2 Kings 25

The Fall of Jerusalem

1 So in the ninth year of Zedekiah’s reign, on the tenth day of the tenth month, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon marched against Jerusalem with his whole army. He encamped outside the city and built siege works all around it.
2 The city was kept under siege until the eleventh year of King Zedekiah.
3 By the ninth day of the fourth[a] month the famine in the city had become so severe that there was no food for the people to eat.
4 Then the city wall was broken through, and the whole army fled at night through the gate between the two walls near the king’s garden, though the Babylonians[b] were surrounding the city. They fled toward the Arabah,[c]
5 but the Babylonian[d] army pursued the king and overtook him in the plains of Jericho. All his soldiers were separated from him and scattered,
6 and he was captured. He was taken to the king of Babylon at Riblah, where sentence was pronounced on him.
7 They killed the sons of Zedekiah before his eyes. Then they put out his eyes, bound him with bronze shackles and took him to Babylon.
8 On the seventh day of the fifth month, in the nineteenth year of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, Nebuzaradan commander of the imperial guard, an official of the king of Babylon, came to Jerusalem.
9 He set fire to the temple of the LORD, the royal palace and all the houses of Jerusalem. Every important building he burned down.
10 The whole Babylonian army under the commander of the imperial guard broke down the walls around Jerusalem.
11 Nebuzaradan the commander of the guard carried into exile the people who remained in the city, along with the rest of the populace and those who had deserted to the king of Babylon.
12 But the commander left behind some of the poorest people of the land to work the vineyards and fields.
13 The Babylonians broke up the bronze pillars, the movable stands and the bronze Sea that were at the temple of the LORD and they carried the bronze to Babylon.
14 They also took away the pots, shovels, wick trimmers, dishes and all the bronze articles used in the temple service.
15 The commander of the imperial guard took away the censers and sprinkling bowls—all that were made of pure gold or silver.
16 The bronze from the two pillars, the Sea and the movable stands, which Solomon had made for the temple of the LORD, was more than could be weighed.
17 Each pillar was eighteen cubits[e] high. The bronze capital on top of one pillar was three cubits[f] high and was decorated with a network and pomegranates of bronze all around. The other pillar, with its network, was similar.
18 The commander of the guard took as prisoners Seraiah the chief priest, Zephaniah the priest next in rank and the three doorkeepers.
19 Of those still in the city, he took the officer in charge of the fighting men, and five royal advisers. He also took the secretary who was chief officer in charge of conscripting the people of the land and sixty of the conscripts who were found in the city.
20 Nebuzaradan the commander took them all and brought them to the king of Babylon at Riblah.
21 There at Riblah, in the land of Hamath, the king had them executed. So Judah went into captivity, away from her land.
22 Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon appointed Gedaliah son of Ahikam, the son of Shaphan, to be over the people he had left behind in Judah.
23 When all the army officers and their men heard that the king of Babylon had appointed Gedaliah as governor, they came to Gedaliah at Mizpah—Ishmael son of Nethaniah, Johanan son of Kareah, Seraiah son of Tanhumeth the Netophathite, Jaazaniah the son of the Maakathite, and their men.
24 Gedaliah took an oath to reassure them and their men. “Do not be afraid of the Babylonian officials,” he said. “Settle down in the land and serve the king of Babylon, and it will go well with you.”
25 In the seventh month, however, Ishmael son of Nethaniah, the son of Elishama, who was of royal blood, came with ten men and assassinated Gedaliah and also the men of Judah and the Babylonians who were with him at Mizpah.
26 At this, all the people from the least to the greatest, together with the army officers, fled to Egypt for fear of the Babylonians.

Jehoiachin Released

27 In the thirty-seventh year of the exile of Jehoiachin king of Judah, in the year Awel-Marduk became king of Babylon, he released Jehoiachin king of Judah from prison. He did this on the twenty-seventh day of the twelfth month.
28 He spoke kindly to him and gave him a seat of honor higher than those of the other kings who were with him in Babylon.
29 So Jehoiachin put aside his prison clothes and for the rest of his life ate regularly at the king’s table.
30 Day by day the king gave Jehoiachin a regular allowance as long as he lived.

2 Kings 25 Commentary

Chapter 25

Jerusalem besieged, Zedekiah taken. (1-7) The temple burnt, The people carried into captivity. (8-21) The rest of the Jews flee into Egypt, Evil-merodach relieves the captivity of Jehoiachin. (22-30)

Verses 1-7 Jerusalem was so fortified, that it could not be taken till famine rendered the besieged unable to resist. In the prophecy and Lamentations of Jeremiah, we find more of this event; here it suffices to say, that the impiety and misery of the besieged were very great. At length the city was taken by storm. The king, his family, and his great men escaped in the night, by secret passages. But those deceive themselves who think to escape God's judgments, as much as those who think to brave them. By what befell Zedekiah, two prophecies, which seemed to contradict each other, were both fulfilled. Jeremiah prophesied that Zedekiah should be brought to Babylon, ( Jeremiah 32:5 , Jeremiah 34:3 ) ; Ezekiel, that he should not see Babylon, ( Ezekiel 12:13 ) . He was brought thither, but his eyes being put out, he did not see it.

Verses 8-21 The city and temple were burnt, and, it is probable, the ark in it. By this, God showed how little he cares for the outward pomp of his worship, when the life and power of religion are neglected. The walls of Jerusalem were thrown down, and the people carried captive to Babylon. The vessels of the temple were carried away. When the things signified were sinned away, what should the signs stand there for? It was righteous with God to deprive those of the benefit of his worship, who had preferred false worships before it; those that would have many altars, now shall have none. As the Lord spared not the angels that sinned, as he doomed the whole race of fallen men to the grave, and all unbelievers to hell, and as he spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, we need not wonder at any miseries he may bring upon guilty nations, churches, or persons.

Verses 22-30 The king of Babylon appointed Gedaliah to be the governor and protector of the Jews left their land. But the things of their peace were so hidden from their eyes, that they knew not when they were well off. Ishmael basely slew him and all his friends, and, against the counsel of Jeremiah, the rest went to Egypt. Thus was a full end made of them by their own folly and disobedience; see Jeremiah chap. 40 to 45. Jehoiachin was released out of prison, where he had been kept 37 years. Let none say that they shall never see good again, because they have long seen little but evil: the most miserable know not what turn Providence may yet give to their affairs, nor what comforts they are reserved for, according to the days wherein they have been afflicted. Even in this world the Saviour brings a release from bondage to the distressed sinner who seeks him, bestowing foretastes of the pleasures which are at his right hand for evermore. Sin alone can hurt us; Jesus alone can do good to sinners.

Cross References 38

  • 1. Jeremiah 32:1
  • 2. Jeremiah 21:2; Jeremiah 34:1-7
  • 3. Isaiah 23:13; Isaiah 29:3; Jeremiah 4:16-17; Jeremiah 32:2; Jeremiah 33:4; Ezekiel 21:22; Ezekiel 24:2
  • 4. S Leviticus 26:26; Isaiah 22:2; Jeremiah 14:18; Jeremiah 37:21; Lamentations 2:20; Lamentations 4:9
  • 5. Job 30:14; Psalms 144:14; Jeremiah 50:15; Jeremiah 51:44,58; Ezekiel 33:21
  • 6. Jeremiah 4:17; Jeremiah 6:3
  • 7. S Leviticus 26:36; Ezekiel 12:14; Ezekiel 17:21
  • 8. Isaiah 22:3; Jeremiah 38:23; Jeremiah 34:21-22
  • 9. S Numbers 34:11; 2 Kings 23:33
  • 10. S Deuteronomy 28:36; Jeremiah 21:7; Jeremiah 32:4-5; Jeremiah 34:3,21; Ezekiel 12:11; Ezekiel 19:9; Ezekiel 40:1
  • 11. Isaiah 60:7; Isaiah 63:15,18; Isaiah 64:11
  • 12. S Deuteronomy 13:16; Nehemiah 1:3; Psalms 74:3-8; Psalms 79:1; Jeremiah 2:15; Jeremiah 17:27; Jeremiah 21:10; Jeremiah 26:6,18; Lamentations 4:11; Amos 2:5; Micah 3:12
  • 13. Nehemiah 1:3; Jeremiah 50:15
  • 14. S Leviticus 26:44; 2 Kings 24:14
  • 15. S Deuteronomy 28:36; S 2 Kings 24:1
  • 16. S 2 Kings 24:14
  • 17. S 1 Kings 7:50
  • 18. S Numbers 7:14
  • 19. Exodus 27:3; S 2 Kings 24:13; Ezra 1:7; 1 Kings 7:47-50
  • 20. S 2 Kings 24:13; Jeremiah 15:13; Jeremiah 20:5; Jeremiah 27:16-22
  • 21. 1 Kings 7:15-22
  • 22. ver 18-21; 1 Chronicles 6:14; Ezra 7:1; Nehemiah 11:11
  • 23. Jeremiah 21:1; Jeremiah 29:25; Jeremiah 37:3
  • 24. S 2 Kings 12:9; S 2 Kings 23:4
  • 25. S Numbers 34:11
  • 26. Jeremiah 34:21
  • 27. S 1 Kings 8:46
  • 28. S Genesis 12:7; Deuteronomy 28:64; S Joshua 23:13; 2 Kings 23:27
  • 29. Jeremiah 39:14; Jeremiah 40:5,7; Jeremiah 41:18
  • 30. S 2 Kings 22:12
  • 31. S 2 Kings 12:20
  • 32. Zechariah 7:5
  • 33. Isaiah 30:2; Jeremiah 43:7
  • 34. S 2 Kings 24:12; Jeremiah 52:31-34
  • 35. S 1 Kings 8:50
  • 36. Ezra 5:5; Ezra 7:6,28; Ezra 9:9; Nehemiah 2:1; Daniel 2:48
  • 37. S 2 Samuel 9:7
  • 38. Genesis 43:34; Esther 2:9; Esther 9:22; Jeremiah 28:4

Footnotes 6

  • [a]. Probable reading of the original Hebrew text (see Jer. 52:6); Masoretic Text does not have "fourth" .
  • [b]. Or "Chaldeans" ; also in verses 13, 25 and 26
  • [c]. Or "the Jordan Valley"
  • [d]. Or "Chaldean" ; also in verses 10 and 24
  • [e]. That is, about 27 feet or about 8.1 meters
  • [f]. That is, about 4 1/2 feet or about 1.4 meters

Chapter Summary


In this chapter is an account of the siege, taking, and burning of the city of Jerusalem, and of the carrying captive the king and the inhabitants to Babylon, 2Ki 25:1-12, as also of the pillars and vessels of the temple brought thither, 2Ki 25:13-17 and of the putting to death several of the principal persons of the land, 2Ki 25:18-22, and of the miserable condition of the rest under Gedaliah, whom Ishmael slew, 2Ki 25:23-26, and the chapter, and so the history, is concluded with the kindness Jehoiachin met with from the king of Babylon, after thirty seven years' captivity, 2Ki 25:27-30.

&c.] Of the reign of Zedekiah king of Judah. From hence to the end of 2Ki 25:7, the account exactly agrees with Jer 52:4-11. 18182-941226-1348-2Ki25.2

2 Kings 25 Commentaries

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