Jeremiah 52

52 Zedekiah was twenty-one years old when he began to reign, and he reigned eleven years in Jerusalem. And his mother’s name was Hamutal daughter of Jeremiah [not the prophet] of Libnah.(A)

2 And he did that which was evil in the sight of the Lord, according to all that Jehoiakim had done.

3 For all this came to pass in Jerusalem and Judah because of the anger of the Lord, and [in the end] He cast them out from His presence. And Zedekiah rebelled against the king of Babylon.

4 And in the ninth year of his reign, in the tenth month, on the tenth day of the month, [a]Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon came, he and all his army, against Jerusalem; and they pitched against it and built moveable towers and siege mounds against it round about.(B)

5 So the city was besieged until the eleventh year of King Zedekiah.(C)

6 And in the fourth month, on the ninth day of the month, the famine was so severe in the city that there was no bread for the people of the land.

7 Then the city [wall] was broken through, so that all the men of war might flee, and they went forth out of the city by night [as Ezekiel had foretold] by way of the gate between the two walls by the king’s garden, though the Chaldeans were round about the city. And they [the Jewish soldiers fled] by way of the Arabah (the Jordan Valley).(D)

8 But the army of the Chaldeans pursued the king and overtook Zedekiah in the plains of Jericho; and all his army was scattered from him.

9 Then they seized the king and brought him up to the king of Babylon at Riblah in the [Syrian] land of Hamath [on the northern border of Israel], where he pronounced sentence upon him.

10 And the king of Babylon slew the sons of Zedekiah before his eyes; he slew also all the princes of Judah at Riblah.

11 Then he put out the eyes of Zedekiah; and the king of Babylon bound him with shackles and carried him to Babylon and put him in prison [b][mill] till the day of his death.(E)

12 Now in the fifth month, on the tenth day of the month, which was the nineteenth year of Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon, there came to Jerusalem Nebuzaradan captain of the guard, who stood and served before the king of Babylon.

13 And he burned the house of the Lord and the king’s house and all the houses of Jerusalem; every great house he consumed with fire.

14 And all the army of the Chaldeans who were with the captain of the guard broke down all the walls round about Jerusalem.

15 Then Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard carried away captive some of the poorest of the people and those who were left in the city [at the time it was captured], along with those who went out to the king of Babylon [during the siege] and the remnant of the multitude [the country’s working people].

16 But Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard left some of the poorest of the land to be vinedressers and tillers of the soil.

17 Also the pillars of bronze that belonged to the house of the Lord, and the bronze bases or pedestals [which supported the ten basins] and the bronze Sea or huge laver that were in the house of the Lord, the Chaldeans broke into pieces and carried all the bronze of them to Babylon.

18 The pots [for carrying away ashes] also and the shovels and the snuffers and the bowls and the spoons and all the vessels of bronze used in the temple service they took away.

19 Also the small bowls and the firepans and the basins and the pots and the lampstands and the incense cups and the bowls for the drink offerings—whatever was of gold the captain of the guard took away as gold, and whatever was of silver as silver.

20 The two pillars, one Sea or huge laver, and [c]twelve bronze bulls or oxen under the Sea, which King Solomon had made in the house of the Lord—the bronze of all these things was beyond weighing.

21 Concerning the pillars, the height of the one pillar was eighteen cubits (twenty-seven feet), and an ornamental molding of twelve cubits (eighteen feet) went around its circumference; it was four fingers thick, and it [the pillar] was hollow.

22 An upper part or capital of bronze was on top of it. The height of one capital was five cubits (seven and one-half feet), with a network and pomegranates around it, all of bronze. The second pillar also, with its pomegranates, was similar to these.

23 And there were ninety-six pomegranates on the sides; and all the pomegranates upon the network were a hundred round about.

24 And the captain of the guard took [as prisoners] Seraiah the chief priest and Zephaniah the second priest and the three keepers of the door.

25 He took also out of the city a court officer who had been overseer of the soldiers, and seven men of them who were next to the king [as advisers] and saw his face, who were found in the city, and the scribe of the prince or captain of the army who mustered the people of the land, and sixty men of the people of the land who were found in the midst of the city.

26 And Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard took them and brought them to the king of Babylon at Riblah.

27 And the king of Babylon smote them and put them to death at Riblah in the land of Hamath. Thus Judah was carried away captive out of his own land.

28 This is the number of people whom Nebuchadrezzar carried away captive: in the seventh year, 3,023 Jews;

29 In the eighteenth year of Nebuchadrezzar, he carried away captive from Jerusalem 832 persons;

30 In the twenty-third year of Nebuchadrezzar, Nebuzaradan the captain of the [Babylonian] guard carried away captive of the Jews 745 persons. All the persons were 4,600.

31 And in the thirty-seventh year of the captivity of Jehoiachin [also called Coniah and Jeconiah] king of Judah, in the twelfth month, on the twenty-fifth day of the month, Evil-merodach king of Babylon in the first year of his reign lifted up the head of Jehoiachin king of Judah [and showed favor to him] and brought him out of prison.(F)

32 He spoke kindly to him and gave him a seat above the seats of the kings who were [captives] with him in Babylon,

33 Jehoiachin put off his prison garments, and he dined regularly at the king’s table all the days of his life.

34 And his allowance, a continual one, was given him by the king of Babylon, a portion according to his requirements until the day of his death, [d]all the days of his life.


  1. Jeremiah 52:4 See footnote on Jer. 21:2.
  2. Jeremiah 52:11 The Septuagint (Greek translation of the Old Testament) renders this word “mill.” Hence it has been inferred that the Chaldeans ascribed to Zedekiah in his old age the same fate as that to which the Philistines assigned Samson (Judg. 16:21) (The Cambridge Bible).
  3. Jeremiah 52:20 King Ahaz had previously removed the twelve bronze bulls or oxen (I Kings 7:25) from under the big laver and had replaced them with a substructure of stone (II Kings 16:17), but obviously he had not put them beyond the reach of the Chaldeans when they set their minds to find them.
  4. Jeremiah 52:34 The latter of these clauses is probably an afterthought in order to prevent ending the book with the word “death.” The general object too of the paragraph [the last four verses] seems to have been to leave the reader with a parting ray of comfort and encouragement in the thought that even in exile the Lord remembered His people and softened the heart of the heathen tyrant toward David’s seed (The Cambridge Bible). Note also the contrast between Zedekiah, who remained in prison till the day he died (Jer. 52:11), and Jehoiachin, who was released from prison and treated well by the Babylonian kings till the day he died.

Cross references

  1. Jeremiah 52:1 : II Kings 24:18-25:21.
  2. Jeremiah 52:4 : Jer. 39:1-10.
  3. Jeremiah 52:5 : II Chron. 36:11-13.
  4. Jeremiah 52:7 : Ezek. 12:12.
  5. Jeremiah 52:11 : Ezek. 12:13.
  6. Jeremiah 52:31 : II Kings 25:27-30.

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