25 Then King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon mobilized his entire army and laid siege to Jerusalem, arriving on March 25 of the ninth year of the reign of King Zedekiah of Judah. The siege continued into the eleventh year of his reign.

The last food in the city was eaten on July 24, 4-5 and that night the king and his troops made a hole in the inner wall and fled out toward the Arabah through a gate that lay between the double walls near the king’s garden. The Babylonian troops surrounding the city took out after him and captured him in the plains of Jericho, and all his men scattered. He was taken to Riblah, where he was tried and sentenced before the king of Babylon. He was forced to watch as his sons were killed before his eyes; then his eyes were put out, and he was bound with chains and taken away to Babylon.

General Nebuzaradan, the captain of the royal bodyguard, arrived at Jerusalem from Babylon on July 22 of the nineteenth year of the reign of King Nebuchadnezzar. He burned down the Temple, the palace, and all the other houses of any worth. 10 He then supervised the Babylonian army in tearing down the walls of Jerusalem. 11 The remainder of the people in the city and the Jewish deserters who had declared their allegiance to the king of Babylon were all taken as exiles to Babylon. 12 But the poorest of the people were left to farm the land.

13 The Babylonians broke up the bronze pillars of the Temple and the bronze tank and its bases and carried all the bronze to Babylon. 14-15 They also took all the pots, shovels, firepans, snuffers, spoons, and other bronze instruments used for the sacrifices. The gold and silver bowls, with all the rest of the gold and silver, were melted down to bullion. 16 It was impossible to estimate the weight of the two pillars and the great tank and its bases—all made for the Temple by King Solomon—because they were so heavy. 17 Each pillar was 27 feet high, with an intricate bronze network of pomegranates decorating the 4½-foot capitals at the tops of the pillars.

18 The general took Seraiah, the chief priest, his assistant Zephaniah, and the three Temple guards to Babylon as captives. 19 A commander of the army of Judah, the chief recruiting officer, five of the king’s counselors, and sixty farmers, all of whom were discovered hiding in the city, 20 were taken by General Nebuzaradan to the king of Babylon at Riblah, 21 where they were put to the sword and died.

So Judah was exiled from its land.

22 Then King Nebuchadnezzar appointed Gedaliah (the son of Ahikam and grandson of Shaphan) as governor over the people left in Judah. 23 When the Israeli guerrilla forces learned that the king of Babylon had appointed Gedaliah as governor, some of these underground leaders and their men joined him at Mizpah. These included Ishmael, the son of Nethaniah; Johanan, the son of Kareah; Seraiah, the son of Tanhumeth the Netophathite; and Jaazaniah, son of Maachathite, and their men.

24 Gedaliah vowed that if they would give themselves up and submit to the Babylonians, they would be allowed to live in the land and would not be exiled. 25 But seven months later, Ishmael, who was a member of the royal line, went to Mizpah with ten men and killed Gedaliah and his court—both the Jews and the Babylonians.

26 Then all the men of Judah and the guerrilla leaders fled in panic to Egypt, for they were afraid of what the Babylonians would do to them.

27 King Jehoiachin was released from prison on the twenty-seventh day of the last month of the thirty-seventh year of his captivity.

This occurred during the first year of the reign of King Evil-merodach of Babylon. 28 He treated Jehoiachin kindly and gave him preferential treatment over all the other kings who were being held as prisoners in Babylon. 29 Jehoiachin was given civilian clothing to replace his prison garb, and for as long as he lived, he ate regularly at the king’s table. 30 The king also gave him a daily cash allowance for the rest of his life.

Living Bible (TLB)

The Living Bible copyright © 1971 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

25 So in the ninth(A) year of Zedekiah’s reign, on the tenth day of the tenth month, Nebuchadnezzar(B) king of Babylon marched against Jerusalem with his whole army. He encamped outside the city and built siege works(C) all around it. The city was kept under siege until the eleventh year of King Zedekiah.

By the ninth day of the fourth[a] month the famine(D) in the city had become so severe that there was no food for the people to eat. Then the city wall was broken through,(E) and the whole army fled at night through the gate between the two walls near the king’s garden, though the Babylonians[b] were surrounding(F) the city. They fled toward the Arabah,[c] but the Babylonian[d] army pursued the king and overtook him in the plains of Jericho. All his soldiers were separated from him and scattered,(G) and he was captured.(H)

He was taken to the king of Babylon at Riblah,(I) where sentence was pronounced on him. They killed the sons of Zedekiah before his eyes. Then they put out his eyes, bound him with bronze shackles and took him to Babylon.(J)

On the seventh day of the fifth month, in the nineteenth year of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, Nebuzaradan commander of the imperial guard, an official of the king of Babylon, came to Jerusalem. He set fire(K) to the temple of the Lord, the royal palace and all the houses of Jerusalem. Every important building he burned down.(L) 10 The whole Babylonian army under the commander of the imperial guard broke down the walls(M) around Jerusalem. 11 Nebuzaradan the commander of the guard carried into exile(N) the people who remained in the city, along with the rest of the populace and those who had deserted to the king of Babylon.(O) 12 But the commander left behind some of the poorest people(P) of the land to work the vineyards and fields.

13 The Babylonians broke(Q) up the bronze pillars, the movable stands and the bronze Sea that were at the temple of the Lord and they carried the bronze to Babylon. 14 They also took away the pots, shovels, wick trimmers, dishes(R) and all the bronze articles(S) used in the temple service. 15 The commander of the imperial guard took away the censers and sprinkling bowls—all that were made of pure gold or silver.(T)

16 The bronze from the two pillars, the Sea and the movable stands, which Solomon had made for the temple of the Lord, was more than could be weighed. 17 Each pillar(U) was eighteen cubits[e] high. The bronze capital on top of one pillar was three cubits[f] high and was decorated with a network and pomegranates of bronze all around. The other pillar, with its network, was similar.

18 The commander of the guard took as prisoners Seraiah(V) the chief priest, Zephaniah(W) the priest next in rank and the three doorkeepers.(X) 19 Of those still in the city, he took the officer in charge of the fighting men, and five royal advisers. He also took the secretary who was chief officer in charge of conscripting the people of the land and sixty of the conscripts who were found in the city. 20 Nebuzaradan the commander took them all and brought them to the king of Babylon at Riblah. 21 There at Riblah,(Y) in the land of Hamath, the king had them executed.(Z)

So Judah went into captivity,(AA) away from her land.(AB)

22 Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon appointed Gedaliah(AC) son of Ahikam,(AD) the son of Shaphan, to be over the people he had left behind in Judah. 23 When all the army officers and their men heard that the king of Babylon had appointed Gedaliah as governor, they came to Gedaliah at Mizpah—Ishmael son of Nethaniah, Johanan son of Kareah, Seraiah son of Tanhumeth the Netophathite, Jaazaniah the son of the Maakathite, and their men. 24 Gedaliah took an oath to reassure them and their men. “Do not be afraid of the Babylonian officials,” he said. “Settle down in the land and serve the king of Babylon, and it will go well with you.”

25 In the seventh month, however, Ishmael son of Nethaniah, the son of Elishama, who was of royal blood, came with ten men and assassinated(AE) Gedaliah and also the men of Judah and the Babylonians who were with him at Mizpah.(AF) 26 At this, all the people from the least to the greatest, together with the army officers, fled to Egypt(AG) for fear of the Babylonians.

Jehoiachin Released(AH)

27 In the thirty-seventh year of the exile of Jehoiachin king of Judah, in the year Awel-Marduk became king of Babylon, he released Jehoiachin(AI) king of Judah from prison. He did this on the twenty-seventh day of the twelfth month. 28 He spoke kindly(AJ) to him and gave him a seat of honor(AK) higher than those of the other kings who were with him in Babylon. 29 So Jehoiachin put aside his prison clothes and for the rest of his life ate regularly at the king’s table.(AL) 30 Day by day the king gave Jehoiachin a regular allowance as long as he lived.(AM)

Footnotes

  1. 2 Kings 25:3 Probable reading of the original Hebrew text (see Jer. 52:6); Masoretic Text does not have fourth.
  2. 2 Kings 25:4 Or Chaldeans; also in verses 13, 25 and 26
  3. 2 Kings 25:4 Or the Jordan Valley
  4. 2 Kings 25:5 Or Chaldean; also in verses 10 and 24
  5. 2 Kings 25:17 That is, about 27 feet or about 8.1 meters
  6. 2 Kings 25:17 That is, about 4 1/2 feet or about 1.4 meters
New International Version (NIV)

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