Jeremiah 52:17
Also the pillars of brass that were in the house of the LORD, and the bases, and the brazen sea that was in the house of the LORD, the Chaldeans broke, and carried all the brass of them to Babylon.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
Jeremiah 52:17-20. Also the pillars of brass, &c., the Chaldeans brake — See note on 2 Kings 25:13. The temple was rifled of its riches and furniture at several times. The first was when Nebuchadnezzar came up against Jehoiakim, Daniel 1:2. The second time was at the captivity of Jechoniah, Jeremiah 27:19; 2 Kings 24:13; and now at the final destruction of the city and temple they made a clear riddance of all its ornaments. And twelve brazen bulls that were under the bases — Or rather, which were instead of bases, to support the brazen sea, (1 Kings 7:25,) the Hebrew word תחת, in other places, signifying instead, or, in the place of another. So the LXX. understand it here.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. 17. brake—that they might be more portable. Fulfilling the prophecy (Jer 27:19). See 1Ki 7:15, 23, 27, 50. Nothing is so particularly related here as the carrying away of the articles in the temple. The remembrance of their beauty and preciousness heightens the bitterness of their loss and the evil of sin which caused it.

brass … brazen—rather "copper … of copper."

The particular enumeration of the parts and utensils of the temple, mentioned in this and in the following verses, may be conceived to have been to justify the prophecy of Jeremiah, Jeremiah 27:19, where there is a particular mention made of the pillars, the bases, and the sea, that they should all, with the residue of the vessels of the temple, be carried into Babylon. Of these pillars we read 1 Kings 7:15; they were of brass, eighteen cubits high, they were in the porch of the temple, Jeremiah 52:21: of the bases we read there also largely, 1 Kings 7:27-37; they also were all of brass: and of the sea, Jeremiah 52:23-26. These being all made of brass, were, for conveniency of carriage, broken by the Chaldeans. Also the pillars of brass that were in the house of the Lord,.... The two pillars in the temple, called Jachin and Boaz, which were made of cast brass, 1 Kings 7:15;

and the bases; which were in number ten, and which were also made of cast brass, and were all of one measure and size; and on which the ten lavers of brass were set, five on the right side and five on the left side of the house, 1 Kings 7:37;

and the brasen sea that was in the house of the Lord; called the molten sea; a sea, because of the large quantity of water it held; and brasen and molten, because made of molten brass, 1 Kings 7:23;

the Chaldeans broke, and carried all the brass of them to Babylon: they broke them to pieces, that they might carry them the more easily. This account is given, and which is continued in some following verses, partly to show the accomplishment of the prophecy of Jeremiah, Jeremiah 27:19; and partly to show that what was left in the temple, at the former captivities of Jehoiakim and Jeconiah, were now carried clear off.

Also the {f} 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, the Chaldeans broke, and carried all the brass of them to Babylon.

(f) Of these pillars read 1Ki 7:15.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
17. This description of the fate of the Temple furniture is much fuller than that in the Kings passage, and has no parallel in ch. 39. For the vessels mentioned in this v., see on ch. Jeremiah 27:19 with note. They were too large to be conveniently carried as they were, and so were broken and taken to Babylon for the sake of the material. For “brass” and “brasen” read bronze in this and the following vv.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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