1 The word which came unto Jeremiah from the LORD, (when Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, and all his army, and all the kingdoms of the earth of his dominion, and all the peoples, fought against Jerusalem and against all the cities thereof) saying,
2 Thus hath the LORD God of Israel said: Go and speak to Zedekiah king of Judah, and tell him, Thus hath the LORD said: Behold, I give this city into the hand of the king of Babylon, and he shall burn it with fire:
3 and thou shalt not escape out of his hand but shalt surely be taken and delivered into his hand; and thine eyes shall behold the eyes of the king of Babylon, and he shall speak with thee mouth to mouth, and thou shalt go to Babylon.
4 Yet hear the word of the LORD, O Zedekiah king of Judah; Thus hath the LORD said of thee, Thou shalt not die by the sword:
5 but thou shalt die in peace: and according to the burnings of thy fathers, the former kings which were before thee, so shall they burn odours for thee; and they will lament thee, saying, Ah lord! for I have pronounced the word, said the LORD.
6 Then Jeremiah the prophet spoke all these words unto Zedekiah king of Judah in Jerusalem
7 when the king of Babylon’s army fought against Jerusalem and against all the cities of Judah that were left, against Lachish, and against Azekah, for of the strong cities of Judah these had remained.
8 This is the word that came unto Jeremiah from the LORD after king Zedekiah had made a covenant with all the people which were at Jerusalem, to proclaim liberty unto them;
9 that every man should let his manslave, and every man his maidslave, being a Hebrew or a Hebrewess, go free; that no one should use of his brethren, the Jews, as a slave.
10 Now when all the princes and all the people, who had entered into the covenant, heard that each one should let his manslave and each one his maidslave go free, that no one should use them any more as servants, then they listened and let them go.
11 But afterward they repented and caused the slaves and the handmaids, whom they had let go free, to return and brought them into subjection for slaves and for handmaids.
12 Therefore the word of the LORD came to Jeremiah from the LORD, saying,
13 Thus saith the LORD God of Israel: I made a covenant with your fathers in the day that I brought them forth out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery, saying,
14 At the end of seven years each one shall let his Hebrew brother go, who has been sold unto thee; therefore he shall serve thee six years, and thou shalt send him forth free from thee: but your fathers did not hearken unto me, nor incline their ear.
15 And ye were now converted and had done right in my sight in proclaiming liberty every man to his neighbour; and ye had made a covenant before me in the house which is called by my name:
16 but ye turned and polluted my name and caused each man his slave and each man his handmaid, whom ye had set at liberty at their pleasure, to return and brought them into subjection, to be unto you for slaves and for handmaids.
17 Therefore thus hath the LORD said: Ye have not hearkened unto me, in proclaiming liberty, each one to his brother and each man to his neighbour; behold, I proclaim a liberty for you, said the LORD, to the sword, to the pestilence, and to the famine; and I will make you to be removed into all the kingdoms of the earth.
18 And I will give the men that have transgressed my covenant, who have not performed the words of the covenant which they had made before me, when they cut the calf in two and passed between the parts thereof,
19 the princes of Judah and the princes of Jerusalem, the eunuchs, and the priests, and all the people of the land, which passed between the parts of the calf;
20 I will even give them into the hand of their enemies and into the hand of those that seek their soul; and their dead bodies shall be for food unto the fowls of the heaven and to the beasts of the earth.
21 And Zedekiah king of Judah and his princes I will give into the hand of their enemies and into the hand of those that seek their soul and into the hand of the king of Babylon’s army, which are gone up from you.
22 Behold, I command, said the LORD and will cause them to return to this city; and they shall fight against her and take her and burn her with fire; and I will give the cities of Judah unto desolation until they are without an inhabitant.