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Jehoshaphat and his men 1 went to gather the plunder; they found a huge amount of supplies, clothing 2 and valuable items. They carried away everything they could. 3 There was so much plunder, it took them three days to haul it off. 4
He built towers in the desert and dug many cisterns, for he owned many herds in the lowlands 1 and on the plain. He had workers in the fields and vineyards in the hills and in Carmel, 2 for he loved agriculture. 3
A large number of people gathered together and stopped up all the springs and the stream that flowed through the district. 1 They reasoned, 2 “Why should the kings of Assyria come and find plenty of water?”
They responded to us in the following way: ‘We are servants of the God of heaven and earth. We are rebuilding the temple which was previously built many years ago. A great king 1 of Israel built it and completed it.
While Ezra was praying and confessing, weeping and throwing himself to the ground before the temple of God, a very large crowd of Israelites – men, women, and children alike – gathered around him. The people wept loudly. 1
However, the people are numerous and it is the rainy season. 1 We are unable to stand here outside. Furthermore, this business cannot be resolved in a day or two, for we have sinned greatly in this matter.
Those who go down to Egypt for help are as good as dead, 1 those who rely on war horses, and trust in Egypt’s many chariots 2 and in their many, many horsemen. 3 But they do not rely on the Holy One of Israel 4 and do not seek help from the Lord.
The king of Assyria sent his chief adviser 1 from Lachish to King Hezekiah in Jerusalem, 2 along with a large army. The chief adviser 3 stood at the conduit of the upper pool which is located on the road to the field where they wash and dry cloth. 4
The chief adviser said to them, “Tell Hezekiah: ‘This is what the great king, the king of Assyria, says: “What is your source of confidence? 1
Eliakim, Shebna, and Joah said to the chief adviser, “Speak to your servants in Aramaic, 1 for we understand it. Don’t speak with us in the Judahite dialect 2 in the hearing of the people who are on the wall.”
But the chief adviser said, “My master did not send me to speak these words only to your master and to you. 1 His message is also for the men who sit on the wall, for they will eat their own excrement and drink their own urine along with you!” 2
Eliakim son of Hilkiah, the palace supervisor, accompanied by Shebna the scribe and Joah son of Asaph, the secretary, went to Hezekiah with their clothes torn in grief 1 and reported to him what the chief adviser had said.
Perhaps the Lord your God will hear all these things the chief adviser has spoken on behalf of his master, the king of Assyria, who sent him to taunt the living God. 1 When the Lord your God hears, perhaps he will punish him for the things he has said. 2 So pray for this remnant that remains.’” 3
Then Nebuzaradan, the captain of the royal guard, 1 took captive the rest of the people who were left in the city. He carried them off to Babylon along with the people who had deserted to him. 2
But he 1 left behind in the land of Judah some of the poor people who owned nothing. He gave them fields and vineyards at that time.
The Lord spoke to Jeremiah 1 after Nebuzaradan the captain of the royal guard had set him free at Ramah. 2 He had taken him there in chains 3 along with all the people from Jerusalem 4 and Judah who were being carried off to exile to Babylon.
They also led off all the men, women, children, and royal princesses 1 that Nebuzaradan, the captain of the royal guard, had left with Gedaliah, 2 the son of Ahikam and grandson of Shaphan. This included the prophet Jeremiah and Baruch son of Neriah.
On the tenth 1 day of the fifth month, 2 in the nineteenth year of King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon, Nebuzaradan, the captain of the royal guard 3 who served 4 the king of Babylon, arrived in Jerusalem.
Nebuzaradan, the captain of the royal guard, took into exile some of the poor, 1 the rest of the people who remained in the city, those who had deserted to him, and the rest of the craftsmen.
The captain of the royal guard took the gold and silver bowls, censers, 1 basins, pots, lampstands, pans, and vessels. 2