Matthew Poole's Commentary
In his days Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came up, and Jehoiakim became his servant three years: then he turned and rebelled against him.Jehoiakim, first subdued by Nebuchadnezzar, rebelleth against him to his own ruin: Jehoiachin his son is king in his stead, 2 Kings 24:1-6. His evil reign: Jerusalem spoiled and made captive by the king of Babylon, 2 Kings 24:8-16. He maketh Zedekiah king: he reigneth ill, unto the utter destruction of Judah, 2 Kings 24:17-20.
In his days, i.e. in Jehoiakim’s reign, in the end of his third year, Daniel 1:1, or the beginning of his fourth, Jeremiah 25:1, Nebuchadnezzar; the son of Nabopolassar, who quite subdued the Assyrian, first his lord, and then his competitor, and made himself absolute monarch of all those parts of the world. Came up, to wit, against Jehoiakim, as the friend and confederate of Pharaoh, whose forces he had lately conquered, Jeremiah 46:2. He turned and rebelled against him, by the instigation of the Egyptian, who threatened him if he did not rebel, and promised him his utmost assistance if he did.
And the LORD sent against him bands of the Chaldees, and bands of the Syrians, and bands of the Moabites, and bands of the children of Ammon, and sent them against Judah to destroy it, according to the word of the LORD, which he spake by his servants the prophets.Nebuchadnezzar’s army was made up of several nations, who were willing to fight under the banner of such a puissant and victorious emperor.
Surely at the commandment of the LORD came this upon Judah, to remove them out of his sight, for the sins of Manasseh, according to all that he did;For the sins of Manasseh; properly and directly for their own sins, and occasionally for the sins of Manasseh, which had never been charged upon them, if they had not made them their own by their impenitency for them, and repetition of them.
And also for the innocent blood that he shed: for he filled Jerusalem with innocent blood; which the LORD would not pardon.For the innocent blood, to wit, of those prophets and saints who either reproved or would not comply with his idolatrous worship.
Now the rest of the acts of Jehoiakim, and all that he did, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah?No text from Poole on this verse.
So Jehoiakim slept with his fathers: and Jehoiachin his son reigned in his stead.Jehoiachin, called also Jeconiah, 1 Chronicles 3:16, (as Jehoiakim also was, by comparing this with Matthew 1:11) and, in way of contempt,
Coniah, Jeremiah 22:24.
And the king of Egypt came not again any more out of his land: for the king of Babylon had taken from the river of Egypt unto the river Euphrates all that pertained to the king of Egypt.The king of Egypt came not again, to wit, in this king’s days; nor until Zedekiah’s time, Jeremiah 37:6,7; nor to any purpose. He could not now come out to protect the king of Judah, being scarce able to defend his own kingdom.
Jehoiachin was eighteen years old when he began to reign, and he reigned in Jerusalem three months. And his mother's name was Nehushta, the daughter of Elnathan of Jerusalem.Jehoiachin was eighteen years old when he began to reign.
Object. He was then but eight years old, 2 Chronicles 36:9.
Answ. 1. Both are true; in his eighth year he began to reign with his father, who made him king with him, as divers other kings of Israel and Judah had done in the like times of trouble; and in his eighteenth year he reigned alone.
2. He is called a son of eight years when he began to reign, 2 Chronicles 36:9, because this was the eighth year, not of his age, but of the Babylonish captivity, or bondage; under which both he and his father had been just so long; for it began in the fourth year of Jehoiakim, as it is affirmed Jeremiah 25:1, and continued all his reign, which lasted eleven years, 2 Kings 23:36; and so the first year of Jehoiachin was precisely the eighth year of that captivity. And this is certain, that the years of kings mentioned in Scripture are not always accounted from the beginning of their age, but from some other remarkable time or thing: thus Saul, when at man’s estate, is called the son of one year, 1 Samuel 13:1, of which See Poole "1 Samuel 13:1" and Ahaziah (whose father lived only forty years, 2 Chronicles 21:20) is called a son of forty and two years when he began to reign, 2 Chronicles 22:2, because that was the forty and second year of the reign of Omri’s family, as most think. And therefore it cannot seem strange if the years of this king be computed, not from his birth but from the beginning of so great and famous a change of the Jewish affairs, as this captivity made; this being the usual way of the Romans and Greeks, and other more ancient and eastern nations, to compute the times from the great changes and revolutions happening among them. And that this was the practice of the Jews in the computation of these very times, is evident from the use of it in the Prophecy of Ezekiel, Ezekiel 1:2, which was the fifth year of Jehoiachin’s captivity; and Ezekiel 33:21, in the twelfth year of our captivity; and Ezekiel 40:1, in the twenty-fifth year of our captivity.
3. To all this might be added, that some here acknowledge an error of the scribe, and affirm, that in the first and best copies, in 2 Chronicles 36:9, it was not eight, but eighteen; which they gather from hence, because those two ancient and venerable translators, the Syriac and Arabic, read there, as it is here, was eighteen years old; which, they say, they would never have presumed to do, if they had not so read it in those Hebrew copies, out of which they drew their translation, or in some of them.
He reigned in Jerusalem three months, and ten days, which are added, 2 Chronicles 36:9. But such small sums are frequently omitted in great numbers. See Poole "Genesis 15:13"; See Poole "1 Kings 16:8".
And he did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD, according to all that his father had done.No text from Poole on this verse.
At that time the servants of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came up against Jerusalem, and the city was besieged.Either,
1. Because the people had made Jehoiachin king without his consent. Or,
2. Because he had some notice, or at least a suspicion, of his intentions to rebel against him, and to join with Egypt against him, as Zedekiah his successor did. But whatsoever was the second and immediate cause of it, the chief cause was God’s commandment, or the direction of his providence, as it was said, 2 Kings 24:3.
And Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came against the city, and his servants did besiege it.No text from Poole on this verse.
And Jehoiachin the king of Judah went out to the king of Babylon, he, and his mother, and his servants, and his princes, and his officers: and the king of Babylon took him in the eighth year of his reign.Went out to the king of Babylon, i.e. yielded up himself and the city into his hands; and this by the counsel of Jeremiah, and to his own good.
Of his reign, i.e. of Nebuchadnezzar’s reign; as appears by comparing this with Jeremiah 25:8, and because Jehoiachin reigned not half a year.
And he carried out thence all the treasures of the house of the LORD, and the treasures of the king's house, and cut in pieces all the vessels of gold which Solomon king of Israel had made in the temple of the LORD, as the LORD had said.Cut in pieces; or rather, took away, as this word elsewhere signifies; or cut off, to wit, from the temple. For why should they cut in pieces those vessels which might conveniently be carried away? And that they were not cut in pieces, but reserved whole, is manifest front Ezra 1:7 Daniel 5:2,3.
All the vessels of gold, i.e. the most and choicest of them, by comparing this with 2 Kings 25:14,15.
Which Solomon king of Israel had made; so he expresseth it, either, first, Because these vessels were made by the godly kings of Judah, instead of those which Solomon made, and so they go by his name; as the ship of the Argonauts was still reputed the same ship, though it was from time to time recruited with new materials, until nothing of the old was left. Or, secondly, Because though the city and temple had been rifled more than once, both by the kings of Egypt and Israel, and by the wicked kings of Judah, yet these golden vessels were preserved from them, either by the care of the priests, who hid them out of the way; or by the clemency of the conquerors, and the reverence which they bore to such sacred instruments; or by the special providence of God disposing their hearts to leave them. Or if they had been taken away by any of these kings, they might afterwards be recovered by the entreaty or at the cost of the godly kings of Judah.
And he carried away all Jerusalem, and all the princes, and all the mighty men of valour, even ten thousand captives, and all the craftsmen and smiths: none remained, save the poorest sort of the people of the land.All Jerusalem, i.e. the inhabitants of Jerusalem; not simply all, but the best and most considerable part, as the following words explain and restrain it.
Ten thousand captives; which are more particularly reckoned up, 2 Kings 24:16, where there are seven thousand mighty men, and a thousand smiths; and those mentioned 2 Kings 24:15 make up the other two thousand.
All the craftsmen and smiths; which might furnish them with new arms, and thereby give him fresh trouble.
And he carried away Jehoiachin to Babylon, and the king's mother, and the king's wives, and his officers, and the mighty of the land, those carried he into captivity from Jerusalem to Babylon.No text from Poole on this verse.
And all the men of might, even seven thousand, and craftsmen and smiths a thousand, all that were strong and apt for war, even them the king of Babylon brought captive to Babylon.No text from Poole on this verse.
And the king of Babylon made Mattaniah his father's brother king in his stead, and changed his name to Zedekiah.That he might admonish him of (what this name signifies)
the justice of God, which had so severely punished Jehoiakim for his rebellion; and would no less certainly overtake him, if he should be guilty of the same rebellion and perfidiousness of which his predecessor was guilty.
Zedekiah was twenty and one years old when he began to reign, and he reigned eleven years in Jerusalem. And his mother's name was Hamutal, the daughter of Jeremiah of Libnah.No text from Poole on this verse.
And he did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD, according to all that Jehoiakim had done.No text from Poole on this verse.
For through the anger of the LORD it came to pass in Jerusalem and Judah, until he had cast them out from his presence, that Zedekiah rebelled against the king of Babylon.Thus the people’s sins were the true cause why God gave them wicked kings, whom he suffered to do wickedly, that they might bring the long deserved and threatened punishments upon themselves and their people.