ImmerseProphets - Page 289

J eremiah
will kill you.’ If this happens, just tell them you begged me not to send you
back to Jon­a­than’s dun­geon, for fear you would die there.”
Sure enough, it wasn’t long before the king’s officials came to Jer­e­mi­ah
and asked him why the king had called for him. But Jer­e­mi­ah followed the
king’s instructions, and they left without finding out the truth. No one had
overheard the conversation between Jer­e­mi­ah and the king. And Jer­e­mi­ah
remained a prisoner in the courtyard of the guard until the day Je­ru­sa­lem
was captured.
In January of the ninth year of King Zed­e­ki­ah’s reign, King Neb­u­chad­nez­
zar of Babylon came with his entire army to besiege Je­ru­sa­lem. Two and a
half years later, on July 18 in the eleventh year of Zed­e­ki­ah’s reign, a section
of the city wall was broken down. All the officers of the Bab­ylonian army
came in and sat in triumph at the Middle Gate: Ner­gal-sharezer of Sam­gar,
and Nebo-sarsekim, a chief officer, and Ner­gal-sharezer, the king’s adviser,
and all the other officers of the king of Babylon.
When King Zed­e­ki­ah of Judah and all the soldiers saw that the Bab­
ylonians had broken into the city, they fled. They waited for nightfall and
then slipped through the gate between the two walls behind the king’s
garden and headed toward the Jor­dan Valley.
But the Bab­ylonian troops chased them and overtook Zedekiah on the
plains of Jer­ic­ ho. They captured him and took him to King Neb­uc­ had­nez­
zar of Bab­ylon, who was at Rib­lah in the land of Hamath. There the king
of Bab­ylon pronounced judgment upon Zed­e­ki­ah. The king of Babylon
made Zed­e­ki­ah watch as he slaughtered his sons at Rib­lah. The king of
Babylon also slaughtered all the nobles of Ju­dah. Then he gouged out Zed­
e­ki­ah’s eyes and bound him in bronze chains to lead him away to Bab­ylon.
Meanwhile, the Bab­ylonians burned Je­ru­sa­lem, including the royal pal­
ace and the houses of the people, and they tore down the walls of the city.
Then Neb­uz­ ar­a­dan, the captain of the guard, took as exiles to Bab­ylon
the rest of the people who remained in the city, those who had defected
to him, and everyone else who remained. But Neb­u­zar­a­dan allowed some
of the poorest people to stay behind in the land of Ju­dah, and he assigned
them to care for the vineyards and fields.
King Neb­u­chad­nez­zar had told Neb­uz­ ar­a­dan, the captain of the guard,
to find Jer­e­mi­ah. “See that he isn’t hurt,” he said. “Look after him well, and
give him anything he wants.” So Neb­uz­ ar­a­dan, the captain of the guard;
Neb­us­ haz­ban, a chief officer; Ner­gal-sharezer, the king’s adviser; and the
other officers of Bab­ylon’s king sent messengers to bring Jer­e­mi­ah out of
the prison. They put him under the care of Ged­a­li­ah son of Ahi­kam and
grandson of Sha­phan, who took him back to his home. So Jer­e­mi­ah stayed
in Ju­dah among his own people.

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