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2 Kings - Chapter 25

2 Kings Chapters

1 In the ninth year of his reign, in the tenth month, on the tenth day of the month, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon advanced on Jerusalem with his entire army; he pitched camp in front of the city and threw up earthworks round it.

2 The city lay under siege till the eleventh year of King Zedekiah.

3 In the fourth month, on the ninth day of the month, when famine was raging in the city and there was no food for the populace,

4 a breach was made in the city wall. The king then made his escape under cover of dark, with all the fighting men, by way of the gate between the two walls, which is near the king's garden -- the Chaldaeans had surrounded the city -- and made his way towards the Arabah.

5 The Chaldaean troops pursued the king and caught up with him in the Plains of Jericho, where all his troops deserted.

6 The Chaldaeans captured the king and took him to the king of Babylon at Riblah, who passed sentence on him.

7 He had Zedekiah's sons slaughtered before his eyes, then put out Zedekiah's eyes and, loading him with chains, carried him off to Babylon.

8 In the fifth month, on the seventh day of the month -- it was in the nineteenth year of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon -- Nebuzaradan commander of the guard, a member of the king of Babylon's staff, entered Jerusalem.

9 He burned down the Temple of Yahweh, the royal palace and all the houses in Jerusalem.

10 The Chaldaean troops who accompanied the commander of the guard demolished the walls surrounding Jerusalem.

11 Nebuzaradan commander of the guard deported the remainder of the population left in the city, the deserters who had gone over to the king of Babylon, and the rest of the common people.

12 But the commander of the guard left some of the poor country people behind as vineyard workers and ploughmen.

13 The Chaldaeans broke up the bronze pillars from the Temple of Yahweh, the wheeled stands and the bronze Sea, which were in the Temple of Yahweh, and took the bronze away to Babylon.

14 They also took the ash containers, the scoops, the knives, the incense boats, and all the bronze furnishings used in worship.

15 The commander of the guard also took the censers and the sprinkling bowls, everything made of gold and everything made of silver.

16 As regards the two pillars, the one Sea and the wheeled stands, which Solomon of bronze in all these objects.

17 The height of one pillar was eighteen cubits, and on it stood a capital of bronze, the height of the capital being five cubits; round the capital were filigree and pomegranates, all in bronze. So also for the second pillar.

18 The commander of the guard took prisoner Seraiah the chief priest, Zephaniah the priest next in rank, and the three guardians of the threshold.

19 In the city he took prisoner an official who was in command of the fighting men, five of the king's personal friends who were discovered in the city, the secretary to the army commander, responsible for military conscription, and sixty men of distinction discovered in the city.

20 Nebuzaradan commander of the guard took these men and brought them to the king of Babylon at Riblah,

21 and at Riblah in the territory of Hamath the king of Babylon had them put to death. Thus Judah was deported from its country.

22 For the people remaining in the country of Judah whom Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon had left behind, he appointed Gedaliah son of Ahikam, son of Shaphan as governor.

23 When the military leaders and their men all heard that the king of Babylon had appointed Gedaliah as governor, they went to him at Mizpah: Ishmael son of Nethaniah, Johanan son of Kareah, Seraiah son of Tanhumeth the Netophathite, Jaazaniah the Maacathite, they and their men.

24 To them and to their men Gedaliah swore an oath. 'Do not be afraid of the Chaldaeans,' he said, 'stay in the country, serve the king of Babylon, and all will go well with you.'

25 But in the seventh month, Ishmael son of Nethaniah, son of Elishama, who was of royal descent, and ten men with him, came and murdered Gedaliah, as well as the Judaeans and Chaldaeans who were with him at Mizpah.

26 Then all the people, high and low, with the military leaders, set off and went to Egypt, being afraid of the Chaldaeans.

27 In the thirty-seventh year of the exile of Jehoiachin king of Judah, in the twelfth month, on the twenty-seventh day of the month, Evil-Merodach king of Babylon, in the year he came to the throne, pardoned Jehoiachin king of Judah and released him from prison.

28 He treated him with kindness and allotted him a seat above those of the other kings who were with him in Babylon.

29 So Jehoiachin laid aside his prisoner's garb, and for the rest of his life always ate at the king's table.

30 And his upkeep was permanently ensured by the king, day after day, for the rest of his life.


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