Bible: 2 Chronicles 36:15-23

The Babylonians Destroy Jerusalem

36:15 The Lord God of their ancestors 1  continually warned them through his messengers, 2  for he felt compassion for his people and his dwelling place. 36:16 But they mocked God’s messengers, despised his warnings, 3  and ridiculed his prophets. 4  Finally the Lord got very angry at his people and there was no one who could prevent his judgment. 5  36:17 He brought against them the king of the Babylonians, who slaughtered 6  their young men in their temple. 7  He did not spare 8  young men or women, or even the old and aging. God 9  handed everyone over to him. 36:18 He carried away to Babylon all the items in God’s temple, whether large or small, as well as what was in the treasuries of the Lord’s temple and in the treasuries of the king and his officials. 36:19 They burned down the Lord’s temple and tore down the wall of Jerusalem. 10  They burned all its fortified buildings and destroyed all its valuable items. 36:20 He deported to Babylon all who escaped the sword. They served him and his sons until the Persian kingdom rose to power. 36:21 This took place to fulfill the Lord’s message delivered through Jeremiah. 11  The land experienced 12  its sabbatical years; 13  it remained desolate for seventy years, 14  as prophesied. 15 

Cyrus Allows the Exiles to Go Home

36:22 In the first year of the reign of 16  King Cyrus of Persia, in fulfillment of the promise he delivered through Jeremiah, 17  the Lord moved 18  King Cyrus of Persia to issue a written decree throughout his kingdom. 36:23 It read: “This is what King Cyrus of Persia says: ‘The Lord God of the heavens has given to me all the kingdoms of the earth. He has appointed me to build for him a temple in Jerusalem 19  in Judah. May the Lord your God energize you who belong to his people, so you may be able to go back there! 20 

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