2 Kings 25:21
And the king of Babylon smote them, and slew them at Riblah in the land of Hamath. So Judah was carried away out of their land.
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(21) The king of Babylon smote them . . .—He was too irritated by the obstinacy of their defence to admire their bravery.

So Judah was carried away . . .—This sentence evidently concludes the whole account of the destruction of Jerusalem and the deportation of the people (comp. 2Kings 17:23; Jeremiah 52:27); and not merely that of the proceedings of Nebuzaradan. The prophecy of Obadiah refers to the heartless behaviour of the Edomites on occasion of the ruin of Judah. (Comp. Psalms 137; Lamentations 4:21-22.)

25:8-21 The city and temple were burnt, and, it is probable, the ark in it. By this, God showed how little he cares for the outward pomp of his worship, when the life and power of religion are neglected. The walls of Jerusalem were thrown down, and the people carried captive to Babylon. The vessels of the temple were carried away. When the things signified were sinned away, what should the signs stand there for? It was righteous with God to deprive those of the benefit of his worship, who had preferred false worships before it; those that would have many altars, now shall have none. As the Lord spared not the angels that sinned, as he doomed the whole race of fallen men to the grave, and all unbelievers to hell, and as he spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, we need not wonder at any miseries he may bring upon guilty nations, churches, or persons.So Judah was carried away - The kingdom of the two tribes was at an end; and the task of the historian might seem to be accomplished. He still, however, desires to notice two things:

(1) the fate of the remnant 2 Kings 25:22-26 left in the land by Nebuzaradan; and

(2) the fate of Johoiachin, who, of all those led into captivity, was the least to blame 2 Kings 25:27-30.

19. five men of them that were in the king's presence—that is, who belonged to the royal retinue. It is probable that there were five at first, and that other two were found afterwards (Jer 52:25). No text from Poole on this verse.

And the captain of the guard took Seraiah the chief priest, and Zephaniah the second priest,.... The sagan, or deputy priest, who officiated for the high priest, when by any means he was rendered unfit and incapable; so Joseph, the son of Ellem, as Josephus (x) relates, officiated for Matthias, when defiled with a nocturnal pollution; and seven days before the day of atonement they always substituted one under the high priest, lest anything of this kind should happen to him (y). From hence, to the end of 2 Kings 25:21 the account is the same as in Jeremiah 52:25, only here in 2 Kings 25:19 it is said, that five men that were in the king's presence were taken, there seven men; to account for which; see Gill on Jeremiah 52:25.

(x) Antiqu. l. 17. c. 6. sect. 4. (y) Misn. Yoma, c. 1. sect. 1.

And the king of Babylon smote them, and slew them at Riblah in the land of Hamath. So Judah was carried away out of their land.
21. and slew them [R.V. put them to death] at Riblah] The word is not the same as in verse 7, and the R.V. follows A.V. of Jeremiah 52:27.

So Judah was carried away out of their [R.V. his] land] The A.V. has ‘his own’ in Jeremiah 52. Jeremiah gives the totals of this captivity thus. In the seventh year of Nebuchadnezzar 3023, in the eighteenth year 832, and in the three-and-twentieth year 745, making a total of 4600. Jeremiah 52:28-30.

Verse 21. - And the King of Babylon smote them, and slew them at Riblah in the land of Hamath. Severities of this kind characterized all ancient warfare. The Assyrian sculptures show us prisoners of war impaled on crosses, beheaded, beaten on the head with maces, and sometimes extended on the ground and flayed. The inscriptions speak of hundreds as thus executed, and mention others as burnt in furnaces, or thrown to wild beasts, or cruelly mutilated. Herodotus says (3. 159) that Darius Hystaspis crucified three thousand prisoners round about Babylon after one of its revolts. That monarch himself, in the Behistun inscription, speaks of many cases where, after capturing rebel chiefs in the field or behind walls, he executed them and their principal adherents (see Colossians 2. Par. 13; Colossians 3. Par. 8, 11). If Nebuchadnezzar contented himself with the execution of between seventy and eighty of the rebel inhabitants of Jerusa-lee, he cannot be charged with cruelty, or extreme severity, according to the notions of the time. So Judah was carried away out of their land. Jeremiah adds an estimate of the number carried off. These were, he says (Jeremiah 52:28-30), in the captivity of the seventh (query, seventeenth?) year, 3023; in the captivity of the eighteenth year, 832; and in that of the twenty-third, five years later, 745, making a total of 4600. If we suppose these persons to be men, and multiply by four for the women and children, the entire number will still be no more than 18,400. 2 Kings 25:21From the city, i.e., from the civil authorities of the city, Nebuzaradan took a king's chamberlain (סריס), who was commander of the men of war. Instead of פקיד הוּא אשׁר we find in Jeremiah 52:25 /היה אשׁר, who had been commander, with an allusion to the fact that his official function had terminated when the city was conquered. "And five (according to Jeremiah seven) men of those who saw the king's face," i.e., who belonged to the king's immediate circle, de intimis consiliariis regis, and "the scribe of the commander-in-chief, who raised the people of the land for military service," or who enrolled them. Although הסּפר has the article, which is omitted in Jeremiah, the following words הצּבא שׂר are governed by it, or connected with it in the construct state (Ewald, 290 d.). הצּבא שׂר is the commander-in-chief of the whole of the military forces, and וגו המּצבּא a more precise definition of הסּפר, and not of הצּבא שׂר, which needed no such definition. "And sixty men of the land-population who were found in the city." They were probably some of the prominent men of the rural districts, or they may have taken a leading part in the defence of the city, and therefore were executed in Riblah, and not merely deported with the rest of the people. - The account of the destruction of the kingdom of Judah closes with יהוּדה ויּגּל in 2 Kings 25:21, "thus was Judah carried away out of its own land;" and in 2 Kings 25:22-26 there follows merely a brief notice of those who had been left behind in the land, in the place of which we find in Jeremiah 52:28-30 a detailed account of the number of those who were carried away.
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