Day 194 of the Holy Bible One Year Challenge. King Nebuchadnezzar takes Jerusalem. Israelites are captured. Romans 1: All have sinned. Paul discusses idolatry and sexual sin.
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2 Kings 24:8-20
2 Kings 25
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2 Kings 24:8-20
Nebuchadnezzar Captures Jerusalem
8 Jehoiachin was 18 years old when he began to rule. He ruled for three months in Jerusalem. His mother was Nehushta daughter of Elnathan from Jerusalem. 9 Jehoiachin did what the LORD says is evil. He did all the same things that his father had done.
10 At that time the officers of King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon came to Jerusalem and surrounded it. 11 Then King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon came to the city. 12 King Jehoiachin of Ju- dah went out with his mother, his officers, his leaders and his officials and sur- rendered to the Babylonians. So in the eighth year of his rule as king of Babylon, Nebuchadnezzar took Jehoiachin prisoner.
13 Nebuchadnezzar took from Jerusalem all the treasures in the LORD’s Temple and all the treasures in the king’s palace. He cut up all the gold dishes that King Solomon of Israel had put in the LORD’s Temple. This happened just as the LORD had said.
14 Nebuchadnezzar captured all the people of Jerusalem, including the leaders and other wealthy people. He took away 10,000 people as captives. He took all the skilled workers and craftsmen. No one was left, except the poorest of the common people. 15 Nebuchadnezzar took Jehoiachin to Babylon as a prisoner. He also took the king’s mother, his wives, his officers and the leading men of the land. He took them from Jerusalem to Babylon as captives. 16 There were also 7000 soldiers. Nebuchadnezzar took away all the soldiers and 1000 of the skilled workers and craftsmen. All these men were trained soldiers, ready for battle. He took them to Babylon as captives. 17 Then the king of Babylon made Mattaniah the new king. Mattaniah was Jehoiachin’s uncle. He changed his name to Zedekiah.
18 Zedekiah was 21 years old when he began to rule. He ruled for eleven years in Jerusalem. His mother was Hamutal daughter of Jeremiah from Libnah. 19 Zedekiah did what the LORD says is evil. He did all the same things that Jehoiakim had done. 20 The LORD became so angry with Jerusalem and Judah that he completely rejected them and sent them all away.
2 Kings 25
Nebuchadnezzar Ends Zedekiah’s Rule
Zedekiah rebelled and refused to obey the king of Babylon.
So King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon and all his army came to fight against Jerusalem. This happened on the tenth day of the tenth month of Zedekiah’s ninth year as king.
Nebuchadnezzar put his army around Jerusalem to stop people from going in and out of the city. Then he built ramps against the walls for an attack. 2 His army stayed around Jerusalem until Zedekiah’s eleventh year as king of Judah. 3 The famine was getting worse and worse in the city. By the ninth day of the fourth month, there was no more food for the people in the city.
4 Nebuchadnezzar’s army finally broke through the city wall. That night King Zedekiah and all his soldiers ran away. They used the secret gate that went through the double walls. It was by the king’s garden. The enemy soldiers were all around the city, but Zedekiah and his men escaped on the road to the desert. 5 The Babylonian army chased King Zedekiah and caught him near Jeri- cho. All of Zedekiah’s soldiers left him and ran away.
6 The Babylonians took King Zedekiah to the king of Babylon at Riblah. They decided to punish Zedekiah. 7 They killed Zedekiah’s sons in front of him. Then they poked out Zedekiah’s eyes. They put chains on him and took him to Babylon.
Jerusalem Is Destroyed
8 Nebuchadnezzar came to Jerusalem on the seventh day of the fifth month of his nineteenth year as king of Babylon. The captain of Nebuchadnezzar’s best soldiers was Nebuzaradan. 9 Nebuzaradan burned the LORD’s Temple, the king’s palace, and all the houses in Jerusalem. He destroyed all the important buildings in the city.
10 Then the Babylonian army that was with Nebuzaradan pulled down the walls around Jerusalem. 11 Nebuzaradan captured all the people who were still left in the city. He took all the people as captives, even those who had tried to surrender. 12 He let only the poorest of the common people stay there. He let them stay so that they could take care of the grapes and other crops.
13 The Babylonian soldiers broke into pieces the bronze pillars in the LORD’s Temple. They also broke the bronze stands and the large bronze basin called “the sea” that were in the LORD’s Temple. They took all the bronze to Babylon. 14 They also took the pots, the shovels, the tools for trimming the lamps, the spoons, and all the bronze dishes that were used in the Temple. 15 Nebuzaradan took all the firepans and bowls and all the things made of gold or silver. 16–17 Nebuzaradan took the large bronze basin and the 2 bronze pillars. Each pillar was about 8 meters tall. The capitals on the pillars were almost 1.5 meters tall. They were made from bronze and had a design like a net decorated with pomegranates. Both pillars had the same kind of design. He also took the stands that Solomon made for the LORD’s Temple. The bronze from these things was too heavy to be weighed.
The People of Judah Taken as Captives
18 Also from the Temple, Nebuzaradan took Seraiah the high priest, Zephaniah the second priest, and the three doorkeepers.
19 From the city, Nebuzaradan took one official who was in charge of the army and five of the king’s advisers‡ who were still in the city. He took one secretary of the commander of the army who was in charge of counting the common people and choosing some of them to be soldiers. He also took 60 people who just happened to be in the city.
20–21 Then Nebuzaradan took all these people to the king of Babylon at Riblah in the area of Hamath. The king of Babylon killed them there at Riblah. And the people of Judah were led away as captives from their land.
Gedaliah, Governor of Judah
22 King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon left some people in the land of Judah. There was a man named Gedaliah son of Ahikam son of Shaphan. Nebuchadnezzar made Gedaliah governor over the people in Judah.
23 The army captains were Ishmael son of Nethaniah, Johanan son of Kareah, Seraiah son of Tanhumeth from Netophah and Jaazaniah son of the Maacathite. These army captains and their men heard that the king of Babylon had made Gedaliah governor, so they went to Mizpah to meet with him. 24 Gedaliah made promises to these officers and their men. He said to them, “Don’t be afraid of the Babylonian officers. Stay here and serve the king of Babylon. Then everything will go well for you.”
25 Ishmael son of Nethaniah son of Elishama was from the king’s family. In the seventh month, Ishmael and ten of his men attacked Gedaliah and killed all the men of Judah and the Babylonians who were with Gedaliah at Mizpah. 26 Then the army officers and all the people ran away to Egypt. Everyone, from the least important to the most important, ran away because they were afraid of the Babylonians.
27 King Jehoiachin of Judah was in prison in Babylon for thirty-seven years. In the thirty-seventh year of his time in prison, Evil Merodach became king of Babylon. Before the year ended, on the twenty-fifth day of the twelfth month, the king was very kind to Jehoiachin and let him out of prison. 28 Evil Merodach was friendly to Jehoiachin. He gave Jehoiachin a place of honor higher than the other kings who had also been taken as captives to Babylon. 29 So Jehoiachin was allowed to stop wearing prison clothes. And for the rest of his life, he ate regularly at the king’s table. 30 The king gave Jehoiachin enough to take care of his needs every day until the end of his life.
All People Have Done Wrong
18 God shows his anger from heaven against all the bad things wicked people do. They show no respect for him, and they do wrong to each other. Their evil lives keep the truth about God from be- ing known. 19 This makes God angry because they have been shown what he is like. Yes, God has made it clear to them. 20 There are things about God that are invisible—his eternal power and all that makes him God. But from the time the world was created, these things have been easy for people to see. That is, people can understand what God is like by seeing what he has made. So people have no excuse for the evil they do.
21 People knew about God, but they did not honor him as God. And they
did not give thanks to him. Instead, they turned their attention to useless things. Their confused minds were filled with darkness. 22 They said they were wise, but they became fools. 23 They did not honor the greatness of God, who lives forever. They traded the worship of God for the worship of idols—things made to look like humans, who all finally die, or like birds, animals, and reptiles.
24 So God handed them over to their filthy desires. And they became immoral and dishonored their bodies by the evil ways they used each other. 25 They honored and worshipped the things God created instead of worshipping the God who created those things. He is the one who should be praised forever. Amen.
26 So, because people did not hon- our God, he handed them over to the shameful things they wanted to do. Their women traded the natural way of having sex for something against nature— having sex with each other. 27 The men did the same. They stopped having natural sex with women and burned with de- sire for each other all the time. They did shameful things with other men or boys. They brought this shame on themselves, getting what they deserve for wandering away from the truth.
28 These people had the idea that it was not important to think about God. So God handed them over to their own wrong thinking. And so they do things no one should ever do. 29 Their lives are filled with every kind of wrongdoing, evil, greed and hatred. They are full of jealousy, murder, fighting, lying and a desire to hurt others. They gossip 30 and say evil things about each other. They hate God. They are rude, proud and boast about themselves. They invent ways of doing evil. They don’t obey their parents. 31 They are foolish, and they don’t keep their promises. They show no kindness or mercy to others. 32 They know God’s law says that anyone who lives like that should die. But they continue to do these things themselves, and more than that, they also encourage others who do them.
8 LORD God All-Powerful, listen to my prayer.
God of Jacob, listen to me. Selah
9 God, watch over the king, our protector.
Be kind to him, your chosen king. 10 One day in your Temple is better
than a thousand days anywhere else.
Just standing at the gate of my God’s house is better than living in the homes of the wicked.
11 The LORD God is our protector and glorious king.
He blesses us with kindness and honor. The LORD freely gives every good thing to those who do what is right.
12 LORD All-Powerful, great blessings belong to those who trust in you!
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