Jehoahaz made king on the death of his father Josiah, and reigns only three months, 1,2. He is dethroned by the king of Egypt, and Jehoiakim his brother made king in his stead, who reigns wickedly eleven years, and is dethroned and led captive to Babylon by Nebuchadnezzar, 3-8. Jehoiachin is made king in his stead, and reigns wickedly three months and ten days, and is also led captive to Babylon, 9,10. Zedekiah begins to reign, and reigns wickedly eleven years, 11,12. He rebels against Nebuchadnezzar, and he and his people cast all the fear of God behind their backs; the wrath of God comes upon them to the uttermost; their temple us destroyed; and the whole nation is subjugated, and led into captivity, 13-21. Cyrus, king of Persia, makes a proclamation to rebuild the temple of the Lord, 22,23.
Notes on Chapter 36
It seems that after Necho had discomfited Josiah, he proceeded immediately against Charchemish, and in the interim, Josiah dying of his wounds, the people made his son king.
The king of Egypt put him down
He now considered Judah to be conquered, and tributary to him and because the people had set up Jehoahaz without his consent, he dethroned him, and put his brother in his place, perhaps for no other reason but to show his supremacy. For other particulars, see the notes on 2 Kings 23:31-35.
Came up Nebuchadnezzar
See Clarke on 2 Kings 24:1. Archbishop Usher believes that Jehoiakim remained three years after this tributary to the Chaldeans, and that it is from this period that the seventy years' captivity, predicted by Jeremiah, is to be reckoned.
Jehoiachin was eight
See on 2 Kings 24:6-15.
His name was at first Mattaniah, but the king of Babylon changed it to Zedekiah. See 2 Kings 24:17, and the notes there.
Did that which was evil
Was there ever such a set of weak, infatuated men as the Jewish kings in general? They had the fullest evidence that they were only deputies to God Almighty, and that they could not expect to retain the throne any longer than they were faithful to their Lord; and yet with all this conviction they lived wickedly, and endeavoured to establish idolatry in the place of the worship of their Maker! After bearing with them long, the Divine mercy gave them up, as their case was utterly hopeless. They sinned till there was no remedy.
They burnt the house of God
Here was an end to the temple; the most superb and costly edifice ever erected by man.
Brake down the wall of Jerusalem
So it ceased to be a fortified city.
Burnt all the palaces
So it was no longer a dwelling-place for kings or great men.
Destroyed all the goodly vessels
Beat up all the silver and gold into masses, keeping only a few of the finest in their own shape. See 2 Chronicles 36:18.
To fulfill the word of the Lord
See Jeremiah 25:9,12;; 26:6,7;; 29:12. For the miserable death of Zedekiah, see 2 Kings 25:4,
Now in the first year of Cyrus
This and the following verse are supposed to have been written by mistake from the book of Ezra, which begins in the same way. The book of the Chronicles, properly speaking, does close with the twenty-first verse, as then the Babylonish captivity commences, and these two verses speak of the transactions of a period seventy years after. This was in the first year of the reign of Cyrus over the empire of the East which is reckoned to be A.M. 3468. But he was king of Persia from the year 3444 or 3445. See Calmet and Usher.
The Lord his God be with him
"Let the WORD of the Lord be his helper, and let him go up."-Targum. See the notes on the beginning of Ezra. See Clarke on Ezra 1:1.
THUS ends the history of a people the most fickle, the most ungrateful, and perhaps on the whole the most sinful, that ever existed on the face of the earth. But what a display does all this give of the power, justice, mercy, and long-suffering of the Lord! There was no people like this people, and no God like their God.
The sum of the verses in both books of Chronicles is 1656. Middle verse, 1 Chronicles 27:25. Its Masoretic sections, twenty-five.
Having made particular remarks on every thing which I judged of importance in these and the preceding historical books, and in the course of this work having often found the want of a chronological list of the kings of Israel and Judah, in the consecutive order of their reigns; for the reader's information I have brought all the facts into a synopsis or general view, so that he may see at once the contemporary reigns in those two kingdoms, as well as the leading facts by which their reigns were distinguished. In this table will be seen, at one view, the year of the world; the year before Christ; the year before and after the First Olympiad; the year before and from the building of Rome; and under them the Jewish history, from its first kings till the time in which its regal state was entirely abolished, and both kingdoms led into captivity, never more to arise to any political consequence till they acknowledge the Lion of the tribe of Judah, and take Jesus the Christ, the son and only legitimate heir of David, for their Saviour and their Lord. I hope that the table which is here subjoined will be found, in every point of view, both interesting and instructive. A. CLARKE.
Millbrook, December 7,1819.
Finished correcting the two books of Chronicles, March 28th, 1828.-A. CLARKE.