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2Ki 24:1-7. JEHOIAKIM PROCURES HIS OWN RUIN.
1, 2. Nebuchadnezzar--the son of Nabopolassar, the founder of the Chaldee monarchy. This invasion took place in the fourth year of Jehoiakim's, and the first of Nebuchadnezzar's reign (Jer 25:1; compare Jer 46:2). The young king of Assyria being probably detained at home on account of his father's demise, despatched, along with the Chaldean troops on his border, an army composed of the tributary nations that were contiguous to Judea, to chastise Jehoiakim's revolt from his yoke. But this hostile band was only an instrument in executing the divine judgment (2Ki 24:2) denounced by the prophets against Judah for the sins of the people; and hence, though marching by the orders of the Assyrian monarch, they are described as sent by the Lord (2Ki 24:3).
6. Jehoiakim slept with his fathers--This phraseology can mean nothing
more than that he died; for he was not buried with his royal ancestors;
and whether he fell in battle, or his body was subjected to posthumous
insults, he was, according to the prediction
not honored with the rites of sepulture
7. the king of Egypt--that is, Pharaoh-nechoh.
2Ki 24:8, 9. JEHOIACHIN SUCCEEDS HIM.
8. Jehoiachin--that is, "God-appointed," contracted into Jeconiah and Coniah
9. he did that which was evil in the sight of the Lord--Untaught by experience, and deaf to the prophetic warnings, he pursued the evil courses which had brought so many disasters upon the royal family as well as the people of Judah. This bad character is figuratively but strongly depicted (Eze 19:5-7).
2Ki 24:10-16. JERUSALEM TAKEN.
10-13. At that time--within three months after his accession to the throne. It was the spring of the year (2Ch 36:10); so early did he indicate a feeling hostile to the interests of his Assyrian liege lord, by forming a league with Egypt. Nebuchadnezzar sent his generals to besiege Jerusalem, as Jeremiah had foretold (Jer 22:28; 34:20), and soon after he followed in person. Convinced of the hopelessness of making any effectual resistance, Jehoiachin, going to the camp of the besiegers, surrendered (2Ki 24:12), in the expectation, probably, of being allowed to retain his throne as a vassal of the Assyrian empire. But Nebuchadnezzar's clemency towards the kings of Judah was now exhausted, so that Jehoiachin was sent as a captive to Babylon, according to Jeremiah's prediction (Jer 22:24), accompanied by the queen mother (the same who had held that dignity under Jehoahaz) (2Ki 23:31), his generals, and officers. This happened in the eighth year of Nebuchadnezzar's reign, computing from the time when he was associated with his father in the government. Those that were left consisted chiefly of the poorer sort of people and the unskilled workmen. The palace and the temple were ransacked. The smaller golden vessels had been taken on the first capture of Jerusalem and placed by Nebuchadnezzar in the temple of his god as tokens of victory. They were used by Belshazzar at his impious feast [Da 5:2], for the purpose of rewarding his army with these trophies, among which were probably the golden candlesticks, the ark, &c. (compare 2Ch 36:7; Da 1:2). Now the gold plating was torn off all the larger temple furniture.
13-16. as the Lord had said--(compare 2Ki 20:17; Isa 39:6; Jer 15:13; 17:3). The elite of the nation for rank, usefulness, and moral worth, all who might be useful in Babylon or dangerous in Palestine, were carried off to Babylon, to the number of ten thousand (2Ki 24:14). These are specified (2Ki 24:15, 16), warriors, seven thousand; craftsmen and smiths, one thousand; king's wives, officers, and princes, also priests and prophets (Jer 29:1; Eze 1:1), two thousand; equal to ten thousand captives in all.
2Ki 24:17-20. ZEDEKIAH'S EVIL REIGN.
17-19. the king of Babylon made Mattaniah, his father's brother, king
in his stead--Adhering to his former policy of maintaining a show of
monarchy, Nebuchadnezzar appointed the third and youngest son of Josiah
full brother of Jehoahaz, and uncle of the captive Jehoiachin. But,
according to the custom of conquerors, who changed the names of the
great men they took captives in war, in token of their supremacy, he
gave him the new name of
20. through the anger of the Lord . . . he cast them out from his
presence--that is, in the course of God's righteous providence, his
policy as king would prove ruinous to his country.