Judgment on Zedekiah and Jerusalem
1Now when Jerusalem was captured, in the ninth year of King Zedekiah of Judah, in the tenth month, King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon and all his army advanced against Jerusalem, and besieged it.
2On the ninth day of the fourth month of the eleventh year of Zedekiah, the city wall was broken through.
3Then all the officials of the king of Babylon came in and sat in the Middle Gate: Nergal-sarezer, Samgar-nebo, Sarsechim the Rab-saris, Nergal-sarezer the Rab-mag, and all the rest of the officials of Babylon’s king.
4Now when King Zedekiah of Judah and all the men of war saw them, they fled. They went out of the city at night, by way of the king’s garden, through the gate between the two walls, heading out toward the way of the Arabah.
5But the Chaldean army pursued them and overtook Zedekiah in the plains of Jericho. When they captured him, they brought him up to King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon at Riblah in the land of Hamath, where he passed judgment on him.
6The king of Babylon slew the sons of Zedekiah in Riblah before his eyes. Moreover, the king of Babylon slew all the nobles of Judah.
7Then he blinded Zedekiah’s eyes, and he bound him in shackles to carry him off to Babylon.
8Then the Chaldeans burned the king’s palace and the houses of the people with fire, and broke down the walls of Jerusalem.
9Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard carried away into exile the rest of the people—those who remained in the city and also the deserters who had defected to him, and the rest of the people remaining.
10But Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard left some of the poorest of the people, who had nothing, behind in the land of Judah, and gave them vineyards and fields in that day.
Vindication of Jeremiah
11Now King Nebuchadrezzar of Babylon gave orders about Jeremiah to Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard, saying:
12“Take him, and look after him, and do no harm to him; rather, do to him just as he tells you.”
13So Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard sent word, so Nebushazban the Rab-saris, Nergal-sarezer the Rab-mag and all the chief officers of the king of Babylon
14sent and brought Jeremiah out of the guard’s courtyard, and gave him to Gedaliah son of Ahikam son of Shaphan, to take him home. So he dwelt among the people.
15Now the word of Adonai came to Jeremiah, while he was shut up in the guard’s courtyard, saying,
16“Go, speak to Eved-melech the Ethiopian, saying, thus says Adonai-Tzva’ot, the God of Israel: ‘Listen, I will bring about My words on this city for evil and not for good. They will happen before you in that day.
17But I will deliver you in that day—it is a declaration of Adonai—and you will not be given into the hand of the men whom you dread.
18“For I will surely rescue you, so you will not fall by the sword. But you will keep your life as spoils, because you put your trust in Me.” It is a declaration of Adonai.