The Fall of Jerusalem 52 1Zedekiah was 21 years old when he became king and reigned 11 years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Hamutal daughter of Jeremiah; she was from Libnah. 2Zedekiah did what was evil in the Lord’s sight just as Jehoiakim had done. 3Because of the Lord’s anger, it came to the point in Jerusalem and Judah that He finally banished them from His presence. Nevertheless, Zedekiah rebelled against the king of Babylon. 4In the ninth year of Zedekiah’s reign, on the tenth day of the tenth month, King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon advanced against Jerusalem with his entire army. They laid siege to the city and built a siege wall all around it. 5The city was under siege until King Zedekiah’s eleventh year. 6By the ninth day of the fourth month the famine was so severe in the city that the people of the land had no food. 7Then the city was broken into, and all the warriors fled. They left the city by night by way of the gate between the two walls near the king’s garden, though the Chaldeans surrounded the city. They made their way along the route to the Arabah. 8The Chaldean army pursued the king and overtook Zedekiah in the plains of Jericho. Zedekiah’s entire army was scattered from him. 9The Chaldeans seized the king and brought him to the king of Babylon at Riblah in the land of Hamath, and he passed sentence on him. 10At Riblah the king of Babylon slaughtered Zedekiah’s sons before his eyes and also slaughtered the Judean commanders. 11Then he blinded Zedekiah and bound him with bronze chains. The king of Babylon brought Zedekiah to Babylon, where he kept him in custody[Q] until his dying day. 12On the tenth day of the fifth month—which was the nineteenth year of King Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon—Nebuzaradan, the commander of the guards, entered Jerusalem as the representative of[R] the king of Babylon. 13He burned the Lord’s temple, the king’s palace, all the houses of Jerusalem, and all the houses of the nobles. 14The whole Chaldean army with the commander of the guards tore down all the walls surrounding Jerusalem. 15Nebuzaradan, the commander of the guards, deported some of the poorest of the people, as well as the rest of the people who were left in the city, the deserters who had defected to the king of Babylon, and the rest of the craftsmen. 16But some of the poorest people of the land Nebuzaradan, the commander of the guards, left to be vinedressers and farmers. 17Now the Chaldeans broke into pieces the bronze pillars for the Lord’s temple and the water carts and the bronze reservoir that were in the Lord’s temple, and carried all the bronze to Babylon. 18They took the pots, shovels, wick trimmers, sprinkling basins, dishes, and all the bronze articles used in the temple service. 19The commander of the guards took away the bowls, firepans, sprinkling basins, pots, lampstands, pans, and drink offering bowls—whatever was gold or silver. 20As for the two pillars, the one reservoir, and the 12 bronze bulls under the water carts that King Solomon had made for the Lord’s temple, the weight of the bronze of all these articles was beyond measure. 21One pillar was 27 feet[S] tall, had a circumference of 18 feet,[T] was hollow—four fingers thick— 22and had a bronze capital on top of it. One capital, encircled by bronze latticework and pomegranates, stood 7½ feet[U] high. The second pillar was the same, with pomegranates. 23Each capital had 96 pomegranates all around it. All the pomegranates around the latticework numbered 100. 24The commander of the guards also took away Seraiah the chief priest, Zephaniah the priest of the second rank, and the three doorkeepers. 25From the city he took a court official who had been appointed over the warriors; seven trusted royal aides[V] found in the city; the secretary of the commander of the army, who enlisted the people of the land for military duty; and 60 men from the common people who were found within the city. 26Nebuzaradan, the commander of the guards, took them and brought them to the king of Babylon at Riblah. 27The king of Babylon put them to death at Riblah in the land of Hamath. So Judah went into exile from its land. 28These are the people Nebuchadnezzar deported: in the seventh year, 3,023 Jews; 29in his eighteenth year,[W] 832 people from Jerusalem; 30in Nebuchadnezzar’s twenty-third year, Nebuzaradan, the commander of the guards, deported 745 Jews. All together 4,600 people were deported. Jehoiachin Pardoned 31On the twenty-fifth day of the twelfth month of the thirty-seventh year of the exile of Judah’s King Jehoiachin, Evil-merodach king of Babylon, in the first year of his reign, pardoned King Jehoiachin of Judah and released him from prison. 32He spoke kindly to him and set his throne above the thrones of the kings who were with him in Babylon. 33So Jehoiachin changed his prison clothes, and he dined regularly in the presence of the king of Babylon for the rest of his life. 34As for his allowance, a regular allowance was given to him by the king of Babylon, a portion for each day until the day of his death, for the rest of his life.
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