Evil permeated Judah and Babylon conquered Assyria and became the new world power. The Babylon army burned the temple, tore down the walls, and carried off the people into captivity.
Verse 1 – Judah was invaded by the Babylonians three times, just as Israel was invaded by the Assyrians three times. God had given mercy upon mercy and repeated opportunities to repent, but they refused.
Verses 6, 7 – Riblah was the administrative center for Babylonian control of the region. There, Zedekiah was punished. His sons were killed before his eyes, thus eliminating the threat of royal heirs to the throne. Zedekiah was blinded and taken prisoner in Babylon. This fulfilled the prophecies in Jeremiah 32:4.
Verses 8-10 – Everything of any significance was destroyed in Jerusalem: literally, Yahweh’s house, the king’s house, all the houses of Jerusalem all the great houses and the wall of Jerusalem.
Verses 13-17 – The temple furnishings were plundered for their scrap-metal value. The bronze in the Sea, the pillars, and the movable stand was so valuable that it was broken up and carried off to Babylon.
Verse 21 – Judah, like Israel, was unfaithful to God. So God, as He had warned, allowed Judah to be destroyed and taken away (Deuteronomy 28). In Deuteronomy 28 God had warned them of starvation, destruction, and captivity if they did not obey Him. Everything that is listed took place in this time. Lamentations records Jeremiah’s sorrow at seeing Jerusalem destroyed.
Verses 22-30 – A more detailed account of these events appears in Jeremiah 40:6-14; 9. Judah’s earthly kingdom was absolutely demolished. But through prophets like Ezekiel and Daniel, who were also captives, God was able to keep His spiritual kingdom alive in the hearts of many exiles.
Verse 30 – The book of 2 Kings opens with Elijah being carried to heaven. But the book ends with the people of Judah being carried off to a foreign land as humiliated slaves. Second kings is a good illustration of what can happen in our lives when we make anything more important than God. When you make anything more important than God you can become desensitized to right and wrong and will fail to discern God’s purpose for your life. However if we come to our senses and acknowledge God as in the book of Ezra, God is willing and able with another chance to get it right.