King James Bible
with Catholic Commentary by George Leo Haydock

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2 Kings 25

Jerusalem besieged, Zedekiah taken. (1-7) The temple burnt, The people carried into captivity. (8-21) The rest of the Jews flee into Egypt, Evil-merodach relieves the captivity of Jehoiachin. (22-30)

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Jerusalem besieged, Zedekiah taken

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.

2 And the city was besieged unto the eleventh year of king Zedekiah.

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.

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.

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.

6 So they took the king, and brought him up to the king of Babylon to Riblah; and they gave judgment upon him.

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.

The temple burnt, The people carried into captivity

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:

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.

10 And all the army of the Chaldees, that were with the captain of the guard, brake down the walls of Jerusalem round about.

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.

12 But the captain of the guard left of the poor of the land to be vinedressers and husbandmen.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

18 And the captain of the guard took Seraiah the chief priest, and Zephaniah the second priest, and the three keepers of the door:

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:

20 And Nebuzaradan captain of the guard took these, and brought them to the king of Babylon to Riblah:

21 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.

The rest of the Jews flee into Egypt, Evil-merodach relieves the captivity of Jehoiachin

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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;

28 And he spake kindly to him, and set his throne above the throne of the kings that were with him in Babylon;

29 And changed his prison garments: and he did eat bread continually before him all the days of his life.

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.

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G Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Ver. 1. Day, the 30th of January, A. 3414. Usher. — Some time after Nabuchodonosor left the siege, to attack the Egyptians; (Jer. xxxvii. 3.) and the people of Jerusalem, (H.) supposing that he would return no more, took back their slaves, whom Jeremias had prevailed on them to liberate, according to the law, during the sabbatical year. Jer. xxxiv. 8. Usher. — The prophet reproached them for it; and announced the destruction of the city so plainly, that he was thrown into prison. Jer. xxi. and xxxiv. and xxxviii. — It. The Babylonians had already taken all the towns of Juda, except Azeca and Lachis. Jer. xxxiv. 7. C.

Ver. 3. Of the. Prot. supply, “fourth month,” as it is in the parallel passage. Jer. lii. 6. And in the fourth month, the ninth day of the month. In C. xxxix. 2, we read, in the fourth month, the fifth day of the month, the city was broken up, or a breach was made in the outer wall. In the course of a few days, the princes of Babylon seized the middle gate; and the famine became so intolerable, that, on the 9th, it was judged expedient to abandon the city. H. — During this siege it is thought, (C.) that mothers eat their children, (Lam. iv. 10. Bar. ii. 3.) and children their parents. Ezechiel v. 10. M.

Ver. 4. Walls, by a subterraneous passage, to the plains of Jericho; (Rabbins) or by the horse gate, which was the most private, and, it seems, had been walled up. Ezec. xii. 12. M.

Ver. 6. Rablatha, the Antioch of Syria, (S. Jer.) which was styled also Ephiphania, (T.) or more probably Apamea, where Nabuchodonosor was, when Jerusalem was taken. — Upon him, by the advice of his council. Jer. xxxix. 3. 13. Syr. “they made him answer the charges brought against him,” (C.) of ingratitude and rebellion, as he had been appointed by the king of Babylon, and had sworn to be faithful to him. M. — This repeated infidelity made Nabuchodonosor resolve to remove the people from their own country. C. — He sentenced the last of the kings of Juda to see his children slain, (H.) to have his eyes put out, and to remain in prison till his death. Jer. lii. 11. &c. C. — Heb. he “spake judgments with him.” Thus was accomplished the prediction of Jeremias, (xxxiv. 3.) “thine eyes shall behold the eyes of the king of Babylon, and he shall speak to thee.” Watson. — The same prophet had said the same (C. xxxii. 4.) before he was throne into prison. The sight of an angry judge is no small punishment. H.

Ver. 7. Eyes; after they had been excruciated by the sight of his slaughtered children. He thus might be convinced, that there was no reason to despise the predictions of Jeremias and of Ezechiel, (xii. 13.) as contradictory, because the latter informed him that he should not see Babylon; though the other said that he should die there. — Babylon, where he was honourably buried, by order of Nabuchodonosor. Joseph. x. 11. — Seder (Olam xxviii.) records that his attendants sung, at his funeral, “Alas! king Sedecias is dead, having drunk the dregs of all ages;” as he suffered also for the crimes of his predecessors. Genebrard. T. — This is not indeed specified in Scripture: (H.) but it is highly probable that Nabuchodonosor would thus “revere royalty, even in its ruins,” if Daniel and the other Jews in power, had not been careful to shew this mark of respect to their deceased monarch, conformably to the prediction of Jeremias; (xxxiv. 3.) who foretold that he should die, not by a violent death, the usual fate of captive kings, but in peace, or on his bed, though in a prison. Watson, let. 6.

Ver. 8. Seventh. Jeremias (lii. 12.) mentions the tenth; on which day Nabuzardan probably arrived, or begun to put his orders in execution. Yet the Jews keep the ninth as an annual fast. Zac. vii. 3. and viii. 19. The temple was destroyed on Saturday, 27th August, A. 3416, (Usher) after it had stood 424 years, 3 months, and 8 days. C. — Army. Heb. “of those who slay;” which may be fitly understood “of soldiers,” as well as “of cooks,” (Sept.) “butchers.” Pagnin, &c. M.

Ver. 9. Great. This word is supplied from Jer. lii. 13. and Heb. “great man’s house.” Prot. But Jer. xxxix. 8, we read, they burnt the houses of the people, (H.) even the meanest, destroyed the walls, and took the people to Babylon, only leaving some countrymen to cultivate the land. Jeremias was set at liberty by Nabuzardan, (ib. xi.) and chose to continue with this remnant of the people, for their comfort and direction. H. — They applied to him to know whether they should retire into Egypt; and after ten days, he gave them God’s injunction to the contrary: but they despised it. Jer. xlii. 7. and xliii. 1. The prophet, and his secretary, Baruch, followed them into Egypt. Thus was the country abandoned, and the monarchy at an end, after it had subsisted 468 years from the commencement of David’s reign. C. — Yet some little power remained in the family of David, even at Babylon; (v. 27.) and the Jewish affairs were re-established, after the captivity, though not in such splendour as formerly, nor always under princes of the same royal family. H.

Ver. 14. Mazers. Heb. yahim, “shovels.” Prot. Sept. retain the original word, which S. Jerom translates differently. See 3 K. vii. 50. (M.) and Exodus.

Ver. 18. Saraias, father of Esdras, and of Josedeck, who succeeded in the Pontificate, 1 Esd. vii. 1. and 1 Par. vi. 14. T. — Sophonias. He was perhaps chief of the fourth band of door-keepers, mentioned 1 Par. ix. 17. 24. and vice-gerent of the High-priest, to supply his place, in case of any accident. We find no mention of such a priest in the law, but Eleazar possessed a similar power, Num. iii. 32. C. — Keepers. These seem to have concealed themselves in the temple. M. — They were punished, as the counsellors of Sedecias, by being beheaded or crucified. Lam. v. 12. T.

Ver. 19. Eunuch. Prot. “officer.” H. — Five. Arab. and Jeremias lii. 25. read seven, as two were probably discovered afterwards, (C.) or had fled. D. — These were chief officers. — Sopher. Sept. “and the secretary of the general.” Syr. “the secretary and chiefs of the armies.” C. — Prot. “the principal scribe.” H. — It is not clear whether the general have this title of sopher, “scribe,” himself; or it rather designates his secretary, or scribe. Judg. viii. 14. C. — Many date the 70 years captivity from the last year of Joachin. D.

Ver. 22. Godolias. The Rabbins say that he had gone over to the Chaldees: Jeremias (xxxvii. 2, 17.) had advised all to do so, and Godolias was of an easy complying disposition. Grotius. — But God did not suffer him to collect the remnants of his unhappy people, (C.) at least for any long time, as he was slain by Ismael, (Jer. xl. 12. and xli. 1. H.) who probably envied his dignity. Joseph. Salien.

Ver. 26. Chaldees. They went under the conduct of Johanan, in opposition to the declaration of Jeremias, xliii. 7. and xliv. 1. C.

Ver. 27. Twentieth. Jeremias (lii. 31.) says the 25th, when Nabuchodonosor was buried, and (D.) the decree was made, though it was not put in execution till two days later. C. — Evilmerodach, whose proper name was Baltassar, (Dan. v. 1. T.) or the latter was his son. The Jews say that he had been confined in prison, with Joachin, because he had not administered the kingdom well, during the seven years’ illness of his father Nabuchodonosor. Berosus (ap. Jos. c. Ap. 1. and Euseb. præp. ix. 40. who cites also Megasthenes) informs us that he reigned with insolence during two years, when he was treacherously murdered by his father-in-law, Neriglissor.

Ver. 28. Kings, who had been made captives. Adonibezec had 70. Judg. i. 7. Alexander kept Porus and Taxilus at his court, as Cyrus and done Crœsus, whom he treated with great distinction. The prosperity of Joachin does not seem to have been of long continuance, as his benefactor did not reign above two (v. 27.) or three years. Dan. viii. 1.

Ver. 30. His life, may be referred to Evilmerodach, unless Joachin was involved in his disgrace, and perished at the same time. Perhaps the king of Juda did not always eat at the table of Evilmerodach, but received his meat from it, as was customary. Syr. &c. C. — He received all that was necessary to support his household, daily. Grotius. — In Jer. lii. 34. until the day of his death, seems to be an useless “tautology,” which is omitted here, and in “our oldest MS.” says Kennicott; who observes that whoever will compare these passages, “will find many variations, and some corruptions.” But most of them may be easily explained, v. 3. 8. 27. &c. H.