2 Kings 25

2 Kings 25 has the end of this book about the kings and the consequences of disobedience and provocations against God.  We’ve seen a long string of kings who were evil and did things that put God at odds with the people in both Israel and Judah.  The punishment of that disobedience continues in this chapter as Nebuchadnezzar lays siege to Jerusalem during the reign of King Zedekiah. It went on for a couple years and “the famine was so severe in the city that there was no food for the people of the land”.

Finally, the breach was made in the city, and Zedekiah is captured.  “They slaughtered the sons of Zedekiah before his eyes, and put out the eyes of Zedekiah and bound him in chains and took him to Babylon”.  He was king of God’s chosen people, and yet like many before him, suffered a cruel death because of his choices – that of being disobedient to God and His commandments.  And those choices by this king and many before him, caused the people to go astray and God’s punishment was spread throughout the land on all.

In this case, King Nebuchadnezzar, sends in Nebuzaradan, the captain of the bodyguard to clean up and finish the destruction.  “He burned the house of the Lord and the king’s house and all the houses of Jerusalem; every great house he burned down….broke down the walls around Jerusalem….the rest of the people who were left in the city….carried into exile”.  God’s chosen people are destroyed and looted once again, all because of the evil leadership of the kings and the following of that evil by the people.  The end result: “Judah was taken into exile out of its land”.  They are prisoners in another land.

There is one rather strange turn that happens as this book ends.  “In the thirty-seventh year of the exile of Jehoiachin king of Judah….Evil-merodach king of Babylon (Nebuchadnezzar’s son who just took the throne) ….graciously freed Jehoiachin king of Judah from prison….he spoke kindly to him and gave him a seat above the seats of the kings who were with him in Babylon”.  So dad has Jehoiachin locked up for decades and now his son not only frees him but makes him part of the kings table.  This ties into the last four verses in Jeremiah 52 where we are told the same story with a few more details.

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