1 The Word which came unto Jeremiah from Jehovah when Nebuchadnezzar king of
Babylon, and all his army, and all the kingdoms of the earth under his dominion, and all
the peoples, fought against Jerusalem and against all its cities; saying,
2 Thus says Jehovah the God of Israel: Go and speak to Zedekiah king of Judah and tell
him, Thus says Jehovah, Behold, I will give this city into the hand of the king of Babylon,
and he shall burn it with fire.
3 And you shall not escape out of his hand, but shall surely be captured and delivered
into his hand. And your eyes shall behold the eyes of the king of Babylon, and he shall
speak with you mouth to mouth, and you shall go to Babylon.
4 Yet hear the Word of Jehovah, O Zedekiah king of Judah, thus says Jehovah
concerning you: You shall not die by the sword.
5 You shall die in peace; and as the burnings of incense for your fathers, the former
kings which were before you, so they shall burn incense for you. And they shall lament
for you, saying, Ah, lord! For I have spoken the Word, says Jehovah.
6 Then Jeremiah the prophet spoke all these words to Zedekiah king of Judah in
7 when the king of Babylon's army fought against Jerusalem and against all the
remaining cities of Judah; against Lachish, and against Azekah; for these fortified cities
remained of the cities of Judah.
8 The Word that came unto Jeremiah from Jehovah, after King Zedekiah had made a
covenant with all the people at Jerusalem, to proclaim liberty to them;
9 that each man should let his male slave, and each man his female slave, if they were a
Hebrew man or a Hebrew woman, to go free; that no one should keep a Jewish brother
10 And all the rulers obeyed, and all the people who had entered into the covenant
allowed them to go free, each man his male slave, and each man his female slave, so that
no one should be enslaved among them any more; and they obeyed and let them go.
11 But afterward they changed their minds and caused the slaves and slave women
whom they had let go free, to return! And they subjected them as slaves and slave
12 Therefore the Word of Jehovah came to Jeremiah from Jehovah, saying,
13 Thus says Jehovah 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 slavery, saying,
14 At the end of seven years let each man free his brother, a Hebrew, who has been sold
to him. And when he has served you six years, you shall let him go free from you. But
your fathers did not heed me, nor extend their ears.
15 And you had turned today, and had done what was right in My eyes proclaiming liberty, each man to his neighbor. And you had made a covenant before Me in the house which is called by My name.
16 But you turned and violated My name, and each man caused his slave, and each man
his slave woman, whom you had set free to do as they pleased, to return. And you
brought them back into bondage to be slaves and slave women to you.
17 Therefore thus says Jehovah: You have not heeded Me to proclaim liberty each man
to his brother, and each man to his neighbor! Behold, I proclaim liberty for you, says
Jehovah, to the sword, to the pestilence, and to the famine. And I will cause you to be an
object of horror to all the kingdoms of the earth.
18 And I will give the men who have transgressed My covenant, who have not done the
words of the covenant which they made before Me when they cut the calf in two and
passed between its parts;
19 the rulers of Judah, and the rulers of Jerusalem, the officials, 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, who have withdrawn from you.
22 Behold, I will command, says Jehovah, and cause them to return to this city. And they
shall fight against it and capture it, and burn it with fire. And I will make the cities of
Judah a desolation without inhabitant.