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2002 11 11
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Chapter 25


1 In the tenth month of the ninth year of Zedekiah's reign, on the tenth day of the month, Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, and his whole army advanced against Jerusalem, encamped around it, and built siege walls on every side.


The siege of the city continued until the eleventh year of Zedekiah.


On the ninth day of the fourth month, when famine had gripped the city, and the people had no more bread,


the city walls were breached. Then the king and all the soldiers left the city by night through the gate between the two walls which was near the king's garden. Since the Chaldeans had the city surrounded, they went in the direction of the Arabah.


But the Chaldean army pursued the king and overtook him in the desert near Jericho, abandoned by his whole army.


The king was therefore arrested and brought to Riblah to the king of Babylon, who pronounced sentence on him.


He had Zedekiah's sons slain before his eyes. Then he blinded Zedekiah, bound him with fetters, and had him brought to Babylon.


On the seventh day of the fifth month (this was in the nineteenth year of Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon), Nebuzaradan, captain of the bodyguard, came to Jerusalem as the representative of the king of Babylon.


He burned the house of the LORD, the palace of the king, and all the houses of Jerusalem; every large building was destroyed by fire.


Then the Chaldean troops who were with the captain of the guard tore down the walls that surrounded Jerusalem.


2 Then Nebuzaradan, captain of the guard, led into exile the last of the people remaining in the city, and those who had deserted to the king of Babylon, and the last of the artisans.


But some of the country's poor, Nebuzaradan, captain of the guard, left behind as vinedressers and farmers.


The bronze pillars that belonged to the house of the LORD, and the wheeled carts and the bronze sea in the house of the LORD, the Chaldeans broke into pieces; they carried away the bronze to Babylon.


They took also the pots, the shovels, the snuffers, the bowls, the pans and all the bronze vessels used for service.


The fire-holders and the bowls which were of gold or silver the captain of the guard also carried off.


The weight in bronze of the two pillars, the bronze sea, and the wheeled carts, all of them furnishings which Solomon had made for the house of the LORD, was never calculated.


Each of the pillars was eighteen cubits high; a bronze capital five cubits high surmounted each pillar, and a network with pomegranates encircled the capital, all of bronze; and so for the other pillar, as regards the network.


The captain of the guard also took Seraiah the high priest, Zephaniah the second priest, and the three keepers of the entry.


And from the city he took one courtier, a commander of soldiers, five men in the personal service of the king who were still in the city, the scribe of the army commander, who mustered the people of the land, and sixty of the common people still remaining in the city.


The captain of the guard, Nebuzaradan, arrested these and brought them to the king of Babylon at Riblah;


the king had them struck down and put to death in Riblah, in the land of Hamath. Thus was Judah exiled from her land.


As for the people whom he had allowed to remain in the land of Judah, Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, appointed as their governor Gedaliah, son of Ahikam, son of Shaphan.


Hearing that the king of Babylon had appointed Gedaliah governor, all the army commanders with their men came to him at Mizpah: Ishmael, son of Nethaniah, Johanan, son of Kareah, Seraiah, son of Tanhumeth the Netophathite, and Jaazaniah, from Beth-maacah.


Gedaliah gave the commanders and their men his oath. "Do not be afraid of the Chaldean officials," he said to them. "Remain in the country and serve the king of Babylon, and all will be well with you."


But in the seventh month Ishmael, son of Nethaniah, son of Elishama, of royal descent, came with ten men, attacked Gedaliah and killed him, along with the Jews and Chaldeans who were in Mizpah with him.


Then all the people, great and small, left with the army commanders and went to Egypt for fear of the Chaldeans.


In the thirty-seventh year of the exile of Jehoiachin, king of Judah, on the twenty-seventh day of the twelfth month, Evilmerodach, king of Babylon, in the inaugural year of his own reign, raised up Jehoiachin, king of Judah, from prison.


He spoke kindly to him and gave him a throne higher than that of the other kings who were with him in Babylon.


Jehoiachin took off his prison garb and ate at the king's table as long as he lived.


The allowance granted him by the king was a perpetual allowance, in fixed daily amounts, for as long as he lived.


1 [1-30] This chapter parallels Jer 39 and 52; see notes to those parts of Jeremiah.

2 [11] Those who had deserted: perhaps on the advice of Jeremiah; cf Jeremiah 38:2-3.

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