Jeremiah 52: The Destruction and Exile of Jerusalem; The Last Kings of Judah

wall cracked bricks fallHebrew-English Text

I. Summary

The Babylonians destroy Jerusalem and exile 4600 of its citizens. Zedekiah’s family and officials are killed, his eyes are gouged out, and he dies in prison. Jehoiachin is treated well in Babylon from the 37th year of his exile until his death.

II. Photo

The siege of Jerusalem comes to an end: “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.” (vv. 6-7)

III. Select Verses

3b-7a: Zedekiah rebelled against the king of Babylon. And in the ninth year of his reign, on the tenth day of the tenth month, King Nebuchadrezzar moved against Jerusalem with his whole army. They besieged it and 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.

10-11: The king of Babylon had Zedekiah’s sons slaughtered before his eyes; he also had all the officials of Judah slaughtered at Riblah. Then the eyes of Zedekiah were put out, and he was chained in bronze fetters. The king of Babylon brought him to Babylon and put him in prison, [where he remained] to the day of his death.

17-19: The Chaldeans broke up the bronze columns of the House of the LORD, the stands, and the bronze tank that was in the House of the LORD; and they carried all the bronze away to Babylon. They also took the pails, scrapers, snuffers, sprinkling bowls, ladles, and all the other bronze vessels used in the service. The chief of the guards took whatever was of gold and whatever was of silver: basins, fire pans, sprinkling bowls, pails, lampstands, ladles, and jars.

28-30: This is the number of those whom Nebuchadrezzar exiled in the seventh year: 3,023 Judeans. In the eighteenth year of Nebuchadrezzar, 832 persons [were exiled] from Jerusalem.  And in the twenty-third year of Nebuchadrezzar, Nebuzaradan, the chief of the guards, exiled 745 Judeans. The total amounted to 4,600 persons.

31-32: In the thirty-seventh year of the exile of King Jehoiachin of Judah, on the twenty-fifth 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.

IV. Outline

1-3a. Summary of Zedekiah’s 11 year reign, which angered Yahweh

3b. Zedekiah rebelled against Babylon

4-6. Nebuchadnezzar sieges Jerusalem for two years, causing famine

7a. Jerusalem’s walls are breached

7b-8. Zedekiah flees but is captured

9-11a. Zedekiah is tried at Riblah; his children and officials are slaughtered and his eyes are gouged

11b. Zedekiah dies in a Babylonian prison

12-14. Seven months later Nebuzaradan burns and destroys the temple, the private houses, and the city walls

15-16. Aside from the poor, the people of Jerusalem are exiled to Babylon

17-23. Description of the metal objects carried off

24-27a. Priests, scribes, and officials were brought to Riblah and executed

27b-30. A list of exiles: 3,023 in Nebuchadnezzar’s 7th year, 832 in his 8th, and 745 in his 23rd for a total of 4600.

31-34. Jehoiachin is treated well by Evil-merodach from the 37th year of his exile until his death

V. Comment

No comment today. Stay tuned.

VI. Works Used

(see “Commentaries” page)

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