[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;
That every man should liberate his man-servant, and every man his maid-servant, [being] a Hebrew or a Hebrewess; that none should retain them in service, [to wit], a Jew his brother.
Now when all the princes, and all the people who had entered into the covenant, heard that every one should liberate his man-servant, and every one his maid-servant, that none should retain them in service any more, then they obeyed, and let [them] go.
But afterwards they turned, and caused the servants and the handmaids, whom they had liberated, to return, and brought them into subjection for servants and for handmaids.
Therefore the word of the LORD came to Jeremiah from the LORD, saying,
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 bond-men, saying,
At the end of seven years dismiss ye every man his brother a 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.
And ye had now turned, and had done right in my sight, 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:
But ye turned and profaned my name, and caused every man his servant, and every man his handmaid, whom he had set at liberty at their pleasure, to return, and brought them into subjection, to be to you for servants and for handmaids.
Therefore thus saith the LORD; Ye have not hearkened to me, in proclaiming liberty, every one to his brother, and every man to his neighbor: 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.
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,
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;
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.
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.
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.