Jeremiah 34
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1  The word which came unto Yirmiyahu from Hashem, when Nevuchadretzar king of Bavel, and all his army, and all the kingdoms of the land of his dominion, and all the peoples, fought against Yerushalayim, and against all the cities thereof, saying:

א  הַדָּבָר אֲשֶׁר הָיָה אֶל יִרְמְיָהוּ מֵאֵת יְהוָה וּנְבוּכַדְרֶאצַּר מֶלֶךְ בָּבֶל וְכָל חֵילוֹ וְכָל מַמְלְכוֹת אֶרֶץ מֶמְשֶׁלֶת יָדוֹ וְכָל הָעַמִּים נִלְחָמִים עַל יְרוּשָׁלִַם וְעַל כָּל עָרֶיהָ לֵאמֹר.

2  Thus saith Hashem, the God of Yisrael: Go, and speak to Tzidkiyahu king of Yehudah, and tell him: Thus saith Hashem: Behold, I will give this city into the hand of the king of Bavel, and he shall burn it with fire;

ב  כֹּה אָמַר יְהוָה אֱלֹהֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל הָלֹךְ וְאָמַרְתָּ אֶל צִדְקִיָּהוּ מֶלֶךְ יְהוּדָה וְאָמַרְתָּ אֵלָיו כֹּה אָמַר יְהוָה הִנְנִי נֹתֵן אֶת הָעִיר הַזֹּאת בְּיַד מֶלֶךְ בָּבֶל וּשְׂרָפָהּ בָּאֵשׁ.

3  and thou shalt not escape out of his hand, but shalt surely be taken, and delivered into his hand; and thine eyes shall behold the eyes of the king of Bavel, and he shall speak with thee mouth to mouth, and thou shalt go to Bavel.

ג  וְאַתָּה לֹא תִמָּלֵט מִיָּדוֹ כִּי תָּפֹשׂ תִּתָּפֵשׂ וּבְיָדוֹ תִּנָּתֵן וְעֵינֶיךָ אֶת עֵינֵי מֶלֶךְ בָּבֶל תִּרְאֶינָה וּפִיהוּ אֶת פִּיךָ יְדַבֵּר וּבָבֶל תָּבוֹא.

4  Yet hear the word of Hashem, O Tzidkiyahu king of Yehudah: Thus saith Hashem concerning thee: Thou shalt not die by the sword;

ד  אַךְ שְׁמַע דְּבַר יְהוָה צִדְקִיָּהוּ מֶלֶךְ יְהוּדָה כֹּה אָמַר יְהוָה עָלֶיךָ לֹא תָמוּת בֶּחָרֶב.

5  thou shalt die in peace; and with the burnings of thy fathers, the former kings that were before thee, so shall they make a burning for thee; and they shall lament thee: ‘Ah lord!’ for I have spoken the word, saith Hashem.

ה  בְּשָׁלוֹם תָּמוּת וּכְמִשְׂרְפוֹת אֲבוֹתֶיךָ הַמְּלָכִים הָרִאשֹׁנִים אֲשֶׁר הָיוּ לְפָנֶיךָ כֵּן יִשְׂרְפוּ לָךְ וְהוֹי אָדוֹן יִסְפְּדוּ לָךְ כִּי דָבָר אֲנִי דִבַּרְתִּי נְאֻם יְהוָה.

6  Then Yirmiyahu the navi spoke all these words unto Tzidkiyahu king of Yehudah in Yerushalayim,

ו  וַיְדַבֵּר יִרְמְיָהוּ הַנָּבִיא אֶל צִדְקִיָּהוּ מֶלֶךְ יְהוּדָה אֵת כָּל הַדְּבָרִים הָאֵלֶּה בִּירוּשָׁלִָם.

7  when the king of Bavels army fought against Yerushalayim, and against all the cities of Yehudah that were left, against Lachish and against Azekah; for these alone remained of the cities of Yehudah as fortified cities.

ז  וְחֵיל מֶלֶךְ בָּבֶל נִלְחָמִים עַל יְרוּשָׁלִַם וְעַל כָּל עָרֵי יְהוּדָה הַנּוֹתָרוֹת אֶל לָכִישׁ וְאֶל עֲזֵקָה כִּי הֵנָּה נִשְׁאֲרוּ בְּעָרֵי יְהוּדָה עָרֵי מִבְצָר.

8  The word that came unto Yirmiyahu from Hashem, after that the king Tzidkiyahu had made a covenant with all the people that were at Yerushalayim, to proclaim liberty unto them;

ח  הַדָּבָר אֲשֶׁר הָיָה אֶל יִרְמְיָהוּ מֵאֵת יְהוָה אַחֲרֵי כְּרֹת הַמֶּלֶךְ צִדְקִיָּהוּ בְּרִית אֶת כָּל הָעָם אֲשֶׁר בִּירוּשָׁלִַם לִקְרֹא לָהֶם דְּרוֹר.

9  that every man should let his manservant, and every man his maidservant, being a Hebrew man or a Hebrew woman, go free; that none should make bondmen of them, even of a Jew his brother;

ט  לְשַׁלַּח אִישׁ אֶת עַבְדּוֹ וְאִישׁ אֶת שִׁפְחָתוֹ הָעִבְרִי וְהָעִבְרִיָּה חָפְשִׁים לְבִלְתִּי עֲבָד בָּם בִּיהוּדִי אָחִיהוּ אִישׁ.

10  and all the princes and all the people hearkened, that had entered into the covenant to let every one his man-servant, and every one his maid-servant, go free, and not to make bondmen of them any more; they hearkened, and let them go;

י  וַיִּשְׁמְעוּ כָל הַשָּׂרִים וְכָל הָעָם אֲשֶׁר בָּאוּ בַבְּרִית לְשַׁלַּח אִישׁ אֶת עַבְדּוֹ וְאִישׁ אֶת שִׁפְחָתוֹ חָפְשִׁים לְבִלְתִּי עֲבָד בָּם עוֹד וַיִּשְׁמְעוּ וַיְשַׁלֵּחוּ.

11  but afterwards they turned, and caused the servants and the handmaids, whom they had let go free, to return, and brought them into subjection for servants and for handmaids;

יא  וַיָּשׁוּבוּ אַחֲרֵי כֵן וַיָּשִׁבוּ אֶת הָעֲבָדִים וְאֶת הַשְּׁפָחוֹת אֲשֶׁר שִׁלְּחוּ חָפְשִׁים ויכבישום (וַיִּכְבְּשׁוּם) לַעֲבָדִים וְלִשְׁפָחוֹת.

12  therefore the word of Hashem came to Yirmiyahu from Hashem, saying:

יב  וַיְהִי דְבַר יְהוָה אֶל יִרְמְיָהוּ מֵאֵת יְהוָה לֵאמֹר.

13  Thus saith Hashem, the God of Yisrael: I made a covenant with your fathers in the day that I brought them forth out of the land of Mitzrayim, out of the house of bondage, saying:

יג  כֹּה אָמַר יְהוָה אֱלֹהֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל אָנֹכִי כָּרַתִּי בְרִית אֶת אֲבוֹתֵיכֶם בְּיוֹם הוֹצִאִי אוֹתָם מֵאֶרֶץ מִצְרַיִם מִבֵּית עֲבָדִים לֵאמֹר.

14  ‘At the end of seven years ye shall let go every man his brother that is a Hebrew, that hath been sold unto thee, and hath served thee six years, thou shalt let him go free from thee’; but your fathers hearkened not unto Me, neither inclined their ear.

יד  מִקֵּץ שֶׁבַע שָׁנִים תְּשַׁלְּחוּ אִישׁ אֶת אָחִיו הָעִבְרִי אֲשֶׁר יִמָּכֵר לְךָ וַעֲבָדְךָ שֵׁשׁ שָׁנִים וְשִׁלַּחְתּוֹ חָפְשִׁי מֵעִמָּךְ וְלֹא שָׁמְעוּ אֲבוֹתֵיכֶם אֵלַי וְלֹא הִטּוּ אֶת אָזְנָם.

15  And ye were now turned, and had done that which is right in Mine eyes, in proclaiming liberty every man to his neighbour; and ye had made a covenant before Me in the house whereon My name is called;

טו  וַתָּשֻׁבוּ אַתֶּם הַיּוֹם וַתַּעֲשׂוּ אֶת הַיָּשָׁר בְּעֵינַי לִקְרֹא דְרוֹר אִיש לְרֵעֵהוּ וַתִּכְרְתוּ בְרִית לְפָנַי בַּבַּיִת אֲשֶׁר נִקְרָא שְׁמִי עָלָיו.

16  but ye turned and profaned My name, and caused every man his servant, and every man his handmaid, whom ye had let go free at their pleasure, to return; and ye brought them into subjection, to be unto you for servants and for handmaids.

טז  וַתָּשֻׁבוּ וַתְּחַלְּלוּ אֶת שְׁמִי וַתָּשִׁבוּ אִישׁ אֶת עַבְדּוֹ וְאִישׁ אֶת שִׁפְחָתוֹ אֲשֶׁר שִׁלַּחְתֶּם חָפְשִׁים לְנַפְשָׁם וַתִּכְבְּשׁוּ אֹתָם לִהְיוֹת לָכֶם לַעֲבָדִים וְלִשְׁפָחוֹת.

17  Therefore thus saith Hashem: Ye have not hearkened unto Me, to proclaim liberty, every man to his brother, and every man to his neighbour; behold, I proclaim for you a liberty, saith Hashem, unto the sword, unto the pestilence, and unto the famine; and I will make you a horror unto all the kingdoms of the earth.

la-KHAYN koh a-MAR a-do-NAI a-TEM lo sh’-ma-TEM ay-LAI lik-RO d’-ROR eesh l’-a-KHEEV v’-EESH l’-ray-AY-hu hi-n’-NEE ko-RAY la-KHEM d’-ROR n’-UM a-do-NAI el ha-KHE-rev el ha-DE-ver v’-EL ha-ra-AV v’-na-ta-TEE et-KHEM l’-za-a-VAH l’-KHOL mam-l’-KHOT ha-A-retz

יז  לָכֵן כֹּה אָמַר יְהוָה אַתֶּם לֹא שְׁמַעְתֶּם אֵלַי לִקְרֹא דְרוֹר אִישׁ לְאָחִיו וְאִישׁ לְרֵעֵהוּ הִנְנִי קֹרֵא לָכֶם דְּרוֹר נְאֻם יְהוָה אֶל הַחֶרֶב אֶל הַדֶּבֶר וְאֶל הָרָעָב וְנָתַתִּי אֶתְכֶם לזועה (לְזַעֲוָה) לְכֹל מַמְלְכוֹת הָאָרֶץ.

34:17   Ye have not hearkened unto Me, to proclaim liberty 

With the Babylonian onslaught, the nobility and landowners made a covenant with the people to release all the slaves and workers from their servitude. Once the threat temporarily receded, they then reneged on their promise and re-enslaved the poor workers. God declares that this injustice is intolerable. He freed the Jewish people from Egyptian servitude so that they would dwell as a free nation in the Land of Israel. However, should they begin to enslave others, He will give the nations of the world the freedom to strike, and they will become slaves to foreigners once more. 

Comment

18  And I will give the men that have transgressed My covenant, that have not performed the words of the covenant which they made before Me, when they cut the calf in twain and passed between the parts thereof;

יח  וְנָתַתִּי אֶת הָאֲנָשִׁים הָעֹבְרִים אֶת בְּרִתִי אֲשֶׁר לֹא הֵקִימוּ אֶת דִּבְרֵי הַבְּרִית אֲשֶׁר כָּרְתוּ לְפָנָי הָעֵגֶל אֲשֶׁר כָּרְתוּ לִשְׁנַיִם וַיַּעַבְרוּ בֵּין בְּתָרָיו.

19  the princes of Yehudah, and the princes of Yerushalayim, the officers, and the Kohanim, and all the people of the land, that passed between the parts of the calf;

יט  שָׂרֵי יְהוּדָה וְשָׂרֵי יְרוּשָׁלִַם הַסָּרִסִים וְהַכֹּהֲנִים וְכֹל עַם הָאָרֶץ הָעֹבְרִים בֵּין בִּתְרֵי הָעֵגֶל.

20  I will even give them into the hand of their enemies, and into the hand of them that seek their life; and their dead bodies shall be for food unto the fowls of the heaven, and to the beasts of the earth.

כ  וְנָתַתִּי אוֹתָם בְּיַד אֹיְבֵיהֶם וּבְיַד מְבַקְשֵׁי נַפְשָׁם וְהָיְתָה נִבְלָתָם לְמַאֲכָל לְעוֹף הַשָּׁמַיִם וּלְבֶהֱמַת הָאָרֶץ.

21  And Tzidkiyahu king of Yehudah 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 Bavels army, that are gone up from you.

כא  וְאֶת צִדְקִיָּהוּ מֶלֶךְ יְהוּדָה וְאֶת שָׂרָיו אֶתֵּן בְּיַד אֹיְבֵיהֶם וּבְיַד מְבַקְשֵׁי נַפְשָׁם וּבְיַד חֵיל מֶלֶךְ בָּבֶל הָעֹלִים מֵעֲלֵיכֶם.

22  Behold, I will command, saith Hashem, 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 Yehudah a desolation, without inhabitant.

כב  הִנְנִי מְצַוֶּה נְאֻם יְהוָה וַהֲשִׁבֹתִים אֶל הָעִיר הַזֹּאת וְנִלְחֲמוּ עָלֶיהָ וּלְכָדוּהָ וּשְׂרָפֻהָ בָאֵשׁ וְאֶת עָרֵי יְהוּדָה אֶתֵּן שְׁמָמָה מֵאֵין יֹשֵׁב.

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Jeremiah 33
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Jeremiah 34