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2 Kings 25

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The Fall of Jerusalem to the Babylonians

2 Kings 25

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Lesson Number 40

Background Notes

Doctrinal Point(s)

  1. 1. The way of the transgressor is hard.
  2. 2. The way that seems right may end in death.

Practical Application

  1. Look for light at the end of the tunnel.

Questions

  1. Review the three Babylonian invasions of the kingdom of Judah.
  2. How bad were the conditions in Jerusalem during the siege?
  3. Who was Gedeliah and what happened to him?
  4. How did the remaining Israelites illustrate doctrinal point #2?

Answers

  1. In the first invasion in 605 B.C., Daniel and other noble youths were taken to Babylon as captives. In the second invasion in 597 B.C., Ezekiel and other captives were sent to Babylon. The third invasion, covered in 2 Kings 25, was a year and a half long siege, which ended with the fall of Jerusalem in 586 B.C.
  2. The conditions were so horrible that many people resorted to cannibalism in order to survive.
  3. Gedeliah was appointed by King Nebuchadnezzar to be governor over Judah. He was a good governor and truthfully told the people left in the land that if they would submit to the Babylonians, things would go well with them and they would not have to fear. But some guerilla Israelite forces that had avoided captivity distrusted Gedeliah and assassinated him.
  4. In direct opposition to the good counsel of Gedeliah and Jeremiah they sought refuge in Egypt. This seemed right to them, but it ended in death. These rebellious people all died by the sword when the Babylonians invaded Egypt.

Discuss/Consider

  1. 1. Read Ezekiel 17:11-21. When Zedekiah broke the covenant that he had made before God with King Nebuchadnezzar, he essentially broke the covenant with God. The personal consequences because of his transgression were severe. Discuss this principle, “The way of the transgressor is hard.”
  2. 2. The way that seems right may end in death. This is seen today in the lives of people who try to work their way to salvation. It seems right to them, but it ends in death. Can you think of other examples?

Challenge

  1. Even though the nation’s disobedience and captivity seemed like a long dark tunnel, there was light at the end. Jehoiachin was released from prison – a foretaste of the coming return of the Jews from captivity. Think of this context when you read Jeremiah 29:11.

Key Verses

  • “And all the army of the Chaldeans who were with the captain of the guard broke down the walls of Jerusalem all around.” 2 Kings 25:10
  • “The bronze pillars that were in the house of the LORD, and the carts and the bronze Sea that were in the house of the LORD, the Chaldeans broke in pieces, and carried their bronze to Babylon.” 2 Kings 25:13
  • “And all the people, small and great, and the captains of the armies, arose and went to Egypt; for they were afraid of the Chaldeans.” 2 Kings 25:26

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