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2 Kings 24:20--25:21

Context

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. 1  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 2  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. 3  25:2 The city remained under siege until King Zedekiah’s eleventh year. 25:3 By the ninth day of the fourth month 4  the famine in the city was so severe the residents 5  had no food. 25:4 The enemy broke through the city walls, 6  and all the soldiers tried to escape. They left the city during the night. 7  They went through the gate between the two walls that is near the king’s garden. 8  (The Babylonians were all around the city.) Then they headed for the Jordan Valley. 9  25:5 But the Babylonian army chased after the king. They caught up with him in the plains of Jericho, 10  and his entire army deserted him. 25:6 They captured the king and brought him up to the king of Babylon at Riblah, 11  where he 12  passed sentence on him. 25:7 Zedekiah’s sons were executed while Zedekiah was forced to watch. 13  The king of Babylon 14  then had Zedekiah’s eyes put out, bound him in bronze chains, and carried him off to Babylon.

Nebuchadnezzar Destroys Jerusalem

25:8 On the seventh 15  day of the fifth month, 16  in the nineteenth year of King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon, Nebuzaradan, the captain of the royal guard 17  who served the king of Babylon, arrived in Jerusalem. 18  25:9 He burned down the Lord’s temple, the royal palace, and all the houses in Jerusalem, including every large house. 19  25:10 The whole Babylonian army that came with the captain of the royal guard tore down the walls that surrounded Jerusalem. 25:11 Nebuzaradan, the captain of the royal guard, deported the rest of the people who were left in the city, those who had deserted to the king of Babylon, and the rest of the craftsmen. 20  25:12 But he 21  left behind some of the poor of the land and gave them fields and vineyards.

25:13 The Babylonians broke the two bronze pillars in the Lord’s temple, as well as the movable stands and the big bronze basin called the “The Sea.” 22  They took the bronze to Babylon. 25:14 They also took the pots, shovels, 23  trimming shears, 24  pans, and all the bronze utensils used by the priests. 25  25:15 The captain of the royal guard took the golden and silver censers 26  and basins. 25:16 The bronze of the items that King Solomon made for the Lord’s temple – including the two pillars, the big bronze basin called “The Sea,” the twelve bronze bulls under “The Sea,” 27  and the movable stands – was too heavy to be weighed. 25:17 Each of the pillars was about twenty-seven feet 28  high. The bronze top of one pillar was about four and a half feet 29  high and had bronze latticework and pomegranate shaped ornaments all around it. The second pillar with its latticework was like it.

25:18 The captain of the royal guard took Seraiah the chief priest and Zephaniah, the priest who was second in rank, and the three doorkeepers. 25:19 From the city he took a eunuch who was in charge of the soldiers, five 30  of the king’s advisers 31  who were discovered in the city, an official army secretary who drafted citizens 32  for military service, and sixty citizens from the people of the land who were discovered in the city. 25:20 Nebuzaradan, captain of the royal guard, took them and brought them to the king of Babylon at Riblah. 25:21 The king of Babylon ordered them to be executed 33  at Riblah in the territory 34  of Hamath. So Judah was deported from its land.

1 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.”

2 tn Or “against.”

3 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).

4 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.

5 tn Heb “the people of the land.”

6 tn Heb “the city was breached.”

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

8 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.

9 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.

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

11 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.

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

13 tn Heb “were killed before his eyes.”

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

15 tn The parallel account in Jer 52:12 has “tenth.”

16 sn The seventh day of the month would have been August 14, 586 b.c. in modern reckoning.

17 tn For the meaning of this phrase see BDB 371 s.v. טַבָּח 2, and compare the usage in Gen 39:1.

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

19 tn Heb “and every large house he burned down with fire.”

20 tc The MT has “the multitude.” But הֶהָמוֹן (hehamon) should probably be emended to הֶאָמוֹן (heamon).

21 tn Heb “the captain of the royal guard.” However, the subject is clear from the preceding and contemporary English style would normally avoid repeating the proper name and title.

22 sn See the note at 1 Kgs 7:23.

23 sn These shovels were used to clean the altar.

24 sn These were used to trim the wicks.

25 tn Heb “with which they served [or, ‘fulfilled their duty’].”

26 sn These held the embers used for the incense offerings.

27 tc The MT lacks “the twelve bronze bulls under ‘the Sea,’” but these words have probably been accidentally omitted by homoioarcton. The scribe’s eye may have jumped from the וְהָ (vÿha-) on וְהַבָּקָר (vÿhabbaqar), “and the bulls,” to the וְהָ on וְהַמְּכֹנוֹת (vÿhammÿkhonot), “and the movable stands,” causing him to leave out the intervening words. See the parallel passage in Jer 52:20.

28 tn Heb “eighteen cubits.” The standard cubit in the OT is assumed by most authorities to be about eighteen inches (45 cm) long.

29 tn Heb “three cubits.” The parallel passage in Jer 52:22 has “five.”

30 tn The parallel passage in Jer 52:25 has “seven.”

31 tn Heb “five seers of the king’s face.”

32 tn Heb “the people of the land.”

33 tn Heb “struck them down and killed them.”

34 tn Heb “land.”



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