2 Kings 24; 2 Kings 25; 2 Chronicles 36

1 During Jehoiakim's rule, Nebuchadnezzar marched into the land and attacked it. He was king of Babylonia. He became Jehoiakim's master for three years. But then Jehoiakim decided he didn't want to remain under Nebuchadnezzar's control. 2 The LORD sent robbers against Jehoiakim from Babylonia, Aram, Moab and Ammon. He sent them to destroy Judah. That's what the LORD had said would happen. He had spoken that message through his servants the prophets. 3 Those things happened to Judah in keeping with what the LORD had commanded. He brought enemies against his people in order to remove them from his land. He removed them because of all of the sins Manasseh had committed. 4 He had spilled the blood of many people who weren't guilty of doing anything wrong. In fact, he spilled so much of their blood that he filled Jerusalem with it. So the LORD refused to forgive him. 5 The other events of the rule of Jehoiakim are written down. Everything he did is written down. All of those things are written in the official records of the kings of Judah. 6 Jehoiakim joined the members of his family who had already died. His son Jehoiachin became the next king after him. 7 The king of Egypt didn't march out from his own country again. That's because the king of Babylonia had taken so much of his territory. That territory reached from the Wadi of Egypt all the way to the Euphrates River. 8 Jehoiachin was 18 years old when he became king. He ruled in Jerusalem for three months. His mother's name was Nehushta. She was the daughter of Elnathan. She was from Jerusalem. 9 Jehoiachin did what was evil in the sight of the Lord. He did just as his father Jehoiakim had done. 10 At that time the officers of Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylonia, marched to Jerusalem. They surrounded it and got ready to attack it. 11 Nebuchadnezzar himself came up to the city. He arrived while his officers were attacking it. 12 Jehoiachin, the king of Judah, handed himself over to him. Jehoiachin's mother did the same thing. And so did all of his attendants, nobles and officials. The king of Babylonia took Jehoiachin away as his prisoner. It was in the eighth year of Nebuchadnezzar's rule. 13 He removed all of the treasures from the LORD's temple. He also removed all of the treasures from the royal palace. He took away all of the gold articles that Solomon, the king of Israel, had made for the temple. That's what the LORD had announced would happen. 14 Nebuchadnezzar took all of the people of Jerusalem to Babylonia as prisoners. That included all of the officers and fighting men. It also included all of the skilled workers. The total number of prisoners was 10,000. Only the poorest people were left in the land. 15 Nebuchadnezzar took Jehoiachin to Babylon as his prisoner. He also took the king's mother from Jerusalem to Babylon. And he took Jehoiachin's wives, his officials and the most important men in the land. 16 The king also forced the whole army of 7,000 soldiers to go away to Babylonia. Those men were strong and able to go to war. And the king forced 1,000 skilled workers to go to Babylonia. 17 Nebuchadnezzar made Jehoiachin's uncle Mattaniah king in his place. And he changed Mattaniah's name to Zedekiah. 18 Zedekiah was 21 years old when he became king. He ruled in Jerusalem for 11 years. His mother's name was Hamutal. She was the daughter of Jeremiah. She was from Libnah. 19 Zedekiah did what was evil in the sight of the Lord. He did just as Jehoiakim had done. 20 The enemies of Jerusalem and Judah attacked them because the LORD was angry. In the end he threw them out of his land. Zedekiah also refused to remain under the control of Nebuchadnezzar.
1 Nebuchadnezzar was king of Babylonia. He marched out against Jerusalem. All of his armies went with him. It was in the ninth year of the rule of Zedekiah. It was on the tenth day of the tenth month. Nebuchadnezzar set up camp outside the city. He brought in war machines all around it. 2 It was surrounded until the 11th year of King Zedekiah's rule. 3 By the ninth day of the fourth month, there wasn't any food left in the city. So the people didn't have anything to eat. 4 Then the Babylonians broke through the city wall. Judah's whole army ran away at night. They went out through the gate between the two walls that were near the king's garden. They escaped even though the Babylonians surrounded the city. Judah's army ran toward the Arabah Valley. 5 But the armies of Babylonia chased King Zedekiah. They caught up with him in the flatlands near Jericho. All of his soldiers were separated from him. They had scattered in every direction. 6 The king was captured. He was taken to the king of Babylonia at Riblah. That's where Nebuchadnezzar decided how he would be punished. 7 His men killed the sons of Zedekiah. They forced him to watch it with his own eyes. Then they poked out his eyes. They put him in bronze chains. And they took him to Babylon. 8 Nebuzaradan was an official of the king of Babylonia. In fact, he was commander of the royal guard. He came to Jerusalem. It was in the 19th year that Nebuchadnezzar was king of Babylonia. It was on the seventh day of the fifth month. 9 Nebuzaradan set the LORD's temple on fire. He also set fire to the royal palace and all of the houses in Jerusalem. He burned down every important building. 10 The armies of Babylonia broke down the walls around Jerusalem. That's what the commander told them to do. 11 Some people still remained in the city. But the commander Nebuzaradan took them away as prisoners. He also took the rest of the people of the land. That included those who had joined the king of Babylonia. 12 But the commander left some of the poorest people of the land behind. He told them to work in the vineyards and fields. 13 The armies of Babylonia destroyed the LORD's temple. They broke the bronze pillars into pieces. They broke up the bronze stands that could be moved around. And they broke up the huge bronze bowl. Then they carried the bronze away to Babylon. 14 They also took away the pots, shovels, wick cutters and dishes. They took away all of the bronze articles that were used for any purpose in the temple. 15 The commander of the royal guard took away the shallow cups for burning incense. He took away the sprinkling bowls. So he took away everything that was made out of pure gold or silver. 16 The bronze was more than anyone could weigh. It included the bronze from the two pillars. It also included the bronze from the huge bowl and the stands. Solomon had made all of those things for the LORD's temple. 17 Each pillar was 27 feet high. The bronze top of one pillar was four and a half feet high. It was decorated with a set of bronze chains and pomegranates all around it. The other pillar was just like it. It also had a set of chains. 18 The commander of the guard took some prisoners. They included the chief priest Seraiah and the priest Zephaniah who was under him. They also included the three men who guarded the temple doors. 19 Some people were still left in the city. The commander took as a prisoner the officer who was in charge of the fighting men. He took the five men who gave advice to the king. He also took the secretary who was the chief officer in charge of getting the people of the land to serve in the army. And he took 60 of the secretary's men who were still in the city. 20 The commander Nebuzaradan took all of them away. He brought them to the king of Babylonia at Riblah. 21 There the king had them put to death. Riblah was in the land of Hamath. So the people of Judah were taken as prisoners. They were taken far away from their own land. 22 Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylonia, appointed Gedaliah to be over the people he had left behind in Judah. Gedaliah was the son of Ahikam. Ahikam was the son of Shaphan. 23 All of Judah's army officers and their men heard about what had happened. They heard that the king had appointed Gedaliah as governor. So they came to Gedaliah at Mizpah. Ishmael, the son of Nethaniah, came. So did Johanan, the son of Kareah. Seraiah, the son of Tanhumeth, also came. And so did Jaazaniah, the son of the Maacathite. All of their men came too. Seraiah was from Netophah. 24 Gedaliah took an oath to give hope to all of those men. He spoke in a kind way to them. He said, "Don't be afraid of the officials from Babylonia. Settle down in the land of Judah. Serve the king of Babylonia. Then things will go well with you." 25 But in the seventh month Ishmael, the son of Nethaniah, came with ten men. He killed Gedaliah. He also killed the people of Judah and Babylonia who were with Gedaliah at Mizpah. Nethaniah was the son of Elishama. Ishmael was a member of the royal family. 26 After he had killed Gedaliah, all of the people ran away to Egypt. Everyone from the least important of them to the most important ran away. The army officers went with them. All of them went to Egypt because they were afraid of the Babylonians. 27 Evil-Merodach set Jehoiachin, the king of Judah, free from prison. It was in the 37th year after Jehoiachin had been taken away to Babylon. It was also the year Evil-Merodach became king of Babylonia. It was on the 27th day of the 12th month. 28 Evil-Merodach spoke kindly to Jehoiachin. He gave him a place of honor. Other kings were with Jehoiachin in Babylon. But his place was more important than theirs. 29 So Jehoiachin put his prison clothes away. For the rest of Jehoiachin's life the king provided what he needed. 30 The king did that for Jehoiachin day by day as long as he lived.
1 The people of the land went and got Jehoahaz. He was the son of Josiah. The people made Jehoahaz king in Jerusalem in place of his father. 2 Jehoahaz was 23 years old when he became king. He ruled in Jerusalem for three months. 3 The king of Egypt removed him from his throne in Jerusalem. The king of Egypt made the people of Judah pay him a tax of almost four tons of silver and 75 pounds of gold. 4 Neco, the king of Egypt, made Eliakim king over Judah and Jerusalem. Eliakim was a brother of Jehoahaz. Neco changed Eliakim's name to Jehoiakim. But he took Eliakim's brother Jehoahaz with him to Egypt. 5 Jehoiakim was 25 years old when he became king. He ruled in Jerusalem for 11 years. He did what was evil in the sight of the LORD his God. 6 Nebuchadnezzar attacked him. Nebuchadnezzar was king of Babylonia. He put Jehoiakim in bronze chains. And he took him to Babylon. 7 Nebuchadnezzar also took articles from the LORD's temple. He took them to Babylon. He put them in his own temple there. 8 The other events of Jehoiakim's rule are written in the records of the kings of Israel and Judah. He did things the LORD hated. Those things and everything that happened to him are also written in those records. His son Jehoiachin became the next king after him. 9 Jehoiachin was 18 years old when he became king. He ruled in Jerusalem for three months and ten days. He did what was evil in the sight of the Lord. 10 In the spring, King Nebuchadnezzar sent for him. He brought him to Babylon. He also brought articles of value from the LORD's temple. He made Zedekiah king over Judah and Jerusalem. Zedekiah was Jehoiachin's uncle. 11 Zedekiah was 21 years old when he became king. He ruled in Jerusalem for 11 years. 12 He did what was evil in the sight of the LORD his God. He didn't pay any attention to the message the LORD spoke through the prophet Jeremiah. 13 Zedekiah also refused to remain under the control of King Nebuchadnezzar. The king had made him take an oath in God's name. But his heart became very stubborn. He wouldn't turn to the Lord, the God of Israel. 14 And that's not all. The people and the leaders of the priests became more and more unfaithful. They followed all of the practices of the nations. The LORD hated those practices. The people and leaders made the LORD's temple "unclean." The LORD had set the temple in Jerusalem apart in a special way for himself. 15 The Lord, the God of Israel, sent word to his people through his messengers. He sent it to them again and again. He took pity on his people. He also took pity on the temple where he lived. 16 But God's people made fun of his messengers. They hated his words. They laughed at his prophets. Finally the LORD's burning anger was stirred up against his people. Nothing could save them. 17 The LORD brought the king of Babylonia against them. The Babylonian army killed their young people with their swords at the temple. They didn't spare young men or women. They didn't spare the old people either. God handed all of them over to Nebuchadnezzar. 18 Nebuchadnezzar carried off to Babylon all of the articles from God's temple. Some of the articles were large. Others were small. He carried off the treasures of the temple. He also carried off the treasures that belonged to the king and his officials. 19 The Babylonians set God's temple on fire. They broke down the wall of Jerusalem. They burned all of the palaces. They destroyed everything of value there. 20 Nebuchadnezzar took the rest of the people to Babylon as prisoners. They had escaped from being killed with swords. They served him and his sons. That lasted until the kingdom of Persia became stronger than Babylonia. 21 The land of Israel enjoyed its sabbath years. It rested. That deserted land wasn't farmed for a full 70 years. What the LORD had spoken through Jeremiah came true. 22 It was the first year of the rule of Cyrus. He was king of Persia. The LORD stirred him up to send a message all through his kingdom. It happened so that what the LORD had spoken through Jeremiah would come true. The message was written down. It said, 23 Cyrus, the king of Persia, says, " 'The LORD is the God of heaven. He has given me all of the kingdoms on earth. He has appointed me to build a temple for him at Jerusalem in Judah. Any one of his people among you can go up to Jerusalem. And may the LORD your God be with you.' "
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