2 Kings 25

Listen to 2 Kings 25

Fall and Captivity of Judah

1 1And in the ninth year of his reign, in the tenth month, on the tenth day of the month, 2Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came with all his army against Jerusalem and laid siege to it. 3And they built siegeworks all around it.
2 So the city was besieged till the eleventh year of King Zedekiah.
3 On the ninth day of the fourth month 4the famine was so severe in the city that there was no food for the people of the land.
4 Then a breach was made in the city, and all the men of war fled by night by the way of the gate between the two walls, by 5the king's garden, though 6the Chaldeans were around the city. And they went in the direction of the 7Arabah.
5 But the army of the Chaldeans pursued the king and overtook him in the plains of Jericho, and all his army was scattered from him.
6 Then they captured the king 8and brought him up to the king of Babylon at 9Riblah, and they passed sentence on him.
7 They slaughtered the sons of Zedekiah before his eyes, 10and put out the eyes of Zedekiah and bound him in chains and took him to Babylon.
8 11In the fifth month, on 12the seventh day of the month--that was the nineteenth year of King Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon--Nebuzaradan, the captain of the bodyguard, a servant of the king of Babylon, came to Jerusalem.
9 13And he burned the house of the LORD 14and the king's house and all the houses of Jerusalem; every great house he burned down.
10 And all the army of the Chaldeans, who were with the captain of the guard, 15broke down the walls around Jerusalem.
11 16And the rest of the people who were left in the city and the deserters who had deserted to the king of Babylon, together with the rest of the multitude, Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard carried into exile.
12 But the captain of the guard left 17some of the poorest of the land to be vinedressers and plowmen.
13 18And the pillars 19of bronze that were in the house of the LORD, and 20the stands and 21the bronze sea that were in the house of the LORD, the Chaldeans broke in pieces and carried the bronze to Babylon.
14 22And they took away the pots and the shovels and the snuffers and the dishes for incense and all the vessels of bronze used in the temple service,
15 the fire pans also and the bowls. What was of gold the captain of the guard took away as gold, and what was of silver, as silver.
16 As for the two pillars, the one sea, and the stands that Solomon had made for the house of the LORD, 23the bronze of all these vessels was beyond weight.
17 24The height of the one pillar was eighteen cubits,[a] and on it was a capital of bronze. The height of the capital was three cubits. A latticework and pomegranates, all of bronze, were all around the capital. And the second pillar had the same, with the latticework.
18 25And the captain of the guard took 26Seraiah the chief priest and 27Zephaniah the second priest and the three keepers of the threshold,
19 and from the city he took an officer who had been in command of the men of war, and 28five men of the king's council who were found in the city, and the secretary of the commander of the army who mustered the people of the land, and sixty men of the people of the land who were found in the city.
20 And Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard took them and brought them to the king of Babylon at 29Riblah.
21 And the king of Babylon struck them down and put them to death at 30Riblah in the land of Hamath. 31So Judah was taken into exile out of its land.

Gedaliah Made Governor of Judah

22 And over the people who remained in the land of Judah, whom Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon had left, he appointed 32Gedaliah the son of 33Ahikam, son of Shaphan, governor.
23 34Now when all the captains and their men heard that the king of Babylon had appointed Gedaliah governor, they came with their men to Gedaliah at 35Mizpah, namely, Ishmael the son of Nethaniah, and Johanan the son of Kareah, and Seraiah the son of Tanhumeth the Netophathite, and Jaazaniah the son of the Maacathite.
24 And Gedaliah swore to them and their men, saying, "Do not be afraid because of the Chaldean officials. Live in the land and serve the king of Babylon, and it shall be well with you."
25 36But in the seventh month, 37Ishmael the son of Nethaniah, son of Elishama, of the royal family, came with ten men and struck down Gedaliah and put him to death along with the Jews and the Chaldeans who were with him at Mizpah.
26 38Then all the people, both small and great, and the captains of the forces arose and went to Egypt, for they were afraid of the Chaldeans.

Jehoiachin Released from Prison

27 39And in the thirty-seventh year of 40the exile of Jehoiachin king of Judah, in the twelfth month, on the twenty-seventh day of the month, Evil-merodach king of Babylon, in the year that he began to reign, graciously 41freed[b] Jehoiachin king of Judah from prison.
28 And he spoke kindly to him and gave him a seat above the seats of the kings who were with him in Babylon.
29 So Jehoiachin put off his prison garments. And every day of his life 42he dined regularly at the king's table,
30 and for his allowance, a regular allowance was given him by the king, according to his daily needs, 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 42

  • 1. For ver. 1-7, see 2 Chronicles 36:17-20; Jeremiah 39:1-7; Jeremiah 52:4-11
  • 2. Jeremiah 34:1, 2; Jeremiah 39:1, 2; Ezekiel 24:2
  • 3. [Ezekiel 21:22; Ezekiel 26:8]
  • 4. [Lamentations 4:9, 10]
  • 5. Nehemiah 3:15
  • 6. See 2 Kings 24:2
  • 7. See Deuteronomy 1:1
  • 8. Jeremiah 32:4
  • 9. [2 Kings 23:33]
  • 10. [Ezekiel 12:13]
  • 11. For ver. 8-12, see Jeremiah 39:8-12; Jeremiah 52:12-16
  • 12. [Jeremiah 52:12]
  • 13. 2 Chronicles 36:19; Psalms 79:1
  • 14. [Hosea 8:14; Amos 2:5]
  • 15. Nehemiah 1:3
  • 16. 2 Chronicles 36:20
  • 17. 2 Kings 24:14; Jeremiah 40:7
  • 18. [Jeremiah 27:19, 22]; For ver. 13-17, see 2 Chronicles 36:18-20; Jeremiah 52:17-23
  • 19. 1 Kings 7:15
  • 20. 1 Kings 7:27
  • 21. 1 Kings 7:23
  • 22. Exodus 27:3; 1 Kings 7:45, 50
  • 23. 1 Kings 7:47
  • 24. [1 Kings 7:15-18; 2 Chronicles 3:15]
  • 25. For ver. 18-21, see Jeremiah 52:24-27
  • 26. 1 Chronicles 6:14; Ezra 7:1
  • 27. Jeremiah 21:1; Jeremiah 29:25; Jeremiah 37:3
  • 28. Esther 1:14; [Jeremiah 52:25]
  • 29. 2 Kings 23:33
  • 30. [See ver. 20 above]
  • 31. [2 Kings 23:27; Leviticus 26:33; Deuteronomy 28:64]
  • 32. Jeremiah 39:14; Jeremiah 40:5
  • 33. 2 Kings 22:12
  • 34. For ver. 23, 24, see Jeremiah 40:7-9
  • 35. Joshua 18:26
  • 36. Jeremiah 41:1, 2
  • 37. Jeremiah 40:14, 15
  • 38. See Jeremiah 43:4-7
  • 39. For ver. 27-30, see Jeremiah 52:31-34
  • 40. 2 Kings 24:12, 15
  • 41. Genesis 40:13, 20
  • 42. 2 Samuel 9:7, 13

Footnotes 2

  • [a]. A cubit was about 18 inches or 45 centimeters
  • [b]. Hebrew reign, lifted up the head of

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

The English Standard Version is published with the permission of Good News Publishers.