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2 Kings 24:18--25:7

Context
Zedekiah’s Reign over Judah

24:18 Zedekiah was twenty-one years old when he became king, and he ruled for eleven years in Jerusalem. 1  His mother 2  was Hamutal, 3  the daughter of Jeremiah, from Libnah. 24:19 He did evil in the sight of 4  the Lord, as Jehoiakim had done. 5 

24:20 What follows is a record of what happened to Jerusalem and Judah because of the Lord’s anger; he finally threw them out of his presence. 6  Zedekiah rebelled against the king of Babylon. 25:1 So King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon came against Jerusalem with his whole army and set up camp outside 7  it. They built siege ramps all around it. He arrived on the tenth day of the tenth month in the ninth year of Zedekiah’s reign. 8  25:2 The city remained under siege until King Zedekiah’s eleventh year. 25:3 By the ninth day of the fourth month 9  the famine in the city was so severe the residents 10  had no food. 25:4 The enemy broke through the city walls, 11  and all the soldiers tried to escape. They left the city during the night. 12  They went through the gate between the two walls that is near the king’s garden. 13  (The Babylonians were all around the city.) Then they headed for the Jordan Valley. 14  25:5 But the Babylonian army chased after the king. They caught up with him in the plains of Jericho, 15  and his entire army deserted him. 25:6 They captured the king and brought him up to the king of Babylon at Riblah, 16  where he 17  passed sentence on him. 25:7 Zedekiah’s sons were executed while Zedekiah was forced to watch. 18  The king of Babylon 19  then had Zedekiah’s eyes put out, bound him in bronze chains, and carried him off to Babylon.

1 map For location see Map5 B1; Map6 F3; Map7 E2; Map8 F2; Map10 B3; JP1 F4; JP2 F4; JP3 F4; JP4 F4.

2 tn Heb “the name of his mother.”

3 tc Some textual witnesses support the consonantal text (Kethib) in reading “Hamital.”

4 tn Heb “in the eyes of.”

5 tn Heb “according to all which Jehoiakim had done.”

6 tn Heb “Surely [or, ‘for’] because of the anger of the Lord this happened in Jerusalem and Judah until he threw them out from upon his face.”

7 tn Or “against.”

8 sn This would have been Jan 15, 588 b.c. The reckoning is based on the calendar that begins the year in the spring (Nisan = March/April).

9 tn The MT has simply “of the month,” but the parallel passage in Jer 52:6 has “fourth month,” and this is followed by almost all English translations. The word “fourth,” however, is not actually present in the MT of 2 Kgs 25:3.

sn According to modern reckoning that would have been July 18, 586 b.c. The siege thus lasted almost a full eighteen months.

10 tn Heb “the people of the land.”

11 tn Heb “the city was breached.”

12 tn The Hebrew text is abrupt here: “And all the men of war by the night.” The translation attempts to capture the sense.

13 sn The king’s garden is mentioned again in Neh 3:15 in conjunction with the pool of Siloam and the stairs that go down from the city of David. This would have been in the southern part of the city near the Tyropean Valley which agrees with the reference to the “two walls” which were probably the walls on the eastern and western hills.

14 sn Heb “toward the Arabah.” The Arabah was the rift valley north and south of the Dead Sea. Here the intention was undoubtedly to escape across the Jordan to Moab or Ammon. It appears from Jer 40:14; 41:15 that the Ammonites were known to harbor fugitives from the Babylonians.

15 map For location see Map5 B2; Map6 E1; Map7 E1; Map8 E3; Map10 A2; Map11 A1.

16 sn Riblah was a strategic town on the Orontes River in Syria. It was at a crossing of the major roads between Egypt and Mesopotamia. Pharaoh Necho had earlier received Jehoahaz there and put him in chains (2 Kgs 23:33) prior to taking him captive to Egypt. Nebuchadnezzar had set up his base camp for conducting his campaigns against the Palestinian states there and was now sitting in judgment on prisoners brought to him.

17 tn The Hebrew text has the plural form of the verb, but the parallel passage in Jer 52:9 has the singular.

18 tn Heb “were killed before his eyes.”

19 tn Heb “he”; the referent (the king of Babylon) has been specified in the translation for clarity.



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