39 It was in January of the ninth year of the reign of King Zedekiah of Judah that King Nebuchadnezzar and all his army came against Jerusalem again and besieged it. 2 Two years later, in the month of July, they breached the wall, and the city fell, 3 and all the officers of the Babylonian army came in and sat in triumph at the middle gate. Nergal-sharezer was there, Samgar-nebo, Sarsechim, Nergal-sharezer the king’s chief assistant, and many others.
4 When King Zedekiah and his soldiers realized that the city was lost, they fled during the night, going out through the gate between the two walls back of the palace garden and across the fields toward the Jordan Valley. 5 But the Babylonians chased the king and caught him on the plains of Jericho and brought him to Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, who was at Riblah in the land of Hamath, where he pronounced judgment upon him. 6 The king of Babylon made Zedekiah watch as they killed his children and all the nobles of Judah. 7 Then he gouged out Zedekiah’s eyes and bound him in chains to send him away to Babylon as a slave.
8 Meanwhile the army burned Jerusalem, including the palace, and tore down the walls of the city. 9 Then Nebuzaradan, the captain of the guard, and his men sent the remnant of the population and all those who had defected to him to Babylon. 10 But throughout the land of Judah he left a few people, the very poor, and gave them fields and vineyards.
11-12 Meanwhile King Nebuchadnezzar had told Nebuzaradan to find Jeremiah. “See that he isn’t hurt,” he said. “Look after him well and give him anything he wants.” 13 So Nebuzaradan, the captain of the guard, and Nebushazban, the chief of the eunuchs, and Nergal-sharezer, the king’s advisor, and all the officials took steps to do as the king had commanded. 14 They sent soldiers to bring Jeremiah out of the prison, and put him into the care of Gedaliah (son of Ahikam, son of Shaphan), to take him back to his home. And Jeremiah lived there among his people who were left in the land.
15 The Lord gave the following message to Jeremiah before the Babylonians arrived, while he was still in prison: 16 “Send this word to Ebed-melech the Ethiopian: The Lord, the God of Israel, says: I will do to this city everything I threatened; I will destroy it before your eyes, 17 but I will deliver you. You shall not be killed by those you fear so much. 18 As a reward for trusting me, I will preserve your life and keep you safe.”