official who assumed command of the Babylonian forces after the termination of the siege did arrive on the scene on the seventh day of the month, to begin to dispose of the city. His job would be to oversee the demolition of fortifications, the plundering of the city, the razing of the city and the transporting of inhabitants into captivity. The tenth day of the month appears to mark the completion of his operations.
It is noteworthy that 2 Kings 25:8 says that on the seventh day of the month Nebuzaradan “came to Jerusalem.” It does not say “into” Jerusalem. On the other hand, Jeremiah 52:12 says that this Babylonian commander, on the tenth day of the month, “came into Jerusalem.” The Revised Standard Version also shows a similar distinction between these two scriptures, 2 Kings 25:8 saying that the Babylonian chief of the bodyguard “came to Jerusalem” on the seventh day, and Jeremiah 52:12 saying that on the tenth day he “entered Jerusalem.”
The Babylonian commander, upon arriving at the scene, no doubt set up his headquarters or occupied a headquarters that had already been set up outside the city’s walls. Then from there he appears to have directed the operations, such as tearing down the city’s walls. (2 Ki. 25:10; Jer. 52:14) The Babylonian troops also looted both the city and Jehovah’s temple and had a good time for themselves. (Jer. 52:17-23; 2 Ki. 25:13-17; Dan. 5:2, 3) Since the plundering of the city and the pulling down of the walls occupied the Chaldean troops for several days, they apparently did not get to the actual burning of the city until the tenth of the month. On that day Nebuzaradan “came into Jerusalem” or entered the city to complete the operation and, when satisfied with matters, gave the order to burn the city and its holy temple. According to Josephus (The Jewish War, Book VI, Chapter IV, 5, 8) Herod’s temple was burned on the tenth day of the fifth month (A.D. 70), and Josephus adds that it was a marvelous coincidence that the first temple was burned on the same day by the Babylonians. No doubt by the close of the tenth day, the city was burning and much of it reduced to ashes, Nebuzaradan having completed his appointed duty to dispose of the city.
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A BIBLE TO CARRY
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“WATCHTOWER” STUDIES FOR THE WEEKS
May 10: The Christian Woman’s Need for a Head Covering—When? Page 200.
May 17: Her Head Covering and Congregational Activities. Page 205.