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The Catholic Study Bible A special version of the New American Bible, with a wealth of background information useful to Catholics.

Chapter 39

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Jeremiah and Gedaliah. When Jerusalem was taken.… 1In the tenth month of the ninth year* of Zedekiah, d 1f: Jer 52, 4–16; 2 Kgs 25, 1–12; Ez 24, 1 . king of Judah, Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, and all his army marched against Jerusalem and besieged it. 2On the ninth day of the fourth month, in the eleventh year* of Zedekiah, a breach was made in the city's defenses. 3All the princes of the king of Babylon came and occupied the middle gate: Nergal-sharezer, of Simmagir, the chief officer, Nebushazban, the high dignitary, and all the other princes of the king of Babylon.… 4When Zedekiah, king of Judah, saw them, he and all his warriors fled by night, leaving the city on the Royal Garden Road* through the gate between the two walls. He went in the direction of the Arabah, e Jer 52, 7 . 5but the Chaldean army pursued them, and overtook and captured Zedekiah in the desert near Jericho. He was brought to Riblah,* in the land of Hamath, where Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, pronounced sentence upon him. f Jer 32, 4f; 38, 18 . 6As Zedekiah looked on, his sons were slain at Riblah by order of the king of Babylon, who slew also all the nobles of Judah. g Jer 34, 21 . 7He then blinded Zedekiah and bound him in chains to bring him to Babylon. h Jer 32, 4f; Ez 12, 13 .

8The Chaldeans set fire to the king's palace and the houses of the people, and demolished the walls of Jerusalem. i Jer 21, 10; 34, 2; 52, 13 . 9Nebuzaradan, chief of the bodyguard, deported to Babylon the rest of the people left in the city, those who had deserted to him, and the rest of the workmen. j 2 Kgs 25, 11 . 10But some of the poor who had no property were left in the land of Judah by Nebuzaradan, chief of the bodyguard, and were given at the same time vineyards and farms. k 2 Kgs 25, 12. 22 .

11Concerning Jeremiah, Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, gave the following orders through Nebuzaradan, chief of the bodyguard: 12“Take him and look after him; let no harm befall him, but treat him as he himself requests.” l Jer 40, 4 . 13Thereupon Nebuzaradan, chief of the bodyguard, and Nebushazban, the high dignitary, and Nergal-sharezer, the chief officer, and all the nobles of the king of Babylon, 14had Jeremiah taken out of the quarters of the guard, and entrusted to Gedaliah, son of Ahikam, son of Shaphan, to be brought home. And so he remained among the people. m Jer 26, 24; 38, 28 .

A Word of Comfort for Ebed-melech. 15While Jeremiah was still imprisoned in the quarters of the guard, the word of the LORD came to him: 16Go, tell this to Ebed-melech the Cushite: Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: Behold, I am now fulfilling the words I spoke against this city, for evil and not for good; and this before your very eyes. n Jer 21, 10; Dn 9, 12 . 17But on that day I will rescue you, says the LORD; you shall not be handed over to the men of whom you are afraid. 18I will make certain that you escape and do not fall by the sword. Your life shall be spared as booty, because you trusted in me, says the LORD. o Jer 45, 5; Pss 25, 3; 36, 40 .

Notes:

d: 1f: Jer 52, 4–16; 2 Kgs 25, 1–12; Ez 24, 1 .

e: Jer 52, 7 .

f: Jer 32, 4f; 38, 18 .

g: Jer 34, 21 .

h: Jer 32, 4f; Ez 12, 13 .

i: Jer 21, 10; 34, 2; 52, 13 .

j: 2 Kgs 25, 11 .

k: 2 Kgs 25, 12. 22 .

l: Jer 40, 4 .

m: Jer 26, 24; 38, 28 .

n: Jer 21, 10; Dn 9, 12 .

o: Jer 45, 5; Pss 25, 3; 36, 40 .

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