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But the Babylonian[a] army chased after them. They caught up with Zedekiah in the plains of Jericho[b] and captured him.[c] They took him to King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon at Riblah[d] in the territory of Hamath and Nebuchadnezzar passed sentence on him there. 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[e] to be led off to Babylon.

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Footnotes

  1. Jeremiah 39:5 tn Heb “The Chaldeans.” See the study note on 21:4 for explanation.
  2. Jeremiah 39:5 tn The plural form of עֲרָבָה (ʿaravah, rift valley) refers to the sloping plains of the rift valley basin north of the Dead Sea, in this case west of the Jordan in the vicinity of the Jericho (HALOT 880 s.v.). See the note at Num 21:1.
  3. Jeremiah 39:5 sn 2 Kgs 25:5 and Jer 52:8 mention that the soldiers all scattered from him. That is why the text focuses on Zedekiah here.
  4. Jeremiah 39:5 sn Riblah was a strategic town on the Orontes River in Syria at a crossing of the major roads between Egypt and Mesopotamia. Pharaoh Necho had earlier received Jehoahaz there, putting him in chains (2 Kgs 23:33) prior to taking him captive to Egypt. There Nebuchadnezzar had set up his base camp for conducting his campaigns against the Palestinian states, and now he was sitting in judgment on prisoners brought to him.
  5. 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.

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