But Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard left of the poor of
the people, which had nothing, in the land of Judah
Because they would have been of no service to the Chaldeans, but a burden to them; and because they had nothing to fear from them; they had no arms to rebel against them, nor money to purchase any; and because it would be to their interest to have the land manured, and not lie waste, that they might have some tribute from it: and gave them vineyards and fields at the same time;
as their own property to dress and cultivate, and receive the advantage of them; though very probably a tax was laid upon them; or they were to pay tribute to the king of Babylon; or, however, contribute out of them to the support of the government that was placed over them; and this was a happy incident in their favour; here was a strange change of circumstances with them; though the nation in general was in distress, they, who before had nothing, are now proprietors of vineyards and fields, when the former owners were carried captive: there might be much of the justice of God conspicuous in this affair; such who had been oppressed and ill used by the rich are now retaliated with their possessions. The Targum is,
``and he appointed them to work in the fields and in the vineyards in that day.''