2 Kings 25:8
And in the fifth month, on the seventh day of the month, which is the nineteenth year of king Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, came Nebuzaradan, captain of the guard, a servant of the king of Babylon, unto Jerusalem:
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(8) On the seventh day . . .—An error for the tenth day (Jeremiah 52:12), one numeral letter having been mistaken for another. The Syriac and Arabic read ninth (perhaps, because, as Thenius suggests, the memorial fasts began on the evening of the ninth day).

According to Josephus the second Temple also was burnt on the tenth of the fifth month (Bell. Jud. vi. 4.8).

The nineteenth year of Nebuchadnezzar.—This agrees with Jeremiah 32:1, according to which the tenth of Zedekiah was the eighteenth of Nebuchadnezzar.

Nebuzaradan.—A Hebrew transcript of the Babylonian name Nabû-zir-iddina, “Nebo gave seed.”

Captain of the guard.—Strictly, chief of executioners. (See Genesis 37:36.) This means commander of the Royal Bodyguard, the “Praetorians” of the time; a corps of picked warriors, answering to the “Cherethites and Pelethites,” and the “Carians and Runners” among the Hebrews (2Kings 11:4). Nebuzaradan is not mentioned among the other generals in Jeremiah 39:3. On this ground, and because his coming is expressly-mentioned here, and because a month elapsed between the taking of the city (2Kings 25:4) and its destruction (2Kings 25:9-10), Thenius infers that the city of David and the Temple did not at once fall into the hands of the Chaldeans; but were so well defended under the lead of some soldier like Ishmael (2Kings 25:23), that Nebuchadnezzar was compelled to despatch a specially distinguished commander to bring the matter to a conclusion. 2Kings 25:18-21 certainly appear to favour this view.

A servant.—In Jeremiah 52, “who stood before the king;” probably the original phrase. (Comp. 2Kings 3:14; 2Kings 5:16).

2 Kings 25:8. And in the fifth month, &c. — Though we have reason to think the Chaldeans were much enraged against the city, for holding out with so much stubbornness; yet they did not, therefore, put all to fire and sword as soon as they had taken the city, which is too commonly done in such cases; but about a month after (compare 2 Kings 25:8 with 2 Kings 25:3) Nebuzaradan was sent with orders to complete the destruction of it. This space God gave them for repentance after all the foregoing days of his patience; but in vain; their hearts were still hardened, and therefore execution was awarded to the uttermost.

25:8-21 The city and temple were burnt, and, it is probable, the ark in it. By this, God showed how little he cares for the outward pomp of his worship, when the life and power of religion are neglected. The walls of Jerusalem were thrown down, and the people carried captive to Babylon. The vessels of the temple were carried away. When the things signified were sinned away, what should the signs stand there for? It was righteous with God to deprive those of the benefit of his worship, who had preferred false worships before it; those that would have many altars, now shall have none. As the Lord spared not the angels that sinned, as he doomed the whole race of fallen men to the grave, and all unbelievers to hell, and as he spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, we need not wonder at any miseries he may bring upon guilty nations, churches, or persons.The nineteenth year of king Nebuchadnezzar - 586 B.C., if we count from the real date of his accession (604 B.C.); but 587 B.C., if, with the Jews, we regard him as beginning to reign when he was sent by his father to recover Syria and gained the battle of Carchemish (in 605 B.C.).

Captain of the guard - literally, "the chief of the executioners" Genesis 37:36.

8-18. on the seventh day of the month … came Nebuzar-adan—(compare Jer 52:12). In attempting to reconcile these two passages, it must be supposed either that, though he had set out on the seventh, he did not arrive in Jerusalem till the tenth, or that he did not put his orders in execution till that day. His office as captain of the guard (Ge 37:36; 39:1) called him to execute the awards of justice on criminals; and hence, although not engaged in the siege of Jerusalem (Jer 39:13), Nebuzar-adan was despatched to rase the city, to plunder the temple, to lay both in ruins, demolish the fortifications, and transport the inhabitants to Babylon. The most eminent of these were taken to the king at Riblah (2Ki 25:27) and executed, as instigators and abettors of the rebellion, or otherwise obnoxious to the Assyrian government. In their number were Seraiah, the high priest, grandfather of Ezra (Ezr 7:1), his sagan or deputy, a priest of the second order (Jer 21:2; 29:25, 29; 37:3). On the seventh day of the month.

Quest. How doth this agree with Jeremiah 52:12, where he is said to come thither on the tenth day?

Answ. Either he came to Jerusalem on the seventh day, and burnt the temple on the tenth day; or this sacred writer speaks of the day of his departure from Riblah towards Jerusalem, and Jeremiah speaks of his coming to Jerusalem, which was about three days’ journey from Riblah.

And in the fifth month, on the seventh day of the month,.... In Jeremiah 52:12 it is the tenth day of the month; which, how to be reconciled; see Gill on Jeremiah 52:12.

which is the nineteenth year of King Nebuchadnezzar; who, according to Ptolemy's canon, reigned forty three years; Metasthenes (u) says forty five; and from hence, to the end of 2 Kings 25:12 facts are related as in Jeremiah 52:12 whither the reader is referred.

(u) De Judicio Temp. & Annal. Pers. fol. 221. 2.

And in the fifth month, on the {f} seventh day of the month, which is the nineteenth year of king Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, came Nebuzaradan, captain of the guard, a servant of the king of Babylon, unto Jerusalem:

(f) Jeremiah writes in Jer 52:12 the tenth day, because the fire continued from the seventh day to the tenth.

8–21. Burning of Jerusalem, the temple, and all the chief buildings. More captives taken. The brass work of the temple carried off. Captives slain at Riblah (2 Chronicles 36:17-23; Jeremiah 52:12-29)

8. on the seventh day] Jeremiah says the tenth day. The slight differences in numbers are easily accounted for when we remember that the Hebrews marked their numbers by letters, and that there is great similarity between many of the letters of their alphabet.

Nebuzar-adan, captain [R.V. the captain] of the guard] The title ‘captain of the guard’, literally ‘chief of the slaughterers’, is found in Genesis 37:36 and frequently afterwards in that book. Then only in 2 Kings 25 and in Jeremiah 39 and following chapters, all relating to the Babylonian captivity. Probably this officer was at first the executioner, and the name was retained after the duties had been delegated. We find in 1 Kings 2:25; 1 Kings 2:35; 1 Kings 2:46, Benaiah the captain of Solomon’s host acting as the executioner of Adonijah, Joab and Shimei.

This officer Nebuzar-adan was sent by Nebuchadnezzar to take charge of all that was done after Jerusalem had been actually taken. His behaviour to Jeremiah was of the most generous character, and appears to have been guided by the directions of the king of Babylon. (Cf. Jeremiah 40:4 with Jeremiah 39:11-12.) We hear of another visit of Nebuzar-adan to Jerusalem in the 23rd year of Nebuchadnezzar (Jeremiah 52:30), when he carried off 745 additional captives with him to Babylon.

Verse 8. - And in the fifth month, on the seventh clay of the month. Jeremiah says (Jeremiah 52:12) that it was on the tenth day of the month; and so Josephus (Bell Jud. Jud. 6:4. § 8). The mistake probably arose from a copyist mistaking י (ten) for ז (seven). According to Josephus, it was on the same day of the same month that the final destruction of the temple by the soldiers of Titus was accomplished. Which is the nineteenth year of King Nebuchadnezzar King of Babylon. Nebuchadnezzar ascended the throne in B.C. 605, which was the fourth year of Jehoiakim, who began to reign in B.C. 608. The seven remaining years of Jehoiakim, added to the eleven of Zedekiah, and the three months of Jehoiachin, produce the result of the text - that the last year of Zedekiah was the nineteenth of Nebuchadnezzar. Came Nebuzaradan. Nebuchadnezzar had apparently hesitated as to how he should treat Jerusalem, since nearly a month elapsed between the capture of the city and the commencement of the work of destruction. He was probably led to destroy the city by the length of the resistance, and the natural strength of the position. The name, Nebuzar-adan, is probably a Hebraized form of the Babylonian Nebu-sar-iddina. "Nebo has given (us) a king." Captain of the guard; literally chief of the executioners; but as the King's guard were employed to execute his commissions, and especially his death-sentences, the paraphrase is quite allowable. A servant of the King of Babylon - i.e. a subject - unto Jerusalem. He came doubtless with instructions, which he proceeded to carry out. 2 Kings 25:8Destruction of Jerusalem and the temple. The people carried away to Babel (cf. Jeremiah 52:12-27, and Jeremiah 39:8-10). - In this section we have first a general account of the destruction of the temple and city (2 Kings 25:8-10), and of the carrying away of the people (2 Kings 25:11 and 2 Kings 25:12), and then a more particular description of what was done with the metal vessels of the temple (2 Kings 25:13-17), and how the spiritual and secular leaders of the people who had been taken prisoners were treated (2 Kings 25:18-21).

2 Kings 25:8-10

The destruction of Jerusalem, by the burning of the temple, of the king's palace, and of all the larger buildings, and by throwing down the walls, was effected by Nebuzaradan, the chief of the body-guard of Nebuchadnezzar, on the seventh day of the fifth month in the nineteenth year of the reign of Nebuchadnezzar. Instead of the seventh day we have the tenth in Jeremiah 52:12. This difference might be reconciled, as proposed by earlier commentators, on the assumption that the burning of the city lasted several days, commencing on the seventh and ending on the tenth. But since there are similar differences met with afterwards (2 Kings 25:17, 2 Kings 25:19) in the statement of numbers, which can only be accounted for from the substitution of similar numeral letters, we must assume that there is a change of this kind here. Which of the two dates is the correct one it is impossible to determine. The circumstance that the later Jews kept the ninth as a fast-day cannot be regarded as decisive evidence in favour of the date given in Jeremiah, as Thenius supposes; for in Zechariah 7:3 and Zechariah 8:19 the fasting of the fifth month is mentioned, but no day is given; and though in the Talmudic times the ninth day of the month began to be kept as a fast-day, this was not merely in remembrance of the Chaldaean destruction of Jerusalem, but of the Roman also, and of three other calamities which had befallen the nation (see the statement of the Gemara on this subject in Lightfoot, Opp. ii. p. 139, ed. Leusden, and in Khler on Zechariah 7:3), from which we see that the Gemarists in the most unhistorical manner grouped together different calamitous events in one single day. The nineteenth year of Nebuchadnezzar corresponds to the eleventh of Zedekiah (see at 2 Kings 24:12). Nebuzaradan is not mentioned in Jeremiah 39:3 among the Chaldaean generals who forced their way into the city, so that he must have been ordered to Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar after the taking of the city and the condemnation of Zedekiah, to carry out the destruction of the city, the carrying away of the people, and the appointment of a deputy-governor over those who were left behind in the land. This explains in a very simple manner how a month could intervene between their forcing their way into the city, at all events into the lower city, and the burning of it to the ground, without there being any necessity to assume, with Thenius, that the city of Zion held out for a month, which is by no means probable, for the simple reason that the fighting men had fled with Zedekiah and had been scattered in their flight. רב־תבּחים equals הטּבּחים שׂר in Genesis 37:36; Genesis 39:1, was with the Babylonians, as with the Egyptians, the chief of the king's body-guard, whose duty it was to execute the sentences of death (see at Genesis 37:36). הטּבּחים answers to the הכּרתי of the Israelites (2 Samuel 8:18, etc.). In Jeremiah 52:12 we have מלך לפני עמד instead of מלך עבד, without the אשׁר, which is rarely omitted in prose, and בּירוּשׁלם instead of ירוּשׁלם: he came into Jerusalem, not he forced a way into the real Jerusalem (Thenius). The meaning is not altered by these two variations.

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