Jeremiah 39:1-10 (JDV)
Jeremiah 39:1 In the ninth year of King Zedekiah of Judah, in the tenth month, King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon advanced against Jerusalem with his entire army and besieged it.
Jeremiah 39:2 In the fourth month of Zedekiah’s eleventh year, on the ninth day of the month, the city was stormed.
Jeremiah 39:3 All the Babylonian king’s commanders entered and sat at the Middle Gate: Nergal-sharezer, Samgar, Nebusarsechim the chief of staff, Nergal-sharezer the chief soothsayer, and all the rest of the Babylonian king’s commanders.
Jeremiah 39:4 When King Zedekiah of Judah and all the fighting men saw them, they ran away. They left the city at night by way of the king’s garden through the city gate between the two walls. They left along the route to the Arabah.
Jeremiah 39:5 However, the Chaldean army pursued them and overtook Zedekiah in the plains of Jericho. They arrested him and brought him up to Nebuchadnezzar, Babylon’s king, at Riblah in the land of Hamath. The king passed sentence on him there.
Jeremiah 39:6 At Riblah the king of Babylon slaughtered Zedekiah’s sons before his eyes, and he also slaughtered all Judah’s nobles.
Jeremiah 39:7 Then he blinded Zedekiah and put him in bronze chains to take him to Babylon.
Jeremiah 39:8 The Chaldeans next burned down the king’s palace and the people’s houses and tore down the walls of Jerusalem.
Jeremiah 39:9 Nebuzaradan, the captain of the guards, deported the rest of the people to Babylon – those who had remained in the city and those deserters who had defected to him along with the rest of the people who remained.
Jeremiah 39:10 However, Nebuzaradan, the captain of the guards, left in the land of Judah some of the poor people who owned nothing, and he gave them vineyards and fields at that time.
The last thing Zedekiah would see would be the death of his sons and his nobles. Then he was blinded and taken to Babylon. Besides some poor people left to maintain the vineyards and farms, everyone else was taken away to become plunder.
Jeremiah tells this story in tears, and repeats it in a more poetic fashion in Lamentations. He had spent his life warning his people that God would not tolerate their rebellion. Now he is proven right. He is not gloating. He laments.
Lord, we want to tell the truth of your coming judgment, but plead for you to let us save some from this fate by bringing them to repentance.