Jeremiah 39

39 In the ninth year of Zedekiah king of Judah, in the tenth month, [a]Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon and all his army came against Jerusalem and besieged it.(A)

2 And in the eleventh year of Zedekiah, in the fourth month, on the ninth day of the month, they broke into the city.

3 [[b]When Jerusalem was taken] all the princes of the king of Babylon came in and sat in the Middle Gate: Nergal-sharezer, Samgar-nebo, Sarsechim [the Rabsaris] a chief of the eunuchs, and Nergal-sharezer [II, the Rabmag] a chief of the magicians, with all the rest of the officials of the king of Babylon.

4 And when Zedekiah king of Judah and all the men of war saw them, they fled and went forth out of the city at night by way of the king’s garden, through the gate between the two walls, and [the king] went out toward the Arabah (the Jordan Valley).

5 But the Chaldean army pursued them and overtook Zedekiah in the plains of Jericho. And when they had taken him, they brought him up to Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon at Riblah in the [Syrian] land of Hamath, where he pronounced sentence upon him.

6 Then the king of Babylon slew the sons of Zedekiah at Riblah before his eyes; also the king of Babylon slew all the nobles of Judah.

7 Moreover, he put out Zedekiah’s eyes and bound him with shackles to take him to Babylon.(B)

8 And the Chaldeans burned the king’s house and the houses of the people and broke down the walls of Jerusalem.

9 Then Nebuzaradan the [chief executioner and] captain of the guard carried away captive to Babylon the rest of the people who remained in the city, along with those who deserted to him, and the remainder of the [so-called better class of] people who were left.

10 But Nebuzaradan the [Babylonian] captain of the guard left in the land of Judah some of the poor of the people who had nothing, giving them vineyards and fields at the same time.

11 Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon gave command concerning Jeremiah to Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard, saying,

12 Take him and look after him well; do him no harm but deal with him as he may ask of you.

13 So Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard, Nebushasban [the Rabsaris] a chief of the eunuchs, Nergal-sharezer [II, the Rabmag] a chief of the magicians, and all the chief officers of the king of Babylon

14 Sent and took Jeremiah out of the court of the guard and entrusted him to Gedaliah [a prominent man whose father had once saved the prophet’s life] son of Ahikam, the son of Shaphan, that he should take him home [with him to Mizpah]. So Jeremiah was released and dwelt among the people.(C)

15 Now the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah while he was [still] shut up in the court of the guard, saying,

16 Go and say to Ebed-melech the Ethiopian, Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: Behold, I will bring to pass My words against this city for evil and not for good; and they will be accomplished before you on that day.

17 But I will deliver you [Ebed-melech] on that day, says the Lord, and you will not be given into the hands of the men of whom you are afraid.(D)

18 For I will surely deliver you; and you will not fall by the sword, but your life will be [as your only booty and] as a reward of battle to you, because you have put your trust in Me, says the Lord.


  1. Jeremiah 39:1 See footnote on Jer. 21:2.
  2. Jeremiah 39:3 This clause has been supplied from the end of chapter 38, where, according to many authorities, many translations have wrongly placed it.

Cross references

  1. Jeremiah 39:1 : Jer. 52:4-27.
  2. Jeremiah 39:7 : Ezek. 12:13.
  3. Jeremiah 39:14 : Jer. 26:24.
  4. Jeremiah 39:17 : Jer. 38:7-13.

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