2 Kings 24:1
In his days Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came up, and Jehoiakim became his servant three years: then he turned and rebelled against him.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
XXIV.

(1) In his days.—In his fifth or sixth year. In Jehoiakim’s fourth year Nebuchadnezzar defeated Necho at Carchemish (Jeremiah 46:2), and was suddenly called home by the news of the death of Nabopolassar his father, whom he succeeded on the throne of Babylon in the same year (Jeremiah 25:1). From Jeremiah 36:9 we learn that towards the end of Jehoiakim’s fifth year the king of Babylon was expected to invade the land. When this took place, Nebuchadnezzar humbled Jehoiakim, who had probably made his submission, by putting him in chains, and carrying off some of the Temple treasures (2Chronicles 36:6-7). Left in the possession of his throne as a vassal of Babylon, Jehoiakim paid tribute three years, and then tried to throw off the yoke.

2 Kings 24:1. In his days — That is, in Jehoiakim’s reign; and, according to Daniel 1:1, compared with Jeremiah 25:1, in the end of the third, or the beginning of the fourth year of it; came up Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon — Son of Nebopolassar, who, having subdued Assyria, soon made himself absolute monarch of all that part of the world. He probably left Babylon in the third year of Jehoiakim, and reduced him in his fourth year. According to Jeremiah 46:2, he smote the army of Pharaoh- nechoh near the river Euphrates. He then attacked Jehoiakim, as the friend and ally of Pharaoh, and having taken him prisoner, “put him in chains to carry him to Babylon.” But as Jehoiakim submitted, and agreed to become tributary to him, Nebuchadnezzar released him. He carried away, however, some of the gold and silver vessels of the temple, and some of the most considerable persons of the kingdom, among whom were Daniel and his companions, Daniel 1:1-7. And Jehoiakim became his servant three years — That is, was subject to him, and paid him tribute. Then he turned and rebelled against him — Being instigated so to do by the king of Egypt, who promised him his utmost assistance if he would shake off the yoke of the king of Babylon, and threatened he would declare him an enemy, and make war upon him, if he would not.

24:1-7 If Jehoiakim had served the Lord, he had not been servant to Nebuchadnezzar. If he had been content with his servitude, and true to his word, his condition had been no worse; but, rebelling against Babylon, he plunged himself into more trouble. See what need nations have to lament the sins of their fathers, lest they smart for them. Threatenings will be fulfilled as certainly as promises, if the sinner's repentance prevent not.In his days - i. e., 605 B.C., which was the third completed Daniel 1:1, and fourth commencing Jeremiah 25:1, year of Jehoiakim.

Nebuchadnezzar - or Nebuchadrezzar, which is closer to the original, Nabu-kudurri-uzur. This name, like most Babylonian names, is made up of three elements, Nebo, the well-known god Isaiah 46:1, kudur, of doubtful signification (perhaps "crown" perhaps "landmark"), and uzur "protects." Nebuchadnezzar, the son of Nabopolassar, and second monarch of the Babylonian empire, ascended the throne, 604 B.C., and reigned 43 years, dying 561 B.C. He married Amuhia (or Amyitis), daughter of Cyaxares, king of the Medes, and was the most celebrated of all the Babylonian sovereigns. No other pagan king occupies so much space in Scripture. He was not actual king at this time, but only Crown Prince and leader of the army under his father. As he would be surrounded with all the state and magnficence of a monarch, the Jews would naturally look upon him as actual king.

Came up - Nebuchadnezzar began his campaign by attacking and defeating Neco's Egyptians at Carchemish Jeremiah 46:2. He then pressed forward toward the south, overran Syria, Phoenicia, and Judaea, took Jerusalem, and carried off a portion of the inhabitants as prisoners Daniel 1:1-4 : after which he proceeded southward, and had reached the borders of Egypt when he was suddenly recalled to Babylon by the death of his father.

Three years - Probably from 605 B.C. to 602 B.C. Jehoiakim rebelled because he knew Nebuchadnezzar to be engaged in important wars in some other part of Asia.

CHAPTER 24

2Ki 24:1-7. Jehoiakim Procures His Own Ruin.

1, 2. Nebuchadnezzar—the son of Nabopolassar, the founder of the Chaldee monarchy. This invasion took place in the fourth year of Jehoiakim's, and the first of Nebuchadnezzar's reign (Jer 25:1; compare Jer 46:2). The young king of Assyria being probably detained at home on account of his father's demise, despatched, along with the Chaldean troops on his border, an army composed of the tributary nations that were contiguous to Judea, to chastise Jehoiakim's revolt from his yoke. But this hostile band was only an instrument in executing the divine judgment (2Ki 24:2) denounced by the prophets against Judah for the sins of the people; and hence, though marching by the orders of the Assyrian monarch, they are described as sent by the Lord (2Ki 24:3).Jehoiakim, first subdued by Nebuchadnezzar, rebelleth against him to his own ruin: Jehoiachin his son is king in his stead, 2 Kings 24:1-6. His evil reign: Jerusalem spoiled and made captive by the king of Babylon, 2 Kings 24:8-16. He maketh Zedekiah king: he reigneth ill, unto the utter destruction of Judah, 2 Kings 24:17-20.

In his days, i.e. in Jehoiakim’s reign, in the end of his third year, Daniel 1:1, or the beginning of his fourth, Jeremiah 25:1, Nebuchadnezzar; the son of Nabopolassar, who quite subdued the Assyrian, first his lord, and then his competitor, and made himself absolute monarch of all those parts of the world. Came up, to wit, against Jehoiakim, as the friend and confederate of Pharaoh, whose forces he had lately conquered, Jeremiah 46:2. He turned and rebelled against him, by the instigation of the Egyptian, who threatened him if he did not rebel, and promised him his utmost assistance if he did.

In his days Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came up,.... Against Jerusalem; this was in the latter end of the third, or the beginning of the fourth of Jehoiakim's reign, and the first of Nebuchadnezzar, Jeremiah 25:1, when Jehoiakim was taken, but restored upon promise of subjection and obedience, and hostages given, at which time Daniel and his companions were carried captive, with some of the vessels of the temple; See Gill on Daniel 1:1, Daniel 1:2.

and Jehoiakim became his servant three years: which were the fifth, sixth, and seventh years of his reign:

then he turned and rebelled against him; being encouraged by the king of Egypt, who promised to assist him against the king of Babylon; Nebuchadnezzar is the Nabocolasser in Ptolemy's canon; and Berosus (n) testifies, that seventy years before the Persian monarchy he made war against the Phoenicians and Jews, and it is from this time the seventy years' captivity is to be dated.

(n) Apud Clement. Alex. Stromat. 1. p. 329.

In his {a} days Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came up, and Jehoiakim became his servant three years: then he turned and rebelled against him.

(a) In the end of the third year of his reign and in the beginning of the fourth, Dan 1:1.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
2 Kings 24:1. Nebuchadnezzar … came up] We learn from Jeremiah (Jeremiah 46:2) that Pharaoh-nechoh was defeated by Nebuchadnezzar at the Euphrates near Carchemish in the fourth year of Jehoiakim. The Egyptian king had probably left his army at Carchemish on his own return to Egypt. After routing the Egyptian force the king of Babylon came forward to attack those lands which had submitted to Pharaoh, Judah among the rest.

Nebuchadnezzar was the son and successor of Nabopolassar, who founded the Babylonian Empire. It was while Nebuchadnezzar was engaged in this expedition against the Egyptians and their allies that he was recalled to take the throne of Babylon. He had been acting as general for his father, though to the Jewish mind he would appear as king of Babylon, especially as he so soon after became in reality king and was made known to them as such by terrible experience.

Jehoiakim became his servant three years] i.e. He undertook to pay a certain yearly tribute to Babylon. The conqueror appears also to have carried off captives from Jerusalem, for it was at this time that Daniel and his companions were taken away (Daniel 1:1). It would seem from the history in 2 Chronicles 36:6 that Nebuchadnezzar’s intention had been to take Jehoiakim away, for it is stated that he ‘bound him in fetters to carry him to Babylon’. See on this also the language of Ezekiel 19:9. But by some means he was maintained on his throne. After three years of vassalage, however, he rebelled, probably thinking that he could get help from Egypt.

Verse 1. - In his days Nebuchadnezzar King of Babylon came up. The Hebrew נְבֻכַדְנֶאצַר (Nebuchadnezzar) or נְבֻכַדְרֶאצַר (Nebuchadnezzar, Jeremiah, Ezekiel) represents the Babylonian Nabu-kudur-uzur ("Nebo is the protector of landmarks"), a name very common in the Babylonian and Assyrian inscriptions. It was borne by three distinct kings of Babylon, the most important of whom was Nebuchadnezzar III., the son of Nabopolassar, the monarch of the present passage. According to Berosus, he was not at the time of this expedition the actual sovereign of Babylonia, but only the crown prince, placed by the actual king, Nabopolassar, at the head of his army. It is possible that his father may have associated him in the kingdom, for association was not unknown at Babylon; or the Jews may have mistaken his position; or the historian may call him king by prolepsis, as a modern might say, "The Emperor Napoleon invaded Italy and defeated the Austrians at Marengo" (see Pusey's 'Daniel,' p. 400). His father had grown too old and infirm to conduct a military expedition, and consequently sent his son in his place, with the object of chastising Nechoh, and recovering the territory whereof Nechoh had made himself master three years before (see 2 Kings 23:29-33, and compare below, ver. 7). And Jehoiakim became his servant - i.e. submitted to him, and became a tributary king - three years (from B.C. 605 to B.C. 602): then he turned and rebelled against him. How Jehoiakim came to venture on this step we are not told, and can only conjecture. It is, perhaps, most probable that (as Josephus says, 'Ant. Jud.' 10:6, § 2) he was incited to take this course by the Egyptians, who were still under the rule of the brave and enterprising Nechoh, and who may have hoped to wipe out by fresh victories the disaster experienced at Carehemish. There is, perhaps, an allusion to Jehoiakim's expectation of Egyptian succors in the statement of ver. 7, that "the King of Egypt came not again any more out of his land." 2 Kings 24:1"In his days Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babel, came up; and Jehoiakim became subject to him three years, then he revolted from him again." נבכדנאצּר, Nebuchadnezzar, or נבוּכדראצּר, Nebuchadrezzar (Jeremiah 21:2, Jeremiah 21:7; Jeremiah 22:25, etc.), Ναβουχοδονόσορ (lxx), Ναβουχοδονόσορος (Beros. in Jos. c. Ap. i. 20, 21), Ναβοκοδρόσορος (Strabo, xv. 1, 6), upon the Persian arrow-headed inscriptions at Bisutun Nabhukudracara (according to Oppert, composed of the name of God, Nabhu (Nebo), the Arabic kadr, power, and zar or sar, prince), and in still other forms (for the different forms of the name see M. v. Niebuhr's Gesch. pp. 41, 42). He was the son of Nabopolassar, the founder of the Chaldaean monarchy, and reigned, according to Berosus (Jos. l.c.), Alex. Polyh. (Eusebii Chr. arm. i. pp. 44, 45), and the Canon of Ptol., forty-three years, from 605 to 562 b.c. With regard to his first campaign against Jerusalem, it is stated in 2 Chronicles 36:6, that "against him (Jehoiakim) came up Nebuchadnezzar, and bound him with brass chains, to carry him (להוליכו) to Babylon;" and in Daniel 1:1-2, that "in the year three of the reign of Jehoiakim, Nebuchadnezzar came against Jerusalem and besieged it; and the Lord gave Jehoiakim, the king of Judah, into his hand, and a portion of the holy vessels, and he brought them (the vessels) into the land of Shinar, into the house of his god," etc. Bertheau (on Chr.) admits that all three passages relate to Nebuchadnezzar's first expedition against Jehoiakim and the first taking of Jerusalem by the king of Babylon, and rejects the alteration of להוליכו, "to lead him to Babylon" (Chr.), into ἀπήγαγεν αὐτὸν (lxx), for which Thenius decides in his prejudice in favour of the lxx. He has also correctly observed, that the chronicler intentionally selected the infinitive with ל, because he did not intend to speak of the actual transportation of Jehoiakim to Babylon. The words of our text, "Jehoiakim became servant (עבד) to him," i.e., subject to him, simply affirm that he became tributary, not that he was led away. And in the book of Daniel also there is nothing about the leading away of Jehoiakim to Babylon. Whilst, therefore, the three accounts agree in the main with one another, and supply one another's deficiencies, so that we learn that Jehoiakim was taken prisoner at the capture of Jerusalem and put in chains to be led away, but that, inasmuch as he submitted to Nebuchadnezzar and vowed fidelity, he was not taken away, but left upon the throne as vassal of the king of Babylon; the statement in the book of Daniel concerning the time when this event occurred, which is neither contained in our account nor in the Chronicles, presents a difficulty when compared with Jeremiah 25 and Jeremiah 46:2, and different attempts, some of them very constrained, have been made to remove it. According to Jeremiah 46:2, Nebuchadnezzar smote Necho the king of Egypt at Carchemish, on the Euphrates, in the fourth year of Jehoiakim. This year is not only called the first year of Nebuchadnezzar in Jeremiah 25:1, but is represented by the prophet as the turning-point of the kingdom of Judah by the announcement that the Lord would bring His servant Nebuchadnezzar upon Judah and its inhabitants, and also upon all the nations dwelling round about, that he would devastate Judah, and that these nations would serve the king of Babylon seventy years (Jeremiah 25:9-11). Consequently not only the defeat of Necho at Carchemish, but also the coming of Nebuchadnezzar to Judah, fell in the fourth year of Jehoiakim, and not in the third. To remove this discrepancy, some have proposed that the time mentioned, "in the fourth year of Jehoiakim" (Jeremiah 46:2), should be understood as relating, not to the year of the battle at Carchemish, but to the time of the prophecy of Jeremiah against Egypt contained in Jeremiah 46, and that Jeremiah 25 should also be explained as follows, that in this chapter the prophet is not announcing the first capture of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar, but is proclaiming a year after this the destruction of Jerusalem and the devastation of the whole land, or a total judgment upon Jerusalem and the rest of the nations mentioned there (M. v. Nieb. Gesch. pp. 86, 87, 371). But this explanation is founded upon the erroneous assumption, that Jeremiah 46:3-12 does not contain a prediction of the catastrophe awaiting Egypt, but a picture of what has already taken place there; and it is only in a very forced manner that it can be brought into harmony with the contents of Jeremiah 25.

(Note: Still less tenable is the view of Hofman, renewed by Zndel (Krit. Unterss. b. d. Abfassungszeit des B. Daniel, p. 25), that Nebuchadnezzar conquered Jerusalem in the third year of Jehoiakim, and that it was not till the following, or fourth year, that he defeated the Egyptian army at Carchemish, because so long as Pharaoh Necho stood with his army by or in Carchemish, on the Euphrates, Nebuchadnezzar could not possibly attempt to pass it so as to effect a march upon Jerusalem.)

We must rather take "the year three of the reign of Jehoiakim" (Daniel 1:1) as the extreme terminus a quo of Nebuchadnezzar's coming, i.e., must understand the statement thus: that in the year referred to Nebuchadnezzar commenced the expedition against Judah, and smote Necho at Carchemish at the commencement of the fourth year of Jehoiakim (Jeremiah 46:2), and then, following up this victory, took Jerusalem in the same year, and made Jehoiakim tributary, and at the same time carried off to Babylon a portion of the sacred vessels, and some young men of royal blood as hostages, one of whom was Daniel (2 Chronicles 36:7; Daniel 1:2.). The fast mentioned in Jeremiah 36:9, which took place in the fifth year of Jehoiakim, cannot be adduced in disproof of this; for extraordinary fast-days were not only appointed for the purpose of averting great threatening dangers, but also after severe calamities which had fallen upon the land or people, to expiate His wrath by humiliation before God, and to invoke the divine compassion to remove the judgment that had fallen upon them. The objection, that the godless king would hardly have thought of renewing the remembrance of a divine judgment by a day of repentance and prayer, but would rather have desired to avoid everything that could make the people despair, falls to the ground, with the erroneous assumption upon which it is founded, that by the fast-day Jehoiakim simply intended to renew the remembrance of the judgment which had burst upon Jerusalem, whereas he rather desired by outward humiliation before God to secure the help of God to enable him to throw off the Chaldaean yoke, and arouse in the people a religious enthusiasm for war against their oppressors. - Further information concerning this first expedition of Nebuchadnezzar is supplied by the account of Berosus, which Josephus (Ant. x. 11, and c. Ap. i. 19) has preserved from the third book of his Chaldaean history, namely, that when Nabopolassar received intelligence of the revolt of the satrap whom he had placed over Egypt, Coele-Syria, and Phoenicia, because he was no longer able on account of age to bear the hardships of war, he placed a portion of his army in the hands of his youthful son Nebuchadnezzar and sent him against the satrap. Nebuchadnezzar defeated him in battle, and established his power over that country again. In the meantime Nabopolassar fell sick and died in Babylon; and as soon as the tidings reached Nebuchadnezzar, he hastened through the desert to Babylon with a small number of attendants, and directed his army to follow slowly after regulating the affairs of Egypt and the rest of the country, and to bring with it the prisoners from the Jews, Syrians, Phoenicians, and Egyptian tribes, and with the heavily-armed troops. So much, at any rate, is evident from this account, after deducting the motive assigned for the war, which is given from a Chaldaean point of view, and may be taken as a historical fact, that even before his father's death Nebuchadnezzar had not only smitten the Egyptians, but had also conquered Judah and penetrated to the borders of Egypt. And there is no discrepancy between the statement of Berosus, that Nebuchadnezzar was not yet king, and the fact that in the biblical books he is called king proleptically, because he marched against Judah with kingly authority.

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