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The Fall of Jerusalem and the Capture of Zedekiah

39 This is how Jerusalem was captured:[a] In the tenth month of the ninth year of the reign of[b] Zedekiah king of Judah, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon and all his army came to Jerusalem and laid siege to it. On the ninth day of the fourth month, in the eleventh year of the reign of[c] Zedekiah, the wall of[d] the city was breached. All the officials of the king of Babylon came and sat in the Middle Gate, including[e] Nergal-sarri-usur, governor[f] of Sinmagir,[g] Nabu-sarrussu-ukin the high official,[h] Nergal-sarri-user, the chief official,[i] and[j] all the rest of the officials of the king of Babylon.

When Zedekiah king of Judah and all the soldiers saw them, they fled and went out of the city at night through the king’s garden through the gate between the two walls. Then he went out on the road toward the Arabah. The Chaldean army pursued them and overtook Zedekiah on the plains of Jericho. When they seized him they brought him to Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon at Riblah in the land of Hamath, and he passed judgment on him. At Riblah, the king of Babylon executed Zedekiah’s sons right[k] before his eyes. He[l] also executed all the nobles of Judah. Then he put out Zedekiah’s eyes and bound him with bronze fetters to take him to Babylon.

The Chaldeans burned the palace and the houses of the people with fire, and they broke down the walls of Jerusalem. Nebuzaradan, the captain of the Babylonian guard, took into exile in Babylon the rest of the people who remained in the city, those who had deserted to Nebuchadnezzar, and the rest of the people who remained. 10 Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard left in the land of Judah some of the poor people who did not have anything, and he gave them vineyards and fields on that day.

Jeremiah’s Release from Prison

11 Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon gave orders concerning Jeremiah through Nebuzaradan, the captain of the guard: 12 “Take him, look after him, and don’t do anything to harm him. Rather, do for him whatever he tells you.” 13 So Nebuzaradan, the captain of the guard, Nebushazban, the high official, Nergal-sar-ezer, the chief official, and all the officials of the king of Babylon sent for Jeremiah.[m] 14 They sent for Jeremiah[n] and took[o] him from the courtyard of the guard. They handed him over to Ahikam’s son Gedaliah, the grandson of Shaphan, to take him home. So he remained among the people.

Ebed-melech Rewarded

15 This message from the Lord came to Jeremiah while he was confined in the courtyard of the guard: 16 “Go and speak to Ebed-melech the Ethiopian: ‘This is what the Lord of the Heavenly Armies, the God of Israel, says: “Look, I’m going to fulfill my promise against this city for disaster rather than for good, and on that day it will happen before your eyes. 17 But I’ll deliver you on that day,” declares the Lord. “You won’t be given into the hands of the men you fear. 18 For I’ll surely deliver you, and you won’t fall by the sword. Your life will be spared[p] because you trusted me,” declares the Lord.’”


  1. Jeremiah 39:1 a in English is 38:28b in Hebrew
  2. Jeremiah 39:1 The Heb. lacks of the reign of
  3. Jeremiah 39:2 The Heb. lacks of the reign of
  4. Jeremiah 39:2 The Heb. lacks the wall of
  5. Jeremiah 39:3 The Heb. lacks including
  6. Jeremiah 39:3 Or high official
  7. Jeremiah 39:3 I.e. a province of Babylon
  8. Jeremiah 39:3 Lit. the Rab-sa-resi; a Babylonian title for a royal official
  9. Jeremiah 39:3 Lit. the Rab-mugi, a Babylonian title for a royal official
  10. Jeremiah 39:3 Or Gate: Nergal-sarezer, Samgar-nebu, Sarsekim, the high official, Nergal-sarezer, the chief official, and
  11. Jeremiah 39:6 The Heb. lacks right
  12. Jeremiah 39:6 Lit. The king of Babylon
  13. Jeremiah 39:13 The Heb. lacks for Jeremiah
  14. Jeremiah 39:14 The Heb. lacks for Jeremiah
  15. Jeremiah 39:14 The Heb. lacks took
  16. Jeremiah 39:18 Lit. You will have your life as a spoil of war