Removing only the rich and influential citizens, who might cause them trouble, is a political strategy. They leave behind the poor and destitute to serve as their labor force.
11 In these days of conquest, King Nebuchadnezzar learned about the prophet Jeremiah and gave this order to his captain of the imperial guard, Nebuzaradan:
King Nebuchadnezzar: 12 Go and get this prophet they call Jeremiah, and look after him. Make sure he isn’t harmed, and give him whatever he wants.