Jeremiah 34:3—Did Zedekiah see the King of Babylon or not?

Problem: Jeremiah declared here to King Zedekiah: “your eyes shall see the eyes of the king of Babylon ... and you shall go to Babylon.” However, 2 Kings 25:7 says the Babylonian invaders “put out the eyes of Zedekiah, bound him with bronze fetters, and took him to Babylon.” How then could he see the king of Babylon, if he was blind?

Solution: These passages are perfectly harmonious, once all the factors are known. First, the king of Babylon summoned that the captured King Zedekiah be brought to his headquarters in Riblah (cf. 2 Kings 25:6). There, after seeing the king of Babylon “face to face” (Jer. 34:3), Zedekiah’s eyes were put out. Then Zedekiah was bound and taken to Babylon. So Zedekiah saw the king of Babylon, but not the city of Babylon.

See All Problems

This excerpt is from When Critics Ask: A Popular Handbook on Bible Difficulties (Wheaton, Ill.: Victor Books, 1992). © 2014 Norman Geisler and Thomas Howe. All rights reserved. Used by permission. Click here to purchase this book.