The Holy Bible – Knox Translation
The Fourth Book of Kings
And now, in the ninth year of Sedecias’ reign, on the tenth day of the twelfth month, Nabuchodonosor reached Jerusalem at the head of his army. They surrounded it and threw up siege-works about it;
and so the city continued, cut off and hedged in, until king Sedecias’ eleventh year.
Then, on the ninth day of the fourth month,✻ when famine had broken out in the city, and the poorer folk had nothing left to eat,
a breach was made in the walls; and that night all the fighting men made their escape by way of the gate between the two walls, by the royal garden, leaving the Chaldaeans to continue the siege of the city. The road Sedecias chose for his flight was that which leads to the desert plain;
and in the plain by Jericho he was overtaken by the Chaldaeans, who had set out in pursuit. All his army melted away from him, leaving him alone;
and so, a prisoner, the king was borne away to Reblatha, where Nabuchodonosor passed sentence on him.
He made him witness the death of his sons; then put out his eyes and carried him off in chains to Babylon.
On the fifth day of the seventh month in the nineteenth year of Nabuchodonosor’s reign, the commander of his forces, Nabuzardan, came on his master’s errand to Jerusalem,
where he burned down temple and palace and private dwellings too; no house of note but he set it on fire.
The troops he brought with him were employed in dismantling the walls on every side of it.
Then Nabuzardan carried off the remnants of the people that were left in the city, the deserters who had gone over to Nabuchodonosor, and the common folk generally,
leaving only such of the poorer sort as were vine-dressers and farm labourers.
Brazen pillars and brazen stands and the great basin of bronze that stood in the Lord’s temple the Chaldaeans broke up, and took away all the bronze to Babylon;
for bronze, too, they carried away pot and ladle, cup and fork and saucer, all the appurtenances of worship that were of bronze;
for gold, too, and for silver, bowl and censer of gold and silver; nothing did Nabuzardan leave behind him.
There was no reckoning the weight of bronze, when the two pillars, the great basin, and the stands which Solomon had set up in the temple are included;
each pillar was eighteen cubits high, and had a capital of three cubits’ height resting on it, with the net-work and pomegranate mouldings on the capital all of bronze.
Prisoners, too, Nabuzardan carried away with him, the two chief priests, Saraias and Sophonias, the three door-keepers from the temple,
and among the citizens, the chamberlain who commanded the army, five other courtiers who were still left in the city, Sopher, the army leader who had the levying of recruits, and sixty citizens of the common sort.
All these were carried away by Nabuzardan to Reblatha, into Nabuchodonosor’s presence;
and there at Reblatha, in the Emath country, Nabuchodonosor put them to death. So the men of Juda were exiled from their country,
and over the few he left remaining there the king of Babylon put Godolias, son of Ahicam, son of Saphan, in charge.
When they heard of his appointment, the chieftains came to meet him at Maspha, Ismael son of Nathanias, Johanan son of Caree, Saraias son of Thanehumeth from Netopha, and Jezonias son of Maachati, and all their men with them;
and Godolias took an oath to chiefs and men alike. They need have no fear of living under Chaldaean rule; let them remain in the country as the king of Babylon’s vassals, and all should go well with them.
None the less in the seventh month this Ismael, son of Nathanias, son of Elisama, who was of the royal blood, came to Maspha with twelve of his followers and gave Godolias his death-blow; killed, too, all his retinue, Jew and Chaldee alike.
Whereupon all the inhabitants of the country, high and low, and the chieftains with them, removed to Egypt, fearing the vengeance of the Chaldaeans.
On the twenty-seventh day of the twelfth month, in the thirty-seventh year after king Joachin of Juda had been carried into exile, he was released from prison by Evil-Merodach, king of Babylon, then in the first year of his reign.
Graciously did Evil-Merodach receive him, gave him a seat of honour above the other captive kings,
and relieved him of his prisoner’s garb. All the rest of his life he was entertained at the royal table;
all the rest of his life he received, day by day, a perpetual allowance made to him by the king’s bounty.✻
The Holy Bible