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The Fall of Jerusalem(A)

25 On the tenth day of the tenth month of the ninth year of Zedekiah’s reign, King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon attacked Jerusalem with his entire army. They set up camp and built dirt ramps around the city walls. The blockade of the city lasted until Zedekiah’s eleventh year as king. On the ninth day of the fourth[a] month, the famine in the city became so severe that the common people had no food.

The enemy broke through the city walls that night. All Judah’s soldiers left on the road of the gate between the two walls beside the king’s garden. While the Babylonians were attacking the city from all sides, the king took the road to the plain of Jericho. The Babylonian army pursued King Zedekiah and caught up with him in the plain of Jericho. His entire army had deserted him. The Babylonians captured the king, brought him to the king of Babylon at Riblah, and passed sentence on him. They slaughtered Zedekiah’s sons as he watched, and then they blinded Zedekiah. They put him in bronze shackles and took him to Babylon.

On the seventh day of the fifth month of Nebuchadnezzar’s nineteenth year as king of Babylon, Nebuzaradan, who was the captain of the guard and an officer of the king of Babylon, came to Jerusalem. He burned down Yahweh’s temple, the royal palace, and all the houses in Jerusalem. Every important building was burned down. 10 The entire Babylonian army that was with the captain of the guard tore down the walls around Jerusalem.

11 Nebuzaradan, the captain of the guard, captured the few people left in the city, those who surrendered to the king of Babylon, and the rest of the population. 12 The captain of the guard left some of the poorest people in the land to work in the vineyards and on the farms.

13 The Babylonians broke apart the bronze pillars of Yahweh’s temple, the stands, and the bronze pool in Yahweh’s temple. They shipped the bronze to Babylon. 14 They took the pots, shovels, snuffers, dishes, and all the bronze utensils used in the temple service. 15 The captain of the guard took all of the incense burners and bowls that were made of gold or silver. 16 The bronze from the two pillars, the pool, and the stands that Solomon had made for Yahweh’s temple couldn’t be weighed. 17 One pillar was 27 feet high and had a bronze capital on it that was 4½ feet high. The filigree and the pomegranates around the capital were all made of bronze. The second pillar and its filigree were the same.

18 The captain of the guard took the chief priest Seraiah, the second priest Zephaniah, and the 3 doorkeepers. 19 From the city he also took an army commander, 5 men who had access to the king whom he found in the city, the scribe who was in charge of the militia, and 60 of the common people whom he found in the city. 20 Nebuzaradan, the captain of the guard, took them and brought them to the king of Babylon at Riblah. 21 The king of Babylon executed them at Riblah in the territory of Hamath. So the people of Judah were captives when they left their land.

22 King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon appointed Gedaliah, son of Ahikam and grandson of Shaphan, to govern the remaining people in the land of Judah. 23 When all the army commanders and their men heard that the king of Babylon had appointed Gedaliah, they went to Gedaliah at Mizpah. They were Ishmael (son of Nethaniah), Johanan (son of Kareah), Seraiah (son of Tanhumeth from Netophah), and Jaazaniah from Beth Maacah and their men. 24 Gedaliah swore an oath to them and their men. He said, “Don’t be afraid of the Babylonian officers. Live in this country, serve the king of Babylon, and you will prosper.”

25 In the seventh month Ishmael (son of Nethaniah and grandson of Elishama, a descendant of the kings) went with ten men to kill Gedaliah and the Judeans and Babylonians who were with him at Mizpah. 26 Then people of all classes and the army commanders left for Egypt because they were afraid of the Babylonians.

King Jehoiakin Released from Prison(B)

27 On the twenty-seventh day of the twelfth month of the thirty-seventh year of the imprisonment of King Jehoiakin of Judah, King Evil Merodach of Babylon, in the first year of his reign, freed King Jehoiakin of Judah from prison. 28 He treated him well and gave him a special position higher than the other kings who were with him in Babylon. 29 Jehoiakin no longer wore prison clothes, and he ate his meals in the king’s presence as long as he lived. 30 The king of Babylon gave him a daily food allowance as long as he lived.


  1. 2 Kings 25:3 Jeremiah 39:2; 52:6; Masoretic Text omits “fourth.”