Zedekiah rebels, 1-3. Jerusalem is besieged and taken, 4-7. Zedekiah's sons killed, and his own eyes put out, 8-11. Nebuzar-adan burns and spoils the city, 12-23. He carries away the captives, 24-27. The number of Jews carried captive, 28-30. Evil-merodach advances Jehoiachin, 31-34.
1 Zedekiah was twenty-one years old when he began to reign, and he reigned eleven years in Jerusalem. And his mother's name was Hamutal, the daughter of Jeremiah of Libnah. 2 And he did that which was evil in the eyes of the LORD, according to all that Jehoiakim had done. 3 For through the anger of the LORD it came to pass in Jerusalem and Judah, until he had cast them out from his presence, that Zedekiah rebelled against the king of Babylon. 4 And it came to pass in the ninth year of his reign, in the tenth month, on the tenth day of the month, that Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came—he and all his army—against Jerusalem, and encamped against it and built forts against it on every side. 5 So the city was besieged to the eleventh year of king Zedekiah. 6 And in the fourth month, on the ninth day of the month, the famine was severe in the city so that there was no bread for the people of the land. 7 Then the city was broken up, and all the men of war fled and went forth from 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 on all sides), and they went by the way of the plain. 8 But the army of the Chaldeans pursued the king and overtook Zedekiah in the plains of Jericho, and all his army was scattered from him. 9 Then they took the king and carried him to the king of Babylon at Riblah in the land of Hamath, where he gave judgment upon him. 10 And the king of Babylon slew the sons of Zedekiah before his eyes. He also slew all the princes of Judah in Riblah. 11 Then he put out the eyes of Zedekiah. And the king of Babylon bound him in chains, carried him to Babylon, and put him in prison until the day of his death.
12 Now in the fifth month, on the tenth day of the month, which was the nineteenth year of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, Nebuzar-adan, captain of the guard, who served the king of Babylon, came into Jerusalem, 13 And burned the house of the LORD, the king's house, all the houses of Jerusalem, and all the houses of the great men he burned with fire. 14 And all of the army of the Chaldeans who were with the captain of the guard broke down all the walls of Jerusalem on every side. 15 Then Nebuzar-adan the captain of the guard carried away captive some of the poor of the people, the residue of the people who remained in the city, those who fell away, who fell to the king of Babylon, and the rest of the multitude. 16 But Nebuzar-adan the captain of the guard left some of the poor of the land for vine-dressers and for farmers.
17 Also the pillars of brass that were in the house of the LORD, the bases, and the brazen sea that was in the house of the LORD, the Chaldeans broke and carried all their brass to Babylon. 18 And the cauldrons, the shovels, the snuffers, the bowls, the spoons, and all the vessels of brass with which they ministered, they took away. 19 And the basins, the fire-pans, the bowls, the cauldrons, the candlesticks, the spoons, and the cups, 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, one sea, and twelve brazen 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. 21 And concerning the pillars, the height of one pillar was eighteen cubits, and a fillet of twelve cubits encompassed it, and its thickness was four fingers. It was hollow. 22 And a capital of brass was upon it, and the height of one capital was five cubits, with net-work and pomegranates upon the capitals around, all of brass. The second pillar and the pomegranates were like these. 23 And there were ninety-six pomegranates on a side, and all the pomegranates upon the net-work were one hundred on all sides.
24 And the captain of the guard took Seraiah the chief priest, Zephaniah the second priest, and the three keepers of the door. 25 He also took a eunuch out of the city who had the charge of the men of war, seven men of those who were near the king's person who were found in the city, the principal scribe of the host 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 So Nebuzar-adan the captain of the guard took them and brought them to the king of Babylon at Riblah. 27 And the king of Babylon smote them and put them to death in Riblah, in the land of Hamath. Thus Judah was carried away captive out of his own land.
28 This is the people whom Nebuchadnezzar carried away captive: in the seventh year three thousand and twenty-three Jews; 29 In the eighteenth year of Nebuchadnezzar he carried away captive from Jerusalem eight hundred and thirty-two persons; 30 In the twenty-third year of Nebuchadnezzar, Nebuzar-adan the captain of the guard carried away captive of the Jews seven hundred and forty-five persons. All the persons were four thousand and six hundred.
31 And it came to pass in the thirty-seventh year of the captivity of Jehoiachin king of Judah, in the twelfth month, on the twenty-fifth day of the month, that Evil-merodach king of Babylon in the first year of his reign lifted up the head of Jehoiachin king of Judah and brought him out of prison, 32 And spoke kindly to him and set his throne above the throne of the kings who were with him in Babylon, 33 And changed his prison garments. And he continually ate bread before him all the days of his life. 34 And for his food there was a continual diet given to him by the king of Babylon, every day a portion until the day of his death, all the days of his life.
Matthew Henry Commentary - Jeremiah, Chapter 52[➚]