The captives and the poor (Jer 52:15-52:16)

Nebuzaradan,

The captain of the guard,

Carried into exile

Some of the poorest

Of the people.

He took into exile

The rest of the people

Who were left in the city,

He took into exile

The deserters

Who had defected

To the king of Babylon,

Together with the rest

Of the artisans.

But Nebuzaradan,

The captain of the guard,

Left some of the poorest people

Of the land,

To be vinedressers

Or tillers of the soil.”

Once again, this is very close to 2 Kings, chapter 25. The king of Babylon did not come himself, but he sent the captain of his bodyguard, Nebuzaradan, to take all the people as captives. This included those who had deserted to the Chaldeans as well as those left in the city. However, he gave some poor people the vineyards and fields to work. This might be a problem when the exiles return. However, here, unlike the 2 Kings narrative and the earlier Jeremiah story of chapter 39, he also took the some of the poor people. This seems odd, since the next sentence talks about leaving the poor people to take care of the vineyards and till the soil. There was no mention of them getting fields and vineyards as in the earlier Jeremiah story. Also here there is a mention of artisans that was lacking in the other presentations.

The Babylonians enter Jerusalem (Jer 52:12-52:12)

“In the fifth month,

On the tenth day

Of the month,

The nineteenth year

Of King Nebuchadnezzar,

King of Babylon,

Nebuzaradan,

The captain of the bodyguard,

A servant of the king of Babylon,

Entered Jerusalem.”

This is almost word for word from 2 Kings, chapter 25, but not found in the earlier Jeremiah, chapter 39. Once again we have an exact date, during the 19th year of the rule of King Nebuchadnezzar, or 587 BCE. Thus the Judah kingdom lasted 134 years after the fall of Samaria. The king of Babylon did not come himself, but he sent the captain of his bodyguard, his servant Nebuzaradan, to be in charge of Jerusalem.