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Judah's Exile

Friday, Nov 10, 2023

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Judah is kicked out of their home

Key Verse | 2 Kings 25:21

And there at Riblah, in the land of Hamath, the king of Babylon had them all put to death. So the people of Judah were sent into exile from their land.

2 Kings 24:1–13

2 Kings 24

1During Jehoiakim’s reign, King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon invaded the land of Judah. Jehoiakim surrendered and paid him tribute for three years but then rebelled. 2Then the Lord sent bands of Babylonian,* Aramean, Moabite, and Ammonite raiders against Judah to destroy it, just as the Lord had promised through his prophets. 3These disasters happened to Judah because of the Lord’s command. He had decided to banish Judah from his presence because of the many sins of Manasseh, 4who had filled Jerusalem with innocent blood. The Lord would not forgive this.

5The rest of the events in Jehoiakim’s reign and all his deeds are recorded in The Book of the History of the Kings of Judah. 6When Jehoiakim died, his son Jehoiachin became the next king.

7The king of Egypt did not venture out of his country after that, for the king of Babylon captured the entire area formerly claimed by Egypt—from the Brook of Egypt to the Euphrates River.

Jehoiachin Rules in Judah

8Jehoiachin was eighteen years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem three months. His mother was Nehushta, the daughter of Elnathan from Jerusalem. 9Jehoiachin did what was evil in the Lord’s sight, just as his father had done.

10During Jehoiachin’s reign, the officers of King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon came up against Jerusalem and besieged it. 11Nebuchadnezzar himself arrived at the city during the siege. 12Then King Jehoiachin, along with the queen mother, his advisers, his commanders, and his officials, surrendered to the Babylonians.

In the eighth year of Nebuchadnezzar’s reign, he took Jehoiachin prisoner. 13As the Lord had said beforehand, Nebuchadnezzar carried away all the treasures from the Lord’s Temple and the royal palace. He stripped away* all the gold objects that King Solomon of Israel had placed in the Temple.


24:2 Or Chaldean.
24:13 Or He cut apart.

2 Kings 25:1–7, 21–24

2 Kings 25

1So on January 15,* during the ninth year of Zedekiah’s reign, King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon led his entire army against Jerusalem. They surrounded the city and built siege ramps against its walls. 2Jerusalem was kept under siege until the eleventh year of King Zedekiah’s reign.

3By July 18 in the eleventh year of Zedekiah’s reign,* the famine in the city had become very severe, and the last of the food was entirely gone. 4Then a section of the city wall was broken down. Since the city was surrounded by the Babylonians,* the soldiers waited for nightfall and escaped* through the gate between the two walls behind the king’s garden. Then they headed toward the Jordan Valley.*

5But the Babylonian* troops chased the king and overtook him on the plains of Jericho, for his men had all deserted him and scattered. 6They captured the king and took him to the king of Babylon at Riblah, where they pronounced judgment upon Zedekiah. 7They made Zedekiah watch as they slaughtered his sons. Then they gouged out Zedekiah’s eyes, bound him in bronze chains, and led him away to Babylon.


25:1 Hebrew on the tenth day of the tenth month, of the ancient Hebrew lunar calendar. A number of events in 2 Kings can be cross-checked with dates in surviving Babylonian records and related accurately to our modern calendar. This day was January 15, 588 b.c.
25:3 Hebrew By the ninth day of the [fourth] month [in the eleventh year of Zedekiah’s reign] (compare Jer 39:2; 52:6 and the notes there). This day was July 18, 586 b.c.; also see note on 25:1.
25:4a Or the Chaldeans; also in 25:13, 25, 26.
25:4b As in Greek version (see also Jer 39:4; 52:7); Hebrew lacks escaped.
25:4c Hebrew the Arabah.
25:5 Or Chaldean; also in 25:10, 24.

21And there at Riblah, in the land of Hamath, the king of Babylon had them all put to death. So the people of Judah were sent into exile from their land.

Gedaliah Governs in Judah

22Then King Nebuchadnezzar appointed Gedaliah son of Ahikam and grandson of Shaphan as governor over the people he had left in Judah. 23When all the army commanders and their men learned that the king of Babylon had appointed Gedaliah as governor, they went to see him at Mizpah. These included Ishmael son of Nethaniah, Johanan son of Kareah, Seraiah son of Tanhumeth the Netophathite, Jezaniah* son of the Maacathite, and all their men.

24Gedaliah vowed to them that the Babylonian officials meant them no harm. “Don’t be afraid of them. Live in the land and serve the king of Babylon, and all will go well for you,” he promised.


25:23 As in parallel text at Jer 40:8; Hebrew reads Jaazaniah, a variant spelling of Jezaniah.