Ver. 1. Day, the 30th of January, A. 3414. Usher.
--- Some time after Nabuchodonosor left the siege, to attack the Egyptians; (Jer. xxxvii. 3.) and the people of Jerusalem, (H.) supposing that he would return no more, took back their slaves, whom Jeremias had prevailed on them to liberate, according to the law, during the sabbatical year. Jer. xxxiv. 8. Usher.
--- The prophet reproached them for it; and announced the destruction of the city so plainly, that he was thrown into prison. Jer. xxi. and xxxiv. and xxxviii.
--- It. The Babylonians had already taken all the towns of Juda, except Azeca and Lachis. Jer. xxxiv. 7. C.
Ver. 3. Of the. Prot. supply, "fourth month," as it is in the parallel passage. Jer. lii. 6. And in the fourth month, the ninth day of the month. In C. xxxix. 2, we read, in the fourth month, the fifth day of the month, the city was broken up, or a breach was made in the outer wall. In the course of a few days, the princes of Babylon seized the middle gate; and the famine became so intolerable, that, on the 9th, it was judged expedient to abandon the city. H.
--- During this siege it is thought, (C.) that mothers eat their children, (Lam. iv. 10. Bar. ii. 3.) and children their parents. Ezechiel v. 10. M.
Ver. 4. Walls, by a subterraneous passage, to the plains of Jericho; (Rabbins) or by the horse gate, which was the most private, and, it seems, had been walled up. Ezec. xii. 12. M.
Ver. 6. Rablatha, the Antioch of Syria, (S. Jer.) which was styled also Ephiphania, (T.) or more probably Apamea, where Nabuchodonosor was, when Jerusalem was taken.
--- Upon him, by the advice of his council. Jer. xxxix. 3. 13. Syr. "they made him answer the charges brought against him," (C.) of ingratitude and rebellion, as he had been appointed by the king of Babylon, and had sworn to be faithful to him. M.
--- This repeated infidelity made Nabuchodonosor resolve to remove the people from their own country. C.
--- He sentenced the last of the kings of Juda to see his children slain, (H.) to have his eyes put out, and to remain in prison till his death. Jer. lii. 11. &c. C.
--- Heb. he "spake judgments with him." Thus was accomplished the prediction of Jeremias, (xxxiv. 3.) "thine eyes shall behold the eyes of the king of Babylon, and he shall speak to thee." Watson.
--- The same prophet had said the same (C. xxxii. 4.) before he was throne into prison. The sight of an angry judge is no small punishment. H.
Ver. 7. Eyes; after they had been excruciated by the sight of his slaughtered children. He thus might be convinced, that there was no reason to despise the predictions of Jeremias and of Ezechiel, (xii. 13.) as contradictory, because the latter informed him that he should not see Babylon; though the other said that he should die there.
--- Babylon, where he was honourably buried, by order of Nabuchodonosor. Joseph. x. 11.
--- Seder (Olam xxviii.) records that his attendants sung, at his funeral, "Alas! king Sedecias is dead, having drunk the dregs of all ages;" as he suffered also for the crimes of his predecessors. Genebrard. T.
--- This is not indeed specified in Scripture: (H.) but it is highly probable that Nabuchodonosor would thus "revere royalty, even in its ruins," if Daniel and the other Jews in power, had not been careful to shew this mark of respect to their deceased monarch, conformably to the prediction of Jeremias; (xxxiv. 3.) who foretold that he should die, not by a violent death, the usual fate of captive kings, but in peace, or on his bed, though in a prison. Watson, let. 6.
Ver. 8. Seventh. Jeremias (lii. 12.) mentions the tenth; on which day Nabuzardan probably arrived, or begun to put his orders in execution. Yet the Jews keep the ninth as an annual fast. Zac. vii. 3. and viii. 19. The temple was destroyed on Saturday, 27th August, A. 3416, (Usher) after it had stood 424 years, 3 months, and 8 days. C.
--- Army. Heb. "of those who slay;" which may be fitly understood "of soldiers," as well as "of cooks," (Sept.) "butchers." Pagnin, &c. M.
Ver. 9. Great. This word is supplied from Jer. lii. 13. and Heb. "great man's house." Prot. But Jer. xxxix. 8, we read, they burnt the houses of the people, (H.) even the meanest, destroyed the walls, and took the people to Babylon, only leaving some countrymen to cultivate the land. Jeremias was set at liberty by Nabuzardan, (ib. xi.) and chose to continue with this remnant of the people, for their comfort and direction. H.
--- They applied to him to know whether they should retire into Egypt; and after ten days, he gave them God's injunction to the contrary: but they despised it. Jer. xlii. 7. and xliii. 1. The prophet, and his secretary, Baruch, followed them into Egypt. Thus was the country abandoned, and the monarchy at an end, after it had subsisted 468 years from the commencement of David's reign. C.
--- Yet some little power remained in the family of David, even at Babylon; (v. 27.) and the Jewish affairs were re-established, after the captivity, though not in such splendour as formerly, nor always under princes of the same royal family. H.
Ver. 14. Mazers. Heb. yahim, "shovels." Prot. Sept. retain the original word, which S. Jerom translates differently. See 3 K. vii. 50. (M.) and Exodus.
Ver. 18. Saraias, father of Esdras, and of Josedeck, who succeeded in the Pontificate, 1 Esd. vii. 1. and 1 Par. vi. 14. T.
--- Sophonias. He was perhaps chief of the fourth band of door-keepers, mentioned 1 Par. ix. 17. 24. and vice-gerent of the High-priest, to supply his place, in case of any accident. We find no mention of such a priest in the law, but Eleazar possessed a similar power, Num. iii. 32. C.
--- Keepers. These seem to have concealed themselves in the temple. M.
--- They were punished, as the counsellors of Sedecias, by being beheaded or crucified. Lam. v. 12. T.
Ver. 19. Eunuch. Prot. "officer." H.
--- Five. Arab. and Jeremias lii. 25. read seven, as two were probably discovered afterwards, (C.) or had fled. D.
--- These were chief officers.
--- Sopher. Sept. "and the secretary of the general." Syr. "the secretary and chiefs of the armies." C.
--- Prot. "the principal scribe." H.
--- It is not clear whether the general have this title of sopher, "scribe," himself; or it rather designates his secretary, or scribe. Judg. viii. 14. C.
--- Many date the 70 years captivity from the last year of Joachin. D.
Ver. 22. Godolias. The Rabbins say that he had gone over to the Chaldees: Jeremias (xxxvii. 2, 17.) had advised all to do so, and Godolias was of an easy complying disposition. Grotius.
--- But God did not suffer him to collect the remnants of his unhappy people, (C.) at least for any long time, as he was slain by Ismael, (Jer. xl. 12. and xli. 1. H.) who probably envied his dignity. Joseph. Salien.
Ver. 26. Chaldees. They went under the conduct of Johanan, in opposition to the declaration of Jeremias, xliii. 7. and xliv. 1. C.
Ver. 27. Twentieth. Jeremias (lii. 31.) says the 25th, when Nabuchodonosor was buried, and (D.) the decree was made, though it was not put in execution till two days later. C.
--- Evilmerodach, whose proper name was Baltassar, (Dan. v. 1. T.) or the latter was his son. The Jews say that he had been confined in prison, with Joachin, because he had not administered the kingdom well, during the seven years' illness of his father Nabuchodonosor. Berosus (ap. Jos. c. Ap. 1. and Euseb. præp. ix. 40. who cites also Megasthenes) informs us that he reigned with insolence during two years, when he was treacherously murdered by his father-in-law, Neriglissor.
Ver. 28. Kings, who had been made captives. Adonibezec had 70. Judg. i. 7. Alexander kept Porus and Taxilus at his court, as Cyrus and done Crœsus, whom he treated with great distinction. The prosperity of Joachin does not seem to have been of long continuance, as his benefactor did not reign above two (v. 27.) or three years. Dan. viii. 1.
Ver. 30. His life, may be referred to Evilmerodach, unless Joachin was involved in his disgrace, and perished at the same time. Perhaps the king of Juda did not always eat at the table of Evilmerodach, but received his meat from it, as was customary. Syr. &c. C.
--- He received all that was necessary to support his household, daily. Grotius.
--- In Jer. lii. 34. until the day of his death, seems to be an useless "tautology," which is omitted here, and in "our oldest MS." says Kennicott; who observes that whoever will compare these passages, "will find many variations, and some corruptions." But most of them may be easily explained, v. 3. 8. 27. &c. H.