Bible: 2 Kings 24:1-25:26

24:1 During Jehoiakim’s reign, 1  King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon attacked. 2  Jehoiakim was his subject for three years, but then he rebelled against him. 3  24:2 The Lord sent against him Babylonian, Syrian, Moabite, and Ammonite raiding bands; he sent them to destroy Judah, as he had warned he would do through his servants the prophets. 4  24:3 Just as the Lord had announced, he rejected Judah because of all the sins which Manasseh had committed. 5  24:4 Because he killed innocent people and stained Jerusalem with their blood, the Lord was unwilling to forgive them. 6 

24:5 The rest of the events of Jehoiakim’s reign and all his accomplishments, are recorded in the scroll called the Annals of the Kings of Judah. 7  24:6 He passed away 8  and his son Jehoiachin replaced him as king. 24:7 The king of Egypt did not march out from his land again, for the king of Babylon conquered all the territory that the king of Egypt had formerly controlled between the Brook of Egypt and the Euphrates River.

Jehoiachin’s Reign over Judah

24:8 Jehoiachin was eighteen years old when he became king, and he reigned three months in Jerusalem. 9  His mother 10  was Nehushta the daughter of Elnathan, from Jerusalem. 24:9 He did evil in the sight of 11  the Lord as his ancestors had done.

24:10 At that time the generals 12  of King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon marched to Jerusalem and besieged the city. 13  24:11 King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon came to the city while his generals were besieging it. 24:12 King Jehoiachin of Judah, along with his mother, his servants, his officials, and his eunuchs surrendered 14  to the king of Babylon. The king of Babylon, in the eighth year of his reign, 15  took Jehoiachin 16  prisoner. 24:13 Nebuchadnezzar 17  took from there all the riches in the treasuries of the Lord’s temple and of the royal palace. He removed all the gold items which King Solomon of Israel had made for the Lord’s temple, just as the Lord had warned. 24:14 He deported all the residents of Jerusalem, including all the officials and all the soldiers (10,000 people in all). This included all the craftsmen and those who worked with metal. No one was left except for the poorest among the people of the land. 24:15 He deported Jehoiachin from Jerusalem to Babylon, along with the king’s mother and wives, his eunuchs, and the high-ranking officials of the land. 18  24:16 The king of Babylon deported to Babylon all the soldiers (there were 7,000), as well as 1,000 craftsmen and metal workers. This included all the best warriors. 19  24:17 The king of Babylon made Mattaniah, Jehoiachin’s 20  uncle, king in Jehoiachin’s place. He renamed him Zedekiah.

Zedekiah’s Reign over Judah

24:18 Zedekiah was twenty-one years old when he became king, and he ruled for eleven years in Jerusalem. 21  His mother 22  was Hamutal, 23  the daughter of Jeremiah, from Libnah. 24:19 He did evil in the sight of 24  the Lord, as Jehoiakim had done. 25 

24:20 What follows is a record of what happened to Jerusalem and Judah because of the Lord’s anger; he finally threw them out of his presence. 26  Zedekiah rebelled against the king of Babylon. 25:1 So King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon came against Jerusalem with his whole army and set up camp outside 27  it. They built siege ramps all around it. He arrived on the tenth day of the tenth month in the ninth year of Zedekiah’s reign. 28  25:2 The city remained under siege until King Zedekiah’s eleventh year. 25:3 By the ninth day of the fourth month 29  the famine in the city was so severe the residents 30  had no food. 25:4 The enemy broke through the city walls, 31  and all the soldiers tried to escape. They left the city during the night. 32  They went through the gate between the two walls that is near the king’s garden. 33  (The Babylonians were all around the city.) Then they headed for the Jordan Valley. 34  25:5 But the Babylonian army chased after the king. They caught up with him in the plains of Jericho, 35  and his entire army deserted him. 25:6 They captured the king and brought him up to the king of Babylon at Riblah, 36  where he 37  passed sentence on him. 25:7 Zedekiah’s sons were executed while Zedekiah was forced to watch. 38  The king of Babylon 39  then had Zedekiah’s eyes put out, bound him in bronze chains, and carried him off to Babylon.

Nebuchadnezzar Destroys Jerusalem

25:8 On the seventh 40  day of the fifth month, 41  in the nineteenth year of King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon, Nebuzaradan, the captain of the royal guard 42  who served the king of Babylon, arrived in Jerusalem. 43  25:9 He burned down the Lord’s temple, the royal palace, and all the houses in Jerusalem, including every large house. 44  25:10 The whole Babylonian army that came with the captain of the royal guard tore down the walls that surrounded Jerusalem. 25:11 Nebuzaradan, the captain of the royal guard, deported the rest of the people who were left in the city, those who had deserted to the king of Babylon, and the rest of the craftsmen. 45  25:12 But he 46  left behind some of the poor of the land and gave them fields and vineyards.

25:13 The Babylonians broke the two bronze pillars in the Lord’s temple, as well as the movable stands and the big bronze basin called the “The Sea.” 47  They took the bronze to Babylon. 25:14 They also took the pots, shovels, 48  trimming shears, 49  pans, and all the bronze utensils used by the priests. 50  25:15 The captain of the royal guard took the golden and silver censers 51  and basins. 25:16 The bronze of the items that King Solomon made for the Lord’s temple – including the two pillars, the big bronze basin called “The Sea,” the twelve bronze bulls under “The Sea,” 52  and the movable stands – was too heavy to be weighed. 25:17 Each of the pillars was about twenty-seven feet 53  high. The bronze top of one pillar was about four and a half feet 54  high and had bronze latticework and pomegranate shaped ornaments all around it. The second pillar with its latticework was like it.

25:18 The captain of the royal guard took Seraiah the chief priest and Zephaniah, the priest who was second in rank, and the three doorkeepers. 25:19 From the city he took a eunuch who was in charge of the soldiers, five 55  of the king’s advisers 56  who were discovered in the city, an official army secretary who drafted citizens 57  for military service, and sixty citizens from the people of the land who were discovered in the city. 25:20 Nebuzaradan, captain of the royal guard, took them and brought them to the king of Babylon at Riblah. 25:21 The king of Babylon ordered them to be executed 58  at Riblah in the territory 59  of Hamath. So Judah was deported from its land.

Gedaliah Appointed Governor

25:22 Now King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon appointed Gedaliah son of Ahikam, son of Shaphan, as governor over the people whom he allowed to remain in the land of Judah. 60  25:23 All of the officers of the Judahite army 61  and their troops heard that the king of Babylon had appointed Gedaliah to govern. So they came to Gedaliah at Mizpah. The officers who came were Ishmael son of Nethaniah, Johanan son of Kareah, Seraiah son of Tanhumeth the Netophathite, and Jaazaniah son of the Maacathite. 25:24 Gedaliah took an oath so as to give them and their troops some assurance of safety. 62  He said, “You don’t need to be afraid to submit to the Babylonian officials. Settle down in the land and submit to the king of Babylon. Then things will go well for you.” 25:25 But in the seventh month 63  Ishmael son of Nethaniah, son of Elishama, who was a member of the royal family, 64  came with ten of his men and murdered Gedaliah, 65  as well as the Judeans and Babylonians who were with him at Mizpah. 25:26 Then all the people, from the youngest to the oldest, as well as the army officers, left for 66  Egypt, because they were afraid of what the Babylonians might do.

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