2Kings 25:1 ¶ And it came to pass in the ninth year of his reign, in the tenth month, in the tenth day of the month, that Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came, he, and all his host, against Jerusalem, and pitched against it; and they built forts against it round about.

2Kings 25:2 And the city was besieged unto the eleventh year of king Zedekiah.

 

It was in the 9th year on the 10th day of the 10th month of Nebuchadnezzar’s reign as king of Babylon, that he came and set siege against Jerusalem.   The city remained under siege until the 11th year of king Zedekiah.

 

2Kings 25:3 And on the ninth day of the fourth month the famine prevailed in the city, and there was no bread for the people of the land.

2Kings 25:4 And the city was broken up, and all the men of war fled by night by the way of the gate between two walls, which is by the king’s garden: (now the Chaldees were against the city round about:) and the king went the way toward the plain.

2Kings 25:5 And the army of the Chaldees pursued after the king, and overtook him in the plains of Jericho: and all his army were scattered from him.

2Kings 25:6 So they took the king, and brought him up to the king of Babylon to Riblah; and they gave judgment upon him.

2Kings 25:7 And they slew the sons of Zedekiah before his eyes, and put out the eyes of Zedekiah, and bound him with fetters of brass, and carried him to Babylon.

 

Note:  The terms Chaldees and Babylonians are interchangeable.

 

On the 9th day of the 4th month, the people in Jerusalem ran out of food.  The men of war broke through the walls of the city by the king’s garden and tried to escape.  The king ran toward the plains of Jericho, but was eventually captured by the army of the Chaldees.   When they brought Zedekiah before Nebuchadnezzar at Riblah, they killed his sons right before him and then put out his eyes.  He was then bound with a brass chain and taken captive to Babylon.

 

This was in fulfillment of prophecies by both Jeremiah and Ezekiel.  Jeremiah had actually delivered this message personally to the king—but his message was rejected.

 

Jeremiah 32:4–5 “And Zedekiah king of Judah shall not escape out of the hand of the Chaldeans, but shall surely be delivered into the hand of the king of Babylon, and shall speak with him mouth to mouth, and his eyes shall behold his eyes; And he shall lead Zedekiah to Babylon,”

 

Ezekiel 12:10–13 “Say thou unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; This burden concerneth the prince in Jerusalem, and all the house of Israel that are among them. Say, I am your sign: like as I have done, so shall it be done unto them: they shall remove and go into captivity. And the prince that is among them shall bear upon his shoulder in the twilight, and shall go forth: they shall dig through the wall to carry out thereby: he shall cover his face, that he see not the ground with his eyes. My net also will I spread upon him, and he shall be taken in my snare: and I will bring him to Babylon to the land of the Chaldeans; yet shall he not see it, though he shall die there.”

 

2Kings 25:8 ¶ And in the fifth month, on the seventh day of the month, which is the nineteenth year of king Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, came Nebuzaradan, captain of the guard, a servant of the king of Babylon, unto Jerusalem:

2Kings 25:9 And he burnt the house of the LORD, and the king’s house, and all the houses of Jerusalem, and every great man’s house burnt he with fire.

2Kings 25:10 And all the army of the Chaldees, that were with the captain of the guard, brake down the walls of Jerusalem round about.

2Kings 25:11 Now the rest of the people that were left in the city, and the fugitives that fell away to the king of Babylon, with the remnant of the multitude, did Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard carry away.

2Kings 25:12 But the captain of the guard left of the poor of the land to be vinedressers and husbandmen.

 

On the 7th day of the 5th month of the 19th year of King Nebuchadnezzar, his captain of the guard, Nebuzaradan, went to Jerusalem and burned down the temple, the place and all the houses of Jerusalem.  His troops also broke down all the walls of Jerusalem.  Anyone left in the city of any significance were taken captive.  The poor of the land were left to take care of the vineyards and fields.

 

2Kings 25:13 And the pillars of brass that were in the house of the LORD, and the bases, and the brasen sea that was in the house of the LORD, did the Chaldees break in pieces, and carried the brass of them to Babylon.

2Kings 25:14 And the pots, and the shovels, and the snuffers, and the spoons, and all the vessels of brass wherewith they ministered, took they away.

2Kings 25:15 And the firepans, and the bowls, and such things as were of gold, in gold, and of silver, in silver, the captain of the guard took away.

2Kings 25:16 The two pillars, one sea, and the bases which Solomon had made for the house of the LORD; the brass of all these vessels was without weight.

2Kings 25:17 The height of the one pillar was eighteen cubits, and the chapiter upon it was brass: and the height of the chapiter three cubits; and the wreathen work, and pomegranates upon the chapiter round about, all of brass: and like unto these had the second pillar with wreathen work.

 

The two great pillars of brass at the temple and the brazen sea were broken into pieces and carried off to Babylon.  They also carried off the pots, shovels, snuffers, spoons and all other vessels of brass as well as the firepans and bowls and everything else made of gold or silver.

 

The historian states that the two great pillars (Jachin and Boaz), the brass sea and its stands weighed more than could be determined.  Each pillar was 18 cubits high (about 31.5 feet) and topped with a chapiter or capital that was 3 cubits high (about 5.25 feet).  Both capitals were decorated with a network of bronze pomegranates.

 

2Kings 25:18 And the captain of the guard took Seraiah the chief priest, and Zephaniah the second priest, and the three keepers of the door:

2Kings 25:19 And out of the city he took an officer that was set over the men of war, and five men of them that were in the king’s presence, which were found in the city, and the principal scribe of the host, which mustered the people of the land, and threescore men of the people of the land that were found in the city:

2Kings 25:20 And Nebuzaradan captain of the guard took these, and brought them to the king of Babylon to Riblah:

2Kings 25:21 And the king of Babylon smote them, and slew them at Riblah in the land of Hamath. So Judah was carried away out of their land.

 

Nebuzaradan took prisoners of Seraiah the chief priest, Zephaniah the second priest and the three keepers of the door.  He also took prisoners of:

Š      A military officer

Š      5 of the king’s servants

Š      the military commander’s secretary in charge of drafting soldiers

Š      60 others

The captain of the guard took all his prisoners to Nebuchadnezzar at Riblah.  The king killed them all.  This concluded the Babylon deportations from Judah.  The Chronicler notes that this captivity would last a total of 70 years according to the prophet Jeremiah.

 

2 Chronicles 36:20–21 “And them that had escaped from the sword carried he away to Babylon; where they were servants to him and his sons until the reign of the kingdom of Persia: To fulfil the word of the LORD by the mouth of Jeremiah, until the land had enjoyed her sabbaths: for as long as she lay desolate she kept sabbath, to fulfil threescore and ten years.”

 

2Kings 25:22 ¶ And as for the people that remained in the land of Judah, whom Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon had left, even over them he made Gedaliah the son of Ahikam, the son of Shaphan, ruler.

2Kings 25:23 And when all the captains of the armies, they and their men, heard that the king of Babylon had made Gedaliah governor, there came to Gedaliah to Mizpah, even Ishmael the son of Nethaniah, and Johanan the son of Careah, and Seraiah the son of Tanhumeth the Netophathite, and Jaazaniah the son of a Maachathite, they and their men.

2Kings 25:24 And Gedaliah sware to them, and to their men, and said unto them, Fear not to be the servants of the Chaldees: dwell in the land, and serve the king of Babylon; and it shall be well with you.

 

Nebuchadnezzar appointed Gedaliah, son of Ahika, son of Shaphan, ruler over those left in the land to take care of the vineyards and fields.  Jeremiah informs us that he was allowed to stay and was left in the care of Gedaliah.

 

Jeremiah 39:11–14 “Now Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon gave charge concerning Jeremiah to Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard, saying, Take him, and look well to him, and do him no harm; but do unto him even as he shall say unto thee. So Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard sent, and Nebushasban, Rabsaris, and Nergalsharezer, Rabmag, and all the king of Babylon’s princes; Even they sent, and took Jeremiah out of the court of the prison, and committed him unto Gedaliah the son of Ahikam the son of Shaphan, that he should carry him home: so he dwelt among the people.”

 

When all the captains of the armies and their men heard that Gedaliah had been appointed governor, they came to meet with him at Mizpah; those present were Ishmael the son of Nethaniah, Johanan the sonof Careah, Seraiah the sonof Tanhumeth the Netophathite, Jaazaniah a Maachathite, and their men.  These must have been some of the men that escaped when Zedekiah was caught.

 

Gedaliah told these men not to fear serving the king of Babylon because all would go well with them if they would serve him.

 

Jeremiah provides a little more background to the next verses.  He tells us that some of the military captains actually tried to warn Gedaliah that his life was in danger from Ishmael.

 

Jeremiah 40:13–16 “Moreover Johanan the son of Kareah, and all the captains of the forces that were in the fields, came to Gedaliah to Mizpah, And said unto him, Dost thou certainly know that Baalis the king of the Ammonites hath sent Ishmael the son of Nethaniah to slay thee? But Gedaliah the son of Ahikam believed them not. Then Johanan the son of Kareah spake to Gedaliah in Mizpah secretly, saying, Let me go, I pray thee, and I will slay Ishmael the son of Nethaniah, and no man shall know it: wherefore should he slay thee, that all the Jews which are gathered unto thee should be scattered, and the remnant in Judah perish? But Gedaliah the son of Ahikam said unto Johanan the son of Kareah, Thou shalt not do this thing: for thou speakest falsely of Ishmael.”

 

2Kings 25:25 But it came to pass in the seventh month, that Ishmael the son of Nethaniah, the son of Elishama, of the seed royal, came, and ten men with him, and smote Gedaliah, that he died, and the Jews and the Chaldees that were with him at Mizpah.

2Kings 25:26 And all the people, both small and great, and the captains of the armies, arose, and came to Egypt: for they were afraid of the Chaldees.

 

In the 7th month (about 2 months later) Ishmael the son of Nethaniah, who was of royal descent, came with ten men and killed Gedaliah, and the Jews and Chaldees that were with him at Mizpah. 

 

Jeremiah tells us that after Gedaliah was killed, Johanan and his men fought Ishmael and his men; but he escaped and took refuge among the Ammonites.  It was actually Johanan that led the people of Judah and the captains of the armies to Egypt because they feared the Babylonians.

 

Jeremiah 41:11–18 “But when Johanan the son of Kareah, and all the captains of the forces that were with him, heard of all the evil that Ishmael the son of Nethaniah had done, Then they took all the men, and went to fight with Ishmael the son of Nethaniah….But Ishmael the son of Nethaniah escaped from Johanan with eight men, and went to the Ammonites. Then took Johanan the son of Kareah, and all the captains of the forces that were with him, all the remnant of the people whom he had recovered from Ishmael the son of Nethaniah, from Mizpah…And they departed, and dwelt in the habitation of Chimham, which is by Bethlehem, to go to enter into Egypt, Because of the Chaldeans: for they were afraid of them, because Ishmael the son of Nethaniah had slain Gedaliah the son of Ahikam, whom the king of Babylon made governor in the land.”

 

2Kings 25:27 And it came to pass in the seven and thirtieth year of the captivity of Jehoiachin king of Judah, in the twelfth month, on the seven and twentieth day of the month, that Evilmerodach king of Babylon in the year that he began to reign did lift up the head of Jehoiachin king of Judah out of prison;

2Kings 25:28 And he spake kindly to him, and set his throne above the throne of the kings that were with him in Babylon;

2Kings 25:29 And changed his prison garments: and he did eat bread continually before him all the days of his life.

2Kings 25:30 And his allowance was a continual allowance given him of the king, a daily rate for every day, all the days of his life.

 

On the 27th day of the 12th month of the 37th year of the captivity of Jehoiachin, king of Judah, Evilmerodach, king of Babylon, took him out of prison.  He was kind to him and gave him the seat of honor among the other kings he held captive.  He no longer had to wear prison clothes and became a regular at the king’s table.  He was also given a daily allowance for the rest of his life.

 

Helpful info regarding the kings of Babylon from www.bible-history.com:

           

King of Babylon

Period of Reign (Approx)

Nabopolassar

625-605 BC

Nabu-kudurri-usur II (Nebuchadnezzar)

605-562 BC

Amel-Marduk (Evil-merodach)

561-560 BC

Nergal-shar-usur (Neriglissar)

559-556 BC

Labashi-Marduk

556-556 BC

Nabu-naid (Nabonidus)

555-539 BC

Bel-sharra-usur (Belshazzar)

552-542 BC