|Synopsis Home||2 Chronicles Chapter 36|
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Chapters 17 to 18
Chapters 19 and 20
Chapters 29 and 30
Chapters 34 and 35
Delivered into the hands of the kings of Egypt and Babylon
Little need be said of the succeeding reigns. The king of Egypt took possession of the land, and the iniquity of Jehoiakim, whom he made king in Jerusalem, was far from leading to restoration on God's part. One more powerful than the king of Egypt, a king by whom God would commence the dominion of the Gentiles, comes up against Jerusalem, and binds Jehoiakim in fetters, yet leaves him after all to end his reign and his life at Jerusalem. Three years after he carried away his son to Babylon.
Nebuchadnezzar's conquest: the city and sanctuary destroyed by God's just judgment
Zedekiah, whom this king had made to swear by Jehovah -- thus acknowledging the authority of that Name over his conscience, -- more sinful in this respect than Nebuchadnezzar, despises his oath and the name of Jehovah; and, after an interval of fruitless resistance, in which he perseveres in spite of Jeremiah's testimony, he falls into the hands of the king of Babylon, who utterly destroys the city and the sanctuary. For both people and priests were thoroughly corrupted; they dishonoured Jehovah, and despised His prophets, till there was no remedy, and the land enjoyed her sabbaths.
In judgment God remembers mercy: Cyrus prepared and proclaimed as God's instrument
Sad and solemn lesson of the sin and iniquity of man, and of the just judgment of God!
"You only have I known of all the families of the earth; therefore I will punish you for all your iniquities." But in His judgments God remembers mercy; and in the counsels of His grace He had already prepared, and even proclaimed by His prophets (and that by name), an instrument to give His people some respite.
The length of the captivity defined: Cyrus' proclamation
After the seventy years which Jeremiah had announced as the period of Judah's captivity, Jehovah put it into the heart of Cyrus to proclaim publicly that it was Jehovah the God of heaven, who had given him all the kingdoms of the earth, and that He had charged him to build Him a house at Jerusalem. He invites the people of God to go thither, assuring them that Jehovah their God will be with them.
Government and power entrusted to the Gentiles
Thus it is by mercy -- but by a mercy which recognises that power has passed into the hands of the Gentiles -- that the history of Israel's downfall concludes; the downfall of a people placed in the most favourable circumstances, so that God could say to them, "What could have been done more to my vineyard that I have not done in it?" -- of a people that had already been pardoned once; and who, after having allowed the ark of Jehovah to fall into the enemy's hands, and after God had forsaken Shiloh, habitation, had been re-established in blessing, but re-established in vain. The long-suffering of God, the restoration He had granted them, the establishment of the house of David in grace, all was fruitless. The vineyard (for they were men) brought forth wild grapes. Its walls were broken down; it had been laid waste. Jerusalem had ceased for the present to be the throne of Jehovah, and government and power in the earth have been entrusted to the Gentiles.Synopsis by John Darby