2 Kings 25

* Jerusalem besieged, Zedekiah taken. (1-7) The temple burnt,

The people carried into captivity. (8-21) The rest of the Jews

flee into Egypt, Evil-merodach relieves the captivity of

Jehoiachin. (22-30)

1-7 Jerusalem was so fortified, that it could not be taken till

famine rendered the besieged unable to resist. In the prophecy

and Lamentations of Jeremiah, we find more of this event; here

it suffices to say, that the impiety and misery of the besieged

were very great. At length the city was taken by storm. The

king, his family, and his great men escaped in the night, by

secret passages. But those deceive themselves who think to

escape God's judgments, as much as those who think to brave

them. By what befell Zedekiah, two prophecies, which seemed to

contradict each other, were both fulfilled. Jeremiah prophesied

that Zedekiah should be brought to Babylon, #Jer 32:5; 34:3|;

Ezekiel, that he should not see Babylon, #Eze 12:13|. He was

brought thither, but his eyes being put out, he did not see it.
8-21 The city and temple were burnt, and, it is probable, the

ark in it. By this, God showed how little he cares for the

outward pomp of his worship, when the life and power of religion

are neglected. The walls of Jerusalem were thrown down, and the

people carried captive to Babylon. The vessels of the temple

were carried away. When the things signified were sinned away,

what should the signs stand there for? It was righteous with God

to deprive those of the benefit of his worship, who had

preferred false worships before it; those that would have many

altars, now shall have none. As the Lord spared not the angels

that sinned, as he doomed the whole race of fallen men to the

grave, and all unbelievers to hell, and as he spared not his own

Son, but delivered him up for us all, we need not wonder at any

miseries he may bring upon guilty nations, churches, or persons.
22-30 The king of Babylon appointed Gedaliah to be the governor

and protector of the Jews left their land. But the things of

their peace were so hidden from their eyes, that they knew not

when they were well off. Ishmael basely slew him and all his

friends, and, against the counsel of Jeremiah, the rest went to

Egypt. Thus was a full end made of them by their own folly and

disobedience; see Jeremiah chap. 40 to 45. Jehoiachin was

released out of prison, where he had been kept 37 years. Let

none say that they shall never see good again, because they have

long seen little but evil: the most miserable know not what turn

Providence may yet give to their affairs, nor what comforts they

are reserved for, according to the days wherein they have been

afflicted. Even in this world the Saviour brings a release from

bondage to the distressed sinner who seeks him, bestowing

foretastes of the pleasures which are at his right hand for

evermore. Sin alone can hurt us; Jesus alone can do good to

sinners.

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