The King’s Fate—
and Jeremiah’s (52:1–34)
And finally, by way of closure, a later addition (reproducing 2 Kings 24:18–25). It is as though the awful days of defeat, destruction, and exile stand petrified in memory.
Jeremiah, his disciples, the author of Kings—it makes little difference. They return and return to those years, those seeming eons: drawing from the depths of memory images, events, humiliations beyond words, seeking in the welter what meaning may be cast upon present and future.
Another point: the repetition here of the passage from Kings must be accounted a matter of instruction. Our woebegone prophet! Is he to be vindicated at last?
The survivors are to know (so are we) that his detractors and persecutors were criminally guilty. See then: his prophecies stand like steles in a desert waste, sound and true.
52:1–11. The fate of Zedekiah is recounted straightforwardly, a kind of dying fall. The king’s punishment is savage, plenary. He is captured, his sons executed before his eyes, his eyes plucked out. He dies in a Babylonian prison.