You will not escape his grasp but will be taken into captivity. You will stand before the king of Babylon to be judged and sentenced. Then you will be exiled to Babylon.'"
"But listen to this promise from the LORD, O Zedekiah, king of Judah. This is what the LORD says: 'You will not be killed in war
but will die peacefully among your people. They will burn incense in your memory, just as they did for your ancestors. They will weep for you and say, 'Alas, our king is dead!' This I have decreed, says the LORD.'"
So Jeremiah the prophet delivered the message to King Zedekiah of Judah.
At this time the Babylonian army was besieging Jerusalem, Lachish, and Azekah -- the only cities of Judah with their walls still standing.
This message came to Jeremiah from the LORD after King Zedekiah made a covenant with the people, proclaiming freedom for the slaves.
He had ordered all the people to free their Hebrew slaves -- both men and women. No one was to keep a fellow Judean in bondage.
The officials and all the people had obeyed the king's command,
but later they changed their minds. They took back the people they had freed, making them slaves again.
So the LORD gave them this message through Jeremiah:
"This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: I made a covenant with your ancestors long ago when I rescued them from their slavery in Egypt.