JEREMIAH LESSON 54
We will begin this lesson in Jeremiah 52:1 "Zedekiah [was] one
and twenty years old when he began to reign, and he reigned eleven
years in Jerusalem. And his mother's name [was] Hamutal the daughter
of Jeremiah of Libnah."
This is a recapping of the historical message of Jeremiah. We can
understand a few of Zedekiah's problems better, when we realize that
he was such a youth when he began to reign. Even after his eleven
years reign, he was just 32 years old. We must not confuse the
Jeremiah, grandfather of Zedekiah, with Jeremiah the penman of this
Jeremiah 52:2 "And he did [that which was] evil in the eyes of
the LORD, according to all that Jehoiakim had done."
Notice the statement, according as Jehoiakim had done. It seems,
Zedekiah patterned his actions on those of Jehoiachim. Perhaps this
was because of his youth.
Jeremiah 52:3 "For through the anger of the LORD it came to pass
in Jerusalem and Judah, till he had cast them out from his presence,
that Zedekiah rebelled against the king of Babylon."
The one thing we must remember in this is that it was God's anger
against Judah and Jerusalem, that caused the king of Babylon to be
able to defeat Judah.
Jeremiah 52:4 "And it came to pass in the ninth year of his
reign, in the tenth month, in the tenth [day] of the month, [that]
Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon came, he and all his army, against
Jerusalem, and pitched against it, and built forts against it round
This is giving details about how all of this came about. There is
an account of this very thing in 2 Kings chapter 24 verse 18 through
chapter 25 verse 30.
Jeremiah 52:5 "So the city was besieged unto the eleventh year of
The city was in battle approximately 2 years. Actually 18 months
would be closer.
Jeremiah 52:6 "And in the fourth month, in the ninth [day] of the
month, the famine was sore in the city, so that there was no bread for
the people of the land."
We see from this, the war was not the only punishment against
them. God brought famine to them, to cause them to surrender. You
cannot fight a war and plant a crop at the same time, so the famine
partially came, because they could not plant. A hungry belly sometimes
encourages a person to surrender.
Jeremiah 52:7 "Then the city was broken up, and all the men of
war fled, and went forth out of the city by night by the way of the
gate between the two walls, which [was] by the king's garden; (now the
Chaldeans [were] by the city round about:) and they went by the way of
the plain." Jeremiah 52:8 "But the army of the Chaldeans pursued
after the king, and overtook Zedekiah in the plains of Jericho; and
all his army was scattered from him."
This is a detailed description of how the king tried to flee from
the besieged city, and was caught.
Jeremiah 52:9 "Then they took the king, and carried him up unto
the king of Babylon to Riblah in the land of Hamath; where he gave
judgment upon him." Jeremiah 52:10 "And the king of Babylon slew the
sons of Zedekiah before his eyes: he slew also all the princes of
Judah in Riblah."
One of the saddest things for a parent to see, is the execution
of their sons. This was the terrible punishment that Zedekiah had to
endure. This would break his heart. Even those who are cruel to
others, love their own flesh and blood. Nebuchadnezzar passed the
Jeremiah 52:11 "Then he put out the eyes of Zedekiah; and the
king of Babylon bound him in chains, and carried him to Babylon, and
put him in prison till the day of his death."
Even more severe punishment than death is the loss of your eyes.
He could not see, so they had to lead him. He was in chains and in
prison, until he died in Babylon.
Jeremiah 52:12 "Now in the fifth month, in the tenth [day] of
the month, which [was] the nineteenth year of Nebuchadrezzar king of
Babylon, came Nebuzar-adan, captain of the guard, [which] served the
king of Babylon, into Jerusalem," Jeremiah 52:13 "And burned the
house of the LORD, and the king's house; and all the houses of
Jerusalem, and all the houses of the great [men], burned he with
The actual burning of the temple and the houses in Jerusalem were
carried out by Nebuzar-adan. He burned all the important buildings.
The city of Jerusalem was left in rubble.
Jeremiah 52:14 "And all the army of the Chaldeans, that [were]
with the captain of the guard, brake down all the walls of Jerusalem
They were not satisfied with just burning everything up. They
destroyed the wall, as well. It would not burn, because it was made of
Jeremiah 52:15 "Then Nebuzar-adan the captain of the guard
carried away captive [certain] of the poor of the people, and the
residue of the people that remained in the city, and those that fell
away, that fell to the king of Babylon, and the rest of the
multitude." Jeremiah 52:16 "But Nebuzar-adan the captain of the guard
left [certain] of the poor of the land for vinedressers and for
A very few of the poor people were carried away captive, instead
of being killed. Some were even left in the land of Judah to take care
of the vineyards and fields. God will always save a remnant of His
Jeremiah 52:17 "Also the pillars of brass that [were] in the
house of the LORD, and the bases, and the brasen sea that [was] in the
house of the LORD, the Chaldeans brake, and carried all the brass of
them to Babylon."
"Brass" symbolizes judgement, and God will not hold them
blameless for desecrating the temple. They even broke the pieces of
brass into smaller pieces to be able to carry it away. These beautiful
things of the temple were no more.
Jeremiah 52:18 "The caldrons also, and the shovels, and the
snuffers, and the bowls, and the spoons, and all the vessels of brass
wherewith they ministered, took they away." Jeremiah 52:19 "And the
basins, and the firepans, and the bowls, and the caldrons, and the
candlesticks, and the spoons, and the cups; [that] which [was] of gold
[in] gold, and [that] which [was] of silver [in] silver, took the
captain of the guard away."
To spoil the people is terrible, but to spoil the temple of God
is much worse. These are speaking of the things of the temple.
Remember, gold was used in the most holy place where the presence of
God was. "Gold" symbolizes the pureness of God. "Silver" symbolizes
Jeremiah 52:20 "The two pillars, one sea, and twelve brasen bulls
that [were] under the bases, which king Solomon had made in the house
of the LORD: the brass of all these vessels was without weight."
Jeremiah 52:21 "And [concerning] the pillars, the height of one pillar
[was] eighteen cubits; and a fillet of twelve cubits did compass it;
and the thickness thereof [was] four fingers: [it was] hollow."
These pillars were 27 feet long, if a cubit is 18 inches long. I
believe it is speaking of the thickness of the metal, as being as
thick as 4 fingers. Even though it was hollow in the middle, it would
be tremendously heavy. The brass would have been very valuable just
for metal. The real value was the beautiful art work.
Jeremiah 52:22 "And a chapiter of brass [was] upon it; and the
height of one chapiter [was] five cubits, with network and
pomegranates upon the chapiters round about, all [of] brass. The
second pillar also and the pomegranates [were] like unto these."
"Chapiter", in the verse above, means capitol of a column. This
decorative top was 7 and 1/2 feet high. These beautiful pillars would
be taken away, also.
Jeremiah 52:23 "And there were ninety and six pomegranates on a
side; [and] all the pomegranates upon the network [were] an hundred
This verse just shows the beautiful designs that were on the
pillars. Thousands of hours of work had gone into the making of these.
Now, they are gone.
Jeremiah 52:24 "And the captain of the guard took Seraiah the
chief priest, and Zephaniah the second priest, and the three keepers
of the door:"
This is not the same Seraiah, as in the last lesson who was the
brother of Baruch. Seraiah, the brother of Baruch, was secretary to
Jeremiah, as was Baruch. These two, Seraiah and Zephaniah, were
actually in charge of the temple. They were high priest and priest.
Jeremiah 52:25 "He took also out of the city an eunuch, which had
the charge of the men of war; and seven men of them that were near the
king's person, which were found in the city; and the principal scribe
of the host, who mustered the people of the land; and threescore men
of the people of the land, that were found in the midst of the city."
All of these might have been able to get the people to follow
them. They took them, because the people would surrender, if they did
not have leaders.
Jeremiah 52:26 "So Nebuzar-adan the captain of the guard took
them, and brought them to the king of Babylon to Riblah."
Riblah was the headquarters of the army of Babylon. This is where
the king stayed and sent his men from to battle. The king of Babylon,
spoken of here, is Nebuchadnezzar.
Jeremiah 52:27 "And the king of Babylon smote them, and put them
to death in Riblah in the land of Hamath. Thus Judah was carried away
captive out of his own land."
This means that he killed the priest, high priest, the eunuch,
and the other men. He did not wait, until he got back to Babylon. He
killed them at Riblah.
Jeremiah 52:28 "This [is] the people whom Nebuchadrezzar carried
away captive: in the seventh year three thousand Jews and three and
This, probably, is a misinterpretation and this should say the
seventeenth year. That is an unimportant point. The fact is,
Nebuchadnezzar took 3023 Jews captive. This would be classified as a
Jeremiah 52:29 "In the eighteenth year of Nebuchadrezzar he
carried away captive from Jerusalem eight hundred thirty and two
This is, probably, the very next year, when he took 832 more
Jeremiah 52:30 "In the three and twentieth year of Nebuchadrezzar
Nebuzar-adan the captain of the guard carried away captive of the Jews
seven hundred forty and five persons: all the persons [were] four
thousand and six hundred."
Five years later, the army of Nebuchadnezzar carried away an
additional 745 persons captive. The total captives taken added up to
Jeremiah 52:31 "And it came to pass in the seven and thirtieth
year of the captivity of Jehoiachin king of Judah, in the twelfth
month, in the five and twentieth [day] of the month, [that] Evil-
merodach king of Babylon in the [first] year of his reign lifted up
the head of Jehoiachin king of Judah, and brought him forth out of
Jehoiachin was in captivity 36 years. The 37th year of the
captivity, he was released. "Evil-merodach" is a name that shows that
this evil king of Babylon worshipped the false god Merodach. The
statement, "lifted up the head", means they took him out of chains and
Jeremiah 52:32 "And spake kindly unto him, and set his throne
above the throne of the kings that [were] with him in Babylon,"
This evil king sets up Jehoiachin as a subordinate ruler to him.
Jeremiah 52:33 "And changed his prison garments: and he did
continually eat bread before him all the days of his life."
He is now like a prince in the house of this evil Babylonian
king. He is no longer dressed like a captive, or fed like a captive.
Jeremiah 52:34 "And [for] his diet, there was a continual diet
given him of the king of Babylon, every day a portion until the day of
his death, all the days of his life."
This is just saying, that the king of Babylon fed Jehoiachin the
same food he ate for the rest of his life. It is interesting that the
total captivity of Judah by Babylon was 70 year. Jehoiachin was in
captivity just 36 years.
Lamentations is actually a continuation of Jeremiah. The next
lesson will pick up with Lamentations.
Jeremiah 54 Questions
1. How old was Zedekiah when he began to reign?
2. How long did he reign?
3. What was his mother's name?
4. Was the Jeremiah, of verse 1, the penman of the book of Jeremiah?
5. Who did he pattern his reign after?
6. Who did Zedekiah rebel against?
7. What year of Zedekiah's reign did Nebuchadnezzar come against
8. Where, in the Bible, is there another account of this very thing?
9. How long was the battle for Jerusalem fought?
10. Why was there famine?
11. How did Zedekiah try to escape?
12. Who took him?
13. Where did they take Zedekiah?
14. Who judged him?
15. What happened to his sons?
16. What did Nebuchadnezzar do to Zedekiah?
17. Who did the actual burning of the temple?
18. What happened to the walls of Jerusalem?
19. What happened to the poor, who did not die in battle?
20. What were the pillars of the temple made of?
21. What does "brass" symbolize?
22. Name some of the things taken from the temple.
23. What does "gold" symbolize?
24. What does "silver" symbolize?
25. How long were the pillars?
26. How thick was the metal used in the pillars?
27. What was a "chapiter"?
28. What was the decoration on the chapiter?
29. Who is Seraiah of verse 24?
30. Who else did they take, besides Seraiah?
31. What happened to them?
32. How many people did Nebuchadnezzar take captive the 17th year?
33. How many did he take captive the 18th year?
34. How many did he take captive the 23rd year?
35. How many years was Jehoiachin held captive?
36. What happened to him at the end of this time?
37. Why was the king named "Evil-merodach"?
38. Why is Lamentations our next lesson?