And it came to pass in the ninth year of his reign, in the tenth month, in the tenth day of the month, that Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came, he, and all his host, against Jerusalem, and pitched against it; and they built forts against it round about. And the city was besieged unto the eleventh year of king Zedekiah. … the city was broken up, and all the men of war fled by night … So they took the king, and brought him up to the king of Babylon to Riblah; and they gave judgment upon him. And they slew the sons of Zedekiah before his eyes, and put out the eyes of Zedekiah, and bound him with fetters of brass, and carried him to Babylon. 2 Kings 25:1-7
2 Kings 24:18-25:30 / 2 Chronicles 36:11-23, Zedekiah of Judah (597-586 B.C.)
Despite the desperate political situation, king Zedekiah too is committed to evil. He is particularly set against the messages of God through Jeremiah, who constantly urges the king and people to be subject to Babylon. Zedekiah comes very close to killing the great prophet for his “unpatriotic” views.
During Zedekiah’s rule Ezekiel is transported in a vision from Babylon to the Jerusalem temple. He sees the sins
that infest the holy place, and he describes the gradual withdrawal of the glory of God from the place where he established his presence in the days of Solomon (cf. Ezek. 8-11; 2 Chron. 7:1-4).
Zedekiah has been placed on his throne by Nebuchadnezzar, and given his name by that conqueror. He is the third son of Josiah to rule. Like his brothers, the new king refuses to follow God’s guidance or to honor the Lord. Still Zedekiah is more shrewd than his predecessor. When a coalition is formed by Edom, Moab, Ammon, and Phoenicia against Babylon (Jer. 27:1-3), Zedekiah holds back. The urging of the anti-Babylonian party and even the promises of false prophets that God has already broken Babylon’s yoke fails to move Zedekiah to rebel.
But some five years later, a new Pharaoh makes the king a promise of support. Encouraged by the aid committed by Psammethicus II, Zedekiah rebels. Early in 588 B.C. Nebuchadnezzar marches west. The Babylonians have little difficulty in disposing of Egypt. After an interrupted siege, Jerusalem is taken. Zedekiah’s children are killed and he is blinded. The remaining treasures of the temple are plundered, and the city and temple burned. Now most of the remaining population are taken captive to join their brothers in Babylon.
The era of the kingdom has ended as did the era of the judges — in sin, in misery and in defeat.
Ezekiel. While Jeremiah is prophesying in Judah, Ezekiel speaks in Babylon to the captives. The two prophets have the same message. Judah must submit. The exile is God’s punishment, and he will not relent until his people are purged.
The Fall of Jerusalem
1 And it came to pass in the ninth year of his reign, in the tenth month, in the tenth day of the month, that Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came, he, and all his host, against Jerusalem, and pitched against it; and they built forts against it round about. 2 And the city was besieged unto the eleventh year of king Zedekiah. 3 And on the ninth day of the fourth month the famine prevailed in the city, and there was no bread for the people of the land. 4 And the city was broken up, and all the men of war fled by night by the way of the gate between two walls, which is by the king’s garden: (now the Chaldees were against the city round about:) and the king went the way toward the plain. 5 And the army of the Chaldees pursued after the king, and overtook him in the plains of Jericho: and all his army were scattered from him. 6 So they took the king, and brought him up to the king of Babylon to Riblah; and they gave  judgment upon him. 7 And they slew the sons of Zedekiah before his eyes, and put out the eyes of Zedekiah, and bound him with fetters of brass, and carried him to Babylon.
The Captivity of Judah
8 And in the fifth month, on the seventh day of the month, which is the nineteenth year of king Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, came Nebuzaradan, captain  of the guard, a servant of the king of Babylon, unto Jerusalem: 9 And he burnt the house of the Lord, and the king’s house, and all the houses of Jerusalem, and every great man’s house burnt he with fire. 10 And all the army of the Chaldees, that were with the captain of the guard, brake down the walls of Jerusalem round about. 11 Now the rest of the people that were left in the city, and the fugitives  that fell away to the king of Babylon, with the remnant of the multitude, did Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard carry away.
The Remnant Flee to Egypt
24 And Gedaliah sware to them, and to their men, and said unto them, Fear not to be the servants of the Chaldees: dwell in the land, and serve the king of Babylon; and it shall be well with you. 25 But it came to pass in the seventh month, that Ishmael the son of Nethaniah, the son of Elishama, of the seed royal,  came, and ten men with him, and smote Gedaliah, that he died, and the Jews and the Chaldees that were with him at Mizpah. 26 And all the people, both small and great, and the captains of the armies, arose, and came to Egypt: for they were afraid of the Chaldees.
Jehoiachin Released and Honored in Babylon
27 And it came to pass in the seven and thirtieth year of the captivity of Jehoiachin king of Judah, in the twelfth month, on the seven and twentieth day of the month, that Evilmerodach king of Babylon in the year that he began to reign did lift up the head of Jehoiachin king of Judah out of prison; 28 And he spake kindly  to him, and set his throne above the throne of the kings that were with him in Babylon; 29 And changed his prison garments: and he did eat bread continually before him all the days of his life. 30 And his allowance was a continual allowance given him of the king, a daily rate for every day, all the days of his life.
–> I am glad this is not the end of the story. But, we should pay careful attention to the fall described in this chapter (the sudden attack/destruction, humiliation and enslavement), lest forget this warning.
GOD DESTROYS AND GOD REBUILDS