Jeremiah 52:16
But Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard left certain of the poor of the land for vinedressers and for farmers.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
52:12-23 The Chaldean army made woful havoc. But nothing is so particularly related here, as the carrying away of the articles in the temple. The remembrance of their beauty and value shows us the more the evil of sin.Husbandmen - Men who tilled little plots of ground with the mattock. 15. poor of … people—added to the account in 2Ki 25:11. "The poor of the people" are of the city, as distinguished from "the poor of the land," that is, of the country. See Poole "2 Kings 25:8", See Poole "2 Kings 25:9", See Poole "2 Kings 25:10", See Poole "2 Kings 25:11", See Poole "2 Kings 25:12" where all this is related, only with a small difference as to the day of the month when Nebuzar-adan came to Jerusalem and burned the temple. In the Kings it is said he came the seventh day, here it is said he came the tenth day. See the solution of it in the annotations on 2 Kings 25. Probably he might come into Jerusalem the seventh day, and not burn the temple till the tenth. Much of it also is related by Jeremiah 39. The provost-marshal, about a month after the taking of the city, returned with a part of the army, burned the temple, the great men’s houses in the city, and many other houses, and carried away divers prisoners, but left some of the poorer sort of the people to dress the vineyards and till the grounds, which is a thing very usual with conquerors, for their own advantage, that their conquests may yield them some revenue. But Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard left certain of the poor of the land,.... Of the land of Judea, who lived in the country, and had not been concerned in defending the city against the Chaldeans:

for vinedressers, and for husbandmen; to look after the vineyards and fields, and dress and manure them, that the king of Babylon might receive some advantage by the conquest he had made; See Gill on Jeremiah 39:10.

But Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard left certain of the poor of the land for vinedressers and for husbandmen.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Fate of King Zedekiah at the taking of Jerusalem; cf. 2 Kings 24:18; 2 Kings 25:7, and Jeremiah 39:1-7. The statements regarding Zedekiah's ascension and his government, Jeremiah 52:1-3, agree word for word with 2 Kings 24:18-20, even to the variation השׁליכו, Jeremiah 52:3, for השׁליכו (Kings). The length of the siege of Jerusalem, Jeremiah 52:4-7, and the flight, capture, and condemnation of King Zedekiah and the princes of Judah, Jeremiah 52:7-11, not only agrees with 2 Kings 25:1-7, but also with Jeremiah 39:1-7, where it is merely the forcible entrance into the city by the Chaldeans that receives special detail; see on Jeremiah 39:3. The variation ויּחנוּ, Jeremiah 52:4, instead of ויּחן (2 Kings 25:1), does not affect the sense. As to the account given of the flight, capture, and condemnation of the king, both Jeremiah 39 and 2 Kings mit the notices given in Jeremiah 52:10, "and also all the princes of Judah he caused to be slain (i.e., executed) at Riblah," and in Jeremiah 52:11, "and he put him in the prison-house till the day of his death." בּית־הפּקדּות has been rendered οἰκία μυλῶνος by the lxx; on this fact Hitzig bases the opinion that the Hebrew words signify "the house of punishment," or "the house of correction," in which Zedekiah was obliged to turn the mill like other culprits, and as Samson was once obliged to do (Judges 16:21). But this meaning of the words cannot be substantiated. פּקדּה means "oversight, mustering, or visitation (Heimsuchung), or vengeance," e.g., Isaiah 10:3, but not punishment (Strafe), and the plural, "watches" (Ezekiel 9:1) and "custody," Ezekiel 54:11; hence the expression used here signifies "the house of custody," or "the house of the watches." The translation of the lxx can decide nothing against this, because their interpretation is based upon traditions which are themselves unfounded. Regarding this, Ewald well remarks (History of the People of Israel, iii. p. 748 of 2nd:ed.): "That Zedekiah must have laboured at the mill, as is mentioned in later chronicles (see Aug. Mai, Scriptorum veterum nova collectio, t. i. P. 2, p. 6; cf. Chr. Sam. Ch. xlv.), is probably a mere inference from Lamentations 5:13."
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