36:2 Jehoahaz [was] twenty and three years old when he began to reign, and he reigned three a months in Jerusalem.
(a) Three months after the death of Josiah, Necho came to Jerusalem, and so the plagues began, which Huldah and the prophets forewarned would come on Jerusalem. 36:3 And the king of Egypt put him down at Jerusalem, and condemned the land in an b hundred talents of silver and a talent of gold.
(b) To pay this as a yearly tribute. 36:5 Jehoiakim [was] twenty and five years old when he began to reign, and he reigned eleven years in Jerusalem: and he did [that which was] c evil in the sight of the LORD his God.
(c) Because he and the people did not turn to God by his first plague, he brought a new one on him, and at length rooted them out. 36:8 Now the rest of the acts of Jehoiakim, and his abominations which he did, and d that which was found in him, behold, they [are] written in the book of the kings of Israel and Judah: and Jehoiachin his son reigned in his stead.
(d) He means superstitious marks which were found on his body when he was dead, which declared how deeply idolatry was rooted in his heart, seeing he bore the marks in his flesh. 36:9 Jehoiachin [was] e eight years old when he began to reign, and he reigned three months and ten days in Jerusalem: and he did [that which was] evil in the sight of the LORD.
(e) That is, he began his reign at eight years old, and reigned ten years when his father was alive, and after his fathers death, which was in his eighteenth year, he reigned alone three months and ten days. 36:15 And the LORD God of their fathers sent to them by his messengers, f rising up betimes, and sending; because he had compassion on his people, and on his dwelling place:
(f) By this phrase the scripture means often and diligently as in ( Jeremiah 11:7 Jeremiah 25:3 Jeremiah 26:5 Jeremiah 32:33 ). 36:16 But they mocked the messengers of God, and despised his words, and misused his prophets, until the wrath of the LORD arose against his people, till [there was] no g remedy.
(g) Till God could no longer allow their sins, but must punish them. 36:17 Therefore he brought upon them the king of the Chaldees, who slew their young men with the sword h in the house of their sanctuary, and had no compassion upon young man or maiden, old man, or him that stooped for age: he i gave [them] all into his hand.
(h) Where they fled, thinking to have been saved for the holiness of it. 36:20 And them that had escaped from the sword carried he away to Babylon; where they were servants to him and his sons until the reign of the kingdom of k Persia:
(i) Which is not because God approves him, who yet is the minister of his justice, but because God would by his just judgment punish this people: for this king was led with ambition and vain glory, to which were joined fury and cruelty: therefore his work was condemnable, even though it was just and holy on Gods part, who used this wicked instrument to declare his justice.
(k) When Gyrus king of Persia had made the Babylonians subject. 36:21 To fulfil the word of the LORD by the l mouth of Jeremiah, until the land had enjoyed her sabbaths: [for] as long as she lay desolate she kept sabbath, to fulfil threescore and ten years.
(l) Who threatened the vengeance of God and 70 years captivity, which he called the sabbaths or rest of the land, ( Jeremiah 25:11 ). 36:22 Now in the m first year of Cyrus king of Persia, that the word of the LORD [spoken] by the mouth of Jeremiah might be accomplished, the LORD stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom, and [put it] also in writing, saying,
(m) In the first year that he reigned over the Chaldeans, ( Ezra 1:1 ). 36:23 Thus saith Cyrus king of Persia, All the kingdoms of the earth hath the LORD God of heaven given me; and he hath n charged me to build him an house in Jerusalem, which [is] in Judah. Who [is there] among you of all his people? The LORD his God [be] with him, and let him go up.
(n) God had so forewarned by his prophet over 100 years before Cyrus was born, ( Isaiah 44:28 ) that Jerusalem and the temple would be rebuilt by Cyrus his anointed: so called because God used his service for a time to deliver his Church.