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one with his weapons: and they shall cut down thy choice cedars, and cast them into the fire.

And many nations shall pass by this city, and they shall say every man to his neighbour, Wherefore hath the Lord done thus unto this great city ?

: Then they shall answer: Because they have forsaken the covenant of the Lord their God, and worshipped other gods, and served them.

Woe unto him that buildeth his house by unrighteousness, and his chambers by wrong; that useth his neighbour's service without wages, and giyeth him not for his work ;

That saith, I will build me a wide house and large chambers, and cutteth him out windows; and it is ceiled with cedar, and painted with vermillion.

Shalt thou reign, because thou closest thyself in cedar? did not thy father (David) eat and drink, and do judgment and justice, and then it was well with him?

He judged the cause of the poor and needy: then it was well with him : was not this known to me? saith the LORD.

But thine eyes and thine heart are not but for thy covetousness; and for to shed innocent blood, and for oppression, and for violence to do it.

As I live saith the Lord, though Coniah the son of Jehoiakim king of Judah were the signet upon my right hand, yet would I pluck thee thence ;

And I will give thee into the hand of them that seek thy life, and into the hand of them whose face thou fearest, even into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, and into the hand of the Chaldeans. '

And I will cast thee out, and thy mother that bare thee, into another country, where ye were not born; and there shall ye die.

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But

But the land whereunto they desire to return, thi. ther shall they not return.

Is this man Coniah a despised broken idol? is he a vessel wherein is no pleasure; wherefore are they cast out he and his seed, and are cast into a land which they know not?

earth, earth, earth, hear the word of the LORD. ! Thus saith the Lord; Write ye this man childless, a man that shall not prosper in his days; for no man. of his seed shall prosper, sitting upon the throne of David, and ruling any more in Judah.

ANNOTATIONS AND REFLECTIONS. . That Jehoiachin might have no reason to complain' of being delivered into the enemy's hands without warning, the prophet Jeremiah (who, we may suppose, obtained his liberty at the late king's death) was sent? to recommend to him and his people the practice of justice and equity, as they would hope to prosper, and to tireaten them in case of disobedience with utter destruction. Jehoiachin was threatened with a miser : able end, and his family declared to be for ever excluded from the throne.

. SECTION XXIII. THE CONCLUSION OF THE REIGN OF JEHOIACHIN

KING OF JUDAH.

From 2 Kings, Chap. xxiv, And when Jehoiachin had reigned three months and ten days in Jerusalem, and done that which was evil in the sight of the LORD, the servants of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came up against Jerusalem, and the city was besieged.

And

And Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came against, the city, and his servants did besiege it. .. . * And at the end of the year Jehoiachin the king of Judah, went out to the king of Babylon, he, and his mother, and his servants, and his princes, and his offi-, cers; and the king of Babylon took him in the eighth year of his reign. , And he carried out thence all the treasures of the house of the LORD, and the treasures of the king's, house, and cut in pieces all the vessels of gold which Solomon king of Israel had made in the temple of the Lord, as the Lord had said. :

And he carried away all Jerusalem, and all the princes, and all the mighty, men of valour, even ten, thousand captives, and all the craftsmen, and smiths ; none remained save the poorest sort of the people of the land.

And he carried away Jehoiachin to Babylon, and the king's mother, and the king's wives, and his officers, and the mighty of the land, those carried he into captivity from Jerusalem to Babylon. .

And all the men of might, even seven thousand, and craftsmen, and smiths, a thousand, all that were strong and apt for war, even them the king of Babylon brought captive to Babylon. .

And the king of Babylon made Mattaniah his fam, ther's brother king in his stead, and changed his name to Zedekiah, * ANNOTATIONS AND REFLECTIONS. .

Jehoiachin was not restrained from his wickedness by the prophet's denunciations, neither would he hum. ble himself before the LORD: therefore he was left to suffer the consequences of his folly and obduracy. Nebuchadnezzar's lieutenants and governors of the

E46

. provinces provinces continued to besiege Jerusalema after the death of Jehoiakim ; at the end of three months the king of Babylon came against it in person with his royal army. Jehoiachin, unable to defend the city, submitted, as we read; but Nebuchadnezzar put him in chains and sent him to Babylon, where he continued a miserable captive till the death of that monarch, which was thirty-six years. “ Had Jehoiachin taken the method which Hezekiah did, and made his peace with God, he would have had no cause to fear the king of Babylon ; but might have held out with courage, honour, and success: but wanting the faith and piety of an Israelite, he had not the resolution of a man, a soldier, and a prince.” Now was fulfilled the word of God, spoken by Moses : The Lord shall bring against thee a nation from afar, of fierce countenance, that shall eat the fruit of thy land; and besiege thee in all thy gates.

We find that Nebuchadnezzar carried with him vast quantities of spoil, and a great number of captives. He had taken some away eight years before this, among whom were Daniel and his friends: these had behaved 80 well, that the king was desirous to have more such. He also took all the great men and principal officers, }est they should raise conspiracies against him; and carried the smiths away, in order that the inhabitants of Jerusalem might not be able to procure arms.

Nebuchadnezzar, after his departure from Jerusalem, employed all the rest of the year in carrying on his war with the Egyptians ; in which he was so successful, that before the ensuing winter he had driven them out of Syria and Palestine. Shortly after, died Nabopolassar, king of Babylon, having reigned twenty-one years ; on hearing which, Nebuchadnezzar hastened home, and was made king in his stead. He had reigned some time with his father. His empire contained Chaldea, Assyria,

Arabia,

Arabia, Syria, and Palestine (the latter included thą whole land of Israel.) Zedekiah, though called king of Judalı, reigned there only as Nebuchadnezzar's deputy.

Nebuchadnezzar changed Mattaniah's name to shew that he was entirely dependent on him. Zedekiah signifies the justice of the Lord, to put him in mind, that he must expect the vengeance of his Gov if he violated the oath of fidelity which he had taken.

SECTION XXIV.
THE BEGINNING OF THE REIGN OF ZEDEKIAH KING

OF JUDAH,
AND PART OF THE PROPHECY OF JEREMIAH.

From 2 Kings, Chap. xxiv.:-Jer. Chap. xxvii. Zedekiah was twenty and one years old when he began to reign. . In the beginning of the reign of Zedekiah *, the son of Josiah, king of Judah, came this word unto Jeremiah, saying, Thus saith the LORD to me, Make thee bonds and yokes, and put them upon thy neck, and send them to the king of Edom, and to the king of Moab, and to the king of the Ammonites, and to the king of Tyrus, and to the king of Zidon, by the hand of the messengers which come to Jerusalem unto Zedekiah king of Judah;

And command them to say unto their masters, Thus saith the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, Thus shall ye say unto your masters, I have made the earth, the man, and the beast, that are upon the ground, by my

* It is supposed by some learned commentators, that the word Ichriachin is, by the mistake of a transcriber, put for Zedekiuh ; but it is not at all improbable that Jeremiah received intimation of this event in the reign of Johoiachin, and wrote the prophecy. 15

great.

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