Jeremiah 52 - Outline of Jeremiah (Book Notes menu page)
The Fall of Jerusalem in Retrospect, ch. 52
I. The fall of the city, v.1-7
The account of the Babylonian captivity and destruction of Jerusalem (586 BC) is recorded four times in Scripture: Jer 39; Jer 52; 2Kin 25; 2Chr 36. In these solemn passages, the LORD's sorrow is evident, as it is in several NT passages where He foretold the fall of Jerusalem to Rome (70 AD), in Mat 23:37-39, Luk 13:34,35, and Luk 19:41-44 (also Mat 24:1,2; Mark 13:1,2; Luk 21:5,6).
     This repetition, mingled with tears, "shows how deeply God loves His people, even when their conduct proves them to be wholly unworthy of being loved."
     "Did children act toward a father as Israel acted toward God, they would certainly extinguish all love for themselves in their father's heart. But it is impossible to exhaust the love that fills God's heart.
     "But, as in the case of Jerusalem, appalling chastisements must visit aggravated sinfulness (vs.2-3).
     "Disobedience to the Word of God ensures hunger, defeat and slavery (vs.4-7). Many in their spiritual experience have had this sad experience." [in quotes, from GWms]
II. The fate of Zedekiah, v.8-11
III. The fate of the city, the Temple, the people, v.12-23
IV. The fate of certain individuals, v.24-27
These men who held important religious, political and military offices were slain.
The account in 2Kin 25:19 mentions five men who had been closely associated with the king, whereas v.25 records seven. The difference may be explained by deaths during the long journey from Jerusalem to Riblah (about 200 miles). These men may have been elderly, or in ill health due to the siege.
V. The captivities of Judah, under Nebuchadnezzar, v.27b-30
Several partial captivities are mentioned, in various passages ('a' and 'b' are not included in this chapter):
  1. In the third (or fourth) year of Jehoiakim, which was the first year of Nebuchadnezzar.
    (The records sometimes differ by one year, due to a difference between the way a king's years were counted by Israel and Babylon.) Daniel was among the captives on this occasion (2Kin 24:1; Dan 1:1,2; cp. Jer 25:1). After Nebuchadnezzar brought Jehoiakim into submission, he allowed Jehoiakim's reign to continue for another seven or eight years.
  2. In the eleventh (final) year of Jehoiakim (2Chr 36:5-7).
    Nebuchadnezzar installed Jehoiachin as king, at that time.
  3. In the seventh (or eighth) year of Nebuchadnezzar (when Jehoiachin was deposed),
    which was the first year of Zedekiah (v.28; 2Kin 24:11-18; 2Chr 36:9-11). Ezekiel was taken captive at this time. The numbers of captives differ between records, probably due to inclusion of different categories of people in the count (eg., princes, priests, men of valour, craftsmen, smiths, common people...).
  4. In the eighteenth (or nineteenth) year of Nebuchadnezzar,
    which was the eleventh (final) year of Zedekiah (v.29; 2Kin 25:2-9; 2Chr 36:11-21). At the fall of Jerusalem, a large number of captives would be expected. But the count is not recorded.
  5. In the twenty-third year of Nebuchadnezzar (v.30).
    This captivity, five years after the fall of Jerusalem, was apparently Nebuchadnezzar's response to the rebellion which deposed Gedaliah, whom he had appointed as governor in the land (cp. Jer 41:17,18). By this time, the group which fled to Egypt (in unbelief) had already arrived there.
VI. The elevation and, death of Jehoiachin in captivity, v.31-34
Evil-Merodach {meaning "man of Merodach," a false god} succeeded Nebuchadnezzar as king of Babylon. [The day of Jehoiachin's elevation differs between v.31 and 2Kin 25:27. It seems probable that there were two days of preparation before the former prisoner was ready to be presented before the king.] The favor shown to Jehoiachin may have given hope to the captives that the promised restoration would occur in spite of their present sufferings. However, that hope of restoration did not benefit the former king, who died in Babylon, without an heir for the throne of David (cp. Jer 22:24-30).
     Elevation by the world system is a poor substitute for honor from God (1Cor 4:5).
     Neither the rebellion of God's people, nor the opposition of the world system, will prevent the LORD from establishing His King and Kingdom (Psalm 2). Yet, today, He grieves for the sorrows of His people. (See the Lamentations of Jeremiah.)

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