Jeremiah 34:8
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
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.

New Living Translation
This message came to Jeremiah from the LORD after King Zedekiah made a covenant with the people, proclaiming freedom for the slaves.

English Standard Version
The word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD, after King Zedekiah had made a covenant with all the people in Jerusalem to make a proclamation of liberty to them,

New American Standard Bible
The word which came to Jeremiah from the LORD after King Zedekiah had made a covenant with all the people who were in Jerusalem to proclaim release to them:

King James Bible
This is the word that came unto Jeremiah from the LORD, after that the king Zedekiah had made a covenant with all the people which were at Jerusalem, to proclaim liberty unto them;

Holman Christian Standard Bible
This is the word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD after King Zedekiah made a covenant with all the people who were in Jerusalem to proclaim freedom to them,

International Standard Version
This is this message from the LORD that came to Jeremiah from the LORD after Zedekiah had made a covenant with all the people in Jerusalem proclaiming release for them.

NET Bible
The LORD spoke to Jeremiah after King Zedekiah had made a covenant with all the people in Jerusalem to grant their slaves their freedom.

New Heart English Bible
The word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD, after that the king Zedekiah had made a covenant with all the people who were at Jerusalem, to proclaim liberty to them;

GOD'S WORD® Translation
The LORD spoke his word to Jeremiah after King Zedekiah and all the people in Jerusalem promised to free their slaves.

JPS Tanakh 1917
The word that came unto Jeremiah from the LORD, after that the king Zedekiah had made a covenant with all the people that were at Jerusalem, to proclaim liberty unto them;

New American Standard 1977
The word which came to Jeremiah from the LORD, after King Zedekiah had made a covenant with all the people who were in Jerusalem to proclaim release to them:

Jubilee Bible 2000
This is the word that came unto Jeremiah from the LORD after king Zedekiah had made a covenant with all the people which were at Jerusalem, to proclaim liberty unto them;

King James 2000 Bible
This is the word that came unto Jeremiah from the LORD, after the king Zedekiah had made a covenant with all the people who were at Jerusalem, to proclaim liberty unto them;

American King James Version
This is the word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD, after that the king Zedekiah had made a covenant with all the people which were at Jerusalem, to proclaim liberty to them;

American Standard Version
The word that came unto Jeremiah from Jehovah, after that the king Zedekiah had made a covenant with all the people that were at Jerusalem, to proclaim liberty unto them;

Douay-Rheims Bible
The word that came to Jeremias from the Lord, after that king Sedecias had made a covenant with all the people in Jerusalem making a proclamation:

Darby Bible Translation
The word that came unto Jeremiah from Jehovah, after that king Zedekiah had made a covenant with all the people that were at Jerusalem, to proclaim liberty unto them:

English Revised Version
The word that came unto Jeremiah from the LORD, after that the king Zedekiah had made a covenant with all the people which were at Jerusalem, to proclaim liberty unto them;

Webster's Bible Translation
This is the word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD, after king Zedekiah had made a covenant with all the people who were at Jerusalem, to proclaim liberty to them;

World English Bible
The word that came to Jeremiah from Yahweh, after that the king Zedekiah had made a covenant with all the people who were at Jerusalem, to proclaim liberty to them;

Young's Literal Translation
The word that hath been unto Jeremiah from Jehovah, after the making by the king Zedekiah of a covenant with all the people who are in Jerusalem, to proclaim to them liberty,
Study Bible
Freedom for Hebrew Slaves
7when the army of the king of Babylon was fighting against Jerusalem and against all the remaining cities of Judah, that is, Lachish and Azekah, for they alone remained as fortified cities among the cities of Judah. 8The word which came to Jeremiah from the LORD after King Zedekiah had made a covenant with all the people who were in Jerusalem to proclaim release to them: 9that each man should set free his male servant and each man his female servant, a Hebrew man or a Hebrew woman; so that no one should keep them, a Jew his brother, in bondage.…
Cross References
Exodus 21:2
"If you buy a Hebrew slave, he shall serve for six years; but on the seventh he shall go out as a free man without payment.

Leviticus 25:10
'You shall thus consecrate the fiftieth year and proclaim a release through the land to all its inhabitants. It shall be a jubilee for you, and each of you shall return to his own property, and each of you shall return to his family.

Leviticus 25:39
'If a countryman of yours becomes so poor with regard to you that he sells himself to you, you shall not subject him to a slave's service.

2 Kings 11:17
Then Jehoiada made a covenant between the LORD and the king and the people, that they would be the LORD'S people, also between the king and the people.

2 Kings 23:2
The king went up to the house of the LORD and all the men of Judah and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem with him, and the priests and the prophets and all the people, both small and great; and he read in their hearing all the words of the book of the covenant which was found in the house of the LORD.

2 Kings 23:3
The king stood by the pillar and made a covenant before the LORD, to walk after the LORD, and to keep His commandments and His testimonies and His statutes with all his heart and all his soul, to carry out the words of this covenant that were written in this book. And all the people entered into the covenant.

Nehemiah 5:1
Now there was a great outcry of the people and of their wives against their Jewish brothers.

Isaiah 58:6
"Is this not the fast which I choose, To loosen the bonds of wickedness, To undo the bands of the yoke, And to let the oppressed go free And break every yoke?

Jeremiah 34:14
"At the end of seven years each of you shall set free his Hebrew brother who has been sold to you and has served you six years, you shall send him out free from you; but your forefathers did not obey Me or incline their ear to Me.

Jeremiah 34:15
"Although recently you had turned and done what is right in My sight, each man proclaiming release to his neighbor, and you had made a covenant before Me in the house which is called by My name.
Treasury of Scripture

This is the word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD, after that the king Zedekiah had made a covenant with all the people which were at Jerusalem, to proclaim liberty to them;

had.

2 Kings 11:17 And Jehoiada made a covenant between the LORD and the king and the …

2 Kings 23:2,3 And the king went up into the house of the LORD, and all the men …

2 Chronicles 15:12-15 And they entered into a covenant to seek the LORD God of their fathers …

2 Chronicles 23:16 And Jehoiada made a covenant between him, and between all the people, …

2 Chronicles 29:10 Now it is in my heart to make a covenant with the LORD God of Israel, …

2 Chronicles 34:30-33 And the king went up into the house of the LORD, and all the men …

Nehemiah 9:38 And because of all this we make a sure covenant, and write it; and …

Nehemiah 10:1 Now those that sealed were, Nehemiah, the Tirshatha, the son of Hachaliah, …

to proclaim.

Jeremiah 34:14,17 At the end of seven years let you go every man his brother an Hebrew, …

Exodus 21:2-4 If you buy an Hebrew servant, six years he shall serve: and in the …

Exodus 23:10,11 And six years you shall sow your land, and shall gather in the fruits thereof…

Leviticus 25:10,39-46 And you shall hallow the fiftieth year, and proclaim liberty throughout …

Deuteronomy 15:12 And if your brother, an Hebrew man, or an Hebrew woman, be sold to …

Nehemiah 5:1-13 And there was a great cry of the people and of their wives against …

Isaiah 61:1 The Spirit of the Lord GOD is on me; because the LORD has anointed …

(8) After that the king Zedekiah had made a covenant . . .--The remainder of the chapter brings before us an historical episode of considerable interest. The law of Moses did not allow in the case of a free-born Hebrew more than a temporary bondage of seven years (Exodus 21:2; Deuteronomy 15:12-18), extended (but under the form of serfage rather than slavery) in the later regulations of Leviticus 25:39-40 to the time that might intervene between the date of purchase and the commencement of the next year of jubilee. In 2Kings 4:1 we have an instance of the working of the law, as bringing even the sons of a prophet into this modified slavery. Only if the man preferred his state as a slave to the risks of freedom could his master retain him after the appointed limit (Exodus 21:5-6). The law had apparently fallen into disuse, and the nobles of Judah, like those of Athens before Solon, and Rome before the institution of the Tribunate, had used the law of debt to bring a large number of their fellow citizens into slavery, just as their successors did after the return from Babylon (Nehemiah 5:5). Under the pressure of the danger from the Chaldan invasion, and that he might have the ready service of freemen instead of the forced work of slaves, perhaps also in consequence of the revival of the law, that followed on its discovery, probably in the form of the Book of Deuteronomy, in the days of Josiah (2Kings 22:8), Zedekiah had been led to promise freedom to all the slave population of this class that were within the walls of Jerusalem, either as a celebration of a Sabbatic year, or jubilee, or, irrespective of any such observance, as a reparation for past neglect. The step was probably not without its influence in giving fresh energy to the defenders of the city. The Chaldans, threatened by the approach of an Egyptian army (Jeremiah 37:5), raised the siege (Jeremiah 34:21). When the danger was past, however, the princes who had agreed to the emancipation returned to their old policy of oppression (Jeremiah 34:11), and those who had been liberated were brought under a bondage all the more bitter for the temporary taste of freedom. Against this perfidious tyranny the prophet, stirred by "the word of the Lord," bears his protests. His sympathies, like those of true prophets at all times, were with the poor and the oppressed. The phrase "proclaim liberty" was closely connected with the year of jubilee, as in Leviticus 25:10, Isaiah 61:1.

Verse 8. - A covenant. The scene of this "covenant" was the temple (veto. 15, 18). Solemn agreements of this kind were not uncommon (comp. 2 Chronicles 15:12; 2 Kings 11:17; 2 Kings 23:3; Nehemiah 10.). To proclaim liberty unto them. The phrase, a very peculiar one, is taken from the law of jubilee (Leviticus 25:10), though the prescription on which the covenant was based refers exclusively to the seventh year of the slave's servitude. This is the word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord,.... Here begins a new prophecy, which was delivered some time after the former; that was given out while the king of Babylon was besieging Jerusalem; this after he had quitted the siege for a while, and was gone to meet the king of Egypt, who was coming to the relief of the city, as appears from Jeremiah 34:21; though the Jews (k) say this was delivered in the seventh year of Zedekiah, in the first month, and tenth day of the month; at the same time that the elders of Israel came to Ezekiel, to inquire of the Lord by him, Ezekiel 20:1; which was two years before the king of Babylon came against Jerusalem; but this seems not likely. It is said to be

after that the King Zedekiah made a covenant with all the people that were at Jerusalem, to proclaim liberty unto them; not unto the people, or to themselves, the king and the people; unless the sense is, that the king and the people entered into an agreement among themselves to make proclamation, that liberty would be granted by them to their servants; for the liberty proclaimed was to the servants, and not to them. This seems to confirm it, that it was while the city was besieged that this covenant was made; since it was made only with the people at Jerusalem, which were pent up in it; for otherwise it would in all probability have been made with all the people of the land; and seems to have been done with this view, to obtain this favour of the Lord, that they might gain their freedom from the enemy, and come not under the yoke and into the servitude of the king of Babylon: and very probable it is that they did not do this of their own accord, but were exhorted to it by Jeremiah; who perhaps, among other sins, had reproved them for the breach of the law respecting the liberty of servants.

(k) Seder Olam Rabba, c. 26. p. 74. 8. By the law a Hebrew, after having been a bond-servant for six years, on the seventh was to be let go free (Ex 21:22; De 15:12).

Zedekiah made a covenant—with solemn ceremonial in the temple (Jer 34:15, 18, 19).

them—bond-servants (Jer 34:9).34:8-22 A Jew should not be held in servitude above seven years. This law they and their fathers had broken. And when there was some hope that the siege was raised, they forced the servants they had released into their services again. Those who think to cheat God by dissembled repentance and partial reformation, put the greatest cheat upon their own souls. This shows that liberty to sin, is really only liberty to have the sorest judgments. It is just with God to disappoint expectations of mercy, when we disappoint the expectations of duty. And when reformation springs only from terror, it is seldom lasting. Solemn vows thus entered into, profane the ordinances of God; and the most forward to bind themselves by appeals to God, are commonly most ready to break them. Let us look to our hearts, that our repentance may be real, and take care that the law of God regulates our conduct.
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