Darby Bible Translation
A Prophecy against Zedekiah
1The word that came to Jeremiah from Jehovah, when Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, and all his army, and all the kingdoms of the earth under his dominion, and all the peoples, fought against Jerusalem and against all the cities thereof, saying, 2Thus saith Jehovah, the God of Israel: Go and speak to Zedekiah king of Judah, and tell him, Thus saith Jehovah: Behold, I give this city into the hand of the king of Babylon, and he shall burn it with fire. 3And thou shalt not escape out of his hand, but shalt certainly be taken, and given into his hand; and thine eyes shall behold the eyes of the king of Babylon, and his mouth shall speak with thy mouth, and thou shalt go to Babylon. 4Only, hear the word of Jehovah, O Zedekiah king of Judah. Thus saith Jehovah as to thee: Thou shalt not die by the sword; 5thou shalt die in peace, and with the burnings of thy fathers, the former kings that were before thee, so shall they burn for thee; and they will lament for thee, Ah, lord! for I have spoken the word, saith Jehovah.
6And the prophet Jeremiah spoke all these words unto Zedekiah king of Judah, in Jerusalem. 7And 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 were amongst the cities of Judah, the fenced cities that were left.
Freedom for Hebrew Slaves
8The word that came unto Jeremiah from Jehovah, after that king Zedekiah had made a covenant with all the people that were at Jerusalem, to proclaim liberty unto them: 9that every man should let his bondman, and every man his bondmaid, the Hebrew and the Hebrewess, go free, that none should exact service of them, [that is,] of a Jew his brother. 10And all the princes and all the people that had entered into the covenant obeyed, every man letting his bondman and every man his bondmaid go free, that none should exact service of them any more: they obeyed, and let [them] go. 11But afterwards they turned, and caused the bondmen and the bondmaids whom they had let go free, to return, and brought them into subjection for bondmen and for bondmaids.
12And the word of Jehovah came to Jeremiah from Jehovah, saying, 13Thus saith Jehovah 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, 14At the end of seven years ye shall let go every man his brother, a Hebrew, who hath sold himself unto thee; 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. 15And you, ye had this day turned, 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: 16but ye have turned and profaned my name, and caused every man his bondman, and every man his bondmaid, whom ye had set at liberty at their pleasure, to return, and ye have brought them into subjection, to be unto you for bondmen and for bondmaids.
17Therefore thus saith Jehovah: Ye have not hearkened unto me, in proclaiming liberty, every man to his brother, and every man to his neighbour: behold, I proclaim a liberty for you, saith Jehovah, to the sword, to the pestilence, and to the famine; and I will give you over to be driven hither and thither among all the kingdoms of the earth. 18And 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, -- the calf which they cut in twain, 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, that passed between the parts of the calf; 20them will I give into the hand of their enemies and into the hand of them that seek their life; and their carcases shall be food for the fowl of the heavens and for the beasts of the earth. 21And 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 are gone up from you. 22Behold, I command, saith Jehovah, and I will 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 inhabitant.