Jeremiah 39
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1  In the ninth year of King Tzidkiyahu of Yehuda, in the tenth month, King Nebuchadrezzar of Babylon moved against Yerushalayim with his whole army, and they laid siege to it.

א  בַּשָּׁנָה הַתְּשִׁעִית לְצִדְקִיָּהוּ מֶלֶךְ־יְהוּדָה בַּחֹדֶשׁ הָעֲשִׂרִי בָּא נְבוּכַדְרֶאצַּר מֶלֶךְ־בָּבֶל וְכָל־חֵילוֹ אֶל־יְרוּשָׁלַ ִם וַיָּצֻרוּ עָלֶיהָ׃

2  And in the eleventh year of Tzidkiyahu, on the ninth day of the fourth month, the [walls of] the city were breached.

ב  בְּעַשְׁתֵּי־עֶשְׂרֵה שָׁנָה לְצִדְקִיָּהוּ בַּחֹדֶשׁ הָרְבִיעִי בְּתִשְׁעָה לַחֹדֶשׁ הָבְקְעָה הָעִיר׃

3  All the officers of the king of Babylon entered, and took up quarters at the middle gate—Nergal-sarezer, Samgar-nebo, Sarsechim the Rab-saris, Nergal-sarezer the Rab-mag, and all the rest of the officers of the king of Babylon.

ג  וַיָּבֹאוּ כֹּל שָׂרֵי מֶלֶךְ־בָּבֶל וַיֵּשְׁבוּ בְּשַׁעַר הַתָּוֶךְ נֵרְגַל שַׂר־אֶצֶר סַמְגַּר־נְבוּ שַׂר־סְכִים רַב־סָרִיס נֵרְגַל שַׂר־אֶצֶר רַב־מָג וְכָל־שְׁאֵרִית שָׂרֵי מֶלֶךְ בָּבֶל׃

4  When King Tzidkiyahu of Yehuda saw them, he and all the soldiers fled. They left the city at night, by way of the king’s garden, through the gate between the double walls; and he set out toward the Arabah.

ד  וַיְהִי כַּאֲשֶׁר רָאָם צִדְקִיָּהוּ מֶלֶךְ־יְהוּדָה וְכֹל אַנְשֵׁי הַמִּלְחָמָה וַיִּבְרְחוּ וַיֵּצְאוּ לַיְלָה מִן־הָעִיר דֶּרֶךְ גַּן הַמֶּלֶךְ בְּשַׁעַר בֵּין הַחֹמֹתָיִם וַיֵּצֵא דֶּרֶךְ הָעֲרָבָה׃

5  But the Chaldean troops pursued them, and they overtook Tzidkiyahu in the steppes of Yericho. They captured him and brought him before King Nebuchadrezzar of Babylon at Riblah in the region of Hamath; and he put him on trial.

va-yir-d’-FU khayl kas-DEEM a-kha-ray-HEM va-ya-SEE-gu et tzid-ki-YA-hu b’-ar-VOT y’-ray-KHO va-yik-KHU o-TO va-ya-a-LU-hu el n’-vu-khad-RE-tzar me-lekh ba-VEL riv-LA-tah b’-E-retz kha-MAT vai-da-BAYR i-TO mish-pa-TEEM

ה  וַיִּרְדְּפוּ חֵיל־כַּשְׂדִּים אַחֲרֵיהֶם וַיַּשִּׂגוּ אֶת־צִדְקִיָּהוּ בְּעַרְבוֹת יְרֵחוֹ וַיִּקְחוּ אֹתוֹ וַיַּעֲלֻהוּ אֶל־נְבוּכַדְרֶאצַּר מֶלֶךְ־בָּבֶל רִבְלָתָה בְּאֶרֶץ חֲמָת וַיְדַבֵּר אִתּוֹ מִשְׁפָּטִים׃

 39:5   And they overtook Tzidkiyahu in the steppes of Yericho

Chapter 39 describes the tragic, final downfall of Yerushalayim. Tzidkiyahu attempts to flee, but is caught just miles away from the Yarden river, in Yericho. Rashi elaborates that “a cave went from his house until the plains of Yericho, and he fled through the cave. The Holy One, Blessed be He, ordained a deer walking on the roof of the cave. The Chaldeans pursued the deer, and when they reached the entrance of the cave in the plains of Yericho, they saw him and captured him.” This is what Yechezkel said about him, (12:13) “I will spread My net over him, and he shall be caught in My snare.” No matter what plans a person makes, God’s plan prevails.Comment

6  The king of Babylon had Tzidkiyahu‘s children slaughtered at Riblah before his eyes; the king of Babylon had all the nobles of Yehuda slaughtered.

ו  וַיִּשְׁחַט מֶלֶךְ בָּבֶל אֶת־בְּנֵי צִדְקִיָּהוּ בְּרִבְלָה לְעֵינָיו וְאֵת כָּל־חֹרֵי יְהוּדָה שָׁחַט מֶלֶךְ בָּבֶל׃

7  Then the eyes of Tzidkiyahu were put out and he was chained in bronze fetters, that he might be brought to Babylon.

ז  וְאֶת־עֵינֵי צִדְקִיָּהוּ עִוֵּר וַיַּאַסְרֵהוּ בַּנְחֻשְׁתַּיִם לָבִיא אֹתוֹ בָּבֶלָה׃

8  The Chaldeans burned down the king’s palace and the houses of the people by fire, and they tore down the walls of Yerushalayim.

ח  וְאֶת־בֵּית הַמֶּלֶךְ וְאֶת־בֵּית הָעָם שָׂרְפוּ הַכַּשְׂדִּים בָּאֵשׁ וְאֶת־חֹמוֹת יְרוּשָׁלַ ִם נָתָצוּ׃

9  The remnant of the people that was left in the city, and the defectors who had gone over to him—the remnant of the people that was left—were exiled by Nebuzaradan, the chief of the guards, to Babylon.

ט  וְאֵת יֶתֶר הָעָם הַנִּשְׁאָרִים בָּעִיר וְאֶת־הַנֹּפְלִים אֲשֶׁר נָפְלוּ עָלָיו וְאֵת יֶתֶר הָעָם הַנִּשְׁאָרִים הֶגְלָה נְבוּזַר־אֲדָן רַב־טַבָּחִים בָּבֶל׃

10  But some of the poorest people who owned nothing were left in the land of Yehuda by Nebuzaradan, the chief of the guards, and he gave them vineyards and fields at that time.

י  וּמִן־הָעָם הַדַּלִּים אֲשֶׁר אֵין־לָהֶם מְאוּמָה הִשְׁאִיר נְבוּזַרְאֲדָן רַב־טַבָּחִים בְּאֶרֶץ יְהוּדָה וַיִּתֵּן לָהֶם כְּרָמִים וִיגֵבִים בַּיּוֹם הַהוּא׃

11  King Nebuchadrezzar of Babylon had given orders to Nebuzaradan, the chief of the guards, concerning Yirmiyahu:

יא  וַיְצַו נְבוּכַדְרֶאצַּר מֶלֶךְ־בָּבֶל עַל־יִרְמְיָהוּ בְּיַד נְבוּזַרְאֲדָן רַב־טַבָּחִים לֵאמֹר׃

12  “Take him and look after him; do him no harm, but grant whatever he asks of you.”

יב  קָחֶנּוּ וְעֵינֶיךָ שִׂים עָלָיו וְאַל־תַּעַשׂ לוֹ מְאוּמָה רָּע כִּי אם כַּאֲשֶׁר יְדַבֵּר אֵלֶיךָ כֵּן עֲשֵׂה עִמּוֹ׃

13  So Nebuzaradan, the chief of the guards, and Nebushazban the Rab-saris, and Nergal-sarezer the Rab-mag, and all the commanders of the king of Babylon sent

יג  וַיִּשְׁלַח נְבוּזַרְאֲדָן רַב־טַבָּחִים וּנְבוּשַׁזְבָּן רַב־סָרִיס וְנֵרְגַל שַׂר־אֶצֶר רַב־מָג וְכֹל רַבֵּי מֶלֶךְ־בָּבֶל׃

14  and had Yirmiyahu brought from the prison compound. They committed him to the care of Gedalya son of Achikam son of Shafan, that he might be left at liberty in a house. So he dwelt among the people.

יד  וַיִּשְׁלְחוּ וַיִּקְחוּ אֶת־יִרְמְיָהוּ מֵחֲצַר הַמַּטָּרָה וַיִּתְּנוּ אֹתוֹ אֶל־גְּדַלְיָהוּ בֶּן־אֲחִיקָם בֶּן־שָׁפָן לְהוֹצִאֵהוּ אֶל־הַבָּיִת וַיֵּשֶׁב בְּתוֹךְ הָעָם׃

15  The word of Hashem had come to Yirmiyahu while he was still confined in the prison compound:

טו  וְאֶל־יִרְמְיָהוּ הָיָה דְבַר־יְהֹוָה בִּהְיֹתוֹ עָצוּר בַּחֲצַר הַמַּטָּרָה לֵאמֹר׃

16  Go and say to Eved Melech the Ethiopian: “Thus said the lord of Hosts, the God of Yisrael: I am going to fulfill My words concerning this city—for disaster, not for good—and they shall come true on that day in your presence.

טז  הָלוֹךְ וְאָמַרְתָּ לְעֶבֶד־מֶלֶךְ הַכּוּשִׁי לֵאמֹר כֹּה־אָמַר יְהֹוָה צְבָאוֹת אֱלֹהֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל הִנְנִי מבי [מֵבִיא] אֶת־דְּבָרַי אֶל־הָעִיר הַזֹּאת לְרָעָה וְלֹא לְטוֹבָה וְהָיוּ לְפָנֶיךָ בַּיּוֹם הַהוּא׃

17  But I will save you on that day—declares Hashem; you shall not be delivered into the hands of the men you dread.

יז  וְהִצַּלְתִּיךָ בַיּוֹם־הַהוּא נְאֻם־יְהֹוָה וְלֹא תִנָּתֵן בְּיַד הָאֲנָשִׁים אֲשֶׁר־אַתָּה יָגוֹר מִפְּנֵיהֶם׃

18  I will rescue you, and you shall not fall by the sword. You shall escape with your life, because you trusted Me—declares Hashem.”

יח  כִּי מַלֵּט אֲמַלֶּטְךָ וּבַחֶרֶב לֹא תִפֹּל וְהָיְתָה לְךָ נַפְשְׁךָ לְשָׁלָל כִּי־בָטַחְתָּ בִּי נְאֻם־יְהֹוָה׃

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Jeremiah 38
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Jeremiah 39

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