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 people, fought against Jerusalem and against all the cities thereof, saying,
"Thus saith the LORD, the God of Israel: Go and speak to Zedekiah king of Judah and tell him, `Thus saith the LORD: Behold, I will give this city into the hand of the king of Babylon, and he shall burn it with fire.
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.
Yet hear the word of the LORD, O Zedekiah king of Judah. Thus saith the LORD of thee: Thou shalt not die by the sword,
but thou shalt die in peace; and with the burnings of thy fathers, the former kings who were before thee, so shall they burn incense for thee; and they will lament thee, saying, "Ah, lord!" For I have pronounced the word, saith the LORD.'"
Then Jeremiah the prophet spoke all these words unto Zedekiah king of Judah in Jerusalem,
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 these fortified cities remained of the cities of Judah.
This is the word that came unto Jeremiah from the LORD, after King Zedekiah had made a covenant with all the people who were at Jerusalem to proclaim liberty unto them:
that every man should let his manservant and every man his maidservant, being a Hebrew or a Hebrewess, go free, that none should be served by them, to wit: by a Jew, his brother.
Now when all the princes and all the people, who had entered into the covenant, heard that every one should let his manservant and every one his maidservant go free, that none should be served by them any more, then they obeyed and let them go.
But afterward they turned, and caused the servants and the handmaids whom they had let go free to return, and brought them into subjection for servants and for handmaids.
Therefore the word of the LORD came to Jeremiah from the LORD, saying,
"Thus saith the LORD, the 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 bondage, saying,
`At the end of seven years let go every man his brother, a Hebrew who hath been sold unto thee; and when he hath served thee six years, thou shalt let him go free from thee.' But your fathers hearkened not unto Me, neither inclined their ear.
And ye had now turned, and had done right in My sight in proclaiming liberty every man to his neighbor; and ye had made a covenant before Me in the house which is called by My name.
But ye turned and polluted My name, and caused every man his servant and every man his handmaid, whom he had set at liberty at their pleasure, to return, and brought them into subjection to be unto you for servants and for handmaids.
"Therefore thus saith the LORD: Ye have not hearkened unto Me, in proclaiming liberty, every one to his brother and every man to his neighbor. Behold, I proclaim a `liberty' for you, saith 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.
And I will give the men who 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 twain and passed between the parts thereof--
the princes of Judah and the princes of Jerusalem, the eunuchs, and the priests, and all the people of the land who passed between the parts of the calf--
I will even give them into the hand of their enemies and into the hand of them that seek their life; and their dead bodies shall be for meat unto the fowls of the heaven and to the beasts of the earth.
And Zedekiah king of Judah and his princes will I give into the hand of their enemies, and into the hand of them that seek their life, and into the hand of the king of Babylon's army which has gone up from you.
Behold, I will command, saith the LORD, and cause them to return to this city; and they shall fight against it, and take it, and burn it with fire. And I will make the cities of Judah a desolation without an inhabitant."