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came to pass in the ninth year of his reign, in the tenth month, in the tenth day of the month, that Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon came, he and all his army, against Jerusalem, and pitched against it, and built forts against it round s about. So the city was besieged unto the eleventh year' of
6 king Zedekiah. And in the fourth month, in the ninth day of the month, the famine was sore in the city, so that there
7 was no bread for the people of the land. Then the city was broken up, 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 Chaldeans were by the city round about:) and they went by the
1 way of the plain. But the army of the Chaldeans pursued after the king, and overtook Zedekiah in the plains of Jeri
9 cho; and all his army was scattered from him. Then they took the king, and carried him up unto the king of Babylon to Riblah in the land of Hamath; where he gave judgment
successful resistance of Tyre year after year (Ezelc. xxix. 18), while Nebuchadnezzar was engaged in a distant part of the empire.
4. in the tenth month] A fast was instituted in memory of this time, Zech. viii. 19.
in the tenth day of the month] On that very day it was revealed to Ezekiel (xxiv. 2), that the siege was commencing. See note on xxxix. 1.
Nebuchadrezzar] a more accurate form than Nebuchadnezzar. See note on chap. xxi. 2.
pitched] i.e. they pitched. In 2 Kings the verb is singular.
forts] moveable towers, sometimes with battering rams, such as Assyrian sculptures shew.
6. in the fourth month] In memory of this date also, a fast was appointed (Zech. viii. 19).
famine] described in detail in the Lamentations. Compare Ezek. iv. 16, 17, v. 16, 17.
the people of the land] the poorer classes, who had taken refuge in Jerusalem, or who had dwelt there.
7. was broken up] rather, was broken into. No doubt the north wall of the city is referred to, its most vulnerable point. For further particulars, see notes on xxxix. 3, 4.
by night] So Ezekiel foretold (xii. 12).
8. Lam. iv. 19, 20 may refer to this, in which case the circumstances probably were these, that one body of Chaldaeans followed, and another laid wait in the plain. Compare Ezek. xii. 13.
Zedekiah] 2 Kings, him.
9. Riblah] See note on xxxix. 5.
upon him.. And the king of Babylon slew the sons of Zede-10 kiah before his eyes: he slew also all the princes of Judah in Riblah. Then he put out the eyes of Zedekiah; and the n king of Babylon bound him in chains, and carried him to Babylon, and put him in prison till the day of his death.
12—27. Severities following upon the Capture. Now in the fifth month, in the tenth day of the month, „ which was the nineteenth year of Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon, came Nebuzar-adan, captain of the guard, which served the king of Babylon, into Jerusalem, and burnt the »3
in the land of Hamath] not found in 2 Kings.
he gave judgment upon him] See note on i. 16. In 2 Kings it is they gave.
10. the ting of Babylon slew] 2 Kings, they slew.
he slew also all the princes offudah in Riblah] omitted in 2 Kings. the princes] See note on nobles, xxxix. 6.
11. he put out the eyes] See note on xxxiv. 3, and on xxxix. 7. the king of Babylon] not found in 2 Kings.
and put him in prison till the day of his death] an addition to the narrative in 2 Kings, which takes leave of Zedekiah at Riblah, since that record was probably made before anything further could be learned of him.
prison] The Septuagint render mill, and hence it has been inferred that they ascribed to him the same fate in his old age, as that to which the Philistines consigned Samson (Jud. xvi. 21).
12—27. Severities Following Upon The Capture.
12. From this to ver 23, a part of the narrative which has been summarized in xxxix. 8—10, we find an almost verbal accord with 2 Kings xxv. 8—17.
in the fifth month] See Zech. vii. 3 for the commemorative fast.
tenth] 2 Kings has seventh. Such discrepancies in numerals are often explained by supposing that the numbers were denoted originally by letters, so that similar letters might well be mistaken one for another by copyists. Here however it is easy to allow such a margin of time between the arrival of Nebuzar-adan in the neighbourhood of Jerusalem and his actual entry upon the work which he had been sent to do. He is not mentioned in xxxix. 3 in the list of generals who entered the city at once.
the nineteenth year of Nebuchadrezzar] B.C. 586 or 587, according as we reckon his reign from the time of his father's actual decease or from the previous year.
captain of the guard] See note on xxxix. 9.
served] stood before. The expression implies close personal attendance on the king. (Compare note on xv. 19). The mass, even of those about the palace, would not have access to his presence. 2 Kings house of the Lord, and the king's house; and all the houses of Jerusalem, and all the houses of the great men, burnt he with fire: and all the army of the Chaldeans, that were with the captain of the guard, brake down all the walls of Jerusalem round about. Then Nebuzar-adan the captain of the guard carried away captive certain of the poor of the people, and the residue of the people that remained in the city, and those that fell away, that fell to the king of Babylon, and the rest of the multitude. But Nebuzar-adan the captain of the guard left certain of the poor of the land for vinedressers and for husbandmen. Also the pillars of brass that were in the house of the Lord, and the bases, and the brasen sea that was in the house of the Lord, the Chaldeans brake, and carried all the brass of them to Babylon. The caldrons also, and the shovels, and the snuffers,
has simply a servant of the king of Babylon. The Heb. by itself is ambiguous, and but for our knowing otherwise that Nebuchadnezzar was not at Jerusalem at this time, might mean, as the Syr. and Vulg. actually render, stood before the king at Jerusalem.
13. all the houses of the great men] Both here and in the parallel passage in 2 Kings xxv. 9 (where however the Heb. is slightly different), the rendering should rather be every great house. The words are intended to prevent a misconception arising out of those which immediately precede them. All the houses of importance were burned.
14. 'with' and 'all' are omitted in the Kings, the former doubtless by accident.
IB. The whole verse is omitted by the Septuagint. The words 'certain of the poor of the people and' seem to have come in from the next verse through an error of sight on the part of a copyist. The three classes of persons actually spoken of in the verse appear to be (a) those found within the city at the time of its capture, (b) those who had gone out to the Chaldaeans during the siege (see note on xxxix. 9), (c) the country people. The word denoting this last (the multitude) occurs once (Prov. viii. 30) in the sense of workman (Eng. Vers, "one brought up with him'-). From a comparison of the parallel passages however it is not likely that such is its sense here.
16. Nebuzar-adan] omitted in Kings.
17. This description of the fate of the Temple furniture is much fuller than in the Kings' passage, and has no parallel whatever in chap. xxxix. For the vessels here mentioned see chap. xxvii. 19 with note. They were too large to be conveniently carried as they were, and so were broken and taken to Babylon for the sake of the material. In Kings all is omitted before the brass.
18. caldrons] for carrying away the ashes after sacrifice, the shovels being for a similar purpose.
and the bowls, and the spoons, and all the vessels of brass wherewith they ministered, took they away. And the ba- 19 sons, and the firepans, and the bowls, and the caldrons, and the candlesticks, and the spoons, and the cups; that which ivas of gold in gold, and that which was of silver in silver, took the captain of the guard away. The two pillars, one 20 sea, and twelve brasen bulls that were under the bases, which king Solomon had made in the house of the Lord: the brass of all these vessels was without weight. And 21 concerning the pillars, the height of one pillar was eighteen cubits; and a fillet of twelve cubits did compass it; and the thickness thereof was four fingers: it was hollow. And a 22 chapiter of brass was upon it; and the height of one chapiter was five cubits, with network and pomegranates upon the chapiters round about, all of brass. The second pillar
spoons] incense-caps. This we gather from Numb. vii. 14, etc.
19. fire pans] or, snuff-dishes.
bowls] This word should probably stand but once (see ver. 18). In the Kings it is omitted on the earlier occasion. Caldrons and spoons also occur twice in this enumeration, while in Kings these, articles as well as candlesticks and cups do not appear.
20. The repetition marks the regretful contemplation of these things by the writer, as he connects them with the golden age of the kingdom and the reign of Solomon.
twelve brasen bulls that were under] These words do not occur in the Kings' passage, and hence it is possible that they may be an erroneous addition made at some time to the sacred Text. This is however far from certain, as the figures in question were probably at Jerusalem up to this date, and so would naturally form a conspicuous feature in the spoil. There remains however a certain amount of difficulty in the description of their position. In the Temple as built by Solomon the bases were under the la vers, while the bulls supported the sea. (1 Kings vii. 25, 43.)
21. eighteen cubits] a cubit was about 18 inches. fillet] literally, thread.
four fingers] about four inches. Thus as the diameter was something under six feet (the circumference being twelve cubits=eighteen feet), about five feet of the diameter were hollow.
22. a chapiter] a capital.
five cubits] From this, which agrees with r Kings vii. 16, we must correct the "three cubits" of 2 Kings xxv. 17, unless we take the smaller number to denote the actual measurement of the network of the chapiter, excluding the pomegranates.
pomegranates] a very common ornament in Assyria both for buildings and weapons.
23 also and the pomegranates were like unto these. And there were ninety and six pomegranates on a side; and all the pomegranates upon the net work were an hundred round
24 about. And the captain of the guard took Seraiah the chief priest, and Zephaniah the second priest, and the three
25 keepers of the door: he took also out of the city an eunuch, which had the charge of the men of war; and seven men of them that were near the king's person, which were found in the city; and the principal scribe of the host, who mustered the people of the land; and threescore men of the people
26 of the land, that were found in the midst of the city. So Nebuzar-adan the captain of the guard took them, and
27 brought them to the king of Babylon to Riblah. And the king of Babylon smote them, and put them to death in
23. There is an apparent discrepancy between the number of the pomegranates as given here and in 1 Kings vii. 20. From the latter passage we gather that each pillar had two rows, a hundred in each, the one above and the other below the ornamental network of the chapiters. It is possible that the account here may not be inconsistent with the existence of such a double row upon each chapiter, though it certainly does not suggest it, or again, one of the rows may have been removed before this period, leaving one hundred on each chapiter, probably twenty-four on each side, (Heb. windward, i.e. directly facing each wind,) and one at each corner. We should thus render on a side, on the (four) sides, in order to bring out the sense.
24—27. This passage is omitted in xxxix., but is almost identical with 2 Kings xxv. 18—2i.
24. Seraiah the chief priest] Nebuzar-adan chose out those who v/ere highest in authority and therefore most responsible for the prolonged resistance. His conduct in this respect has been remarked on, as shewing a very pleasing contrast with the indiscriminate vengeance so often wreaked by Eastern conquerors. This Seraiah is identified by some with him who is mentioned in Ezra vii. 1.
Z.phaniah] See note on xxi. 1.
25. which had the charge of] The Heb. is who wasPahtd'(lieutenant] over. For remarks on the sense of Pakid see note on xx. 1.
seven men] in the King's passage five men.
were near the ting's person] literally, saw the king's face. See note on ver. 12.
principal scribe of the host] or, scribe of the commander in chief, a rendering which the words that follow make the more probable of the two.
threescore men of the people of the land] perhaps leading men whose homes were in the country parts.