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Jeremiah 34:8

    Jeremiah 34:8 Translations

    King James Version (KJV)

    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;

    American King James Version (AKJV)

    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 (ASV)

    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;

    Basic English Translation (BBE)

    The word which came to Jeremiah from the Lord, after King Zedekiah had made an agreement with all the people in Jerusalem, to give news in public that servants were to be made free;

    Webster's Revision

    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;

    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;

    English Revised Version (ERV)

    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;

    Clarke's Commentary on Jeremiah 34:8

    The word that came unto Jeremiah - Here the second discourse begins, which was delivered probably a short time, even a few days, after the former.

    Zedekiah had made a covenant - We find no account elsewhere of this covenant: "Every man should let his man-servant and his maid-servant go free;" i.e., as we learn from Jeremiah 34:14, on the sabbatical year; for the seventh year was the year of release. See Deuteronomy 15:12.

    Barnes' Notes on Jeremiah 34:8

    It is usual with commentators to say that, the laws dealing with the emancipation of the Hebrew slaves, as also that of the land resting during the sabbatical year, were not observed. The narrative teaches us the exact contrary. The manumission of the slaves on the present occasion was the spontaneous act of Zedekiah and the people. They knew of the law, and acknowledged its obligation. The observance of it was, no doubt, lax: the majority let their own selfish interests prevail; but the minority made might give way to right, and Zedekiah supported their efforts though only in a weak way.

    Early in January, in the ninth year of Zedekiah, the Chaldaean army approached Jerusalem. The people made a covenant with the king, who appears as the abettor of the measure, to let their slaves go free. Possibly patriotism had its share in this: and as Jerusalem was strongly fortified, all classes possibly hoped that if the slaves were manumitted, they too would labor with a more hearty good-will in resisting the enemy. In the summer of the same year the Egyptians advanced to the rescue, and Nebuchadnezzar withdrew to meet their attack. The Jews with a strange levity, which sets them before us in a most despicable light, at once forced the manumitted slaves back into bondage. With noble indignation Jeremiah rebukes them for their treachery, assures them that the Chaldaean army will return, and warns them of the certainty of the punishment which they so richly merited.

    Jeremiah 34:8

    As the Chaldaean army swept over the country the wealthier classes would all flee to Jerusalem, taking with them their households. And as the Mosaic Law was probably more carefully kept there than in the country, the presence in these families of slaves who had grown grey in service may have given offence to the stricter classes at the capital.

    To proclaim liberty unto them - The words are those of the proclamation of the year of jubile to the people, whereupon it became their duty to set their slaves free.