Jeremiah 34:8-22 (Lexham English Bible)

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Zedekiah’s Covenant Concerning Slaves

8 The word that came to Jeremiah from Yahweh after king Zedekiah {made}a a covenant with all the people who [were] in Jerusalem to proclaim release to them, 9 to let go each one his [male] slave and each one his female slave, the Hebrew and the free Hebrew, [so that] no one among the Judeansb [should] enslave his fellow countryman. 10 And all the officials and all the people obeyed, who had entered into the covenant to let go each one his [male] slave and each one his female slave, not enslaving them again, and they obeyed and they let [them]c go. 11 But {afterward}d they turned back and they brought back the [male] slaves and the female slaves whom they had let go free, and they subdued them as [male] slaves and female slaves. 12 And the word of Yahweh came to Jeremiah from Yahweh, {saying},e 13 "Thus says Yahweh, the God of Israel: 'I {made}f a covenant with your ancestorsg on the day of my bringing them out from the land of Egypt, from [the] house of slaves, {saying},h 14 "At [the] end of seven years you must let go each one his fellow countryman, the Hebrew who has been sold to you and who has served you six years, and you must let him go free from you." But your ancestorsi did not listen to me, and they did not incline their ears.j 15 And you turned back {recently}k and you did right in my eyes, to proclaim release each one to his neighbor, and you {made}l a covenant {before me}m in the house that is called {by}n my name. 16 But you turned back and you profaned my name when you brought back each one his [male] slave and each one his female slave, whom you had let go free according to their desire, and you subdued them to be to you as [male] slaves and as female slaves.' 17 "{Therefore}o thus says Yahweh, 'You have not listened to me to proclaim release each one to his fellow countryman and each one to his neighbor. Look, I [am] going to proclaim to you a release,' {declares}p Yahweh, 'to the sword, to the plague, and to the famine, and I will make you a terror to all the kingdoms of the earth. 18 And I will make the men who transgressed my covenant, who have not kept the words of the covenant that they {made}q {before me},r [like] the calf which they cut in two and they passed between its parts-- 19 the officials of Judah, and the officials of Jerusalem, the eunuchs, and the priests, and all the people of the land who passed between the parts of the calf-- 20 and I will give them into the hand of their enemies, and into the hand of the seekers of their lives, and their dead bodiess will become as food for the birdst of the heavensu and for the animalsv of the earth. 21 And Zedekiah the king of Judah and his officials I will give into the hand of their enemies, and into the hand of the seekers of their lives, and into the hand of the army of the king of Babylon, who retreated from you. 22 Look, I [am] going to command,' {declares}w Yahweh, 'and I will bring them back to this city, and they will fight against it, and they will capture it, and they will burn it with fire, and the towns of Judah I will make a desolation {without}x an inhabitant.'"
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