Jeremiah Chapter 52
Jer 52:1 Zedekiah was one and twenty years old when he began to reign, and he reigned eleven years in Jerusalem. And his mother's name was Hamutal the daughter of Jeremiah of Libnah.
Zedekiah’s name was Mattaniah; and who was set on the throne by the king of Babylon, in the room of his brother's son Jehoiachin, 2Ki_24:17;
and he reigned eleven years in Jerusalem; so that he was thirty two years of age when he was taken and carried captive into Babylon:
and his mother's name was Hamutal the daughter of Jeremiah of Libnah; see 2Ki_24:18.
Jer 52:2 And he did that which was evil in the eyes of the LORD, according to all that Jehoiakim had done.
Though we do not read of any idolatry he was guilty of; yet he was disobedient to the word of the Lord, and did not humble himself before Jeremiah the prophet of the Lord, that spoke in his name; and particularly he rebelled against the king of Babylon, and violated the oath he made to him, 2Ch_36:12;
according to all that Jehoiakim had done; an elder brother of his, who reigned after Josiah, and before Jehoiachin.
All the accounts we have of Jehoiakim concur in ascribing to him a vicious and irreligious character. The writer of 2Ki_23:37 tells us that “he did that which was evil in the sight of Jehovah,” a statement which is repeated in 2Ki_24:9, and 2Ch_36:5 The latter writer uses the yet stronger expression “the acts of Jehoiakim, and the abominations which he did” (2 Chronicles 8). But it is in the writings of Jeremiah that we have the fullest portraiture of him. If, as is probable, the 19th chapter of Jeremiah belongs to this reign, we have a detail of the abominations of idolatry practiced at Jerusalem under the king’s sanction, with which Ezekiel’s vision of what was going on six years later, within the very precincts of the Temple, exactly agrees: incense offered up to “abominable beasts,” “women weeping for Thammuz,” and men in the inner court of the Temple, “with their backs towards the temple of the Lord,” worshipping “the sun towards the east” (Ezekiel 8). The vindictive pursuit and murder of Urijah, the son of Shemaiah, and the indignities offered to his corpse by the king’s command, in revenge for his faithful prophesying of evil against Jerusalem and Judah, are samples of his irreligion and tyranny combined. Jeremiah but narrowly escaped the same fate (Jer_26:20-24).
Jer 52:3 For through the anger of the LORD it came to pass in Jerusalem and Judah, till he had cast them out from his presence, that Zedekiah rebelled against the king of Babylon.
For through the anger of the Lord it came to pass in Jerusalem and Judah,.... Or, "besides the anger of the Lord that was in", or "against Jerusalem and Judah" (n); for their many sins and transgressions committed against him:
till he had cast them out from his presence; out of the land of Judea; out of Jerusalem, and the temple, where were the symbols of his presence; so the Targum,
"till he removed them from the land of the house of his Shechinah;'' or majesty:
that Zedekiah rebelled against the king of Babylon: acted a very perfidious part, and broke a solemn covenant made with him by an oath, which was highly displeasing to God, and resented by Him; the oath being made in His name, and by one that professed to worship Him: this was an additional sin to those of the inhabitants of Judah and Jerusalem, which provoked the Lord to anger.
Jer 52:4 And it came to pass in the ninth year of his reign, in the tenth month, in the tenth day of the month, that Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon came, he and all his army, against Jerusalem, and pitched against it, and built forts against it round about.
the ninth year of his reign,.... Of Zedekiah's reign: in the tenth month, in the tenth day of the month; the month Tebet, which answers to part of December and part of January; hence the fast of the tenth month, on account of the siege of Jerusalem, Zec_8:19.
It appears that Nebuchadrezzar came in person with his army at first to Jerusalem; but, during the siege, or some part of it, retired to Riblah; perhaps upon the news of the king of Egypt's coming to the assistance of the Jews: and built forts against it round about; wooden towers, from whence they could shoot their arrows and cast their stones.
Jer 52:5 So the city was besieged unto the eleventh year of king Zedekiah.
The siege continued about eighteen months; from the tenth day of the tenth month, in the ninth of Zedekiah's reign, to the ninth day of the fourth month, in the eleventh year of his reign; as follows:
An eighteen months’ agony is condensed into three verses (Jer_52:4-6), in which the minute care to specify dates pathetically reveals the depth of the impression which the first appearance of the besieging army made, and the deeper wound caused by the city’s fall. The memory of these days has not faded yet, for both are still kept as fasts by the synagogue. We look with the narrator’s eye at the deliberate massing of the immense besieging force drawing its coils round the doomed city, like a net round a deer, and mark with him the piling of the mounds, and the erection on them of siege-towers. We hear of no active siege operations till the final assault. Famine was Nebuchadnezzar’s best general. ‘Sitting down they watched’ her ‘there,’ and grimly waited till hunger became unbearable. We can fill up much of the outline in this narrative from the rest of Jeremiah, which gives us a vivid and wretched picture of imbecility, divided counsels, and mad hatred of God’s messenger, blind refusal to see facts, and self-confidence which no disaster could abate. And, all the while, the monstrous serpent was slowly tightening its folds round the struggling, helpless rabbit. We have to imagine all the misery.
Jer 52:6 And in the fourth month, in the ninth day of the month, the famine was sore in the city, so that there was no bread for the people of the land.
And in the fourth month, in the ninth day of the month,.... The month Tammuz (o), which answers to part of June and part of July; hence the fast of the fourth month, for the taking of the city, Zec_8:19;
the famine was sore in the city, so that there was no bread for the people of the land; for the common people; though there might be some in the king's palace, and in the houses of princes and noblemen, and officers of the army; yet none for the soldiers, and the meaner sort of people; who therefore were disheartened and enfeebled, that they could not defend the city, or hold out any longer: the famine had been before this time, but was now increased to a prodigious degree, so that the people had no bread to eat; see Jer_38:9.
Jer 52:7 Then the city was broken up, and all the men of war fled, and went forth out of the city by night by the way of the gate between the two walls, which was by the king's garden; (now the Chaldeans were by the city round about:) and they went by the way of the plain.
Then the city was broken up,.... Either its gates were broke open, someone or other of them; or a breach was made in the walls of it, through which the Chaldean army entered:
and all the men of war fled; the soldiers, with their officers, not being able to stand before the army of the king of Babylon:
and went forth out of the city by night; at which time, very probably, the attack was made, and the gates of the city forced open, or the walls broke down; Josephus (p) says it was taken in the middle of the night:
by the way of the gate between the two walls, which was by the king's garden; See Gill on Jer_39:4;
now the Chaldeans were by the city round about; as part of their army entered into it, the other part surrounded it; or, however, were placed at the gates and avenues all around, that none might escape:
and they went by the way of the plain; that is, the men of war or soldiers that fled, together with King Zedekiah, his family and princes; see Jer_39:4.
Jer 52:8 But the army of the Chaldeans pursued after the king, and overtook Zedekiah in the plains of Jericho; and all his army was scattered from him.
Jer 52:9 Then they took the king, and carried him up unto the king of Babylon to Riblah in the land of Hamath; where he gave judgment upon him.
The inglorious retreat of the king and his mighty men. They got out of the city by night (Jer_52:7) and made the best of their way, I know not whither, nor perhaps they themselves; but the king was overtaken by the pursuers in the plains of Jericho, his guards were dispersed, and all his army was scattered from him, Jer_52:8. His fright was not causeless, for there is no escaping the judgments of God; they will come upon the sinner, and will overtake him, let him flee where he will (Deu_28:15), and these judgments particularly that are here executed were there threatened, Jer_51:52, Jer_51:53, etc. 5. The sad doom passed upon Zedekiah by the king of Babylon, and immediately put in execution. he treated him as a rebel, gave judgment upon him, Jer_51:9. One cannot think of it without the utmost vexation and regret that a king, a king of Judah, a king of the house of David, should be arraigned as a criminal at the bar of this heathen king. But he humbled not himself before Jeremiah the prophet; therefore God thus humbled him.
Jer 52:10 And the king of Babylon slew the sons of Zedekiah before his eyes: he slew also all the princes of Judah in Riblah.
Jer 52:11 Then he put out the eyes of Zedekiah; and the king of Babylon bound him in chains, and carried him to Babylon, and put him in prison till the day of his death.
Pursuant to the sentence passed upon him by the haughty conqueror, his sons were slain before his eyes, and all the princes of Judah (Jer_52:10); then his eyes were put out, and he was bound in chains, carried in triumph to Babylon; perhaps they made sport with him, as they did with Samson when his eyes were put out; however, he was condemned to perpetual imprisonment, wearing out the remainder of his life in darkness and misery. He was kept in prison till the day of his death, but had some honour done him at his funeral, Jer_34:5. Jeremiah had often told him what it would come to, but he would not take warning when he might have prevented it.
Jer 52:12 Now in the fifth month, in the tenth day of the month, which was the nineteenth year of Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon, came Nebuzaradan, captain of the guard, which served the king of Babylon, into Jerusalem,
Now in the fifth month, in the tenth day of the month,.... Hence the fast of the fifth month, for the burning of the city, which was the month Ab, and answers to part of July and part of August, Zec_8:19;
which was the nineteenth year of Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon; that is, the nineteenth year of his reign; who reigned in all forty three years, according to Ptolemy's canon:
Nebuzaradan captain of the guard, which served the king of Babylon, into Jerusalem; or "stood before the king of Babylon" (s); ministered to him, was a servant of his, the provost marshal, or chief marshal; he was sent, and came from Riblah to Jerusalem, with a commission to burn the city. In 2Ki_25:8; it is said to be on the "seventh" day of the fifth month that he came thither; here, on the "tenth" day; which difficulty may be solved, without supposing different copies, or any error: he might set out from Riblah on the seventh day, and come to Jerusalem on the tenth; or he might come thither on the seventh, and not set fire to the city till the tenth; or, if he set fire to it on the seventh, it might be burning to the tenth, before it was wholly consumed. The Jews (t) account for it thus, "strangers entered into the temple, and ate in it, and defiled it, the seventh and eighth days; and on the ninth, towards dark, they set fire to it; and it burned and continued all that whole day, as it is said, Jer_6:4;''
Jer 52:13 And burned the house of the LORD, and the king's house; and all the houses of Jerusalem, and all the houses of the great men, burned he with fire:
And burnt the house of the Lord,.... The temple built by Solomon, after it had stood four hundred and seventy years, six months, and ten days, according to Josephus
and the king's house; the royal palace; probably that which was built by Solomon, 1Ki_7:1;
and all the houses of Jerusalem: of any note or strength:
and all the houses of the great men burnt he with fire; of the princes and nobles in Jerusalem; it is in the singular number, "and every house of the great one"; or "every great house"
Jer 52:14 And all the army of the Chaldeans, that were with the captain of the guard, brake down all the walls of Jerusalem round about.
And all the army of the Chaldeans, that were with the captain of the guard,.... Which he brought with him from Riblah, or were left at Jerusalem by those that pursued after Zedekiah when the city was taken, which the captain of the guard now had the command of:
Jer 52:15 Then Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard carried away captive certain of the poor of the people, and the residue of the people that remained in the city, and those that fell away, that fell to the king of Babylon, and the rest of the multitude.
Then Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard carried away captive certain of the poor of the people,.... That is, of the city, as distinct from the poor of the land of Judea he left, afterwards observed:
and the residue of the people that remained in the city; that died not by the sword or famine, and fled not with Zedekiah: or "even the residue of the people"; and so are the same with the poor people in the former clause; though Kimchi explains it thus,
"some of the poor of the people he carried captive, and some of them he left:''
and those that fell away, that fell to the king of Babylon; that fell off from the Jews, and surrendered to the king of Babylon during the siege; or that voluntarily came in, and put themselves into the hands of the captain of the guard:
Jer 52:16 But Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard left certain of the poor of the land for vinedressers and for husbandmen.
Left certain of the poor -- So long as they remained, the prophecy of 2Ch_36:21 was not fully met.
Certain of the poor of the land,.... Of the land of Judea, who lived in the country, and had not been concerned in defending the city against the Chaldeans: to look after the vineyards and fields, and dress and manure them, that the king of Babylon might receive some advantage by the conquest he had made; See Gill on Jer_39:10.
Jer 52:17 Also 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, the Chaldeans brake, and carried all the brass of them to Babylon.
The two pillars in the temple, called Jachin and Boaz, which were made of cast brass, 1Ki_7:15; and the bases; which were in number ten, and which were also made of cast brass, and were all of one measure and size; and on which the ten lavers of brass were set, five on the right side and five on the left side of the house, 1Ki_7:37;
and the brasen sea that was in the house of the Lord; called the molten sea; a sea, because of the large quantity of water it held; and brasen and molten, because made of molten brass, 1Ki_7:23; This was the laver.
They broke them to pieces, that they might carry them the more easily. This account is given, and which is continued in some following verses, partly to show the accomplishment of the prophecy of Jeremiah, Jer_27:19; and partly to show that what was left in the temple, at the former captivities of Jehoiakim and Jeconiah, were now carried clear off.
Jer 52:18 The caldrons also, and the shovels, and the snuffers, and the bowls, and the spoons, and all the vessels of brass wherewith they ministered, took they away.
Or "pots", as it is rendered, 2Ki_25:14; which were made of bright brass, 1Ki_7:45; these were used to boil the flesh of the sacrifices in: and the shovels; used to remove the ashes from off the altar of burnt offerings, and were of brass also: and the snuffers; the Vulgate Latin translates it "psalteries"; and so Jarchi interprets it of musical instruments; some think "tongs" are meant: and the bowls; or "basins"; either to drink out of, or to receive the blood of the sacrifice: and the spoons: ladles, cups, or dishes, vessels used about the sacrifices: and all the vessels of brass wherewith they ministered; that is, the priests in the temple: the Chaldeans took them away.
Jer 52:19 And the basons, and the firepans, and the bowls, and the caldrons, and the candlesticks, and the spoons, and the cups; that which was of gold in gold, and that which was of silver in silver, took the captain of the guard away.
And the basins,.... Or "bowls"; these are omitted, 2Ki_25:15; they were of gold, 1Ki_7:50; and the firepans; or "censers"; these were those of gold, which belonged to the golden altar, 1Ki_7:50; and the bowls; or "basins"; there were a hundred of them made of gold, 2Ch_4:8;
The cauldrons; or "pots"; these are not mentioned, 2Ki_25:15; what they should be, that were either of gold or silver, cannot be said:and the candlesticks; of which there were ten in number, made of pure gold, five on the right side, and five on the left, before the oracle, 1Ki_7:49;and the spoons; which were also of gold, 1Ki_7:50;
The cups: the word is rendered "bowls", to cover withal, Exo_25:29; it was some kind of instrument or vessel used about the shewbread table, made of pure gold; according to Jarchi, these were little golden forks, upon which they placed the shewbread, to keep it from moulding; according to the Misna (c), there were four of them:
Everything that was of gold or silver he took away; the golden things by themselves, and the silver things by themselves, as some think.
Jer 52:20 The two pillars, one sea, and twelve brasen bulls that were under the bases, which king Solomon had made in the house of the LORD: the brass of all these vessels was without weight.
The two pillars of Jachin and Boaz before mentioned, and the molten or brasen sea, with the twelve bulls or oxen the sea stood upon, 1Ki_7:25;that were under the bases; or "by the bases", as Jarchi; or rather, "that were instead of bases" (d); for the twelve oxen were the bases on which the molten sea stood:
which King Solomon had made in the house of the Lord; this is mentioned to show that these were the selfsame pillars, sea, and oxen, and other vessels, that Solomon made, that were now carried away; for though Ahaz took down the sea from off the brasen oxen, and put it on a pavement of stones, yet it seems not to have been destroyed; and might be restored to its proper place by Hezekiah, or some other prince;
the brass of all these vessels was without weight; there was no weight sufficient to weigh them; the weight of them could not very well be told; they were so heavy, that in Solomon's time the weight of them was not taken, when they were placed in the temple, so neither when they were taken away, 1Ki_7:47.
Jer 52:21 And concerning the pillars, the height of one pillar was eighteen cubits; and a fillet of twelve cubits did compass it; and the thickness thereof was four fingers: it was hollow.
As in 1Ki_7:15; said to be thirty five, 2Ch_3:15; of the reconciliation of which; see Gill on 2Ch_3:15,and a fillet of twelve cubits did compass it; a thread or line of that measure encompassed each of the pillars, 1Ki_7:15; and the thickness thereof was four fingers; either of the pillar, or the fillet about it; that is, the brass of it was four fingers thick: it was hollow; that is, the pillar was hollow.
Jer 52:22 And a chapiter of brass was upon it; and the height of one chapiter was five cubits, with network and pomegranates upon the chapiters round about, all of brass. The second pillar also and the pomegranates were like unto these.
And a chapiter of brass was upon it,.... Or a coronet of brass, of molten brass, was set upon the top of the pillar:and the height of one chapiter was five cubits; as in 1Ki_7:16; but in 2Ki_25:17; the height is said to be but three cubits; which is reconciled by the Jewish Rabbins thus, the three superior cubits of it were with ornaments, the two inferior without any; the whole together was five cubits; but, as ornamented, only three:
with network and pomegranates upon the chapiters round about, all of brass; the nets were of chequer work, and wreaths of chain work, and there were seven of them to each chapiter, 1Ki_7:17; the second pillar also, and the pomegranates, were like unto these; one pillar was exactly like the other, and the ornaments of it the same.
Jer 52:23 And there were ninety and six pomegranates on a side; and all the pomegranates upon the network were an hundred round about.
Pomegranates on a side,.... Or, "to the wind" (e); to the four winds; towards every corner or wind twenty four, which make up ninety six: and all the pomegranates upon the network were an hundred round about; four, standing upon the four angles, made the ninety six a hundred; in 1Ki_7:20; they are said to be two hundred; and in 2Ch_4:13; are said to be four hundred upon the two wreaths; which may be accounted for thus, there were two rows of them on each pillar, in every row were a hundred, which made two hundred in one pillar, and four hundred in both. These were the things in the temple carried away in the last captivity.
Jer 52:24 And the captain of the guard took Seraiah the chief priest, and Zephaniah the second priest, and the three keepers of the door:
Seraiah the chief priest …That is, out of the temple, where he was ministering, or fled for safety; this is supposed to be the father of Ezra, 1Ch_6:14;
Zephaniah the second priest: or deputy priest: the "sagan" of the priests, as the Targum calls him, who was deputed to minister for the high priest, in case anything happened which hindered him from officiating; this man is thought to be the same with Zephaniah the son of Maaseiah the priest, Jer_21:1;
and the three keepers of the door; that is, of the temple. The Targum calls them three "amarcalin"; who had, as Jarchi says, the keys of the court committed to them.
Jer 52:25 He took also out of the city an eunuch, which had the charge of the men of war; and seven men of them that were near the king's person, which were found in the city; and the principal scribe of the host, who mustered the people of the land; and threescore men of the people of the land, that were found in the midst of the city.
An eunuch, which had the charge of the men of war,.... The master-master-general of the army.
Seven men of them which were near the king's person or, "saw the face of the king": or rather, "made to see his face" (h); these were ministers of state, who were always at court, and assisted in councils of state, and introduced persons into the king's presence; in 2Ki_25:19; they are said to be but "five"; but Josephus (i) has seven, as here; perhaps two of them were of less note, and so not reckoned, as Jarchi observes: some will have it, that the two scribes of the judges are left out; but others, more probably, Jeremiah and Baruch, who were first taken, and afterwards dismissed:
The principal scribe of the host, who mustered the people of the land; or the scribe of the prince of the army, as the Targum; the general's secretary:
and threescore men of the people of the land, that were found in the midst of the city: persons of prime note, who, upon the invasion, relocated themselves from the country to the city of Jerusalem with their effects, and to defend it. Josephus calls them rulers or governors
Jer 52:26 So Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard took them, and brought them to the king of Babylon to Riblah.
Took them,.... In the city, and made them captives: and brought them to the king of Babylon to Riblah; to knew his mind concerning them; how they should be disposed of; and for him to pass sentence on them: as he had done on the king of Judah, his sons, and his princes, in the same place.
Jer 52:27 And the king of Babylon smote them, and put them to death in Riblah in the land of Hamath. Thus Judah was carried away captive out of his own land.
And the king of Babylon smote them,.... Or ordered them to be smitten with the sword; to have their heads cut off, according to Josephus: and put them to death in Riblah in the land of Hamath; these being such, no doubt, who obstinately defended the city, and persuaded the prince and people not to surrender the city into the hand of the Chaldeans; and therefore were put to death in cold blood:
thus Judah was carried away captive out of his own land: at different times, of which this was the completion; and of which a particular account is given, even of the number of the captives at these several times, in Jer_52:28.
Jer 52:28 This is the people whom Nebuchadrezzar carried away captive: in the seventh year three thousand Jews and three and twenty:
That is, of his reign: in 2Ki_24:12; it is said to be in the eighth year of his reign; it being at the latter end of the seventh, and the beginning of the eighth, as Kimchi observes; this was the captivity of Jeconiah: the number of the captives then were three thousand Jews, and three and twenty; but in 2Ki_24:14; they are said to be ten thousand; which may be reconciled thus, there were three thousand twenty and three of the tribe of Judah, here called Jews; and the rest were of the tribe of Benjamin, and of the ten tribes that were mixed among them; see 2Ki_24:16.
Jer 52:29 In the eighteenth year of Nebuchadrezzar he carried away captive from Jerusalem eight hundred thirty and two persons:
In the eighteenth year of Nebuchadnezzar,.... Said to be the nineteenth, Jer_52:12; it was at the end of the eighteenth, and the beginning of the nineteenth, as Kimchi; or this was before the taking of the city, when he raised the siege, and departed to meet the king of Egypt, at which time he might carry captive many, as here said: he carried away captive from Jerusalem, eight hundred thirty and two persons; which is more likely to be then done than at the taking of the city; when it is very probable a greater number was carried captive, which are not here taken notice of.
Jer 52:30 In the three and twentieth year of Nebuchadrezzar Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard carried away captive of the Jews seven hundred forty and five persons: all the persons were four thousand and six hundred.
In the three and twentieth year of Nebuchadnezzar,.... In this year of his reign, the Jews say (m), Tyre was delivered into his hands; and he carried off the Jews in Moab, Ammon, and the neighboring nations, to the number after mentioned; though some think these were the poor people of the land he took from thence, after the murder of Gedaliah, and in revenge of that:
Nebuzaradan captain of the guard carried away captive of the Jews seven hundred forty and five persons; all which being put together make the following sum: all the persons were four thousand and six hundred; this is the sum total of the three mentioned captivities.
Jer 52:31 And it came to pass in the seven and thirtieth year of the captivity of Jehoiachin king of Judah, in the twelfth month, in the five and twentieth day of the month, that Evilmerodach king of Babylon in the first year of his reign lifted up the head of Jehoiachin king of Judah, and brought him forth out of prison,
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 2Ki_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 2Ki_25:27; the favor 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 (n) 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 Isa_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 (o) Iloarudamus; by Abydenus (p) Evilmaluruch; by Josephus (q) Abilamarodach; but by Berosus (r) as here: his proper name was Merodach, a name of one of the Chaldean idols, Jer_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 honorable one; he brought him out of a state of imprisonment and misery into a state of liberty and honor; 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 favor, as soon as he had an opportunity.
Jer 52:32 And spake kindly unto him, and set his throne above the throne of the kings that were with him in Babylon,
And spake kindly unto him,.... Used him with great familiarity, treated him with great respect: or, "spake good things to him"; comforted him in his captive state, and promised him many favors; and was as good as his word:
and set his throne above the throne of the kings that were with him in Babylon; these kings were either petty kings over the several provinces that belonged to the Chaldean monarchy, that were occasionally at Babylon; or rather the kings Nebuchadnezzar had conquered, and taken captive, as Jehoiachin; such as the kings of Moab, Ammon, Edom, &c. these, notwithstanding they were captives, had thrones of state, partly in consideration of their former dignity, and partly for the glory of the Babylonish monarch; now Jehoiachin's throne was higher and more grand and stately than the rest, to show the particular respect the king of Babylon had for him.
Jer 52:33 And changed his prison garments: and he did continually eat bread before him all the days of his life.
And changed his prison garments,.... Which were filthy, and smelled; and put on him raiment more comfortable, as well as more honorable, and suitable to his dignity, and more fit to appear in, in the presence of the king and his court:
and he did continually eat bread before him all the days of his life: either at the same table with the king; or at other near him, in his sight, in the same apartment; though the former seems more likely; and this he did as long as he lived; either Evilmerodach, or rather Jeconiah; though perhaps they both died much about the same time. All this was done about the year of the world 3444, and about five hundred sixty years before Christ.
Jer 52:34 And for his diet, there was a continual diet given him of the king of Babylon, every day a portion until the day of his death, all the days of his life.
This seems to design not food only, and for himself, which he had daily at the king's table, but all necessary provisions for himself, family, and servants:
every day a portion, until the day of his death, all the days of his life; that is, of Jeconiah's; how long he lived after this is not known; he was now fifty five years of age, and cannot be thought to have lived a great while after, having been imprisoned so many years; and it is certain he did not live to the return from the captivity. Of the death of Zedekiah we have no account, only that he died in prison. The Jews say (x) he died at this very time, when Jeconiah was advanced. The account here given of Jeconiah has led some to conclude that this chapter was not written by Jeremiah; since it cannot be well thought he should live so long as to the death of this prince; and, besides, had given an account of the destruction of Jerusalem in the thirty ninth chapter, which he would hardly repeat: though that he might do, partly for the sake of new circumstances here added; and partly as an introduction to the book of the Lamentations, which follows.
Much of the commentary for this chapter comes from Gill, with also Clarke, Barnes and others