1So on January 15,*25:1 Hebrew on the tenth day of the tenth month, of the ancient Hebrew lunar calendar. A number of events in 2 Kings can be cross-checked with dates in surviving Babylonian records and related accurately to our modern calendar. This day was January 15, 588 b.c. during the ninth year of Zedekiah’s reign, King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon led his entire army against Jerusalem. They surrounded the city and built siege ramps against its walls. 2Jerusalem was kept under siege until the eleventh year of King Zedekiah’s reign.
3By July 18 in the eleventh year of Zedekiah’s reign,*25:3 Hebrew By the ninth day of the [fourth] month [in the eleventh year of Zedekiah’s reign] (compare
5But the Babylonian*25:5 Or Chaldean; also in
The Temple Destroyed
8On August 14 of that year,*25:8 Hebrew On the seventh day of the fifth month, of the ancient Hebrew lunar calendar. This day was August 14, 586 b.c.; also see note on
13The Babylonians broke up the bronze pillars in front of the Lord’s Temple, the bronze water carts, and the great bronze basin called the Sea, and they carried all the bronze away to Babylon. 14They also took all the ash buckets, shovels, lamp snuffers, ladles, and all the other bronze articles used for making sacrifices at the Temple. 15The captain of the guard also took the incense burners and basins, and all the other articles made of pure gold or silver.
16The weight of the bronze from the two pillars, the Sea, and the water carts was too great to be measured. These things had been made for the Lord’s Temple in the days of Solomon.
17Each of the pillars was 27 feet*25:17a Hebrew 18 cubits [8.3 meters]. tall. The bronze capital on top of each pillar was 71/2 feet*25:17b As in parallel texts at
18Nebuzaradan, the captain of the guard, took with him as prisoners Seraiah the high priest, Zephaniah the priest of the second rank, and the three chief gatekeepers. 19And from among the people still hiding in the city, he took an officer who had been in charge of the Judean army; five of the king’s personal advisers; the army commander’s chief secretary, who was in charge of recruitment; and sixty other citizens. 20Nebuzaradan, the captain of the guard, took them all to the king of Babylon at Riblah. 21And there at Riblah, in the land of Hamath, the king of Babylon had them all put to death. So the people of Judah were sent into exile from their land.
Gedaliah Governs in Judah
22Then King Nebuchadnezzar appointed Gedaliah son of Ahikam and grandson of Shaphan as governor over the people he had left in Judah.
23When all the army commanders and their men learned that the king of Babylon had appointed Gedaliah as governor, they went to see him at Mizpah. These included Ishmael son of Nethaniah, Johanan son of Kareah, Seraiah son of Tanhumeth the Netophathite, Jezaniah*25:23 As in parallel text at
24Gedaliah vowed to them that the Babylonian officials meant them no harm. “Don’t be afraid of them. Live in the land and serve the king of Babylon, and all will go well for you,” he promised.
25But in midautumn of that year,*25:25 Hebrew in the seventh month, of the ancient Hebrew lunar calendar. This month occurred within the months of October and November 586 b.c.; also see note on
26Then all the people of Judah, from the least to the greatest, as well as the army commanders, fled in panic to Egypt, for they were afraid of what the Babylonians would do to them.
Hope for Israel’s Royal Line
27In the thirty-seventh year of the exile of King Jehoiachin of Judah, Evil-merodach ascended to the Babylonian throne. He was kind to*25:27a Hebrew He raised the head of. Jehoiachin and released him*25:27b As in some Hebrew manuscripts and Greek and Syriac versions (see also