INTRODUCTION TO 2 Kings 25
In this chapter is an account of the siege, taking, and burning of the city of Jerusalem, and of the carrying captive the king and the inhabitants to Babylon, 2 Kings 25:1, as also of the pillars and vessels of the temple brought thither, 2 Kings 25:13 and of the putting to death several of the principal persons of the land, 2 Kings 25:18, and of the miserable condition of the rest under Gedaliah, whom Ishmael slew, 2 Kings 25:23, and the chapter, and so the history, is concluded with the kindness Jehoiachin met with from the king of Babylon, after thirty seven years' captivity, 2 Kings 25:27.
And it came to pass in the ninth year of his reign, in the tenth month, in the tenth day of the month, that Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came, he, and all his host, against Jerusalem, and pitched against it; and they built forts against it round about.And it came to pass in the ninth year of his reign,.... Of the reign of Zedekiah king of Judah. From hence to the end of 2 Kings 25:7, the account exactly agrees with Jeremiah 52:4.
And the city was besieged unto the eleventh year of king Zedekiah.
And on the ninth day of the fourth month the famine prevailed in the city, and there was no bread for the people of the land.
And the city was broken up, and all the men of war fled by night by the way of the gate between two walls, which is by the king's garden: (now the Chaldees were against the city round about:) and the king went the way toward the plain.
And the army of the Chaldees pursued after the king, and overtook him in the plains of Jericho: and all his army were scattered from him.
So they took the king, and brought him up to the king of Babylon to Riblah; and they gave judgment upon him.
And they slew the sons of Zedekiah before his eyes, and put out the eyes of Zedekiah, and bound him with fetters of brass, and carried him to Babylon.
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: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 he burnt the house of the LORD, and the king's house, and all the houses of Jerusalem, and every great man's house burnt he with fire.
And all the army of the Chaldees, that were with the captain of the guard, brake down the walls of Jerusalem round about.
Now the rest of the people that were left in the city, and the fugitives that fell away to the king of Babylon, with the remnant of the multitude, did Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard carry away.
But the captain of the guard left of the poor of the land to be vinedressers and husbandmen.
And the pillars of brass that were in the house of the LORD, and the bases, and the brasen sea that was in the house of the LORD, did the Chaldees break in pieces, and carried the brass of them to Babylon.And the pillars of brass that were in the house of the Lord,.... The two pillars in the temple, Jachin and Boaz. Benjamin of Tudela says (w), that in the church of St. Stephen in Rome these pillars now are with the name of Solomon engraved on each; and the Jews at Rome told him, when there, (in the twelfth century,) that on the ninth of Ab (the day the temple was destroyed) every year sweat was found upon them like water; the one, I suppose, will equally be believed as the other, since it is here expressly said that the Chaldeans broke them in pieces. From hence, to the end of 2 Kings 25:17 is the same with Jeremiah 52:7, where it is rather more largely and fully expressed; only there is this difference here in 2 Kings 25:17 the height of the chapiter of a pillar is said to be three cubits, there five cubits; for the reconciliation of which; see Gill on Jeremiah 52:22.
(w) Itinerar. p. 13.
And the pots, and the shovels, and the snuffers, and the spoons, and all the vessels of brass wherewith they ministered, took they away.
And the firepans, and the bowls, and such things as were of gold, in gold, and of silver, in silver, the captain of the guard took away.
The two pillars, one sea, and the bases which Solomon had made for the house of the LORD; the brass of all these vessels was without weight.
The height of the one pillar was eighteen cubits, and the chapiter upon it was brass: and the height of the chapiter three cubits; and the wreathen work, and pomegranates upon the chapiter round about, all of brass: and like unto these had the second pillar with wreathen work.
And the captain of the guard took Seraiah the chief priest, and Zephaniah the second priest, and the three keepers of the door:And the captain of the guard took Seraiah the chief priest, and Zephaniah the second priest,.... The sagan, or deputy priest, who officiated for the high priest, when by any means he was rendered unfit and incapable; so Joseph, the son of Ellem, as Josephus (x) relates, officiated for Matthias, when defiled with a nocturnal pollution; and seven days before the day of atonement they always substituted one under the high priest, lest anything of this kind should happen to him (y). From hence, to the end of 2 Kings 25:21 the account is the same as in Jeremiah 52:25, only here in 2 Kings 25:19 it is said, that five men that were in the king's presence were taken, there seven men; to account for which; see Gill on Jeremiah 52:25.
(x) Antiqu. l. 17. c. 6. sect. 4. (y) Misn. Yoma, c. 1. sect. 1.
And out of the city he took an officer that was set over the men of war, and five men of them that were in the king's presence, which were found in the city, and the principal scribe of the host, which mustered the people of the land, and threescore men of the people of the land that were found in the city:
And Nebuzaradan captain of the guard took these, and brought them to the king of Babylon to Riblah:
And the king of Babylon smote them, and slew them at Riblah in the land of Hamath. So Judah was carried away out of their land.
And as for the people that remained in the land of Judah, whom Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon had left, even over them he made Gedaliah the son of Ahikam, the son of Shaphan, ruler.And as for the people that remained,.... That were left in the land to be vinedressers and husbandmen; over these the king of Babylon made Gedaliah governor, to whom the captains, with their scattered troops, came, and submitted for a time; of whom; see Gill on Jeremiah 40:7; see Gill on Jeremiah 40:8; see Gill on Jeremiah 40:9.
And when all the captains of the armies, they and their men, heard that the king of Babylon had made Gedaliah governor, there came to Gedaliah to Mizpah, even Ishmael the son of Nethaniah, and Johanan the son of Careah, and Seraiah the son of Tanhumeth the Netophathite, and Jaazaniah the son of a Maachathite, they and their men.
And Gedaliah sware to them, and to their men, and said unto them, Fear not to be the servants of the Chaldees: dwell in the land, and serve the king of Babylon; and it shall be well with you.
But it came to pass in the seventh month, that Ishmael the son of Nethaniah, the son of Elishama, of the seed royal, came, and ten men with him, and smote Gedaliah, that he died, and the Jews and the Chaldees that were with him at Mizpah.And it came to pass in the seventh month,.... Not of Gedaliah's government, but of the year, the month Tisri or September, near two months after the destruction of Jerusalem; the Jews say fifty two days after it; of the death of Gedaliah, and the man that slew him, as here related; see Gill on Jeremiah 41:1, Jeremiah 41:2, Jeremiah 41:3.
And all the people, both small and great, and the captains of the armies, arose, and came to Egypt: for they were afraid of the Chaldees.And all the people, both small and great,.... High and low, rich and poor, among whom were the king's daughters, committed to the care of Gedaliah, and also the prophets Jeremiah and Baruch, see Jeremiah 41:16.
and the captains of the armies rose, and came to Egypt; contrary to the express command of God; these were Johanan, and the captain of the forces with him, Jeremiah 43:4.
for they were afraid of the Chaldees; lest they should come and avenge the death of Gedaliah, appointed governor of Judea, see Jeremiah 41:17.
And it came to pass in the seven and thirtieth year of the captivity of Jehoiachin king of Judah, in the twelfth month, on the seven and twentieth day of the month, that Evilmerodach king of Babylon in the year that he began to reign did lift up the head of Jehoiachin king of Judah out of prison;And it came to pass in the thirty and seventh year of the captivity of Jehoiachin king of Judah,.... Who must then be fifty five years of age:
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.
(z) Vid. Lampe, Eccles. Hist. l. 1. c. 7. sect. 18. (a) Ut supra. (De Judicio Temp. & Annal. Pers. fol. 221. 2.)
And he spake kindly to him, and set his throne above the throne of the kings that were with him in Babylon;
And changed his prison garments: and he did eat bread continually before him all the days of his life.
And his allowance was a continual allowance given him of the king, a daily rate for every day, all the days of his life.