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New American Bible

2002 11 11
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Chapter 39


1 In the tenth month of the ninth year of Zedekiah, king of Judah, Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, and all his army marched against Jerusalem and besieged it.


2 On the ninth day of the fourth month, in the eleventh year of Zedekiah, a breach was made in the city's defenses.


All the princes of the king of Babylon came and occupied the middle gate: Nergal-sharezer, of Simmagir, the chief officer, Nebushazban, the high dignitary, and all the other princes of the king of Babylon. . . .


3 When Zedekiah, king of Judah, saw them, he and all his warriors fled by night, leaving the city on the Royal Garden Road through the gate between the two walls. He went in the direction of the Arabah,


4 but the Chaldean army pursued them, and overtook and captured Zedekiah in the desert near Jericho. He was brought to Riblah, in the land of Hamath, where Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, pronounced sentence upon him.


As Zedekiah looked on, his sons were slain at Riblah by order of the king of Babylon, who slew also all the nobles of Judah.


He then blinded Zedekiah and bound him in chains to bring him to Babylon.


The Chaldeans set fire to the king's palace and the houses of the people, and demolished the walls of Jerusalem.


Nebuzaradan, chief of the bodyguard, deported to Babylon the rest of the people left in the city, those who had deserted to him, and the rest of the workmen.


But some of the poor who had no property were left in the land of Judah by Nebuzaradan, chief of the bodyguard, and were given at the same time vineyards and farms.


Concerning Jeremiah, Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, gave the following orders through Nebuzaradan, chief of the bodyguard:


"Take him and look after him; let no harm befall him, but treat him as he himself requests."


Thereupon Nebuzaradan, chief of the bodyguard, and Nebushazban, the high dignitary, and Nergal-sharezer, the chief officer, and all the nobles of the king of Babylon,


had Jeremiah taken out of the quarters of the guard, and entrusted to Gedaliah, son of Ahikam, son of Shaphan, to be brought home. And so he remained among the people.


While Jeremiah was still imprisoned in the quarters of the guard, the word of the LORD came to him:


Go, tell this to Ebed-melech the Cushite: Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: Behold, I am now fulfilling the words I spoke against this city, for evil and not for good; and this before your very eyes.


But on that day I will rescue you, says the LORD; you shall not be handed over to the men of whom you are afraid.


I will make certain that you escape and do not fall by the sword. Your life shall be spared as booty, because you trusted in me, says the LORD.



1 [1] The tenth month of the ninth year: the month Tebet (mid-December to mid-January) of the year 589/8 B.C.

2 [2] The ninth day of the fourth month, in the eleventh year: in July of 587 B.C.

3 [4] The Royal Garden Road: along the southeast side of the city; the royal garden was in the Kidron Valley. The gate between the two walls: the southernmost city gate, at the end of the Tyropoean Valley. The Arabah: the Jordan Valley. Zedekiah was attempting to escape across the Jordan when he was captured near Jericho.

4 [5] Riblah: Nebuchadnezzar's headquarters in Syria, which had also been used by Pharaoh Neco ( 2 Kings 23:33).

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