2 Kings 25 – “Jerusalem’s Destruction; Gedaliah’s Murder; Jehoiachin’s Release”

Hebrew-English Text
I. Summary
The Babylonians besiege Jerusalem, raid and destroy the temple, and exile most of the Judeans. Gedaliah is murdered after he is named the leader of Judea. Jehoiachin is released after spending thirty-seven years in a Babylonian prison.

II. Photo
The temple is destroyed: “Nebuzaradan, the chief of the guards, an officer of the king of Babylon, came to Jerusalem. He burned the House of the LORD, the king’s palace, and all the houses of Jerusalem; he burned down the house of every notable person.” (v. 8b-9)

III. Important Verses
1-4a: And in the ninth year of his reign, on the tenth day of the tenth month, Nebuchadnezzar moved against Jerusalem with his whole army. He besieged it; and they built towers against it all around. The city continued in a state of siege until the eleventh year of King Zedekiah. By the ninth day [of the fourth month] the famine had become acute in the city; there was no food left for the common people. Then [the wall of] the city was breached.
6-7: They captured the king and brought him before the king of Babylon at Riblah; and they put him on trial. They slaughtered Zedekiah’s sons before his eyes; then Zedekiah’s eyes were put out. He was chained in bronze fetters and he was brought to Babylon.
8-9: On the seventh day of the fifth month — that was the nineteenth year of King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon — Nebuzaradan, the chief of the guards, an officer of the king of Babylon, came to Jerusalem. He burned the House of the LORD, the king’s palace, and all the houses of Jerusalem; he burned down the house of every notable person.
25-26: In the seventh month, Ishmael son of Nethaniah son of Elishama, who was of royal descent, came with ten men, and they struck down Gedaliah and he died; [they also killed] the Judeans and the Chaldeans who were present with him at Mizpah. And all the people, young and old, and the officers of the troops set out and went to Egypt because they were afraid of the Chaldeans.
27-29: In the thirty-seventh year of the exile of King Jehoiachin of Judah, on the twenty-seventh day of the twelfth month, King Evil-merodach of Babylon, in the year he became king, took note of King Jehoiachin of Judah and released him from prison. He spoke kindly to him, and gave him a throne above those of other kings who were with him in Babylon. His prison garments were removed, and [Jehoiachin] received regular rations by his favor for the rest of his life.

IV. Outline
1. Nebuchadnezzar lays siege to Jerusalem
2-3. Famine strikes the city
4. The wall is breached
5-6. Zedekiah is caught and put on trial
7a. Zedekiah’s sons are killed
7b. Zedekiah is brought to Babylon
8-10. Nebuzaradan destroys the temple, the city walls, and the houses
11-12. Nebuzaradan exiles most of the remaining people
13-17. The temple’s bronze vessels are plundered
18-21a. The head priests are killed
21b. Summary statement
22. Gedaliah is appointed leader of Judah
23-24. Gedaliah attempts to reassure the people
25. Gedaliah is killed
26. The conspirators set out to Egypt
27-30. Jehoiachin is released from prison and given rations in Babylon

V. Comment
No comment today. Stay tuned.

VI. Works Used
(see “Commentaries” page)
Cogan, Mordechai and Hayim Tadmor. “II Kings” The Anchor Bible v. 11 (USA: Doubleday, 1988).
Collins, John J. “Introduction to the Hebrew Bible,” (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2004).
Hobbs, T.R. “2 Kings” Word Biblical Commentary vol. 13 (Waco, Texas: Wordbooks, 1985).
Photo taken from http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/images/45447000/jpg/_45447585_fire_b_466x240.jpg

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