2 Kings 25

CHAPTER XXV

Nebuchadnezzar besieges Jerusalem; it is taken, after having

been sorely reduced by famine, &c.; and Zedekiah, endeavouring

to make his escape, is made prisoner, his sons slain before his

eyes; then, his eyes being put out, he is put in chains and

carried to Babylon, 1-7.

Nebuzar-adan burns the temple, breaks down the walls of

Jerusalem, and carries away the people captives, leaving only a

few to till the ground, 8-12.

He takes away all the brass, and all the vessels of the temple,

13-17.

Several of the chief men and nobles found in the city, he

brings to Nebuchadnezzar at Riblah, who puts them all to death,

18-21.

Nebuchadnezzar makes Gedaliah governor over the poor people that

were left, against whom Ishmael rises, and slays him, and

others with him; on which the people in general, fearing the

resentment of the Chaldeans, flee to Egypt, 22-26.

Evil-merodach, king of Babylon, releases Jehoiachin out of

prison, treats him kindly, and makes him his friend, 27-30.

NOTES ON CHAP. XXV

Verse 1. In the ninth year of his reign] Zedekiah, having

revolted against the Chaldeans, Nebuchadnezzar, wearied with his

treachery, and the bad faith of the Jews, determined the total

subversion of the Jewish state. Having assembled a numerous army,

he entered Judea on the tenth day of the tenth month of the ninth

year of the reign of Zedekiah; this, according to the computation

of Archbishop Usher, was on Thursday, January 30, A.M. 3414, which

was a sabbatical year: whereon the men of Jerusalem hearing that

the Chaldean army was approaching, proclaimed liberty to their

servants; see Jer 34:8-10, according to the law, Ex 21:2;

De 15:1, 2, 12: for Nebuchadnezzar, marching with his army

against Zedekiah, having wasted all the country, and taken their

strong holds, except Lachish, Azekah, and Jerusalem, came against

the latter with all his forces. See Jer 34:1-7. On the very day,

as the same author computes, the siege and utter destruction of

Jerusalem were revealed to Ezekiel the prophet, then in Chaldea,

under the type of a seething pot; and his wife died in the

evening, and he was charged not to mourn for her, because of the

extraordinary calamity that had fallen upon the land. See

Eze 24:1, 2, &c.

Jeremiah, having predicted the same calamities, Jer 34:1-7, was

by the command of Zedekiah shut up in prison, Jer 32:1-16.

Pharaoh Hophra, or Vaphris, hearing how Zedekiah was pressed,

and fearing for the safety of his own dominions should the

Chaldeans succeed against Jerusalem, determined to succour

Zedekiah. Finding this, the Chaldeans raised the siege of

Jerusalem, and went to meet the Egyptian army, which they defeated

and put to flight. Joseph. Antiq., lib. 10, cap. 10. In the

interim the Jews, thinking their danger was passed, reclaimed

their servants, and put them again under the yoke; Jer 34:8, &c.

Verse 2. - 4. And the city was besieged, &c.] Nebuchadnezzar,

having routed the Egyptian army, returned to Jerusalem, and

besieged it so closely that, being reduced by famine, and a breach

made in the wall, the Chaldeans entered it on the ninth day of the

fourth month, (Wednesday, July 27,) Zedekiah and many others

endeavouring to make their escape by night.

Verse 3. See Clarke on 2Ki 25:2.

Verse 4. See Clarke on 2Ki 25:2.

Verse 5. The army of the Chaldeans pursued] Zedekiah was taken,

and brought captive to Riblah in Syria, where Nebuchadnezzar then

lay, who ordered his sons to be slain before his face, and then

put out his eyes; and having loaded him with chains, sent him to

Babylon, (see Jer 39:4, 7; 52:7, 11,) thus fulfilling the

prophetic declarations, that his eyes should see the eyes of the

king of Babylon, Jer 32:4; 34:3; but

Babylon he should not see, though he was to die there;

Eze 12:13.

Verse 8. In the fifth month] On the seventh day of the fifth

month, (answering to Wednesday, Aug. 24,) Nebuzar-adan made his

entry into the city; and having spent two days in making

provision, on the tenth day of the same month, (Saturday, Aug.

27,) he set fire to the temple and the king's palace, and the

houses of the nobility, and burnt them to the ground; Jer 52:13,

compared with Jer 39:8. Thus the temple was destroyed in the

eleventh year of Zedekiah, the nineteenth of Nebuchadnezzar, the

first of the XLVIIIth Olympiad, in the one hundred and sixtieth

current year of the era of Nabonassar, four hundred and

twenty-four years three months and eight days from the time in

which Solomon laid its foundation stone.

Verse 10. Brake down the walls] In the same fifth month,

Jer 1:3, the walls of Jerusalem being razed to the ground, all

that were left in the city, and all that had fled over formerly to

Nebuchadnezzar, and all the common people of the city, with all

the king's treasures, those of the nobles, and the whole furniture

of the temple, did Nebuzar-adan carry off to Babylon. See

Jer 39:8, 9; 52:14, 23. And thus was Judah carried away out of

her own land, four hundred and sixty-eight years after David began

to reign over it; from the division of the ten tribes three

hundred and eighty-eight years; and from the destruction of the

kingdom of Israel, one hundred and thirty-four years; A.M. 3416,

and before Christ five hundred and ninety. And thus ends what is

called the fifth age of the world. See USHER'S Annals.

Verse 18. Seraiah the chief priest-Zephaniah] The person who is

here called the second priest was what the Jews call sagan, a sort

of deputy, who performed the functions of the high priest when he

was prevented by any infirmity from attending the temple service.

See on 2Ki 23:4.

Verse 19. And five men of them that were in the king's presence]

These were principal counsellors, and confidential officers.

In Jer 52:25, it is said he took

seven men who were near the king's person, and the same number

is found in the Arabic in this place; and the Chaldee has no less

than fifty men; but in Jeremiah this, as well as all the rest of

the versions, reads seven. Probably they were no more than five at

first, or, perhaps Jeremiah reckoned with the five the officer

that was set over the men of war, and the principal scribe of the

host mentioned here, as two with the five; and thus made seven in

the whole.

Verse 21. The king of Babylon smote them] He had, no doubt,

found that these had counselled Zedekiah to revolt.

Verse 22. Made Gedaliah-ruler.] This was no regal dignity; he

was only a sort of hind or overseer, appointed to regulate the

husbandmen.

Verse 23. To Mizpah] This is said to have been situated on the

east side of the river Jordan, and most contiguous to Babylon,

and therefore the most proper for the residence of Gedaliah,

because nearest to the place from which he was to receive his

instructions. But there were several places of this name, and we

do not exactly know where this was situated.

Verse 24. Gedaliah sware to them] He pledged himself in the most

solemn manner to encourage and protect them.

Verse 25. Smote Gedaliah] This was at an entertainment which

Gedaliah had made for them; see Jer 41:1, &c. He was not content

with this murder, but slew fourscore more, who were coming with

offerings to the temple, and took several as prisoners, among whom

were some of the king's daughters; and set off to go to the

Ammonites: but Johanan, the son of Careah, hearing of these

outrages, raised a number of men, and pursued Ishmael upon which

Ishmael's prisoners immediately turned and joined Johanan; so that

he, and eight of his accomplices, with difficulty escaped to the

Ammonites. See Jer 41:1, &c.

Baalis, king of the Ammonites, had sent Ishmael to murder

Gedaliah; and of this he was informed by Johanan, who offered to

prevent it, by taking away the life of this murderer. But Gedaliah

could not believe that he harboured such foul designs, and

therefore took no precaution to save his life. See Jer 40:13-16.

Verse 27. And it came to pass] Nebuchadnezzar was just now dead;

and Evil-merodach, his son, succeeded to the kingdom in the

thirty-seventh year of the captivity of Jehoiachin: and on the

seven and twentieth day [Jeremiah says five and twentieth] of

the twelfth month of that year, (Tuesday, April 15, A.M. 3442,) he

brought the long captivated Jewish king out of prison; treated him

kindly; and ever after, during his life, reckoned him among the

king's friends. This is particularly related in the four last

verses of the book of Jeremiah.

Verse 30. A continual allowance given him of the king] He lived

in a regal style, and had his court even in the city of Babylon,

being supplied with every requisite by the munificence and

friendship of the king. In about two years after this,

Evil-merodach was slain in a conspiracy; and it is supposed that

Jehoiachin, then about fifty-eight years of age, fell with his

friend and protector. Thus terminates the catastrophe of the

Jewish kings, people, and state; the consequence of unheard-of

rebellions and provocations against the Majesty of heaven.

MASORETIC NOTES ON THE FIRST AND SECOND BOOKS OF KINGS

WE have already seen that the Hebrews consider these two books

as one:-

The NUMBER of verses in both is one thousand five hundred and

thirty-four.

MASORETIC SECTIONS, thirty-five.

MIDDLE VERSE, 1Ki 21:6.

And he said unto her, Because I spake unto Naboth the

Jezreelite, and said unto him, Give me, &c.

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