2 Kings 24:16
And all the men of might, even seven thousand, and craftsmen and smiths a thousand, all that were strong and apt for war, even them the king of Babylon brought captive to Babylon.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(16) And all the men of might.—“The mighty men of valour” of 2Kings 24:14. (The words depend on the verb, “he carried away,” in 2Kings 24:14.) As there were 7,000 of these, and 1,000 “craftsmen and smiths,” and the total number of the exiles was 10,000, there were 2,000 belonging to the aristocratic classes. Jeremiah 52:28 gives a total of 3,023. Thenius explains his discrepancy as resulting from a transcriber’s confusion of a large y, i.e. 10, with g, i.e. 3. Josephus has made his total of 10,832 out of the 832 of the second deportation (Jeremiah 52:29) added to the 10,000 here assigned.

All that were strong and apt for war.—Literally, the whole, warriors and doers of battle. This clause refers to both those which precede, and it states that the 8,000 were all men in their prime, and trained in the use of weapons (Thenius). But may not the term “strong” (gibbôrûm, “heroes,” “warriors”) refer to the 7,000 as actual fighting men; and the phrase “makers of war” denote the craftsmen as employed in forging weapons and constructing defences? (The Syriac reads, and all the men that made war.)

Even them the king of Babylon brought.—Literally, and the King of Babylon brought them.

24:8-20 Jehoiachin reigned but three months, yet long enough to show that he justly smarted for his fathers' sins, for he trod in their steps. His uncle was intrusted with the government. This Zedekiah was the last of the kings of Judah. Though the judgments of God upon the three kings before him might have warned him, he did that which was evil, like them. When those intrusted with the counsels of a nation act unwisely, and against their true interest, we ought to notice the displeasure of God in it. It is for the sins of a people that God hides from them the things that belong to the public peace. And in fulfilling the secret purposes of his justice, the Lord needs only leave men to the blindness of their own minds, or to the lusts of their own hearts. The gradual approach of Divine judgments affords sinners space for repentance, and believers leisure to prepare for meeting the calamity, while it shows the obstinacy of those who will not forsake their sins.The mighty of the land - Or "the great," "the powerful." The word used is quite distinct from that in 2 Kings 24:14, 2 Kings 24:16. It refers, not to bodily strength or fitness for war, hut to civil rank or dignity. The term would include all civil and all ecclesiastical functionaries - the nobles, courtiers, and elders of the city on the one hand, the priests, prophets (among them, Ezekiel), and Levites on the other. 13-16. as the Lord had said—(compare 2Ki 20:17; Isa 39:6; Jer 15:13; 17:3). The elite of the nation for rank, usefulness, and moral worth, all who might be useful in Babylon or dangerous in Palestine, were carried off to Babylon, to the number of ten thousand (2Ki 24:14). These are specified (2Ki 24:15, 16), warriors, seven thousand; craftsmen and smiths, one thousand; king's wives, officers, and princes, also priests and prophets (Jer 29:1; Eze 1:1), two thousand; equal to ten thousand captives in all. No text from Poole on this verse.

And all the men of might, even seven thousand,.... The particulars of the 10,000 carried captive are here given; 7000 of which were the principal men of the land:

and craftsmen and smiths one thousand; which made 8000:

all that were strong, and apt for war; of these consisted the other 2000; so Abarbinel reckons them; but, according to the Jewish chronologer (t), which Jarchi and other Jewish commentators follow, the 7000 were out of the tribe of Benjamin and the rest of the tribes, and the 3000 out of the tribe of Judah, which are supposed to be those Jeremiah speaks of, Jeremiah 52:28,

even them the king of Babylon brought captive to Babylon; among these were Ezekiel the prophet, and Mordecai, the uncle of Esther.

(t) Seder Olam Rabba, c. 25.

And all the men of might, even seven thousand, and craftsmen and smiths a thousand, all that were strong and apt for war, even them the king of Babylon brought captive to Babylon.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Verse 16. - And all the men of might - i.e. "The mighty men of valor" (or, "trained soldiers") of ver. 14 - even seven thousand, and craftsmen and smiths a thousand, all that were strong and apt for war - the craftsmen and smiths would be pressed into the military service in the event of a siege - even them the Zing of Babylon brought captive to Babylon; i.e. he brought to Babylon, not only the royal personages, the officials of the court, and the captives who belonged to the upper classes (ver. 15), but also the entire military force which he had deported, and the thousand skilled artificers. All, without exception, were conducted to the capital. 2 Kings 24:16Beside these treasures, he carried away captive to Babylon the cream of the inhabitants of Jerusalem, not only the most affluent, but, as is evident from Jeremiah 24:1-10, the best portion in a moral respect. In 2 Kings 24:14 the number of those who were carried off is simply given in a general form, according to its sum-total, as 10,000; and then in 2 Kings 24:15, 2 Kings 24:16 the details are more minutely specified. "All Jerusalem" is the whole of the population of Jerusalem, which is first of all divided into two leading classes, and then more precisely defined by the clause, "nothing was left except the common people," and reduced to the cream of the citizens. The king, queen-mother, and king's wives being passed over and mentioned for the first time in the special list in 2 Kings 24:15, there are noticed here כּל־השּׂרים and החיל גּבּורי כּל, who form the first of the leading classes. By the שׂרים are meant, according to 2 Kings 24:15, the סריסים, chamberlains, i.e., the officials of the king's court in general, and by הארץ אוּלי ("the mighty of the land") all the heads of the tribes and families of the nation that were found in Jerusalem; and under the last the priests and prophets, who were also carried away according to Jeremiah 29:1, with Ezekiel among them (Ezekiel 1:1), are included as the spiritual heads of the people. The החיל גּבּורי are called החיל אנשׁי in 2 Kings 24:16; their number was 7000. The persons intended are not warriors, but men of property, as in 2 Kings 15:20. The second class of those who ere carried away consisted of כּל־החרשׁ, all the workers in stone, metal, and wood, that is to say, masons, smiths, and carpenters; and המּסגּר, the locksmiths, including probably not actual locksmiths only, but makers of weapons also. There is no need for any serious refutation of the marvellous explanation given of מסגּר by Hitzig (on Jeremiah 24:1), who derives it from מס and גּר, and supposes it to be an epithet applied to the remnant of the Canaanites, who had been made into tributary labourers, although it has been adopted by Thenius and Graf, who make them into artisans of the foreign socagers. עם־הארץ דּלּת equals דלּת־הארץ (2 Kings 25:12), the poor people of the land, i.e., the lower portion of the population of Jerusalem, from whom Nebuchadnezzar did not fear any rebellion, because they possessed nothing (Jeremiah 39:10), i.e., neither property (money nor other possessions), nor strength and ability to organize a revolt. The antithesis to these formed by the מלחמה עשׂי מ גּבּורים, the strong or powerful men, who were in a condition to originate and carry on a war; for this category includes all who were carried away, not merely the thousand workmen, but also the seven thousand החיל אנשׁי, and the king's officers and the chiefs of the nation, whose number amounted to two thousand, since the total number of the exiles was then thousand. There is no special allusion to warriors or military, because in the struggle for the rescue of the capital and the kingdom from destruction every man who could bear arms performed military service, so that the distinction between warriors and non-warriors was swept away, and the actual warriors are swallowed up in the ten thousand. Babel is the country of Babylonia, or rather the Babylonian empire.
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