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THEN the people of the land took Joachaz the son of Josias, and made him king instead of his father in Jerusalem.


2 Joachaz was three and twenty years old when he began to reign, and he reigned three months in Jerusalem.

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3 And the king of Egypt came to Jerusalem, and deposed him, and condemned the land in a hundred talents of silver, and a talent of gold.

Ver. 3.  Him.  Joachaz had attempted to defend himself, and had been conducted prisoner to Reblatha.  4 K. xxiii. 33. and Ezec. xix. 4.  He was now deposed in from, and a tribute laid upon the people.  C.




4 And he made Eliakim his brother king in his stead, over Juda and Jerusalem: and he turned his name to Joakim: but he took Joachaz with him, and carried him away into Egypt.

Ver. 4.  Brother.  From the time of David, the son had always succeeded his father.  W.



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5 Joakim was five and twenty years old when he began to reign, and he reigned eleven years in Jerusalem: and he did evil before the Lord his God.

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6 Against him came up Nabuchodonosor king of the Chaldeans, and led him bound in chains into Babylon.

Ver. 6.  Babylon, but sent him back soon after; (T.) unless he altered his first design, (D.) and slew him disgracefully at Jerusalem.  Lyran.  E.  C.  4 K. xxiii. 5.

 

--- He allowed him to reign as a vassal other three years, but took Daniel, &c. captives.  The seventy years of Jeremias, (xxv. 11.) are to be dated from this event.  A. 3402.  Usher.




7 And he carried also thither the vessels of the Lord, and put them in his temple.

Ver. 7.  The vessels.  Heb. and Sept. "a part of the vessels;" probably the most precious, (v. 10) breaking the rest in pieces, as he left none behind, v. 18.

 

--- Temple of his God.  Dan. i. 2.


8 But the rest of the acts of Joakim, and his abominations, which he wrought, and the things that were found in him, are contained in the book of the kings of Juda and Israel. And Joachin his son reigned in his stead.

Ver. 8.  In him.  The Jews explain this of the diabolical characters forbidden, Lev. xix. 28.  Carthusian.  R. Sal. &c.

 

--- But it may simply denote the hidden sins of the king, which God will bring to light, or his rebellious conduct.  Amama.  Gen. xliv. 16.  C.




9 Joachin was eight years old when he began to reign, and he reigned three months and ten days in Jerusalem, and he did evil in the sight of the Lord.

Ver. 9.  Eight years old.  He was associated by his father to the kingdom, when he was but eight years old; but after his father's death, when he reigned alone, he was eighteen years old.  4 K. xxiv. 8.  Ch.

 

--- He only enjoyed the throne three months and ten days.  T.

 

--- We must however observe, (H.) that the Alex. Sept. the Syr. and Arab. read here, eighteen.  C.

 

--- "It is, in my opinion, a pity that the translators have not mended such apparent errata of the scribe of the present Heb. out of 2 K. xxiv. 8, or out of Sept. or out of common sense."  Wall.  Kennicott.

 

--- These eight years may be dated from the captivity, and not from the king's birth.  Usher.  D.




10 And at the return of the year, king Nabuchodonosor sent, and brought him to Babylon, carrying away at the same time the most precious vessels of the house of the Lord: and he made Sedecias his uncle king over Juda and Jerusalem.

Ver. 10.  Year, in spring, when kings go out to war.  C.

 

--- Uncle.  Sept. "brother of his father," which comes to the same sense, and was certainly the case.  Heb. "his brother."  Abraham indeed gives the title to his nephew.  Gen. xiii. 8.  C.



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11 Sedecias was one and twenty years old when he began to reign: and he reigned eleven years in Jerusalem.

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12 And he did evil in the eyes of the Lord his God, and did not reverence the face of Jeremias the prophet speaking to him from the mouth of the Lord.
13 He also revolted from king Nabuchodonosor, who had made him swear by God: and he hardened his neck and his heart, from returning to the Lord the God of Israel.

Ver. 13.  By God, to be faithful.  T.

 

--- This enhances his crime.  C.


14 Moreover all the chief of the priests, and the people wickedly transgressed according to all the abominations of the Gentiles: and they defiled the house of the Lord, which he had sanctified to himself in Jerusalem.


15 And the Lord the God of their fathers sent to them, by the hand of his messengers, rising early, and daily admonishing them: because he spared his people and his dwelling place.

Ver. 15.  Early.  Prot. "betimes, and sending: because," &c.  H.

 

--- Like a good master, God (T.) sent his servants to work at day-break, (H.) omitting nothing to induce them to return to him, that he might not be forced to punish them with severity.  C.



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16 But they mocked the messengers of God, and despised his words, and misused the prophets, until the wrath of the Lord arose against his people, and there was no remedy.

Ver. 16.  Remedy.  All attempts to convert them proved in vain; (T.) and God, perceiving that they even despised his calls, became inexorable.  C.


17 For he brought upon them the king of the Chaldeans, and he slew their young men with the sword in the house of his sanctuary, he had no compassion on young man, or maiden, old man or even him that stooped for age, but he delivered them all into his hands.


18 And all the vessels of the house of the Lord, great and small, and the treasures of the temple and of the king, and of the princes he carried away to Babylon.

Ver. 18.  Vessels.  Only a few remained, to be restored by Cyrus, v. 19.  C.




19 And the enemies set fire to the house of God, and broke down the wall of Jerusalem, burnt all the towers, and whatsoever was precious they destroyed.


20 Whosoever escaped the sword, was led into Babylon, and there served the king and his sons till the reign of the king of Persia.

Ver. 20.  Sons; Evilmerodac and Baltassar.

 

--- Persia; Cyrus, who subdued the country.




21 That the word of the Lord by the mouth of Jeremias might be fulfilled, and the land might keep her sabbaths: for all the days of the desolation she kept a sabbath, till the seventy years were expired.

Ver. 21.  Sabbaths, every seventh year.  Lev. xxv. 2. and xxvi. 43.  Jer. xxv. 11. and xxix. 10.

 

--- Expired: not that the earth was quite neglected, all that time, from the third year of Joakim, A.M. 3398 till 3468.  C.

 

--- But it was almost: particularly after the murder of Godolias, (M.) the public worship was at a stand, &c.  H.

 

--- During this fifth age, the true religion subsisted invariable, not only in the kingdom of Juda, but also in that of Israel.  See Worthington.  H.



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22 But in the first year of Cyrus king of the Persians, to fulfill the word of the Lord, which he had spoken by the mouth of Jeremias, the Lord stirred up the heart of Cyrus king of the Persians who commanded it to be proclaimed through all his kingdom, and by writing also, saying:

Ver. 22.  First.  Cyrus had ruled over Persia from A. 3444.  He was now emperor of the east.  A. 3468.  C.

 

--- These two verses are repeated by Esdras, which evinces that he was the author of this work also, (T.) adding them when he restored (W.) or revised (H.) the holy scriptures.  W.



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23 Thus saith Cyrus king of the Persians: All the kingdoms of the earth hath the Lord the God of heaven given to me, and he hath charged me to build him a house in Jerusalem, which is in Judea: who is there among you of all his people? The Lord his God be with him, and let him go up.

Ver. 23.  The Lord, (Jehova.)  In Esdras we find yehi, "Let," his God.  H.

 

--- Up.  The sentence is completed in the following book, which makes it probable that these verses are here inserted improperly, by some transcriber.  The book of Chronicles, though for many ages the last in the Heb. MSS. was, perhaps, once followed by Ezra, as in Camb. MS. 1. (Kennicott) and as it is now in the Protestant version, taken from the Heb.  H.




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