Jeremiah 39:6
Then the king of Babylon slew the sons of Zedekiah in Riblah before his eyes: also the king of Babylon slew all the nobles of Judah.
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(6) The sons of Zedekiah.—The history of Eastern monarchies presents us with many examples of this refinement of cruelty, notably in the case of (Eobazus under Darius (Herod. Iv. 84), and Pythius under Xerxes (Herod, vii. 39). The slaughter of the “nobles” probably included most of those whom we have seen in Jeremiah 36:12, and elsewhere.

39:1-10 Jerusalem was so strong, that the inhabitants believed the enemy could never enter it. But sin provoked God to withdraw his protection, and then it was as weak as other cities. Zedekiah had his eyes put out; so he was condemned to darkness who had shut his eyes against the clear light of God's word. Those who will not believe God's words, will be convinced by the event. Observe the wonderful changes of Providence, how uncertain are earthly possessions; and see the just dealings of Providence: but whether the Lord makes men poor or rich, nothing will profit them while they cleave to their sins.Compare the marginal reference. The differences between the two accounts are slight. 6. slew … sons … before his eyes—previous to his eyes being "put out" (Jer 39:7); literally, "dug out." The Assyrian sculptures depict the delight with which the kings struck out, often with their own hands, the eyes of captive princes. This passage reconciles Jer 32:4, "his eyes shall behold his eyes"; with Eze 12:13, "he shall not see Babylon, though he shall die there."

slew all … nobles—(Jer 27:20).

Thus the stubbornness of this prince and his nobles proved the ruin of his family, and of themselves, and of the whole people. The nobles were great authors of this mischief, and brought Zedekiah into that obstinacy which he showed to the prophet’s admonitions and exhortations, upon them, therefore, a more exemplary punishment is taken. The Hebrew calls the nobles white men, either from their white garments, or from that candour of spirit which should be found in persons of their quality. Then the king of Babylon slew the sons of Zedekiah in Riblah before his eyes,.... Not with his own hands, but gave orders to do it: these must be very young, at least some of them; since Zedekiah at this time was but thirty two years of age. This must be a dreadful spectacle for him to behold; and the consideration must be cutting, that it was owing to his own obstinacy in not taking the advice of the Prophet Jeremiah to surrender to the Chaldeans, whereby he and his family would have been saved, Jeremiah 38:17;

also the king of Babylon slew all the nobles of Judah; who did not come over to the Chaldean army and surrender themselves; such who advised the king to stand out to the last, and who fled, and were taken with him; as many of them as fell into the hands of the king of Babylon. Jarchi says those were the sanhedrim, who loosed Zedekiah from his oath to Nebuchadnezzar.

Then the king of Babylon slew the sons of Zedekiah in Riblah before his eyes: also the king of Babylon slew all the nobles of Judah.
What the king had supposed actually occurred, and Jeremiah gave the princes, who asked about the conversation, the reply that the king had prepared for him. יחרשׁוּ ממּנּוּ .mih rof deraperp, they went away in silence from him, and left him in peace; cf. 1 Samuel 7:8. כּי לא נשׁמע , for the matter, the real subject of the conversation did not become known. So Jeremiah remained in the court of the prison till the day of the capture of Jerusalem. - The last sentence of Jeremiah 38:28 belongs to the following chapter, and forms the introductory sentence of the passage whose conclusion follows in Jeremiah 39:3.
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