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2Ki 25:1 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.
Ver. 1. In the tenth month, the tenth day of the month. ] This was revealed to Ezekiel in Babylon. Eze 24:1 And although this day of the tenth month was by the law appointed for a day of expiation or atonement, Lev 16:29-31 yet now "an end was come, the end was come, it watched against them, behold, it was come, an evil, an only evil was come, was come," as Ezekiel hath it. Eze 7:5-6 This the poor captives afterward bewailed in their anniversary fast on this day kept. Zec 8:19
And they built forts against it round about. ] Of the greatness of this army environing so great a city, see Jeremiah 34:1 .
2Ki 25:2 And the city was besieged unto the eleventh year of king Zedekiah.
Ver. 2. Unto the eleventh year of king Zedekiah. ] Which was a full year and half; yet so as that the siege was raised for a time by the coming of Pharaohhophra, that broken reed, as Ezekiel styleth him, whereunto there was no trusting; and so it proved: for he came into the field like thunder and lightning, but went out like a snuff. Jeremiah 37:5 ; Jer 37:11
2Ki 25:3 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.
Ver. 3. The famine prevailed in the city. ] Insomuch as that the fathers did eat their sons, and the sons their fathers. Eze 5:10 Lam 4:10 The pestilence also prevailed at the same time. Jeremiah 21:6-7 ; Jer 24:10
2Ki 25:4 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.
Ver. 4. And the city was broken up ] a By the besiegers, who had seized upon the middle gate. Jer 39:3 Cajetan holdeth that it was broken up by the citizens, that by the breach they might escape. Hunger, we say, breaketh through stone walls.
And all the men of war … fled.] This word "fled" is not in the text, but supplied from Jeremiah 39:4 ut intelligamus fugam fuisse praecipitem, saith Vatablus, to set forth the hastiness and headlongness of their flight: but in fleeing from death they fled to it.
By night. ] All this was foretold. Eze 12:12
By the way towards the plain. ] By a way underground, b say the Hebrews, into which the secret gate led them: by a deep valley between mountains, saith Josephus.
Now the Chaldees. ] See on 2 Kings 25:1 .
a Crebris ictibus arietum. - Vat.
b φευδοθυρον .
2Ki 25:5 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.
Ver. 5. And the army of the Chaldees pursued. ] Insequuti sunt regem, et assecuti sunt eum.
And all his army was scattered from him. ] To shift for their lives, as man is a life-loving creature.
2Ki 25:6 So they took the king, and brought him up to the king of Babylon to Riblah; and they gave judgment upon him.
Ver. 6. To Riblah. ] A city of Syria, which was afterwards called Apamia; as the Jerusalem Paraphrast on Num 34:11 showeth.
And they gave judgment upon him. ] They, by public sentence, pronounced him perfidious, and perjured - see Ezekiel 17:18 , - and dealt with him accordingly. Rabbi Solomon undertaketh to tell us how they rated him, and in what terms.
2Ki 25:7 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.
Ver. 7. And they slew the sons of Zedekiah. ] Who were, likely, taken with him, and consenting to his rebellion. a
Before his eyes. ] To his greater grief. The like befell Mauricius, the emperor, a better man.
And put out the eyes of Zedekiah. ] The eyes of whose mind had been put out long before; else he might have foreseen and prevented this evil - as prevision is the best means of prevention, - had he taken warning by what was foretold. Jeremiah 32:4 ; Jeremiah 34:3 ; Eze 12:13 The Dutchmen have a proverb, When God intends to destroy a man, he first puts out his eyes. This punishment of putting out the eyes of an enemy, was practised by the Philistines upon Samson; by Irene, the empress, upon her son Constantinus Copronymus; by our Henry I upon his brother Robert, duke of Normandy; by Amidas, king of Tunis, upon his own father Muleasses; by Amurath VI, king of Turks, upon his wife’s brethren, the two young Servian princes, Gregory and Stephen, whose eyes he cruelly burnt out with a bason made red hot; b a common unmerciful practice among the Turks.
b Turk. Hist., 262.
2Ki 25:8 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:
Ver. 8. And in the fifth month. ] In memory whereof the poor captives in Babylon kept a yearly fast. Zec 7:3
And on the seventh day of the month. ] Jeremiah hath it, on the tenth day, Jeremiah 52:12 ; Jer 39:8 on the Sabbath day; till when, this profane person haply did, on purpose, defer the burning of the city and temple. Lydiat thinketh that he set fire to them on the seventh day, and burned them down on the tenth.
Nebuzaradan captain of the guard. ] Praefectus laniorum; master of the butchers or slaughtermen; so his swordmen seem to be called for their bloody cruelty.
2Ki 25:9 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.
Ver. 9. And he burnt the house of the Lord. ] Which had now stood about four hundred and fifty years. With this house were burnt, say some ancients, all the copies of the holy Scriptures; but that is not likely.
2Ki 25:10 And all the army of the Chaldees, that [were with] the captain of the guard, brake down the walls of Jerusalem round about.
Ver. 10. And all the army of the Chaldees. ] Hic lege, et luge. Those of the captivity bewailed the destruction of Jerusalem by an annual fast. Zec 7:5 Psa 137:1-9 The Jews at this day, when they build a house, leave one part of it unfinished, in remembrance that Jerusalem and the temple lie desolate. At least they leave about a yard square of the house unplastered, on which they write in great letters, Si oblitus fuero, Ierusalem, "If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget her cunning"; or else these words, Zecher lechorban, The memory of the desolation. a
a Leo Modena.
2Ki 25:11 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.
Ver. 11. Now the rest of the people. ] Who were eight hundred and thirty-two persons. Jeremiah 40:1 ; Jer 52:29
2Ki 25:12 But the captain of the guard left of the poor of the land [to be] vinedressers and husbandmen.
Ver. 12. Left of the poor of the land. ] Who would be rather a burden than a benefit to the Chaldees; fruges consmere nati; but in Jewry might do some service. De populo tenuissimos, quibus nihil erat quicquam, reliquit. And yet of these poor ones also; about four or five years after this, were carried away seven hundred and forty-five persons; that so the land might enjoy her Sabbath. 2Ch 36:20-21 Jer 52:30 And here ended those before prophesied three hundred and ninety years of Israel’s iniquity; and those forty years of Judah’s. Eze 4:5-6
2Ki 25:13 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.
Ver. 13. And the pillars of brass. ] The ornaments of the temple and instruments of God’s service were all carried away, as had been foretold. Jer 27:21-22 But it befell Jeremiah, as the poets feign of Cassandra, that he spake truth, but could not be believed.
And carried the brass. ] It being very fine brass. 1Ki 7:15
2Ki 25:14 And the pots, and the shovels, and the snuffers, and the spoons, and all the vessels of brass wherewith they ministered, took they away.
Ver. 14. Took they away. ] Unbroken, as being small, portable, and useful.
2Ki 25:15 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.
Ver. 15. And such things as were of gold, in gold. ] These Chaldees were not of the mind of those Medes, "who regarded not gold, and as for silver, they delighted not in it." Isa 13:17 But it proved more fatal and pernicious to them, than that gold of Tholouse once did to the Roman plunderers.
2Ki 25:16 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.
Ver. 16. Was without weight, ] i.e., Without certain or known weight. Which to prove, it is added,
2Ki 25:17 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.
Ver. 17. The height of one pillar was eighteen cubits. ] The height evinceth the weight; immensum erat pondus; such as was that of the Turks’ great ordinance used against the Rhodes, drawn by thirty-eight yoke of oxen, and fitly called the basilisk. a
a Turk. Hist.
2Ki 25:18 And the captain of the guard took Seraiah the chief priest, and Zephaniah the second priest, and the three keepers of the door:
Ver. 18. And the captain of the guard took Seraiah, &c. ] These likely were fired out of those secret corners of the temple where they lay hid. Our chroniclers a tell us that William the Conqueror, firing the city Mentz or Mayence in France, consumed a fair church there, in the walls whereof was enclosed an anchoret - Stow saith two - who might, but would not escape, holding it a breach of his religious vow to forsake his cell in that distress. Other histories tell us, that at the last destruction of Jerusalem, certain Jews who had taken sanctuary in the temple, came forth when it was on fire, and besought the Emperor Titus to give them quarter for their lives: but he refused so to do; giving this for a reason, which indeed was no reason, Ye deserve not to live, who will not die with the downfall of your temple.
And Zephaniah the second priest. ] The high priest’s great deputy or suffragan; who, upon any extraordinary occasion or occurrent restraining or disabling the high priest, was to supply his place.
a Speed, 447.
2Ki 25:19 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:
Ver. 19. That was set over the men of war. ] Lieutenant-general, likely, to General Sophar. Jer 25:1-38
And five men of them. ] Jeremiah saith seven men; two of them, perhaps, were less considerable, or taken at another time.
2Ki 25:20 And Nebuzaradan captain of the guard took these, and brought them to the king of Babylon to Riblah:
Ver. 20. And Nebuzaradan captain of the guard. ] Praefectus rerum capitalium, say the Tigurines. See 2 Kings 25:8 .
2Ki 25:22 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.
Ver. 22. Over them he made Gedaliah ruler. ] A pious, prudent, and meek-spirited man, a cut down by envy, that sharp-ranged malignity, which none can stand before. Pro 27:4
a Josephus saith he was ετιεικης και δικαιος , a moderate and just man.
2Ki 25:23 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.
Ver. 23. And when all the captains of the army. ] Palantes per agros, qui dispersi fuerant; those, likely, that were scattered from Zedekiah. 2Ki 25:5
2Ki 25:24 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.
Ver. 24. Dwell in the land, and serve. ] The Arabians have a good proverb, Os quod in sorte tua cediderit, rodas, Be content with your condition; and if you cannot bring your estate to your mind, bring your mind to your estate.
2Ki 25:25 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.
Ver. 25. Of the seed royal. ] He therefore disdained that Gedaliah, a meaner man, was made governor. Self-love and envy teach men to turn the glass to see themselves bigger and others lesser than they are.
And smote Gedaliah. ] Treacherously at a feast. Jer 41:2
And slew him. ] Hereof Gedaliah had warning, but would not take it. Jer 40:13-14 The like is reported of Julius Caesar, of the duke of Guise in France, and others.
And the Jews and the Chaldees, &c. ] All these he massacred; being thereunto incited by Baalis king of the Ammonites, with whom this bloody villain had kept himself out of the storm during the siege of Jerusalem. Jer 40:14
2Ki 25:26 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.
Ver. 26. And came to Egypt. ] Their rendezvous was at Bethlehem; where when the prophet Jeremiah had forbidden them from God to go to Egypt upon pain of utter destruction, they nevertheless would needlessly go, and did: taking along with them also Jeremiah and Baruch. Jer 43:4
“ Ah quoties docta plus valet arte malum! ”
Jeremiah, though their prisoner, ceased not to reprove them in Egypt for their obstinacy and idolatry, and to foretell their destruction: for the which his ungrateful countrymen stoned him to death, as other histories report. Hoc fuit διδακτρον , saith one. This was the reward that that faithful servant of God received for his one and forty years’ pains taken amongst them.
2Ki 25:27 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;
Ver. 27. And it came to pass in the seven and thirtieth year. ] This was a long while to be held prisoner; but yet he had his life preserved - now, "a living dog is better than a dead lion" - and his eyes - which benefit Zedekiah was deprived of; and at length this high preferment: so little is there lost by doing or suffering aught for God’s sake; whose retributions are more than bountiful. Those "good figs" that were carried captive with him, had their share also, no doubt, in his comforts, though nothing be said of it.
On the seven and twentieth day of the month. ] On the five and twentieth day he was released, Jer 52:31 and on the seven and twentieth advanced.
That Evilmerodach king of Babylon. ] Nebuchadnezzar’s son and successor. The Rabbis tell us that, his father returning to his right mind, after that he had for seven years’ space been turned a-grazing among the beasts of the field, cast Evilmerodach into the same prison with Jehoiachin, who told him his case, and thereby found this favour with him. They tell us further, that this Evilmerodach, in way of revenge, drew his father’s dead body out of the grave, cut it in pieces, burned it to ashes, parted the ashes, put them in several purses, bound them to four eagles necks, and caused them to fly to the four quarters of the world. See for this, Isaiah 14:19-20 . Others tell us, that his courtiers called him Evilmerodach, that is, Foolmerodach, because he was so kind to Jehoiachin and his people. So they afterwards called Constantine the Great Pupillus, for his courtesy and bounty to the Christians.
2Ki 25:28 And he spake kindly to him, and set his throne above the throne of the kings that [were] with him in Babylon;
Ver. 28. And he spake kindly to him. ] Heb., Good things with him: he both spake and did for him such good things as he little expected; but far better digested than Arthur L. Lisle did King Henry VIII’s courtesy; by whom having been cast into the Tower for suspicion of treason, he was afterwards not only acquitted, but comforted with such good words, besides a rich ring sent unto him off his own finger, that at the hearing thereof, a sudden joy overcharged his heart: and was so immoderately received, that the same night it made an end of his life. a
a Speed, 896.
2Ki 25:29 And changed his prison garments: and he did eat bread continually before him all the days of his life.
Ver. 29. And changed his prison garments. ] The like whereto befell Joseph, whose fetters one hour changed into a chain of gold, his rags into robes, his stocks into a chariot, his jail into a palace. So God turned again the captivity of Job, as the streams in the south. So Queen Elizabeth, after long restraint, was exalted from misery to majesty, from a prisoner to a princess, &c.
“ Accidit in puncto quod non speratur in anno. ”
2Ki 25:30 And his allowance [was] a continual allowance given him of the king, a daily rate for every day, all the days of his life.
Ver. 30. And his allowance was a continual allowance. ] So is or might be every true believers’ portion: who should therefore "eat his bread with joy, and drink his wine with cheerfulness all the days of his life," which are not to be numbered by the hours, but measured by spiritual mirth; as moneys are not by tale, but by value.
All the days of his life. ] Evilmerodach reigned little more than two years; being treacherously slain by Neriglissorus, his own sister’s husband; as Berosus, a cited by Josephus, b writeth: and some hold it probable from this text, that Jechoniah also died about the same time, being seven and fifty years of age.
a Rer. Chaldaic., lib. xxx.
b Lib. i., cont. Apion.
Soli Deo Gloria
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Trapp, John. "Commentary on 2 Kings 25". Trapp's Complete Commentary. https://studylight.org/
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