THE BOOK OF THE PROPHET
Jeremiah 34 ©
God causes it to be told to king Zedekiah by the prophet what shall befall Jerusalem, and his own person, and what end he shall have, v. 1, etc. And for as much as the people by a solemn covenant had set at liberty all servants according to the law, but afterward, when the Babylonians were departed from the city, and had left the siege, brought them again into bondage, God foretells them that He will cause the enemy to come again to destroy Jerusalem and all the land, and in a special manner to punish those covenant breakers, 8.
THE word which came unto Jeremiah from the LORD, whena1Nebuchadnezzar 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 burnb it with fire:
And thou shalt not escape out of his hand, but shalt 2surely be taken,c and delivered into his hand; and thine 3eyes 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, 4Thou shalt not die by the sword:
But thou shalt die in peace: and 5with 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, 6Ah lord! for I have pronounced the word, saith the LORD.
Then Jeremiah the prophet spake all these words unto Zedekiah king of Judah in Jerusalem,
7When the king of Babylon's army fought against Jerusalem, and against all the cities of Judah that were left, against 8Lachish, and against 9Azekah: for these 10defenced cities remained of the cities of Judah.
¶This is the word that came unto Jeremiah from the LORD, after that the king Zedekiah had 11made a covenant with 12all the people which were at Jerusalem, to proclaim libertyd13unto them;
That every man should let his manservant, and every man his maidservant, being an Hebrew or an Hebrewess, go free; that none should 14serve himself of them, to wit, of a Jew his brother.
Now when all the princes, and all the people, which had entered into the covenant, 15heard that every one should let his manservant, and every one his maidservant, go free, that none should serve themselves of 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 16return, 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 17house of bondmen, saying,
Ate the end of seven years let ye go every man his brother an Hebrew, which hath been 18sold 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 were now 19turned, 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 20by my name:
But ye turned and polluted my 21name, and caused every man his servant, and every man his handmaid, whom ye had set at liberty at their 22pleasure, to 23return, 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 neighbour: behold, I proclaim a 24liberty for you, saith the LORD, to the sword, to the pestilence, and to the famine; and I will make you to be 25removedf into all the kingdoms of the earth.
And I will give the men that have transgressed my covenant, which have not 26performed the words of the covenant which they had made before me, 27when they cut the calf in 28twain, and passed between the parts thereof,
The princes of Judah, and the princes of Jerusalem, the 29eunuchs, and the priests, and all the people of the land, which 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 30life: and their 31deadg 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 are gone up 32fromh you.
Behold, I will 33command, 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.