Jeremiah and Gedaliah. 1 In the tenth month of the ninth year of King Zedekiah of Judah, Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon, marched into battle against Jerusalem with his entire army and laid siege to it. 2 Then, in the eleventh year of Zedekiah, on the ninth day of the fourth month, a breach was made in the wall of the city. 3 Thereupon, all of the officials of the king of Babylon came forward and took their seats at the middle gate: Nergal-sharezer, Samgar-nebo, Sarsechim, who was a high dignitary, another Nergal-sharezer, who was the chief astrologer, and all of the other dignitaries in the king’s service.
4 When King Zedekiah of Judah beheld them, he and all of his soldiers fled, departing from the city during the night by way of the king’s garden through the gate between the two walls, and they set off in the direction of the Arabah. 5 However, the army of the Chaldeans set off in pursuit of them and overtook Zedekiah in the plains of Jericho. After they had captured him, they took him to Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon, at Riblah in the land of Hamath, who passed sentence on him.
6 The king of Babylon ordered the sons of Zedekiah to be slaughtered at Riblah before their father’s eyes, and he also sentenced all the nobles of Judah to be put to death. 7 Then he put out the eyes of Zedekiah and ordered him to be taken to Babylon bound in chains.
8 The Chaldeans burned to the ground the royal palace and the houses of the people, and they demolished the walls of Jerusa-lem. 9 Then Nebuzaradan, the commander of the guard, deported to Babylon the rest of the people who were left in the city, those who had deserted to him, and the remaining workmen. 10 However Nebuzaradan, the commander of the guard, left behind in the land of Judah some of the poor people who owned nothing, and at the same time, he gave them vineyards and fields.
11 Concerning Jeremiah, King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon gave the following orders to Nebuzaradan, the commander of the guard, 12 “Take him and look after him. Do him no harm, but grant him whatever he requests.” 13 Then Nebuzaradan, the commander, the commander of the guard, and Nebushazban, a high-ranking dignitary, and Nergal-sharezer, an important official, and all the chief officers of the king of Babylon 14 ordered Jeremiah to be taken from the court of the guard and entrusted to Gedaliah, the son of Ahikam, the son of Shaphan, to be brought safely home. Thus he remained among his own people.
15 A Blessing for Ebed-melech. While Jeremiah was confined in the court of the guard, the word of the Lord came to him. 16 “Go and tell Ebed-melech the Ethiopian: Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: Behold, I am now going to fulfill the words I have spoken against this city for its ruin and not for its prosperity, and those promises will be fulfilled before your very eyes.
17 “However, I will rescue you on that day, says the Lord. You will not be handed over to those whom you so greatly fear. 18 For I will save you. You will not fall by the sword, but you will escape with your life because you have placed your trust in me, says the Lord.”