John T. Willis

Sunday, September 04, 2011

The Babylonians Destroy Jerusalem and Carry Judeans into Exile--Jeremiah 52

The final chapter of the Book of Jeremiah [Jeremiah 52] is somewhat similar to Jeremiah 39, but alsos supplies additional information. Also Jeremiah 39 and 52 contain several similarities to 2 Kings 24:18-25:30. Jeremiah 52 falls into seven paragraphs.

I. The composer summarized the reign of king Zedekiah of Judah [598-587 BCE]. Jeremiah 52:1-3b.
a. Jeremiah was 21 years old when he became king of Judah, and he reigned 11 years. 52:1.
b. Zedekiah was evil in the eyes of Yahweh like king Jehoiakim. 52:2-3b.

II. Nebuchadrezzar II and the Babylonians besiege Jerusalem for a year and a half and destroy Jerusalem. Jeremiah 52:4-11.
a. The reason Nebuchadrezzar II and the Babylonians attacked Jerusalem is that Zedekiah rebelled against the Babylonians. 52:3c.
b. The Babylonians began the siege of Jerusalem on the ninth year, the ninth month, the tenth day of the month of Zedekiah's reign (589 BCE). 52:4.
c. The siege lasted until the 11th year, the fourth month, the ninth day of the month (587 BCE). 52:5-6.
d. Zedekiah and many of his soldiers fled in the night to try to escape from the Babylonians, but they captured Zedekiah and his sons in the plains of Jericho, brought them to Riblah, killed Zedekiah's sons and put out Zedekiah's eyes, where he was in prison in Babylon until he died. 52:7-11.

III. The Babylonians destroy the Jerusalem temple and walls, and carry many into Babylonian exile. Jeremiah 52:12-16.
a. Nebuzaradan, the captain of the bodyguard, and his soldiers destroy the Jerusalem temple and tear down the walls and carry many people into Babylonian exile. 52:12-15.
b. Nebuzaradan allows some of the poorest people of the land to remain near destroyed Jerusalem to be vinedressers and tillers of the soil. 52:16.

IV. The Babylonians break in pieces some of the pillars and stands and carry others into exile. Jeremiah 52:17-23.

V. The Babylonians kill approximately 70 leading people at Jerusalem including the chief priest and second priest at Riblah. Jeremiah 52:24-27.

VI. The composer lists the people carried into Babylonian exile 3,023 people in the
7th, 822 people in the 18th, and 745 people in the 23rd years of the reign of Nebuchadrezzar II, a total of 4,590 people. Jeremiah 52:28-30.

VII. Evil-Merodach, king of Babylon, shows favor to Jehoiachin of Judah in Babylon. Jeremiah 52:31-34.
a. Jehoiachin was carried into Babylonian exile in 598 BCE. See 2 Kings
24:8-12; Jeremiah 22:24-30.
b. In the 37th year of Jehoiachin's captivity (561 BCE), Evil-Merodach king of Babylon brought Jehoiachin out of captivity and gave him a seat above the seats of other kings in Babylon. Jehoiachin dined regularly at the king's table until Jehoiachin died. We do not know the year Jehoiachin died, but since he was 17 years old when he was carried into captivity, he probably died about age 70, so approximately 550 BCE. 52:31-34.
c. This event is very significant, because Jehoiachin's son was Shealtiel, and Shealtiel was the father if Zerubbabel, who was the prince who led the Jews back to Jerusalem to rebuild the Jerusalem temple. See Ezra 2-6; Haggai 1-2; Zechariah 1-6.

This blog concludes our study of the Book of Jeremiah. I hope and pray this has been helpful.

PLEASE share YOUR ideas and insights with others. Let me hear from YOU.

John Willis