Saturday, April 18, 2015

Jeremiah-The Day Jerusalem Fell

By Mary Vee
Jeremiah 39, II Kings 25



From Jeremiah's Journal


Photo Courtesy
My name is Jeremiah. I am a prophet, a person sent from God to give messages to the Israelites who still live in Jerusalem.

If only King Zedekiah had listened to me. He asked me to his chambers one last time and said, "I am afraid of the Jews who have gone over to the Babylonians. If I surrender, the Babylonian army may turn me over to those Jews and they will mistreat me."

I said, "No they won't. If you obey what God says, those things will not happen to you."

But he didn't. 

On the fourth month and the ninth day, famine had become so severe in the city of Jerusalem that no one had even a crumb of food. 

No one could go out to the farmland to harvest any crops because the Babylonia army guarded the city.

On this same day, while King Zedekiah reigned, the city wall was broken through by Nebuchadnezzar's army. The high officials of the king of Babylon took seats in the Middle Gate to show they were in charge.

King Zedekiah peeked around a corner and saw them sitting there. He turned to the few loyal men he had left and said, "Quick, get me out of here."

They left the city at night by way of the king's garden and through the gate between the two walls. They crept along the road towards Arabah.

I had warned him that he would not be able to escape the king of Babylon. And so it happened, just as God said. Some Babylonian soldiers saw Zedekiah and his officials escaping and ran after them. The soldiers stopped them in the plains of Jericho.

The soldiers tied King Zedekiah's hands and took him to King Nebuchadnezzar. The king of Babylon didn't even wait a moment before giving Zedekiah his sentence. Nebuchadnezzar killed Zedekiah's sons and his officials right before his eyes. Then he made Zedekiah blind, tied him in bronze chains, and took him to Babylon. Zedekiah was thrown into prison where he stayed until he died. 

I wish he had listened to God's message.

The Babylonians broke into the temple and stole the bronze pillars, the movable stands, and the bronze Sea. They also took the pots, shovels, wick trimmers, sprinkling bowls, dishes and all the bronze articles used in the temple service. Then they stole the basins, censers, sprinkling bowls, lamp stands, dishes and bowls used for drink offerings, all those made of gold, silver, and bronze.

On the tenth day of the fifth month, the commander of the Babylonian imperial guard set fire to the temple of the Lord, the royal palace, and all the houses of Jerusalem. Every important building burned to the ground. The army then broke down all the walls around Jerusalem.

The imperial guard took more captives, but left the very poor--those who owned absolutely nothing. To these people, the guard gave fields and vineyards to care for.

Sadly, 4,600 people from Jerusalem were taken captive to Babylon in all. They became servants to the Babylonians until the kingdom of Persia came to power. 

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1.  What was King Zedekiah afraid of?
2.  What didn't the people have?
3.  What did the Babylonian army do?
4.  What did Zedekiah decide to do?
5.  What happened to King Zedekiah?
6.  Did the people obey God?
7.  How many prisoners were taken to Babylon?

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