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Zedekial's rebellion. The spoiling of God's house. i Zedekiah was one and twenty the land of Hamath ; where he years old when he began to reign, gave judgment upon him. and he reigned eleven years in 10 And the king of Babylon Jerusalem. And his mother's slew the sons of Zedekiah before name was Hamutal the daugh- his eyes : he slew also all the ter of Jeremiah of Libnah.
princes of Judah in Riblah. 2 And he did that which was 11 Then he put out the eyes of evil in the eyes of the Lord, Zedekiah; and the king of Babyaccording to all that Jehoiakim lon bound him in chains, and carhad done.
ried him to Babylon, and put him 3 For through the anger of the in prison till the day of his death. Lord it came to pass in Jeru- 12 Now in the fifth month, in salem and Judah, till he had cast the tenth day of the month, which them out from his presence, that was the nineteenth year of NeZedekiah rebelled against the bucbadrezzar king of Babylon, king of Babylon.
came Nebuzar-adan, captain of 4 And it came to pass in the the guard, which served the king ninth year of his reign, in the of Babylon, into Jerusalem, tenth month, in the tenth day of 13 And burned the house of the the month, that Nebuchadrezzar LORD, and the king's house; and king of Babylon came, he and all the houses of Jerusalem, and all his army, against Jerusalem, all the houses of the great men, and pitched against it, and built burned he with fire: forts against it round about. 14 And all the army of the
5 So the city was besieged unto Chaldeans, that were with the the eleventh year of king Zede- captain of the guard, brake down kiah.
all the walls of Jerusalem round 6 And in the fourth month, in about. the ninth day of the month, the 15 Then Nebuzar-adan the capfamine was sore in the city, so tain of the guard, carried away that there was no bread for the captive certain of the poor of the people of the land.
people, and the residue of the 7 Then the city was broken up, people that remained in the city, and all the men of war fled, and and those that fell away, that went forth out of the city by fell to the king of Babylon, and night by the way of the gate the rest of the multitude. between the two walls, which 16 But Nebuzar-adan the capwas by the king's garden; (now tain of the guard left certain of the Chaldeans were by the city the poor of the land for vineround about:) and they went by dressers and for husbandmen. the way of the plain.
17 Also the pillars of brass that 8 But the army of the Chal- were in the house of the LORD, deans pursued after the king, and the bases, and the brasen sea and overtook Zedekiah in the that was in the house of the LORD, plains of Jericho; and all his the Chaldeans brake, and carried army was scattered from him. all the brass of them to Babylon.
9 Then they took the king, 18 The caldrons also, and the and carried him up unto the shovels, and the snuffers, and the king of Babylon to Riblah in bowls, and the spoons, and all the vessels of brass wherewith the height of one pillar was they ministered, took they a- eighteen cubits; and a fillet of way.
twelve cubits did compass it; 19 And the basons, and the and the thickness thereof was firepans, and the bowls, and the four fingers : it was hollow. caldrons, and the candle-sticks, 22 And a chapiter of brass was and the spoons, and the cups; upon it; and the height of one that which was of gold in gold, chapiter was five cubits, with and that which was of silver in network and pomegranates upon silver, took the captain of the the chapiters round about, all of guard away.
brass. The second pillar also 20 The two pillars, one sea, and and the pomegranates were like twelve brasen bulls that were unto these. under the bases, which king So- 23 And there were ninety and lomon had made in the house of six pomegranates on a side; and the LORD: the brass of all these all the pomegranates upon the vessels was without weight. network were an hundred round 21 And concerning the pillars, about.
LECTURE 1269. The peril of wilfully doing evil in the sight of the Lord. From the concluding words of the previous chapter, it appears, that the one before us was not written by Jeremiah. It is supposed to have been added by Ezra, partly with a view to shew the accurate fulfilment of many of Jeremiah's prophecies, and partly to prepare the reader, by a summary of the evil brought upon Jerusalem, for the Book of Lamentations following. It is here stated, that “through the anger of the Lord it came to pass in Jerusalem and Judah, till he had cast them out from his
presence, that Zedekiah rebelled against the king of Babylon.” This awful doctrine, that God gives up wicked men to a reprobate mind in judgment for their sins, however unwelcome to our pride, is frequently suggested in God's word. It was because he did evil in the sight of the Lord that this anger of the Lord thus took effect upon him. It was because the Lord was angry with him for bis sins, that he was led to rebel against the king of Babylon, was besieged in Jerusalem, and after flying from the city, when for famine it could hold out no longer, was taken captive, and most cruelly punished by the tyrant against whom he had rebelled. Hence also it came to pass that the temple at Jerusalem was burnt down, and the walls were demolished, and the holy vessels of the sanctuary broken and carried off to Babylon. He, to whom all these things were consecrated, spared none of them in his anger against sin. Let not sinners then think that he will spare them either, unless they repent, and their sins are blotted out. Consecrated they may have been to his service. But so much the greater is their sin, so much the more awful is their case, if they wilfully do that which is evil in the sight of the Lord.
The people are taken captive. Jehoiachin is set free. 24 And the captain of the captive from Jerusalem eight guard took Seraiah the chief hundred thirty and two persons: priest, and Zephaniah the second 30 In the three and twentieth priest, and the three keepers of year of Nebuchadrezzar Nebuthe door:
zar-adan the captain of the 25 He took also out of the guard carried away captive of city an eunuch, which had the the Jews seven hundred forty charge of the men of war; and and five persons : all the persons seven men of them that were were four thousand and six hunnear the king's person, which dred. were found in the city; and the 31 And it came to pass in the principal scribe of the host, who seven and thirtieth year of the mustered the people of the land; captivity of Jehoiachin king of and threescore men of the people Judah, in the twelfth month, in of the land, that were found in the five and twentieth day of the the midst of the city.
month, that Evil-merodach king 26 So Nebuzar-adan the cap- of Babylon in the first year of tain of the guard took them, his reign lifted up the head of and brought them to the king Jehoiachin king of Judah, and of Babylon to Riblah.
brought him forth out of prison, 27 And the king of Babylon 32 And spake kindly unto him, smote them, and put them to and set his throne above the death in Riblah in the land of throne of the kings that were Hamath. Thus Judah was car- with him in Babylon, ried away captive out of his own 33 And changed his prison land.
garments: and he did conti28 This is the people whom nually eat bread before him all Nebuchadrezzar carried away the days of his life. captive: in the seventh year 34 And for his diet, there was three thousand Jews and three a continual diet given him of and twenty:
the king of Babylon, every day 29 In the eighteenth year of a portion until the day of his Nebuchadrezzar he carried away death, all the days of his life.
Of cherishing a good hope of God's mercy through Christ. Three different occasions are here mentioned on which numbers of the Jews were carried off either to death or to captivity, both during the siege, and after the destruction of Jerusalem. "Andat other periods there were many more carried away, besides those who are here made mention of. But the record of these numbers serves to shew us how exactly the account was kept. And it may well bring to our remembrance these words of Jeremiah: “Such as are for death, to death, and such as are for the sword, to the sword; and such as are for the famine, to the famine; and
such as for the captivity, to the captivity.” Ch. 15. 2. The lot of each fell out in order, according to the appointment of the Lord. And in all the confusion of that awful period, there was with Him no uncertainty or change, as to who should fall by the sword in battle, who perish by famine in the siege, who be put to death by the conqueror, and who carried away into captivity. So will it be also at the end of the world. The Judge of all men will lose sight of none. The sins of the most secret offenders will surely find them out. And amongst the millions of millions of mankind then to be gathered together before Him, there will not be one who will not receive a just sentence according to God's word.
Amidst all the prophecies of terrible things which we meet with in Jeremiah there is frequent mention of the restoration from captivity, a type of the redemption of mankind through Christ. And at the conclusion of the book, after this sad narrative of the siege, the famine, the overthrow of Jerusalem, the burning of the temple, the spoiling of the consecrated things, the slaying and carrying away of the people, and the imprisonment of their afflicted king, there is mention of an act of grace
and mercy on the part of one of the worst of the Babylonish monarchs. Evil-merodach king of Babylon in the first year of his reign lifted up the head of Jehoiachin king of Judah, and brought him forth out of prison.” Here therefore let us thankfully reflect, if sinful men can feel compassion for each other's sufferings, how much more will the merciful and righteous God be apt to pity his afflicted creatures for the sake of Jesus Christ ! If an idolater, on the throne of Babylon, could speak kindly to his long imprisoned captive, and treat him with the respect due to the throne which he had lost, changing his prison garments for robes of royalty, and supplying him with all things needful until the day of his death, how much more may we confidently hope, that the God of heaven and earth will from his dread judgment seat speak kindly unto us, changing these bodies we are clothed with from mortal to immortality, enthroning us in heaven, and there giving us at his right hand pleasures for evermore!
Thanks be to Thee, O God, for the many proofs and tokens of thy grace and goodness, given unto us in thy word, and in thy works! Thanks be to Thee for shewing us, how good a thing it is, even in sinful men, to be merciful and kind; and for thereby leading us to think, how much more it is according to thy attributes, in the midst of judgment to remember mercy, and to be ever willing to forgive!
Jeremiah bewaileth the calamity of Jerusalem. i How doth the city sit soli- before the pursuer. tary, that was full of people ! 7 Jerusalem remembered in how is she become as a widow ! the days of her affliction and of she that was great among the her miseries all her pleasant nations, and princess among the things that she had in the days provinces, how is she become of old, when her people fell into tributary!
the hand of the enemy, and none 2 She weepeth sore in the did help her: the adversaries night, and her tears are on her saw her, and did mock at her cheeks: among all her lovers sabbaths. she hath none to comfort her : 8 Jerusalem hath grievously all her friends have dealt trea- sinned; therefore she is removcherously with her, they are ed: all that honoured her despise become her enemies.
her, because they have seen her 3 Judah is gone into captivity nakedness: yea, she sigheth, and because of affliction, and because turneth backward. of great servitude: she dwelleth 9 Her filthiness is in her skirts; among the heathen, she findeth she remembereth not her last no rest: all her persecutors over- end; therefore she came down took her between the straits. wonderfully: she had no com
4 The ways of Zion do mourn, forter. O Lord, behold my because none come to the solemn affliction : for the enemy hath feasts: all her gates are desolate: magnified himself. her priests sigb, her virgins are 10 The adversary bath spread afflicted, and she is in bitterness. out his hand upon all her plea
5 Her adversaries are the sant things: for she hath seen chief, her enemies prosper; for that the heathen entered into the Lord hatli afflicted her for her sanctuary, whom thou didst the multitude of her transgres- command that they should not sions: her children are gone enter into thy congregation. into captivity before the enemy. 11 All her people sigh, they 6 And from the daughter of seek bread; they have given Zion all her beauty is departed: their pleasant things for meat to her princes are become like relieve the soul: see, O LORD, harts that find no pasture, and and consider; for I am become they are gone without strength vile.
How we inust mourn, in order to be comforted. The Lamentations of Jeremiah express the grief of God's ancient church, under the heavy burden of affliction which the sin of man had provoked, and which the justice of almighty God had laid upon his people. And in estimating the amount of this distress, we must not reckon as if it were no more than that Jerusalem had been taken by siege, and the people either slain or taken captive. Great indeed was the amount of misery hence arising. And hard