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Jeremiah, Chapter 52
Introduction to Jeremiah 52
This chapter contains the history of the besieging, taking, and destroying of Jerusalem; the moving cause of it, the wicked reign of Zedekiah, Jer.52:1; the instruments of it, the king of Babylon and his army, which besieged and took it, Jer.52:4; into whose hands the king of Judah, his sons, and the princes of Judah, fell; and were very barbarously and cruelly used by them, Jer.52:8. Then follows an account of the burning of the Temple, the king's palace, and the houses in Jerusalem, and the breaking down of the walls of it, Jer.52:12; and of those that were carried captive, and of those that were left in the land by Nebuzaradan, Jer. 52:15; and of the multiple vessels and valuable things in the Temple, of gold, silver and brass it was plundered of, and carried to Babylon, Jer.52:17; and of the murder of several persons of dignity and character, Jer.52:24; and of the number of those that were carried captive at three different times, Jer.52:28; and the chapter is concluded with the exaltation of Jehoiachin king of Judah, and of the good treatment he met with from the king of Babylon to the day of his death, Jer.52:31.
Theme: Fulfillment of the prophesied destruction of Jerusalem
This chapter is a review in recollection of the destruction of Jerusalem and the captivity of Judah. What Jeremiah had first given as prophecy he now writes as history. He recounts again the capture of King Zedekiah and tells how his sons were slain and his eyes put out by the king of Babylon.
Jeremiah also tells us what happened to Jehoiachin after he had been captured and taken to Babylon.
History is absolutely the best expositor of prophecy; and therefore, for the better understanding of the prophecies of this book which relate to the destruction of Jerusalem and the Kingdom of Judah, we are here furnished with an account of that sad event. It is much the same with the history in 2 Kings 24 and 25, and many of the particulars we see in that book, but the matter is here repeated and put together, to give light to the book of the Lamentations, which follows next, and to serve as a key to it. That article in the close concerning the advancement of Jehoiachin in his captivity, which happened after Jeremiah's time, gives color to the guesswork of those who think that this chapter was not written by Jeremiah, but by someone divinely inspired among those in captivity, for a constant memorandum to those who in Babylon preferred Jerusalem above their chief joy. In this chapter we have, (1). The bad reign of Zedekiah, very bad in regard both of sin and of punishment (vs. 1-3). (2). The besieging and taking of Jerusalem by the Chaldeans (vs. 4-7). (3). The severe usage which Zedekiah and the princes met with (vs. 8-11). (4). The destruction of the Temple and the city (vs. 12-14). (5). The captivity of the people (vs. 15-16) and the numbers of those that were carried away into captivity (vs. 28-30). (6). The carrying off of the plunder of the Temple (vs. 17-23). (7). The slaughter of the priests, and some other great men, in cold blood (vs. 24-27). (8). The better days which king Jehoiachin lived to see in the latter end of his time, after the death of Nebuchadnezzar (vs. 31-34).
Bad Reign of Zedekiah, Very Bad in Regard Both of
Sin and of Punishment (Jer. 52:1-3)
Jer. 52:1 Zedekiah was one and twenty 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. (KJV)
Zedekiah was one and twenty years old when he began to reign . . . Zedekiah’s name was Mattaniah. He was set on the throne by the king of Babylon, in place of his brother's son Jehoiachin. 2 Ki. 24:17 And the king of Babylon made Mattaniah his father's brother king in his stead, and changed his name to Zedekiah. (KJV)
And he reigned eleven years in Jerusalem . . . so that he was thirty two years of age when he was taken and carried captive into Babylon.
And his mother's name was Hamutal the daughter of Jeremiah of Libnah . . . (2 Ki.24:28).
Jer. 52:2 And he did that which was evil in the eyes of the LORD, according to all that Jehoiakim had done. (KJV)
And he did that which was evil in the eyes of the LORD . . . although we do not read of any idolatry he was guilty of; yet he was disobedient to the word of the LORD, and did not humble himself before Jeremiah the prophet of the LORD, that spoke in His Name; and above all he rebelled against the king of Babylon, and violated the oath he made to him (2 Chr.36:12).
According to all that Jehoiakim had done . . . his elder brother, who reigned after Josiah, and before Jehoiachin.
Jer. 52:3 For through the anger of the LORD it came to pass in Jerusalem and Judah, till he had cast them out from his presence, that Zedekiah rebelled against the king of Babylon. (KJV)
For through the anger of the LORD it came to pass in Jerusalem and Judah . . . Zedekiah was a king given to a people in God's anger, for their many sins and transgressions committed against Him and taken away in His disapproval.
Till he had cast them out from his presence . . . out of the land of Judea; out of Jerusalem, out of the Temple where the symbols of His Presence were. The LORD’S anger against Jerusalem, shaped Zedekiah to cast out His people from His Presence.
That Zedekiah rebelled against the king of Babylon . . . the LORD’S anger caused Zedekiah to rebel (2 Ki. 23:26-27). Because of the anger of the LORD for the sins of the Jews, God permitted Zedekiah to rebel against the king of Babylon, so that he might be provoked to come against them, and take vengeance on them; and for his former sins he allowed him to fall into this, to his own and his people's ruin.
Besieging and Taking of Jerusalem
By the Chaldeans (Jer. 52:4-7)
Jer. 52:4 And it came to pass in the ninth year of his reign, in the tenth month, in the tenth day of the month, that Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon came, he and all his army, against Jerusalem, and pitched against it, and built forts against it round about. (KJV)
And it came to pass in the ninth year of his reign . . . of Zedekiah's reign:
In the tenth month, in the tenth day of the month . . . the month Tebet, which is part of our December and part of January; which was the fast of the tenth month, on account of the siege of Jerusalem (Zec.8:19).
That Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon came, he, and all his army, against Jerusalem . . . from where it appears that he came in person with his army, at first to Jerusalem; but, during the siege, or some part of it, retired to Riblah; perhaps upon the news of the king of Egypt's coming to the assistance of the Jews.
And pitched against it . . . encamped against it.
And built forts against it round about . . . wooden towers from where they could shoot their arrows and cast their stones.
Jer. 52:5 So the city was besieged unto the eleventh year of king Zedekiah. (KJV)
So the city was besieged unto the eleventh year of King Zedekiah . . . the siege continued about eighteen months; from the tenth day of the tenth month, in the ninth of Zedekiah's reign, to the ninth day of the fourth month, in the eleventh year of his reign; as follows.
Jer. 52:6 And in the fourth month, in the ninth day of the month, the famine was sore in the city, so that there was no bread for the people of the land. (KJV)
And in the fourth month, in the ninth day of the month . . . the month Tammuz which is part of our June and part of July; that being the fast of the fourth month, for the taking of the city (Zec.8:19).
The famine was sore in the city, so that there was no bread for the people of the land . . . really hard on the common people; the famine had been bad before this time, but was now increased to an astonishing degree, so that the people had no bread at all to eat (Jer.38:9).
Jer. 52:7 Then the city was broken up, and all the men of war fled, and went forth out of the city by night by the way of the gate between the two walls, which was by the king's garden; (now the Chaldeans were by the city round about:) and they went by the way of the plain. (KJV)
Then the city was broken up . . . either its gates were broken open, or a breach was made in the walls of it, through which the Chaldean army entered.
And all the men of war fled . . . the soldiers, with their officers, not being able to stand before the army of the king of Babylon fled.
And went forth out of the city by night . . . at which time, most likely, the attack was made, and the gates of the city forced open, or the walls broken down.
By the way of the gate between the two walls, which was by the king's garden . . . See (Jer.39:4).
Now the Chaldeans were by the city round about . . . as part of their army entered into it, the other part surrounded it.
And they went by the way of the plain . . . the men of war or soldiers that fled, together with King Zedekiah, his family and princes (Jer.39:4).
Severe Usage Which Zedekiah and the
Princes Met with (Jer. 52:8-11)
Jer. 52:8 But the army of the Chaldeans pursued after the king, and overtook Zedekiah in the plains of Jericho; and all his army was scattered from him.
But the army of the Chaldeans pursued after the king . . . not finding him in his palace, they were informed of which way he fled.
And overtook Zedekiah in the plains of Jericho . . . (Jer.39:5).
And all his army was scattered from him . . . when they saw the enemy pursuing them, and coming near them, they left the king, and looked out for themselves.
Jer. 52:9 Then they took the king, and carried him up unto the king of Babylon to Riblah in the land of Hamath; where he gave judgment upon him. (KJV)
Then they took the king . . . took King Zedekiah, being left alone, except a few with him.
And carried him up unto the king of Babylon to Riblah in the land of Hamath . . . which is supposed to be Antioch in Syria.
Where he gave judgment upon him . . . chided and reproached him for his disloyalty and ingratitude; argued with him, exposing his iniquity; and then passed sentence upon him, which was after executed (Jer.39:5).
Jer. 52:10 And the king of Babylon slew the sons of Zedekiah before his eyes: he slew also all the princes of Judah in Riblah. (KJV)
And the king of Babylon slew the sons of Zedekiah before his eyes . . . ordered them to be slain in his presence (Jer.39:6).
Ne slew also all the princes of Judah in Riblah . . . who, together with the king's sons, were taken with him.
Jer. 52:11 Then he put out the eyes of Zedekiah; and the king of Babylon bound him in chains, and carried him to Babylon, and put him in prison till the day of his death. (KJV)
Then he put out the eyes of Zedekiah . . . after he had seen his children and princes executed, which must be very terrible to him. Jer. 39:7 Moreover he put out Zedekiah's eyes, and bound him with chains, to carry him to Babylon. (KJV)
And the king of Babylon bound him in chains, and carried him to Babylon . . . in Jer.38:7, it is said, he bound him, to carry him there; here it is affirmed he did carry him there: and it is added,
And put him in prison till the day of his death . . . from this place only we learn that King Zedekiah was put into a prison, and died a prisoner.
The Destruction of the
Temple and the City (Jer. 52:12-14)
Jer. 52:12 Now in the fifth month, in the tenth day of the month, which was the nineteenth year of Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon, came Nebuzaradan, captain of the guard, which served the king of Babylon, into Jerusalem, (KJV)
Now in the fifth month, in the tenth day of the month . . . this was the fast of the fifth month, for the burning of the city, which was the month Ab, and is part of our July and part of August (Zec.8:19).
Which was the nineteenth year of Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon . . . that is, the nineteenth year of his reign; who reigned for forty three years.
Came Nebuzaradan captain of the guard, which served the king of Babylon, into Jerusalem . . . or stood before the king of Babylon, was a servant of his, the provost marshal, or chief marshal; he was sent, and came from Riblah to Jerusalem, with a commission to burn the city. This was a month after the taking of the city.
Jer. 52:13 And burned the house of the LORD, and the king's house; and all the houses of Jerusalem, and all the houses of the great men, burned he with fire: (KJV)
And burnt the house of the LORD . . . the Temple built by Solomon, after it had stood four hundred and seventy years, six months and ten days, according to Josephus, but the Jews say it stood just four hundred ten years.
And the king's house . . . the royal palace; probably that which was built by Solomon (1 Ki.7:1).
And all the houses of Jerusalem . . . and defines what houses especially are meant, the houses of the great men, the rich and mighty.
And all the houses of the great men burnt he with fire . . . houses of the princes and nobles in Jerusalem; and every house of the great ones. Some interpret it of the synagogue, where prayer was magnified; and others understood it of the schools, where the law was magnified.
Jer. 52:14 And all the army of the Chaldeans, that were with the captain of the guard, brake down all the walls of Jerusalem round about. (KJV)
And all the army of the Chaldeans, that were with the captain of the guard . . . which he brought with him from Riblah, or were left at Jerusalem by those that followed Zedekiah when the city was taken, which the captain of the guard now had the command of.
Broke down all the walls of Jerusalem round about . . . Jer. 39:8 And the Chaldeans burned the king's house, and the houses of the people, with fire, and brake down the walls of Jerusalem. (KJV)
The Captivity of the People (Jer. 52:15-16)
Jer. 52:15 Then Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard carried away captive certain of the poor of the people, and the residue of the people that remained in the city, and those that fell away, that fell to the king of Babylon, and the rest of the multitude. (KJV)
Then Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard carried away captive certain of the poor of the people . . . meaning the poor of the city, different from the poor of the land of Judea he left, afterwards observed.
And the residue of the people that remained in the city . . . that died not by the sword or famine, and did not flee with Zedekiah: and so are the same as the poor people in the former clause. Some of the poor of people he carried captive, and some of them he left,
And those that fell away, that fell to the king of Babylon . . . that fell off from the Jews, and surrendered to the king of Babylon during the siege; or that willingly came in, and put themselves into the hands of the captain of the guard.
And the rest of the multitude . . . of the people, both in city and country.
Jer. 52:16 But Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard left certain of the poor of the land for vinedressers and for husbandmen. (KJV)
But Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard left certain of the poor of the land . . . the poor of the land of Judea, who lived in the country, and had not been concerned in defending the city against the Chaldeans.
For vinedressers, and for husbandmen . . . to look after the vineyards and fields, and dress and fertilize them, so that the king of Babylon might receive advantage by the conquest he had made (Jer.39:10).
The Carrying Off of the Plunder of the Temple
Jer. 52:17 Also 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, the Chaldeans brake, and carried all the brass of them to Babylon. (KJV)
Also the pillars of brass that were in the house of the LORD . . . 1 Ki. 7:15 For he cast two pillars of brass, of eighteen cubits high apiece: and a line of twelve cubits did compass either of them about. (KJV)
And the bases . . . which were in number ten, and which were also made of cast brass, and were all of one measure and size; and on which the ten lavers of brass were set, five on the right side and five on the left side of the House. 1 Ki. 7:37 After this manner he made the ten bases: all of them had one casting, one measure, and one size. (KJV)
And the brasen sea that was in the house of the LORD . . . called the molten sea; a sea, because of the large quantity of water it held; and brasen and molten, because made of molten brass. 1 Ki. 7:23 And he made a molten sea, ten cubits from the one brim to the other: it was round all about, and his height was five cubits: and a line of thirty cubits did compass it round about. (KJV)
The Chaldeans broke, and carried all the brass of them to Babylon . . . they broke all the brass into pieces, so they might carry it more easily. This is given, and is continued in some following verses, partly to show the accomplishment of the prophecy of Jeremiah. Jer. 27:19 For thus saith the LORD of hosts concerning the pillars, and concerning the sea, and concerning the bases, and concerning the residue of the vessels that remain in this city, (KJV) . . . And partly to show that what was left in the Temple, at the former captivities of Jehoiakim and Jeconiah, were now carried clear off.
Jer. 52:18 The caldrons also, and the shovels, and the snuffers, and the bowls, and the spoons, and all the vessels of brass wherewith they ministered, took they away. (KJV)
The cauldrons also . . . or pots (2 Ki.25:14); which were made of bright brass (1 Ki.7:45); these were used to boil the flesh of the sacrifices in.
And the shovels . . . used to remove the ashes from off the altar of burnt offerings, were of brass too.
And the snuffers . . . one translates it psalteries; another interprets it musical instruments; some think tongs are meant.
And the bowls . . . or basins; either to drink out of, or to receive the blood of the sacrifice.
And the spoons . . . ladles, cups, dishes, or vessels used in the sacrifices.
And all the vessels of brass wherewith they ministered . . . everything that the priests in the Temple used,
Took they away . . . the Chaldeans took them all away.
Jer 52:19 And the basons, and the firepans, and the bowls, and the caldrons, and the candlesticks, and the spoons, and the cups; that which was of gold in gold, and that which was of silver in silver, took the captain of the guard away. (KJV)
And the basins . . . or bowls; these are omitted (2 Ki.25:15, they were of gold. 1 Ki. 7:50 And the bowls, and the snuffers, and the basons, and the spoons, and the censers of pure gold; and the hinges of gold, both for the doors of the inner house, the most holy place, and for the doors of the house, to wit, of the temple. (KJV)
And the firepans . . . or censers; these were of gold, which belonged to the golden altar (1 Ki.7:50).
And the bowls; . . . or basins; there were a hundred of them made of gold (2 Chr. 4:8).
And the cauldrons . . . or pots; these are not mentioned. 2 Ki. 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. (KJV) What they should be, either of gold or silver, cannot be said.
And the candlesticks . . . of which there were ten in number, made of pure gold, five on the right side, and five on the left, before the oracle. 1 Ki. 7:49 And the candlesticks of pure gold, five on the right side, and five on the left, before the oracle, with the flowers, and the lamps, and the tongs of gold, (KJV)
And the spoons . . . which were also of gold (1 Ki.7:50).
And the cups . . . bowls, to cover withal (Ex.25:29); it was some kind of instrument or vessel used around the shewbread table, made of pure gold. It seems there were four of them.
That which was of gold in gold, and that which was of silver in silver, took the captain of the guard away . . . meaning that everything that was of gold or silver he took away.
Jer. 52:20 The two pillars, one sea, and twelve brasen bulls that were under the bases, which king Solomon had made in the house of the LORD: the brass of all these vessels was without weight. (KJV)
The two pillars, one sea, and twelve brasen bulls . . . the two pillars of Jachin and Boaz before mentioned, and the molten or brasen sea, with the twelve bulls or oxen the sea stood upon (1 Ki.7:25).
That were under the bases . . . Solomon made two pillars, 1Ki.7:15, which he called Jachin and Boaz (verse 23), a molten sea, ten cubits broad (verse 25); which stood upon twelve oxen, and had ten bases (verse 27): the making of all these took up a huge quantity of brass, as anyone will easily judge, who reads the dimensions of these things.
Which King Solomon had made in the house of the LORD . . . this is mentioned to show that these were the same pillars, sea and oxen, and other vessels, that Solomon made, that were now carried away; for though Ahaz took down the sea from off the brasen oxen, and put it on a pavement of stones, yet it seems not to have been destroyed; and might be restored to its proper place by Hezekiah, or some other prince.
The brass of all these vessels was without weight . . . there was no way to sufficiently weigh them; so the weight of them could not be told; they were so heavy. In Solomon's time the weight of them was not taken, when they were placed in the Temple, so neither when they were taken away (1 Ki.7:47).
Jer. 52:21 And concerning the pillars, the height of one pillar was eighteen cubits; and a fillet of twelve cubits did compass it; and the thickness thereof was four fingers: it was hollow. (KJV)
And concerning the pillars, the height of one pillar was eighteen cubits . . . as in 1 Kings 7:15; said to be thirty five, 2 Chronicles 3:15. 1 Kings 7:15-16 For he cast two pillars of brass, of eighteen cubits high apiece: and a line of twelve cubits did compass either of them about. 16 And he made two chapiters of molten brass, to set upon the tops of the pillars: the height of the one chapiter was five cubits, and the height of the other chapiter was five cubits: (KJV) 2 Chr.3:15 Also he made before the house two pillars of thirty and five cubits high, and the chapiter that was on the top of each of them was five cubits. (KJV)
And a fillet of twelve cubits did compass it . . . a thread or line of that measure encompassed each of the pillars (1 Ki.7:15).
And the thickness thereof was four fingers . . . either of the pillar, or the fillet around it; that is, the brass of it was four fingers thick.
It was hollow . . . meaning that the pillar was hollow.
*****Do 1 Kings 7:15 and 2 Chronicles 3:15 contradict each other?
The pillars in 1 Kings 7:15 are described as being eighteen cubits high where in 2 Chronicles 3:15 they are described as being thirty and five cubits high. There is no contradiction because 1 Kings 7:15 describes the dimension of the pre-assembled pillars each where 2 Chronicles 3:15 describes the altitude of the finished product. 1 Kings 7:15-16 gives the following pre-assembly description of the pillars.
"For he cast two pillars of brass, of eighteen cubits high apiece: and a line of twelve cubits did compass either of them about. And he made two chapiters of molten brass, to set upon the tops of the pillars: the height of the one chapiter was five cubits, and the height of the other chapiter was five cubits:"
We can see that this is a pre-assembly description of the dimensions of each part because the height is given for each pillar and the chapiters are described as being made to set upon the tops of the pillars, meaning they have not been set there yet. In contrast, the description in 2 Chronicles 3:15 is of the finished product and the altitude of the pillars. It says: Also he made before the house two pillars of thirty and five cubits high, and the chapiter that was on the top of each of them was five cubits.
This description is that of a finished product. The pillars are before the House and the chapiter on each of the pillars is described as being on the top. In this finished product, the two pillars are described as being thirty and five cubits high. This can be taken to mean the altitude of the pillars rather than their dimensions apiece (a word not found in the description of 2 Chronicles 3:15. The 18 cubit pillars were apparently erected on top of a base that was 17 cubits high. Their altitude was in total 35 cubits high.
Jer. 52:22 And a chapiter of brass was upon it; and the height of one chapiter was five cubits, with network and pomegranates upon the chapiters round about, all of brass. The second pillar also and the pomegranates were like unto these. (KJV)
And a chapiter of brass was upon it . . . a chapiter is a capital, a coronet of brass, of molten brass, that was set upon the top of the pillar.
And the height of one chapiter was five cubits . . . five cubits, as in 1 Ki. 7:16. But 2 Ki. 25:17 has three cubits. There were two parts in the chapiter: the lower, plain one, of two cubits; and the other, higher and inquisitively carved, of three cubits. The former is omitted in 2 Ki .25:17, as belonging to the shaft of the pillar; the latter alone is there mentioned. Here the whole chapiter of five cubits is referred to.
With network and pomegranates upon the chapiters round about, all of brass . . . the nets were of chequer or varied work, with wreaths of chain work, and there were seven of them to each chapiter (1 Ki.7:17), making it irregular in color or character; multi-colored.
The second pillar also, and the pomegranates, were like unto these . . . one pillar was exactly like the other, and the ornaments of it the same.
Jer. 52:23 And there were ninety and six pomegranates on a side; and all the pomegranates upon the network were an hundred round about. (KJV)
And there were ninety and six pomegranates on a side. . . on a side, literally, towards the air or wind, meaning the outside of the capitals of the pillars visible to the eye, opposed to the four remaining pomegranates which were not seen from the outside. The pomegranates here are ninety-six; but in 1 Ki. 7:20 they are two hundred on each chapiter, and four hundred on the two (2 Chr 4:13). It seems there were two rows of them, one above the other, and in each row a hundred. They are here said to be ninety-six, but immediately following one hundred, and so in: 1 Ki. 7:20 And the chapiters upon the two pillars had pomegranates also above, over against the belly which was by the network: and the pomegranates were two hundred in rows round about upon the other chapiter. (KJV) Four seems to have been unseen to one looking from one point; and the ninety-six are only those that could be seen; or, maybe the four omitted here are those separating the four sides, one pomegranate at each point of separation (or at the four corners) between the four sides.
And all the pomegranates upon the network were an hundred round about; four, standing upon the four angles, made the ninety six a hundred. These were the things in the Temple that were carried away in the last captivity.
The Slaughter of the Priests, and Some
Other Great Men, in Cold Blood (Jer. 52:24-27)
Jer. 52:24 And the captain of the guard took Seraiah the chief priest, and Zephaniah the second priest, and the three keepers of the door: (KJV)
And the captain of the guard took Seraiah the chief priest . . . took Seraiah out of the Temple, where he was ministering, or where he fled for safety; this Seraiah is supposedly the father of Ezra (1 Chr.6:14).
And Zephaniah the second priest . . . or deputy priest: the sagan of the priests, as the Targum calls him, who was assigned to minister to the high priest, in case anything happened which stopped him from officiating; such a one there always was in later times on the day of atonement. Some think that this man is the same as Zephaniah the son of Maaseiah the priest (Jer.21:1).
And the three keepers of the door . . . of the Temple. They had the keys of the court committed to them. The number seems better to agree with the treasurers; of whom, it is said, they never appoint less than three treasurers.
Jer. 52:25 He took also out of the city an eunuch, which had the charge of the men of war; and seven men of them that were near the king's person, which were found in the city; and the principal scribe of the host, who mustered the people of the land; and threescore men of the people of the land, that were found in the midst of the city. (KJV)
He took also out of the city an eunuch, which had the charge of the men of war . . . the master-general of the army.
And seven men of them which were near the king's person which were found in the city . . . these were ministers of state, who were always at court, and assisted in councils of state, and introduced persons into the king's presence. 2 Ki.25:19
says five, but Josephus says seven, as here; perhaps two of them were of less important , and so not counted. Some say that the two scribes of the judges are left out; but others, more likely, Jeremiah and Baruch, who were first taken, and afterwards dismissed.
And the principal scribe of the host, who mustered the people of the land . . . or the scribe of the prince of the army, as the Targum; the general's secretary.
And threescore men of the people of the land, that were found in the midst of the city . . . people of major note, who, on the invasion, left the country to go the city of Jerusalem with their effects, and to defend it. Josephus calls them rulers or governors.
Jer. 52:26 So Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard took them, and brought them to the king of Babylon to Riblah. (KJV)
So Nebuzaradan captain of the guard took them . . . in the city, and made them captives.
And brought them to the king of Babylon to Riblah . . . to know his mind about them; how they should be disposed of; and for him to pass sentence on them: as he had done on the king of Judah, his sons and his princes, in the same place.
Jer. 52:27 And the king of Babylon smote them, and put them to death in Riblah in the land of Hamath. Thus Judah was carried away captive out of his own land. (KJV)
And the king of Babylon smote them . . . or ordered them to be killed with the sword; to have their heads cut off, according to Josephus.
And put them to death in Riblah in the land of Hamath . . . these being such, no doubt, who stubbornly defended the city, and persuaded the prince and people not to surrender the city to the Chaldeans; and therefore were put to death.
Thus Judah was carried away captive out of his own land . . . at different times, of which this was the completion; and of which a particular account is given, even of the number of the captives at these different times, in verse 28.
And the Numbers of Those That Were
Carried Away Into Captivity (Jer. 52:28-30)
Jer. 52:28 This is the people whom Nebuchadrezzar carried away captive: in the seventh year three thousand Jews and three and twenty: (KJV)
This is the people whom Nebuchadnezzar carried away captive in the seventh year . . . of his reign: in 2 Ki. 24:12, it is said to be in the eighth year of his reign; it being at the latter part of the seventh, and the beginning of the eighth, as one observes; this was the captivity of Jeconiah: the number of the captives then were,
Three thousand Jews, and three and twenty . . . but in 2 Ki.24:14, they are said to be ten thousand; which may be reconciled this way, there were three thousand twenty and three of the tribe of Judah, here called Jews; and the rest were of the tribe of Benjamin, and of the ten tribes that were mixed among them (2 Ki.24:16).
*****2 Kings 24:14-16 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.
15 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. 16 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. (KJV)
Jer. 52:29 In the eighteenth year of Nebuchadrezzar he carried away captive from Jerusalem eight hundred thirty and two persons: (KJV)
In the eighteenth year of Nebuchadnezzar. . . said to be the nineteenth (Jer.52:12); it was at the end of the eighteenth, and the beginning of the nineteenth, as one states, or this was before the taking of the city, when he raised the siege, and departed to meet the king of Egypt, at which time he might carry captive many, as is said here.
He carried away captive from Jerusalem, eight hundred thirty and two persons . . . which is more likely to be then done than at the taking of the city; when it is very likely a greater number was carried captive, which are not here mentioned.
Jer. 52:30 In the three and twentieth year of Nebuchadrezzar Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard carried away captive of the Jews seven hundred forty and five persons: all the persons were four thousand and six hundred. (KJV)
In the three and twentieth year of Nebuchadnezzar . . . in this year of his reign, the Jews say that Tyre was delivered into his hands; and he carried off the Jews in Moab, Ammon and the neighboring nations, to the number afterward mentioned; although some think these were the poor people of the land he took from there, after the murder of Gedaliah and in revenge of that.
Nebuzaradan captain of the guard carried away captive of the Jews seven hundred forty and five persons . . . all which being put together make the following sum:
All the persons were four thousand and six hundred . . . this is the total of the three mentioned captivities.
Better Days Which King Jehoiachin Lived to See in the Latter
End of His Time, After the Death of Nebuchadnezzar (Jer. 52:31-34)
Jer. 52:31 And it came to pass in the seven and thirtieth year of the captivity of Jehoiachin king of Judah, in the twelfth month, in the five and twentieth day of the month, that Evilmerodach king of Babylon in the first year of his reign lifted up the head of Jehoiachin king of Judah, and brought him forth out of prison, (KJV)
And it came to pass in the seven and thirtieth year of the captivity of Jehoiachin king of Judah . . . he was eighteen years of age when he was carried captive; so that he must now be fifty five years old (2 Ki.24:8).
In the twelfth month, in the five and twentieth day of the month . . . in the month Adar, which answers to part of our February and part of March. In 2 Ki.25:27; the favor shown by the king of Babylon to Jeconiah, afterward linked, is said to be in the twenty seventh day of the month; it might have been determined and notified on the twenty fifth, but not executed until the twenty seventh; or it might be begun to be put in execution on the twenty fifth, and not finished till the twenty seventh. The Jews say that Nebuchadnezzar died on the twenty fifth, and was buried on the twenty sixth. Evilmerodach took him out of his grave, and dragged him about, to abolish his decrees, and to confirm what is said of him in: Isa. 14:19 But thou art cast out of thy grave like an abominable branch, and as the raiment of those that are slain, thrust through with a sword, that go down to the stones of the pit; as a carcase trodden under feet. (KJV) And on the twenty seventh he brought Jeconiah out of prison; but this is no proof at all; the former is best.
That Evilmerodach king of Babylon, in the first year of his reign . . . who succeeded Nebuchadnezzar, having reigned forty three years. His proper name was Merodach, a name of one of the Chaldean idols (Jer.50:2). Evil was a nickname, which means foolish; he was called foolish Merodach, because of his wicked conduct, or bad life. As soon as he came to the throne, he,
lifted up the head of Jehoiachin king of Judah, and brought him forth out of prison . . . meaning he changed his condition for the better; raising him out of a low estate to a more honorable one; he brought him out of a state of imprisonment and misery into a state of liberty and honor . . . what the reason was, is not easy to say. The Jews have a tradition, that Nebuchadnezzar, after seven years' madness (Dan.4), coming to himself, and to his kingdom, and understanding that his son Evilmerodach had been guilty of mal-administration during that time, and particularly that he rejoiced at his madness, cast him into prison, where he began a friendship with Jeconiah; and when he came to the throne, upon the death of his father, released him. Others think that Jeconiah being a handsome young man, when he was brought a captive to Babylon, and about the age of this prince, he took a liking to him, and pitied his case, showed him this favor, as soon as he had an opportunity. The Bible does not tell us.
Jer. 52:32 And spake kindly unto him, and set his throne above the throne of the kings that were with him in Babylon, (KJV)
And spake kindly unto him . . . used him with great familiarity, treated him with great respect: spoke good things to him, comforted him in his captive state, and promised him many favors; and kept his word.
And set his throne above the throne of the kings that were with him in Babylon . . . these kings were either petty kings over the different provinces that belonged to the Chaldean monarchy, that were seldom at Babylon; or it could be the kings that Nebuchadnezzar had conquered, and taken captive, as Jehoiachin; such as the kings of Moab, Ammon, Edom and these, although they were captives, had thrones of state, partly in consideration of their former dignity, and partly for the glory of the Babylon monarch. Jehoiachin's throne was higher and more grand and stately than the rest, to show the particular respect the king of Babylon had for him.
Jer. 52:33 And changed his prison garments: and he did continually eat bread before him all the days of his life. (KJV)
And changed his prison garments . . . which were filthy and stinking; and put on him clothing more comfortable, as well as more honorable and suitable to his dignity, and more fit to appear in, in the presence of the king and his court.
And he did continually eat bread before him all the days of his life . . . either at the same table with the king; or at another near him, in his sight, in the same room . . . although the former seems more likely; and this he did as long as he lived; either Evilmerodach or Jeconiah; though perhaps they both died at about the same time. All this was done about five hundred sixty years before Christ, according to some.
Jer. 52:34 And for his diet, there was a continual diet given him of the king of Babylon, every day a portion until the day of his death, all the days of his life. (KJV)
And for his diet, there was a continual diet given him of the king of Babylon . . . this seems to design not food only, and for himself, which he had daily at the king's table, but all necessary provisions for himself, family, and servants.
Every day a portion, until the day of his death, all the days of his life . . . that is, of Jeconiah's, how long he lived after this is not known; he was now fifty five years of age, and cannot be thought he lived a great while after, having been imprisoned so many years; and it is certain he did not live to the return from the captivity. Of the death of Zedekiah we have no account, only that he died in prison.
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