The capture of Jerusalem (2 Kings 25:1-25:7)

“In the ninth year of his reign, in the tenth month, on the tenth day of the month, King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon came with all his army against Jerusalem. He laid siege to it. They built siege works against it all around. So the city was besieged until the eleventh year of King Zedekiah. On the ninth day of the fourth month, the famine was so severe in the city that there was no food for the people of the land. Then a breach was made in the city wall. The king with all his soldiers fled at night. They went through the gate between the two walls, beside the king’s garden, despite the fact that the Chaldeans were all around the city. They went in the direction of the Arabah. But the army of the Chaldeans pursued the king. They overtook him in the plains of Jericho. All his army was scattered, deserting him. Then they captured the king. They brought him up to the king of Babylon at Riblah, who passed sentence upon him. They killed the sons of King Zedekiah before his eyes. Then they put out the eyes of King Zedekiah. They bound him in fetters. They took him to Babylon.”

It is rare that we have exact dating, but here it is very specific not some vague “at that time.” King Nebuchadnezzar in the 9th year of his reign, the 10th month, the 10th day, 10/10, came with his army to Jerusalem to besiege the city. Perhaps this biblical author may have been an eye witness. King Zedekiah had probably began to plot with the Egyptians and rebelled against the king of Babylon. This siege began in the 11th year of King Zedekiah. However, there is a discrepancy, since Nebuchadnezzar took over in 605 BCE, 9 years later would be 596 BCE, but King Zedekiah took over in 598 BCE and 11 years later would be 587 BCE, which is the generally accepted date for the fall of Jerusalem. After 4 months, the king and his army escaped through a hole in the wall. However, they were run down by the king of Babylon and his troops at Jericho. The Israelite troops scattered and deserted the king. He was captured and his sons were killed in front of him. Then he was blinded, bound up and sent to Babylon.

 

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