2 Kings Chapter Twenty-four
2 Kings 24
Jehoiakim subdued by Nebuchadnezzar. (1-7) Jehoiachim captive in Babylon. (8-20)
Commentary on 2 Kings 24:1-7
(Read 2 Kings 24:1-7)
If Jehoiakim had served the Lord, he had not been servant to Nebuchadnezzar. If he had been content with his servitude, and true to his word, his condition had been no worse; but, rebelling against Babylon, he plunged himself into more trouble. See what need nations have to lament the sins of their fathers, lest they smart for them. Threatenings will be fulfilled as certainly as promises, if the sinner's repentance prevent not.
Commentary on 2 Kings 24:8-20
(Read 2 Kings 24:8-20)
Jehoiachin reigned but three months, yet long enough to show that he justly smarted for his fathers' sins, for he trod in their steps. His uncle was intrusted with the government. This Zedekiah was the last of the kings of Judah. Though the judgments of God upon the three kings before him might have warned him, he did that which was evil, like them. When those intrusted with the counsels of a nation act unwisely, and against their true interest, we ought to notice the displeasure of God in it. It is for the sins of a people that God hides from them the things that belong to the public peace. And in fulfilling the secret purposes of his justice, the Lord needs only leave men to the blindness of their own minds, or to the lusts of their own hearts. The gradual approach of Divine judgments affords sinners space for repentance, and believers leisure to prepare for meeting the calamity, while it shows the obstinacy of those who will not forsake their sins.
── Matthew Henry《Concise Commentary on 2 Kings》
2 Kings 24
 And the LORD sent against him bands of the Chaldees, and bands of the Syrians, and bands of the Moabites, and bands of the children of Ammon, and sent them against Judah to destroy it, according to the word of the LORD, which he spake by his servants the prophets.
Bands — For Nebuchadnezzar's army was made up of several nations, who were willing to fight under the banner of such a puissant and victorious emperor.
 Surely at the commandment of the LORD came this upon Judah, to remove them out of his sight, for the sins of Manasseh, according to all that he did;
The sins — Properly and directly for their own sins, and occasionally for the sins of Manasseh, which had never been charged upon them, if they had not made them their own by their repetition of them.
 So Jehoiakim slept with his fathers: and Jehoiachin his son reigned in his stead.
With his fathers — But it is not said, he was buried with them. No doubt the prophecy of Jeremiah was fulfilled, that he should not be lamented as his father was, but buried with the burial of an ass.
 And the king of Egypt came not again any more out of his land: for the king of Babylon had taken from the river of Egypt unto the river Euphrates all that pertained to the king of Egypt.
Came not — In this king's days. He could not now come to protect the king of Judah, being scarce able to defend his own kingdom.
 Jehoiachin was eighteen years old when he began to reign, and he reigned in Jerusalem three months. And his mother's name was Nehushta, the daughter of Elnathan of Jerusalem.
To reign — In his eighth year he began to reign with his father, who made him king with him as divers other kings of Israel and Judah had done in times of trouble; and in his eighteenth year he reigned alone.
 And Jehoiachin the king of Judah went out to the king of Babylon, he, and his mother, and his servants, and his princes, and his officers: and the king of Babylon took him in the eighth year of his reign.
Went out — Yielded up himself and the city into his hands; and this by the counsel of Jeremiah, and to his own good.
His reign — Of Nebuchadnezzar's reign; as appears by comparing this with chap. 25:8, and because Jehoiachin reigned not half a year. Had he made his peace with God, and taken the method that Hezekiah did in the like case, he needed not to have feared the king of Babylon, but might have held out with courage, honour and success. But wanting the faith and piety of an Israelite, he had not the resolution of a man.
 And he carried out thence all the treasures of the house of the LORD, and the treasures of the king's house, and cut in pieces all the vessels of gold which Solomon king of Israel had made in the temple of the LORD, as the LORD had said.
Vessels — The most and choicest of them, by comparing this with chap. 25:14,15.
Solomon made — Though the city and temple had been rifled more than once both by the kings of Egypt and Israel, and by the wicked kings of Judah; yet these golden vessels were preserved from them, either by the case of the priests, who hid them; or by the clemency of the conquerors, or by the special providence of God, disposing their hearts to leave them. Or, if they had been taken away by any of these kings, they might afterwards be recovered good, at the cost of the kings of Judah.
 And he carried away all Jerusalem, and all the princes, and all the mighty men of valour, even ten thousand captives, and all the craftsmen and smiths: none remained, save the poorest sort of the people of the land.
All — Not simply all, but the best and most considerable part, as the following words explain it.
Craftsmen and smiths — Who might furnish them with new arms, and thereby give him fresh trouble.
 And the king of Babylon made Mattaniah his father's brother king in his stead, and changed his name to Zedekiah.
Zedekiah — That he might admonish him of (what this name signifies) the justice of God, which had so severely punished Jehoiakim for his rebellion; and would no less certainly overtake him, if he should be guilty of the same perfidiousness.
 For through the anger of the LORD it came to pass in Jerusalem and Judah, until he had cast them out from his presence, that Zedekiah rebelled against the king of Babylon.
Came to pass — Thus the peoples sins were the true cause why God gave them wicked kings, whom he suffered to do wickedly, that they might bring the long-deserved, and threatened punishments upon themselves and their people.
── John Wesley《Explanatory Notes on 2 Kings》
24 Chapter 24
In his days Nebuchadnezzar King of Babylon came up.
Wickedness, retribution and divine control, as revealed in Nebuchadnezzar’s invasion of Judah
In glancing through these chapters there are two objects that press on our attention.
I. The wickedness of man. The wickedness here displayed is marked--
1. By inveteracy. It is here said of Jehoiachin, “He did that which was evil in the sight of the Lord, according to all that his father had done.” In 2 Kings 24:18 the same is also said of Zedekiah, “He did that which was evil in the sight of the Lord, according to all that Jehoiachin had done.” The wickedness here displayed is marked--
2. By tyranny. “At that time the servants of Nebuchadnezzar King of Babylon came up against Jerusalem, and the city was besieged. And Nebuchadnezzar King of Babylon came against the city, and his servants did besiege it.” What right had Nebuchadnezzar to leave his own country, invade Judah, plunder it of its wealth, and bear away by violence its population? The wickedness here displayed is marked--
3. By inhumanity. “And the King of Babylon . . . he carried out thence all the treasures of the house of the Lord, and the treasures of the king’s house, and cut in pieces all the vessels of gold which Solomon King of Israel had made in the temple of the Lord, as the Lord had said. And he carried away all Jerusalem, and all the princes, and all the mighty men of valour, even ten thousand captives, and all the craftsmen and smiths: none remained, save the poorest sort of the people of the land.” The wickedness here displayed is marked--
4. By profanity. “He burnt the house of the Lord,” etc. Thus this ruthless despot desecrated the most holy things in the city of Jerusalem and in the memory of millions.
II. The retribution of heaven. In the retribution here displayed we are reminded of two facts: That the sins of one man may bring misery on millions. “Surely at the commandment of the Lord came this upon Judah, to remove them out of His sight, for the sins of Manasseh, according to all that he did; and also for the innocent blood that he shed: for he filled Jerusalem with innocent blood; which the Lord would not pardon,” All the misery here recorded comes to the people “for the sins of Manasseh.” Here is the hereditary principle of Divine government. Will not the following facts anyhow modify the severity of the complaint?
2. The pernicious influence of a man’s sin in the world may continue after his conversion. Manasseh repented of the sins he had committed, and received the favours of his God. Notwithstanding we find men here suffering on account of the sins he had committed.
3. That retribution, though it may move slowly, yet will move surely. A hundred years had well-nigh passed away, and several generations had come and gone since Manasseh had gone to his grave. Yet avenging justice appears at last, and wreaks upon others the terrible effects of his crimes. The tardy march of retribution men have made the occasion and the reason of continued depravity,” Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily,” etc. (David Thomas, D. D.)
──《The Biblical Illustrator》