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2 Kings Chapter 25 | Parsha:

1Zedekiah rebelled against the king of Babylon. reign, on the tenth day of the tenth month, Nebuchadnezzar moved against Jerusalem with his whole army. He besieged it; and they built towers against it all around. 2The city continued in a state of siege until the eleventh year of King Zedekiah. 3By the ninth day [of the fourth month] the famine had become acute in the city; there was no food left for the common people.

4Then [the wall of] the city was breached. All the soldiers [left the city] by night through the gate between the double walls, which is near the king’s garden—the Chaldeans were all around the city; and [the king] set out for the Arabah. 5But the Chaldean troops pursued the king, and they overtook him in the steppes of Jericho as his entire force left him and scattered. 6They captured the king and brought him before the king of Babylon at Riblah; and they put him on trial. 7They slaughtered Zedekiah’s sons before his eyes; then Zedekiah’s eyes were put out. He was chained in bronze fetters and he was brought to Babylon.

8On the seventh day of the fifth month—that was the nineteenth year of King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon—Nebuzaradan, the chief of the guards, an officer of the king of Babylon, came to Jerusalem. 9He burned the House of the Lord, the king’s palace, and all the houses of Jerusalem; he burned down the house of every notable person. 10The entire Chaldean force that was with the chief of the guard tore down the walls of Jerusalem on every side. 11The remnant of the people that was left in the city, the defectors who had gone over to the king of Babylon—and the remnant of the population—were taken into exile by Nebuzaradan, the chief of the guards. 12But some of the poorest in the land were left by the chief of the guards, to be vinedressers and field hands.

13The Chaldeans broke up the bronze columns of the House of the Lord, the stands, and the bronze tank that was in the House of the Lord; and they carried the bronze away to Babylon. 14They also took all the pails, scrapers, snuffers, ladles, and all the other bronze vessels used in the service. 15The chief of the guards took whatever was of gold and whatever was of silver: firepans and sprinkling bowls. 16The two columns, the one tank, and the stands that Solomon provided for the House of the Lord—all these objects contained bronze beyond weighing. 17The one column was eighteen cubits high. It had a bronze capital above it; the height of the capital was three cubits, and there was a meshwork [decorated] with pomegranates about the capital, all made of bronze. And the like was true of the other column with its meshwork.

18The chief of the guards also took Seraiah, the chief priest, Zephaniah, the deputy priest, and the three guardians of the threshold. 19And from the city he took a eunuch who was in command of the soldiers; five royal privy councillors who were present in the city; the scribe of the army commander, who was in charge of mustering the people of the land; and sixty of the common people who were inside the city. 20Nebuzaradan, the chief of the guards, took them and brought them to the king of Babylon at Riblah. 21The king of Babylon had them struck down and put to death at Riblah, in the region of Hamath.
Thus Judah was exiled from its land.
22King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon put Gedaliah son of Ahikam son of Shaphan in charge of the people whom he left in the land of Judah. 23When the officers of the troops and their men heard that the king of Babylon had put Gedaliah in charge, they came to Gedaliah at Mizpah with Ishmael son of Nethaniah, Johanan son of Kareah, Seraiah son of Tanhumeth the Netophathite, and Jaazaniah son of the Maachite, together with their men. 24Gedaliah reassured them and their men, saying, “Do not be afraid of the servants of the Chal- deans. Stay in the land and serve the king of Babylon, and it will go well with you.”

25In the seventh month, Ishmael son of Nethaniah son of Elishama, who was of royal descent, came with ten men, and they struck down Gedaliah and he died; [they also killed] the Judeans and the Chaldeans who were present with him at Mizpah. 26And all the people, young and old, and the officers of the troops set out and went to Egypt because they were afraid of the Chaldeans.

27In the thirty-seventh year of the exile of King Jehoiachin of Judah, on the twenty-seventh day of the twelfth month, King Evil-merodach of Babylon, in the year he became king, took note of King Jehoiachin of Judah and released him from prison. 28He spoke kindly to him, and gave him a throne above those of other kings who were with him in Babylon. 29His prison garments were removed, and [Jehoiachin] received regular rations by his favor for the rest of his life. 30A regular allotment of food was given him at the instance of the king—an allotment for each day—all the days of his life.

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