14 Furthermore, all the leaders of the priests and the people became more and more unfaithful,(A) following all the detestable practices of the nations and defiling the temple of the Lord, which he had consecrated in Jerusalem.

The Fall of Jerusalem(B)(C)

15 The Lord, the God of their ancestors, sent word to them through his messengers(D) again and again,(E) because he had pity on his people and on his dwelling place. 16 But they mocked God’s messengers, despised his words and scoffed(F) at his prophets until the wrath(G) of the Lord was aroused against his people and there was no remedy.(H)

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19 They set fire(A) to God’s temple(B) and broke down the wall(C) of Jerusalem; they burned all the palaces and destroyed(D) everything of value there.(E)

20 He carried into exile(F) to Babylon the remnant, who escaped from the sword, and they became servants(G) to him and his successors until the kingdom of Persia came to power. 21 The land enjoyed its sabbath rests;(H) all the time of its desolation it rested,(I) until the seventy years(J) were completed in fulfillment of the word of the Lord spoken by Jeremiah.

22 In the first year of Cyrus(K) king of Persia, in order to fulfill the word of the Lord spoken by Jeremiah, the Lord moved the heart of Cyrus king of Persia to make a proclamation throughout his realm and also to put it in writing:

23 “This is what Cyrus king of Persia says:

“‘The Lord, the God of heaven, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth and he has appointed(L) me to build a temple for him at Jerusalem in Judah. Any of his people among you may go up, and may the Lord their God be with them.’”

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