Verses 1-4 – Nebuchadnezzar took control of Babylon in 605 B.C. Earlier that year Nebuchadnezzar had defeated the Egyptians. Thus Babylon took control of all Egypt’s vassals (including Judah).
God used the Babylonians as His instrument. God’s judgment was linked to Manasseh’s sin to remove the Hebrews from His sight. This sin–the continuation of a sinful national character that had already been established and judged.
Verse 7 – By this time Egypt had been driven out of Palestine and all the land north of the Brook of Egypt belonged to Babylon.
verse 8 – Jehoiakim is dead and his son takes over Jerusalem at the age of 18. He’s evil and only reigns 3 months.
Verse 10 – Just weeks after Jehoiachin, Jehoiakim’s son, becomes king, the mighty Babylonian army attacks Judah. During this second of the three invasions, the Babylonians loot God’s temple and take most of the leaders captive including the king. Then Nebuchadnezzar placed Zedekiah, another son of Josiah on the throne. The Jews, however didn’t recognize him as their king as long as Jehoiachin was still alive, even though he was in captivity.
Verse 13 – It is remarkable that there was still gold from the time of Solomon left to plunder after more than three centuries of foreign plundering.
Verses 14-16 – Everyone except the poorest classes of the city were taken into captivity. The leaders were taken to the Babylonian cities where they were permitted to live together, work, and become part of society. This policy kept the Jews united and made it possible for their return in the days of Zerubbabel and Ezra as recorded in the Book of Ezra.