Jeremiah 52:1-30

Nebuchadnezzar gets power over Jerusalem

1 Zedekiah was 21 years old when he became king. He ruled in Jerusalem for 11 years. His mother's name was Hamutal. She was the daughter of Jeremiah, who came from Libnah. 2 Zedekiah did things that the Lord said were evil, as Jehoiakim had done.

52:1Zedekiah's grandfather was a different Jeremiah, not the prophet.

3 All this trouble happened to Jerusalem and to Judah because the Lord was very angry with them. In the end, the Lord sent them away from himself. This is what happened when King Zedekiah turned against the king of Babylon.

4 Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon, marched with his army to attack Jerusalem. He arrived on the tenth day of the tenth month, in the ninth year when Zedekiah had ruled Judah. His soldiers made their camp all around the city. They built heaps of earth all around Jerusalem's walls. 5 Babylon's army stayed around the city until the 11th year that Zedekiah had been king.

6 By the ninth day of the fourth month there was a very bad famine in the city. There was no food for the people to eat. 7 Then Babylon's army broke down Jerusalem's wall so that they could go into the city. Their soldiers were all around the city. So the king of Judah and all his army tried to escape in the night. They went through the gate that was near the king's garden. The path went between the two walls of the city. They ran towards the Jordan Valley. 8 But the soldiers of Babylon's army chased after King Zedekiah. They caught him on the flat land near Jericho. All King Zedekiah's soldiers ran away from him in many directions.

9 Babylon's soldiers took hold of Zedekiah. They took him to King Nebuchadnezzar at Riblah, in Hamath region. Nebuchadnezzar decided how to punish Zedekiah. 10 He told his soldiers to kill all Zedekiah's sons, while Zedekiah watched. He also punished all the officers of Judah with death there at Riblah. 11 Then they cut out Zedekiah's eyes to make him blind. They tied him with chains and they took him to Babylon as their prisoner. They kept him in prison until the day that he died.

12 King Nebuchadnezzar had an officer whose name was Nebuzaradan. He was the captain of the king's royal guards. Nebuzaradan came to Jerusalem when Nebuchadnezzar had ruled Babylon for 19 years. It was on the tenth day of the fifth month. 13 Nebuzaradan destroyed the Lord's temple, the king's palace and all the other houses in Jerusalem. He burned them all with fire, so that he destroyed every important building in the city. 14 Then Nebuzaradan commanded his whole army to knock down the walls around Jerusalem. 15 Captain Nebuzaradan sent away as prisoners some of the poor people and the rest of the people who remained in Jerusalem. He also sent away those people who had agreed to serve the king of Babylon, and the workers who had special skills. 16 But he let some of the poorest people stay there. He gave them vineyards and fields to work in.

17 The soldiers from Babylon broke the two bronze pillars that were in the Lord's temple. They also broke the carts which carried the buckets for water and the large bath called ‘the Sea’. They carried all the bronze pieces away to Babylon. 18 They also took away the pots, the bowls, the spades, the small tools for the lamps, and the dishes. They took all the bronze tools that the priests used in the temple. 19 Captain Nebuzaradan also took away everything that was made from gold or silver. He took the dishes, the baskets that carried hot coals, the bowls for water, the pots, the lampstands and other bowls.

20 The bronze from the things that King Solomon had made for the Lord's temple was very heavy. They included the two bronze pillars, the large bath called ‘the Sea’, the 12 bronze bulls under the bath and the carts which carried the buckets for water. The bronze from all these things was more than they could weigh. 21 Each pillar was 8 metres high and 5 metres around. The bronze was 8 centimetres thick and each pillar was empty inside. 22 The bronze piece on the top of one pillar was more than a metre high. It had rows of chains with images of pomegranates made from bronze all around it. The other pillar, with its rows of chains and pomegranates, was the same. 23 There were 96 images of pomegranates around the sides of the pillars. There were 100 images of pomegranates on the chains at the top.

24 Captain Nebuzaradan took hold of these people:

  • Seraiah, the leader of the priests.
  • Zephaniah, the next most important priest.
  • The three temple guards.
  • 25 He also took hold of these people who remained in Jerusalem:

  • The palace officer with authority over the soldiers.
  • Seven of the king's advisors.
  • The army secretary who took men to join the army.
  • 60 other people of Judah who were inside the city.
  • 26 Captain Nebuzaradan took hold of all those people. He brought them to the king of Babylon at Riblah. 27 There, at Riblah in the Hamath region, the king of Babylon commanded his soldiers to punish them all with death.

    That was how Judah's people went into exile, away from their own land.

    28 This is a list of the number of people that Nebuchadnezzar took away as prisoners to Babylon:

  • He took 3,023 people from Judah in his seventh year as king.
  • 29 He took 832 people from Jerusalem in his 18th year.
  • 30 Captain Nebuzaradan took 745 people from Judah in Nebuchadnezzar's 23rd year as king.
  • So Nebuchadnezzar took 4,600 people away as his prisoners.