1Zedekiah was 21 years old when he became king of Judah. Zedekiah ruled in Jerusalem for eleven years. His mother’s name was Hamutal daughter of Jeremiah. Hamutal’s family was from the town of Libnah. 2Zedekiah did evil things, just like King Jehoiakim had done. The Lord did not like Zedekiah doing those evil things. 3Terrible things happened to Jerusalem and Judah because the Lord was angry with them. Finally, the Lord threw the people of Jerusalem and Judah away from his presence. Zedekiah rebelled against the king of Babylon. 4So, in the ninth year of Zedekiah’s rule, on the tenth day of the tenth month Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, marched against Jerusalem. Nebuchadnezzar had his whole army with him. The army of Babylon set up their camp outside of Jerusalem. Then they built ramps all around the city walls ˻so they could get over those walls˼. 5The city of Jerusalem was surrounded by the army of Babylon until the eleventh year that Zedekiah was king. 6By the ninth day of the fourth month of that year, the hunger in the city was very bad. There was no food left for the people in the city to eat. 7On that day, the army of Babylon broke into Jerusalem. The soldiers of Jerusalem ran away. They left the city at night. They went through the gate between the two walls. That gate was near the king’s garden. Even though the army of Babylon had surrounded the city, the soldiers of Jerusalem still ran away. They ran away toward the desert. 8But the Babylonian army chased King Zedekiah. They caught him on the plains of Jericho. All of Zedekiah’s soldiers ran away. 9The army of Babylon captured King Zedekiah. They took him to the king of Babylon at the city of Riblah. Riblah is in the land of Hamath. At Riblah the king of Babylon announced his judgment on King Zedekiah. 10There at the city of Riblah, the king of Babylon killed Zedekiah’s sons. Zedekiah was forced to watch his sons being killed. The king of Babylon also killed all the king’s officials of Judah. 11Then the king of Babylon tore out Zedekiah’s eyes. He put bronze chains on him. Then he carried Zedekiah away to Babylon. In Babylon he put Zedekiah into prison. Zedekiah stayed in prison until the day he died. 12Nebuzaradan, the commander of the king of Babylon’s special guard, came to Jerusalem. This was on the tenth day of the fifth month, in the 19th year that Nebuchadnezzar was king. Nebuzaradan was an important leader in Babylon. 13Nebuzaradan burned the Lord’s temple. He also burned down the king’s house and all the houses of Jerusalem. He burned down every important building in Jerusalem. 14The whole Babylonian army broke down the walls around Jerusalem. That army was under the commander of the king’s special guard. 15Nebuzaradan, the commander, took the rest of the people that were still in Jerusalem into captivity. He also carried away those that had surrendered to the king of Babylon earlier. He also carried away the skilled craftsmen that were left in Jerusalem. 16But Nebuzaradan left some of the poorest people behind in the land. He left those people to work in the vineyards and the fields. 17The Babylonian army broke up the bronze columns of the temple. They also broke up the stands and the Bronze Tank that were in the Lord’s temple. They carried all that bronze away to Babylon. 18The army of Babylon also took these things from the temple: pots, shovels, wick trimmers, large bowls, pans, and all the bronze things that were used in the temple service. 19The commander of the king’s special guards took these things away: basins, firepans, large bowls, pots, lampstands, pans, and bowls used for drink offerings. He took everything that was made of gold or silver. 20The two pillars, the Sea and the twelve bronze bulls under it, and the moveable stands were very heavy. King Solomon had made those things for the Lord’s temple. The bronze that those things were made of was so heavy it could not be weighed. 21Each of the bronze pillars was 27 feet high. Each pillar was 18 feet around. Each pillar was hollow. The walls of each pillar was 4 inches thick. 22The bronze capital on top of the first pillar was 7,1/2 feet high. It was decorated with a net design and bronze pomegranates all around it. The other pillar had pomegranates too. It was like the first pillar. 23There were 96 pomegranates on the sides of the pillars. All together, there were 100 pomegranates above the net design that went around the pillars. 24The commander of the king’s special guards took Seraiah and Zephaniah as prisoners. Seraiah was the high priest, and Zephaniah was the next highest priest. The three doorkeepers were also taken as prisoners. 25The commander of the king’s special guards also took the officer in charge of the fighting men. He also took seven of the king’s advisers as prisoners. Those men were still there in Jerusalem. He also took the scribe that was in charge of putting people in the army. And he took 60 of the ordinary people that were there in the city. 26- 27Nebuzaradan, the commander, took all those officials. He brought them to the king of Babylon. The king of Babylon was at the city of Riblah. Riblah is in the country of Hamath. There at the city of Riblah, the king ordered all those officials to be killed. So the people of Judah were taken from their country. 28This is how many people Nebuchadnezzar carried into captivity: In Nebuchadnezzar’s 7th year as king of Babylon, 3,023 men were taken from Judah. 29In Nebuchadnezzar’s 18th year as king of Babylon, 832 people were taken from Jerusalem. 30In Nebuchadnezzar’s 23rd year as king, Nebuzaradan took 745 men of Judah into captivity. Nebuzaradan was the commander of the king’s special guards. In all, 4,600 people were taken captive. 31Jehoiachin, the king of Judah, was in prison in Babylon for 37 years. In the 37th year of his imprisonment, Evil-Merodach, the king of Babylon, was very kind to Jehoiachin. He let Jehoiachin out of prison in that year. This was the same year that Evil-Merodach became king of Babylon. Evil-Merodach set Jehoiachin free from prison on the 25th day of the 12th month. 32Evil-Merodach spoke in a kind way to Jehoiachin. He gave Jehoiachin a place of honor higher than the other kings that were with him in Babylon. 33So Jehoiachin took his prison clothes off. For the rest of his life, he ate regularly at the king’s table. 34Every day the king of Babylon gave Jehoiachin an allowance. This continued until Jehoiachin died.