And changed his prison garments: and he did eat bread continually before him all the days of his life.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)And changed.—Rather, and he (i.e., Jehoiachin) changed his prison garments—that is to say, he discarded them for others more suitable to his new condition. Joseph did the same when taken from prison to the Egyptian court (Genesis 41:14).
He did eat bread continually before him . . .—Jehoiachin became a perpetual guest at the royal table. (Comp. 2Samuel 9:10-13.)Genesis 41:42; Esther 8:15; Daniel 5:29; Luke 15:22. So again, Oriental kings regarded it as a part of their greatness to feed daily a vast multitude of persons at their courts (see 1 Kings 4:22-23). Of these, as here, a certain number had the special privilege of sitting actually at the royal board, while the others ate separately, generally at a lower level. See Judges 1:7; 2 Samuel 9:13; 1 Kings 2:7; Psalm 41:9. 2 Samuel 9:10.
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 changed his prison garments: and he did eat bread continually before him all the days of his life.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)29. And changed [R.V. he changed] his prison garments] For the subject is Jehoiachin, not Evil-merodach. So R.V. omits ‘he’ in the next clause.
did eat bread continually before him] R.V. before him continually. i.e. He himself was a constant guest at the royal table.Verse 29. - And changed his prison garments. The subject to "changed" may be either "Jehoiachin" or" Evil-Merodach." Our translators preferred the latter, our Revisers the former. In either case the general meaning is the same. Evil Merodach supplied suitable garments to the released monarch instead of his "prison garments," and Jehoiachin arrayed himself in the comely apparel before taking his seat among his equals. Dresses of honor are among the most common gifts which an Oriental monarch makes to his subjects (see Genesis 41:42; Esther 6:8, 11; Esther 8:15; Daniel 5:29; Xen., 'Cyrop.,' 5:1. § 1). And he - i.e. Jehoiachin - did eat bread continually before him. Besides giving occasional great feasts (see Esther 1:3-9), Oriental monarchs usually entertain at their table daily a large number of guests, some of whom are specially invited, while others have the privilege of daily attendance (see ' Ancient Monarchies,' vol. 3. pp. 214, 215). It was to this latter class that Jehoiachin was admitted. Comp. 2 Samuel 9:7-13, which shows that the custom was one not unknown at the Jewish court. All the days of his - i.e. Jehoiachin's - life. Jehoisohin enjoyed this privilege till his death. Whether this fell in the lifetime of Evil-Merodach or not, is scarcely in the writer's thoughts. He merely means to tell us that the comparative comfort and dignity which Jehoiachin enjoyed after the accession of Evil-Merodach to the throne was not subsequently clouded over or disturbed. He continued a privileged person at the Baby-Ionian court so long as he lived. 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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