BibliaTodo Commentaries


Benson Joseph
Jeremiah 52

1. Tzidkiyahu was twenty-one years old when he began to reign; and he reigned eleven years in Yerushalayim: and his mother's name was Chamutal the daughter of Yirmeyahu of Livna.

2. He did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD, according to all that Yehoiakim had done.

3. For through the anger of the LORD did it happen in Yerushalayim and Yehudah, until he had cast them out from his presence. Tzidkiyahu rebelled against the king of Bavel.

4. It happened in the ninth year of his reign, in the tenth month, in the tenth day of the month, that Nevukhadnetzar 1 king of Bavel came, he and all his army, against Yerushalayim, and encamped against it; and they built forts against it round about.

5. So the city was besieged to the eleventh year of king Tzidkiyahu.

6. 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.

7. Then a breach was made in the city, 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 Kasdim were against the city round about;) and they went toward the `Aravah.

8. But the army of the Kasdim pursued after the king, and overtook Tzidkiyahu in the plains of Yericho; and all his army was scattered from him.

9. Then they took the king, and carried him up to the king of Bavel to Rivlah in the land of Chamat; and he gave judgment on him.

10. The king of Bavel killed the sons of Tzidkiyahu before his eyes: he killed also all the princes of Yehudah in Rivlah.

11. He put out the eyes of Tzidkiyahu; and the king of Bavel bound him in fetters, and carried him to Bavel, and put him in prison until the day of his death.

12. Now in the fifth month, in the tenth day of the month, which was the nineteenth year of king Nevukhadnetzar 1, king of Bavel, came Nevuzar'adan 1 the captain of the guard, who stood before the king of Bavel, into Yerushalayim:

13. and he burned the house of the LORD, and the king's house; and all the houses of Yerushalayim, even every great house, burned he with fire.

14. All the army of the Kasdim, who were with the captain of the guard, broke down all the walls of Yerushalayim round about.

15. Then Nevuzar'adan 1 the captain of the guard carried away captive of the poorest of the people, and the residue of the people who were left in the city, and those who fell away, who fell to the king of Bavel, and the residue of the multitude.

16. But Nevuzar'adan 1 the captain of the guard left of the poorest of the land to be vineyard keepers and farmers.

17. The pillars of brass that were in the house of the LORD, and the bases and the bronze sea that were in the house of the LORD, did the Kasdim break in pieces, and carried all the brass of them to Bavel.

18. The pots also, and the shovels, and the snuffers, and the basins, and the spoons, and all the vessels of brass with which they ministered, took they away.

19. The cups, and the fire pans, and the basins, and the pots, and the menorot, and the spoons, and the bowls--that which was of gold, in gold, and that which was of silver, in silver,--the captain of the guard took away.

20. The two pillars, the one sea, and the twelve bronze bulls that were under the bases, which king Shlomo had made for the house of the LORD. The brass of all these vessels was without weight.

21. As for the pillars, the height of the one pillar was eighteen cubits; and a line of twelve cubits did compass it; and the thickness of it was four fingers: it was hollow.

22. A capital of brass was on it; and the height of the one capital was five cubits, with network and pomegranates on the capital round about, all of brass: and the second pillar also had like these, and pomegranates.

23. There were ninety-six pomegranates on the sides; all the pomegranates were one hundred on the network round about.

24. The captain of the guard took Serayah the chief Kohen, and Tzefanyah the second Kohen, and the three keepers of the threshold:

25. and out of the city he took an officer who was set over the men of war; and seven men of those who saw the king's face, who were found in the city; and the scribe of the captain of the army, who mustered the people of the land; and sixty men of the people of the land, who were found in the midst of the city.

26. Nevuzar'adan 1 the captain of the guard took them, and brought them to the king of Bavel to Rivlah.

27. The king of Bavel struck them, and put them to death at Rivlah in the land of Chamat. So Yehudah was carried away captive out of his land.

28. This is the people whom Nevukhadnetzar 1 carried away captive: in the seventh year three thousand twenty-three Jews;

29. in the eighteenth year of Nevukhadnetzar 1 he carried away captive from Yerushalayim eight hundred thirty-two persons;

30. in the three and twentieth year of Nevukhadnetzar 1 Nevuzar'adan 1 the captain of the guard carried away captive of the Jews seven hundred forty-five persons: all the persons were four thousand and six hundred.

31. It happened in the seven and thirtieth year of the captivity of Yehoiakim king of Yehudah, in the twelfth month, in the five and twentieth day of the month, that Evil-Merodakh king of Bavel, in the [first] year of his reign, lifted up the head of Yehoiakim king of Yehudah, and brought him forth out of prison;

32. and he spoke kindly to him, and set his throne above the throne of the kings who were with him in Bavel,

33. and changed his prison garments. [Yehoiakim] ate bread before him continually all the days of his life:

34. and for his allowance, there was a continual allowance given him by the king of Bavel, every day a portion until the day of his death, all the days of his life.

Jeremiah 52

Jer 52:1-11. Zedekiah was one and twenty years old — The first three verses of this chapter are word for word the same with 2Ki 24:18-20, where see the notes; and for the six following verses, see those on 2Ki 25:1-6. Where he gave judgment upon him — Namely, for rebelling against him when he had taken an oath of allegiance to him. Of Nebuchadnezzar’s slaying the sons of Zedekiah, putting out his eyes, binding him with chains, &c., see note on 2Ki 25:7.

Jer 52:12-13. Now in the fifth month — This gave occasion to that solemn fast of the fifth month, observed in the times of the captivity: see Zec 7:3-5; Zec 8:19. In the tenth day of the month — In the parallel place, 2Ki 25:8, we read, on the seventh day. This difference some attempt to reconcile, by supposing that the one place may speak of the day Nebuzar-adan set out from Riblah, and the other of the day that he arrived at Jerusalem; or else, that he came on the seventh, but did not set fire to the building till the tenth. “But it is more likely,” says Blaney,” to have arisen from some mistake of the transcriber, perhaps, in setting down the numbers at full length, which were expressed by numeral letters in the old copies. And in this instance such a mistake might easily happen between the זand the י, of which the first stands for seven, the latter for ten.” And burned the house of the Lord — After it had stood, says Josephus, four hundred and seventy years; but Archbishop Usher reckons it only four hundred and twenty-four years from the laying of the first foundation by Solomon: see note on 2Ki 25:9.

Jer 52:17-20. Also the pillars of brass, &c., the Chaldeans brake — See note on 2Ki 25:13. The temple was rifled of its riches and furniture at several times. The first was when Nebuchadnezzar came up against Jehoiakim, Dan 1:2. The second time was at the captivity of Jechoniah, Jer 27:19; 2Ki 24:13; and now at the final destruction of the city and temple they made a clear riddance of all its ornaments. And twelve brazen bulls that were under the bases — Or rather, which were instead of bases, to support the brazen sea, (1Ki 7:25,) the Hebrew word תחת, in other places, signifying instead, or, in the place of another. So the LXX. understand it here.

Jer 52:21-23. The height of one pillar was eighteen cubits — The same account is given of the height of these pillars, 1Ki 7:15 : but in 2Ch 3:15, it is said, that both the pillars made thirty-five cubits; which two texts may be easily reconciled by allowing one cubit for the basis. And a fillet of twelve cubits — So that the diameter was almost four cubits. The thickness whereof was four fingers — The pillar being hollow, the thickness of the work that encompassed the hollow space was four fingers over. There were ninety and six pomegranates on a side — Or, toward every wind, as Blaney very properly renders רוחה. “In 1Ki 7:42, and 2Ch 4:13, it is said, there were four hundred pomegranates for each net-work or wreath. The mode of expression here is different, but amounts to exactly the same. For divide the two pillars into four quarters, according to the four winds; and let ninety-six pomegranates stand opposite to each of the four winds upon the two pillars; the whole number in front of the four winds, taken together, will be three hundred and eighty-four. But they were in four rows, two on each pillar, and in each row must have been four angular pomegranates, that could not be said to be opposite to any of the four winds, consequently, sixteen angular ones in the four rows; which sixteen being added to three hundred and eighty-four, make up the number of pomegranates in all four hundred; that is, a hundred in a row of wreathen work round about.”

Jer 52:24-25. And the captain of the guard took Seraiah the chief priest — 1Ch 6:14, he was the father of Ezra; Ezr 7:1. And Zephaniah the second priest — See note on Jer 29:26; 2Ki 25:18. And the three keepers of the door — These were not the ordinary porters, who were taken from among the Levites, but were priests who stood at the door to receive the offerings of the people, and thus were keepers of the sacred treasury, an office of high trust and consideration: see 2Ki 12:9; 2Ki 23:4. He took also out of the city a eunuch — An officer: so it is in the parallel place, 2Ki 25:19, where, instead of seven men, we read five. Josephus agrees with the reading here. And the principal scribe of the host — The muster-master-general, as we style him, or secretary of war. And threescore men that were in the midst of the city — Of whom see note on 2Ki 25:19.

Jer 52:28-30. This is the people whom Nebuchadnezzar carried away captive — “These verses are not inserted in 2 Kings 25. Nor are they to be found here, according to the Roman and Alexandrian editions of the LXX.; but in the Complutensian they are, and in two MSS. collated by Dr. Grabe; also in Theodotion’s version in the Hexapla. All the other ancient versions acknowledge them; and they are not omitted in any of the collated Hebrew MSS.; so that there is no doubt of their being genuine. But are we to conclude from them, that the whole number of the Jews, whom Nebuchadnezzar, in all his expeditions, carried into captivity, was no more than four thousand six hundred? This cannot be true, for he carried away more than twice that number at one time; which is expressly said to have been in the eighth year of his reign, 2Ki 24:12-16. Before that time he had carried off a number of captives from Jerusalem in the first year of his reign, among whom were Daniel and his companions, Dan 1:3-6. And of these Berosus, the Chaldean historian, speaks, as cited by Josephus, Ant., lib. 10. cap. 11. These are confessedly not taken notice of here. And as the taking and burning of Jerusalem are in this very chapter said to have been in the fourth and fifth months of the 19th year of Nebuchadnezzar, those who were carried into captivity, at the date of those events, cannot possibly be the same with those that are said to be carried away either in the 18th or 23d year of that prince. Nor indeed is it credible, that the number carried away at the time the city was taken, and the whole country reduced, could be so few as eight hundred and thirty-two. Here then we have three deportations, and those the most considerable ones, in the 1st, the 8th, and 19th years of Nebuchadnezzar, sufficiently distinguished from those in his 7th, 18th, and 23d years. So that it seems most reasonable to conclude, with Archbishop Usher, that by the latter three the historian meant to point out deportations of a lesser kind, not elsewhere noticed in direct terms in Scripture.” — Blaney.

Jer 52:31-32. In the seven and thirtieth year of the captivity of Jehoiachin, &c. — This note of time confirms the observation formerly made, namely, that the Scripture computation of the beginning of Nebuchadnezzar’s reign anticipates that of the Babylonians by two years, which two years he reigned with his father: see note on Jer 25:1. In the five and twentieth day of the month, Evil-merodach lifted up the head of Jehoiachin — Released him out of prison, where he had lain thirty-seven years, and advanced him. In the parallel place, 2Ki 25:27, where see the notes, we read, the seven and twentieth day of the month, which difference between the two passages, Lowth thinks may be reconciled, by supposing that his advancement was resolved upon the 25th day, but not brought to pass till the 27th. In the first year of his reign — Hebrew, בשׁנת מלכתו, literally, in the year of his reign, or kingdom, that is, the year coincident with the beginning of it, from whence the date is taken. So that the word first is virtually implied in the phrase. Spake kindly unto him, and set his throne above the throne of kings — See 2Ki 25:28-30. This clause may perhaps be more properly rendered, Set his seat above the seat of the kings, which may easily be understood to signify, that the king of Babylon showed him more respect and honour than he did to any of the other captive princes, by placing him nearest to himself: see Est 3:1. “It is probable,” says Blaney, “the phrase may have proceeded from the custom of placing cushions for persons of more than ordinary distinction in the place allotted them to sit in.” See Harmer, chap. 6. observ. 26.

Jer 52:33-34. And changed his prison garments — This has been considered by some an act of generosity in Evil-merodach, giving the captive king new garments, more suitable to his royal dignity than those he wore in prison. But Blaney thinks “it was rather the act of Jehoiachin himself, who, out of respect to the king of Babylon’s presence, and to mark his just sense of the favour shown him, no longer neglected his person and dress, as when a prisoner, and in affliction: but put on new apparel more adapted to the change in his circumstances. So Joseph, when he was sent for out of prison to appear before Pharaoh, first shaved himself, and changed his raiment, Gen 41:14. David did the same after he had ceased mourning for his child, before he went into the house of God, 2Sa 12:20. Mr. Harmer, (chap. 6. obs. 44, 45,) observes, both that to change the garments often is in the East a mark of respect in visiting; and also that the putting on of new clothes is thought by those people to be very requisite, and indeed almost necessary, for the due solemnization of a time of rejoicing.” And there was a continual diet given him of the king — As it appears from the preceding verse that Jehoiachin himself sat at the king of Babylon’s own table, this seems to have been an allowance for the maintenance of his attendants and family.

Hebrew Names Version

The Hebrew Names Version is in the public domain.