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Jeremiah 52:1 . Zedekiah was one and twenty years old when he began to reign. This and the two following verses are taken from 2 Kings 24:18-20; and the seven succeeding verses are taken from the thirty ninth chapter of this book. Hence Ezra, or some other holy man, added this chapter to show the accomplishment of Jeremiah’s prophecies, and to make the book complete.
Jeremiah 52:12 . On the tenth day of the month. The general of the Chaldeans had been three days in the city before he burnt the temple, which had stood four hundred and seventy years. It was the manner of the Chaldeans to burn temples, and it was the custom of the Medes to revere them. The Romans also burnt the temple of Jerusalem exactly on the same day of the month! The city and temple shared in the common sentence of Almighty God, being both alike polluted.
Jeremiah 52:13 . And burnt the house of the Lord. This is also described in Micah 3:12.
Jeremiah 52:21 . The height of one pillar was eighteen cubits. It is said in 2 Chronicles 3:15, that the pillars were thirty five cubits high. Dr. Lightfoot thinks that the pillars are reckoned both together at seventeen cubits and a half each, allowing half a cubit for the base. The Jews had gloried much in these pillars as the noblest in the world. But Herodotus says, that before the vestibule of the temple of Vulcan in Egypt, there stood two statues twenty five cubits high; the one represented summer, the other winter. These were one third higher than Solomon’s pillars of Jachin and Boaz.
Jeremiah 52:24 . Seraiah the chief priest, the father of Ezra. Zephaniah was the second priest, or sagon.
Here is the tragic end of a sinful nation. Many strokes had the sword of justice laid at the branches of the dying tree, which did not revive, and now therefore it is cut down. Here is the fate of men and nations who stifle conscience, who harden themselves against the ministry, and despise the edification of milder visitations. We cannot but deplore the obstinacy of the princes, the priests, and rulers of the land, which brought them and their country to ruin. They had been long and fully warned, but they would not believe; nay, they hated the light, and sought the death of the prophet. Now he is preserved, and they are delivered to the sword. Zedekiah had wilfully shut his eyes against all light, and all admonition; and now his eyes are put out, after seeing his infant children put to death for their father’s sins. He had rebelled against the Lord, he had rebelled against the Chaldeans, and now both heaven and earth fight against him. He delivered not Jeremiah from prison, though he consulted him as a prophet, and now there is no man to remove his chain.
From Jehoiachin’s short reign, and long imprisonment, awful instances of Babylonian cruelty, we learn the vicissitudes of life, and the calamities attendant upon greatness. The wheels of providence elevated him early to a momentary throne; thence he descended into the mire and gloom of the dungeon, and thence to the first throne of captive kings who awaited restoration. Hence all men in affliction, who have no visible ray of hope, should nevertheless hope in God. He can brighten the darkest day, and break the iron fetters. He can turn adversity to the greatest glory, and become the covenant portion of his people.
Though God cut down the Jewish nation, and gave the enemy wages for his work, yet he left hopeful branches to restore the nation. Seraiah the priest died for his sin; but Ezra, his infant son, found a better school in Babylon than he could have found in Judea. Adversity proved a better tutor than luxury and pride. The hope of Israel withered in the hands of the father, but flourished under the care of the son. Thus all the chastisements of providence are proportioned by weight and measure, and they have, in the issue, mercy for their object. Let us therefore review the ways of providence, till our hearts, burning like the seraphim, constrain us to say, Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of hosts. The whole earth is full of his glory.
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Sutcliffe, Joseph. "Commentary on Jeremiah 52". Sutcliffe's Commentary on the Old and New Testaments. https://studylight.org/
the Week of Proper 15 / Ordinary 20