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Reigns of Jehoahaz, Jehoiakim,

CHAPTER XXXVI.

Jehoiachin, and Zedekian.

A. M. 3398.
B. C. 606.

THEN
HEN - the people of the land || and his abominations which he did, A. M. 3397.

B. C. 607. took Jehoahaz the son of Josiah, and that which was found in him, and made him king in his father's stead in Je- behold, they are written in the book of the kings rusalem.

of Israel and Judah. And · Jehoiachin his son 2 Jehoahaz was twenty and three years old reigned in his stead. when he began to reign, and he reigned three 9 4 8 Jehoiachin was eight years old when he months in Jerusalem.

began to reign, and he reigned three months 3 And the king of Egypt "put him down at and ten days in Jerusalem: and he did that Jerusalem, and a condemned the land in a hun which was evil in the sight of the Lord. dred talents of silver and a talent of gold. 10 And when the year was expired, King

4 And the king of Egypt made Eliakim his | Nebuchadnezzar sent, and brought him to Babrother king over Judah and Jerusalem, and bylon, i with the goodly vessels of the house turned his name to Jehoiakim. And Necho of the Lord, and made ? Zedekiah his brotook Jehoahaz his brother, and carried him to ther king over Judah and Jerusalem. Egypt. .

11 q 'Zedekiah was one and twenty years 5. I Jehoiakim was twenty and five years old when he began to reign, and reigned eleven old when he began to reign, and he reigned years in Jerusalem. eleven years in Jerusalem : and he did that 12 And he did that which was evil in the which was evil in the sight of the LORD his sight of the LORD his God, and humbled not God.

himself before Jeremiah the prophet speaking B. C. 610.

6 Against him came up Nebuchad- | from the mouth of the Lord.
nezzar king of Babylon, and bound 13 And m he also rebelled against

B. C. 593. him in ' fetters, to carry him to Babylon. King Nebuchadnezzar, who had made B. C. 607.

7 Nebuchadnezzar also carried of him swear by God': but he " stiffened his neck,

the vessels of the house of the Lord and hardened his heart from turning unto the to Babylon, and put them in his temple at Ba- || Lord God of Israel. bylon.

14 | Moreover, all the chief of the priests, 8 Now the rest of the acts of Jehoiakim, and the people, transgressed very much after

22 Kings xxiii. 30. 1 Heb. removed him. - Heb. mulcted. 2 Kings xxiv. 8. Hebrew, at the return of the year. € 2 Kings xxiii. 36, 37. 12 Kings xxiv. 1. -3 Or, chains, fore- 1 2 Kings xxiv. 10–17.- - Daniel i. 1, 2; v. 2.- Hebrew, told Hab. i. 6.-_* 2 Kings xxiv. 6; Jer. xxii. 18, 19; xxxvi. 30. vessels of desire.? Or, Maitaniah his father's brother, 2 Kings 12 Kings xxiv. 13; Dan. i. 1,2; v. 2.- * Or, Jeconiah, 1 Chron. xxiv. 17. -k Jer. xxxvii. 1. 2 Kings xxiv. 18; Jer. lii. I, &c. il 16, or, Coniah, Jer. xxii. 24.

m Jer. lii. 3; Ezek. xvii. 15, 18.-12 Kings xvii. 14.

NOTES ON CHAPTER XXXVI.

At the return of the year. At the beginning of Verse 1. The people of the land took Jehoahaz, | the next year, according to the sacred account of &c.—The principal contents of this chapter are ex- the Hebrews, at the spring of the year, the time plained in the notes on 2 Kings xxiii. 31, and xxiv., || when kings go forth to battle, as is elsewhere said, and xxv., to which the reader is referred. What is when Nebuchadnezzar, among others, went forth to peculiar to this chapter shall be noticed here. settle and enlarge his conquests. His brother

Verse 6. And bound him in fetters to carry him | Largely so called, for this was his uncle, or his 19 Babylon-But he did not carry him thither, for father's brother, being the son of Josiah. Nebuchadnezzar altered his mind, and permitted Verse 12. And humbled not himself-By repenthim to reign at Jerusalem as his tributary, though | ance for his past errors and obedience to God's he carried away, as it follows, some of the vessels express commands, which he would not yield to, of the temple, and also certain principal persons, as through the pride of his heart, as is intimated by we read in the first of Daniel.

this phrase, and expressed Jer. xxxviii. 19. Verse 8. That which was found in him— That Verse 13. Who had made him swear by Godcrime of rebellion against the king of Babylon, | Who had required him to swear fealty and constant which for a time he kept in his own breast, but obedience to him, by the true God, whom he called when he saw fit, discovered it and was convicted upon to be a witness against him if he broke his of it.

oath. So his rebellion was aggravated with perjury Verse 9. Jehoiachin wns eight years old—See the and horrid contempt of God. But he stiffened his note on 2 Kings xxiv. 8, in which it is said that he neck, and hardened his heartHe added obstinacy was eighteen years old when he began to reign, and incorrigibleness to his sins. which is probably the right reading.

Verses 14, 15. The people transgressed very much Verse 10. When the year was expired-Hebrew, || - They were universally corrupt, and therefore God VOL II. ( 25 )

385

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The final destruction of the

II. CHRONICLES.

Jewish state for its iniquity.

B. C. 593.

B. C. 590.

B. C. 588.

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A. M. 3411. all the abominations of the heathen; 18 - And all the vessels of the house A. M. 3414

and polluted the house of the LORD of God, great and small, and the treawhich he had hallowed in Jerusalem.

sures of the house of the LORD, and the treasures 15

• And the Lord God of their fathers sent of the king, and of his princes; all these he to them 8 by his messengers, rising up be- || brought to Babylon. times and sending; because he had compassion | 19 " And they burnt the house of on his people, and on his dwelling-place : God, and brake down the wall of Je

16 But they mocked the messengers of God, rusalem, and burnt all the palaces thereof with and · despised his words, and 'misused his pro- fire, and destroyed all the goodly vessels thereof. phets, until the 'wrath of the LORD arose against || 20 And 11 them ? that had escaped from the his people, till there was no 1° remedy.

sword carried he away to Babylon; "where B. C. 590.

17 • Therefore he brought upon they were servants to him and his sons until the

them the king of the Chaldees, who reign of the kingdom of Persia : u slew their

young men with the sword in the 21 To fulfil the word of the Lord house of their sanctuary, and had no compas- by the mouth of Jeremiah, until the sion upon young man or maiden, old man, or land had enjoyed her sabbaths : for as long him that stooped for age: he gave them all into as she lay desolate she kept sabbath, to fulfil his hand.

threescore and ten years.

2

B. C. 588.

• Jer. xxv.3, 4; xxxv. 15; xliv. 4.- -6 Heb. by the hand of his

u Psalm lxxiv. 20; lxxix. 2, 3. - 2 Kings xxv. 13, &c. messengers. - That is, continually and carefully.

:-p Jer. v.12, 31 Kings xxv. 9; Psa. lxxiv. 6, 7; lxxix. 1, 7.-11 Heb. the 13.- Prov. i. 25, 30.- Jer. xxxii. 3 ; xxxviii, 6; Matt. remainder from the sword. -22 Kings xxv. 11. -a Jer. xxvii. 7. xxiii. 34. Psa. lxxiv. 1 ; lxxix. 5. — 10 Hebrew, healing. • Jer. xxv. 9, 11, 12 ; xxvi. 6, 7; xxix. 10.-c Lev. xxvi. 34, 35, " Deut. xxviii. 49; 2 Kings xxv. 1, &c.; Ezra ix. 7.

43; Dan. ix, 2. d Lev. xxv. 4, 5,

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justly brought upon them a general destruction. teemed sacred and inviolable by the heathen themRising up betimes, and sending them-Sending selves. He gave them all into his handTo be carthem early and diligently, as a careful householder, || ried captive into Chaldea. Abraham was called out who rises betimes about his business. God sent of Ur of the Chaldees, when God took him into them many prophets and messages, some at the very covenant with himself. And now his degenerate beginning of their apostacy, and others afterward, seed are carried into that country again, 10 signify till the very day of their captivity.

that they had forfeited all that kindness wherewith Verse 16. But they mocked the messengers of they had been loved for their father's sake, and the GodOf which see instances Ezek. xi. 3, and benefit of the covenant into which he was called. xx. 49. Misused his prophets-Imprisoning and Verse 18. And the treasures of the king, and of persecuting them as they did Jeremiah; or, se- || his princes—The treasures of the temple, by a speduced themselves by his prophets ; that is, by the cial providence of God, were preserved, and reprophecies of his prophets, which they perverted, or stored, in the reign of Cyrus, to the house of the misconstrued. An eminent instance of which we Lord: but the other, it is likely, were looked upon have in this, that because Jeremiah prophesied that as spoil, and spent by the king and his great men. Zedekiah should be led to Babylon, (Jer. xxxii. 5,) Verse 20. Where they were servants to him and and Ezekiel, that he should not see Babylon, (Ezek. his sons—They do not seem to have been made capxii. 13,) and therefore they believed neither, as the tives to private persons, but to have been taken in Hebrew writers relate. Till there was no remedy | one body, and made the servants of the king; that :-Because the people would not repent, and God is, to have been employed by him, in one way or would not pardon them without repentance. other, to his private advantage, which we are not

Verse 17. Therefore he brought upon them the now acquainted with. Until the reign of the kingking of the Chaldees—The king of the Chaldeansdom of PersiaUntil the reign of the king of Permarched against them out of some political view; sia, Houb. Respecting the proclamation of Cyrus, but we are taught in the Holy Scriptures to ascribe see the beginning of the next book. From these all these events to the agency of the Divine Provi- || words, we may conclude that this book was written dence, and therefore it is said here, not that the king of after the return from captivity. the Chaldeans went against them, but that the Lord Verse 21. Until the land had enjoyed her sabbrought upon them the king of the Chaldeans. Who || baths—“God had commanded them to let their land slew their young men in the house of their sanc- rest every seventh year; and because the Jews had tuary-Either in Jerusalem, which was the dwell- || violated this, as well as other precepts, God gave ing-place of God's sanctuary, or in the house which their land a long sabbath, or rest, for no less than was their sanctuary. It is probable they killed someten times seven years, which Jeremiah threatened, of them in the very couris and house of God, to as in the margin. If it be true, that they had ne which they had fled for refuge, such places being es-ll glected this law for the space of four hundred and 386

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The proclamation of

CHAPTER XXXVI.

Cyrus, king of Persia.

A. M. 3468.
B. C. 536.

B. C. 536.

22 q e Now in the first year of Cy-|| of 6 Cyrus king of Persia, that he A. M. 3468.

rus king of Persia, that the word of the made a proclamation throughout all Lord spoken by the mouth of Jeremiah might his kingdom, and put it also in writing, saybe accomplished, the LORD stirred up the spirit | ing,

• Ezra i. 1.-Jer. xxv. 12, 13; xxix. 10 ; xxxiii. 10, 11, 14.

$ Isa, xliv. 28.

pinety years, having ploughed their ground in the fectual means to work their reformation, which was seventh as well as in other years, then the judg- || the end proposed by the divine wisdom. Now, in ment of God upon them was very remarkable, in their captive, disconsolate state, they had time, and causing their ground to rest, and be free from tillage, their calamities had a natural tendency to give them just as long as it should have been if they had ob- a disposition, to reflect upon the long series of iniquity served his law. For in those four hundred and and perverseness which had brought them under vinely years, says Procopius Gazæus, when they the heaviest of God's judgments. Now their own were under the government of kings, there were wickedness corrected them, and their backslidings seventy years to be kept as sabbaths, which, that the reproved them: now they must know and see that it land might enjoy its sabbath, were spent in the cap- was an evil thing and bitter, that they had forsaken tivity of Babylon. Their punishment, too, was made the Lord their God, and that his fear had not been more remarkable in this particular, if it be true, as in them, Jer. ii. 19. In the land of their captivity, some have observed, that both the kingdom of Sa- the sermons of the prophets, declaiming with the maria and the kingdom of Judah were destroyed highest authority against their profane and vicious in a sabbatical year; and that immediately after a practices, would be still sounding in their ears, and jubilee, the city and temple were destroyed by Ti- | their abject, wretched condition, the consequence of tus, according to Scaliger's computation.” See Pat-such practices, would cause these discourses to sink rick, Calmet, and Dodd.

deep into their hearts, and produce an utter detestaVerse 22. Now in the first year of Cyrus-Kenni- | tion of what they very well knew was the cause of cott thinks that the last two verses of this book be- || all their grievous sufferings. long properly to the book of Ezra, and were sub- 4th, The law of God, written by Moses, as the joined to the Chronicles through the inadvertency rule of their conduct in all affairs, civil and religious, of some transcriber.

and the ground of their happiness, they had so far And thus ends the history of the kingdom of Ju- | neglected, that once it was almost unknown and lost dah, as governed by the successors of the illustrious among them, 2 Kings xxii.8-12. This contempt of the King David, with the destruction of Jerusalem, the divine law the prophets had frequently and strongly temple, and the whole Jewish monarchy, by the protested against, and publicly declared that it would conquest of the Babylonian king: which, in the be their ruin. And in their ruined state this would course of a righteous providence, in punishment of be remembered as the primary reason of all their the idolatry and other sins of this people, fell out | sufferings; and they would be made thoroughly about nine bundred and three years after their deli- sensible that a due regard to the law of God was the verance from Egypt; eight hundred and sixty-three only way to recover his favour and their own prosfrom their first entrance into the land of Canaan ; || perity; and accordingly would be disposed to attend four hundred and sixty-eight from David's reign; to it; which, in some measure, was the case. This four hundred and seventeen after the building of the was another good effect of this dispensation, and may temple; and one hundred and thirty-four after the justly be given as one good reason of their being so destruction of the kingdom of the ten tribes. strongly fixed against idolatry ever after the Baby

It is justly observed by a late writer, that the pro- || lonish captivity. priety of this dispensation of Divine Providence to- 5th, This dispensation was also calculated to proward this people will appear, if we reflect, 1st, That | duce good effects among the nations whither they this dreadful calamity came upon them gradually, were carried into captivity. For wherever they by a succession of judgments, from less to greater, were dispersed, in the eastern countries, they would for the space of twenty-two years; in which the le- bring with them the knowledge of the true God, now nity of God was very apparent, and which should seriously impressed upon their hearts. But Divine have been a warning to them, that the threatenings Providence, by such signal circumstances of his indenounced by the prophets would certainly be exe- || terposition as were published and known over all cuted; but which effected no amendment of the re- the vast extent of the eastern empire, raised some ligion or morals of the nation; Zedekiah, the last of the captive Jews to the highest posts of dignity king, being as bad as his predecessors.

and dower in the courts of Assyria and Persia, (Dan. 20, That it was a just punishment of their sins, || i. 19, 20,) insomuch that the most haughty monarchs particularly of their idolatry, whereby they forsook openly confessed the living and true God, (Dan. ii. God, and therefore God justly forsook them, and de- || 47-49, and iv. 34, &c.,) and made decrees, which livered them into the hands of their enemies, as were published throughout their spacious dominMoses had foretold, Lev. xxxvi. 30–36.

ions, in favour of the profession and worship of him, 3d, That this terrible overthrow was the most ef- || Dan. iii. 29; vi. 25, &c. From all this, it is clear, The proclamation of

II. CHRONICLES.

Cyrus, king of Persia.

A. M. 3468.
B. C. 536.

B. C. 536.

23 Thus saith Cyrus king of Per- || salem, which is in Judah. Who is A. M. 3468

sia, All the kingdoms of the earth hath there among you of all his people ? the Lord God of heaven given me; and heThe LORD his God be with him, and let him hath charged me to build him a house in Jeru- || go up.

Ezra || i. 2, 3.

that the Jews, notwithstanding their depravity in | Governor of mankind, was working for the reformatheir own country, during the captivity of seventy |tion and improvement of the world, in that which is years, must have been the means of diffusing a the true excellence of their nature, and the only blessed light all over the eastern countries. And | foundation of their happiness. See Dodd and Taythus, in this dispensation also, God, the Father and I lor's Scheme of Scripture Doctrine. 388

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1 1 / 1

THE

BOOK OF E ZR A.

ARGUMENT.

Ezra, or Esdras, was a person of high esteem among the Jews. He was of the sacerdotal family,

and bore a principal part in the restoration from Babylon. Some have asserted that he was chiefly concerned in revising and compiling most of the books of Scripture. Two, however, of those books go under his name; for, among the Hebrews, this and the book of Nehemiah were formerly reckoned but one, and are both inscribed in the Latin and Greek Bibles by the name of Ezra. The first of these was certainly his work; the second is commonly attributed to Nehemiah. It must, however, be acknowledged, that some few particulars have been added to it which could not have been written by Nehemiah. This book of Ezra is a continuation of the history of the Jews, from the time wherein that of the Chronicles ends to near the twentieth year of Artaxerxes Longimanus ; and contains a history of eighty-two years, from the first year of the reign of Cyrus in Babylon, A. M. 3468, to the nineteenth year of Artaxerxes Longimanus, who sent Nehemiah to Jerusalem, A.M. 3550. It contains, chiefly, an account of the restoration of the Jewish nation from the Babylonish captivity, their settlement in Judea, and the rebuilding of their temple in Jerusalem. It therefore attests the accomplishment of the famous prophecy of Jeremiah concerning their return, which took place at the end of seventy years, exactly as he had foretold. See Jer. xxv. 8–13, and xxix. 10. For, whether we begin to compute from the beginning of the captivity to the beginning of the restoration, (that is, from the fourth year of Jehoiakim to the first of Cyrus,) or from the completing of the captivity to the completing of the restoration, (that is, from the eleventh of Zedekiah to the fourth of Darius,) both ways the time is exactly seventy years. Thus punctually did God fulfil his own word, in the course of his wise providence, according to the history of this book; and, by this and such like evidences, hath demonstrated and confirmed to us the truth and importance of those Scriptures which bear so decided and incontrovertible a testimony to the religion of our Lord Jesus Christ. For nothing can be more convincing to an unprejudiced mind than such an

exact accomplishment of prophecies, uttered so long before the events predicted in them took place. The principal parts of this book were originally written in Hebrew: but the letter of Rehum and

Shimshai (chap. iv. 8) to the king, and the king's answer, were written first in the Chaldee language, as were the fifth and sixth chapters, and also the seventh, to verse 27. We have, in this book, an account of the return of the Jews from captivity, chap. i., ii.; of the building of the temple, notwithstanding the opposition it met with, chap. iii.-vi. ; of Ezra's coming to Jerusalem, chap. vii., viii.; of his obliging those that had married strange wives to put them away, chap. ix., X.

CHAPTER I. The proclamation of Cyrus, for the release of the Jews, and building of the temple, 1-4. The return of many of them, 6, 6.

Orders given for restoring the vessels of the temple, 7-11. 8. c. 3. NOW in the first year of Cyrus || the LORD · by the mouth of Jeremiah 4. M. 3468.

king of Persia, that the word of || might be fulfilled, the Lord stirred

a 2 Chron. xxxvi. 22, 23 ; || Jer. xxv. 12 ; xxix. 10. NOTES ON CHAPTER I.

up, and appointed by God, for the restoration of his Verse 1. Now in the first year of Cyrus, king of people, Isa. xliv. 28, and xlv. 1, 4. This remarkable Persia—This is that famous Cyrus who, one hundred prediction, it is probable, Daniel showed to Cyrus, and and forty years before the temple was destroyed, and that it induced him to give forth the following edict. two hundred years before he was born, was men-So Prideaux thinks, with many other learned men. tioned by name in the prophecies of Isaiah, as raised | Cyrus, it appears, at his first coming to Babylon, found

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