The Fall of Jerusalem
1In January*39:1a Hebrew In the tenth month, of the ancient Hebrew lunar calendar. A number of events in Jeremiah can be cross-checked with dates in surviving Babylonian records and related accurately to our modern calendar. This event occurred on January 15, 588 b.c.; see
4When King Zedekiah of Judah and all the soldiers saw that the Babylonians 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.*39:4 Hebrew the Arabah.
5But the Babylonian*39:5 Or Chaldean; similarly in
8Meanwhile, the Babylonians burned Jerusalem, including the royal palace and the houses of the people, and they tore down the walls of the city. 9Then Nebuzaradan, 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. 10But 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.
Jeremiah Remains in Judah
11King Nebuchadnezzar had told Nebuzaradan, the captain of the guard, to find Jeremiah. 12“See that he isn’t hurt,” he said. “Look after him well, and give him anything he wants.” 13So Nebuzaradan, the captain of the guard; Nebushazban, a chief officer; Nergal-sharezer, the king’s adviser; and the other officers of Babylon’s king 14sent 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.
15The Lord had given the following message to Jeremiah while he was still in prison: 16“Say to Ebed-melech the Ethiopian,*39:16 Hebrew the Cushite. ‘This is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, the God of Israel, says: I will do to this city everything I have threatened. I will send disaster, not prosperity. You will see its destruction, 17but I will rescue you from those you fear so much. 18Because you trusted me, I will give you your life as a reward. I will rescue you and keep you safe. I, the Lord, have spoken!’”