- 2 Kings 25:2-4a
- Jer. 39:2-5a; 52:9-11
- 2 Chron. 36:17
- Jer. 52:12-14, 24-27a, 17-23; 39:9-10; 52:15-16, 27b-30
- 2 Chron. 36:20-21
- 2 Kings 25:22
- Jer. 39:15-18, 11-14; 40:1-6
In 586 B.C., Babylon broke through the wall of Jerusalem and captured the city. The famine was so bad that there was literally nothing to eat. Apparently very few people were left in the city of Jerusalem, which was just as GOD had told the Israelites would be the case. King Zedekiah and his remaining soldiers attempted to escape the city at night through the king's garden. They headed toward the Jordan River but were captured by the Babylonians. Zedekiah was taken to Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, where Nebuchadnezzar killed Zedekiah's sons before his eyes. Nebuchadnezzar then killed the officials of Judah and put out Zedekiah's eyes, bound him with bronze shackles and took him to Babylon. Zedekiah remained in prison there until he died.
The Babylonian army killed every man, woman and child who remained in Jerusalem. One month after breaking into the city, Nebuchadnezzar had the imperial guard set fire to the LORD's temple and all the houses and important buildings. They destroyed it all. All the treasures of the temple which remained were taken to Babylon.
Between the years 598 to 582 B.C., 4,600 Israelites were taken captive to Babylon. The land rested for the 70 years the people of Judah were in captivity, just as the LORD had spoken. A man named Gedaliah was made governor of the territory of Judah. Jeremiah, initially taken along with the captives, was set free as promised by the LORD, and lived in the land, staying with Gedaliah.
These sad events are the close of the chapter of the nation of Israel. Hopefully this serves as a serious reminder of the consequences of failing to listen and obey GOD.