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Jeremiah 34 Tree of Life Version (TLV)

Warning to Zedekiah

34 The word which came to Jeremiah from Adonai, when King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon and all his army, and all the kingdoms of the earth of his dominion and all the peoples were warring against Jerusalem and its towns, saying, thus says Adonai, the God of Israel: “Go, speak to King Zedekiah of Judah and tell him, thus says Adonai: ‘I am about to give this city into the hand of the king of Babylon, and he will burn it with fire, and you will not escape out of his hand, but will surely be captured and given into his hand. Your eyes will behold the eyes of the king of Babylon, and he will speak with you mouth to mouth, and you will go to Babylon.”

Yet hear the word of Adonai, O Zedekiah king of Judah, thus says Adonai concerning you: “You will not die by the sword; you will die in peace. As there were burning ceremonies for your fathers, the former kings who were before you, so they will burn spices for you, and they will lament for you: ‘Oy, lord!’ For it is a word I have spoken,” declares Adonai.

Covenant Breaking With Slaves

Then the prophet Jeremiah spoke all these words to King Zedekiah of Judah in Jerusalem, when the army of the king of Babylon was warring against Jerusalem and against all the cities of Judah that were left—against Lachish and against Azekah, for these alone remained of the cities of Judah as fortified cities. The word that came to Jeremiah from Adonai, after King Zedekiah had made a covenant with all the people that were at Jerusalem, to proclaim liberty to them, so that everyone should let his manservant and his maidservant—Hebrew man or Hebrew woman—go free, so that no one should make a slave of a Jew, his brother. 10 So all the princes and all the people obeyed, who had entered into the covenant, that everyone would free his manservant and his maidservant and not make them slaves any more—they obeyed, and freed them. 11 But afterward they turned around and made the servants and the handmaids, whom they had let go free, return, and brought them back into subjection as servants and as handmaids.”

12 So the word of Adonai came to Jeremiah from Adonai, saying, 13 thus says Adonai, the God of Israel: “I made a covenant with your fathers in the day that I brought them out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage, saying: 14 ‘At the end of seven years you are to set free every man his brother that is a Hebrew who has been sold to you and has served you six years; you are let him go free from you.’ But your fathers did not obey Me, nor inclined their ear. 15 Now you had repented, and had done that which is right in My eyes, by proclaiming liberty everyone to his neighbor. You even had made a covenant before Me in the House where My Name is called. 16 But you turned around and profaned My Name, and made everyone his servant and his handmaid, whom you had let go free at their will, return, and you brought them back into subjection, to be your servants and handmaids.”

17 Therefore thus says Adonai: “You have not obeyed Me, to proclaim liberty, everyone to his brother and everyone to his neighbor. Behold, I proclaim for you a liberty,” declares Adonai, “to the sword, to plague and to famine! So I will make you a horror to all the kingdoms of the earth. 18 I will give the men who have transgressed My covenant, who have not performed the words of the covenant which they made before Me, when they cut the calf in two and passed between its parts 19 —the princes of Judah and the princes of Jerusalem, the officers, the kohanim, and all the people of the land who passed between the parts of the calf— 20 I will even give them into the hand of their enemies and into the hand of them who seek their life, and their dead bodies will be for food to the birds of the sky and to the beasts of the earth. 21 King Zedekiah of Judah and his princes I will give into the hand of their enemies and into the hand of them who seek their life, and into the hand of the king of Babylon’s army, who were withdrawing from you. 22 Indeed, I will command,” declares Adonai, “and cause them to return to this city. They will fight against it, capture it, and burn it down with fire; and I will make the cities of Judah a wasteland, with no one living.”

Tree of Life Version (TLV)

Tree of Life (TLV) Translation of the Bible. Copyright © 2015 by The Messianic Jewish Family Bible Society.

Jeremiah 34 New International Version (NIV)

Warning to Zedekiah

34 While Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon and all his army and all the kingdoms and peoples in the empire he ruled were fighting against Jerusalem and all its surrounding towns, this word came to Jeremiah from the Lord: “This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: Go to Zedekiah king of Judah and tell him, ‘This is what the Lord says: I am about to give this city into the hands of the king of Babylon, and he will burn it down. You will not escape from his grasp but will surely be captured and given into his hands. You will see the king of Babylon with your own eyes, and he will speak with you face to face. And you will go to Babylon.

“‘Yet hear the Lord’s promise to you, Zedekiah king of Judah. This is what the Lord says concerning you: You will not die by the sword; you will die peacefully. As people made a funeral fire in honor of your predecessors, the kings who ruled before you, so they will make a fire in your honor and lament, “Alas, master!” I myself make this promise, declares the Lord.’”

Then Jeremiah the prophet told all this to Zedekiah king of Judah, in Jerusalem, while the army of the king of Babylon was fighting against Jerusalem and the other cities of Judah that were still holding out—Lachish and Azekah. These were the only fortified cities left in Judah.

Freedom for Slaves

The word came to Jeremiah from the Lord after King Zedekiah had made a covenant with all the people in Jerusalem to proclaim freedom for the slaves. Everyone was to free their Hebrew slaves, both male and female; no one was to hold a fellow Hebrew in bondage. 10 So all the officials and people who entered into this covenant agreed that they would free their male and female slaves and no longer hold them in bondage. They agreed, and set them free. 11 But afterward they changed their minds and took back the slaves they had freed and enslaved them again.

12 Then the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah: 13 “This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: I made a covenant with your ancestors when I brought them out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. I said, 14 ‘Every seventh year each of you must free any fellow Hebrews who have sold themselves to you. After they have served you six years, you must let them go free.’[a] Your ancestors, however, did not listen to me or pay attention to me. 15 Recently you repented and did what is right in my sight: Each of you proclaimed freedom to your own people. You even made a covenant before me in the house that bears my Name. 16 But now you have turned around and profaned my name; each of you has taken back the male and female slaves you had set free to go where they wished. You have forced them to become your slaves again.

17 “Therefore this is what the Lord says: You have not obeyed me; you have not proclaimed freedom to your own people. So I now proclaim ‘freedom’ for you, declares the Lord—‘freedom’ to fall by the sword, plague and famine. I will make you abhorrent to all the kingdoms of the earth. 18 Those who have violated my covenant and have not fulfilled the terms of the covenant they made before me, I will treat like the calf they cut in two and then walked between its pieces. 19 The leaders of Judah and Jerusalem, the court officials, the priests and all the people of the land who walked between the pieces of the calf, 20 I will deliver into the hands of their enemies who want to kill them. Their dead bodies will become food for the birds and the wild animals.

21 “I will deliver Zedekiah king of Judah and his officials into the hands of their enemies who want to kill them, to the army of the king of Babylon, which has withdrawn from you. 22 I am going to give the order, declares the Lord, and I will bring them back to this city. They will fight against it, take it and burn it down. And I will lay waste the towns of Judah so no one can live there.”

Footnotes:

  1. Jeremiah 34:14 Deut. 15:12
New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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