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There at Riblah the king of Babylon had Zedekiah’s sons put to death while Zedekiah was forced to watch. The king of Babylon also had all the nobles of Judah put to death. Then he had Zedekiah’s eyes put out and had him bound in chains[a] to be led off to Babylon. The Babylonians[b] burned down the royal palace, the temple of the Lord, and the people’s homes,[c] and they tore down the wall of Jerusalem.[d]

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  1. Jeremiah 39:7 tn Heb “fetters of bronze.” The more generic “chains” is used in the translation because “fetters” is a word unfamiliar to most modern readers.
  2. Jeremiah 39:8 tn Heb “Chaldeans.” See the study note on 21:4 for explanation.
  3. Jeremiah 39:8 tc The reading here is based on an emendation following the parallels in Jer 52:13 and 2 Kgs 25:9. The Hebrew text here does not have “the temple of the Lord” and reads merely “house of the people.” The text here is probably corrupt. It reads וְאֶת בֵּית הָעָם (veʾet bet haʿam, “and the house of the people”), which many explain as a collective use of בַּיִת (bayit). However, no parallels are cited by any of the commentaries, grammars, or lexicons for such a use. It is more likely that the words יְהוָה וְאֶת־בָּתֵּי (yehvah veʾet bate) have fallen out of the text due to similar beginnings. The words וְאֶת בֵּית יהוה (veʾet bet yhwh) are found in the parallel texts cited above. The Greek version is no help here because vv. 4-13 are omitted, probably due to the similarities in ending of vv. 3 and 13 (i.e., homoioteleuton of מֶלֶךְ בָּבֶל, melekh bavel).
  4. Jeremiah 39:8 sn According to the parallels in 2 Kgs 25:8-9 and Jer 52:12-13, this occurred almost a month after the wall was breached and Zedekiah was caught in flight. The destruction took place under the direction of Nebuzaradan, the captain of the king’s special guard who is mentioned in the next verse.