The Babylonian army captures Jerusalem, burns it to the ground, destroys its walls, and takes its people as exiles to far-away Babylon.
VERSE 1. Zedekiah was twenty-one years old when he began to reign. He reigned eleven years in Jerusalem: and his mother’s name was Hamutal the daughter of Jeremiah of Libnah.
VERSE 2. He did that which was evil in the LORD’s sight, according to all that Jehoiakim had done.
VERSE 3. For through the LORD’s anger this happened in Jerusalem and Judah, until he had cast them out from his presence. Zedekiah rebelled against the king of Babylon.
VERSE 4. In the ninth year of his reign, in the tenth month, in the tenth day of the month, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came, he and all his army, against Jerusalem, and encamped against it; and they built forts against it round about.
they built forts against it round about. Nebuchadnezzar built siege walls all around Jerusalem.
VERSE 5. So the city was besieged to the eleventh year of king Zedekiah.
VERSE 6. In the fourth month, in the ninth day of the month, the famine was severe in the city, so that there was no bread for the people of the land.
VERSE 7. Then a breach was made in the city, and all the men of war fled, and went out of the city by night by the way of the gate between the two walls, which was by the king’s garden. Now the Kasdim were against the city all around. The men of war went toward the Arabah,
a breach was made. This was the end.
all the men of war fled. Under the cover of darkness, the soldiers fled the city.
VERSE 8. but the army of the Kasdim pursued the king, and overtook Zedekiah in the plains of Jericho; and all his army was scattered from him.
VERSE 9. Then they took the king, and carried him up to the king of Babylon to Riblah in the land of Hamath; and he pronounced judgment on him.
VERSE 10. The king of Babylon killed the sons of Zedekiah before his eyes. He also killed all the princes of Judah in Riblah.
VERSE 11. He put out the eyes of Zedekiah; and the king of Babylon bound him in fetters, and carried him to Babylon, and put him in prison until the day of his death.
VERSE 12. Now in the fifth month, in the tenth day of the month, which was the nineteenth year of king Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard, who stood before the king of Babylon, came into Jerusalem.
came into Jerusalem. This is the capture and destruction of Jerusalem. It is one of the saddest chapters in the whole Bible.
VERSE 13. He burned the LORD’s house, and the king’s house; and all the houses of Jerusalem, even every great house, he burned with fire.
He burned. Captain Nebuzaradan burns Jerusalem to the ground: the temple, the king’s palace, the homes, and large buildings.
The LORD God does not need buildings or cities to be in the hearts of people.
This whole catastrophe could have been prevented. But the religious leaders let themselves and the nation fall away from the One God.
Jeremiah weeps over this in Lamentations chapter 2.
VERSE 14. All the army of the Kasdim, who were with the captain of the guard, broke down all the walls of Jerusalem all around.
broke down all the walls of Jerusalem. Captain Nebuzaradan destroys the walls of Jerusalem.
VERSE 15. Then Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard carried away captive of the poorest of the people, and the residue of the people who were left in the city, and those who fell away, who fell to the king of Babylon, and the residue of the multitude.
carried away captive. Captain Nebuzaradan takes the people into exile in far-away Babylon.
VERSE 16. But Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard left of the poorest of the land to be vineyard keepers and farmers.
VERSE 17. The Kasdim broke the pillars of bronze that were in the LORD’s house, and the bases and the bronze sea that were in the LORD’s house in pieces, and carried all of their bronze to Babylon.
VERSE 18. They also took away the pots, the shovels, the snuffers, the basins, the spoons, and all the vessels of bronze with which they ministered.
VERSE 19. The captain of the guard took away the cups, the fire pans, the basins, the pots, the lamp stands, the spoons, and the bowls; that which was of gold, in gold, and that which was of silver, in silver.
VERSE 20. They took the two pillars, the one sea, and the twelve bronze bulls that were under the bases, which king Solomon had made for the LORD’s house. The bronze of all these vessels was without weight.
VERSE 21. As for the pillars, the height of the one pillar was eighteen cubits; and a line of twelve cubits encircled it; and its thickness was four fingers. It was hollow.
VERSE 22. A capital of bronze was on it; and the height of the one capital was five cubits, with network and pomegranates on the capital all around, all of bronze: and the second pillar also had like these, and pomegranates.
VERSE 23. There were ninety-six pomegranates on the sides; all the pomegranates were one hundred on the network all around.
VERSE 24. The captain of the guard took Seraiah the chief priest, and Zephaniah the second priest, and the three keepers of the threshold:
VERSE 25. and out of the city he took an officer who was set over the men of war; and seven men of those who saw the king’s face, who were found in the city; and the scribe of the captain of the army, who mustered the people of the land; and sixty men of the people of the land, who were found in the middle of the city.
VERSE 26. Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard took them, and brought them to the king of Babylon to Riblah.
VERSE 27. The king of Babylon struck them, and put them to death at Riblah in the land of Hamath. So Judah was carried away captive out of his land.
VERSE 28. This is the number of the people whom Nebuchadnezzar carried away captive: in the seventh year, three thousand twenty-three Jews;
VERSE 29. in the eighteenth year of Nebuchadnezzar, he carried away captive from Jerusalem eight hundred thirty-two persons;
VERSE 30. in the twenty-third year of Nebuchadnezzar Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard carried away captive of the Jews seven hundred forty-five people: all the people were four thousand six hundred.
VERSE 31. In the thirty-seventh year of the captivity of Jehoiachin king of Judah, in the twelfth month, in the twenty-fifth day of the month, Evilmerodach king of Babylon, in the first year of his reign, lifted up the head of Jehoiachin king of Judah, and released him from prison.
VERSE 32. He spoke kindly to him, and set his throne above the throne of the kings who were with him in Babylon,
NAB translation. He spoke kindly to him and gave him a throne higher than that of all the other kings who were with him in Babylon.
God’s mercy is never extinguished. The king of Babylon shows unprecedented favor to the king of Judah.
VERSE 33. and changed his prison garments. Jehoiachin ate bread before him continually all the days of his life.
VERSE 34. For his allowance, there was a continual allowance given him by the king of Babylon, every day a portion until the day of his death, all the days of his life.
Unless otherwise noted, all Bible quotations on this page are from the World English Bible and the World Messianic Edition. These translations have no copyright restrictions. They are in the Public Domain.