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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 52

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Capture of Jerusalem. 1Zedakiah was twenty-one years old when he became king, and he reigned eleven years in Jerusalem. z 1–27: 2 Kgs 24, 18–25, 21 . His mother's name was Hamutal, daughter of Jeremiah of Libnah. 2He did what was evil in the eyes of the LORD, just as Jehoiakim had done. 3Indeed, what was done in Jerusalem and in Judah so angered the LORD that he cast them out from his presence.

Zedekiah rebelled against the king of Babylon. 4 a 4–16: Jer 39, 1–10 . In the tenth month of the ninth year of his reign, on the tenth day of the month,* Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, and his whole army advanced against Jerusalem, encamped around it, and built siege walls on every side. 5The siege of the city continued until the eleventh year of King Zedekiah.

6On the ninth day of the fourth month, when famine had gripped the city and the people had no more bread, 7the city walls were breached. Then all the soldiers took to flight and left the city by night through the gate between the two walls which was near the king's garden. With the Chaldeans surrounding the city, they went in the direction of the Arabah. 8But the Chaldean army pursued the king and overtook Zedekiah in the desert near Jericho, while his whole army fled from him.

9The king, therefore, was arrested and brought to Riblah, in the land of Hamath, to the king of Babylon, who pronounced sentence on him. 10As Zedekiah looked on, the king of Babylon slew his sons as well as all the princes of Judah at Riblah. 11Then he blinded Zedekiah, bound him with fetters, and had him brought to Babylon and kept in prison until the day of his death.

Destruction of Jerusalem. 12On the tenth day of the fifth month (this was in the nineteenth year* of Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon), Nebuzaradan, captain of the bodyguard, came to Jerusalem as the representative of the king of Babylon. 13He burned the house of the LORD, the palace of the king, and all the houses of Jerusalem; every large building he destroyed with fire. 14And the Chaldean troops who were with the captain of the guard tore down all the walls that surrounded Jerusalem.

15Then Nebuzaradan, captain of the guard, led into exile the rest of the people left in the city, and those who had deserted to the king of Babylon, and the rest of the artisans. 16But some of the country's poor, Nebuzaradan, captain of-the guard, left behind as vinedressers and farmers.

17The bronze pillars that belonged to the house of the LORD, and the wheeled carts and the bronze sea in the house of the LORD, the Chaldeans broke into pieces; they carried away all the bronze to Babylon. 18They took also the pots, the shovels, the snuffers, the bowls, the pans, and all the bronze vessels used for service. 19The basins also, the fire holders, the bowls, the pots, the lampstands, the pans, the sacrificial bowls which were of gold or silver, these too the captain of the guard carried off, 20as well as the two pillars, the one sea, and the twelve oxen of bronze under the sea, and the wheeled carts which King Solomon had made for the house of the LORD. The bronze of all these furnishings could not be weighed.

21Each of the pillars was eighteen cubits high and twelve cubits in diameter; each was four fingers thick, and hollow inside. 22A bronze capital five cubits high surmounted the one pillar, and a network with pomegranates encircled the capital, all of brass; and so for the other pillar. The pomegranates … 23there were ninety-six pomegranates. There were a hundred pomegranates, all around the network.

24The captain of the guard also took Seraiah, the high priest, Zephaniah, the second priest, and the three keepers of the entry. 25And from the city he took one courtier, a commander of soldiers, and seven men in the personal service of the king who were present in the city, and the scribe of the army commander who mustered the people of the land, and sixty of the common people who were in the city. 26The captain of the guard, Nebuzaradan, arrested these and brought them to the king of Babylon at Riblah, 27who had them struck down and put to death in Riblah, in the land of Hamath.

Thus was Judah exiled from her land. 28 * This is the number of the people whom Nebuchadnezzar led away captive: in his seventh year, three thousand and twenty-three people of Judah; 29in the eighteenth year of Nebuchadnezzar, eight hundred and thirty-two persons from Jerusalem; 30in the twenty-third year of Nebuchadnezzar, Nebuzaradan, captain of the guard, exiled seven hundred and forty-five people of Judah: four thousand six hundred persons in all.

Favor Shown to Jehoiachin. * 31 b 31–34: 2 Kgs 25, 27–30 . In the thirty-seventh year of the exile of Jehoiachin, king of Judah, on the twenty-fifth day of the twelfth month, Evil-merodach, king of Babylon, in the inaugural year of his reign, took up the case of Jehoiachin, king of Judah, and released him from prison. 32He spoke kindly to him and gave him a throne higher than that of the other kings* who were with him in Babylon. 33Jehoiachin took off his prison garb and ate at the king's table as long as he lived. 34The allowance given him by the king of Babylon was a perpetual allowance, in fixed daily amounts, all the days of his life until the day of his death.

Notes:

z: 1–27: 2 Kgs 24, 18–25, 21 .

a: 4–16: Jer 39, 1–10 .

b: 31–34: 2 Kgs 25, 27–30 .

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