Nebuchadnezzar gets power over Jerusalem.
1Zedekiah was 21 years old when he became king. He ruled in Jerusalem for 11 years. His mother's name was Hamutal, daughter of Jeremiah. She came from Libnah. #52:1 Zedekiah's grandfather was another Jeremiah, not the prophet.
2Zedekiah did not obey the LORD. He did all the bad things that Jehoiakim had done. 3The LORD was angry, so he caused these things to happen to Jerusalem and Judah. They became so bad that the LORD sent his people away. He did not want them to be near to him. The king of Babylon had told Zedekiah what he must do. But Zedekiah did not do it. 4So Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, and all his army marched against Jerusalem. That was when Zedekiah had been king for almost 9 years, on the 10th day of the 10th month. The army stayed outside the city. They built hills round it so that they could attack it from those hills. 5The army stayed there until the 11th year of King Zedekiah.
6By the 9th day of the 4th month there was no food in the city. The people had nothing to eat. 7The soldiers from Babylon broke down part of the city's wall. The whole army of Judah ran away at night. They went out between the two walls near the king's garden. The soldiers from Babylon were still round the city. The Jews ran towards the flat land called the Arabah. 8But the soldiers from Babylon ran after King Zedekiah. They caught him near Jericho. All his soldiers ran different ways 9and the enemy caught Zedekiah.
They took him to the king of Babylon. Nebuchadnezzar the king was at Riblah in the country called Hamath. There Nebuchadnezzar decided what to do to him. 10At Riblah, he killed all Zedekiah's sons in front of their father's eyes. He also killed all the officers of Judah. 11Then he took out Zedekiah's eyes and he tied him with metal ropes. He took him to Babylon. And he kept him in a prison until he died.
12Nebuzaradan, the leader of the king's special soldiers, came to Jerusalem. It was the 19th year of Nebuchadnezzar's rule. He came on the 10th day of the 5th month. 13He burned the LORD's temple and the king's house and all the houses in Jerusalem. He burned down every important building. 14He told the whole army to break down the walls round Jerusalem. 15Nebuzaradan took away some of the very poor people and those who remained in the city. And he also took those who had clever hands. 16But he let the poorest people stay to work with the vines and in the fields.
17The soldiers from Babylon broke up all the big things of bronze that were in the temple. And they took the bronze to Babylon. 18And they took away all the small bronze tools that the priests used in the temple. 19The leader of the king's soldiers took all the bowls. And he took all the things that people had made from gold or from silver.
20They had a lot of bronze from the things that King Solomon had made for the temple. There was so much that they could not weigh it. 21The metal parts of the doors were more than 6 metres high and 4 metres round. Each was as thick as 4 fingers and they were empty inside. 22Over each of these two parts there were two very beautiful metal tops nearly two metres high. 23They had 96 bronze fruits round their sides and 100 bronze fruits above those.
24Nebuchadnezzar's captain took Seraiah the leader of the priests and his most important helper as his prisoners. And he took the three men who were keepers of the doors of the temple. 25He also took the most important officer of the soldiers who remained in the city. Seven men had helped Judah's king to decide what he should do. Nebuchadnezzar's captain took them also. He took away the most important man who chose men to become soldiers and 60 of his helpers.
26Nebuzaradan, Nebuchadnezzar's most important officer, took all those men to the king of Babylon at Riblah. 27There, at Riblah in the country called Hamath, the king's soldiers killed all those men.
So he took the people from Judah to live as prisoners in a country far away. 28This is the number of the people that Nebuchadnezzar took away:
He took 3,023 Jews in his 7th year.
29He took 832 people from Jerusalem in his 18th year.
30And he took 745 Jews in his 23rd year.
So Nebuzaradan, Nebuchadnezzar's captain, took 4,600 people away.
31Jehoiachin had been in prison for 37 years when Evil-Merodach became king of Babylon. Evil-Merodach let Jehoiachin king of Judah go free. He let him go out from the prison on the 25th day of the 12th month. 32He spoke kind words to him. He gave to him a more important place than the other kings who were with him in Babylon. 33So Jehoiachin took off the clothes that he had worn in the prison. And he ate his food at the king's table until the day that he died. 34The king of Babylon gave something to Jehoiachin every day until he died.