52 Zedekiah was twenty-one years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem eleven years. His mother’s name was Hamutal daughter of Jeremiah; she was from Libnah.2 He did evil in the eyes of the Lord, just as Jehoiakim had done.3 It was because of the Lord’s anger that all this happened to Jerusalem and Judah, and in the end he thrust them from his presence.
Now Zedekiah rebelled against the king of Babylon.
4 So in the ninth year of Zedekiah’s reign, on the tenth day of the tenth month, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon marched against Jerusalem with his whole army. They encamped outside the city and built siege works all around it.5 The city was kept under siege until the eleventh year of King Zedekiah.
6 By the ninth day of the fourth month the famine in the city had become so severe that there was no food for the people to eat.7 Then the city wall was broken through, and the whole army fled. They left the city at night through the gate between the two walls near the king’s garden, though the Babylonians[a] were surrounding the city. They fled toward the Arabah,[b]8 but the Babylonian[c] army pursued King Zedekiah and overtook him in the plains of Jericho. All his soldiers were separated from him and scattered,9 and he was captured.
He was taken to the king of Babylon at Riblah in the land of Hamath, where he pronounced sentence on him.10 There at Riblah the king of Babylon killed the sons of Zedekiah before his eyes; he also killed all the officials of Judah.11 Then he put out Zedekiah’s eyes, bound him with bronze shackles and took him to Babylon, where he put him in prison till the day of his death.
12 On the tenth day of the fifth month, in the nineteenth year of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, Nebuzaradan commander of the imperial guard, who served the king of Babylon, came to Jerusalem.13 He set fire to the temple of the Lord, the royal palace and all the houses of Jerusalem. Every important building he burned down.14 The whole Babylonian army, under the commander of the imperial guard, broke down all the walls around Jerusalem.15 Nebuzaradan the commander of the guard carried into exile some of the poorest people and those who remained in the city, along with the rest of the craftsmen[d] and those who had deserted to the king of Babylon.16 But Nebuzaradan left behind the rest of the poorest people of the land to work the vineyards and fields.
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