Add parallel Print Page Options

By the ninth day of the fourth month[a] the famine in the city was so severe the residents[b] had no food. The enemy broke through the city walls,[c] and all the soldiers tried to escape. They left the city during the night.[d] They went through the gate between the two walls, which is near the king’s garden.[e] (The Babylonians were all around the city.) Then they headed for the rift valley.[f] But the Babylonian army chased after the king. They caught up with him in the rift valley plains of Jericho,[g] and his entire army deserted him.

Read full chapter


  1. 2 Kings 25:3 tn The MT has simply “of the month,” but the parallel passage in Jer 52:6 has “fourth month,” and this is followed by almost all English translations. The word “fourth,” however, is not actually present in the MT of 2 Kgs According to modern reckoning that would have been July 18, 586 b.c. The siege thus lasted almost a full eighteen months.
  2. 2 Kings 25:3 tn Heb “the people of the land.”
  3. 2 Kings 25:4 tn Heb “the city was breached.”
  4. 2 Kings 25:4 tn The Hebrew text is abrupt here: “And all the men of war by the night.” The translation attempts to capture the sense.
  5. 2 Kings 25:4 sn The king’s garden is mentioned again in Neh 3:15 in conjunction with the pool of Siloam and the stairs that go down from the City of David. This would have been in the southern part of the city near the Tyropean Valley which agrees with the reference to the “two walls” which were probably the walls on the eastern and western hills.
  6. 2 Kings 25:4 sn The rift valley (עֲרָבָה, ʿarabah) extends northward of the Dead Sea past Galilee and southward to the Gulf of Aqaba. Here the southern part of the Jordan Valley is in view with the intention to escape across the Jordan river to Moab or Ammon. It appears from Jer 40:14; 41:15 that the Ammonites were known to harbor fugitives from the Babylonians.
  7. 2 Kings 25:5 sn The rift valley plains of Jericho refer to the parts of the Jordan Valley in the vicinity of Jericho (see HALOT 880 s.v. עֲרָבָה). There the terrain is fairly level and slopes gently down to the Jordan, a descent of about 450 feet over five miles. Many translations render this as “the plains of Jericho” (ESV, NASB, NIV, KJV). See the note at Num 22:1.