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.
The entire number of the captives was not more than 11,000. They consisted of three classes:
(2) the “mighty men of valor” or “men of might,” i. e., the soldier class, who were 7,000. And
(3) craftsmen or artisans, who numbered 1,000. The word here translated “craftsmen” denotes artisans in stone, wood, or metal, and thus includes our “masons, carpenters, and smiths.” The word translated “smiths” means strictly “lock-smiths.”
The object of carrying off these persons was twofold:
(1) it deprived the conquered city of those artisans who were of most service in war; and
(2) it gave the conqueror a number of valuable assistants in the construction of his buildings and other great works.
The Assyrian monarchs frequently record their removal of the skilled artisans from a conquered country. The population of the ancient city has been calculated, from its area, at 15,000. The remnant left was therefore about 5000 or 6,000.
Scattering From Battle Creek Spreads the Light—In the calamities that have befallen our institutions in Battle Creek, we have had an admonition from God. Let us not pass this admonition carelessly by without trying to understand its meaning. There are those who will say, “Of course the Review office must be rebuilt in Battle Creek.” Why did the Lord permit Jerusalem to be destroyed by fire the first time? Why did He permit His people to be overcome by their enemies and carried into heathen lands? It was because they had failed to be His missionaries, and had built walls of division between themselves and the people around them. The Lord scattered them, that the knowledge of His truth might be carried to the world. If they were loyal and true and submissive, God would bring them again into their own land.—Manuscript 22, 1903. PM 176.3Read in context »
10-16 (2 Chronicles 36:20). Israelites Proved Themselves Untrustworthy—The children of Israel were taken captive to Babylon because they separated from God, and no longer maintained the principles that had been given to keep them free from the methods and practices of the nations who dishonored God. The Lord could not give them prosperity, he could not fulfill His covenant with them, while they were untrue to the principles He had given them zealously to maintain. By their spirit and their actions they misrepresented His character, and He permitted them to be taken captive. Because of their separation from Him, He humbled them. He left them to their own ways, and the innocent suffered with the guilty. 2BC 1040.1
The Lord's chosen people proved themselves untrustworthy. They showed themselves to be selfish, scheming, dishonorable. But among the children of Israel there were Christian patriots, who were as true as steel to principle, and upon these loyal men the Lord looked with great pleasure. These were men who would not be corrupted by selfishness, who would not mar the work of God by following erroneous methods and practices, men who would honor God at the loss of all things. They had to suffer with the guilty, but in the providence of God their captivity at Babylon was the means of bringing them to the front, and their example of untarnished integrity shines with heaven's luster (The Review and Herald, May 2, 1899). 2BC 1040.2Read in context »
Scorning the unusual privileges granted him, Judah's king willfully followed a way of his own choosing. He violated his word of honor to the Babylonian ruler, and rebelled. This brought him and his kingdom into a very strait place. Against him were sent “bands of the Chaldees, and bands of the Syrians, and bands of the Moabites, and bands of the children of Ammon,” and he was powerless to prevent the land from being overrun by these marauders. 2 Kings 24:2. Within a few years he closed his disastrous reign in ignominy, rejected of Heaven, unloved by his people, and despised by the rulers of Babylon whose confidence he had betrayed—and all as the result of his fatal mistake in turning from the purpose of God as revealed through His appointed messenger. PK 438.1
Jehoiachin [also known as Jeconiah, and Coniah], the son of Jehoiakim, occupied the throne only three months and ten days, when he surrendered to the Chaldean armies which, because of the rebellion of Judah's ruler, were once more besieging the fated city. On this occasion Nebuchadnezzar “carried away Jehoiachin to Babylon, and the king's mother, and the king's wives, and his officers, and the mighty of the land,” several thousand in number, together with “craftsmen and smiths a thousand.” With these the king of Babylon took “all the treasures of the house of the Lord, and the treasures of the king's house.” 2 Kings 24:15, 16, 13. PK 438.2
The kingdom of Judah, broken in power and robbed of its strength both in men and in treasure, was nevertheless still permitted to exist as a separate government. At its head Nebuchadnezzar placed Mattaniah, a younger son of Josiah, changing his name to Zedekiah. PK 439.1Read in context »