2 Kings 25

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2 Kings 25
The pages containing the Books of Kings (1 & 2 Kings) Leningrad Codex (1008 CE).
BookSecond Book of Kings
Hebrew Bible partNevi'im
Order in the Hebrew part4
CategoryFormer Prophets
Christian Bible partOld Testament
Order in the Christian part12

2 Kings 25 is the twenty-fifth and final chapter of the second part of the Books of Kings in the Hebrew Bible or the Second Book of Kings in the Old Testament of the Christian Bible.[1][2] The book is a compilation of recorded acts of the kings of Israel and Judah by a Deuteronomic compiler in the seventh century BCE; a supplement was added in the sixth century BCE.[3] This chapter records the events during the reign of Zedekiah, the last king of Judah, the fall of Jerusalem, the governorship of Gedaliah, and the release of Jehoiachin from prison in Babylon.[4]


This chapter was originally written in Biblical Hebrew. It is divided into 30 verses.

Textual witnesses[edit]

Some early manuscripts containing the text of this chapter in Hebrew are of the Masoretic Text tradition, which includes the Codex Cairensis (895), Aleppo Codex (10th century), and Codex Leningradensis (1008).[5]

There is also a translation into Koine Greek known as the Septuagint, made in the last few centuries BCE. Extant ancient manuscripts of the Septuagint version include Codex Vaticanus (B; B; 4th century) and Codex Alexandrinus (A; A; 5th century).[6][a]

Old Testament references[edit]


A parallel pattern of sequence is observed in the final sections of 2 Kings between 2 Kings 11-20 and 2 Kings 21-25, as follows:[9]

A. Athaliah, daughter of Ahab, kills royal seed (2 Kings 11:1)
B. Joash reigns (2 Kings 1112)
C. Quick sequence of kings of Israel and Judah (2 Kings 1316)
D. Fall of Samaria (2 Kings 17)
E. Revival of Judah under Hezekiah (2 Kings 1820)
A'. Manasseh, a king like Ahab, promotes idolatry and kills the innocence (2 Kings 21)
B'. Josiah reigns (2 Kings 2223)
C'. Quick succession of kings of Judah (2 Kings 24)
D'. Fall of Jerusalem (2 Kings 25)
E'. Elevation of Jehoiachin (2 Kings 25:27–30)[9]

The fall of Jerusalem and exile of Judah (25:1–21)[edit]

King Nebuchadnezzar II of Babylon took the last of Solomon's accumulated masses of gold and silver (verse 15) as he burned Solomon's Temple, palace and much of the city of Jerusalem (verse 9). The fall of Jerusalem parallels the fall of Samaria: [10]

  1. Both cities were besieged three times, from two different enemies. Samaria was twice besieged by the Arameans (1 Kings 20:1; 2 Kings 6:24) and once by the Assyrians (2 Kings 17:5), whereas Jerusalem was besieged once by the Assyrians (2 Kings 1819) and twice by the Babylonians (2 Kings 24:10; 25:1). Each city was ultimately destroyed in its third siege.[10]
  2. The attacks happened after the kings of Israel and Judah revolted against powerful neighbouring regional states.[10]

The last siege of Jerusalem lasted nineteen months (verses 1, 8), until 'the people of the land' being overcome by hunger (verse 3, Lamentations 2:11–12; 4:4–5, 9–10). Zedekiah tried to escape the city, but was captured and heavily punished (verses 4–7). Thereafter, Jerusalem and its remaining inhabitants suffered destruction, burning, plundering, deportation and executions (verses 8–21).[11]

Verse 4[edit]

And the city was broken up, and all the men of war fled by night by the way of the gate between two walls, which is by the king's garden: (now the Chaldees were against the city round about:) and the king went the way toward the plain.[12]
  • Cross references: Jeremiah 39:4; Jeremiah 52:7; Ezekiel 12:12
  • "The city was broken up": in Hebrew: "the city was breached".[13]
  • "The king’s garden": mentioned in Nehemiah 3:15 in conjunction with the pool of Siloam and the stairs that go down from the City of David, which is in the southern part of the city near the Tyropoeon Valley (supported by the reference to the "two walls", that refers to the walls on the eastern and western hills).[14]
  • "Plain" or "Arabah" (עֲרָבָה), the Jordan Valley;[15] also called "the rift valley", extending northward of the Dead Sea past Galilee and southward to the Gulf of Aqaba, here the "plain" specifically refers to the southern part of the Jordan Valley, which has access to cross the Jordan River to Moab or Ammon (Jeremiah 40:14; 41:15 mention that the Ammonites were known to harbor fugitives from the Babylonians).[16]

Verse 7[edit]

And they slew the sons of Zedekiah before his eyes, and put out the eyes of Zedekiah, and bound him with fetters of brass, and carried him to Babylon.[17]

Verse 8[edit]

And in the fifth month, on the seventh day of the month, which is the nineteenth year of king Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, came Nebuzaradan, captain of the guard, a servant of the king of Babylon, unto Jerusalem:[19]
"On the seventh of Av, gentiles entered the Sanctuary, and on the seventh and the eighth they ate there and desecrated it, by engaging in acts of fornication. And on the ninth, adjacent to nightfall, they set fire to it, and it continuously burned the entire day, as it is stated: "Woe unto us, for the day has declined, for the shadows of the evening are stretched out" (Jeremiah 6:4).[23]

Governorship of Gedaliah (25:22–26)[edit]

The aftermath of Jerusalem's defeat seemed to start promisingly, but ended disastrously when the Babylon-appointed governor, Gedaliah ben Ahikam ben Safan was killed by Ishmael ben Nethaniah ben Elishama of the royal family, causing the remaining inhabitants to flee to Egypt in fear of Babylonian reprisal.[25] This passage probably is a summary of a more detailed report in Jeremiah 4041.[26]

Verse 25[edit]

But it came to pass in the seventh month, that Ishmael the son of Nethaniah, the son of Elishama, of the seed royal, came, and ten men with him, and smote Gedaliah, that he died, and the Jews and the Chaldees that were with him at Mizpah.[27]

The assassination of Gedaliah was commemorated in Fast of Gedalia, one of the fast days lamenting the fall of Jerusalem (Zechariah 8:19).[28]

Jehoiachin pardoned (25:27–30)[edit]

Shifting the view from the land of Judah and the community in Egypt to the situation in Babylonia, the books of Kings end with a sign of hope. King Jehoiachin who was in prison since his capture in 598 BCE (attested by clay tablets from 592 BCE reporting regular provisions he received from Babylonian administrators) was pardoned and received special honor from the king of Babylon. With this passage, the editors of the books wished to stress that the history of Davidic kingdom did not end with the fate of Zedekiah and his sons (verse 7), but continue in Jehoiachin as a symbol of hope for freedom, a return to the homeland, and the restoration of the kingdom.[26] The book of Ezekiel, written during the exile in Babylon, dated its prophecies according to Jehoiachin's regnal years (Ezekiel 1:2; 29:17; 31:1). Among his sons and grandchildren (1 Chronicles 3:17–19), Zerubbabel emerged as a hopeful political figure after Babylon's decline (Ezra 2:2; Haggai 2:20–23).[26] The conclusion of the book must have been written during the reign of Evil-Merodach (562-560 BCE), as it seems unaware of the Babylonian king's demise after only two years on throne.[29]

Verse 27[edit]

And it came to pass in the seven and thirtieth year of the captivity of Jehoiachin king of Judah, in the twelfth month, on the seven and twentieth day of the month, that Evilmerodach king of Babylon in the year that he began to reign did lift up the head of Jehoiachin king of Judah out of prison[30]
  • "Seven and thirtieth year": This is 26 years after the destruction of Jerusalem.[31] Jehoiachin would have been 55 years old when he was pardoned (cf. 2 Kings 24:8, 12).[32] Clay tablets discovered in the site of ancient Babylon provide information about the provision he received from the Babylonian administrators.[33] According to Thiele's chronology, the date of Jehoiachin's release from prison was 2 April 561 BCE.[34][35] Book of Jeremiah 52:31 records that Evil-Merodach ordered the release on the 25th day, but the physical release happened on the 27th.[22][36]

Verse 30[edit]

A 6th-century clay tablet listing rations for King Jehoiachin and his sons, captives in Babylon, written in Akkadian language in cuneiform script.
And his allowance was a continual allowance given him of the king, a daily rate for every day, all the days of his life.[37]

In the parallel verse Jeremiah 52:34, there are words "until the day he died" before "all the days of his life".[38]

  • "Rate": "ration", "portion", "provision" or "allowance".[39] Tablets from the royal archives of Nebuchadnezzar II king of Babylon (dated 6th century BC) were unearthed in the ruins of Babylon near the Ishtar Gate that contain food rations paid to captives and craftsmen who lived in and around the city, and two of the tablets (now called "Jehoiachin's Rations Tablets") mentions "Ya’u-kīnu, king of the land of Yahudu", who is identified with Jeconiah, king of Judah,[40] along with his five sons listed as royal princes.[41]


See also[edit]

  • Related Bible parts: 2 Kings 23, 2 Kings 24, 2 Chronicles 36, Jeremiah 37, Jeremiah 52, Luke 1
  • Notes[edit]

    1. ^ The whole book of 2 Kings is missing from the extant Codex Sinaiticus.[7]


    1. ^ Halley 1965, p. 211.
    2. ^ Collins 2014, p. 288.
    3. ^ McKane 1993, p. 324.
    4. ^ Sweeney 2007, pp. 460–470.
    5. ^ Würthwein 1995, pp. 35–37.
    6. ^ Würthwein 1995, pp. 73–74.
    7. ^  This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainHerbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "Codex Sinaiticus". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company.
    8. ^ a b c d e f 2 Kings 25, Berean Study Bible
    9. ^ a b Leithart 2006, p. 266.
    10. ^ a b c Leithart 2006, p. 272.
    11. ^ Dietrich 2007, p. 264.
    12. ^ 2 Kings 25:4 KJV
    13. ^ Note [a] on 2 Kings 25:4 in NET Bible
    14. ^ Note [c] on 2 Kings 25:4 in NET Bible
    15. ^ Note on 2 Kings 25:4 in NKJV
    16. ^ Note [d] on 2 Kings 25:4 in NET Bible
    17. ^ 2 Kings 25:7 KJV
    18. ^ Huey 1993, p. 343.
    19. ^ 2 Kings 25:8 KJV
    20. ^ Ta'anit 29a
    21. ^ "Ab, Ninth Day of". Jewish Encyclopedia. Retrieved July 15, 2013.
    22. ^ a b Gill, John. Exposition of the Entire Bible. "2 Kings 25". Published in 1746-1763.
    23. ^ T. Bab. Taanith, fol. 29. 1.
    24. ^ ANET, p. 307; Rocio Da Riva, "Nebuchadnezzar II's Prism (EŞ 7834): A New Edition," Zeitschrift für Assyriologie und Vorderasiatische Archäologie, vol. 103, no. 2 (2013): 202, Group 1.
    25. ^ Dietrich 2007, pp. 264–265.
    26. ^ a b c Dietrich 2007, p. 265.
    27. ^ 2 Kings 25:25 KJV
    28. ^ Note on 2 Kings 25:25 in NET Bible.
    29. ^ Sweeney 2007, p. 464.
    30. ^ 2 Kings 25:27 KJV
    31. ^ Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges. 2 Kings 25. Accessed 28 April 2019.
    32. ^ Ellicott, C. J. (Ed.) (1905). Ellicott's Bible Commentary for English Readers. 2 Kings 25. London : Cassell and Company, Limited, [1905-1906] Online version: (OCoLC) 929526708. Accessed 28 April 2019.
    33. ^ Sweeney 2007, p. 470.
    34. ^ Thiele 1951, p. 190.
    35. ^ McFall 1991, no. 68.
    36. ^ Poole, Matthew, A Commentary on the Holy Bible. "2 Kings 25". Accessed 22 Agustus 2019.
    37. ^ 2 Kings 25:30 KJV
    38. ^ Note on 2 Kings 25:30 in NET Bible
    39. ^ Note on 2 Kings 25:30 in NKJV
    40. ^ Thomas, David Winton (1958). Documents from Old Testament Times (1961 ed.). Edinburgh and London: Thomas Nelson. p. 84. ISBN 9780061300851.
    41. ^ "Babylonian Ration List: King Jehoiakhin in Exile, 592/1 BCE". COJS.org. The Center for Online Judaic Studies. Archived from the original on 16 June 2013. Retrieved 23 August 2013. Ya'u-kīnu, king of the land of Yahudu


    External links[edit]