The word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD, after King Zedekiah 1had made a covenant with all the people in Jerusalem 2to make a proclamation of liberty to them,
3that everyone should set free his Hebrew slaves, male and female, 4so that no one should enslave a Jew, his brother.
And they obeyed, all the officials and all the people who had entered into the covenant that everyone would set free his slave, male or female, so that they would not be enslaved again. They obeyed and set them free.
But afterward they turned around and took back the male and female slaves 5they had set free, and brought them into subjection as slaves.
The word of the LORD came to Jeremiah from the LORD:
"Thus says the LORD, the God of Israel: I myself made a covenant with your fathers when 6I brought them out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage, saying,
7'At the end of seven years each of you must set free the fellow Hebrew who has been sold to you and has served you six years; 8you must set him free from your service.' But 9your fathers did not listen to me or incline their ears to me.
You recently repented and did what was right in my eyes 10by proclaiming liberty, each to his neighbor, and 11you made a covenant before me in the 12house that is called by my name,
but then you turned around 13and profaned my name when each of you took back his male and female slaves, 14whom you had set free according to their desire, and you brought them into subjection to be your slaves.
"Therefore, thus says the LORD: You have not obeyed me 15by proclaiming liberty, every one to his brother and to his neighbor; 16behold, I proclaim to you liberty 17to the sword, to pestilence, and to famine, declares the LORD. 18I will make you a horror to all the kingdoms of the earth.
And the men who transgressed my covenant and did not keep the terms of 19the covenant that they made before me, I will make them like20the calf that they cut in two and passed between its parts--
the officials of Judah, the officials of Jerusalem, 21the eunuchs, the priests, and all the people of the land who passed between the parts of the calf.
And I will give them into the hand of their enemies 22and into the hand of those who seek their lives. 23Their dead bodies shall be food for the birds of the air and the beasts of the earth.
And 24Zedekiah king of Judah and his officials I will give into the hand of their enemies and into the hand of those who seek their lives, into the hand of the army of the king of Babylon 25which has withdrawn from you.
Behold, 26I will command, declares the LORD, and will 27bring them back to this city. 28And they will fight against it and take it and burn it with fire. 29I will make the cities of Judah a desolation 30without inhabitant."