Jeremiah 52

CHAPTER LII

This chapter was added after Jeremiah's time probably by Ezra,

after the return from the captivity, of which it gives a short

account, nearly the same as in 2Ki 24:18-20; 25:1-30.

It is very properly subjoined to the preceding prophecies, in

order to show how exactly they were fulfilled. It likewise

forms a proper introduction to the following Lamentations, as

it gives an account of the mournful events which gave rise to

them. Zedekiah's evil reign and rebellion against

Nebuchadnezzar, 1-3.

Jerusalem is taken by the Chaldeans after a siege of eighteen

months, 4-7.

Zedekiah pursued and taken in the plains of Jericho, and his

whole army dispersed, 8, 9.

The king's sons and all the princes of Judah slain in Riblah,

10.

Zedekiah has his eyes put out by order of the Chaldean monarch;

and is afterward bound in chains, carried to Babylon, and

imprisoned for life, 11.

Nebuzar-adan, the captain of the guard, burns and spoils the

city and temple, 12-19.

The two pillars of the temple, with their dimensions and

ornaments, 20-23.

The officers of the temple, and several others, carried away

captives into Babylon, and then slain by order of

Nebuchadnezzar, 24-27.

The number of Jews that Nebuchadnezzar carried away captive in

the seventh year of his reign, 28;

in his eighteenth year, 29;

and in his twenty-third year, 30.

Evil-merodach, the son of Nebuchadnezzar, in the year of his

accession to the throne of Babylon, (which was in the

thirty-seventh year of the captivity, and the one hundred and

ninety-first from the building of Rome, according to the

computation of Varro,) orders Jehoiachin to be taken out of

prison, and treats him kindly for the remainder of his life,

31-34.

NOTES ON CHAP. LII

Verse 1. Zedekiah was one and twenty years old] See 2Ki 24:18.

Verse 2. And he did-evil] This and the following verse are the

same as 2Ki 24:19.

Verse 3. Through the anger of the Lord] Here is a king given to

a people in God's anger, and taken away in his displeasure.

Verse 4. Ninth year-tenth month] Answering nearly to our

January.

Verse 5. So the city was besieged] It held out one year and six

months.

Verse 6. And in the fourth month] See Clarke on Jer 39:1,

&c. The fourth month answers nearly to our July.

Verse 8. The army of the Chaldeans pursued] See Clarke on 2Ki 25:5.

Verse 9. King of Babylon to Riblah] See Clarke on Jer 39:5.

Verse 11. He put out the eyes of Zedekiah] See Clarke on Jer 39:7.

Verse 12. Now in the fifth month] Answering nearly to our

August.

Verse 13. And burned the house of the Lord] Thus perished this

magnificent structure, after it had stood four hundred and

twenty-four years three months and eight days. It was built A.M.

2992, and destroyed A.M. 3416.

Verse 15. Those that fell away] The deserters to the Chaldeans

during the siege.

Verse 16. The poor of the land] See Clarke on Jer 39:10.

Verse 17. Also the pillars] See Clarke on Jer 27:19.

Verse 18. - 23. In reference to these verses see the parallel

texts in the margin, the various readings there, and the notes.

Verse 19. See Clarke on Jer 52:18.

Verse 20. See Clarke on Jer 52:18.

Verse 21. See Clarke on Jer 52:18.

Verse 22. See Clarke on Jer 52:18.

Verse 23. See Clarke on Jer 52:18.

Verse 24. The second priest] See Clarke on 2Ki 25:18.

The three keepers] The priests who stood at the door to receive

the offerings of the people, see 2Ki 20:9; 23:4.

Verse 25. Seven men-that were near the king's person] These were

privy counsellors.

Verse 28. - 30. On these verses Dr. Blayney has some sensible

remarks; I will extract the substance. These verses are not

inserted in 2 Kings xxv. Are we to conclude from these verses that

the whole number of the Jews which Nebuchadnezzar, in all his

expeditions, carried away, was no more than four thousand six

hundred? This cannot be true; for he carried away more than twice

that number at one time and this is expressly said to have been in

the eighth year of his reign, 2Ki 24:12-16. Before that time he

had carried off a number of captives from Jerusalem, in the first

year of his reign, among whom were Daniel and his companions,

Da 1:3-6. These are confessedly not noticed here. And as the

taking and burning of Jerusalem is in this very chapter said to

have been in the fourth and fifth months of the nineteenth year

of the reign of Nebuchadnezzar, those who were carried into

captivity at the date of those events cannot possibly be the same

with those that are said to be carried away either in the

eighteenth or twenty-third year of that prince. Nor, indeed, is

it credible that the number carried away at the time that the city

was taken, and the whole country reduced, could be so few as eight

hundred and thirty-two, (see Jer 52:29;) supposing a mistake in

the date of the year, which some are willing to do without

sufficient grounds.

Here then we have three deportations, and those the most

considerable ones, in the first, in the eighth, and nineteenth

years of Nebuchadnezzar, sufficiently distinguished from those in

the seventh, eighteenth, and twenty-third years. So that it seems

most reasonable to conclude with Abp. Usher, in Chronologia Sacra,

that by the latter three the historian meant to point out

deportations of a minor kind, not elsewhere noticed in direct

terms in Scripture.

The first of these, said to have been in the seventh year of

Nebuchadnezzar, was one of those that had been picked up in

several parts of Judah by the band of Chaldeans, Syrians, and

others, whom the king of Babylon sent against the land previously

to his own coming, 2Ki 24:2.

That in the eighteenth year corresponds with the time when the

Chaldean army broke off the siege before Jerusalem, and marched to

meet the Egyptian army, at which time they might think it proper

to send off the prisoners that were in camp, under a guard to

Babylon.

And the last, in the twenty-third year of Nebuchadnezzar, was

when that monarch, being engaged in the siege of Tyre, sent off

Nebuzaradan against the Moabites, Ammonites, and other

neighbouring nations, who at the same time carried away the

gleanings of Jews that remained in their own land, amounting in

all to no more than seven hundred and forty-five.

Josephus speaks of this expedition against the Moabites and

Ammonites, which he places in the twenty-third year or

Nebuchadnezzar; but mentions nothing done in the land of Israel at

that time. Only he says that after the conquest of those nations,

Nebuchadnezzar carried his victorious arms against Egypt, which he

in some measure reduced, and carried the Jews whom he found there

captives to Babylon. But the Egyptian expedition was not till the

twenty-seventh year of Jehoiachin's captivity, i.e., the

thirty-fifth of Nebuchadnezzar, as may be collected from

Eze 29:17; so that those who were carried away in the

twenty-third year were not from Egypt, but were, as before

observed, the few Jews that remained in the land of Judah.

Verse 29. See Clarke on Jer 52:28.

Verse 30. See Clarke on Jer 52:28.

Verse 31. In the twelfth month] Answering nearly to our

twenty-fifth of April, A.M. 3442.

Lifted up the head of Jehoiachin] This phrase is taken from

Ge 40:13. It is founded on the observation that those who are

in sorrow hold down their heads, and when they are comforted, or

the cause of their sorrow removed, they lift up their heads. The

Hebrew phrase, lift up the head, signifies to comfort, cheer, make

happy.

Verse 32. Spake kindly] Conversed freely with him.

Set his throne] Gave him a more respectable seat than any of the

captive princes, or better than even his own princes had, probably

near his person.

Verse 33. And changed his prison garments] That is, Jehoiachin

changed his own garments, that he might be suited in that respect

to the state of his elevation. Kings also, in token of favour,

gave caftans or robes to those whom they wish to honour.

And he did continually eat bread before him] Was a constant

guest at the king's table.

Verse 34. And-there was a continual diet given him] This was

probably a ration allowed by the king for the support of

Jehoiachin's household. For other particulars,

See Clarke on 2Ki 25:30.

All the days of his life.] I believe these words have been by

mistake added from the preceding verse. There, they are proper;

here, they are tautological. They are wanting in the Septuagint

and in the Arabic.

The preceding words, ad yom motho, "to the day of

his death," are wanting in two of De Rossi's and one of

Kennicott's MSS.

Coverdale ends thus: All the days of his life untill he died.

This is better than the common Version.

Immediately after this verse my old MS. Bible adds the following

words: And done is aftir that into caitifte is brougt Israel, and

Jerusalem is bestroide, satte Jeremye the prophet weepund, and

weiled with this lamentation Jerusalem; and with bitter inwit

sighand and criand weilawai, seide. Then follows in red letters:

Here beginneth the Lamentation of Jeremye, that is intitle

Cenoth; with the sortynge out of Ebrue letters. ALEPH: How sitteth

aloon the city, &c. See something of a similar kind from other

authorities, at the beginning of Lamentations.

MASORETIC NOTES.

Number of verses in this Book, 1365.

Middle verse, Jer 28:11.

Masoretic sections, 31.

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