Zedekiah to Die in Babylon1The word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord, when aNebuchadnezzar king of Babylon and all his army band all the kingdoms of the earth under his dominion and all the peoples were fighting against Jerusalem and all of its cities: 2“Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel: Go and speak to cZedekiah king of Judah and say to him, ‘Thus says the Lord: dBehold, I am giving this city into the hand of the king of Babylon, and he shall burn it with fire. 3 eYou shall not escape from his hand but shall surely be captured and delivered into his hand. fYou shall see the king of Babylon eye to eye and speak with him face to face. And you shall go to Babylon.’ 4Yet hear the word of the Lord, O Zedekiah king of Judah! gThus says the Lord concerning you: h‘You shall not die by the sword. 5You shall die in peace. iAnd as spices were burned for your fathers, the former kings who were before you, so people shall jburn spices for you kand lament for you, saying, “Alas, lord!”’ For I have spoken the word, declares the Lord.”
6Then Jeremiah the prophet spoke all these words to Zedekiah king of Judah, in Jerusalem, 7when the army of the king of Babylon was fighting against Jerusalem and against all the cities of Judah that were left, lLachish and mAzekah, nfor these were the only ofortified cities of Judah that remained.
8The word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord, after King Zedekiah phad made a covenant with all the people in Jerusalem qto make a proclamation of liberty to them, 9 rthat everyone should set free his Hebrew slaves, male and female, sso that no one should enslave a Jew, his brother. 10And they obeyed, all the officials and all the people who had entered into the covenant that everyone would set free his slave, male or female, so that they would not be enslaved again. They obeyed and set them free. 11But afterward they turned around and took back the male and female slaves tthey had set free, and brought them into subjection as slaves. 12The word of the Lord came to Jeremiah from the Lord: 13“Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel: I myself made a covenant with your fathers when uI brought them out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery, saying, 14 v‘At the end of seven years each of you must set free the fellow Hebrew who has been sold to you and has served you six years; wyou must set him free from your service.’ But xyour fathers did not listen to me or incline their ears to me. 15You recently repented and did what was right in my eyes yby proclaiming liberty, each to his neighbor, and zyou made a covenant before me in the aahouse that is called by my name, 16but then you turned around aband profaned my name when each of you took back his male and female slaves, acwhom you had set free according to their desire, and you brought them into subjection to be your slaves.
17“Therefore, thus says the Lord: You have not obeyed me adby proclaiming liberty, every one to his brother and to his neighbor; aebehold, I proclaim to you liberty afto the sword, to pestilence, and to famine, declares the Lord. agI will make you a horror to all the kingdoms of the earth. 18And the men who transgressed my covenant and did not keep the terms of ahthe covenant that they made before me, I will make them like ▼
▼Hebrew lacks them likeajthe calf that they cut in two and passed between its parts— 19the officials of Judah, the officials of Jerusalem, akthe eunuchs, the priests, and all the people of the land who passed between the parts of the calf. 20And I will give them into the hand of their enemies aland into the hand of those who seek their lives. amTheir dead bodies shall be food for the birds of the air and the beasts of the earth. 21And anZedekiah king of Judah and his officials I will give into the hand of their enemies and into the hand of those who seek their lives, into the hand of the army of the king of Babylon aowhich has withdrawn from you. 22Behold, apI will command, declares the Lord, and will aqbring them back to this city. arAnd they will fight against it and take it and burn it with fire. asI will make the cities of Judah a desolation atwithout inhabitant.”
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