The flight and capture of King Zedekiah (Jer 39:4-39:5)

“When King Zedekiah

Of Judah,

With all the soldiers

Saw the Babylonians,

They fled.

They went out of the city

At night

By way of the king’s garden

Through the gate

Between the two walls.

They went toward the Arabah.

But the army of the Chaldeans

Pursued them.

They overtook King Zedekiah

In the plains of Jericho.

When they had taken him,

They brought him up

To King Nebuchadnezzar

Of Babylon,

At Riblah,

In the land of Hamath.

He passed sentence on him.”

This is pretty much the same as in 2 Kings, chapter 25. The king and his army escaped through a hole in the wall via the king’s garden. They were headed for Arabah, the Jordan River valley, but the Chaldeans caught them in the plains of Jericho, about 5 miles from Jerusalem. In 2 Kings, chapter 24, the Judean troops scattered and deserted the king, but there is no mention of that here.  They then brought the king and his army officials to King Nebuchadnezzar, who was at Riblah in Hamath, north of Jerusalem, almost on the Syrian border.

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The east Fountain Gate (Neh 3:15-3:15)

“Shallum the son of Col-hozeh, ruler of the district of Mizpah, repaired the Fountain Gate. He rebuilt it. He covered it, set its doors, its bolts, and its bars. He built the wall of the Pool of Shelah of the king’s garden, as far as the stairs that go down from the City of David.”

Now we are dealing with the southeast side of Jerusalem. Only one person is mentioned here Shallum. This Shallum is a different person from the one mentioned a few verses earlier, who was the half ruler of Jerusalem. This Shallum is the ruler of Mizpah, which was not far from Jerusalem. The Fountain Gate was near the pool, the king’s garden, and the stairs that lead up to the city of David, near the royal cemetery and David’s palace. All of this was on the southeast side of Jerusalem.