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The Fall of Jerusalem

39 This is how Jerusalem was captured: Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon marched against Jerusalem with his whole army and ·surrounded the city to attack it [L besieged it]. This was during the tenth month of the ninth year Zedekiah was king of Judah [C January 588 bc; 52:4]. This lasted until the ninth day of the fourth month in Zedekiah’s eleventh year [C July 18, 586 bc]. Then the city wall was ·broken through [breached]. And all these officers of the king of Babylon came [C into Jerusalem] and sat down at the Middle Gate: Nergal-Sharezer ·of the district of Samgar [or Samgar-nebo]; Nebo-Sarsekim, a chief ·officer [or eunuch]; Nergal-Sharezer, ·an important leader [or the Rabmag]; and all the other important officers.

When Zedekiah king of Judah and all his soldiers saw them, they ·ran away [fled]. They ·left [went out of] Jerusalem at night and went out ·from [L by way of] the king’s garden. They went through the gate that was between the two walls and then headed toward the ·Jordan Valley [L Arabah]. But the ·Babylonian [L Chaldean] army ·chased [pursued] them and ·caught up with [overtook] Zedekiah in the plains of Jericho. They captured him and took him to Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, who was at the town of Riblah in the land of Hamath [C north of Israel, in Syria]. There Nebuchadnezzar passed ·his sentence [judgment] on Zedekiah. At Riblah the king of Babylon ·killed [slaughtered] Zedekiah’s sons and all the ·important officers [nobles] of Judah ·as Zedekiah watched [L before his eyes]. Then he ·put out [blinded] Zedekiah’s eyes. He put bronze chains on Zedekiah and took him to Babylon.

The ·Babylonians [L Chaldeans] ·set fire to [L burned with fire] the ·palace [L house of the king] and to the houses of the people, and they ·broke [tore] down the walls around Jerusalem. Nebuzaradan, commander of the king’s special guards, took the people left in Jerusalem, those captives who had ·surrendered [deserted; defected; L fell] to him earlier, and the rest of the people of Jerusalem, and he ·took them all away [exiled them all] to Babylon. 10 But Nebuzaradan, commander of the guard, left some of the poorest people of Judah behind. They owned nothing, but that day he gave them vineyards and fields.

11 Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon had ·given these orders [commanded] about Jeremiah through Nebuzaradan, commander of the guard: 12 “Find Jeremiah and take care of him. Do not ·hurt [do evil to] him, but do for him whatever he asks you.” 13 So Nebuchadnezzar sent these men for Jeremiah: Nebuzaradan, commander of the guards; Nebushazban, a chief ·officer [or eunuch]; Nergal-Sharezer, ·an important leader [or the Rabmag]; and all the other officers of the king of Babylon. 14 They had Jeremiah taken out of the courtyard of the guard. Then they turned him over to Gedaliah son of Ahikam son of Shaphan [C the new governor of the Babylonian province of Judah; 40:5], who had orders to take Jeremiah back home. So they took him home, and he stayed among the people left in Judah.

15 While Jeremiah was guarded in the courtyard, the Lord spoke his word to him: 16 “Jeremiah, go and tell Ebed-Melech the Cushite [C Ethiopian; 38:7–13] this message: ‘This is what the Lord ·All-Powerful [Almighty; of Heaven’s Armies; T of hosts], the God of Israel, says: Very soon I will make my words about this city [C Jerusalem] come true ·through [for] ·disaster [evil; trouble], not ·through [for] ·good times [good]. You will see everything come true with your own eyes. 17 But I will ·save [rescue; deliver ] you on that day, Ebed-Melech, says the Lord. You will not be handed over to the people you fear. 18 I will surely ·save [rescue] you [C Ebed-Melech]. You will not ·die from [L fall by] a sword, but ·you will escape and live [L your life will be plunder]. This will happen because you have ·trusted [confidence] in me, says the Lord.’”