Friday, Apr 28th

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2 Kings 25

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In this the final chapter of 2 Kings, and the final days of the kingdom of Judah, I see the final days of Britain, and what it will be like if we do not remove ourselves from the European Union. The similarity between ancient Judah and modern Britain is striking. The EU views Christianity with contempt, and is attempting to replace us with the slaves of Islam. If the people vote to stay in the EU, they will become as the last king of Judah – given a reward of being brought out of prison and fed as a lesser king by the totalitarian rulers of Europe. The ex-king of Judah wanted for nothing, except freedom and the rule of God. Likewise for us in the EU. Will we become as the last king of Judah, given everything we need by a socialist dictatorship, unable to resist the whims of a cruel Master, but have our throne lower than that of the king of Babylon? Or, will we fight enslavement?

Judah was destroyed because of its continual worship of other gods. Today, we do the same thing, with sins ranging from holding to self-interpretation of scripture, to public support for wicked rulers and evil movements, to tolerating evil sexual perversions. In Judah’s day, God sent equally wicked enemies to subdue and remove Judah. As believers we have let down our Lord, and allowed sin to determine our futures. Any coming enslavement would be our rightful penalty… but, we who know what is happening MUST repent immediately and seek God’s favour, if not with freedom, then at least with holy mercy that we may live. These are my sincere thoughts as we end this Book and look towards either a future of freedom, or a non-future of enslavement. But, anyway, we are seeing the beginning of the end.

Verses 1&2

  1. And it came to pass in the ninth year of his reign, in the tenth month, in the tenth day of the month, that Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came, he, and all his host, against Jerusalem, and pitched against it; and they built forts against it round about.

  2. And the city was besieged unto the eleventh year of king Zedekiah.

Almost ten years into his reign, Nebuchadnezzar (or his generals) went to Jerusalem to subdue and destroy Judah. His intention was clear, for he sent his entire army to do the job. The idea was to starve the people in the city, so they encamped all around and built war-towers along the circumference. The number of people within the city were many times fewer than those in the enemy army. This time, God offered no escape for the wicked inhabitants… their time of reckoning was now due, as it is today in the West, for the continuing disregard for holiness and God. Interestingly, the start of wicked attacking wicked has also begun – Islamic terrorists killing homosexuals! Zedekiah was in his eleventh year of rule after being given the job by Nebuchadnezzar, who was compelled to make him an example.

(Note on Nebuchadnezzar: He reigned about 634 BC to 562 BC and thought that he was Nabu’s favourite human son. He believed his life and achievements were of fate, for he was also named Bakhat Nasar, meaning “fate winner”. He was sent by his father, king Nabopolassar, with a vast army to conquer the Assyrian and Egyptian armies, and so Phoenicia and Syria were brought under Babylonian control. In August of the same year the king died and so Nebuchadnezzar returned to take the throne. After defeating several former allies, he sent his army westward, because his marriage to a daughter of the Medianite king ensured peace between the two countries, therefore Median was not attacked.

His reign was replete with war and conquest, including a thirteen year siege against Tyre. After several more wars, Nebuchadnezzar returned to Babylon to beautify it with the famed hanging gardens, aqueducts, canals, reservoirs and temples. It was here that Daniel spent most of his adult years).

Verses 3-7

  1. And on the ninth day of the fourth month the famine prevailed in the city, and there was no bread for the people of the land.

  2. 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.

  3. And the army of the Chaldees pursued after the king, and overtook him in the plains of Jericho: and all his army were scattered from him.

  4. So they took the king, and brought him up to the king of Babylon to Riblah; and they gave judgment upon him.

  5. 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.

Just over four months into the siege, Jerusalem was beset by famine and the people were starving. The city was “broken up” or divided as to what should be done. Note that no man urged the king to seek God! Thus, the warriors of Jerusalem escaped at night by way of a gate near the king’s garden in the north/north-west of the city, probably near a corner (“between two walls”). The king, too, tried to escape by the same route, but “the Chaldees were against the city round about”, and saw the escape. They chased after the king and caught him on the desert plain just before Jericho, his fighting men scattered all around.

The captured king was taken back and handed over to Nebuchadnezzar, who was staying at Riblah on Israel’s north-eastern boundary with Syria. As a punishment, Nebuchadnezzar slaughtered Zedekiah’s sons he watched. Then, after being forced to watch the killings, he had his eyes put out, either by a red hot poker or a sharp dagger. The defeated king was then bound in brass shackles and taken to Babylon as a showpiece of conquest.

Today, Christians are the symbols of conquest of socialist Europe, and of socialist Islam. However, while this is a sign of defeat, we must remember what happened when Samson was blinded and had his power removed… God allowed him to bring glory to God again. Samson repented and destroyed the evil conquerors. Will we do this? We cannot know until we have repented.

Verses 8-12

  1. 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:

  2. And he burnt the house of the LORD, and the king's house, and all the houses of Jerusalem, and every great man's house burnt he with fire.

  3. And all the army of the Chaldees, that were with the captain of the guard, brake down the walls of Jerusalem round about.

  4. Now the rest of the people that were left in the city, and the fugitives that fell away to the king of Babylon, with the remnant of the multitude, did Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard carry away.

  5. But the captain of the guard left of the poor of the land to be vinedressers and husbandmen.

About ten years later, Zedekiah was still languishing, blind, in Babylon’s dungeons, and the captain of Nebuchadnezzar’s guard, general Nehuzaradan, was sent to Jerusalem. (Note that this captain was also dedicated to Nabu, as shown in the first part of his name). His task was to burn down the Temple, the palace, and all the houses of the higher-ranking members of the city. The attendant Chaldee soldiers then proceeded to demolish the walls of Jerusalem.

The very few influential people who still remained in the city were carried away to Babylon, and the poor people were allowed to stay, to tend the fields and animals the best way they could. In every way the people were now destitute because of successive wickedness by the kings of Judah, and their own compliance. Thus, God, by way of wicked rulers, brought about the thorough destruction of Judah.

Is this to be our fate, today? Or, will we repent and fall at the feet of Almighty God? Will we continue to vote for the ‘best of the rotten bunch’, or refuse to uphold them? This demands our total holiness, or our sinful laxity.

Verses 13-17

  1. And 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, did the Chaldees break in pieces, and carried the brass of them to Babylon.

  2. And the pots, and the shovels, and the snuffers, and the spoons, and all the vessels of brass wherewith they ministered, took they away.

  3. And the firepans, and the bowls, and such things as were of gold, in gold, and of silver, in silver, the captain of the guard took away.

  4. The two pillars, one sea, and the bases which Solomon had made for the house of the LORD; the brass of all these vessels was without weight.

  5. The height of the one pillar was eighteen cubits, and the chapiter upon it was brass: and the height of the chapiter three cubits; and the wreathen work, and pomegranates upon the chapiter round about, all of brass: and like unto these had the second pillar with wreathen work.

The Babylonian forces had already sacked the Temple and Palace, but evidently some things were still in the city, including the massive ‘sea’ bowl, and the heavy bases of the urns that stood around the Temple. These were broken up and taken back to Babylon, along with many gold and silver items used in Temple services. The two brass pillars that stood either side of the Temple door were also taken, no doubt with great difficulty. You will remember that God had by now turned His back on the Temple because the desecration of the people and kings was so great. In our day, as I have warned time and again, God will stand back from us when we refuse to repent, so His protections and favours will not be given.

Verses 18-21

  1. And the captain of the guard took Seraiah the chief priest, and Zephaniah the second priest, and the three keepers of the door:

  2. And out of the city he took an officer that was set over the men of war, and five men of them that were in the king's presence, which were found in the city, and the principal scribe of the host, which mustered the people of the land, and threescore men of the people of the land that were found in the city:

  3. And Nebuzaradan captain of the guard took these, and brought them to the king of Babylon to Riblah:

  4. And the king of Babylon smote them, and slew them at Riblah in the land of Hamath. So Judah was carried away out of their land.

To complete the total ruin of Jerusalem, the high priest, his deputy, and the keepers of the money-gift cask, were taken away, with the general of the small army and five officials who attended the king, plus the chief scribe and sixty other men. These were all sent back to Riblah for the king of Babylon to deal with. He chose to put them to death, thus leaving Judah a destroyed land with only a few destitute amateur farmers to live by meagre means.

Do you think this kind of thing cannot happen to ourselves, though we are believers? Do you know about the increasing wickedness of the apostate Church of England, and the serious sinfulness of Christians? And their voting for wicked MPs and leaders, and their approval of bringing Islam into the land? And their watering-down of truth and poisoning of the well of God before the people? These will bring God’s wrath upon us, just as the kings ruined Judah. Will we survive what is now ruining our land? Look to yourselves, each one of you (this includes me). Repent.

Verses 22-26

  1. And as for the people that remained in the land of Judah, whom Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon had left, even over them he made Gedaliah the son of Ahikam, the son of Shaphan, ruler.

  2. And when all the captains of the armies, they and their men, heard that the king of Babylon had made Gedaliah governor, there came to Gedaliah to Mizpah, even Ishmael the son of Nethaniah, and Johanan the son of Careah, and Seraiah the son of Tanhumeth the Netophathite, and Jaazaniah the son of a Maachathite, they and their men.

  3. And Gedaliah sware to them, and to their men, and said unto them, Fear not to be the servants of the Chaldees: dwell in the land, and serve the king of Babylon; and it shall be well with you.

  4. 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.

  5. And all the people, both small and great, and the captains of the armies, arose, and came to Egypt: for they were afraid of the Chaldees.

Nebuchadnezzar put another puppet ruler in Judah to rule what was by then a desolate outpost of Babylon. Gedaliah (‘whom Jehovah has made great’), a Jew, became governor of what was now a less than prestigious country. As we read earlier, he was the grandson of Shaphan, scribe to king Josiah.

When news of Gedaliah’s appointment was known, the Jewish generals of Nebuchadnezzar, with their soldiers, went to see the new governor. They are named as Ishmael, Johanan, Seraiah, and Jaazaniah. Ishmael (‘God will hear’) became an assassin of the new governor; Johanan (‘Jehovah has graced’), whose father upheld the governor and avenged his murder; Seraiah (‘Jehovah is ruler’) and his father had sworn to obey Nebuchadnezzar and the governor; Jaazaniah (‘Jehovah hears’) led soldiers of Judah.

Gedaliah persuaded the generals to obey Nebuchadnezzar and the Chaldees, to ensure their safety. Evidently this did not make at least one of them happy; Ishmael, who, seven months later, went to the governor with ten soldiers, and assassinated him. This might have been because Ishmael was a royal prince, or, because he felt Judah should rebel. He also killed the Jews and Chaldees that were with the governor. Fearing the Chaldees, the generals and their soldiers ran to Egypt. How many Christians support someone of God, and then turn against them, often viciously? This happens time and again. Little changes over time!

Verses 27-30

  1. 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;

  2. And he spake kindly to him, and set his throne above the throne of the kings that were with him in Babylon;

  3. And changed his prison garments: and he did eat bread continually before him all the days of his life.

  4. And his allowance was a continual allowance given him of the king, a daily rate for every day, all the days of his life.

A long time later, almost 38 years after king Jehoiachin was captured and imprisoned, the new short-lived king of Babylon, Evilmerodach (‘evil’=man, ‘Merodach’=his place of birth, 562 BC – 560 BC), son of Nebuchadnezzar, had sympathy for the Jewish ex-king, and took him out of prison. Not only was the ex-king taken out of prison, but he was placed in the ruler’s throne-hall. In the hall were the thrones of all the vassal kings who pledged their allegiance to Babylon. Though himself a vassal, Jehoiachin’s throne was elevated higher than the other vassal thrones. His garments were changed for fresh kingly clothes, and good-quality food was guaranteed for the remainder of his life.

Even so, being subject to a foreign rule is still a form of imprisonment. This is happening in Europe, where nations have become vassals to the foreign rule of the European Union. That rule has imported even more foreign influences in the form of Islam, and these are helping to subdue the nations. Eventually and quickly, they will themselves overcome the foreign ruler. These movements are the natural result of disobeying God and causing the people to follow false gods. It would seem that these are the death-throes of free people, and the beginning of the end of this world. Meanwhile, we remain in the shackles of the foreign power.

Judah saw the demise of Israel and knew why the nation was destroyed. Yet, it decided to do evil, the same evil that Israel did. Their end was thus assured. As the saying goes, they “rode to hell on horseback” recklessly ignoring God and His commands. We are doing this same thing today. God help us to repent.

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Published on www.christiandoctrine.com

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