Commentary on the Bible, by Adam Clarke, , at sacred-texts.com
4 Kings (2 Kings)
Nebuchadnezzar brings Jehoiakim under subjection; who, after three years, rebels, Kg2 24:1. Bands of Chaldeans, Syrians, Moabites, and Ammonites, invade the land, Kg2 24:2-4. Jehoiakim dies, and Jehoiachin his son reigns in his stead, Kg2 24:5, Kg2 24:6. The Babylonians overcome the Egyptians, Kg2 24:7. Nebuchadnezzar takes Jehoiachin and his family, and all his treasures, and those of the temple, and all the chief people and artificers, and carries them to Babylon, Kg2 24:8-16; and makes Mattaniah, brother of Jehoiakim, king, who reigns wickedly, and rebels against the king of Babylon, Kg2 24:17-20.
4 Kings (2 Kings) 24:1
Nebuchadnezzar - This man, so famous in the writings of the prophets, was son of Nabopolassar. He was sent by his father against the rulers of several provinces that had revolted; and he took Carchemish, and all that belonged to the Egyptians, from the Euphrates to the Nile. Jehoiakim, who was tributary to Nechoh king of Egypt, he attacked and reduced; and obliged to become tributary to Babylon. At the end of three years he revolted; and then a mixed army, of Chaldeans, Syrians, Moabites, and Ammonites, was sent against him, who ravaged the country, and took three thousand and twenty-three prisoners, whom they brought to Babylon, Jer 52:28.
4 Kings (2 Kings) 24:2
According to the word of the Lord - See what Huldah predicted, Kg2 22:16, and see chap. 14, 15, and 16 of Jeremiah.
4 Kings (2 Kings) 24:6
Jehoiachin his son - As this man reigned only three months and was a mere vassal to the Babylonians, his reign is scarcely to be reckoned; and therefore Jeremiah says of Jehoiakim, He shall have none to sit upon the throne of David, Jer 36:30, for at that time it belonged to the king of Babylon, and Jehoiachin was a mere viceroy or governor. Jehoiachin is called Jechonias in Mat 1:11.
4 Kings (2 Kings) 24:7
The king of Egypt came not again - He was so crushed by the Babylonians that he was obliged to confine himself within the limits of his own states, and could no more attempt any conquests. The text tells us how much he had lost by the Babylonians. See on Kg2 24:1 (note).
4 Kings (2 Kings) 24:8
Jehoiachin was eighteen years old - He is called Jeconiah, Ch1 3:16, and Coniah, Jer 22:24. In Ch2 36:9, be is said to be only eight years of age, but this must be a mistake; for we find that, having reigned only three months, he was carried captive to Babylon, and there he had wives; and it is very improbable that a child between eight and nine years of age could have wives; and of such a tender age, it can scarcely be said that, as a king, he did that which was evil in the sight of the Lord. The place in Chronicles must be corrupted.
That he was a grievous offender against God, we learn from Jer 22:24, which the reader may consult; and in the man's punishment, see his crimes.
4 Kings (2 Kings) 24:12
Jehoiachin - went out - He saw that it was useless to attempt to defend himself any longer; and he therefore surrendered himself, hoping to obtain better terms.
4 Kings (2 Kings) 24:13
He carried out thence all the treasures - It has been remarked that Nebuchadnezzar spoiled the temple three times. -
1. He took away the greater part of those treasures when he took Jerusalem under Jehoiakim: and the vessels that he took then he placed in the temple of his god, Dan 1:2. And these were the vessels which Belshazzar profaned, Dan 5:2; and which Cyrus restored to Ezra, when he went up to Jerusalem, Ezr 1:2. It was at this time that he took Daniel and his companions.
2. He took the remaining part of those vessels, and broke them or cut them in pieces, when he came the second tine against Jerusalem under Jeconiah; as is mentioned here, Kg2 24:13.
3. He pillaged the temple, took away all the brass, the brazen pillars, brazen vessels, and vessels of gold and silver, which he found there when he besieged Jerusalem under Zedekiah, Kg2 25:13-17.
4 Kings (2 Kings) 24:14
He carried away all Jerusalem - That is, all the chief men, the nobles, and artificers. Among these there were of mighty men seven thousand; of craftsmen and smiths, one thousand.
4 Kings (2 Kings) 24:17
Made Mattaniah his father's brother king in his stead - He was the son of Josiah, and brother to Jehoiakim.
Changed his name to Zedekiah - See the note on Kg2 23:34.
4 Kings (2 Kings) 24:19
He did - evil - How astonishing is this! not one of them takes warning by the judgments of God, which fell on their sinful predecessors.
4 Kings (2 Kings) 24:20
Zedekiah rebelled - This was in the eighth year of his reign: and he is strongly reproved for having violated the oath he took to the king of Babylon: see Ch2 36:13. This was the filling up of the measure of iniquity; and now the wrath of God descends upon this devoted king, city, and people, to the uttermost. See the catastrophe in the next chapter.