And the king of Egypt came not again any more out of his land: for the king of Babylon had taken from the river of Egypt to the river Euphrates all that pertained to the king of Egypt.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)And the king of Egypt came not again any more . . .—The verse indicates the posture of political affairs at the time when Jehoiachin succeeded his father. Necho had been deprived by Nebuchadnezzar of all his conquests, and so crippled that he durst not venture again beyond his own borders. Thus Judah was left, denuded of all external help, to face the consequences of its revolt from Babylon, which speedily overtook it (2Kings 24:10).
From the river (torrent) of Egypt—i.e., the Wady-el-Arish. The details of this campaign of Nebuchadnezzar are not recorded. It is clear, from the statement before us, that before the battle of Carchemish Necho had made himself master of the whole of Syria and the country east of the Jordan.2 Kings 24:7. The king of Egypt came not again out of his own land — In this king’s days. He could not now come to protect the king of Judah, being scarce able to defend his own kingdom.The king of Egypt came not again, to wit, in this king’s days; nor until Zedekiah’s time, Jeremiah 37:6,7; nor to any purpose. He could not now come out to protect the king of Judah, being scarce able to defend his own kingdom. Jeremiah 37:7 the reason follows:
for the king of Babylon had taken from the river of Egypt unto the river Euphrates, all that pertained to the king of Egypt; all that lay between the river Nile, or the Rhinocolura, and the river Euphrates so that he could not stir out of his dominions, which lay beyond.
2 Kings 24:7,and thine hands upon thine head; plucking and dishevelling the hair, as women in distress; so Tamar, when abused by her brother, laid her hand on her head, and went out crying, 2 Samuel 13:19,
for the Lord hath rejected thy confidences; those in whom they trusted, as the Egyptians; so that they should be of no service to them; or them, because of their trust and confidence in men, when it ought to have been placed above in himself:
shalt not prosper in them; or because of them, as Kimchi; but shalt go into captivity.And the king of Egypt came not again any more out of his land: for the king of Babylon had taken from the river of Egypt unto the river Euphrates all that pertained to the king of Egypt.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)7. the king of Egypt came not again any more] The whole Asiatic possessions of Egypt had been conquered by the Babylonians, who now become the prominent heathen people in the Scripture story.
from the river [R.V. brook] of Egypt] This is not the Nile, but the modern Wadi El Arish, a desert stream toward the border of Egypt. See note on 1 Kings 8:65 for its identification.Verse 7. - And the King of Egypt earns not again any mere out of his land. Nechoh's two expeditions were enough for him. In the first he was completely successful, defeated Josiah (2 Kings 23:29), overran Syria as far as Carchemish, and made Phoenicia, Judaea, and probably the adjacent countries tributary to him. In the second (Jeremiah 46:2-12) he suffered a calamitous reverse, was himself defeated with great slaughter, forced to fly hastily, and to relinquish all his conquests. After this, he "came not any more out of his land." Whatever hopes he held out to Judaea or to Tyre, he was not bold enough to challenge the Babylonians to a third trial of strength, but remained - peaceably within his own borders. For the King of Babylon had taken from the river of Egypt. The נַחַל מִצְרַיִם is not the Nile, but the Wady el Arish, the generally dry watercourse, which was the ordinarily accepted boundary between Egypt and Syria (see 1 Kings 8:65; Isaiah 27:12). The Nile is the נָהַר מִצְרַיִם. Unto the river Euphrates all that pertained to the King of Egypt; i.e. all that he had conquered and made his own in his first expedition in the year B.C. 608. 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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