2 Kings 24 Bible Commentary

John Wesley’s Explanatory Notes

(Read all of 2 Kings 24)

Verse 2

[2] And the LORD sent against him bands of the Chaldees, and bands of the Syrians, and bands of the Moabites, and bands of the children of Ammon, and sent them against Judah to destroy it, according to the word of the LORD, which he spake by his servants the prophets.

Bands — For Nebuchadnezzar's army was made up of several nations, who were willing to fight under the banner of such a puissant and victorious emperor.

Verse 3

[3] Surely at the commandment of the LORD came this upon Judah, to remove them out of his sight, for the sins of Manasseh, according to all that he did;

The sins — Properly and directly for their own sins, and occasionally for the sins of Manasseh, which had never been charged upon them, if they had not made them their own by their repetition of them.

Verse 6

[6] So Jehoiakim slept with his fathers: and Jehoiachin his son reigned in his stead.

With his fathers — But it is not said, he was buried with them. No doubt the prophecy of Jeremiah was fulfilled, that he should not be lamented as his father was, but buried with the burial of an ass.

Verse 7

[7] And the king of Egypt came not again any more out of his land: for the king of Babylon had taken from the river of Egypt unto the river Euphrates all that pertained to the king of Egypt.

Came not — In this king's days. He could not now come to protect the king of Judah, being scarce able to defend his own kingdom.

Verse 8

[8] Jehoiachin was eighteen years old when he began to reign, and he reigned in Jerusalem three months. And his mother's name was Nehushta, the daughter of Elnathan of Jerusalem.

To reign — In his eighth year he began to reign with his father, who made him king with him as divers other kings of Israel and Judah had done in times of trouble; and in his eighteenth year he reigned alone.

Verse 12

[12] And Jehoiachin the king of Judah went out to the king of Babylon, he, and his mother, and his servants, and his princes, and his officers: and the king of Babylon took him in the eighth year of his reign.

Went out — Yielded up himself and the city into his hands; and this by the counsel of Jeremiah, and to his own good.

His reign — Of Nebuchadnezzar's reign; as appears by comparing this with chap. 25:8, and because Jehoiachin reigned not half a year. Had he made his peace with God, and taken the method that Hezekiah did in the like case, he needed not to have feared the king of Babylon, but might have held out with courage, honour and success. But wanting the faith and piety of an Israelite, he had not the resolution of a man.

Verse 13

[13] And he carried out thence all the treasures of the house of the LORD, and the treasures of the king's house, and cut in pieces all the vessels of gold which Solomon king of Israel had made in the temple of the LORD, as the LORD had said.

Vessels — The most and choicest of them, by comparing this with chap. 25:14,15.

Solomon made — Though the city and temple had been rifled more than once both by the kings of Egypt and Israel, and by the wicked kings of Judah; yet these golden vessels were preserved from them, either by the case of the priests, who hid them; or by the clemency of the conquerors, or by the special providence of God, disposing their hearts to leave them. Or, if they had been taken away by any of these kings, they might afterwards be recovered good, at the cost of the kings of Judah.

Verse 14

[14] And he carried away all Jerusalem, and all the princes, and all the mighty men of valour, even ten thousand captives, and all the craftsmen and smiths: none remained, save the poorest sort of the people of the land.

All — Not simply all, but the best and most considerable part, as the following words explain it.

Captives — Which are more particularly reckoned up, verse 16, where there are seven thousand mighty men, and a thousand smiths; and those mentioned verse 15, make up the other two thousand.

Craftsmen and smiths — Who might furnish them with new arms, and thereby give him fresh trouble.

Verse 17

[17] And the king of Babylon made Mattaniah his father's brother king in his stead, and changed his name to Zedekiah.

Zedekiah — That he might admonish him of (what this name signifies) the justice of God, which had so severely punished Jehoiakim for his rebellion; and would no less certainly overtake him, if he should be guilty of the same perfidiousness.

Verse 20

[20] For through the anger of the LORD it came to pass in Jerusalem and Judah, until he had cast them out from his presence, that Zedekiah rebelled against the king of Babylon.

Came to pass — Thus the peoples sins were the true cause why God gave them wicked kings, whom he suffered to do wickedly, that they might bring the long-deserved, and threatened punishments upon themselves and their people.