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;
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).
4. the Lord would not pardon—(see on 2Ki 23:26; Jer 15:1).
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 (Jer 22:19),
not honored with the rites of sepulture (Jer 36:30).
Jehoiachin his son reigned in his
stead—The very brief reign of this prince, which lasted only
three months, during which he was a humble vassal of the Assyrians, is
scarcely deserving to be taken into account, and therefore is in no way
contradictory to the prophetic menace denounced against his father
7. the king of Egypt—that is,
2Ki 24:8, 9. Jehoiachin
8. Jehoiachin—that is, "God-appointed,"
contracted into Jeconiah and Coniah (Jer 22:24).
eighteen years old when he began to
reign—At the age of eight his father took him into
partnership in the government (2Ch 36:9). He began to reign alone at
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
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
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 (1Ch 3:15), 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
Zedekiah—that is, "The righteous of
God." This being a purely Hebrew name, it seems that he allowed the
puppet king to choose his own name, which was confirmed. His heart
towards God was the same as that of Jehoiakim, impenitent and heedless
of God's word.
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
Zedekiah rebelled against the king of
Babylon—instigated by ambassadors from the neighboring states
who came to congratulate him on his ascension to the throne (compare
Jer 17:3, with Jer 28:1), and at the same time get him to join
them in a common league to throw off the Assyrian yoke. Though warned
by Jeremiah against this step, the infatuated and perjured (Eze 17:13) Zedekiah persisted in his