The Siege Of Jerusalem
Zedekiah was the last king of the southern kingdom of Judah (see The Southern Kingdom, The Northern Kingdom, Kings of Israel and Judah and Israelite Dynasties). His reign occurred at the time when Judah was a vassal state of Babylon i.e. the Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar installed Zedekiah as his puppet. When Zedekiah decided that he no longer wished to be the obedient stooge of a foreign king, he rebelled - which resulted in a full invasion of Judah by the Babylonians.
"The city was besieged unto the eleventh year of king Zedekiah"
The Babylonian army held Jerusalem under siege for about 18 months before it fell. Nothing was allowed in or out (see also Raiders Of The Lost Ark). When the city finally fell, Zedekiah attempted to flee with some of his troops. The Babylonians overtook Zedekiah, "slew the sons of Zedekiah before his eyes, and put out the eyes of Zedekiah, and bound him with fetters of brass, and carried him to Babylon."
"25:1 And it came to pass in the ninth year of his reign, in the tenth month, in the tenth day of the month, that Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came, he, and all his host, against Jerusalem, and pitched against it: and they built forts against it round about. 25:2 And the city was besieged unto the eleventh year of king Zedekiah. 25:3 And on the ninth day of the fourth month the famine prevailed in the city, and there was no bread for the people of the land. 25:4 And the city was broken up, and all the men of war fled by night by the way of the gate between two walls, which is by the king's garden: now the Chaldees were against the city round about: and the king went the way toward the plain. 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. 25:6 So they took the king, and brought him up to the king of Babylon to Riblah; and they gave judgment upon him. 25:7 And they slew the sons of Zedekiah before his eyes, and put out the eyes of Zedekiah, and bound him with fetters of brass, and carried him to Babylon." (2 Kings 25:1-7 KJV)
The city of Jerusalem itself was destroyed at that time.
"25:8 And in the fifth month, on the seventh day of the month, which is the nineteenth year of king Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, came Nebuzaradan, captain of the guard, a servant of the king of Babylon, unto Jerusalem: 25:9 And he burnt the house of the LORD, and the king's house, and all the houses of Jerusalem, and every great man's house burnt he with fire. 25:10 And all the army of the Chaldees, that were with the captain of the guard, brake down the walls of Jerusalem round about. 25:11 Now the rest of the people that were left in the city, and the fugitives that fell away to the king of Babylon, with the remnant of the multitude, did Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard carry away. 25:12 But the captain of the guard left of the poor of the land to be vinedressers and husbandmen." (2 Kings 25:8-12 KJV)
The Temple of God that had been built by Solomon was also looted and destroyed - not including the Ark of The Covenant (again, see Raiders Of The Lost Ark).
"25:13 And the pillars of brass that were in the house of the LORD, and the bases, and the brazen sea that was in the house of the LORD, did the Chaldees break in pieces, and carried the brass of them to Babylon. 25:14 And the pots, and the shovels, and the snuffers, and the spoons, and all the vessels of brass wherewith they ministered, took they away. 25:15 And the firepans, and the bowls, and such things as were of gold, in gold, and of silver, in silver, the captain of the guard took away.
The chief priest and key Levites were also executed (i.e. the men who hid the Ark of the Covenant, in Jerusalem before the city fell to the Babylonians, took the secret of where they hid it to their graves).
"25:18 And the captain of the guard took Seraiah the chief priest, and Zephaniah the second priest, and the three keepers of the door: 25:19 And out of the city he took an officer that was set over the men of war, and five men of them that were in the king's presence, which were found in the city, and the principal scribe of the host, which mustered the people of the land, and threescore men of the people of the land that were found in the city: 25:20 And Nebuzaradan captain of the guard took these, and brought them to the king of Babylon to Riblah: 25:21 And the king of Babylon smote them, and slew them at Riblah in the land of Hamath.
Fact Finder: Is Jerusalem again going to be "compassed by armies" - in the time just before the Messiah's return?