November 25, 2022

2 Kings 25  (HCSB)
Nebuchadnezzar’s Siege of Jerusalem

25 In the ninth year of Zedekiah’s reign, on the tenth day of the tenth month, King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon advanced against Jerusalem with his entire army. They laid siege to the city and built a siege wall against it all around. 2 The city was under siege until King Zedekiah’s eleventh year. 3 By the ninth day of the fourth month the famine was so severe in the city that the people of the land had no food. 4 Then the city was broken into, and all the warriors fled by night by way of the gate between the two walls near the king’s garden, even though the Chaldeans surrounded the city. As the king made his way along the route to the Arabah, 5 the Chaldean army pursued him and overtook him in the plains of Jericho. Zedekiah’s entire army was scattered from him. 6 The Chaldeans seized the king and brought him up to the king of Babylon at Riblah, and they passed sentence on him. 7 They slaughtered Zedekiah’s sons before his eyes. Finally, the king of Babylon blinded Zedekiah, bound him in bronze chains, and took him to Babylon.
Jerusalem Destroyed
8 On the seventh day of the fifth month, which was the nineteenth year of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, Nebuzaradan, the commander of the guards, a servant of the king of Babylon, entered Jerusalem. 9 He burned the Lord’s temple, the king’s palace, and all the houses of Jerusalem; he burned down all the great houses. 10 The whole Chaldean army with the commander of the guards tore down the walls surrounding Jerusalem. 11 Nebuzaradan, the commander of the guards, deported the rest of the people who were left in the city, the deserters who had defected to the king of Babylon, and the rest of the population. 12 But the commander of the guards left some of the poorest of the land to be vinedressers and farmers. 13 Now the Chaldeans broke into pieces the bronze pillars of the Lord’s temple, the water carts, and the bronze reservoir, which were in the Lord’s temple, and carried the bronze to Babylon. 14 They also took the pots, the shovels, the wick trimmers, the dishes, and all the bronze articles used in temple service. 15 The commander of the guards took away the firepans and the sprinkling basins—whatever was gold or silver. 16 As for the two pillars, the one reservoir, and the water carts that Solomon had made for the Lord’s temple, the weight of the bronze of all these articles was beyond measure. 17 One pillar was 27 feet tall and had a bronze capital on top of it. The capital, encircled by a grating and pomegranates of bronze, stood five feet high. The second pillar was the same, with its own grating. 18 The commander of the guards also took away Seraiah the chief priest, Zephaniah the priest of the second rank, and the three doorkeepers. 19 He took a court official who had been appointed over the warriors from the city; five trusted royal aides found in the city; the secretary of the commander of the army, who enlisted the people of the land for military duty; and 60 men from the common people who were found within the city. 20 Nebuzaradan, the commander of the guards, took them and brought them to the king of Babylon at Riblah. 21 The king of Babylon put them to death at Riblah in the land of Hamath. So Judah went into exile from its land.
Gedaliah Made Governor
22 Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon appointed Gedaliah son of Ahikam, son of Shaphan, over the rest of the people he left in the land of Judah. 23 When all the commanders of the armies—they and their men—heard that the king of Babylon had appointed Gedaliah, they came to Gedaliah at Mizpah. The commanders included Ishmael son of Nethaniah, Johanan son of Kareah, Seraiah son of Tanhumeth the Netophathite, and Jaazaniah son of the Maacathite—they and their men. 24 Gedaliah swore an oath to them and their men, assuring them, “Don’t be afraid of the servants of the Chaldeans. Live in the land and serve the king of Babylon, and it will go well for you.” 25 In the seventh month, however, Ishmael son of Nethaniah, son of Elishama, of the royal family, came with 10 men and struck down Gedaliah, and he died. Also, they killed the Judeans and the Chaldeans who were with him at Mizpah. 26 Then all the people, from the youngest to the oldest, and the commanders of the army, left and went to Egypt, for they were afraid of the Chaldeans. Jehoiachin Pardoned
27 On the twenty-seventh day of the twelfth month of the thirty-seventh year of the exile of Judah’s King Jehoiachin, in the year Evil-merodach became king of Babylon, he pardoned King Jehoiachin of Judah and released him from prison. 28 He spoke kindly to him and set his throne over the thrones of the kings who were with him in Babylon. 29 So Jehoiachin changed his prison clothes, and he dined regularly in the presence of the king of Babylon for the rest of his life. 30 As for his allowance, a regular allowance was given to him by the king, a portion for each day, for the rest of his life.

Jim Carper
In chapter 25, Babylon’s relentless siege of Jerusalem culminated with the destruction of the Lord’s temple and taking of everything valuable. Those not killed were driven into exile or fled to Egypt. Many were left homeless and starving.  Most interesting to me, though, was the restoration of Jehoiachin at the end of this book. Verses 25:27-30 are fascinating against the backdrop of all that took place. It’s a picture of the Lord’s redemptive work. Jehoiachin became king at 18 and he did evil in the Lord’s sight. Surprise, another wretched king! He was king for only 3 months before he was captured. Jehoiachin, locked up in prison for 37 years, was brought out, cleaned up, given new clothes, and a seat at the king’s table to dine on good food. The king gave him a food allowance for the rest of his life. How does that happen? Surely, many who are reading this devotion can testify how we were given undeserving royal treatment by the Lord. I couldn’t find where Jehoiachin did anything special. It’s not like he was the the best prisoner or did anything great to earn favor with the Babylonian king. What a reminder of how good the Lord is to us all, loading us down with benefits daily, so shall we all give thanks.


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