Jeremiah 52

Rule of Zedekiah and the fall of Jerusalem

1 Zedekiah was 21 years old when he became king, and he ruled for eleven years in Jerusalem. His mother's name was Hamutal; she was a daughter of Jeremiah from Libnah.
2 He did evil in the LORD's eyes just as Jehoiachin had done.
3 It was because the LORD was angry against Jerusalem and Judah that he thrust them out of his presence. Zedekiah rebelled against the king of Babylon.
4 In the ninth year, the tenth month, and the tenth day of the month, Babylon's King Nebuchadnezzar attacked Jerusalem with all of his army. He camped beside the city and built a siege wall around it.
5 The city was under siege until the eleventh year of King Zedekiah.
6 On the ninth day of the fourth month, the famine in the city reached a point that no food remained for the people.
7 The enemy entered the city, and all the soldiers fled by night along the gate between the two walls by the royal gardens. So the Babylonians surrounded the city while the soldiers fled toward the desert plain.
8 However, the Babylonian army chased down Zedekiah and caught him in the plains of Jericho. (His entire army had fled from him.)
9 They arrested the king and brought him before the king of Babylon at Riblah in the land of Hamath. And he pronounced sentence on him.
10 The king of Babylon slaughtered Zedekiah's children before his very own eyes, and he slaughtered all Judah's officers at Riblah.
11 Then he gouged out Zedekiah's eyes and bound him in chains. The king of Babylon dragged him off to Babylon and put him in prison, where he remained until he died.
12 In the tenth day of the fifth month, which was the nineteenth year of Babylon's King Nebuchadnezzar, Nebuzaradan commander of the guard came to Jerusalem on behalf of his king.
13 He burned down the LORD's temple, the royal palace, all the houses of Jerusalem, and all the important buildings.
14 The entire Babylonian army and the commander of the guard destroyed the walls surrounding Jerusalem.
15 Nebuzaradan commander of the guard deported some of the poorest people, the rest of the people left in the city, a few skilled workers, and those who had joined the king of Babylon.
16 But Nebuzaradan commander of the guard left some of the poor to tend the vineyards and till the land.
17 The Babylonians broke apart the bronze columns, the stands, and the bronze Sea in the LORD's temple. They carried the bronze to Babylon.
18 They took the pots, the shovels, the wick trimmers, the sprinkling bowls, the incense dishes, and all the bronze equipment used for the temple services.
19 The commander of the guard took whatever gold or silver he could find as well: the small bowls, the fire pans, the sprinkling bowls, the pots, the lampstands, the basins, and the offering bowls.
20 There was too much bronze to be weighed: two columns, the bronze Sea and the twelve bronze bulls that held it up, and the stands, all of which Solomon had made for the LORD's temple.
21 Each column was about twenty-seven feet high and eighteen feet around. They were hollow, but the bronze was about three inches thick.
22 Each had a capital of bronze above it that towered seven and a half feet high, and each had an ornate design of bronze pomegranates around it. The second column was the same, also with pomegranates.
23 There were ninety-six pomegranates on the sides, a total of one hundred pomegranates around the ornate design.
24 The commander of the guard also took Seraiah the high priest, Zephaniah the deputy priest, and the three doorkeepers.
25 From the city, he took a eunuch who was appointed over the army and the seven royal advisors who remained in the city. He also took the scribe of the commander of the army in charge of military conscription and sixty military personnel who were found in the city.
26 Nebuzaradan the commander of the guard took them and brought them to the king of Babylon at Riblah.
27 The king of Babylon struck them and put them to death at Riblah in the land of Hamath. And Judah went away from its land into exile.
28 This is the number of people whom Nebuchadnezzar deported: In the seventh year, 3,023 Judeans.
29 In the eighteenth year of Nebuchadnezzar, he took 832 people from Jerusalem.
30 In the twenty-third year of Nebuchadnezzar, he dispatched Nebuzaradan commander of the guard, who deported 745 Judeans. Altogether, 4,600 were taken captive.
31 Judah's King Jehoiachin had been in exile for thirty-seven years when Awil-merodach became king in Babylon. He took note of Jehoiachin's plight and released him from prison on the twenty-fifth day of the twelfth month of that very year.
32 Awil-merodach treated Jehoiachin kindly and gave him a throne higher than those of the other kings with him in Babylon.
33 So Jehoiachin discarded his prison clothes and ate his meals at the king's table for the rest of his life.
34 The Babylonian king provided him daily provisions for the rest of his life, right up until he died.

Jeremiah 52 Commentary

Chapter 52

The fate of Zedekiah. (1-11) The destruction of Jerusalem. (12-23) The captivities. (24-30) The advancement of Jehoiachin. (31-34)

Verses 1-11 This fruit of sin we should pray against above any thing; Cast me not away from thy presence, ( Psalms 51:11 ) . None are cast out of God's presence but those who by sin have first thrown themselves out. Zedekiah's flight was in vain, for there is no escaping the judgments of God; they come upon the sinner, and overtake him, let him flee where he will.

Verses 12-23 The Chaldean army made woful havoc. But nothing is so particularly related here, as the carrying away of the articles in the temple. The remembrance of their beauty and value shows us the more the evil of sin.

Verses 24-30 The leaders of the Jews caused them to err; but now they are, in particular, made monuments of Divine justice. Here is an account of two earlier captivities. This people often were wonders both of judgment and mercy.

Verses 31-34 ( 2 Kings. 25:27-30 ) Those under oppression will find it is not in vain for them to hope and quietly to wait for the salvation of the Lord. Our times are in God's hand, for the hearts of all we have to deal with are so. May we be enabled, more and more, to rest on the Rock of Ages, and to look forward with holy faith to that hour, when the Lord will bring again Zion, and overthrow all the enemies of the church.

Footnotes 3

  • [a]. Or from the people of the land
  • [b]. Or Evil-merodach
  • [c]. February–March, Adar

Chapter Summary

INTRODUCTION TO JEREMIAH 52

This chapter contains the history of the besieging, taking, and destroying of Jerusalem; the moving cause of it, the wicked reign of Zedekiah, Jer 52:1-3; the instruments of it, the king of Babylon and his army, which besieged and took it, Jer 52:4-7; into whose hands the king of Judah, his sons, and the princes of Judah, fell; and were very barbarously and cruelly used by them, Jer 52:8-11. Then follows an account of the burning of the temple, the king's palace, and the houses in Jerusalem, and the breaking down of the walls of it, Jer 52:12-14; and of those that were carried captive, and of those that were left in the land by Nebuzaradan, Jer 52:15,16; and of the several vessels and valuable things in the temple, of gold, silver, and brass, it was plundered of, and carried to Babylon, Jer 52:17-23; and of the murder of several persons of dignity and character, Jer 52:24-27; and of the number of those that were carried captive at three different times, Jer 52:28-30; and the chapter is concluded with the exaltation of Jehoiachin king of Judah, and of the good treatment he met with from the king of Babylon to the day of his death, Jer 52:31-34.

Jeremiah 52 Commentaries