1 The word which came unto Jeremiah from the Lord, when Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, and all his army, and all the kingdoms of the country ruled by his power, and all the people, fought against Jerusalem, and against all its cities, saying,
2 Thus hath said the Lord, the God of Israel, Go and speak to Zedekiah the king of Judah, and say to him, Thus hath said the Lord, Behold, I will give up this city into the hand of the king of Babylon, that he may burn it with fire:
3 And thou thyself shalt not escape out of his hand; but thou shalt surely be caught, and be delivered into his hand; and thy eyes shall see the eyes of the king of Babylon, and his mouth shall speak with thy mouth, and to Babylon shalt thou go.
4 Yet hear the word of the Lord, O Zedekiah king of Judah, Thus hath said the Lord respecting thee, Thou shalt not die by the sword:
5 In peace shalt thou die; and as burnings were made for thy fathers, the former kings who were before thee, so shall they make burnings for thee; and "Ah lord" shall they lament for thee; for I have spoken the word, saith the Lord.
6 And Jeremiah the prophet spoke unto Zedekiah the king of Judah all these words in Jerusalem,
7 When the army of the king of Babylon was fighting against Jerusalem, and against all the cities of Judah that were left, against Lachish, and against Azekah; for these had been left of the cities of Judah as fortified cities.
8 The word which came unto Jeremiah from the Lord, after king Zedekiah had made a covenant with all the people who were at Jerusalem, to proclaim among themselves freedom;
9 That every man should dismiss his manservant, and every man his maidservant, being a Hebrew man or a Hebrew woman, free; so that no man among them should exact labor of a Jew, his brother.
10 And all the princes had hearkened, with all the people, who had entered into the covenant, that every one should dismiss his manservant, and every one his maidservant, free, that no one should exact labor of them any more: and they had obeyed, and dismissed them.
11 But they had turned afterward, and they had brought back the menservants and the maidservants whom they had dismissed as free, and had subjected them to become menservants and maidservants.
12 And the word of the Lord then came to Jeremiah from the Lord, saying,
13 Thus hath said the Lord, the God of Israel,I myself made a covenant with your fathers on the day that I brought them forth out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondmen, saying,
14 At the end of seven years shall ye dismiss every man his brother the Hebrew, who may have been sold unto thee; and when he hath served thee six years, then shalt thou dismiss him from thee; but your fathers hearkened not unto me, and inclined not their ear.
15 And ye had turned this day, and done what is right in my eyes, to proclaim freedom every man to his neighbor; and ye had made a covenant before me in the house over which my name is called;
16 But ye have turned again, and profaned my name, and ye have brought back every man his manservant, and every man his womanservant, whom ye had dismissed as free at their pleasure, and have subjected them to be unto you for menservants and for womenservants.
17 Therefore thus hath said the Lord, Ye indeed have not hearkened unto me, to proclaim freedom, every one to his brother, and every one to his neighbor: behold, I proclaim a freedom over you, saith the Lord, to the sword, to the pestilence, and to the famine; and I will make you a horror unto all the kingdoms of the earth.
18 And I will give up the men that have transgressed my covenant, who have not fulfilled the words of the covenant which they had made before me, at the calf which they cut in twain, and between the parts whereof they passed,
19 The princes of Judah, and the princes of Jerusalem, the courtservants, and the priests, and all the people of the land, who have passed between the parts of the calf;
20 Yea I will give them up into the hand of their enemies, and into the hand of those that seek their life; and their dead bodies shall become food unto the fowls of the heavens, and to the beasts of the earth.
21 And Zedekiah the king of Judah and his princes will I give up into the hand of their enemies, and into the hand of those that seek their life, and into the hand of the army of the king of Babylon, that are now gone away from you.
22 Behold, I will command, speaketh the Lord, and I will bring them back to this city; and they shall fight against it, and capture it, and burn it with fire: and the cities of Judah will I make a desert without an inhabitant.