Jeremiah 52:31

31 In the thirty-seventh year of the exile of King Jehoiachin of Judah, Evil-merodach ascended to the Babylonian throne. He was kind to Jehoiachin and released him from prison on March 31 of that year.

Jeremiah 52:31 Meaning and Commentary

Jeremiah 52:31

And it came to pass in the seven and thirtieth year of the
captivity of Jehoiachin king of Judah
He was eighteen years of age when he was carried captive; so that he must be now fifty five years old; see ( 2 Kings 24:8 ) ; in the twelfth month, in the five and twentieth [day] of the month;
in the month Adar, which answers to part of February, and part of March: in ( 2 Kings 25:27 ) ; the favour shown by the king of Babylon to Jeconiah, after related, is said to be in the twenty seventh day of the month; it might have been determined and notified on the twenty fifth, but not executed till the twenty seventh; or it might be begun to be put in execution on the twenty fifth, and not finished till the twenty seventh, The Jews, in their chronicle, say F14 that Nebuchadnezzar died on the twenty fifth, and was buried; that, on the twenty sixth, Evilmerodach took him out of his grave, and dragged him about, to abolish his decrees, and to confirm what is said of him in ( Isaiah 14:19 ) ; and on the twenty seventh he brought Jeconiah out of prison; but this is no reconciliation at all; the former is best; [that] Evilmerodach king of Babylon, in the [first] year of his reign;
who succeeded Nebuchadnezzar, having reigned forty three years; this king is called by Ptolemy F15 Iloarudamus; by Abydenus F16 Evilmaluruch; by Josephus F17 Abilamarodach; but by Berosus F18 as here: his proper name was Merodach, a name of one of the Chaldean idols, ( Jeremiah 50:2 ) . "Evil" was a nickname, which signifies "foolish"; he was called "foolish Merodach", on account of his ill conduct, or bad life: as soon as he came to the throne, he lifted up the head of Jehoiachin king of Judah, and brought him forth
out of prison;
that is, he changed his condition for the better; he raised him out of a low estate to a more honourable one; he brought him out of a state of imprisonment and misery into a state of liberty and honour; what was the reason of this is not easy to say. The Jews have a tradition, that Nebuchadnezzar, after seven years' madness, coming to himself, and to his kingdom, and understanding that his son Evilmerodach had been guilty of mal-administration during that time, and particularly that he rejoiced at his madness, cast him into prison, where he contracted a friendship with Jeconiah; and when he came to the throne, upon the death of his father, released him: but others think that Jeconiah being a comely young man, when he was brought a captive to Babylon, and about the age of this prince, he took a liking to him, and, pitying his case, showed him this favour, as soon as he had an opportunity.


F14 Seder Olam, c. 28. p. 81.
F15 Canon, Ed. Bainbridge, p. 48.
F16 Apud Euseb. Evangel. Praepar. l. 9. c. 41. p. 457.
F17 Antiqu. l. 10. c. 11. sect. 8.
F18 Apud Joseph. contr. Apion. l. 1. c. 20.

Jeremiah 52:31 In-Context

29 Then in Nebuchadnezzar’s eighteenth year he took 832 more.
30 In Nebuchadnezzar’s twenty-third year he sent Nebuzaradan, the captain of the guard, who took 745 more—a total of 4,600 captives in all.
31 In the thirty-seventh year of the exile of King Jehoiachin of Judah, Evil-merodach ascended to the Babylonian throne. He was kind to Jehoiachin and released him from prison on March 31 of that year.
32 He spoke kindly to Jehoiachin and gave him a higher place than all the other exiled kings in Babylon.
33 He supplied Jehoiachin with new clothes to replace his prison garb and allowed him to dine in the king’s presence for the rest of his life.

Footnotes 2

  • [a]. Hebrew He raised the head of.
  • [b]. Hebrew on the twenty-fifth day of the twelfth month, of the ancient Hebrew lunar calendar. This day was March 31, 561 ; also see note on 52:4a .
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