Do not seek Bethel! 1 Do not visit Gilgal! Do not journey down 2 to Beer Sheba! For the people of Gilgal 3 will certainly be carried into exile; 4 and Bethel will become a place where disaster abounds.” 5
The exiles who were returning from the captivity offered burnt offerings to the God of Israel – twelve bulls for all Israel, ninety-six rams, seventy-seven male lambs, along with twelve male goats as a sin offering. All this was a burnt offering to the Lord.
Now some of the officers of the Judean army and their troops had been hiding in the countryside. They heard that the king of Babylon had appointed Gedaliah son of Ahikam to govern 1 the country. They also heard that he had been put in charge over the men, women, and children from the poorer classes of the land who had not been carried off into exile in Babylon. 2
Wail, you people in Heshbon, because Ai in Ammon is destroyed. Cry out in anguish, you people in the villages surrounding 1 Rabbah. Put on sackcloth and cry out in mourning. Run about covered with gashes. 2 For your god Milcom will go into exile along with his priests and officials. 3
So I did just as I was commanded. I carried out my belongings packed for exile during the day, and at evening I dug myself a hole through the wall with my hands. I went out in the darkness, carrying my baggage 1 on my shoulder while they watched.
“Therefore this is what the Lord says: ‘Your wife will become a prostitute in the streets 1 and your sons and daughters will die violently. 2 Your land will be given to others 3 and you will die in a foreign 4 land. Israel will certainly be carried into exile 5 away from its land.’”
He deported Jehoiachin from Jerusalem to Babylon, along with the king’s mother and wives, his eunuchs, and the high-ranking officials of the land. 1
Dear friends, I urge you as foreigners and exiles to keep away from fleshly desires that do battle against the soul,
In the thirty-seventh year of the exile of King Jehoiachin of Judah, on the twenty-seventh 1 day of the twelfth month, 2 King Evil-Merodach of Babylon, in the first year of his reign, pardoned 3 King Jehoiachin of Judah and released him 4 from prison.
I will make myself available to you,’ 1 says the Lord. 2 ‘Then I will reverse your plight 3 and will regather you from all the nations and all the places where I have exiled you,’ says the Lord. 4 ‘I will bring you back to the place from which I exiled you.’
In the thirty-seventh year of the exile of King Jehoiachin of Judah, on the twenty-fifth 1 day of the twelfth month, 2 Evil-Merodach, in the first year of his reign, pardoned 3 King Jehoiachin of Judah and released him from prison.
ט (Tet) Her city gates have fallen 1 to the ground; he smashed to bits 2 the bars that lock her gates. 3 Her king and princes were taken into exile; 4 there is no more guidance available. 5 As for her prophets, they no longer receive 6 a vision from the Lord.
The nations will know that the house of Israel went into exile due to their iniquity, 1 for they were unfaithful to me. So I hid my face from them and handed them over to their enemies; all of them died by the sword.