Zedekiah rebelled - This was in the eighth year of his reign: and he is strongly reproved for having violated the oath he took to the king of Babylon: see 2 Chronicles 36:13. This was the filling up of the measure of iniquity; and now the wrath of God descends upon this devoted king, city, and people, to the uttermost. See the catastrophe in the next chapter.
It came to pass - Some prefer “came this to pass:” in the sense. “Through the anger of the Lord was it that another had king ruled in Jerusalem and in Judah:” concluding the chapter with the word “presence;” and beginning the next chapter with the words, “And Zedekiah rebelled against the king of Babylon.”
Rebelled - The Book of Jeremiah explains the causes of rebellion. In Zedekiah‘s early years there was an impression, both at Jerusalem Jeremiah 28:1-11 and at Babylon Jeremiah 29:3, and a personal visit Jeremiah 51:59, Zedekiah strove hard to obtain the restoration of the captives and the holy vessels. But he found Nebuchadnezzar obdurate. Zedekiah returned to his own country greatly angered against his suzerain, and immediately proceeded to plot a rebellion. He sought the alliance of the kings of Tyre, Sidon, Moab, Ammon, and Edom Jeremiah 27:3, and made overtures to Hophra, in Egypt, which were favorable received Ezekiel 17:15, whereupon he openly revolted, apparently in his ninth year, 588 B.C. Tyre, it must be remembered, was all this time defying the power of Nebuchadnezzar, and thus setting an example of successful revolt very encouraging to the neighboring states. Nebuchadnezzar, while constantly maintaining an army in Syria, and continuing year after year his attempts to reduce Tyre (compare Ezekiel 29:18) was, it would seem, too much occupied with other matters, such, probably, as the reduction of Susiana Jeremiah 49:34-38, to devote more than a small share of his attention to his extreme western frontier. In that same year, however (588 B.C.), the new attitude taken by Egypt induced him to direct to that quarter the main force of the Empire, and to take the field in person.
The first years of Jehoiakim's reign were filled with warnings of approaching doom. The word of the Lord spoken by the prophets was about to be fulfilled. The Assyrian power to the northward, long supreme, was no longer to rule the nations. Egypt on the south, in whose power the king of Judah was vainly placing his trust, was soon to receive a decided check. All unexpectedly a new world power, the Babylonian Empire, was rising to the eastward and swiftly overshadowing all other nations. PK 422.1
Within a few short years the king of Babylon was to be used as the instrument of God's wrath upon impenitent Judah. Again and again Jerusalem was to be invested and entered by the besieging armies of Nebuchadnezzar. Company after company—at first a few only, but later on thousands and tens of thousands—were to be taken captive to the land of Shinar, there to dwell in enforced exile. Jehoiakim, Jehoiachin, Zedekiah—all these Jewish kings were in turn to become vassals of the Babylonian ruler, and all in turn were to rebel. Severer and yet more severe chastisements were to be inflicted upon the rebellious nation, until at last the entire land was to become a desolation, Jerusalem was to be laid waste and burned with fire, the temple that Solomon had built was to be destroyed, and the kingdom of Judah was to fall, never again to occupy its former position among the nations of earth. PK 422.2Read in context »