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Jerusalem Taken by the Babylonians

39 In the tenth month of the ninth year of Zedekiah king of Judah, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon and all his army came and gathered around Jerusalem. And on the ninth day of the fourth month of the eleventh year of Zedekiah, the city wall was broken open. Then all the captains of the king of Babylon came in and sat down at the Middle Gate: Nergal-sar-ezer, Samgar-nebu, Sarsekim, the Rab-saris, Nergal-sar-ezer the Rab-mag, and all the rest of the captains of the king of Babylon. When King Zedekiah of Judah and all his men of war saw them, they ran out of the city at night by way of the king’s garden through the gate between the two walls. They went out toward the Jordan Valley. But the Babylonian army went after them and came to Zedekiah in the plains of Jericho. They took hold of him and brought him up to Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon at Riblah in the land of Hamath. And Nebuchadnezzar decided how he should be punished. The king of Babylon killed Zedekiah’s sons in front of his eyes at Riblah. He killed all the leaders of Judah also. Then he put out Zedekiah’s eyes and put him in chains of brass to take him to Babylon. The Babylonians burned the king’s house and the houses of the people with fire. And they broke down the walls of Jerusalem. Then Nebuzaradan, the captain of the soldiers, carried the rest of the people who were left in the city away to Babylon, those who went over with him, and the people who stayed. 10 But Nebuzaradan, the captain of the prison soldiers, left behind in the land of Judah some of the poorest people who had nothing. He gave them grape-fields and fields at the same time.

Jeremiah Is Not Held

11 Now Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon said what must be done about Jeremiah through Nebuzaradan the captain of the prison soldiers. He said, 12 “Take him and watch over him. Do not hurt him, but do with him as he tells you.” 13 So Nebuzaradan the captain of the prison soldiers, Nebushazban the Rab-saris, Nergal-sar-ezer the Rab-mag, and all the leading captains of the king of Babylon 14 sent for Jeremiah and took him out of the open space of the prison. And they put him in the care of Gedaliah, the son of Ahikam, the son of Shaphan, to take him home. So Jeremiah stayed among the people.

Ebed-melech’s Future

15 The Word of the Lord had come to Jeremiah while he was being kept in the open space of the prison, saying, 16 “Go and tell Ebed-melech the Ethiopian, ‘This is what the Lord of All, the God of Israel says: “I will bring My words on this city for bad and not for good. And they will happen in front of you at that time. 17 I will save you on that day,” says the Lord. “You will not be given over to the men you are afraid of. 18 For I will be sure to take you away, and you will not be killed by the sword. You will have your life because you have trusted in Me,”’” says the Lord.