King Zedekiah learns of his imminent defeat (Jer 34:2-34:3)

“Thus says Yahweh!

The God of Israel!

‘Go!

Speak to King Zedekiah

Of Judah!

Say to him!’

‘Thus says Yahweh!

I am going

To give this city

Into the hand

Of the king of Babylon.

He shall burn it

With fire.

You yourself

Shall not escape

From his hand.

But you shall surely

Be captured.

You shall be

Handed over to him.

You shall see

The king of Babylon

Eye to eye.

You shall speak

With him

Face to face.

You shall go

To Babylon.’”

Yahweh, the God of Israel, spoke directly to Jeremiah. Jeremiah was to go and tell King Zedekiah about the coming defeat of Jerusalem and his own personal fate. Yahweh told Jeremiah exactly what to say to the king. Yahweh was going to hand over the city of Jerusalem to the king of Babylon, who was then going to burn it down. As for King Zedekiah, he was not going to escape. He was going to be captured. Then he would be turned over to King Nebuchadnezzar. He would then see him eye to eye and speak to him face to face. He would be sent off to Babylon. This prophecy is much like the same prophecy that Jeremiah had given to King Zedekiah earlier in chapter 32.

King Zedekiah and the prophecy of Jeremiah (Jer 32:3-32:5)

“King Zedekiah said.

‘Why do you prophesy?

Why do you say this?

Thus says Yahweh.

I am going to

Give this city

Into the hand

Of the king

Of Babylon,

He shall take it. King Zedekiah

Of Judah

Shall not escape

Out of the hand

Of the Chaldeans.

But he shall surely

Be given

Into the hands

Of the king

Of Babylon.

He shall speak

With him

Face to face.

He shall see him

Eye to eye. He shall take King Zedekiah

To Babylon.

There he shall remain

Until I attend to him.

Though you fight

Against the Chaldeans,

You shall not succeed

Says Yahweh.’”

King Zedekiah was upset at Jeremiah. He wanted to know why he was prophesying that Yahweh had told him that the Babylonians and Chaldeans would be successful. Why did he say that the city of Jerusalem would fall. That was a morale killer. Jeremiah prophesized that King Zedekiah would be captured and sent off to exile in Babylon. The king would get to see King Nebuchadnezzar face to face and eye to eye, since he was not going to be successful, despite the help from the Egyptians.