Saturday, May 13, 2017

Saturday - 2nd Kings 24 - Nebuchadnezzar's Assignment

God used the evil king of Babylon to punish His Jewish people.  The Babylonians, that is the Chaldees, did to Judah and Jerusalem exactly what Assyria had done previously to Israel in the North.  The king who led the Babylonians in this crusade against the Hebrews was the infamous Nebuchadnezzar of the book of Daniel. The kings in Israel during this time were Jehoiakim, Jehoiachin and Mattaniah (Zedekiah).  We will study more about them later.

This campaign into Palestine was the nail in the coffin of the prosperity of the Jews in Canaan. Generations of spiritual and moral failure was ended as Jerusalem was emptied of its noblest of citizens (2nd Kings 24:14, 15 & 16). The holy vessels from the temple of Solomon were removed (II Kings 24:13) and the glory of the city of David was destroyed (II Kings 24:20).

So that's the story. It is related briefly and coldly here. God's patience had been expended. Remember that Josiah had just led a revival in Jerusalem, but it didn't last and it didn't matter... at least, it didn't matter in relation to the impending consequences of Manasseh's sin and in relation to the consequences of the history of the Jews' disregard for the commandments of the Lord (2nd Kings 24:4).  God was through with them, at least for a while.  Their demise was inevitable.

As we make our way through the rest of the Bible, there will be many more things to say about this event.  In fact, most of the books of the prophets were either written during the time of Israel’s and Judah's removal from the Promised Land or, at the least, were addressed to that context. I'm saying that our comprehension of the actions of the Assyrians and the Babylonians, and the reactions of the Jews to them, is crucially important to our understanding of much of the remaining text of the Old Testament. So, get this part of the story down pat. You'll need this context many times, later.  All Scripture is profitable, some of it (like this section) is foundational to much of the rest of it.

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