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 to the LORD God of Israel.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)And he also rebelled.—2Kings 24:20.
Who had made him swear by God.—When Nebuchadnezzar appointed Zedekiah vassal-king of Judah, he would naturally make him swear fealty to himself by the God of his fathers. The fact is not specially recorded in Kings; but the prophet Ezekiel makes it the point of a prophecy against the king and his grandees (Ezekiel 17:11-21; comp, especially 2Chronicles 36:17, “mine oath that he hath despised.”)
But (and) stiffened his neck and hardened his heart.—(Comp. the like expression in Deuteronomy 2:30; 2Kings 17:14; Jeremiah 19:15.) Zedekiah was not personally unfavourable to the prophet Jeremiah, and consulted him more than once; but he was too weak and timorous to stand by the prophetic counsel, in defiance of his princes who were intriguing with Egypt.2 Chronicles 36:13. Who had made him swear by God — Who had required him to swear fealty and constant obedience to him, by the true God, whom he called upon to be a witness against him if he broke his oath. So his rebellion was aggravated with perjury and horrid contempt of God. But he stiffened his neck, and hardened his heart — He added obstinacy and incorrigibleness to his sins.Ezekiel 17:18-20; Ezekiel 21:25. Who had made him swear by God; who had required and forced him to swear fealty and constant obedience to him by the true God, whom he had served, and whom he called upon to be a witness against him if he broke his oath. So his rebellion was aggravated with perjury, and horrid contempt of God. Compare Ezekiel 17:18. Hardened his heart, i.e. he added obstinacy and incorrigibleness to his sins. 2 Chronicles 36:13, what needs explanation or reconciliation; see Gill on 2 Kings 23:31, 2 Kings 23:32, 2 Kings 23:33, 2 Kings 23:34, 2 Kings 23:35, 2 Kings 23:36, 2 Kings 23:37, 2 Kings 24:5, 2 Kings 24:6, 2 Kings 24:8, 2 Kings 24:10, 2 Kings 24:17, 2 Kings 24:18 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.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)13. who had made him swear by God] Cp. Ezekiel 17:11-19.Verse 13. - He also rebelled against... Nebuchadnezzar, who had made him swear by God (Elohim). The criticism of the Prophet Ezekiel upon this oath-violation on the part of Zedekiah is to be found Ezekiel 17:12-20; Ezekiel 21:25. Unto the Lord God of Israel. Note here the resorting on the part of the Jew to the name, Jehovah. It is not this name that is used at the commencement of the verse. 2 Kings 24 and Daniel 1:1-2. The capture of Jerusalem, at which Jehoiakim was put in fetters, occurred, as we learn from Daniel 1:1, col. c. Jeremiah 46:2 and Jeremiah 36:7, in the fourth year of Jehoiakim's reign, i.e., in the year 606 b.c.; and with it commence the seventy years of the Chaldean servitude of Judah. Nebuchadnezzar did not carry out his purpose of deporting the captured king Jehoiakim to Babylon, but allowed him to continue to reign at Jerusalem as his servant (vassal). To alter the infin. להוליכו into the perf., or to translate as the perf., is quite arbitrary, as is also the supplying of the words, "and he carried him away to Babylon." That the author of the Chronicle does not mention the actual carrying away, but rather assumes the contrary, namely, that Jehoiakim continued to reign in Jerusalem until his death, as well known, is manifest from the way in which, in 2 Chronicles 36:8, he records his son's accession to the throne. He uses the same formula which he has used in the case of all the kings whom at their death their sons succeeded, according to established custom. Had Nebuchadnezzar dethroned Jehoiakim, as Necho deposed Jehoahaz, the author of the Chronicle would not have left the installation of Jehoiachin by the Chaldean king unmentioned. For the defence of this view against opposing opinions, see the commentary on 2 Kings 24:1 and Daniel 1:1; and in regard to 2 Chronicles 36:7, see on Daniel 1:2. The Chronicle narrates nothing further as to Jehoiakim's reign, but refers, 2 Chronicles 36:8, for his other deeds, and especially his abominations, to the book of the kings of Israel and Judah, whence the most important things have been excerpted and incorporated in 2 Kings 24:1-4. עשׂה אשׁר תּועבותיו Bertheau interprets of images which he caused to be prepared, and עליו הנּמצא of his evil deeds; but in both he is incorrect. The passages which Bertheau cites for his interpretation of the first words, Jeremiah 7:9. and Ezekiel 8:17, prove the contrary; for Jeremiah mentions as תּועבות of the people, murder, adultery, false swearing, offering incense to Baal, and going after other gods; and Ezekiel, loc. cit., uses תּועבות עשׂות of the idolatry of the people indeed, but not of the making of images - only of the worship of idols, the practice of idol-worship. The abominations, consequently, which Jehoiakim committed are both his evil deeds and crimes, e.g., the shedding of innocent blood (2 Kings 24:4), as well as the idolatry which he had practised. עליו הנּמצא, "what was found upon him," is a comprehensive designation of his whole moral and religious conduct and attitude; cf. 2 Chronicles 19:3. Jehoiakim's revolt from Nebuchadnezzar after three years' servitude (2 Kings 24:1) is passed over by the author of the Chronicle, because the punishment of this crime influenced the fate of the kingdom of Judah only after his death. The punishment fell upon Jehoiachin; for the detachments of Arameans, Moabites, and Ammonites, which were sent by Nebuchadnezzar to punish the rebels, did not accomplish much.
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