Jeremiah 39

The soldiers from Babylon get power over Jerusalem.

1 This is how the soldiers of the king of Babylon got power over Jerusalem. After King Zedekiah had ruled Judah for eight years, Nebuchadnezzar marched to Jerusalem. His whole army went round the city to attack it. 2 And 10 years, 4 months and 9 days after Zedekiah had become king, soldiers from Babylon attacked Jerusalem. And they broke through the walls of the city. 3 Then the officers of the king of Babylon came into the city. And they sat in the Middle Gate. They were Nergal-Sharezer from Samgar, an important officer called Nebo-Sarsekim, and another officer called Nergal-Sharezer. There were also all the other officers of the king of Babylon. 4 Zedekiah, king of Judah, and all his soldiers ran away when they saw them. They left the city at night, through the king's garden. They left through the gate between the two walls. Then they ran towards the flat land called the Arabah.

5 But the soldiers from Babylon ran after them. And they caught them on the flat land near Jericho. They took Zedekiah to Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon. He was at Riblah in the place called Hamath. 6 In that place, Nebuchadnezzar decided how he would punish Zedekiah. He caused the soldiers to kill all Zedekiah's sons. Zedekiah had to watch while they killed his sons. And Nebuchadnezzar killed all the important men from Judah. 7 Then the soldiers destroyed Zedekiah's eyes. Then they put metal rings round his legs and they tied them together. Then they took him to Babylon.

8 The soldiers from Babylon burned the king's house and the people's houses. They broke down the walls of Jerusalem. 9 Nebuzaradan, the captain of the king's own special soldiers, took away all the people who remained in Jerusalem. He took them as prisoners to Babylon with all the other people. With them, he took those who had joined the soldiers from Babylon. 10 But captain Nebuzaradan let some very poor people, who had nothing, remain in Judah. At that time he gave fields to them. Some of those fields had vines on them.

11 Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, had told Nebuzaradan, captain of his own soldiers, about Jeremiah. 12 ‘Take him and be good to him. Do not hurt him. And do anything that he asks you to do,’ he had said. 13 So Nebuzaradan, an important officer called Nebushazban, Nergal-Sharezer and all the other officers of the king of Babylon obeyed Nebuchadnezzar. 14 They sent for Jeremiah and they took him out of the yard. It was where Zedekiah's soldiers had put him. Then Gedaliah, who was Ahikam's son and Shaphan's grandson, took Jeremiah back to his own home. So Jeremiah stayed with his own people.

15 The Lord had spoken to Jeremiah while he was still a prisoner in the king's house. 16 The Lord said to him, ‘Go and tell Ebed-Melech, the Ethiopian, this: The great and powerful Lord, Israel's God, says, “Now I will do what I promised to do. I will destroy this city. I will not make it rich. You will see it when it happens. 17 But I will save you on that day. They will not give you to the people that you are afraid of. 18 I will save you and soldiers will not kill you. You believed that I could keep you safe. So I will keep you safe,” says the Lord.’