Jeremiah 34 A Curse Upon The Covenantal Apostates.
The LORD sent Jeremiah with a word for Zedekiah king of Judah, that even as Nebuchadnezzar closed in on the city of Jerusalem, it would be given to him and he would burn it down (vv. 1-2), and Zedekiah would go into captivity (v. 3). He would not die by the sword, but in peace, and the people in exile would mourn (vv. 4-5). All that remained were the fortified cities, like Jerusalem (vv. 6-7). One reason for this defeat was the breaking of the law-word of the covenant by those who had their fellow Hebrews as slaves, whom they vowed to release, but then they went back on their word (vv. 8-11). In response to this, the LORD’s word came to Jeremiah to remind all of the covenant he made with their fathers that demanded the release of any Hebrew man or woman in the seventh year, but like their fathers they also rebelled (vv. 12-16 Cf. Ex. 21:2; Dt. 15:12-18). Therefore they would receive the “liberty” of the sword, pestilence, famine, and trouble from the kingdoms of the earth (v. 17). Those who passed through the cut halves of the animals in the covenant ceremony, would be cut off from the earth, their bodies being food for birds and beasts (vv. 18-20). Nebuchadnezzar would have a complete victory (vv. 21-22). This is what happens to those who do not keep their vows, and who transgress the law-word of the covenant.