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39 In the ninth year of Zedekiahw king of Judah, in the tenth month, Nebuchadnezzarx king of Babylon marched against Jerusalem with his whole army and laid siegey to it. 2 And on the ninth day of the fourthz month of Zedekiah’s eleventh year, the city walla was broken through.b 3 Then all the officialsc of the king of Babylon came and took seats in the Middle Gate: Nergal-Sharezer of Samgar, Nebo-Sarsekim a chief officer, Nergal-Sharezer a high official and all the other officials of the king of Babylon. 4 When Zedekiah king of Judah and all the soldiers saw them, they fled; they left the city at night by way of the king’s garden, through the gate between the two walls,d and headed toward the Arabah.a e
5 But the Babylonianb army pursued them and overtook Zedekiahf in the plains of Jericho. They capturedg him and took him to Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon at Riblahh in the land of Hamath, where he pronounced sentence on him. 6 There at Riblah the king of Babylon slaughtered the sons of Zedekiah before his eyes and also killed all the noblesi of Judah. 7 Then he put out Zedekiah’s eyesj and bound him with bronze shackles to take him to Babylon.k
8 The Babyloniansc set firel to the royal palace and the houses of the people and broke down the wallsm of Jerusalem. 9 Nebuzaradan commander of the imperial guard carried into exile to Babylon the people who remained in the city, along with those who had gone over to him,n and the rest of the people.o 10 But Nebuzaradan the commander of the guard left behind in the land of Judah some of the poor people, who owned nothing; and at that time he gave them vineyards and fields.
11 Now Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon had given these orders about Jeremiah through Nebuzaradan commander of the imperial guard: 12 “Take him and look after him; don’t harmp him but do for him whatever he asks.” 13 So Nebuzaradan the commander of the guard, Nebushazban a chief officer, Nergal-Sharezer a high official and all the other officersq of the king of Babylon 14 sent and had Jeremiah taken out of the courtyard of the guard.r They turned him over to Gedaliahs son of Ahikam,t the son of Shaphan,u to take him back to his home. So he remained among his own people.v
15 While Jeremiah had been confined in the courtyard of the guard, the word of the Lord came to him: 16 “Go and tell Ebed-Melekw the Cushite, ‘This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says: I am about to fulfill my wordsx against this city—words concerning disaster,y not prosperity. At that time they will be fulfilled before your eyes. 17 But I will rescuez you on that day, declares the Lord; you will not be given into the hands of those you fear. 18 I will savea you; you will not fall by the swordb but will escape with your life,c because you trustd in me, declares the Lord.’ ”
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