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The Complete Jewish Bible with Rashi Commentary
   

Divrei Hayamim II - II Chronicles - Chapter 36

Divrei Hayamim II - II Chronicles - Chapter 36

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Rashi's Commentary:

Chapter 36

1. And the people of the land took Jehoahaz the son of Josiah and made him king instead of his father in Jerusalem.   א. וַיִּקְחוּ עַם הָאָרֶץ אֶת יְהוֹאָחָז בֶּן יֹאשִׁיָּהוּ וַיַּמְלִיכֻהוּ תַחַת אָבִיו בִּירוּשָׁלִָם:
and made him king instead of his father: although Jehoiakim his brother was twenty-one months his senior.  
2. Jehoahaz was twenty-three years old when he became king, and he reigned three months in Jerusalem.   ב. בֶּן שָׁלוֹשׁ וְעֶשְׂרִים שָׁנָה יוֹאָחָז בְּמָלְכוֹ וּשְׁלֹשָׁה חֳדָשִׁים מָלַךְ בִּירוּשָׁלִָם:
3. And the king of Egypt deposed him in Jerusalem, and he imposed a fine upon the land of one hundred talents of silver and a talent of gold.   ג. וַיְסִירֵהוּ מֶלֶךְ מִצְרַיִם בִּירוּשָׁלִָם וַיַּעֲנשׁ אֶת הָאָרֶץ מֵאָה כִכַּר כֶּסֶף וְכִכַּר זָהָב:
And the king of Egypt deposed him in Jerusalem: This is explained thoroughly in II Kings (23:33): “And Pharaoh-Neco imprisoned him in Riblah in the land of Hamath.”  
in Jerusalem: from reigning in Jerusalem.  
and he imposed a fine upon the land: to give taxes. An example is (Deut. 22:19): “And they shall fine him one hundred pieces of silver.”  
4. And the king of Egypt crowned Eliakim his brother over Judah and Jerusalem, and he changed his name to Jehoiakim, and Neco took Joahaz his brother and brought him to Egypt.   ד. וַיַּמְלֵךְ מֶלֶךְ מִצְרַיִם אֶת אֶלְיָקִים אָחִיו עַל יְהוּדָה וִירוּשָׁלִַם וַיַּסֵּב אֶת שְׁמוֹ יְהוֹיָקִים וְאֶת יוֹאָחָז אָחִיו לָקַח נְכוֹ וַיְבִיאֵהוּ מִצְרָיְמָה:
and he changed his name to Jehoiakim: It is the custom of kings and princes to bestow a by-name upon their servants as they wish. An example is (Gen. 41:45): “And Pharaoh named Joseph, etc.,” and so (Num. 13:16): “and Moses called Hoshea the son of Nun, Joshua,” and so, (Dan. 1:7): “Now the chief officer gave them names, etc.” All this is to make known that he rules over him to name him as he desires.  
and he changed his name to Jehoiakim: Why did he change his name to Jehoiakim? It is explained above that after Pharaoh slew Josiah, he appointed a king and fined them by imposing a tribute of enslavement upon them.  
5. Jehoiakim was twenty-five years old when he became king, and he reigned eleven years in Jerusalem, and he did that which was evil in the eyes of the Lord his God.   ה. בֶּן עֶשְׂרִים וְחָמֵשׁ שָׁנָה יְהוֹיָקִים בְּמָלְכוֹ וְאַחַת עֶשְׂרֵה שָׁנָה מָלַךְ בִּירוּשָׁלִָם וַיַּעַשׂ הָרַע בְּעֵינֵי יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהָיו:
6. Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon advanced upon him, and bound him in copper chains to bring him to Babylon.   ו. עָלָיו עָלָה נְבוּכַדְנֶאצַּר מֶלֶךְ בָּבֶל וַיַּאַסְרֵהוּ בַּנְחֻשְׁתַּיִם לְהֹלִיכוֹ בָּבֶלָה:
Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon advanced upon him: because Pharaoh could not go forth from his land, as it is written (II Kings 24:7): “And the king of Egypt no longer went out of his land, for the king of Babylonia had taken from the river of Egypt until the Euphrates River, all that belonged to the king of Egypt,” for he defeated him in the fourth year in Carchemish on the Euphrates River, as is delineated in Jeremiah (46:2).  
to bring him to Babylon: He did not actually bring him, however, but he died on the way, and they cast away his corpse, and so did Jeremiah prophesy (22:19): “ A donkey’s burial shall he be buried, dragged and tossed past the gates of Jerusalem.” Now where is a donkey’s burial? In a dog’s stomach, and so it is apparent in II Kings (24: 6): “And Jehoiakim slept with his forefathers,” but it is not written: “and they buried him.”  
7. And Nebuchadnezzar brought some of the vessels of the House of the Lord to Babylon and placed them in his palace in Babylon.   ז. וּמִכְּלֵי בֵּית יְהֹוָה הֵבִיא נְבוּכַדְנֶאצַּר לְבָבֶל וַיִּתְּנֵם בְּהֵיכָלוֹ בְּבָבֶל:
And some of the vessels of the House of the Lord: And some of the vessels of the House of the Lord, and concerning this, Jeremiah prophesied (27:21): “For so said the Lord of Hosts, the God of Israel, concerning the vessels remaining, etc.” Seder Olam questions (Dan. 1:1): “In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim, king of Judah, etc. and the Lord delivered… into his hand.” Here, however, it is apparent that it was in the eleventh year of his reign. Now what is the meaning of “in the third year”? Counting from his rebellion, for it is stated (II Kings 24:1): “and Jehoiakim was his vassal for three years, then he turned and rebelled against him” for three years, and in the third year of his rebellion, he advanced against him, and that is the eighth year of Nebuchadnezzar, for the master taught: In the first year [of his reign] he conquered Nineveh; in the second year he vanquished Jehoiakim, who served him for three years and rebelled against him for three years, and he did not reign until the fourth year of Jehoiakim, for it is stated (Jer. 25:1): “in the fourth year of Jehoiakim, the son of Josiah, king of Judah - that was the first year of Nebuchadnezzar.”  
8. And the rest of the affairs of Jehoiakim and the abominations which he committed, and that which was found upon him-behold they are written in the book of the kings of Israel and Judah, and Jehoiachin his son reigned in his stead.   ח. וְיֶתֶר דִּבְרֵי יְהוֹיָקִים וְתוֹעֲבוֹתָיו אֲשֶׁר עָשָׂה וְהַנִּמְצָא עָלָיו הִנָּם כְּתוּבִים עַל סֵפֶר מַלְכֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל וִיהוּדָה וַיִּמְלֹךְ יְהוֹיָכִין בְּנוֹ תַּחְתָּיו:
and the abominations: that he was intimate with his mother.  
and that which was found upon him: This alludes to a tattoo, [something found on the body].  
9. Jehoiachin was eight years old when he became king, and he reigned three months and ten days in Jerusalem, and he did that which was evil in the eyes of the Lord.   ט. בֶּן שְׁמוֹנֶה שָׁנִים יְהוֹיָכִין בְּמָלְכוֹ וּשְׁלֹשָׁה חֳדָשִׁים וַעֲשֶׂרֶת יָמִים מָלַךְ בִּירוּשָׁלִָם וַיַּעַשׂ הָרַע בְּעֵינֵי יְהֹוָה:
10. And at the return of the year, King Nebuchadnezzar sent and brought him to Babylon with the precious vessels of the House of the Lord, and he made Zedekiah his brother king over Judah and Jerusalem.   י. וְלִתְשׁוּבַת הַשָּׁנָה שָׁלַח הַמֶּלֶךְ נְבוּכַדְנֶאצַּר וַיְבִאֵהוּ בָבֶלָה עִם כְּלֵי חֶמְדַּת בֵּית יְהֹוָה וַיַּמְלֵךְ אֶת צִדְקִיָּהוּ אָחִיו עַל יְהוּדָה וִירוּשָׁלִָם:
And at the return of the year: that Jehoiakim was exiled.  
with the precious vessels of the House of the Lord: the desirable things. Those he took, and the rest he left until the exile of Zedekiah. Then he took everything with him. And in II Kings (24:12), it is explained that “Jehoiachin, the king of Judah, came out to the king of Babylonia, etc.”  
and he made Zedekiah his brother king: Jehoiakim’s brother, and so in II Kings (24:17), “And the king of Babylonia crowned Mattaniah his uncle in his stead and changed his name to Zedekiah,” Jehoiachin’s uncle.  
11. Zedekiah was twenty-one years old when he became king, and he reigned eleven years in Jerusalem.   יא. בֶּן עֶשְׂרִים וְאַחַת שָׁנָה צִדְקִיָּהוּ בְמָלְכוֹ וְאַחַת עֶשְׂרֵה שָׁנָה מָלַךְ בִּירוּשָׁלִָם:
12. And he did that which was evil in the eyes of the Lord his God; he did not humble himself before Jeremiah the prophet, [speaking] from the mouth of the Lord.   יב. וַיַּעַשׂ הָרַע בְּעֵינֵי יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהָיו לֹא נִכְנַע מִלִּפְנֵי יִרְמְיָהוּ הַנָּבִיא מִפִּי יְהֹוָה:
And he did that which was evil in the eyes of the Lord: What is the evil? That he did not humble himself before Jeremiah the prophet, [who spoke] from the mouth of the Lord, as is explained in Jeremiah (38:17ff.): “And Jeremiah said to Zedekiah, 'So said the Lord God of Hosts, the God of Israel: If you go out, etc.’…’I fear the Jews, etc.’” But aside from this sin, he did not sin except insofar as he did not obey the words of the prophet speaking from the mouth of the Lord, and that he transgressed Nebuchadnezzar’s oath. But he did not do “his abominations and that which was found in” Jehoiakim, i.e., the evil done by Jehoiakim. [This was heard] from Rabbi Eliezer the son of Rabbi Meshullam.  
13. And he also rebelled against King Nebuchadnezzar, who adjured him by God, and he stiffened his neck and strengthened his heart, not to return to the Lord God of Israel.   יג. וְגַם בַּמֶּלֶךְ נְבוּכַדְנֶאצַּר מָרָד אֲשֶׁר הִשְׁבִּיעוֹ בֵּאלֹהִים וַיֶּקֶשׁ אֶת עָרְפּוֹ וַיְאַמֵּץ אֶת לְבָבוֹ מִשּׁוּב אֶל יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל:
who adjured him by God: as is explained in Ezekiel (17:12): “Say now to the rebellious house, etc.” The entire chapter was written regarding Jehoiachin and Zedekiah: (verse 13f.) “took its king and its princes, and brought them to him to Babylon,” refers to Jehoiachin and his company. “And he took of the royal seed and formed a covenant with him,” refers to Zedekiah.  
14. Also, all the chiefs of the priests and the people committed many treacherous acts, like all the abominations of the nations, and they defiled the House of the Lord, which He had hallowed in Jerusalem.   יד. גַּם כָּל שָׂרֵי הַכֹּהֲנִים וְהָעָם הִרְבּוּ לִמְעָל מַעַל כְּכֹל תֹּעֲבוֹת הַגּוֹיִם וַיְטַמְּאוּ אֶת בֵּית יְהֹוָה אֲשֶׁר הִקְדִּישׁ בִּירוּשָׁלִָם:
Also, all etc.: They should have instructed Israel, as it is written (Deut. 24:8): “in accordance with all that the priests, the Levites, instruct you.” This does not refer to simple priests, who have no power to protest, but to the chiefs of the priests, who have the power to protest, but they did not protest.  
and they defiled the House of the Lord: with their abominations.  
which He had hallowed in Jerusalem: to cause His glory to rest there forever.  
15. And the Lord God of their forefathers sent upon them through His messengers, sending them early and often, for He had pity on His people and on His abode.   טו. וַיִּשְׁלַח יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֵי אֲבוֹתֵיהֶם עֲלֵיהֶם בְּיַד מַלְאָכָיו הַשְׁכֵּם וְשָׁלוֹחַ כִּי חָמַל עַל עַמּוֹ וְעַל מְעוֹנוֹ:
And the Lord… sent upon them: All this is an acknowledgment of divine justice, so that you should not say that He did not forewarn them to repent of their evil ways, as it is written: “grasped forever His anger and kept His fury forever (Amos 1: 12).” Therefore, it is stated: “And the Lord God of their forefathers sent upon them through His messengers,” and forewarned them to repent of their evil, and not once a year or a month, but every day, “sending them with every fresh morn.”  
for He had pity on His people: and did not desire their death.  
and on His abode: on the abode of the Temple, for even a flesh and blood king has pity on his people and on his abode, not to destroy them.  
16. But they mocked the messengers of God, and despised His words and scoffed His prophets, until the Lord's wrath ascended upon His people beyond remedy.   טז. וַיִּהְיוּ מַלְעִיבִים בְּמַלְאֲכֵי הָאֱלֹהִים וּבוֹזִים דְּבָרָיו וּמִתַּעְתְּעִים בִּנְבִאָיו עַד עֲלוֹת חֲמַת יְהֹוָה בְּעַמּוֹ עַד לְאֵין מַרְפֵּא:
But they mocked the messengers of God: the messengers of the Holy One, blessed be He.  
and despised His words: [The words] of the Holy One, blessed be He, for surely He is just. No one mocks even messengers of a flesh and blood [king] and they are afraid to transgress his command, whether for bad or for good, but His people despised His words and mocked and scoffed at His messengers, etc.  
17. And He brought upon them the king of the Chaldeans, and he slew their young men by the sword in their Temple, and he had pity neither on youth nor virgin, elder nor ancient one; He delivered all into his hand.   יז. וַיַּעַל עֲלֵיהֶם אֶת מֶלֶךְ כַּשְׂדִּים וַיַּהֲרֹג בַּחוּרֵיהֶם בַּחֶרֶב בְּבֵית מִקְדָּשָׁם וְלֹא חָמַל עַל בָּחוּר וּבְתוּלָה זָקֵן וְיָשֵׁשׁ הַכֹּל נָתַן בְּיָדוֹ:
And He brought upon them the king of the Chaldeans: who were a lowly nation, as it is said (Isa. 23:13): “Behold the land of the Chaldees, this people has never been,” and here was fulfilled (Deut. 32:21): “They provoked Me with a non-god, etc….I will provoke them to anger with a vile nation.”  
and he slew their young men by the sword in their Temple: and their recompense was requited them, as is written above (verse 14): “and they defiled the House of the Lord,” and that which He said was fulfilled, (Ezek. 9: 5ff.): “’and smite, let not your eye spare, etc….and go out,’ and they went out and smote in the city.”  
and he had pity neither on youth nor virgin, elder nor ancient one: unlike the custom of soldiers, who, when they are victorious in war, slay the combatants, but pity the elders, the youths, and the virgins, and are filled with compassion for them, and Moses’ prophecy was fulfilled (Deut. 32:25): “The sword will bereave from outside and terror from within, youth, etc.”  
18. And all the vessels of the House of God, both large and small, and the treasuries of the House of the Lord, and the treasuries of the king and his officers; he brought everything to Babylon.   יח. וְכֹל כְּלֵי בֵּית הָאֱלֹהִים הַגְּדֹלִים וְהַקְּטַנִּים וְאֹצְרוֹת בֵּית יְהֹוָה וְאֹצְרוֹת הַמֶּלֶךְ וְשָׂרָיו הַכֹּל הֵבִיא בָבֶל:
And all the vessels of the House of God, both large and small: which were left over from the exiles of Jehoiakim and Jeconiah.  
19. And they burned the House of God, and they demolished the wall of Jerusalem, and all its palaces they burned with fire, and destroyed all its precious vessels.   יט. וַיִּשְׂרְפוּ אֶת בֵּית הָאֱלֹהִים וַיְנַתְּצוּ אֵת חוֹמַת יְרוּשָׁלִָם וְכָל אַרְמְנוֹתֶיהָ שָׂרְפוּ בָאֵשׁ וְכָל כְּלֵי מַחֲמַדֶּיהָ לְהַשְׁחִית:
20. And he exiled the survivors from the sword to Babylon, and they became vassals to him and to his sons until the reign of the kingdom of Persia.   כ. וַיֶּגֶל הַשְּׁאֵרִית מִן הַחֶרֶב אֶל בָּבֶל וַיִּהְיוּ לוֹ וּלְבָנָיו לַעֲבָדִים עַד מְלֹךְ מַלְכוּת פָּרָס:
and they became vassals to him and to his sons until the reign of the kingdom of Persia: And why until the kingdom of Persia? Because until that time, the land was not appeased for its Sabbaths, as it is written (Lev. 26:35): “As long as it is desolate, it will rest.”  
21. To fulfill the word of the Lord in the mouth of Jeremiah, until the land was appeased for its Sabbaths; [for] all the days of its desolation it rested until the completion of seventy years.   כא. לְמַלֹּאות דְּבַר יְהֹוָה בְּפִי יִרְמְיָהוּ עַד רָצְתָה הָאָרֶץ אֶת שַׁבְּתוֹתֶיהָ כָּל יְמֵי הָשַּׁמָּה שָׁבָתָה לְמַלֹּאות שִׁבְעִים שָׁנָה:
until the land was appeased for its Sabbaths: Because prior to that, the land was not appeased for its Sabbaths.  
all the days of its desolation it rested until the completion of seventy years: [corresponding to] the Sabbatical and Jubilee years that Israel had neglected to observe in the land, and corresponding to them they were exiled for seventy years. The land of Israel rested for those seventy years. The Israelites provoked [God] in their land for 430 years. These included 390 years from the time they entered the land until the ten tribes were exiled therefrom, and they are explained (as follows): 243 years from the time Jeroboam ascended the throne until Hoshea the son of Elah was exiled, and 111 years during the administration of the judges, when they provoked [Him], and the rest are obscure. That is what is stated in Ezekiel (4:4ff.): “And you shall lie on your left side, and you shall place the iniquity of the house of Israel, etc., 390 days, etc. And when you complete these, you shall lie on your right a second time, and you shall bear the iniquity of the house of Judah, 40 days, a day for a year, a day for a year.” This teaches that the house of Judah sinned from the time that the ten tribes were exiled until Jerusalem was destroyed, for 40 years. How so? Twenty-two years of Manasseh, as it is written (II Kings 21:3): “according to all that Ahab did,” and Ahab reigned 22 years (and he [Manasseh] repented for thirty-three years, totaling fifty-five years.) Add 2 years of Amon, and 11 of Jehoiakim, totaling thirty-five years, and this prophecy was transmitted to Ezekiel in the 5th year of Zedekiah, totaling 40 years. The sum total of them all, of both Israel and Judah, is 430 years. Note that there are 64 Sabbatical and Jubilee years in 400 years. There are 5 Sabbatical years in 35 years, totaling 69, and the last Jubilee year was counted for them as iniquity, for because of their iniquity they were exiled therefrom. Hence the 70 hallowed years of Shemittah that Israel did not observe. They were consequently exiled for seventy years to fulfill what was said, (Lev. 26:34): “Then the land will be appeased regarding its Sabbaths.” So it is explained in Seder Olam (see ch. 26). Chronicles is concluded with this since he says: “until the completion of seventy years.” He had to state these verses and those of Ezra (in the beginning) to let us know that when those seventy years were over, “the wheel rotated” and they returned to their land. He therefore said here: “in the first year of Cyrus, the king of Persia” until “Who among you is of all His people, etc., and he may ascend.” The reason that the “vav” [and] of “And in the first year” is added, is because the Book of Daniel intervenes, for the book of Ezra continues in sequence after the Book of Daniel, and this “vav” connects them together."  
22. And in the first year of Cyrus, king of Persia, at the completion of the word of the Lord in the mouth of Jeremiah, the Lord aroused the spirit of Cyrus the king of Persia, and he issued a proclamation throughout all his kingdom, and put it also in writing, saying:   כב. וּבִשְׁנַת אַחַת לְכוֹרֶשׁ מֶלֶךְ פָּרַס לִכְלוֹת דְּבַר יְהֹוָה בְּפִי יִרְמְיָהוּ הֵעִיר יְהֹוָה אֶת רוּחַ כּוֹרֶשׁ מֶלֶךְ פָּרַס וַיַּעֲבֶר קוֹל בְּכָל מַלְכוּתוֹ וְגַם בְּמִכְתָּב לֵאמֹר:
the spirit of Cyrus: his will.  
and he issued a proclamation: lie made an announcement to all his subjects.  
and also in writing: He sent to all his subjects, saying.  
23. "So said Cyrus the king of Persia: All the kingdoms of the earth has the Lord God of the heavens delivered to me, and He commanded me to build Him a House in Jerusalem, which is in Judea. Who among you is of all His people, may the Lord his God be with him, and he may ascend."   כג. כֹּה אָמַר כּוֹרֶשׁ| מֶלֶךְ פָּרַס כָּל מַמְלְכוֹת הָאָרֶץ נָתַן לִי יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֵי הַשָּׁמַיִם וְהוּא פָקַד עָלַי לִבְנוֹת לוֹ בַיִת בִּירוּשָׁלִַם אֲשֶׁר בִּיהוּדָה מִי בָכֶם מִכָּל עַמּוֹ יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהָיו עִמּוֹ וְיָעַל:
So said Cyrus, the king of Persia, All the kingdoms of the earth: For I reign as king over all the kingdoms.  
and He commanded me: And He commanded me through Isaiah to build Him a House in Jerusalem, as it is said (Isa. 44:2845:1): “Who says of Cyrus, etc. So said the Lord to His anointed one, to Cyrus.” And this prophecy of Isaiah had already been said to him.  
which is in Judea: Jerusalem is in the provinces of Judea.  
Who among you is of all His people, may the Lord his God be with him, and he may ascend: So was the proclamation to the provinces: Whoever is of the people of the Holy One, blessed be He, may come to build His House, which is in Jerusalem.  
and he may ascend: and may the Holy One, blessed be He, help him and us.  
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