New Defender's Study Bible Notes
34:5 thou shalt die in peace. Zedekiah would not be slain, but later his fate was perhaps worse than death. Immediately after he was forced to watch his two sons being executed, his own eyes were put out and he was carried in chains to Babylon. Thus the last thing he ever saw was the killing of his sons (Jeremiah 39:6-7). Just before that he had to look into the eyes of the king of Babylon, against whom he had rebelled (Jeremiah 34:3).
34:7 cities of Judah that were left. The “Lachish letters,” found in excavations at Lachish in 1935, confirm that Lachish and Azekah were the last two cities in Judah to fall to the Babylonian invaders. The name Jeremiah also occurs in these letters, although there is no indication that this particular man was the prophet Jeremiah.
34:14 let him go free. See Exodus 21:2; Deuteronomy 15:12. The Jews had broken not only the law of the sabbath, but also of the sabbatical years, and—as noted here—that of the sabbatical liberty of indentured servants. All of these, commemorating God’s creation in six days (Exodus 20:11), were involved in God’s sending His people into their seventy year captivity.
34:18 passed between the parts. The people and their leaders had made a solemn covenant, using the solemn procedure discussed in Genesis 15:10 (see footnote on this verse).