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. The city remained under siege until the eleventh year of King Zedekiah.
By the ninth day of the fourth month, the famine in the city was so bad that the people had nothing left to eat. Then the city wall was broken through, and all the soldiers escaped at night through the gate between the two walls by the king's garden, even though the Babylonians had the city surrounded. They ran away in the direction of the Arabah,* 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.
They captured the king and took him to the king of Babylon at Riblah, where he was sentenced. They slaughtered Zedekiah's sons while he watched, and then gouged out his eyes, bound him in bronze shackles, and took him to Babylon.
On the seventh 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. He burned down the Lord's Temple, the royal palace, and all the large buildings of Jerusalem. 10 The whole Babylonian army under the commander of the guard knocked down the walls around Jerusalem. 11 Nebuzaradan, the commander of the guard, deported 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 population. 12 But the commander of the guard allowed the poor people who were left in the country to stay and take care of the vineyards and the fields.
13 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. 14 They also took all the pots, shovels, lamp snuffers, dishes, and all the other bronze items used in the Temple service. 15 The commander of the guard removed the censers and bowls, anything that was made of pure gold or silver.
16 The amount of bronze that came from the two columns, the Sea and the movable carts, which Solomon had made for the Lord's Temple, all of this weighed more than could be measured. 17 Each column was eighteen cubits tall. The bronze capital on top of one column was three cubits high, with a network of bronze pomegranates around it. The second column was the same, and also had a decorative network.
18 The commander of the guard took as prisoners Seraiah, the chief priest, Zephaniah the priest, second in rank, and the three Temple doorkeepers. 19 From those left in the city he took the officer in charge of the soldiers, and five 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. 20 Nebuzaradan, the commander of the guard, took them and brought them before the king of Babylon at Riblah. 21 The king of Babylon had them executed at Riblah in the land of Hamath.
So the people of Judah had to leave their land.
22 Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, appointed Gedaliah, son of Ahikam, son of Shaphan, as governor over the people he had left in the land of Judah. 23 When all the army officers of Judah and their men learned that the king of Babylon had appointed Gedaliah as governor, they and their men met with Gedaliah at Mizpah. They included: Ishmael son of Nethaniah, Johanan, son of Kareah, Seraiah, son of Tanhumeth the Netophathite, Jaazaniah, son of the Maakathite.
24 Gedaliah swore an oath to them and their men, telling them, “Don't be afraid of the Babylonian officials. Stay here in the land and serve the king of Babylon, and you'll be fine.”
25 But in the seventh month, Ishmael, son of Nethaniah, son of Elishama, of royal blood, came with ten men. They attacked and killed Gedaliah, along with the men of Judea and Babylonians who were with him at Mizpah.
26 As a result, all the people, from the least to the greatest, along with the army commanders, ran away to Egypt, terrified of what the Babylonians would do.
27 In the year Evil-merodach became king of Babylon, he released Jehoiachin, king of Judah, from prison. This happened on the twenty-seventh day of the twelfth month of the thirty-seventh year of the exile of Jehoiachin, king of Judah. 28 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. 29 So Jehoiachin was able to remove his prison clothes, and he ate frequently at the king's table for the rest of his life. 30 The king provided Jehoiachin with a daily allowance for the rest of his life.
* 25:4 “Arabah”: the Jordan Valley. 25:23 “Of Judah”: added for clarity.