The destruction of Jerusalem (587) (2 Kings 25:8-25:12)

“In the fifth month, on the seventh day of the month, which was the nineteenth year of King Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, Nebuzaradan, the captain of the bodyguard, a servant of the king of Babylon, came to Jerusalem. He burned the house of Yahweh, the king’s house and all the houses of Jerusalem. Every great house he burned down. All the army of the Chaldeans, who were with the captain of the guard, broke down the walls around Jerusalem. Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard carried into exile the rest of the people who were left in the city and the deserters who had defected to the king of Babylon, together with all the rest of the population. But the captain of the guard left some of the poorest of the land to be vinedressers and tillers of the soil.”

Once again we have an exact date in a month, 5/17, in the 19th year of the rule of King Nebuchadnezzar, or 587 BCE. Thus the Judah kingdom lasted 134 years after the fall of Samaria. The king of Babylon did not come himself, he sent the captain of his bodyguard to burn Jerusalem. He burned the temple of Yahweh and the palace of the king, as well as all the great houses of Jerusalem. He took all the people as captives. However, he left the poor people to take care of the vineyards and till the soil.

Loans (Deut 24:10-24:13)

“When you make a loan of any kind to your neighbor, you shall not go into his house to take the pledge. You shall wait outside, while the person to whom you are making the loan brings the pledge out to you. If the person is poor, you shall not sleep in the garment given you as the pledge. You shall give the pledge back by sunset, so that your neighbor may sleep in the cloak and bless you. It will be to your credit before Yahweh your God.”

Do not humiliate poor people when you lend them money. Let them bring the pledge collateral to you. Let them keep their cloak if they are poor. There is a certain sensitivity to poor people that we all need.