1This is how Jerusalem was captured: During the tenth month of the ninth year that Zedekiah was king of Judah, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon marched against Jerusalem with his whole army. He surrounded the city to defeat it. 2And on the ninth day of the fourth month in Zedekiah’s eleventh year, the wall of Jerusalem was broken through. 3Then all the royal officials of the king of Babylon came into the city of Jerusalem. They came in and sat down at the Middle Gate. These are the names of those officials: Nergal-Sharezer, the governor of the district of Samgar, a very high official; Nebo Sarsekim, another very high official; and various other important officials were there also. 4Zedekiah king of Judah saw those officials from Babylon, so he and the soldiers with him ran away. They left Jerusalem at night. They went out through the king’s garden and out through the gate that was between the two walls. Then they went toward the desert. 5The Babylonian army chased Zedekiah and the soldiers with him. Those soldiers caught up with Zedekiah in the plains of Jericho. They captured Zedekiah and took him to Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon. Nebuchadnezzar was at the town of Riblah, in the land of Hamath. At that place, Nebuchadnezzar decided what to do to Zedekiah. 6There at the town of Riblah, the king of Babylon killed Zedekiah’s sons, while Zedekiah watched. And Nebuchadnezzar killed all the royal officials of Judah while Zedekiah watched. 7Then Nebuchadnezzar tore out Zedekiah’s eyes. He put bronze chains on Zedekiah and took him to Babylon. 8The army of Babylon set fire to the king’s house and the houses of the people of Jerusalem. And they broke down the walls of Jerusalem. 9A man named Nebuzaradan was the commander of the king of Babylon’s special guards. He took the people that were left in Jerusalem and made them captives. He carried them away to Babylon. Nebuzaradan also made those people of Jerusalem captives that had surrendered to him earlier. He made all the others of the people of Jerusalem captives and carried them away to Babylon. 10But Nebuzaradan, the commander of the special guards, left some of the poor people of Judah behind. Those were the people that owned nothing. So on that day, Nebuzaradan gave those poor people of Judah vineyards and fields. 11But Nebuchadnezzar gave some orders to Nebuzaradan about Jeremiah. Nebuzaradan was the commander of Nebuchadnezzar’s special guards. These were the orders: 12“Find Jeremiah and take care of him. Don’t hurt him. Give him whatever he asks for.” 13So Nebuzaradan, the commander of the king’s special guards, Nebushazban, a chief officer in the army of Babylon, Nergal-Sharezer, a high official, and all the other officers of the army of Babylon sent for Jeremiah. 14Those men had Jeremiah taken out of the temple yard where he had been under the guard of the king of Judah. Those officers of the army of Babylon turned Jeremiah over to Gedaliah. Gedaliah was the son of Ahikam. Ahikam was the son of Shaphan. Gedaliah had orders to take Jeremiah back home. So Jeremiah was taken home, and he stayed among his own people. 15While the guards were watching Jeremiah in the temple yard, a message from the Lord came to him. This was the message: 16“Jeremiah, go and tell Ebed-Melech, the man from Ethiopia, this message: 'This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of the people of Israel, says: Very soon I will make my messages about this city of Jerusalem come true. My messages will come true through disaster and not good things. You will see everything come true with your own eyes. 17But I will save you on that day, Ebed-Melech.’ This is the message of the Lord. 'You won’t be given to the people you are afraid of. 18I will save you, Ebed-Melech. You won’t die from a sword, but you will escape and live. That will happen because you have trusted in me.’” This message is from the Lord.