The Scriptorium

The End of Zedekiah

Zedekiah received what he chose. Jeremiah 52.5-9

Jeremiah Envoi: Jeremiah 52 (2)

Pray Psalm 125.4, 5.

Do good, O LORD, to those who are good,
And to those who are upright in their hearts.
As for such as turn aside to their crooked ways,
The LORD shall lead them away
With the workers of iniquity.
Peace be upon Israel!

Sing Psalm 125.4, 5, 1.
(St. Gertrude: Onward, Christian Soldiers)
Lord, do good and care for those upright in heart.
All who turn to evil shall from You depart.
Sinful men may increase, on their way to hell!
Save Your people, let your peace abound in Israel!
Refrain, v. 1
All who trust in Jesus, strong as Zion stand!
Naught shall ever move them from their promised land!

Read and meditate on Jeremiah 52.5-11.

1. How long did Nebuchadnezzar’s siege of Jerusalem last?

2. What happened to the leaders of God’s people?

Zedekiah had chosen to remain blind to the truth of God’s Word and to live in the darkness of fear and unbelief. Now, that which he desired throughout his reign, became the dreadful and final reality of his life.

Nearly two years into the siege of Jerusalem, all the food was gone, and famine was severe throughout the city (v. 6). At last, the Babylonians made a breach in the wall, and they entered the city of Jerusalem (v. 7). The king, his court, and the remnants of his army fled “out of the city at night”, but the city was surrounded by Babylonian armies (v. 7). All those with Zedekiah fled, except his family and court; they were all captured and taken to Nebuchadnezzar at Riblah (vv. 8, 9).

Then, just has had been prophesied, Zedekiah’s sons were slaughtered before his eyes – the last sight he would ever see (vv. 10, 11). Nebuchadnezzar put out his eyes, then hauled him off to Babylon in chains, where he died in prison (v. 11).

This terrible end could have been avoided, if only Zedekiah and those around him had heeded the Word of the Lord from Jeremiah. But they allowed pride, fear, and false hopes to keep them from doing what God commanded. So now the end they actually realized was far greater than what they feared.

God’s Word may seem difficult at times – hard to believe or obey, unreasonable, inconvenient, or just not what we want to do. But God’s Word is always right. The true believer embraces the Word, in all its difficulty, and walks the path of obedience. This doesn’t mean we will never suffer hardship. But we will always have the comfort of knowing that the Lord is walking with us – He Who suffered for our salvation – and He will never fail us nor forsake us, as long as we hold fast to His Word.

1. What was keeping Zedekiah from obeying the Word of the Lord through Jeremiah? Are you ever faced with a similar temptation not to believe the Scriptures?

2. Zedekiah’s end was precisely the one he had chosen. This is true for all who refuse to abide by the Word of God. Explain.

3. How would hearing about Zedekiah’s plight have encouraged those who were taken captive to Babylon?

The annals of the ancient Middle East often mention putting out the eyes of conquered people. The last thing Zedekiah saw was the reward of his sinful folly—the horrible spectacle of his own loved ones being put to death. He would carry this picture with him until his own death in a Babylonian prison. Earl Radmacher (1931-2014), Commentary on 2 Kings 25.7 NKJV Study Bible Notes

Give me grace to believe and obey Your Word, O Lord, as I…

Pray Psalm 125.1-4

Pray for yourself, your church, and all the people of the Lord, that we might be faithful and true to Him, and never moved from our commitment to serve Him all our days.

Sing Psalm 125.1-4.
Psalm 125.1-4 (St. Gertrude: Onward, Christian Soldiers)
All who trust in Jesus, strong as Zion stand!
Naught shall ever move them from their promised land!
Like the hills surrounding safe Jerusalem,
Christ surrounds His Church and holds her in His mighty Hand!
Refrain, v. 1
All who trust in Jesus, strong as Zion stand!
Naught shall ever move them from their promised land!

Wickedness shall rest not on this holy land;
sinfulness shall never come forth from their hand. 
Trusting in the Savior, firm in His caress,
ever shall His favor on this holy city rest.

T. M. Moore

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Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. All quotations from Church Fathers from
Ancient Christian Commentary Series, General Editor Thomas C. Oden (Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2006). All psalms for singing are from The Ailbe Psalter (available by clicking here).

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in Essex Junction, VT.
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