And five men of them that were in the king's presence - These were principal counselors, and confidential officers.
In Jeremiah 52:25, it is said he took seven men who were near the king's person, and the same number is found in the Arabic in this place; and the Chaldee has no less than fifty men; but in Jeremiah this, as well as all the rest of the versions, reads seven. Probably they were no more than five at first, or, perhaps Jeremiah reckoned with the five the officer that was set over the men of war, and the principal scribe of the host mentioned here, as two with the five; and thus made seven in the whole.
Out of the city - This clause shows that the five persons mentioned in 2 Kings 25:18 were taken out of the temple.
Five men - Or, “seven men,” according to Jeremiah 52:25. It is impossible to say which of the two numbers is correct.
Of them that were in the king‘s presence - See the margin. A mode of speech arising from the custom of Eastern rulers to withdraw themselves as much as possible from the view of their subjects.
At the time of the final overthrow of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar, many had escaped the horrors of the long siege, only to perish by the sword. Of those who still remained, some, notably the chief of the priests and officers and the princes of the realm, were taken to Babylon and there executed as traitors. Others were carried captive, to live in servitude to Nebuchadnezzar and to his sons “until the reign of the kingdom of Persia: to fulfill the word of the Lord by the mouth of Jeremiah.” Verses 20, 21. PK 459.1
Of Jeremiah himself it is recorded: “Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon gave charge concerning Jeremiah to Nebuchadnezzar-adan the captain of the guard, saying, Take him, and look well to him, and do him no harm; but do unto him even as he shall say unto thee.” Jeremiah 39:11, 12. PK 460.1
Released from prison by the Babylonian officers, the prophet chose to cast in his lot with the feeble remnant, certain “poor of the land” left by the Chaldeans to be “vinedressers and husbandmen.” Over these the Babylonians set Gedaliah as governor. Only a few months passed before the newly appointed governor was treacherously slain. The poor people, after passing through many trials, were finally persuaded by their leaders to take refuge in the land of Egypt. Against this move, Jeremiah lifted his voice in protest. “Go ye not into Egypt,” he pleaded. But the inspired counsel was not heeded, and “all the remnant of Judah, ... even men, and women, and children,” took flight into Egypt. “They obeyed not the voice of the Lord: thus came they even to Tahpanhes.” Jeremiah 43:5-7. PK 460.2Read in context »