39 In the tenth month of Zedekiah’s ninth year as king of Judah, King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon attacked Jerusalem with his entire army and blockaded it. 2 On the ninth day of the fourth month of Zedekiah’s eleventh year as king, they broke into the city.
3 Then all the officers of the king of Babylon came in and sat in Middle Gate: Nergal (the quartermaster), Samgar Nebo (the chief officer), Nergal (the quartermaster and the chief fortuneteller), and all the rest of the officers of the king of Babylon.
4 When King Zedekiah of Judah and all the soldiers saw them, they fled. They left the city at night by way of the king’s garden through the gate between the two walls, and they took the road to the plain of Jericho. 5 The Babylonian army pursued them and caught up with Zedekiah in the plain of Jericho. They arrested him and brought him to Babylon’s King Nebuchadnezzar at Riblah in the territory of Hamath. The king of Babylon passed sentence on him. 6 The king of Babylon slaughtered Zedekiah’s sons as Zedekiah watched at Riblah. He also slaughtered all the leaders of Judah. 7 Then he blinded Zedekiah, put him in bronze shackles, and took him to Babylon.
8 The Babylonians burned down the royal palace and the people’s homes, and they tore down the walls of Jerusalem. 9 Nebuzaradan, Babylon’s captain of the guard, captured the few people left in the city, those who surrendered to him, and the rest of the people. 10 But Nebuzaradan, the captain of the guard, left some poor people who had nothing in the land of Judah. At that time he gave them vineyards and farms.
11 King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon gave Nebuzaradan an order concerning Jeremiah. He said, 12 “Take him, and look after him. Don’t harm him in any way, but do for him whatever he asks.” 13 Nebuzaradan (the captain of the guard), Nebushazban (the chief official), Nergal (the quartermaster and the chief fortuneteller), and all the other leaders of the king of Babylon sent for Jeremiah. 14 They took Jeremiah out of the courtyard of the prison and handed him over to Gedaliah, son of Ahikam and grandson of Shaphan, to take him home. So he lived among the people.
15 While Jeremiah was still confined in the courtyard of the prison, the Lord spoke his word to him. The Lord said, 16 “Say to Ebed Melech from Sudan, ‘This is what the Lord of Armies, the God of Israel, says: I’m going to carry out my threat against this city by bringing disaster on it instead of prosperity. At that time these things will happen as you watch. 17 But at that time I will rescue you, declares the Lord. You will not be handed over to those you fear. 18 I will certainly rescue you. You will not die in war. You will escape with your life because you trusted me, declares the Lord.’”
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