1 The word which came to Jeremiah from the LORD, when Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, and all his army, and all the kingdoms of the earth of his dominion, and all the people, fought against Jerusalem, and against all its cities, saying,
2 Thus saith the LORD, the God of Israel; Go and speak to Zedekiah king of Judah, and tell him, Thus saith the 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 shalt not escape from his hand, but shalt surely be taken, and delivered into his hand; and thy eyes shall behold the eyes of the king of Babylon, and he shall speak with thee mouth to mouth, and thou shalt go to Babylon.
4 Yet hear the word of the LORD, O Zedekiah king of Judah; Thus saith the LORD concerning thee, Thou shalt not die by the sword:
5 But thou shalt die in peace: and with the burnings of thy fathers, the former kings who were before thee, so shall they burn incense for thee; and they will lament thee, saying, Ah lord! for I have pronounced the word, saith the 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 fought against Jerusalem, and against all the cities of Judah that were left, against Lachish, and against Azekah: for these fortified cities remained of the cities of Judah.
8 This is the word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD, after king Zedekiah had made a covenant with all the people who were at Jerusalem, to proclaim liberty to them;
9 That every man should release his male servant, and every man his female servant, being a Hebrew man or woman; that none should retain them in service, that is, a Jew his brother.
10 Now when all the princes, and all the people, who had entered into the covenant, heard that every one should release his male servants, and every one his female servants, that none should retain them in service any more, then they obeyed, and let them go.
11 But afterwards they turned, and caused the male and female servants, whom they had released to return, and brought them into subjection for male and female servants.
12 Therefore the word of the LORD came to Jeremiah from the LORD, saying,
13 Thus saith the LORD, the God of Israel; I made a covenant with your fathers in the day that I brought them forth from the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage, saying,
14 At the end of seven years release ye every man his brother an Hebrew, who hath been sold to thee; and when he hath served thee six years, thou shalt let him go free from thee: but your fathers hearkened not to me, neither inclined their ear.
15 And ye had now turned, and had done right in my sight, in proclaiming liberty every man to his neighbour; 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 male servant, and every man his female servant, whom he had set at liberty at their pleasure, to return, and brought them into subjection, to be to you for male and female servants.
17 Therefore thus saith the LORD; Ye have not hearkened to me, in proclaiming liberty, every one to his brother, and every man to his neighbour: behold, I proclaim a liberty for you, saith the LORD, to the sword, to the pestilence, and to the famine; and I will make you to be removed into all the kingdoms of the earth.
18 And I will give the men that have transgressed my covenant, who have not performed the words of the covenant which they had made before me, when they cut the calf in two, and passed between the parts of it,
19 The princes of Judah, and the princes 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 them that seek their life: and their dead bodies shall be for food to the fowls of the heaven, and to the beasts of the earth.
21 And Zedekiah king of Judah and his princes I will give into the hand of their enemies, and into the hand of them that seek their life, and into the hand of the king of Babylon’s army, which are gone up from you.
22 Behold, I will command, saith the 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 an inhabitant.