Throne Of Judah

When Nebuchadnezzar put Zedekiah upon the throne of Judah, he made him take an oath to be loyal to him; but in the ninth year of his reign, Zedekiah, regardless of his oath, revolted against the king of Babylon, as he had long before revolted against the King of Heaven. The Sacred Record says, "He stiffened his neck, and hardened his heart from turning unto the Lord God of Israel."

"And the Lord God of their fathers sent to them by his messengers, rising up betimes, and sending; because he had compassion on his people, and on his dwelling-place. But they mocked the messengers of God, and despised his words, and misused his prophets, until the wrath of the Lord arose against his people, till there was no remedy. Therefore he brought upon them the king of the Chaldees, who slew their young men with the sword in the house of their sanctuary, and had no compassion upon young man or maiden, old man, or him that stooped for age: he gave them all into his hand. And all the vessels of the house of God, great and small, and the treasures of the house of the Lord, and the treasures of the king, and of his princes; all these he brought to Babylon. 

And they burnt the house of God, and brake down the wall of Jerusalem, and burnt all the palaces thereof with fire, and destroyed all the goodly vessels thereof. And them that had escaped from the sword carried he away to Babylon; where they were servants to him and his sons until the reign of the kingdom of Persia, to fulfill the word of the Lord by the mouth of Jeremiah, until the land had enjoyed her Sabbaths; for as long as she lay desolate she kept Sabbath, to fulfill threescore and ten years."  "Zedekiah, attempting to fly in the same direction as David had fled from Absalom, was caught in the valley of the Jordan, and carried to Riblah, where his brother Jehoahaz had been thrown in chains by the king of Egypt. There he was doomed to witness the execution of his sons, his own eyes were put out, and he was carried to Babylon." Bible History.

The few people who were left in the land to cultivate the soil and prevent a state of utter desolation, were placed under the rule of Gedaliah, who had a remarkably kind disposition. 

The prophet Jeremiah preferred to remain with this poor remnant of his people rather than to accept Nebuchadnezzar's invitation to go to Babylon, where he, no doubt, would have had an honorable place among the counselors of the king.

Soon after the Babylonians withdrew from Judea, one Ishmael, who was related to the royal family, and who had taken refuge in the country of Ammon, conspired against Gedaliah, and treacherously murdered him, together with many more of the wisest and best of his countrymen. The remnant, contrary to the counsel of Jeremiah, fled to Egypt, because they feared the vengeance of Nebuchadnezzar. Jeremiah, unwilling to forsake the people whom God had commissioned him to instruct, accompanied them to this land of their former bondage, where they were afterward destroyed by the army of Nebuchadnezzar, when he invaded Egypt. 

NOTE. The following from the pen of the William G. Blaikie, D. D., gives some idea of the sufferings of the Jews during the siege and at the capture of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar's army: 

"The cruelties suffered by the inhabitants, especially during this last siege, were frightful. The 'Lamentations' of Jeremiah present us with vivid pictures of these. Enraged by their rebellion and vigorous opposition, Nebuchadnezzar, when he took the city, 'had no compassion on young man or maiden, old man, or him that stooped for age.' Famine had done its work before the conqueror entered; and children swooning in the streets for hunger, princes raking dung-hills for a morsel, and other hideous and allecting sights, showed the extremities to which the people were driven. When the Chaldeans rushed through the breach, the usual brutalities were perpetrated by the licentious soldiers. The famished fugitives were pursued with relentless fury. The Chaldeans were hounded on by the Edomites and other neighbors of the Jews, who knew the country well, and like bloodhounds tracked to the holes and caves such as had escaped from the city. Dead bodies lay piled in heaps upon the streets. Multitudes of these were mere boys and girls. Princes were hanged by their hand, enduring the slow horrors of crucifixion. Some seem to have been consigned to subterranean dungeons, perhaps on the shores of the Dead Sea, where 'waters flowed over their head."'