R g 1. Nebuchadnezzar. h 2. Taking of the city. g 3. Nebuchadnezzar's princes. h 4-9. Taking of Zedekiah.
1 In the ninth year of Zedekiah king of Judah (cp. Ezek. 24:1), in the tenth month (ch. 52:4 supplies a further date: viz. "in the tenth day of the month"), came Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon and all his army against Jerusalem, and they besieged it.
2 And in the eleventh year of Zedekiah, in the fourth month, the ninth day of the month, the city was broken up. (Cp. 52:6; which explains that provisions had failed before them.)
3 And all the princes of the king of Babylon came in, and sat in the middle gate, even Nergalsharezer, Samgarnebo, Sarsechim (= king's son), Rabsaris (= chief of the chamberlains. Cp. 2 Kings 18:17. Dan. 1:3,7), Nergalsharezer (chief of the physicians), with all the residue of the princes of the king of Babylon.
4 And it came to pass, that when Zedekiah the king of Judah saw them, and all the men of war, then they fled, and went forth out of the city by night, by the way of the king's garden, by the gate between the two walls (on the south corner of Ophel): and he went out the way of the plain. (To avoid the Jordan)
5 But the Chaldeans' army pursued after them, and overtook Zedekiah in the plains of Jericho (thus Jerico was the scene of Israel's 1st victory [Josh. 6], and final defeat): and when they had taken him, they brought him up to Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon to Riblah in the land of Hamath (now Ribleh, on the east bank of the Orontes, 35 miles north-east of Baalbek, the base and head-quarters of Nebuchanezzar. Some 23 years before, Jehoahaz was put in bonds here by Pharaoh-nechoh, led to be captive to Egypt. See 2 Kings 23:33), where he pronounced judgment upon him. (I.e. for his perjury. See 2 Chron.36:10,13. Ezek. 17:15,18.)
6 Then the king of Babylon slew the sons of Zedekiah in Riblah before his eyes (a specimen of the inhumanity of those days): also the king of Babylon slew all the nobles of Judah.
7 Moreover he put out Zedekiah's eyes (so that Ezekiel was quite correct when he said Zedekiah should be taken to Babylon, though he should not see it [Ezek. 12:13]), and bound him with two fetters, to carry him to Babylon. (Cp. 52:11, and 2 Kings 25:7, show that this purpose was executed. It was not so with Jehoiakim [2 Chron.36:6].)
8 And the Chaldeans burned the king's house, and the houses of the people, with fire, and broke down the walls of Jerusalem. (On the 10th day of the 5th month. Cp. 52:12,13. The same day as the capture of the city by the Romans in 69 A.D.)
9 Then Nebuzaradan (= the prince favored by Nebo) the captain of the executioners ([2 Kings 25:8]. Cp. Gen. 37:36; 39:1) carried away captive into Babylon the remnant of the people that remained in the city, and those that fell away, that fell to him, with the rest of the people that remained.
R C 39:10. The poor of the People. D 39:11-14. Jeremiah. Liberation commanded. E 39:15-18. Promise to Ebed-melech. D 40:1-6. Jeremiah. Liberation affected. C 40:7-44:30. The poor of the People.
10 But Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard left of the poor of the people, which had nothing, in the land of Judah, and gave them vineyards and fields at the same time.
11 Now Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon gave charge concerning Jeremiah through Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard, saying,
12 "Take him, and look well to him (not the 1st, rejected by the house of Judah, who was honored by the Gentiles), and do him no harm; but do to him even as he shall say to you."
13 So Nebuzaradan the captain of the executioners sent, and Nebushasban, the chief of the chamberlains, and the chief of the physicians, Rabmag, and all the king of Babylon's princes;
14 Even they sent, and took Jeremiah out of the court of the house of detention, and committed him to Gedaliah (see Ahikam, 26:24. Cp. 40:6) the son of Ahikam the son of Shaphan (see 2 Kings 22:3), that he should carry him home: and he dwelt among the people. (From the next chapter we learn that he was taken north to Ramah with others captives, and from that place was set free, and went to Gedaliah to Mizpah [40:6]. This verse [v.14] is inly a brief summary)
15 Now the word of the LORD came to Jeremiah, while he was shut up in the court of the prison, saying,
16 "Go and speak (not to interpret the history, this incident as to Ebed-melech is reserved til now) to Ebedmelech the Ethiopian, saying, 'Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; 'Behold, I will bring my words upon this city for calamity, and not for good; and they shall be accomplished in that day before you.
17 But I will deliver you in that day, saith the LORD: and you shall not be given into the hand of the men of whom you are afraid.
18 For I will surely deliver you, and you shall not fall by the sword, but your soul shall be for a prey (i.e. he should save it. Cp. 21:9) to you: because you have confided in me, saith the LORD.' ' "