2 Kings 24:16 MEANING

2 Kings 24:16
(16) And all the men of might.--"The mighty men of valour" of 2 Kings 24:14. (The words depend on the verb, "he carried away," in 2 Kings 24:14.) As there were 7,000 of these, and 1,000 "craftsmen and smiths," and the total number of the exiles was 10,000, there were 2,000 belonging to the aristocratic classes. Jeremiah 52:28 gives a total of 3,023. Thenius explains his discrepancy as resulting from a transcriber's confusion of a large y, i.e. 10, with g, i.e. 3. Josephus has made his total of 10,832 out of the 832 of the second deportation (Jeremiah 52:29) added to the 10,000 here assigned.

All that were strong and apt for war.--Literally, the whole, warriors and doers of battle. This clause refers to both those which precede, and it states that the 8,000 were all men in their prime, and trained in the use of weapons (Thenius). But may not the term "strong" (gibbor-m, "heroes," "warriors") refer to the 7,000 as actual fighting men; and the phrase "makers of war" denote the craftsmen as employed in forging weapons and constructing defences? (The Syriac reads, and all the men that made war.)

Even them the king of Babylon brought.--Literally, and the King of Babylon brought them.

Verse 16. - And all the men of might - i.e. "The mighty men of valor" (or, "trained soldiers") of ver. 14 - even seven thousand, and craftsmen and smiths a thousand, all that were strong and apt for war - the craftsmen and smiths would be pressed into the military service in the event of a siege - even them the Zing of Babylon brought captive to Babylon; i.e. he brought to Babylon, not only the royal personages, the officials of the court, and the captives who belonged to the upper classes (ver. 15), but also the entire military force which he had deported, and the thousand skilled artificers. All, without exception, were conducted to the capital.

24:8-20 Jehoiachin reigned but three months, yet long enough to show that he justly smarted for his fathers' sins, for he trod in their steps. His uncle was intrusted with the government. This Zedekiah was the last of the kings of Judah. Though the judgments of God upon the three kings before him might have warned him, he did that which was evil, like them. When those intrusted with the counsels of a nation act unwisely, and against their true interest, we ought to notice the displeasure of God in it. It is for the sins of a people that God hides from them the things that belong to the public peace. And in fulfilling the secret purposes of his justice, the Lord needs only leave men to the blindness of their own minds, or to the lusts of their own hearts. The gradual approach of Divine judgments affords sinners space for repentance, and believers leisure to prepare for meeting the calamity, while it shows the obstinacy of those who will not forsake their sins.And all the men of might, even seven thousand,.... The particulars of the 10,000 carried captive are here given; 7000 of which were the principal men of the land:

and craftsmen and smiths one thousand; which made 8000:

all that were strong, and apt for war; of these consisted the other 2000; so Abarbinel reckons them; but, according to the Jewish chronologer (t), which Jarchi and other Jewish commentators follow, the 7000 were out of the tribe of Benjamin and the rest of the tribes, and the 3000 out of the tribe of Judah, which are supposed to be those Jeremiah speaks of, Jeremiah 52:28,

even them the king of Babylon brought captive to Babylon; among these were Ezekiel the prophet, and Mordecai, the uncle of Esther.

(t) Seder Olam Rabba, c. 25.

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