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CHAPTER 34

1 The word which came to Jeremiah from Jehovah, when Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon, and his whole army, and all the kingdoms of the earth, which were under his dominion, and all the nations, made war against Jerusalem and all the cities, saying, —

2 Thus saith Jehovah, the God of Israel, Go and say to Zedekiah, the king of Judah, yea, say to him, Thus saith Jehovah, Behold I deliver this city into the hand of the king of Babylon, and he shall burn it with fire;

3 And thou shalt not be saved from his hand, for thou shalt surely be taken, and into his hands shalt thou be delivered, and thine eyes shall see the eyes of the king of Babylon, and his mouth shall speak to thy mouth, and to Babylon shalt thou go.

4 Yet hear the word of Jehovah, thou Zedekiah king of Judah; Thus saith Jehovah of thee, Thou shalt not die by the sword;

5 In peace shalt thou die, and with the burnings of thy fathers, the former kings, who were before thee, so shall they burn thee, and, “Ah! Lord!” shall they lament for thee: for the word have I spoken, saith Jehovah.

6 And Jeremiah the prophet spake to Zedekiah king of Judah all these words in Jerusalem,

7 When the armies of the king of Babylon were fighting against Jerusalem and all the cities of Judah, which remained, even Lachish and Azekah; for these remained of the cities of Judah, being fortified cities.

8 The word which came to Jeremiah from Jehovah, after King Zedekiah made a covenant with all the people, who were in Jerusalem, to proclaim liberty to them, —

9 That every one should let his servant and every one his maid, a Hebrew and a Hebrewess, go free, so that no one among the Jews might make his brother to serve.

10 And hear did all the princes and all the people, who had come to the covenant to let each his servant and each his maid go free, so as not to make them any more to serve, and they obeyed and dismissed them.

11 But they changed afterwards, and remanded their servants and maids whom they had set free, and forced them to be servants and maids.

12 Then came the word of Jehovah to Jeremiah from Jehovah, saying, —

13 Thus saith Jehovah, the God of Israel, — I made a covenant with your fathers in the day when I brought them from the land of Egypt, from the house of servants, saying, —

14 At the end of seven years ye shall let free every one his brother, and Hebrew, who had been sold to thee and served thee six years, yea, thou shalt let him depart free from thee; but your fathers hearkened not to me nor inclined their ear.

15 But ye have turned this day and have done what is right in mine eyes, by proclaiming liberty, every one to his neighbor, and ye have made a covenant before me in the house on which my name is called.

16 But ye have gone back and have profaned my name, and ye have remanded every one his servant and every one his maid, whom ye had set free to follow their own will, and forced them to be servants and maids.

17 Therefore, thus saith Jehovah, Ye have not hearkened to me in proclaiming liberty, every one to his brother and every one to his neighbor; behold, I proclaim as to you, saith Jehovah, liberty to the sword, to the pestilence, and to the famine; and I will give you for a commotion to all the kingdoms of the earth;

18 Yea, I will give the men who have transgressed my covenant, who have not confirmed the words of the covenant which they had made before me by the calf which they cut into two parts, and passed between its parts,

19 Even the princes of Judah and the princes of Jerusalem, the chiefs and the priests and all the people, who passed between the parts of the calf;

20 Yea, I will give them into the hand of their enemies and into the hand of those who seek their life; and their carcasses shall be food for the birds of the air and for the beasts of the earth;

21 And Zedekiah king of Judah and his princes will I give into the hand of their enemies, and into the hand of those who seek their life, even into the hand of the king of Babylon’s army, which have gone up from you.

22 Behold, I will command, saith Jehovah, and will make them to return to this city; and they shall take it and burn it with fire, and make the cities of Judah a waste without an inhabitant.

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