2 Chronicles 36:20
And them that had escaped from the sword carried he away to Babylon; where they were servants to him and his sons until the reign of the kingdom of Persia:
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
2 Chronicles 36:20. Where they were servants to him and his sons — They do not seem to have been made captives to private persons, but to have been taken in one body, and made the servants of the king; that is, to have been employed by him, in one way or other, to his private advantage, which we are not now acquainted with. Until the reign of the kingdom of Persia — Until the reign of the king of Persia, Houb. Respecting the proclamation of Cyrus, see the beginning of the next book. From these words, we may conclude that this book was written after the return from captivity.36:1-21 The ruin of Judah and Jerusalem came on by degrees. The methods God takes to call back sinners by his word, by ministers, by conscience, by providences, are all instances of his compassion toward them, and his unwillingness that any should perish. See here what woful havoc sin makes, and, as we value the comfort and continuance of our earthly blessings, let us keep that worm from the root of them. They had many times ploughed and sowed their land in the seventh year, when it should have rested, and now it lay unploughed and unsown for ten times seven years. God will be no loser in his glory at last, by the disobedience of men. If they refused to let the land rest, God would make it rest. What place, O God, shall thy justice spare, if Jerusalem has perished? If that delight of thine were cut off for wickedness, let us not be high-minded, but fear.Servants - Or, "slaves." They were probably employed by Nebuchadnezzar in the forced labor which his great works necessitated.

His sons - The word probably includes all Nebuchadnezzars successors in the independent sovereignty of Babylon.

13. who had made him swear by God—Zedekiah received his crown on the express condition of taking a solemn oath of fealty to the king of Babylon (Eze 17:13); so that his revolt by joining in a league with Pharaoh-hophra, king of Egypt, involved the crime of perjury. His own pride and obdurate impiety, the incurable idolatry of the nation, and their reckless disregard of prophetic warnings, brought down on his already sadly reduced kingdom the long threatened judgments of God. Nebuchadnezzar, the executioner of the divine vengeance, commenced a third siege of Jerusalem, which, after holding out for a year and a half, was taken in the eleventh year of the reign of Zedekiah. It resulted in the burning of the temple, with, most probably, the ark, and in the overthrow of the kingdom of Judah (see on [480]2Ki 25:1-7; [481]Eze 12:13; [482]Eze 17:16). No text from Poole on this verse. And them that had escaped from the sword carried he away captive,.... The king of Babylon, or his general by his orders, excepting some poor persons left to till the land, see Jeremiah 52:15,

where they were servants to him and his sons; his son Evilmerodach, and his grandson Belshazzar; see Gill on Jeremiah 27:7,

until the reign of the kingdom of Persia; until that monarchy began, as it did upon the taking of Babylon by Cyrus king of Persia. This is the first place we meet with this name of Persia in Scripture. The Arabic writers differ about the origin of it; some derive it from Pars the son of Arsham (Arphaxad), the son of Shem; others from Pars the son of Amur, the son of Japheth; and others say Pars was the son of Elam, the son of Shem, the son of Noah (a); but Bochart (b), seems to be most correct in the derivation of the word, who observes, from Xenophon (c), horses were very rare in this country; and very few could ride them before the times of Cyrus, who taught his foot soldiers to ride horses; and hence it became common, so that none of the best men of the land cared to be seen on foot; yea, he made a law, that it should be reckoned infamous if any of those he had taught the art of riding were seen to go on foot, though ever so little a way; from this sudden change made in his time the people were called Persians, and the country Persia; in the Arabic language, "pharas" signifying a horse, and "pharis" a horseman; and the same writer observes, that hence it is that no mention is made of this country, in the name of Persia, by Isaiah and Jeremiah; but by Ezekiel and Daniel, who were contemporary with Cyrus; and in this book and the following historical ones, which were wrote after the Babylonish captivity, as their history shows; and that this book was, is clear from the preceding clause, as well as from the three last verses.

(a) Hyde, Hist. Relig. Vet. Pers. c. 35. p. 418, 419. (b) Phaleg. l. 4. c. 10. col. 224. (c) Cyropaedia, l. 1. c. 11. & l. 4. c. 17, 18.

And them that had escaped from the sword carried he away to Babylon; where they were servants to him and his sons until the reign of the kingdom of {k} Persia:

(k) When Gyrus king of Persia had made the Babylonians subject.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
20, 21 (= 1Es 1:57-58). The Captivity

20. to him and his sons] Cp. Jeremiah 27:7. There were three kings of Babylon after Nebuchadnezzar before Cyrus established Persian rule, viz. Evil-Merodach (Amil-Marduk) (2 Kings 25:27), Neriglissar (Nergalšar-uṣur), and Nabonidus (Nabu-na’id). The last two kings were usurpers. Neriglissar was (it seems) son-in-law to Nebuchadnezzar (Hommel, Babylonia in Hastings’ Bible Dict., i. 229a). Whether Nabonidus was connected with the royal house is not known."And all princes of the priests and the people increased faithless transgressions, like to all the abominations of the heathen, and defiled the house of the Lord which He had consecrated in Jerusalem." Bertheau would refer this censure of their idolatry and the profanation of the temple to the guilt incurred by the whole people, especially in the time of Manasseh, because, from all we know from the book of Jeremiah, the reproach of idolatry did not at all, or at least did not specially, attach to the princes of the priests and the people in the time of Zedekiah. But this reason is neither tenable nor correct; for from Ezekiel 8 it is perfectly manifest that under Zedekiah, not only the people, but also the priesthood, were deeply sunk in idolatry, and that even the courts of the temple were defiled by it. And even though that idolatry did not take its rise under Zedekiah, but had been much practised under Jehoiakim, and was merely a revival and continuation of the idolatrous conduct of Manasseh and Amon, yet the reference of our verse to the time of Manasseh is excluded by the context; for here only that which was done under Zedekiah is spoken of, without any reference to earlier times.

Meanwhile God did not leave them without exhortation, warning, and threatening. - 2 Chronicles 36:15. Jahve sent to them by His messengers, from early morning onwards continually, for He spared His people and His dwelling-place; but they mocked the messengers of God, despised His words, and scoffed at His prophets. בּיד שׁלח, to send a message by any one, to make a sending. The object is to be supplied from the verb. ושׁלוח השׁכּם exactly as in Jeremiah 26:5; Jeremiah 29:19. For He spared His people, etc., viz., by this, that He, in long-suffering, again and again called upon the people by prophets to repent and return, and was not willing at once to destroy His people and His holy place. מלעיבים is ἁπ. λεγ., in Syr. it signifies subsannavit; the Hithp. also, מתּעתּעים (from תּעע), occurs only here as an intensive: to launch out in mockery. The distinction drawn between מלאכים (messengers) and נביאים (prophets) is rhetorical, for by the messengers of God it is chiefly prophets who are meant; but the expression is not to be confined to prophets in the narrower sense of the word, for it embraces all the men of God who, by word and deed, censured and punished the godless conduct of the idolaters. The statement in these two verses is certainly so very general, that it may apply to all the times of gradually increasing defection of the people from the Lord their God; but the author of the Chronicle had primarily in view only the time of Zedekiah, in which the defection reached its highest point. It should scarcely be objected that in the time of Zedekiah only Jeremiah is known as a prophet of the Lord, since Ezekiel 54ed and wrought among the exiles. For, in the first place, it does not hence certainly follow that Jeremiah and Ezekiel were the only prophets of that time; then, secondly, Jeremiah does not speak as an individual prophet, but holds up to the people the witness of all the earlier prophets (cf. e.g., 2 Chronicles 26:4-5), so that by him all the former prophets of God spoke to the people; and consequently the plural, His messengers, His prophets, is perfectly true even for the time of Zedekiah, if we always keep in mind the rhetorical character of the style. וגו עלות עד, until the anger of Jahve rose upon His people, so that there was no healing (deliverance) more.

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