Matthew Poole's Commentary
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.Jerusalem is besieged: Zedekiah taken; his sons slain; and his eyes put out, 2 Kings 25:1-7. Nebuzar-adan burneth Jerusalem and the temple; breaketh down the wall of the city; carrieth the remnant, except a few poor labourers, into captivity, and much treasure, 2 Kings 25:8-17; slayeth the nobles at Riblah, 2 Kings 25:18-21. Gedaliah is made governor of Judah: he is slain: the rest flee into Egypt, 2 Kings 25:22-26. Evil-merodach advanceth Jehoiachin in his court, 2 Kings 25:27-30.
To chastise Zedekiah for his rebellion and perjury, 2 Chronicles 36:13. They built forts against it round about; partly to keep all supplies of men or provisions from entering into the city; and partly that from thence they might shoot darts, or arrows, or stones into the city. See Jeremiah 52:4 Ezekiel 4:2 17:17.
And the city was besieged unto the eleventh year of king Zedekiah.No text from Poole on this verse.
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.The fourth month; which word is easily understood, by comparing this and the first verse, and Jeremiah 39:2 52:6, where it is expressed.
For the people of the land, i.e. for the common sort of people, who flocked thither from all parts, upon the approach of the Babylonian army; but only for the great men and soldiers. See of the grievousness of this famine, Lamentations 4:10 Ezekiel 5:10,12.
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.The city was broken up by the Chaldeans, who broke and entered the gate, Jeremiah 39:3.
The men of war fled; which word is fitly supplied out of the parallel place, Jeremiah 39:4, or out of the following verb, went away.
Between two walls; between the outward and inward wall of the city, by a private way, having the advantage of the darkness of the night, and possibly of some vault under the ground. The king: this word also is necessarily to be understood; partly by its singular, which agrees not with the men of war; and partly out of the next verse, where it is expressed.
Toward the plain of Jericho, as it follows.
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.No text from Poole on this verse.
So they took the king, and brought him up to the king of Babylon to Riblah; and they gave judgment upon him.To Riblah; of which See Poole "2 Kings 23:33", and See Poole "2 Kings 25:21", where Nebuchadnezzar staid, that he might both supply the besiegers with more men, and military provisions, as their occasions required; and have an eye to Chaldea, to prevent or suppress any commotions which might happen there in the time of his absence.
They gave judgement upon him; the king’s officers appointed thereunto examined his cause, and passed the following sentence against 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.Thus two prophecies were fulfilled, which seemed contrary one to the other, that he should go to Babylon, Jeremiah 32:5 34:3, and that he should never see Babylon; which seeming contradiction, because Zedekiah the false prophet could not reconcile, he concluded both were false, and that Jeremiah was a false prophet; and it seems Zedekiah the king might stumble at this difficulty.
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:On the seventh day of the month.
Quest. How doth this agree with Jeremiah 52:12, where he is said to come thither on the tenth day?
Answ. Either he came to Jerusalem on the seventh day, and burnt the temple on the tenth day; or this sacred writer speaks of the day of his departure from Riblah towards Jerusalem, and Jeremiah speaks of his coming to Jerusalem, which was about three days’ journey from Riblah.
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.He burnt the house of the Lord, which had now stood about four hundred and fifty years.
And all the army of the Chaldees, that were with the captain of the guard, brake down the walls of Jerusalem round about.No text from Poole on this verse.
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.The people that were left in the city, whom neither the sword nor famine had destroyed, who were eight hundred and thirty-two persons, Jeremiah 52:29, being members and traders of that city; for it is likely that there were very many more of the country people who were fled thither, who were left with others of their brethren to manure the land, as it here follows.
The remnant of the multitude, to wit, of the inhabitants of the country.
But the captain of the guard left of the poor of the land to be vinedressers and husbandmen.No text from Poole on this verse.
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.The pillars of brass; the carriage whereof to Babylon was foretold, Jeremiah 27:19,22.
And the pots, and the shovels, and the snuffers, and the spoons, and all the vessels of brass wherewith they ministered, took they away.The shovels; of these and the following words, See Poole "Exodus 27:1" See 1Ki 6 1Ki 7.
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.No text from Poole on this verse.
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.No text from Poole on this verse.
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.No text from Poole on this verse.
And the captain of the guard took Seraiah the chief priest, and Zephaniah the second priest, and the three keepers of the door:Seraiah the chief priest; the high priest, grandson of that Hilkiah, of whom 2 Kings 22:4, and father of Jehozadak, who, as it seems, was taken with his father; and when his father was slain, 2 Kings 25:21, he was carried away to Babylon, as it is noted, 1 Chronicles 6:14,15.
Zephaniah the second priest; who was the high priest’s deputy, when he was hindered from the execution of his office: See Poole "Numbers 3:32"; See Poole "2Sa 8:17" 2 Kings 23:4???.
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:Of them that were in the king’s presence, i.e. of them who constantly attended upon the king’s person: see 1 Kings 10:8 Esther 1:14.
Object. These were seven, Jeremiah 52:25.
Answ. Either five were first taken, and two after them; or two of the seven were of an inferior rank, who therefore are here omitted.
Threescore men of the people of the land; who had been most forward or active in the rebellion.
And Nebuzaradan captain of the guard took these, and brought them to the king of Babylon to Riblah:No text from Poole on this verse.
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.No text from Poole on this verse.
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.A righteous and good man, and a friend to the prophet Jeremiah, Jeremiah 26:24.
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.The captains of the armies, which escaped away when Zedekiah was taken. See Poole "2 Kings 25:4", See Poole "2 Kings 25:5".
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.Sware to them, and to their men; assured them by his promise and oath, that they, doing what he required, should be kept from the evils which they feared. This he might safely swear, because he had not only the king of Babylon’s promise and interest too, but also God’s promise, for their indemnity, delivered by Jeremiah.
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.The seed royal; and therefore moved with envy, to see so mean a person advanced into their place. See this history more fully described, Jer 41.
Ten men, to wit, ten captains or officers, and under each of them many soldiers; otherwise the attempt was ridiculous.
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.No text from Poole on this verse.
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;On the seven and twentieth day; or, on the twenty-fifth day, as it is Jeremiah 52:31; for then the decree was made, which was executed upon the twenty-seventh day.
And he spake kindly to him, and set his throne above the throne of the kings that were with him in Babylon;It seems, though the power of these kings was taken away, yet some honour and respect was given to them, even in the place of their captivity, and to Jehoiachin more than to any of the rest.
And changed his prison garments: and he did eat bread continually before him all the days of his life.i.e. In his presence, and at his table, the following allowance being given to him for the maintenance of his family and royal dignity. Compare 2 Samuel 9:10.
And his allowance was a continual allowance given him of the king, a daily rate for every day, all the days of his life.No text from Poole on this verse.