1So Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon, and all his army came to fight against Jerusalem. This happened on the 10th day of the tenth month of Zedekiah’s ninth year as king. Nebuchadnezzar put his army around Jerusalem ˻to stop people from going in and out of the city˼. Then he built a wall of dirt around the city. 2Nebuchadnezzar’s army stayed around Jerusalem until Zedekiah’s eleventh year as king of Judah. 3The famine was getting worse and worse in the city. By the 9th day of the fourth month there was no more food for the common people in the city. 4Nebuchadnezzar’s army finally broke through the city wall. That night King Zedekiah and all his soldiers ran away. They used the ˻secret˼ gate that went through the double walls. It was by the king’s garden. The enemy soldiers were all around the city, but Zedekiah and his men escaped on the road to the desert. 5The Babylonian army chased King Zedekiah and caught him near Jericho. All of Zedekiah’s soldiers left him and ran away. 6The Babylonians took King Zedekiah to the king of Babylon at Riblah. The Babylonians decided to punish Zedekiah. 7They killed Zedekiah’s sons in front of him. Then they put out Zedekiah’s eyes. They put chains on him and took him to Babylon. 8Nebuchadnezzar came to Jerusalem on the 7th day of the fifth month of his nineteenth year as king of Babylon. The captain of Nebuchadnezzar’s best soldiers was Nebuzaradan. 9Nebuzaradan burned the Lord’s temple, the king’s house, and all the houses in Jerusalem. He destroyed even the largest houses. 10Then the Babylonian army that was with Nebuzaradan pulled down the walls around Jerusalem. 11Nebuzaradan captured all the people that were still left in the city. Nebuzaradan took all the people as prisoners, even the people who had tried to surrender. 12Nebuzaradan let only the poorest of the common people stay there. He let them stay so they could take care of the grapes and other crops. 13The Babylonian soldiers broke to pieces all the bronze things in the Lord’s temple. They broke the bronze columns, the bronze carts, and the large bronze tank. Then they took all of that bronze to Babylon. 14The Babylonians also took the pots, the shovels, the tools for trimming the lamps, the spoons, and all the bronze dishes that were used in the Lord’s temple. 15Nebuzaradan took all the firepans and bowls. He took all the things made of gold for the gold. And he took all the things made of silver for the silver. 16- 17So, Nebuzaradan took: the 2 bronze columns (Each column was about 27 feet tall. The capitals on the columns were 4,1/2 feet tall. They were made from bronze and had a design like a net and pomegranates. Both columns had the same kind of design.); the large bronze tank; the carts that Solomon made for the Lord’s temple. The bronze from these things was too heavy to be weighed. 18˻From the temple,˼ Nebuzaradan took Seraiah the high priest, Zephaniah the second priest, the three men who guarded the entrance. 19And from the city, Nebuzaradan took 1 official who was in charge of the army 5 of the king’s advisers who were still in the city, 1 secretary of the commander of the army. He was in charge of counting the common people and choosing some of them to be soldiers. 60 people who just happened to be in the city. 20- 21Then Nebuzaradan took all these people to the king of Babylon at Riblah in the area of Hamath. The king of Babylon killed them there at Riblah. And the people of Judah were led away as prisoners from their land. 22Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon left some people in the land of Judah. There was a man named Gedaliah son of Ahikam son of Shaphan. Nebuchadnezzar made Gedaliah governor over those people in Judah. 23The army captains were Ishmael son of Nethaniah, Johanan son of Kareah, Seraiah son of Tanhumeth from Netophah, and Jaazaniah son of the Maachathite. These army captains and their men heard that the king of Babylon had made Gedaliah governor. So they went to Mizpah to meet with Gedaliah. 24Gedaliah made promises to these officers and their men. Gedaliah said to them, “Don’t be afraid of the Babylonian officers. Stay here and serve the king of Babylon. Then everything will be all right with you.” 25Ishmael son of Nethaniah son of Elishama was from the king’s family. In the seventh month Ishmael and ten of his men attacked Gedaliah and killed all the Jews and Babylonians that were with Gedaliah at Mizpah. 26Then the army officers and all the people ran away to Egypt. Everyone, from the least important to the most important, ran away because they were afraid of the Babylonians. 27Later, Evil Merodach became the king of Babylon. He let Jehoiachin king of Judah out of prison. This happened in the 37th year after Jehoiachin was captured. This was on the 27th day of the twelfth month from the time that Evil Merodach began to rule. 28Evil Merodach was kind to Jehoiachin. He gave Jehoiachin a more important place to sit than the other kings that were with him in Babylon. 29Evil Merodach let Jehoiachin stop wearing prison clothes. And Jehoiachin ate at the same table with Evil Merodach, every day for the rest of his life. 30So King Evil Merodach gave Jehoiachin every meal, every day, for the rest of his life.