¶ These are the words which the LORD spake unto Ieremy, what time as Nabuchodonosor the king of Babylon, and all his Hosts (out of all the kingdoms that were under his power) and all his people, fought against Ierusalem, and all the cities thereof. Thus sayeth the LORD God of Israel: Go, and speak to Zedekiah the king of Iudah, and tell him: The LORD sendeth thee this word: Behold, I will deliver this city in to the hand of the king of Babylon, he shall burn it, and thou shalt not escape his hands, but shalt be led away prisoner, and delivered into his power. Thou shalt look the king of Babylon in the face and he shall speak with thee mouth to mouth, and then shalt thou go to Babylon. Yet hear the word of the LORD, O Zedekiah thou king of Iudah: Thus sayeth the LORD unto thee: Thou shalt not be slain with the sword, but shalt die in peace. Like as thy forefathers the kings, thy progenitors, were brent: so shalt thou be brent also, and in the mourning they shall say: Oh lord. For thus have I determined, sayeth the LORD. Then spake Ieremy the prophet all these words unto Sedekiah king of Iudah in Ierusalem: what time as the king of Babylon's host besieged Ierusalem, and the remnant of the cities: Namely, Lachis and Azecah, which yet remained of the strong defended cities of Iudah.
¶ These are the words that the LORD spake unto Ieremy the prophet, when Sedekiah was agreed with all the people at Ierusalem, that there should be proclaimed a liberty: so that every man should let his servant and handmaid go free, Hebrue and Hebruess, and no Iew to hold his brother as a bond man. Now as they had consented, even so they were obedient, and let them go free. But afterward they repented, and took again the servants and the hand maidens, whom they had let go free, and so made them bond again. For the which cause the word of the LORD came unto Ieremy from the LORD himself, saying: Thus sayeth the LORD God of Israel: I made a covenant with your fathers, when I brought them out of Egypt, (that they should no more be bondmen) saying: When seven years are out, every man shall let his bought servant an Hebrue go free, if he have served him six years. But your fathers obeyed me not and hearkened not unto me. As for you, ye were now turned, and did right before me, in that ye proclaimed, every man to let his neighbour go free, and in that ye made a covenant before me, in the temple that beareth my name: But yet ye have turned yourselves again, and blasphemed my name: In this, that every man hath required his servant and handmaid again, whom ye had letten go quite and free, and compelled them to serve you again, and to be your bond men. And therefore thus sayeth the LORD: Ye have not obeyed me, every man to proclaim freedom unto his brother and neighbour: wherefore, I will call you unto a freedom, sayeth the LORD: even unto the sword, to the pestilence, and to hunger, and will make you to be plagued in all the kingdoms of the earth. Yea those men that have broken my covenant, and not kept the words of the appointment, which they made before me: when they hewed the calf in two, and when there went thorow the two halves thereof: The princes of Iudah, the princes of Ierusalem, the gelded men, the Priests and all the people of the land, which went thorow the two sides of the calf. Those men will I give into the power of their enemies, and in to the hands of them that follow upon their lives. And their dead bodies shall be meat for the fowls of the air, and beasts of the field. As for Zedekiah the king of Iudah and his princes, I will deliver them into the power of their enemies, and of them that desire to slay them, and into the hand of the king of Babylon's host, which now is departed from you. But thorow my commandment (sayeth the LORD) they shall come again before this city, they shall fight against it, win it, and burn it. Moreover I will lay the cities of Iudah so waste, that no man shall dwell therein.