You will not escape from the king of Babylon; you will surely be captured and handed over to him. You will see the king of Babylon with your own eyes, and he will talk to you face to face. And you will go to Babylon.
But, Zedekiah king of Judah, listen to the promise of the Lord. This is what the Lord says about you: You will not be killed with a sword.
You will die in a peaceful way. As people made funeral fires to honor your ancestors, the kings who ruled before you, so people will make a funeral fire to honor you. They will cry for you and sadly say, "Ah, master!" I myself make this promise to you, says the Lord.'"
So Jeremiah the prophet gave this message to Zedekiah in Jerusalem.
This was while the army of the king of Babylon was fighting against Jerusalem and the cities of Judah that had not yet been taken -- Lachish and Azekah. These were the only strong, walled cities left in the land of Judah.
The Lord spoke his word to Jeremiah. This was after King Zedekiah had made an agreement with all the people in Jerusalem to free all the Hebrew slaves.
Everyone was supposed to free his Hebrew slaves, both male and female. No one was to keep a fellow Jew as a slave.
All the officers and all the people accepted this agreement; they agreed to free their male and female slaves and no longer keep them as slaves. So all the slaves were set free.
But after that, the people who had slaves changed their minds. So they took back the people they had set free and made them slaves again.
Then the Lord spoke his word to Jeremiah:
"This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: I brought your ancestors out of Egypt where they were slaves and made an agreement with them.