Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary, 1859 edition.

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4 KINGS - Chapter 25

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4 Kings xxv.

Notes & Commentary:

Ver. 1. Day, the 30th of January, the year of the world 3414. (Usher) --- Some time after Nabuchodonosor left the siege, to attack the Egyptians; (Jeremias xxxvii. 3.) and the people of Jerusalem, (Haydock) supposing that he would return no more, took back their slaves, whom Jeremias had prevailed on them to liberate, according to the law, during the sabbatical year, Jeremias xxxiv. 8. (Usher) --- The prophet reproached them for it; and announced the destruction of the city so plainly, that he was thrown into prison, Jeremias xxi., and xxxiv., and xxxviii. --- It. The Babylonians had already taken all the towns of Juda, except Azeca and Lachis, Jeremias xxxiv. 7. (Calmet)

Ver. 3. Of the. Protestants supply, "fourth month," as it is in the parallel passage, Jeremias lii. 6., And in the fourth month, the ninth day of the month. In Jeremias xxxix. 2., we read, in the fourth month, the fifth day of the month, the city was broken up, or a breach was made in the outer wall. In the course of a few days, the princes of Babylon seized the middle gate; and the famine became so intolerable, that, on the 9th, it was judged expedient to abandon the city. (Haydock) --- During this siege it is thought, (Calmet) that mothers eat their children, (Lamentations iv. 10., and Baruch ii. 3.) and children their parents, Ezechiel v. 10. (Menochius)

Ver. 4. Walls, by a subterraneous passage, to the plains of Jericho; (Rabbins) or by the horse gate, which was the most private, and, it seems, had been walled up, Ezechiel xii. 12. (Menochius)

Ver. 6. Rablatha, the Antioch of Syria, (St. Jerome) which was styled also Epiphania, (Tirinus) or more probably Apamea, where Nabuchodonosor was, when Jerusalem was taken. --- Upon him, by the advice of his council, Jeremias xxxix. 3, 13. Syriac, "they made him answer the charges brought against him," (Calmet) of ingratitude and rebellion, as he had been appointed by the king of Babylon, and had sworn to be faithful to him. (Menochius) --- This repeated infidelity made Nabuchodonosor resolve to remove the people from their own country. (Calmet) --- He sentenced the last of the kings of Juda to see his children slain, (Haydock) to have his eyes put out, and to remain in prison till his death, Jeremias lii. 11., &c. (Calmet) --- Hebrew, he "spake judgments with him." Thus was accomplished the prediction of Jeremias, (xxxiv. 3.) "thine eyes shall behold the eyes of the king of Babylon, and he shall speak to thee." (Watson) --- The same prophet had said the same (Jeremias xxxii. 4.) before he was thrown into prison. The sight of an angry judge is no small punishment. (Haydock)

Ver. 7. Eyes; after they had been excruciated by the sight of his slaughtered children. He thus might be convinced, that there was no reason to despise the predictions of Jeremias and of Ezechiel, (xii. 13.) as contradictory, because the latter informed him that he should not see Babylon; though the other said that he should die there. --- Babylon, where he was honourably buried, by order of Nabuchodonosor. (Josephus, [Antiquities?] x. 11.) --- Seder (Olam xxviii.) records that his attendants sung, at his funeral, "Alas! king Sedecias is dead, having drunk the dregs of all ages;" as he suffered also for the crimes of his predecessors. (Genebrard) (Tirinus) --- This is not indeed specified in Scripture: (Haydock) but it is highly probable that Nabuchodonosor would thus "revere royalty, even in its ruins," if Daniel and the other Jews in power, had not been careful to shew this mark of respect to their deceased monarch, conformably to the prediction of Jeremias; (xxxiv. 3.) who foretold that he should die, not by a violent death, the usual fate of captive kings, but in peace, or on his bed, though in a prison. (Watson, let. 6.)

Ver. 8. Seventh. Jeremias (lii. 12.) mentions the tenth; on which day Nabuzardan probably arrived, or begun to put his orders in execution. Yet the Jews keep the ninth as an annual fast, Zacharias vii. 3., and viii. 19. The temple was destroyed on Saturday, 27th August, the year of the world 3416, (Usher) after it had stood 424 years, 3 months, and 8 days. (Calmet) --- Army. Hebrew, "of those who slay;" which may be fitly understood "of soldiers," as well as "of cooks," (Septuagint) "butchers." (Pagnin, &c.) (Menochius)

Ver. 9. Great. This word is supplied from Jeremias lii. 13., and Hebrew, "great man's house." (Protestants) But Jeremias xxxix. 8., we read, they burnt the houses of the people, (Haydock) even the meanest, destroyed the walls, and took the people to Babylon, only leaving some countrymen to cultivate the land. Jeremias was set at liberty by Nabuzardan, (ibid. xi.[Jeremias xxxix. 9.?]) and chose to continue with this remnant of the people, for their comfort and direction. (Haydock) --- They applied to him to know whether they should retire into Egypt; and after ten days, he gave them God's injunction to the contrary: but they despised it, Jeremias xlii. 7., and xliii. 1. The prophet, and his secretary, Baruch, followed them into Egypt. Thus was the country abandoned, and the monarchy at an end, after it had subsisted 468 years from the commencement of David's reign. (Calmet) --- Yet some little power remained in the family of David, even at Babylon; (ver. 27.) and the Jewish affairs were re-established, after the captivity, though not in such splendour as formerly, nor always under princes of the same royal family. (Haydock)

Ver. 14. Mazers. Hebrew yahim, "shovels." (Protestants) Septuagint retain the original word, which St. Jerome translates differently. See 3 Kings vii. 50., (Menochius) and Exodus.

Ver. 18. Saraias, father of Esdras, and of Josedeck, who succeeded in the Pontificate, 1 Esdras vii. 1., and 1 Paralipomenon vi. 14. (Tirinus) --- Sophonias. He was perhaps chief of the fourth band of door-keepers, mentioned [in] 1 Paralipomenon ix. 17, 24., and vice-gerent of the High-priest, to supply his place, in case of any accident. We find no mention of such a priest in the law, but Eleazar possessed a similar power, Numbers iii. 32. (Calmet) --- Keepers. These seem to have concealed themselves in the temple. (Menochius) --- They were punished, as the counsellors of Sedecias, by being beheaded or crucified, Lamentations v. 12. (Tirinus)

Ver. 19. Eunuch. Protestants, "officer." (Haydock) --- Five. Arabic and Jeremias lii. 25., read seven, as two were probably discovered afterwards, (Calmet) or had fled. (Du Hamel) --- These were chief officers. --- Sopher. Septuagint, "and the secretary of the general." Syriac, "the secretary and chiefs of the armies." (Calmet) --- Protestants, "the principal scribe." (Haydock) --- It is not clear whether the general have this title of sopher, "scribe," himself; or it rather designates his secretary, or scribe, Judges viii. 14. (Calmet) --- Many date the 70 years captivity from the last year of Joachin. (Du Hamel)

Ver. 22. Godolias. The Rabbins say that he had gone over to the Chaldeans: Jeremias (xxxviii. 2, 17.) had advised all to do so, and Godolias was of an easy complying disposition. (Grotius) --- But God did not suffer him to collect the remnants of his unhappy people, (Calmet) at least for any long time, as he was slain by Ismael, (Jeremias xl. 12., and xli. 1.; Haydock) who probably envied his dignity. (Josephus) (Salien)

Ver. 26. Chaldees. They went under the conduct of Johanan, in opposition to the declaration of Jeremias, xliii. 7., and xliv. 1. (Calmet)

Ver. 27. Twentieth. Jeremias (lii. 31.) says the 25th, when Nabuchodonosor was buried, and (Du Hamel) the decree was made, though it was not put in execution till two days later. (Calmet) --- Evilmerodach, whose proper name was Baltassar, (Daniel v. 1.; Tirinus) or the latter was his son. The Jews say that he had been confined in prison, with Joachin, because he had not administered the kingdom well, during the seven years' illness of his father Nabuchodonosor. Berosus (apud Josephus, contra Apion 1., and Eusebius, pręp. ix. 40., who cites also Megasthenes) informs us that he reigned with insolence during two years, when he was treacherously murdered by his father-in-law, Neriglissor.

Ver. 28. Kings, who had been made captives. Adonibezec had 70, Judges i. 7. Alexander kept Porus and Taxilus at his court, as Cyrus had done [to] Crœsus, whom he treated with great distinction. The prosperity of Joachin does not seem to have been of long continuance, as his benefactor did not reign above two (ver. 27.) or three years, Daniel. viii. 1.

Ver. 30. His life, may be referred to Evilmerodach, unless Joachin was involved in his disgrace, and perished at the same time. Perhaps the king of Juda did not always eat at the table of Evilmerodach, but received his meat from it, as was customary. (Syriac, &c.) (Calmet) --- He received all that was necessary to support his household, daily. (Grotius) --- In Jeremias lii. 34., until the day of his death, seems to be an useless "tautology," which is omitted here, and in "our oldest manuscript," says Kennicott; who observes that whoever will compare these passages, "will find many variations, and some corruptions." But most of them may be easily explained, ver. 3, 8, 27, &c. (Haydock)


Bible Text & Cross-references:

Jerusalem is besieged and taken by Nabuchodonosor: Sedecias is taken: the city and temple are destoryed. Godolias, who is left governor, is slain. Joachin is exalted by Evilmerodach.

1 And *it came to pass in the ninth year of his reign, in the tenth month, the tenth day of the month, that Nabuchodonosor, king of Babylon, came, he and all his army, against Jerusalem: and they surrounded it: and raised works round about it.

2 And the city was shut up and besieged till the eleventh year of king Sedecias,

3 The ninth day of the month: and a famine prevailed in the city, and there was no bread for the people of the land.

4 And a breach was made into the city: and all the men of war fled in the night between the two walls by the king's garden (now the Chaldees besieged the city round about), and Sedecias fled by the way that leadeth to the plains of the wilderness.

5 And the army of the Chaldees pursued after the king, and overtook him in the plains of Jericho: and all the warriors that were with him were scattered, and left him:

6 So they took the king, and brought him to the king of Babylon, to Rablatha, and he gave judgment upon him.

7 And he slew the sons of Sedecias before his face, and he put out his eyes, and bound him with chains, and brought him to Babylon.

8 In the fifth month, the seventh day of the month, the same is the nineteenth year of the king of Babylon, came Nabuzardan, commander of the army, a servant of the king of Babylon, into Jerusalem.

9 *And he burnt the house of the Lord, and the king's house, and the houses of Jerusalem, and every great house he burnt with fire.

10 And all the army of the Chaldees, which was with the commander of the troops, broke down the walls of Jerusalem round about.

11 And Nabuzardan, the commander of the army, carried away the rest of the people, that remained in the city, and the fugitives, that had gone over to the king of Babylon, and the remnant of the common people.

12 But of the poor of the land he left some dressers of vines and husbandmen.

13 *And the pillars of brass that were in the temple of the Lord, and the bases, and the sea of brass, which was in the house of the Lord, the Chaldees broke in pieces, and carried all the brass of them to Babylon.

14 They took away also the pots of brass, and the mazers, and the forks, and the cups, and the mortars, and all the vessels of brass, with which they ministered.

15 Moreover also the censers, and the bowls, such as were of gold in gold: and such as were of silver in silver, the general of the army took away.

16 That is, two pillars, one sea, and the bases which Solomon had made in the temple of the Lord: the brass of all these vessels was without weight.

17 *One pillar was eighteen cubits high, and the chapiter of brass, which was upon it, was three cubits high: and the net-work, and the pomegranates that were upon the chapiter of the pillar, were all of brass: and the second pillar had the like adorning.

18 And the general of the army took Saraias, the chief priest, and Sophonias, the second priest, and three door-keepers.

19 And out of the city one eunuch, who was captain over the men of war: and five men of them that had stood before the king, whom he found in the city, and Sopher, the captain of the army, who exercised the young soldiers of the people of the land: and threescore men of the common people, who were found in the city:

20 These Nabuzardan, the general of the army, took away, and carried them to the king of Babylon, to Rablatha.

21 And the king of Babylon smote them, and slew them at Rablatha, in the land of Emath: so Juda was carried away out of their land.

22 *But over the people that remained in the land of Juda, which Nabuchodonosor, king of Babylon, had left, he gave the government to Godolias, the son of Ahicam, the son of Saphan.

23 And when all the captains of the soldiers had heard this, they and the men that were with them, to wit, that the king of Babylon had made Godolias governor; they came to Godolias to Maspha, Ismael, the son of Nathanias, and Johanan, the son of Caree, and Saraia, the son of Thanehumeth, the Netophathite, and Jezonias, the son of Maachathi, they and their men.

24 And Godolias swore to them and to their men, saying: Be not afraid to serve the Chaldees: stay in the land, and serve the king of Babylon, and it shall be well with you.

25 But it came to pass in the seventh month, *that Ismael, the son of Nathanias, the son of Elisama, of the seed royal, came, and ten men with him, and smote Godolias; so that he died: and also the Jews and the Chaldees that were with him in Maspha.

26 And all the people, both little and great, and the captains of the soldiers, rising up, went to Egypt, fearing the Chaldees.

27 *And it came to pass in the **seven and thirtieth year of the captivity of Joachin, king of Juda, in the twelfth month, the seven and twentieth day of the month: Evilmerodach, king of Babylon, in the year that he began to reign, lifted up the head of Joachin, king of Juda, out of prison.

28 And he spoke kindly to him: and he set his throne above the throne of the kings that were with him in Babylon.

29 And he changed his garments which he had in prison, and he ate bread always before him, all the days of his life.

30 And he appointed him a continual allowance, which was also given him by the king, day by day, all the days of his life.



1: Year of the World 3414, Year before Christ 590.; Jeremias xxxix. 4. and lii. 4.

9: Psalm lxxiii. 7.; Year of the World 3416, Year before Christ 558.

13: Jeremias xxvii. 19.

17: 3 Kings vii. 15.; 2 Paralipomenon iii. 15.; Jeremias lii. 21.

22: Year of the World 3416.

25: Year of the World 3417, Year before Christ 587.

27: Jeremias lii. 31. --- ** Year of the World 3442, Year before Christ 562.