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Bible Commentaries
Jeremiah 52

Garner-Howes Baptist CommentaryGarner-Howes

Verses 1-11

PART V

AN HISTORICAL POSTSCRIPT - From the Reign of Zedekiah to the Liberation of Jehoiachin

(Chapter 52)

FROM ZEDEKIAH’S REIGN TO JEHOIACHIN’S RELEASE

In this chapter one finds fuller vindication of Jeremiah’s ministry through the fulfillment of his word. The content is very close to the record found in 2 Kings 24-25 and 2 Chronicles 36.

Vs. 1-3a: EVIL IN THE LORD’S SIGHT

1. Zedekiah began to reign in Judah when he was 21 years old, and reigned for 11 years, (vs. 1; comp. 2 Kings 24:18-20; 2 Chronicles 36:11-13).

a. He was a son of the good king Josiah, whom Jeremiah dearly loved.

b. His mother was Hamutal, the daughter of Jeremiah of Libnah

2. He did evil in the Lord’s sight, just as his brother, Jehoiakim had done, (vs. 2; comp. 1 Kings 14:22; Jeremiah 36:30-31).

3. Their corruption surpassing the boundaries of God’s endurance, He, in righteous indignation, cast them away from His presence, (vs. 3; comp. Isaiah 3:1; Isaiah 3:4-5).

Vs. 3b-11: ZEDEKIAH’S REBELLION

1. Though, by the name of Jehovah, he had sworn loyalty to king Nebuchadnezzar, the stiff-necked Zedekiah rebelled against the king of Babylon, (vs. 3b; 2 Chronicles 36:13).

2. As a result of Zedeklah’s rebellion, Nebuchadnezzar and his army set a siege around Jerusalem (in the 9th year, 10th month and 10th day of Zedekiah’s reign); it was kept there until approximately 18 months later, when, in the midst of a sore famine in the city, a breach was made in the wall of Jerusalem, (vs. 4-7a; Jeremiah 39:1; 2 Kings 25:1-7; comp. Ezekiel 24:1).

3. Thus, Zedekiah and all his men of war tried to escape by night, but were apprehended in the plains of Jericho - his army being scattered, (vs. 7b-8; Jeremiah 39:4-7).

4. He was taken before Nebuchadnezzar, at Riblah, where sentence was passed upon him - illustrating the high cost of rebellion against the word of the Lord! (vs. 9-11).

a. Nebuchadnezzar slew all the sons of Zedekiah before his very eyes (Jeremiah 22:30; Jeremiah 39:6)-with all the princes of Judah.

b. Then he put out the king’s eyes (Jeremiah 39:7; Ezekiel 12:13), bound him in chains, and took him to Babylon where he was imprisoned for the rest of his life.

Verses 12-16

Vs. 12-16: THE DESTRUCTION OF JERUSALEM

1. Nebuzar-adan, captain of the guard, in the service of king Nebuchadnezzar, entered Jerusalem on the 10th day of the 5th month (586-585 B.C. vs. 12).

2. He burned the temple, the king’s palace, and the houses of all the prominent men of the city, (vs. 13; 2 Chronicles 36:8; 2 Chronicles 36:19; Psalms 74:6-8; Psalms 79:1; Isaiah 64:10-11; La 2:7).

3. Then he directed the soldiers that were with him in the breaking down of the walls that were around Jerusalem, (vs. 14; 2 Kings 25:10; Nehemiah 1:3).

4. Having completed his task, he left some of the poorest of the land to be vinedressers and husbandmen - leading a number of captives to Babylon, (vs. 15-16; 2 Kings 25:11-12; Jeremiah 39:10; Jeremiah 40:2-6).

Verses 17-23

Vs. 17-23: THE LOOTING OF THE TEMPLE

This passage describes the looting of the temple in Jerusalem before it was burned, and tells of its sacred vessels being taken to Babylon as a booty of the victor. Some of these vessels (of brass, silver and gold) were so large that it was necessary to break them in pieces for easier transportation.

Verses 24-27

Vs. 24-27: A RECORD OF IMPORTANT CAPTIVES

Here is information that was not recorded in chapter 39. Nebuzar­adan took captive Seraiah, the chief priest, and Zepaniah, his assistant, three keepers of the doors, a eunuch of high military authority, seven of Zedekiah’s counselors, a secretary to the commander who drafted men for military duty, along with 60 men of the land who were found in Jerusalem. These he brought to Nebuchadnezzar, at Riblah -all of whom he put to death.

Verses 28-30

Vs. 28-30: A UST OF EXILES FROM JUDAH

Three different deputations are mentioned In this passage: 1. In the 7th year (597-596 B.C.), 3,023. 2. In the 11th year (593-592 B.C), 832. 3. In the 23rd year (582-581 B.C.), 745 - making a total of 4,600. These figures surely did not include women and children. 2 Kings 24:14 mentions 10,000 being led away upon the removal of Jehoiachin -Ezekiel being among them, (Ezekiel 1:1-3).

Verses 31-34

Vs. 31-34: JEHOIACHIN TREATED WITH KINDNESS

(See: 2 Kings 25:27-30).

1. In the 37th year of Jehoiachin’s captivity Evil-merodach, the son of Nebuchadnezzar, came to the throne of Babylon.

2. The new king set Jehoiachin free from prison and treated him with both kindness and respect, (comp. Genesis 40:13; Genesis 40:20; Psalms 3:3; Psalms 27:6).

3. His position was higher than that of any other (subdued) king that was with him in Babylon.

4. Like Mephibosheth, the son of Jonathan, Jehoiachin was permitted to eat at the king’s table, and was provided a daily allowance, for as long as he lived, (2 Samuel 9:7; 2 Samuel 9:10; 2 Samuel 9:13).

This brief historical appendix reveals that the message of Jeremiah, a man so long derided and abused by his own unbelieving countrymen, has been translated into history. The long-threatened punishment of sin, rebellion, apostacy and gross iniquity has finally begun.

Yet, in spite of the calamity that has befallen Judah, there lingers an underlying hope that the Lord will ultimately restore His people-- both to the covenant-relationship, and to the land of their fathers.

Bibliographical Information
Garner, Albert & Howes, J.C. "Commentary on Jeremiah 52". Garner-Howes Baptist Commentary. https://studylight.org/commentaries/eng/ghb/jeremiah-52.html. 1985.
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