The Destruction of the Southern Kingdom of Judah

7. King Zedekiah Tries to Flee


The Babylonian Army Finds King Zedekiah in the Plains of Jericho


 2 Kings 25:5 - 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."



When they knew that the Egyptians failed to prevent the Babylonians from Jerusalemís defeat, Zedekiah and his fighting men managed to slip out of the city during the night. Making their way cautiously through the line of surrounding forts, they hurried off to the east toward the Jordan Valley.


Word of their escape soon reached the Babylonians, and a detachment was sent in pursuit. On the plain of Jericho, Zedekiah was captured, having been almost completely forsaken by his officers and men. Nebuchadnezzar had taken up residence in the town of Riblah, north of Damascus, and this last king of Judah was dragged there in fetters, tried and condemned. One by one his sons were brought in and slain in his presence. His eyes were blinded; in fetters he was led off to Babylon and there thrown into prison for the rest of his days.


King Zedekiah fled with his army through the Dung Gate in order to reach the Arabah and the safety of the Jordan Valley, but he was overtaken and captured "in the plains of Jericho" and a terrible punishment followed before he was led captive to Babylon.


2 Kings 25:7 "Then they killed the sons of Zedekiah before his eyes, put out the eyes of Zedekiah, bound him with bronze fetters, and took him to Babylon."


(See the Timeline)



The Events Surrounding the Destruction of Jerusalem

Map of the Fall of Judah

"And I will wipe Jerusalem as one wipes a dish, wiping it
and turning it upside down" (2 Kings 21:13)


The Destruction of Jerusalem in 586 BC.

babylonian_chronicle_thumb.jpg Revival came during the reign of Hezekiah but it was immediately swept aside by his son Manasseh, who was Judah's most wicked and longest ruling king. The nation never fully recovered from the effects of this evil king. Manasseh's son Amon continued in his father's depravity, but he soon was murdered. His successor Josiah (about 640-609 B.C.) restored traditional covenant religion, which was based on the Book of the Law newly discovered in a Temple storeroom (2 Chr. 34:14). Many did not follow Josiah's example, however, and the prophet Zephaniah foretold disaster for the nation. By 610 B.C. the Assyrian Empire had collapsed under Babylonian attacks, and Babylon prepared to march against Egypt, which had been helping the Assyrians. Against Jeremiah's advice, Josiah intervened and was killed at Megiddo.


After Josiah there was no hope for Judah, the last 3 kings were all evil. The Babylonians swept down upon Jerusalem in 597 B.C. and captured it. A second attack led to Jerusalem's second defeat in 586 B.C. Captives from both campaigns were taken to Babylonia to mark the captivity of the Southern Kingdom.




Fall of Jerusalem


Dictionaries and Encyclopedias

Timeline of Events


1 - Babylonian Forces Approaching

2 - Capture of Judean Cities

3 - The Siege of Jerusalem

4 - Edomites Raid Judah

5 - Rumor of Approaching Egyptian Forces

6 - Jerusalem is Captured

7 - King Zedekiah Tries to Flee

8 - Jews Deported to Babylon from Ramah

Jeremiah's Prophecies



The Fall of Judah

Bible History Online

The Story of the Bible

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