The wordwhichcame to Jeremiah from the LORD, when 1Nebuchadnezzarking of Babylon and all his army, with 2all the kingdoms of the earth that were under his dominion and all the peoples, were fightingagainstJerusalem and againstall its cities, saying,
2"Thussays the LORDGod of Israel, '3Go and speak to Zedekiahking of Judah and say to him: "Thussays the LORD, 'Behold, 4I am givingthiscity into the hand of the king of Babylon, and 5he will burn it with fire.
'6You will not escape from his hand, for you will surely be captured and delivered into his hand; and you will 7see the king of Babyloneye to eye, and he will speak with you aface to face, and you will go to Babylon.' "'
4"Yethear the word of the LORD, O Zedekiahking of Judah! Thussays the LORDconcerning you, 'You will not die by the sword.
'You will die in peace; and as spices were burned for your fathers, the formerkingswho were before you, so they will 8burn spices for you; and 9they will lament for you, "Alas, lord!"' For I have spoken the word," declares the LORD.
Then Jeremiah the prophetspoke10allthesewords to Zedekiahking of Judah in Jerusalem7
when the army of the king of Babylon was fightingagainstJerusalem and againstall the remainingcities of Judah, that is, 11Lachish and 12Azekah, for they alone remained as 13fortifiedcities among the cities of Judah.
The wordwhichcame to Jeremiah from the LORDafterKingZedekiah had 14made a covenant with all the peoplewho were in Jerusalem to 15proclaimbrelease to them:
that eachman should setfree his maleservant and eachman his femaleservant, a 16Hebrewman or a Hebrew woman; so that 17noone should keep them, a Jew his brother, in bondage.
And all the 18officials and all the peopleobeyedwho had entered into the covenant that eachman should setfree his maleservant and eachman his femaleservant, so that noone should keep them anylonger in bondage; they obeyed, and set them free.
But afterward they turnedaround and tookback the maleservants and the femaleservantswhom they had setfree, and brought them into subjection for maleservants and for femaleservants.
Then the word of the LORDcame to Jeremiah from the LORD, saying,
13"Thussays the LORDGod of Israel, 'I 19made a covenant with your forefathers in the day that I 20brought them out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage, saying,
"21At the end of sevenyearseach of you shall setfree his Hebrewbrotherwhochas been sold to you and has served you sixyears, you shall send him out free from you; but your forefathers22did not obey Me or incline their ear to Me.
"Although recently you had turned and 23donewhat is right in My sight, eachmanproclaimingdrelease to his neighbor, and you had 24made a covenantbefore Me 25in the housewhich is called by My name.
"Yet you 26turned and 27profaned My name, and eachmanetookback his maleservant and eachman his femaleservantwhom you had setfree according to their desire, and you brought them into subjection to be your maleservants and femaleservants."'
17"Thereforethussays the LORD, 'You have not obeyed Me in proclaimingfreleaseeachman to his brother and eachman to his neighbor. Behold, I am 28proclaiming a grelease to you,' declares the LORD, 'to the 29sword, to the pestilence and to the famine; and I will make you a 30terror to all the kingdoms of the earth.
'I will give the men who have 31transgressed My covenant, who have not fulfilled the words of the covenantwhich they madebefore Me, when they 32cut the calf in two and passedbetween its parts -
the 33officials of Judah and the officials of Jerusalem, the courtofficers and the priests and all the people of the land who passedbetween the parts of the calf -
I will give them into the hand of their enemies and into the hand of those who 34seek their life. And their 35deadbodies will be food for the birds of the sky and the beasts of the earth.
'36Zedekiahking of Judah and his officials I will give into the hand of their enemies and into the hand of those who seek their life, and into the hand of the army of the king of Babylon which has 37goneaway from you.
22'Behold, I am going to command,' declares the LORD, 'and I will bring them back to thiscity; and they will fightagainst it and 38take it and burn it with fire; and I will make the cities of Judah a 39desolation40withoutinhabitant.' "