Now in the fifth month, in the tenth [day] of the
Hence the fast of the fifth month, for the burning of the city, which was the month Ab, and answers to part of July and part of August, ( Zechariah 8:19 ) ; which [was] the nineteenth year of Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon;
that is, the nineteenth year of his reign; who reigned in all forty three years, according to Ptolemy's canon: came Nebuzaradan captain of the guard, [which] served the king of
Babylon, into Jerusalem;
or "stood before the king of Babylon" F19; ministered to him, was a servant of his, the provost marshal, or chief marshal; he was sent, and came from Riblah to Jerusalem, with a commission to burn the city. In ( 2 Kings 25:8 ) ; it is said to be on the "seventh" day of the fifth month that he came thither; here, on the "tenth" day; which difficulty may be solved, without supposing different copies, or any error: he might set out from Riblah on the seventh day, and come to Jerusalem on the tenth; or he might come thither on the seventh, and not set fire to the city till the tenth; or, if he set fire to it on the seventh, it might be burning to the tenth, before it was wholly consumed. The Jews F20 account for it thus,
``strangers entered into the temple, and ate in it, and defiled it, the seventh and eighth days; and on the ninth, towards dark, they set fire to it; and it burned and continued all that whole day, as it is said, ( Jeremiah 6:4 ) ;''R. Johanan was saying, if I had been in that generation, I should have fixed on that day, for the greatest part of the temple was burnt on that day. The authors of the Universal History say F21 it was on Wednesday the eleventh of the fourth month, answering to our twenty seventh of July; but, according to the express words of the text, the city was broke up on the ninth of the fourth month, and burnt on the tenth day of the fifth month; and which was, according to Bishop Usher F23, the twenty seventh of August, on a sabbath day, and in the year of the world 3416, and before Christ 588; and is placed by them in the same years; and by Mr. Whiston F24 in 589; and by Mr. Bedford F25 in the year 587. This was a month after the taking of the city.