1. Then the people of the land took Jehoahaz, the son of Josiah, and they appointed him king in place of his father, in Jerusalem.

2. Jehoahaz was twenty-three years old when he had begun to reign, and he reigned for three months in Jerusalem.

3. Then the king of Egypt, when he had arrived in Jerusalem, removed him, and condemned the land to one hundred talents of silver and one talent of gold.

4. And he appointed Eliakim, his brother, as king in his place, over Judah and Jerusalem. And he changed his name to Jehoiakim. Truly, he took Jehoahaz with him, and he led him away to Egypt.

5. Jehoiakim was twenty-five years old when he had begun to reign, and he reigned for eleven years in Jerusalem. And he did evil before the Lord his God.

6. Nebuchadnezzar, the king of the Chaldeans, ascended against him, and led him bound in chains to Babylon.

7. And to there, he also took away the vessels of the Lord, and he placed them in his temple.

8. But the rest of the words of Jehoiakim, and his abominations that he worked, and the things that were found in him, are contained in the book of the kings of Judah and Israel. Then his son, Jehoiachin, reigned in his place.

9. Jehoiachin was eight years old when he had begun to reign, and he reigned for three months and ten days in Jerusalem. And he did evil in the sight of the Lord.

10. And when the course of a year had turned, king Nebuchadnezzar sent and brought him to Babylon, carrying away, at the same time, the most precious vessels of the house of the Lord. Truly, he appointed his uncle, Zedekiah, as king over Judah and Jerusalem.

11. Zedekiah was twenty-one years old when he had begun to reign. And he reigned for eleven years in Jerusalem.

12. And he did evil in the eyes of the Lord his God. And he did not show remorse before the face of the prophet Jeremiah, who was speaking to him from the mouth of the Lord.

13. Also, he withdrew from king Nebuchadnezzar, who had bound him by an oath to God, and he hardened his own neck and his own heart, so that he did not return to the Lord, the God of Israel.

14. Then too, all the leaders of the priests, with the people, transgressed iniquitously, in accord with all the abominations of the Gentiles. And they polluted the house of the Lord, which he had sanctified to himself in Jerusalem.

15. Then the Lord, the God of their fathers, sent to them, by the hand of his messengers, rising in the night and daily admonishing them. For he was lenient to his people and to his habitation.

16. But they ridiculed the messengers of God, and they gave little weight to his words, and they mocked the prophets, until the fury of the Lord ascended against his people, and there was no remedy.

17. For he led over them the king of the Chaldeans. And he put to death their young men by the sword, in the house of his sanctuary. There was no pity for adolescents, nor virgins, nor the elderly, nor even for the disabled. Instead, he delivered them all into his hands.

18. And all the vessels of the house of Lord, as much the greater as the lesser, and the treasures of the temple, and of the king and the rulers, he carried away to Babylon.

19. The enemies set fire to the house of God, and they destroyed the wall of Jerusalem. They burned down all the towers. And whatever was precious, they demolished.

20. If anyone had escaped from the sword, he was led into Babylon. And he served the king and his sons, until the king of Persia would command,

21. and the word of the Lord by the mouth of Jeremiah would be fulfilled, and the land would celebrate her Sabbaths. For during all the days of the desolation, she kept a Sabbath, until the seventy years were completed.

22. Then, in the first year of Cyrus, the king of the Persians, in order to fulfill the word of the Lord, which he had spoken by the mouth of Jeremiah, the Lord stirred up the heart of Cyrus, the king of the Persians, who commanded this to be proclaimed throughout his entire kingdom, and also in writing, saying:

23. “Thus says Cyrus, the king of the Persians: The Lord, the God of heaven, has given to me all the kingdoms of the earth. And he has instructed me that I should build for him a house in Jerusalem, which is in Judea. Who among you is from his entire people? May the Lord his God be with him, and let him ascend.”

“Que Jesus o aperte sempre mais ao Seu divino coração. Que Ele o alivie no sofrimento e lhe dê o abraço final no Paraíso.” São Padre Pio de Pietrelcina