2 Kings 25
-Zedekiah’s rebellion (2 Kings 24:20) caused Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, to come and lay siege on Jerusalem in the ninth year of Zedekiah’s reign. This lasted until his eleventh year, when the famine in the city became so severe that there was no food left. Then, the city was broken into, and all the men of war with the king fled by night east toward the Arabah. They were captured however in the plain near the Jordan River/Dead Sea area near Jericho. They brought the king and his sons to the king of Babylon, who was north in Riblah. It was here that Zedekiah saw his last sight on earth as his sons were slaughtered before his eyes, and then his eyes were put out. He was taken prisoner with bronze fetters and brought to Babylon (2 Kings 25:1-7).
-The rest of the chapter details how Nebuchadnezzar sent his captain of the guard, Nebuzaradan, to Jerusalem in order to burn the Temple, the king’s house, and all the great houses in Jerusalem. They broke down the walls around the city, and the remainders of the people there were carried away into exile. Only some of the poorest of the land were left to be vinedressers and plowmen. The valuables of the Temple were carried away as plunder along with the priests, Temple officials, and government officials who remained there. These people were also brought to Riblah, as Zedekiah was, and there they were struck down and put to death. So Judah was decisively carried away into exile from its land (2 Kings 25:8-21).
-Gedaliah, the son of Ahikam, the son of Shaphan, was appointed by the king of Babylon to be the new governor of the territory. He advised compliance with the captors and to not be afraid of them and to serve them for the well being of the populace. However, there was one last attempt to reestablish the royal line, because the people of Judah knew and believed in the promises of God to the Davidic line as forever reigning on the throne. Ishmael, along with ten men, came and struck down Gedaliah and the Chaldeans who were with him at Mizpah. At this point, in shear fear and trepidation they fled to Egypt (2 Kings 25:22-26).
-The book ends with a glimmer of hope and grace as a new king, Evil-merodach, comes on the throne of Babylon in the thirty-seventh year of exile of Jehoiachin, king of Judah, and releases him from prison. Evil-merodach spoke kindly to Jehoiachin and set his position higher above the thrones of the other kings who were with him in Babylon. He changed his prison clothes and had his meals in the king’s presence regularly all the days of his life. He was even given an allowance by the Babylonian king each day for the rest of his life.
-*Application* God was still with His chosen people even in their time of punishment and exile in Babylon. He would bring them back as prophesied. The Old Testament books of Ezra and Nehemiah chronicle the return to the land and the rebuilding process, even though the Jews were still under Gentile authority. This basically remained the case until 1948, when they were declared once again a sovereign nation by the United Nations. In the midst of all that, the Davidic line King, Jesus Christ, appeared in the fullness of time (Galatians 4:4-5) to be the Redeeming Suffering Servant in His first incarnation. It is foretold that He will return and set up His everlasting Kingdom here on earth, back in Jerusalem, at some future point in time (Zechariah 14:3-9, Revelation 20-22). Anticipate that glorious day. His Kingdom is here now in part as His body of believers (the church), but it will have a future glory that will be unsurpassed as the rightful, righteous, and eternal King of Israel! The King of kings is coming! Be alert and be ready (Matthew 24:42-44; 25:13, Mark 13:35-37, Luke 12:40, 1 Thessalonians 5:6, 1 Peter 5:8)!
Verse to Memorize: 2 Kings 25:7