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The Fall of Jerusalem

39 In the ninth year of Zedekiah, the king of Judah, in the tenth month, Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon and all his army came against Jerusalem and laid siege to it. In the eleventh year of Zedekiah, in the fourth month, on the ninth day of the month, the city was taken by assault. And all the officials of the king of Babylon came and sat in the Middle Gate: Nergal-sharezer, Samgar-nebo, Sarsechim the chief officer, Nergal-sharezer the high official, with all the rest of the officials of the king of Babylon. And then[a] when[b] Zedekiah the king of Judah saw them, and all the soldiers[c] with him, they fled and went out at night from the city by the way of the garden of the king through the gate between the walls. And they went out toward the Jordan Valley. But the army of the Chaldeans pursued after them and overtook Zedekiah in the plains of Jericho. And they took him and brought him up to Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon at Riblah in the land of Hamath. And he pronounced sentence[d] on him. And the king of Babylon slaughtered the sons of Zedekiah at Riblah before his eyes. The king of Babylon also slaughtered all the nobles of Judah. Then he blinded the eyes of Zedekiah and tied him up with bronze fetters to bring him to Babylon. And the Chaldeans burned the palace[e] of the king and the houses[f] of the people with fire and broke down the walls of Jerusalem.

Then the rest of the people who were left in the city, and those deserting who had deserted to him, and the rest of the people who remained, Nebuzaradan, the captain of the guard,[g] deported to Babylon. 10 And some of the poor people, who had nothing,[h] Nebuzaradan, the captain of the guard,[i] left in the land of Judah. And he gave them vineyards and fields on that day.

11 And Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon commanded concerning Jeremiah through[j] Nebuzaradan, the captain of the guard,[k] saying,[l] 12 “Take him and set your eyes on him. And you must not do something bad to him, but only[m] that which he speaks to you, so do with him.” 13 So Nebuzaradan, the captain of the guard,[n] sent word, along with[o] Nebushazban the chief officer, and Nergal-sharezer the high official, and all the chief officers of the king of Babylon. 14 And they sent and took Jeremiah from the courtyard of the guard and gave him to Gedaliah the son of Ahikam, the son of Shaphan, to take him to the house, so he stayed in the midst of the people.

Ebed-melech is Rewarded for His Faith

15 And the word of Yahweh came to Jeremiah at his confinement in the courtyard of the guard, saying,[p] 16 “Go and say to Ebed-melech the Cushite, saying,[q] ‘Thus says Yahweh of hosts, the God of Israel: “Look, I am about to bring my words to pass against this city for evil and not for good. And they will be before you[r] on that day. 17 But I will rescue you on that day,” declares[s] Yahweh, “and you will not be given into the hand of the men of whom you are frightened.[t] 18 For surely I will save you, and you will not fall by the sword. But your life will be for you as booty because you have trusted in me,” declares[u] Yahweh.’”


  1. Jeremiah 39:4 Literally “And it was”
  2. Jeremiah 39:4 Literally “as that”
  3. Jeremiah 39:4 Literally “the men of the war”
  4. Jeremiah 39:5 Literally “judgments”
  5. Jeremiah 39:8 Or “house”
  6. Jeremiah 39:8 Hebrew “house”
  7. Jeremiah 39:9 Hebrew “guards”
  8. Jeremiah 39:10 Literally “who there was not for them something”
  9. Jeremiah 39:10 Hebrew “guards”
  10. Jeremiah 39:11 Literally “in the hand of”
  11. Jeremiah 39:11 Hebrew “guards”
  12. Jeremiah 39:11 Literally “to say”
  13. Jeremiah 39:12 Literally “but if”
  14. Jeremiah 39:13 Hebrew “guards”
  15. Jeremiah 39:13 Literally “and”
  16. Jeremiah 39:15 Literally “to say”
  17. Jeremiah 39:16 Literally “to say”
  18. Jeremiah 39:16 Literally “to the face of you”
  19. Jeremiah 39:17 Literally “a declaration of”
  20. Jeremiah 39:17 Literally “who you are frightened from the face of them”
  21. Jeremiah 39:18 Literally “a declaration of”