Daniel 1 – Daniel Taken to Babylon

The Book of Daniel begins in 605 BC, at the beginning of the Babylonian exile.  This was the first deportation, before Jerusalem was burned and the Temple destroyed.  Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah were four of the young men that were taken captive and brought to Babylon.  Nebuchadnezzar called the latter three Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego.  These Chaldean names were representative of the Babylonian gods, “Marduk,” “Bel”, and “Nebo.”  The king had the young people educated for three years.  By doing so and giving them these names, as well as feeding them the luxurious foods of the king, he intended to strip them of their Hebrew identities, in order to complete their assimilation.  The food from the kings’s table would also serve to remind them of the source of their daily bread.

Passing lion, glazed terracotta, reign of Nebu...

Passing lion, glazed terracotta, reign of Nebuchadrezzar II (605 BC–562 BC), Babylon, Iraq. This panel decorated the Procession Way which ran from the Marduk temple to the Ishtar Gate and the Akitu Temple. Deposit of the Vorderasiatisches Museum in Berlin. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

But Daniel convinced the chief of the Eunuchs (in whose eyes God had given him favor – verse 9) to allow them to be fed only vegetables and water.  Verse 15 tells us that at the end of ten days on this diet, their appearance was better than the youths that ate the generous diet of the king – obviously more of God’s work.  Verse 17 states that God gave these four learning and skill in literature and wisdom.  Daniel was given understanding of dreams and vision.  When the time came for them to appear before the king, he was pleased to find their wisdom very great indeed ( verse 20).  Also, in verses 11 and 18, we see that Daniel referred to them by their real names.  The boys were refusing to be turned from serving the Lord, despite their circumstances.

Verse 21 says that Daniel was there until the first year of King Cyrus, when Cyrus conquered Babylon in 539 BC.  These four youths demonstrated that it is possible to remain faithful to the Lord while living among the pressures of pagan influences.

Read or listen to audio of ESV version of this selection from this link.

/Bob’s boy
___________________
some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

Please note: I did not design the reading plan that I am following in my blog.  All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility.  When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Bible Reading Schedules” page of my website at http://graceofourlord.com.  For questions and help, please see the “FAQ” and “Summaries” pages there.

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2 Kings 25 – Fall and Captivity of Judah

The events of this chapter are recounted in Jeremiah 52, as God’s judgment on Judah comes to pass.  Nebuchadnezzar and his army besieged Jerusalem for two years.  There was severe famine, and no food was left.  So Zedekiah and his men of war managed to escape through the exit in the wall that is probably referred to as the “Fountain gate” in Nehemiah 3:15.  But the Chaldeans overtook him in the plain s of Jericho.  They slaughtered his sons in front of him, put out his eyes, put him in chains, and took him to Babylon.

Two panels of Babylon gate relief by Nebuchadn...

Two panels of Babylon gate relief by Nebuchadnezzar II (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Then, a servant of the king of Babylon, Nebuzaradan (the captain of the bodyguard) came to Jerusalem.  He burned the house of the Lord, the Kings house, and all the great houses down (verse 9).  Verse 10: “And all the army of the Chaldeans, who were with the captain of the guard, broke down the walls around Jerusalem.” The rest of the people were carried into exile, leaving the poorest as vinedressers and plowmen.  They took the majestic pillars of bronze that Solomon had made; and many were slaughtered.  Nebuchadnezzar made Gedeliah his vassal governor over those left behind in Judah, but he was murdered.  A more complete account of Gedeliah and the circumstances connected with his murder can be found in Jeremiah 40-41.

We close out the Books of Kings with verses 27-30.  After 37 years, Nebuchadnezzar’s son (Evil-merodach) freed Jehoiachin.  He dined at the king’s table and was given a regular allowance.   Thereby, there was hope for the Davidic line and the promises of God to David in 2 Samuel 7:15-16.

Side note: Excavations of Babylon have yielded thousands of inscribed tablets with a wealth of information for scholars. Among many other things, they list the kings of other nations who were captured and living at the palace of the Babylonian king.  Four of those tablets list “Jehoiachin, king of Judah” and his family as receiving rations from the king.  An excellent article with photos, originally posted in the Summer 2007 issue of “Bible and Spade” can be found at this link.

Read or listen to audio of ESV version of this selection from this link.

/Bob’s boy
___________________
some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

Please note: I did not design the reading plan that I am following in my blog.  All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility.  When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Bible Reading Schedules” page of my website at http://graceofourlord.com.  For questions and help, please see the “FAQ” and “Summaries” pages there.

2 Kings 24 – Jerusalem Captured

English: A hilltop view of the ancient city of...

English: A hilltop view of the ancient city of Babylon, where King Nebuchadnezzar II, whose life spanned 630-562 B.C., built his hanging gardens, one of the Seven Wonders of the World. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, had defeated and taken enough from Egypt, that its king “did not come again out of his land” any more.  So, in verse 1, we find that Jehoiakim has switched his allegiance from Egypt to Babylon – then he rebelled against that king.  So God sent bands against him from the Chaldeans, Moabites, Syrians and Ammonites to destroy Judah for the evils of Manasseh and the innocent blood he shed (verses 3-4).    Jehoiakim died and his son, Jehoiachin, became king in his place in 597 BC.  Nebuchadnezzar’s people besieged Jerusalem; and when Nebuchadnezzar himself came to the city, Jehoiachin surrendered to him and was taken captive.

They also carried off all the treasures from the house of the Lord and from the king’s house, just as Isaiah had told Hezekiah would happen in 2 Kings 20:16-18.  The king of Babylon took thousands captive back to Babylon; and made Mattaniah, Jehoiachin’s uncle, king, changing his name to Zedekiah.  He did evil in the sight of the Lord as well (verse 19), and then rebelled against Babylon, as the chapter closes.  But rebellion would be futile.

Read or listen to audio of ESV version of this selection from this link.

/Bob’s boy
___________________
some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

Please note: I did not design the reading plan that I am following in my blog.  All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility.  When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Bible Reading Schedules” page of my website at http://graceofourlord.com.  For questions and help, please see the “FAQ” and “Summaries” pages there.