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Monday, June 30 2014

2 Kings 25: What Did Jeremiah's Letter To Babylon Say?

"So Judah was carried away out of their land"

The Kingdom of Judah (see Israel In History and Prophecy: Kingdom Of Judah) existed for about 350 years (see Kings of Israel and Judah), until 586 BC, when the LORD (Who was and is Jesus Christ - see Genesis 1: In The Beginning Was The Word and The Kingdom Of The LORD God) had Judah conquered by the Babylonian Empire. The independent Kingdom of Judah had existed for about 135 years longer than the independent Kingdom of Israel (see Israel In History and Prophecy: The Lost Ten Tribes; see also Israel Never Knew Purim, Hanukkah Or Judaism), that ended in 721 BC, when the LORD had Israel conquered by the Assyrian Empire.

The fall of Jerusalem was the last act of the fall of Judah. It was accomplished by a siege of the city that lasted for about 18 months, after which "famine prevailed in the city." Zedekiah, the vassal king that the Babylonians had installed (see The Last Three Kings Of The Kingdom Of Judah), was then captured, blinded, and taken away in chains to Babylon.

"25:1 And it came to pass in the ninth year of his reign, in the tenth month, in the tenth day of the month, that Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came, he, and all his host, against Jerusalem, and pitched against it; and they built forts against it round about. 25:2 And the city was besieged unto the eleventh year of king Zedekiah. 25:3 And on the ninth day of the fourth month the famine prevailed in the city, and there was no bread for the people of the land. 25:4 And the city was broken up, and all the men of war fled by night by the way of the gate between two walls, which is by the king's garden: (now the Chaldees were against the city round about:) and the king went the way toward the plain. 25:5 And the army of the Chaldees pursued after the king, and overtook him in the plains of Jericho: and all his army were scattered from him. 25:6 So they took the king, and brought him up to the king of Babylon to Riblah; and they gave judgment upon him. 25:7 And they slew the sons of Zedekiah before his eyes, and put out the eyes of Zedekiah, and bound him with fetters of brass, and carried him to Babylon." (2 Kings 25:1-7 KJV)

The decadent ("marked by excessive self-indulgence and moral decay") city and the Temple (that had been perverted into a temple of Baal worship) were then reduced to ashes and rubble - as it all remained for the next 70 years, until the return of the people of Judah in the time of Ezra and Nehemiah (see the Fact Finder question below; also Ezra: The Return Of The Levites To Jerusalem and Nehemiah: The Return Of The Governor).

Jeremiah lamenting over the destruction of Jerusalem

"25:8 And in the fifth month, on the seventh day of the month, which is the nineteenth year of king Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, came Nebuzaradan, captain of the guard, a servant of the king of Babylon, unto Jerusalem: 25:9 And he burnt the house of the LORD, and the king's house, and all the houses of Jerusalem, and every great man's house burnt he with fire. 25:10 And all the army of the Chaldees, that were with the captain of the guard, brake down the walls of Jerusalem round about. 25:11 Now the rest of the people that were left in the city, and the fugitives that fell away to the king of Babylon, with the remnant of the multitude, did Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard carry away. 25:12 But the captain of the guard left of the poor of the land to be vinedressers and husbandmen.

25:13 And the pillars of brass that were in the house of the LORD, and the bases, and the brasen sea that was in the house of the LORD, did the Chaldees break in pieces, and carried the brass of them to Babylon. 25:14 And the pots, and the shovels, and the snuffers, and the spoons, and all the vessels of brass wherewith they ministered, took they away. 25:15 And the firepans, and the bowls, and such things as were of gold, in gold, and of silver, in silver, the captain of the guard took away.

25:16 The two pillars, one sea, and the bases which Solomon had made for the house of the LORD; the brass of all these vessels was without weight. 25:17 The height of the one pillar was eighteen cubits, and the chapiter upon it was brass: and the height of the chapiter three cubits; and the wreathen work, and pomegranates upon the chapiter round about, all of brass: and like unto these had the second pillar with wreathen work." (2 Kings 25:8-17 KJV)

With only one vital exception, the Babylonian devastation of Judah included a virtual decapitation of the nation.

"25:18 And the captain of the guard took Seraiah the chief priest, and Zephaniah the second priest, and the three keepers of the door: 25:19 And out of the city he took an officer that was set over the men of war, and five men of them that were in the king's presence, which were found in the city, and the principal scribe of the host, which mustered the people of the land, and threescore men of the people of the land that were found in the city: 25:20 And Nebuzaradan captain of the guard took these, and brought them to the king of Babylon to Riblah: 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.

25:22 And as for the people that remained in the land of Judah, whom Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon had left, even over them he made Gedaliah the son of Ahikam, the son of Shaphan, ruler. 25:23 And when all the captains of the armies, they and their men, heard that the king of Babylon had made Gedaliah governor, there came to Gedaliah to Mizpah, even Ishmael the son of Nethaniah, and Johanan the son of Careah, and Seraiah the son of Tanhumeth the Netophathite, and Jaazaniah the son of a Maachathite, they and their men. 25:24 And Gedaliah sware to them, and to their men, and said unto them, Fear not to be the servants of the Chaldees: dwell in the land, and serve the king of Babylon; and it shall be well with you.

25:25 But it came to pass in the seventh month, that Ishmael the son of Nethaniah, the son of Elishama, of the seed royal, came, and ten men with him, and smote Gedaliah, that he died, and the Jews and the Chaldees that were with him at Mizpah. 25:26 And all the people, both small and great, and the captains of the armies, arose, and came to Egypt: for they were afraid of the Chaldees." (2 Kings 25:18-26 KJV)

What was the exception? For the sake of the coming Messiah's royal inheritance, Judah's last king and his line were given to survive so that the Messianic line would be re-planted, in due time, in the land of Israel - almost invisible over the next centuries, but nevertheless very carefully documented i.e. Matthew 1:1-17 and Luke 3:23-38; see also When Will The United Kingdom Be Restored?).

"25:27 And it came to pass in the seven and thirtieth year of the captivity of Jehoiachin king of Judah, in the twelfth month, on the seven and twentieth day of the month, that Evilmerodach king of Babylon in the year that he began to reign did lift up the head of Jehoiachin king of Judah out of prison; 25:28 And he spake kindly to him, and set his throne above the throne of the kings that were with him in Babylon; 25:29 And changed his prison garments: and he did eat bread continually before him all the days of his life. 25:30 And his allowance was a continual allowance given him of the king, a daily rate for every day, all the days of his life." (2 kings 25:27 KJV)

Fact Finder: What did the prophet Jeremiah tell the exiled people of Judah in Babylon to do?
See Jeremiah's Letter To Babylon


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This Day In History, June 30

350: Nepotianus, of the Constantinian dynasty (see A History Of Jerusalem: Constantine and Muhammad), was defeated and killed by the forces of Magnentius.

1097: The Crusaders (see Constantine's Crusades In History And Prophecy) defeated the Turks at Dorylaeum.

1422: The Battle of Arbedo between the forces of the duke of Milan and the Swiss cantons.

The Tunguska Event 1520: Montezuma II, the last Aztec emperor, was killed during the Spanish conquest of Mexico.

1548: The Augsburg Interim, a temporary doctrinal agreement between German Catholics and Protestants, proclaimed in May 1548 at The Diet of Augsburg, became Imperial Law (see The Holy Roman Empire Of The German Nation).

1643: The Battle of Adwalton Moor (also called Atherton Moor) in the English Civil War took place. The Royalists under the Earl of Newcastle defeated the Parliamentarians.

1690: In the War of the Grand Alliance, a combined British and Dutch fleet fought the French at the Battle of Beachy Head.

1859: Watched by 25,000 people, Charles Blondin walked across Niagara Falls from the United States to Canada on a tightrope.

1886: The first transcontinental train trip across Canada began from Montreal.

1894: London's Tower Bridge across the River Thames was officially opened.

1894: Korea declared independence from China.

1908: The "Tunguska Event" - an explosion equivalent to a 10 megaton hydrogen bomb erupted in the sky above the Tunguska River in central Siberia. With a great roar, the shock wave flattened trees over an area of several thousand square kilometers. No one was killed in the uninhabited area, although a man standing 40 miles away was knocked down unconscious by the shock wave. Seismometers around the world recorded it. The event is believed to have been caused by a comet or asteroid that shattered and exploded about 5 miles above the earth's surface.

1963: Cardinal Giovanni Battista Montini was enthroned as Pope Paul VI.

1971: The three crew members of the Soviet spacecraft Soyuz II died on re-entry due to a drop in air pressure. They had just set a space endurance record of 570 hours, 22 minutes.

1974: Mrs. Alberta King and a church deacon were slain by a gunman in Atlanta's Ebenezer Baptist Church where her son, the assassinated civil rights leader Martin Luther King, once preached.

1984: John Turner was sworn in as Canada's 17th Prime Minister.

1990: East and West Germany merged their economies, with the East adopting the Deutschemark as its currency.

1994: Following months of negotiations to ensure protection for Jerusalem's Roman Catholic shrines (see A History Of Jerusalem: Constantine and Muhammad), the decision was reached to exchange ambassadors between Israel and the Vatican (see The Temple Vessel Prophecies Today, A History Of Jerusalem: Abomination Of Desolation and What Is The Mark Of The Beast?).

1997: Britain ended 156 years of colonial rule in Hong Kong by turning control of the colony (it was the 68th colony that Britain relinquished in the 20th century alone) over to communist China. Six hours after the handover, China sent in 4,000 troops by ship, helicopter and armored vehicles.


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