army of the Chaldees catch Zedekiah?

11. Where did they take him to be judged?

12. Who judged him?

13. What did they do to his young sons?

14. What was the other punishment of Zedekiah?

15. Where did they take him?

16. What happened to Jerusalem?

17. What happened to the walls of Jerusalem?

18. Why did they leave the poor people in Jerusalem and not take them captive?

19. What does 2 Kings 25:13 say they broke up and took away for the brass?

20. How big were the pillars?

21. Why did they kill the people listed in 2 Kings 25:19?

22. Who became king of Judah?

23. How long did he reign?

24. Who came back to Jerusalem for safety?

25. What act of treachery did they commit?

26. Where did they run for safety?

27. How long was Jehoiachin in prison?

28. Who released him?

29. How was he treated the rest of his life?

30. What lesson can we learn from this?

Verse 1

2Ki 25:1

Bibliographical Information
"Commentary on 2 Kings 25". "Old & New Testament Restoration Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/onr/2-kings-25.html.
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