1 The word which came to Jeremiah from LORD, when Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon and all his army and all the kingdoms of the earth that were under his dominion, and all the peoples, were fighting against Jerusalem, and against all t
2 Thus says LORD, the God of Israel: Go, and speak to Zedekiah king of Judah, and tell him, Thus says LORD: Behold, I will give this city into the hand of the king of Babylon, and he shall burn it with fire.
3 And thou shall not escape out of his hand, but shall surely be taken, and delivered into his hand. And thine eyes shall behold the eyes of the king of Babylon, and he shall speak with thee mouth to mouth, and thou shall go to Babyl
4 Yet hear the word of LORD, O Zedekiah king of Judah. Thus says LORD concerning thee, Thou shall not die by the sword;
5 thou shall die in peace. And with the burnings of thy fathers, the former kings who were before thee, so shall they make a burning for thee. And they shall lament thee, [saying], Ah lord! For I have spoken the word, says LORD.
6 Then Jeremiah the prophet spoke all these words to Zedekiah, king of Judah in Jerusalem,
7 when the king of Babylon's army was fighting against Jerusalem, and against all the cities of Judah that were left, against Lachish and against Azekah, for these [alone] remained of the cities of Judah, fortified cities.
8 The word that came to Jeremiah from LORD, after the king Zedekiah had made a covenant with all the people who were at Jerusalem, to proclaim liberty to them,
9 that every man should let his man-servant, and every man his maid-servant, who is a Hebrew or a Hebrewess, go free, that none should make bondmen of them, [namely], of a Jew his brother.
10 And all the rulers and all the people obeyed, who had entered into the covenant, that everyone should let his man-servant, and everyone his maid-servant, go free, that none should make bondmen of them any more. They obeyed, and let
11 But afterwards they turned, and caused the servants and the handmaids, whom they had let go free, to return, and brought them into subjection for servants and for handmaids.
12 Therefore the word of LORD came to Jeremiah from LORD, saying,
13 Thus says LORD, the God of Israel: I made a covenant with your fathers in the day that I brought them forth out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage, saying,
14 At the end of seven years ye shall let go every man his brother who is a Hebrew, who has been sold to thee, and has served thee six years. Thou shall let him go free from thee. But your fathers hearkened not to me, nor inclined the
15 And ye were now turned, and had done that which is right in my eyes, in proclaiming liberty every man to his neighbor. And ye had made a covenant before me in the house which is called by my name.
16 But ye turned and profaned my name, and caused every man his servant, and every man his handmaid, whom ye had let go free at their pleasure, to return. And ye brought them into subjection, to be to you for servants and for handmaid
17 Therefore thus says LORD: Ye have not hearkened to me, to proclaim liberty, every man to his brother, and every man to his neighbor. Behold, I proclaim to you a liberty, says LORD--to the sword, to the pestilence, and to the famine
18 And I will give the men who have transgressed my covenant, who have not performed the words of the covenant which they made before me, when they cut the calf in two and passed between the parts of it,
19 the rulers of Judah, and the rulers of Jerusalem, the eunuchs, and the priests, and all the people of the land, who passed between the parts of the calf,
20 I will even give them into the hand of their enemies, and into the hand of those who seek their life. And their dead bodies shall be for food to the birds of the heavens, and to the beasts of the earth.
21 And I will give Zedekiah king of Judah, and his rulers, into the hand of their enemies, and into the hand of those who seek their life, and into the hand of the king of Babylon's army that has gone away from you.
22 Behold, I will command, says LORD, and cause them to return to this city. And they shall fight against it, and take it, and burn it with fire. And I will make the cities of Judah a desolation, without inhabitant.