1 Zedekiah was twenty-one when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem for eleven years. His mother's name was Hamutal, daughter of Jeremiah She came from Libnah. 2 He did evil in the Lord's sight, just as Jehoiakim had done. 3 All this happened in Jerusalem and Judah, because of the Lord's anger, until he eventually banished them from his presence. Zedekiah rebelled against the king of Babylon.
4 In the ninth year of Zedekiah's reign, on the tenth day of the tenth month, Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, attacked Jerusalem with his entire army. He set up camp around the city and built siege ramps against the walls. 5 The city remained under siege until the eleventh year of King Zedekiah.
6 By the ninth day of the fourth month, the famine in the city was so bad that the people had nothing left to eat. 7 Then the city wall was broken through, and all the soldiers ran away, escaping at night through the gate between the two walls by the king's garden, even though the Babylonians had the city surrounded. They went in the direction of the Arabah,* “Arabah”: the Jordan Valley. 8 but the Babylonian army chased after the king and caught up with him on the plains of Jericho. His whole army had scattered and left him.
9 They captured the king and took him to the king of Babylon at Riblah, where he sentenced him. 10 The king of Babylon slaughtered Zedekiah's sons while he watched, and also killed the officials of Judah there at Riblah. 11 Then he gouged out Zedekiah's eyes, and bound him in bronze shackles. The king of Babylon took him to Babylon and imprisoned him there until the day he died.
12 On the tenth day of the fifth month, in the nineteenth year of Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, Nebuzaradan, the commander of the guard, an officer of the king of Babylon, entered Jerusalem. 13 He burned down the Lord's Temple, the royal palace, and all the large buildings of Jerusalem. 14 The whole Babylonian army under the commander of the guard knocked down all the walls around Jerusalem. 15 Nebuzaradan, the commander of the guard, deported some of the poor people and those who were left in the city, even those who had gone over to the side of the king of Babylon, as well as the rest of the craftsmen. 16 But Nebuzaradan allowed others of the poor people who were left in the country to stay and take care of the vineyards and the fields.
17 The Babylonians broke into pieces the bronze pillars, the movable carts, and the bronze Sea that belonged to the Lord's Temple, and they took all the bronze to Babylon. 18 They also took all the pots, shovels, lamp snuffers, sprinkling bowls, and all the other bronze items used in the Temple service. 19 The commander of the guard removed the basins, censers, sprinkling bowls, pots, lampstands, dishes and bowls, anything that was made of pure gold or silver.
20 The amount of bronze that came from the two columns, the Sea, the twelve bronze bulls under it, and the movable carts, which Solomon had made for the Lord's Temple, all of this weighed more than could be measured. 21 Each column was eighteen cubits tall and twelve cubits around. They were hollow with walls four fingers thick. 22 The bronze capital on top of one column was five cubits high, with a network of bronze pomegranates around it. The second column was the same, and also had a decorative network. 23 There were ninety-six bronze pomegranates around each column. Above the network were a total of one hundred pomegranates.
24 The commander of the guard took as prisoners Seraiah, the chief priest, Zephaniah the priest, second in rank, and the three Temple doorkeepers. 25 From those left in the city he took the officer in charge of the soldiers, and seven of the king's advisors. He also took the secretary to the army commander who was in charge of calling up the people for military service, and sixty other men who were present in the city. 26 Nebuzaradan, the commander of the guard, took them and brought them before the king of Babylon at Riblah. 27 The king of Babylon had them executed at Riblah in the land of Hamath. So the people of Judah had to leave their land.
28 This is a record of the number of people Nebuchadnezzar took into exile. In the seventh year of his reign he took 3,023 Judeans. 29 In his eighteenth year Nebuchadnezzar took another 832 from Jerusalem. 30 In his twenty-third year of Nebuchadnezzar's reign, Nebuzaradan, the commander of the guard, took another 745 Judeans, making a total of 4,600.
31 In the year Evil-merodach became king of Babylon, he released Jehoiachin, king of Judah, from prison. This happened on the twenty-fifth day of the twelfth month of the thirty-seventh year of the exile of Jehoiachin, king of Judah. 32 The king of Babylon treated him well him and gave him a position of honor higher than the other kings there with him in Babylon. 33 So Jehoiachin was able to remove his prison clothes, and he ate frequently at the king's table for the rest of his life. 34 The king provided Jehoiachin with a daily allowance for the rest of his life until he died.
*52:7 “Arabah”: the Jordan Valley.