1. In the ninth year of Zedekiah's reign, on the tenth day of the tenth month, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon marched with his entire army and laid siege to Jerusalem. They camped outside the city and built siege works all around it.

2. The city was under siege up to the eleventh year of Zedekiah.

3. On the ninth day of the fourth month famine became a serious problem in the city, and throughout the land there was no bread for the people.

4. When the city was opened by a breach in the wall, the Judean army fled through the gate between the two walls near the king's garden while the Chaldeans were still around the city and they fled towards the Arabah.

5. The Chaldeans followed in hot pursuit of King Zedekiah and caught up with him in the plains of Jericho. All his army deserted and scattered.

6. The Chaldeans seized the king and led him away to Riblah in the territory of Hamath and there the king of Babylon passed sentence on him.

7. There at Riblah the king of Babylon slaughtered the sons of Zedekiah in his presence. He then put out the eyes of Zedekiah, bound him with a double bronze chain and took him to Babylon.

8. On the seventh day of the fifth month in the nineteenth year of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, Nebuzaradan, commander of the bodyguard and servant of the king of Babylon, entered Jerusalem and

9. set fire to the House of Yahweh and the royal palace as well as to all the houses in Jerusalem.

10. The Chaldean army under the commander of the bodyguard completely demolished all the walls around Jerusalem.

11. Nebuzaradan, commander of the bodyguard, carried off into exile the last of the Jews left in the city, those who had deserted to the king of Babylon and the remainder of the artisans.

12. But he left those among the very poor who were capable of working in vineyards and cultivating the soil.

13. The Chaldeans broke into pieces the bronze pillars, the stands and the bronze Sea in the House of Yahweh and carried off all this bronze to Babylon.

14. They also took the pots, shovels, wick trimmers, the spoons and all the bronze articles used in the temple service.

15. The commander of the bodyguard took the basins, censers, sprinkling bowls, pots, lampstands, ladles and bowls - all that was made of gold or silver.

16. The two pillars, the Sea, the movable stands which King Solomon had made for the House of Yahweh - all this bronze was of immeasurable weight.

17. The pillars were each eighteen cubits high. Each had a thickness of four fingers and was hollow. On top of each pillar was a bronze capital five cubits high, and above and around the capital there was filigree work with pomegranates made of bronze.

18. The commander of the bodyguard took captive Seraiah the chief priest and Zephaniah the next priest in rank, as well as three doorkeepers.

19. He also took from those in the city a eunuch in command of the fighting men, five personal advisers to the king who were discovered in the city, the commander's secretary, responsible for military conscription, and sixty of his men who were found in the city.

20. Nebuzaradan took all these away to the king of Babylon at Riblah.

21. There at Riblah in the territory of Hamath the king of Babylon had them put to death. So Judah was taken away captive from its own land.

22. As for the remnant of the people whom Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, had left behind, he appointed Gedaliah, son of Ahikam, son of Shaphan, as their governor.

23. When the commanders of the troops and their men heard that the king of Babylon had appointed Gedaliah as governor, they went to him at Mizpah. These were Ishmael, son of Nethaniah, Johanan, son of Kareah, Seraiah, son of Tanhumeth, from Natophah, Jaazaniah the Macaathite, with their men.

24. Gedaliah told them and their men most solemnly, "Do not be afraid of submitting yourselves to the Chaldeans. Live in the country obeying the king of Babylon, and all will be well with you."

25. In the seventh month, however, Ishmael, son of Nethaniah son of Elishama, who belonged to the king's family, came with ten of his men and killed Gedaliah as well as the Judeans and the Chaldeans who were with him at Mizpah.

26. Then all the people, from the greatest to the least, set out with the commanders of the troops and took refuge in Egypt, in fear of the Chaldeans.

27. On the twenty-seventh day of the twelfth month in the thirty-seventh year of the exile of Jehoiakin king of Judah, Evil-merodah, king of Babylon, in the year he came to the throne pardoned Jehoiakin king of Judah and released him from prison.

28. He spoke kindly to him, and gave him more honorable treatment than the other kings who were with him in Babylon.

29. Jehoiakin put aside his prison garment and for the rest of his life ate at the king's table.

30. Day by day, for as long as he lived, he was maintained by the king of Babylon.



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