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2 Kings 25

Nebuchadnezzar destroys Jerusalem

25:0Nebuchadnezzar did not only destroy Jerusalem. He took away all the people who were in its government, too.

1 Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon, marched against Jerusalem, with all his army. He did that when Zedekiah had ruled for nearly 9 years, on the 10th day of the 10th month. The army stayed outside the city. They built walls all round the city, which were higher than the walls of Jerusalem. 2 The army stayed outside the city until Zedekiah had been king for nearly 11 years. 3 By the 9th day of the month, the famine was very bad. There was no food for the people to eat. 4 Then the army from Babylon broke the city wall. The army from Babylon was all round the city. So the king of Judah and all his army ran away in the night. They went along a road near the two walls by the king's garden. All the army ran away along a road to Arabah. 5 But the soldiers from Babylon followed the king. They reached him on some flat land near Jericho. All his soldiers became separate from him and they ran away to different places. 6 But the soldiers from Babylon caught the king Zedekiah and they took him to the king of Babylon at Riblah. There the king of Babylon said what would happen to Zedekiah. 7 They killed all Zedekiah's sons, while Zedekiah watched. Then they destroyed Zedekiah's eyes. They tied him with a line of metal pieces that joined together. And they took him to Babylon.

8 When Nebuchadnezzar had been the king of Babylon for nearly 19 years, Nebuzaradan came to Jerusalem. It was on the 7th day of the 5th month. Nebuzaradan was an officer of the king of Babylon. He was the leader of the soldiers that made the king safe. 9 Nebuzaradan burned the house of the LORD, the king's palace and all the other houses in Jerusalem. He burned every important building that was in Jerusalem. 10 All the army from Babylon knocked down the walls round Jerusalem. Their leader was the leader of the soldiers that made king Nebuchadnezzar safe. 11 Nebuzaradan was the leader of the soldiers that made the king of Babylon safe. He sent into exile all the people who remained in the city Jerusalem. He did the same to all the people in the country called Judah. He included those who had joined the king of Babylon's army. 12 But Nebuzaradan let some of the poorest people stay behind. They had to work in the vineyards and in the fields.

13 The army from Babylon broke the bronze pillars that were in the house of the LORD. They also took everything that they could move. And they took the large bronze bowl for water. They carried all the bronze away to Babylon. 14 They also took away the pots, the spades, the tools for the lights and the spoons. And they took away everything else that people had used in the work of the house of the LORD. 15 The leader of the soldiers that made the king of Babylon safe also took away things. He took away the things in which they had put fire or water. He took away everything that Solomon had made out of gold or silver. 16 Solomon had made the two bronze pillars and the large bowl for water. And he had made the things that people could move, for the house of the LORD. The bronze in all this was more than they could weigh! 17 Each pillar was 8 metres (8 yards) high. The bronze piece on the top of one pillar was more than a metre 1 yard high. There were fruits called pomegranates at the top, that Solomon had made out of bronze. The other pillar, with its pomegranates, was the same.

18 The leader of the soldiers that kept Nebuchadnezzar safe caught some people. These were the people:

Seraiah, who was the leader of the priests

Zephaniah, who was the next most important priest

three people who stood by the door of the house of the LORD.

19 He also caught some of the people that were still in the city Jerusalem:

the leader of the soldiers

5 of the men that had told the king of Judah what he should do

the leader of the men who had caused the men in the country to join the army

60 of his helpers whom they found in the city Jerusalem.

20 Nebuzaradan was the leader of the soldiers that kept Nebuchadnezzar safe. He took all those people and he brought them to the king of Babylon at Riblah. 21 There, at Riblah, in the country of Hamath, the soldiers of the king killed them all. So Judah's people went into exile, away from their own country.

22 Nebuchadnezzar was the king of Babylon. He made Gedaliah the leader of the people that were still in Jerusalem. Gedaliah was the son of Ahikam, the son of Shaphan.

23 The leaders of Zedekiah's army and their men heard that the king of Babylon had made Gedaliah leader of Jerusalem. So these people came to Gedaliah at Mizpah:

Ishmael, the son of Nethaniah

Johanan, the son of Kareah

Seraiah, the son of Tanhumeth, who came from Netophah

Jaazaniah, the son of a descendant of Maachah

all their men.

24 Gedaliah promised that all these men would be safe. ‘Do not be afraid of the leaders from Babylon’, he said. ‘Live in the country, but be servants of the king of Babylon. Then you will not have any problems.’ 25 But in the 7th month, Ishmael, the son of Nethaniah, came with 10 men. They killed Gedaliah, the men from Judah and the men from Babylon who were with him in Mizpah. Nethaniah was the son of Elishama, who belonged to the king's (Zedekiah's) family. 26 When that happened, everybody ran away to Egypt. That included the leaders of the army, the poor people and the important people. They were all afraid of the people from Babylon.

27 When King Jehoiachin of Judah had been in exile for nearly 37 years, Evil Merodach became the king of Babylon. On the 27th day of the 12th month, he took Jehoiachin out from the prison. 28 Evil Merodach spoke kindly to Jehoiachin. He gave him a seat that was more important than the seats of the other kings with him in Babylon. 29 So Jehoiachin took off the clothes that he had worn in the prison. Until he died, he always ate his food at the king's table in Babylon. 30 Every day, the king of Babylon supplied Jehoiachin regularly with everything that he needed. That happened for as long as Jehoiachin was alive.

Notes about chapter 25

25:30Verse 1 The army from Babylon could stand on their new walls. Then they could shoot arrows from their bows into Jerusalem.
25:30Verse 3 Jeremiah 52:6 says that it was the 4th month.
25:30Verses 13, 16 The large bronze bowl for water was something special in the house of the LORD. It contained a lot of water. They called the bronze pillars Jachin and Boaz. They were pieces of bronze about 8 metres (9 yards) high.