And he spoke kindly to him, and set his throne above the throne of the kings that were with him in Babylon;
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Set his throne above the throne of the kings . . .—Gave him precedence of the other captive kings who were kept at the Babylonian court by way of enhancing its glory (comp. Judges 1:7), and probably marked this precedence by allowing him a higher chair of state in the royal hall. So Cyrus kept Croesus king of Lydia at his court (Herod, i. 88). We may remember also the chivalrous behaviour of our own Black Prince towards his royal captive John of France.Judges 1:7.
Evil-merodach … did lift up the head of Jehoiachin … and spake kindly—gave him liberty upon parole. This kindly feeling is said to have originated in a familiar acquaintance formed in prison, in which Evil-merodach had lain till his father's death, on account of some malversation while acting as regent during Nebuchadnezzar's seven years' illness (Da 4:32, 33). But doubtless the improvement in Zedekiah's condition is to be traced to the overruling providence and grace of Him who still cherished purposes of love to the house of David (2Sa 7:14, 15).
that Evilmerodach king of Babylon; who is supposed, by some (z)", to be the same with Belshazzar, and his successor Neriglissar, the same with Darius the Mede in Daniel. From hence, to the end of the chapter, the same account is given of the kindness of this king to Jehoiachin, as in Jeremiah 52:31. See Gill on Jeremiah 52:31; see Gill on Jeremiah 52:32; see Gill on Jeremiah 52:33; see Gill on Jeremiah 52:34.Metasthenes (a) calls him Amilinus Evilmerodach, and says he reigned thirty years, and makes Belshazzar, or Baltassar, as he calls him, his third son.And he spake kindly to him, and set his throne above the throne of the kings that were with him in Babylon;
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)28. and set his throne above the throne, &c.] i.e. He gave him precedence, perhaps by causing him to sit at the table in a place nearer to himself, and also by manifesting special regard for him. That other kings were in the same condition as Jehoiachin, and had been brought to Babylon because they were troublesome in their own countries, we can see from this verse. Some however were imprisoned, as Jehoiachin had been, while others were at liberty but confined to Babylon and the court.Verse 28. - And he spake kindly to him; literally, he spake good things with him; but the meaning is well expressed by our rendering. Evil-Merodach compassionated the sufferings of the unfortunate monarch, who had grown old in prison, and strove by kind speech to make up to him for them in a certain measure. And set his throne above the throne of the kings that were with him in Babylon. Evil-Merodach had at his court other captured kings besides Jehoiachin, whose presence was considered to enhance his dignity and grandeur (comp. Judges 1:7). An honorable position and probably a seat of honor was assigned to each; but the highest position among them was now conferred on Jehoiachin. Whether he had actually a more elevated seat, is (as Bahr observes) a mattes of no importance. Jeremiah 40-44 of the events which are but briefly indicated here.
Over the remnant of the people left in the land Nebuchadnezzar placed Gedaliah as governor of the land, who took up his abode in Mizpah. Gedaliah, the son of Ahikam, who had interested himself on behalf of the prophet Jeremiah and saved his life (Jeremiah 26:24), and the grandson of Shaphan, a man of whom nothing more is known (see at 2 Kings 22:12), had his home in Jerusalem, and, as we may infer from his attitude towards Jeremiah, had probably secured the confidence of the Chaldaeans at the siege and conquest of Jerusalem by his upright conduct, and by what he did to induce the people to submit to the judgment inflicted by God; so that Nebuchadnezzar entrusted him with the oversight of those who were left behind in the land-men, women, children, poor people, and even a few princesses and court-officials, whom they had not thought it necessary or worth while to carry away (Jeremiah 40:7; Jeremiah 41:10, Jeremiah 41:16), i.e., he made him governor of the conquered land. Mizpah is the present Nebi Samwil, two hours to the north-west of Jerusalem (see at Joshua 18:26). - On hearing of Gedaliah's appointment as governor, there came to him "all the captains of the several divisions of the army and their men," i.e., those portions of the army which had been scattered at the flight of the king (2 Kings 25:5), and which had escaped from the Chaldaeans, and, as it is expressed in Jeremiah 40:7, had dispersed themselves "in the field," i.e., about the land. Instead of והאנשׁים we have in Jeremiah 40:7 the clearer expression ואנשׁיהם, "and their men," whilst והאנשׁים in our text receives its more precise definition from the previous word החילים. Of the military commanders the following are mentioned by name: Ishmael, etc. (the ו eht( .cte ,l before ישׁמעאל, is explic., "and indeed Ishmael"). Ishmael, son of Mattaniah and grandson of Elishama, probably of the king's secretary mentioned in Jeremiah 36:12 and Jeremiah 36:20, of royal blood. Nothing further is known about the other names. We simply learn from Jeremiah 40:13. that Johanan had warned Gedaliah against the treachery of Ishmael, and that when Gedaliah was slain by Ishmael, having disregarded the warning, he put himself at the head of the people and marched with them to Egypt, notwithstanding the dissuasions of Jeremiah (Jeremiah 41:15.). Instead of "Johanan the son of Kareah," we have in Jeremiah 40:8 "Johanan and Jonathan the sons of Kareah;" but it is uncertain whether ויונתן has crept into the text of Jeremiah from the previous יהוחנן merely through a mistake, and this mistake has brought with it the alteration of בּן into בּני (Ewald), or whether ויונתן has dropped out of our text through an oversight, and this omission has occasioned the alteration of בני into בן (Thenius, Graf, etc.). The former supposition is favoured by the circumstance that in Jeremiah 40:13; Jeremiah 41:11, Jeremiah 41:16, Johanan the son of Kareah alone is mentioned. In Jeremiah 40:8 עופי וּבני (Chethb עיפי) stands before הנּטפתי, according to which it was not Seraiah who sprang from Netophah, but Ophai whose sons were military commanders. He was called Netophathite because he sprang from Netopha in the neighbourhood of Bethlehem (Nehemiah 7:26; Ezra 2:22), the identity of which with Beit Nettif is by no means probable (see at 2 Samuel 23:28). The name יאזביהוּ is written יזניהוּ in Jeremiah; he was the son of the Maachathite, i.e., his father sprang from the Syrian district of Maacah in the neighbourhood of the Hermon (see at Deuteronomy 3:14).
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