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And this is more likely than that he should put himself to the trouble of setting fire to all the little paltry dwellings of the poor. and Vulgate render 7 as the adjective of na.
15. And some of the poor of the people] by words are not found in the parallel places, Ch. xxxix. 9. 2 Kings xxv. 11. and are wanting in one MS. here.
Ibid.---even the remains of the multitude] For 1 three MSS. here read, as in the parallel place, 2 Kings xxv. 11. and by p may be understood the great multitude that formerly inhabited Jerusalem, of whom a few only survived, called "the remains of the multitude." These remains were before distinguished into "the people that were left in the city," or had continued there till the city was taken, and "the deserters" that had joined the Chaldeans during the siege, and are now concluded under one general name," the remains of the multitude," or populace. In Ch, xxxix. 9. they are called "the residue of the people, those that
את יתר העם הנשארים
17. And the pillars, &c.] See Ch. xxvii. 19. &c.
19.---whatsoever was of gold, the gold, and whatsoever was of silver, the silver--] That is, the utensils abovementioned, some of which were of gold, and some of silver, he took them away of both kinds.
20.---and the twelve brasen oxen that were underneath] It is manifest that nnn ought not to be considered as a preposition governing "the bases," for the twelve oxen were under the sea, and not under the bases, 1 Kings vii. 25. Accordingly the LXX. render, xas οι μοσχοι δωδέκα χαλκοί υποκάτω της θαλασσης. Bui omnis here to be taken adverbially, as Gen. xlix. 25. The bases, non, were en tirely distinct pieces of furniture from the sea and the twelve oxen, being ten in number, made for the reception of ten brass lavers, that were set upon them by Solomon, 1 Kings vii. 38. But king Ahaz in aftertime removed the lavers from off the bases, and most probably converted the lavers to some other use, which the word a seems to imply, 2 Kings xvi. 17. for we find no mention here made of the lavers, but of the bases only.
,לנוזשת מכל I read
Ibid...the brass from all these vessels---] Instead of a bnwnab "the brass that came from all these vessels," after that the Chaldeans had broken them to pieces, as we are told they did, ver. 17.
21. For the pillars, eighteen cubits in height was the one pillar] The dimensions of the pillars seem to be given in order to justify the assertion, that the weight of the brass was too great to be ascertained-.. For the Masoretes with sixteen, perhaps seventeen, MSS. and two Editions, read npp, as 1 Kings vii. 15. 2 Kings xxv. 17. But there seems to be no necessity for an alteration of the present reading, the construction being equally unexceptionable, whether we choose to say, "Eighteen cubits was the height of one pillar," or, "The one pillar was eighteen cubits in height." But from hence we are led to consider the difference in height expressed, 2 Chron. iii. 15. where we read that
Solomon "made before the house two pillars of thirty and five cubits in length;" which must mean the length of both taken together; that is, each pillar was seventeen cubits and a half high. To reconcile which with what is said here, and the other parallel places, some have supposed that each pillar had a base or pedestal of half a cubit, on which it stood, and which is not brought to account in the place now cited from the Chronicles. Others, that there were two sorts of cubits of different length; which however I cannot admit, because we no where read of such diversity in the Hebrew measures; and if there had been such, it would have been always necessary to have specified the distinction, in order to keep clear of error. But most probably neither of the above solu tions is necessary, but the truth may be, that the length of the two pillars taken together may have been set down at thirty five cubits, as the nearest approach in whole numbers, although in reality somewhat more; in which case each of the two pillars would for a like reason be reckoned at eighteen cubits, there being no sort of occasion for greater accuracy.
23. And the pomegranates were ninety and six toward every wind, &c.] In 1 Kings vii. 42. and 2 Chro. iv. 13. it is said, there were four hundred pomegranates for the two net-works or wreaths, two rows of pomegranates for each net-work or wreath. The mode of expression here is different, but amounts to exactly the same. For divide the two pillars into four quarters according to the four winds; and let ninety six pomegranates stand opposite to each of the four winds upon the two pillars; the whole number in front of the four winds taken together will be three hundred and eighty four. But they were in four rows, two on each pillar; and in each row must have been four angular pomegranates, that could not be said to be opposite to any one of the four winds, consequently sixteen angular ones in the four rows; which sixteen being added to three hundred and eighty four, make up the number of pomegranates in all four hundred; that is, an hundred in a row upon the wreathen work round about.
24. Zephaniah the second priest---] See Note on Ch. xxix. 26.
Ibid.---and the three keepers of the door---] These were not the ordinary porters, who were taken from among the Levites, but were priests, who stood at the door to receive the offerings of the people, and thus were keepers of the sacred treasury; an office of high trust and consideration. See 2 Kings xii. 9. xxiii. 4.
25.---and seven men of those that were near the king's person] Literally, "who saw the king's face." Five only are mentioned 2 Kings xxv. 19. but the Arab. reads there seven as well as here; and Josephus says they were seven, Ant. Lib. x. Cap. 9. Edit. Hudson.
Ibid. and the principal scribe, of the host] In the margin of our Bibles the translation is, "the scribe of the captain of the host." It appears however that there were certain officers belonging to the Jewish armies called 90, or scribes, who were what we might call mustermasters of the troops, see 1 Maccab. v. 42. And the person here spo ken of was probably the mustermaster or Intendant general of the army; the secretary at war.
28, 29, 30.] These verses are not inserted in 2 Kings xxv. Nor are they to be found here according to the Roman and Alexandr. Editions of the LXX.; but in the Complutensian they are, and in two MSS. collated by Dr Grabe, in the one marked with asterisks, in the other without; and also in Theodotion's version in the Hexapla. All the other ancient versions acknowledge them; and they are not omitted in any of the collated Hebrew MSS.; so that there is no doubt of their being genuine. But are we to conclude from them that the whole number of the Jews, whom Nebuchadnezzar in all his expeditions carried into captivity, was no more than four thousand six hundred? This cannot be true, for he carried away more than twice that number at one time; and this is expressly said to have been in the eighth year of his reign, 2 Kings xxiv. 12,---16. Before that time he had carried off a number of captives from Jerusalem in the first year of his reign, among whom were Daniel and his companions, Dan. i. 3,---6. And of these Berosus the Chaldean historian speaks, as cited by Josephus, Ant. Lib. x. Cap. 11. Edit. Hudson. These are confessedly not taken notice of here. And as the taking and burning of Jerusalem is in this very chapter said to have been in the fourth and fifth months of the nineteenth year of Nebuchadnezzar, those who were carried into captivity at the date of those events cannot possibly be the same with those that are said to be carried away either in the eighteenth or the twenty third year of that prince. Nor indeed is it credible, that the number carried away at the time the city was taken, and the whole country reduced, could be so few as eight hundred and thirty two, supposing a mistake in the date of the year, which some are willing to do, though without sufficient grounds. Here then we have three deportations, and those the most considerable ones, in the first, the eighth, and the nineteenth years of Nebuchadnezzar, sufficiently distinguished from those in his seventh, eighteenth, and twenty-third years. So that it seems most reasonable to conclude with Archbishop Usher in his Chronologia Sacra, that by the latter three the historian meant to point out deportations of a lesser kind, not elsewhere noticed in direct terms in Scripture. The first of these, said to have been in the seventh year of Nebuchadnezzar, was of those that had been picked up in several parts of Judah by the bands of Chaldees, Syrians, and others, whom the king of Babylon sent against the land previous to his own coming, 2 Kings xxiv. 2. That in the eighteenth year corresponds with the time when the Chaldean army broke off the siege before Jerusalem, and marched to fight the Egyptian army; at which time they might think it proper to send off the prisoners that were in camp under a guard to Babylon. And the last in the twenty third year of Nebuchadnezzar was, when that monarch, being engaged in the siege of Tyre, sent off Nebuzaradan against the Moabites, Ammonites, and other neighbouring nations, who at the same time carried away the last gleanings of Jews that remained in their own land, amounting in all to no more than seven hundred and forty five. Josephus speaks of this expedition against the Moabites and Ammonites, which he places in the twenty third year of Nebuchadnezzar, but meations nothing done in the land of Israel at that time; only he says,
that after the conquest of those nations Nebuchadnezzar carried his victorious arms against Egypt, which he in some measure reduced, and carried the Jews, whom he found there, captives to Babylon, Ant. Lib. x. Cap. 9. Ed. Huds. But the Egyptian expedition was not till the twenty seventh year of Jehoiachin's captivity, that is, the thirty fifth of Nebuchadnezzar, as may be collected from Ezek. xxix. 17. so that those who were carried away in the twenty third year were not from Egypt, but were, as before observed, the few Jews that remained in the land of Judah.
29.---he carried away captive from Jerusalem] In the text of seven MSS. in the margin of another, and in one upon a rasure, also in seven Editions, some of them the most ancient, and in the margin or notes of three other Editions, the word man is expressed before wp, as also in the Syriac version.
31.---the twenty fifth---] In the parallel place 2 Kings xxv. 27. we read "the twenty seventh." A mistake, no doubt, on which side soever it lies, as the passages are evidently transcribed the one from the other. The LXX. here render, Treads xa exadi, except the Complutensian Edition, which substitutes Tunn for rireadi.
Ibid. in the first year of his reign---] in
the year of his reign, or kingdom;" that is, the year coincident with the beginning of it, from whence the date is taken. So that the word first is virtually implied in the phrase. In like manner, ver. 1. signified, "when he reigned" or "began to reign." For the Masora, twelve MSS. and two Editions read ; eleven MSS. and three Editions, N.
32.-set his seat above the seat of the kings-] This may easily be understood to signify, that the king of Babylon shewed him more respect and honour than he did to any of the other captive princes, by placing him nearest himself. See Esth. iii, 1. It is probable the phrase may have proceeded from the custom of placing cushions for persons of more than ordinary distinction in the place allotted them to sit in. See Harmer's Observ. Ch. vi. Obs. 26. The Masora with seventeen, perhaps twenty two, MSS. and five Editions, reads on instead of
33. So that he changed his prison garments-] This has been con sidered by some as an act of generosity in Evilmerodach, giving the captive king new garments, more suitable to his royal dignity than those he wore in prison. But it was rather the act of Jehoiachin himself, who out of respect to the king of Babylon's presence, and to mark his just sense of the favour shewn him, no longer neglected his person and dress, as when a prisoner, and in affliction, but put on new apparel more adapted to the change in his circumstances. So Joseph, when he was sent for out of prison to appear before Pharaoh, first shaved himself, and changed his raiment, Gen. xli. 14. David did the same after he had ceased mourning for his child, before he went into the house of God; 2 Sam. xii. 20. And Mr Harmer observes, both that to change the garments often is in the East a mark of respect in visiting; and also
that the putting on of new clothes is thought by those people to be very requisite, and indeed almost necessary for the due solemnization of a time of rejoicing. See Harmer's Observ. Ch. vi. Obs. 44. and 45.
Ibid. his life.] For thirty-six MSS. and five Editions, read with the Masora,, as at the end of the next verse.
34. And his allowance, &c.] This may have been an allowance for the maintenance of his family, if by "eating bread continually before him," as Jehoiachin is in the preceding verse said to have done, be meant sitting at the king of Babylon's own table. Compare 2 Sam. ix 7, 10, 11.