Then the king of Babylon slew the sons of Zedekiah in Riblah
before his eyes
Not with his own hands, but gave orders to do it: these must be very young, at least some of them; since Zedekiah at this time was but thirty two years of age. This must be a dreadful spectacle for him to behold; and the consideration must be cutting, that it was owing to his own obstinacy in not taking the advice of the Prophet Jeremiah to surrender to the Chaldeans, whereby he and his family would have been saved, ( Jeremiah 38:17 ) ; also the king of Babylon slew all the nobles of Judah;
who did not come over to the Chaldean army and surrender themselves; such who advised the king to stand out to the last, and who fled, and were taken with him; as many of them as fell into the hands of the king of Babylon. Jarchi says those were the sanhedrim, who loosed Zedekiah from his oath to Nebuchadnezzar.