A STUDY OF JEREMIAH
Commentary by Dr. Mark G. Cambron
Jeremiah, the person, was a priest by birth who lived in Anathoth, a city located in Benjamin. He was the son of Hilkiah and was called the “WEEPING PROPHET.” Tradition says he was slain after he went to Egypt.
Jeremiah, the book, covers the period beginning with the thirteenth year reign of Josiah and extends into the seventy years of the Babylonian captivity. There are fifty distinct prophecies in Jeremiah, but they are not recorded in chronological form.
I. Of Jeremiah’s Call and Commission (1)
II. In the Reign of Josiah (2 - 12)
A. The Message on Infidelity (2:1 - 3:5)
B. The Message on Judgment (3:6 - 6:30)
C. The Message on Worship (7 - 10)
D. The Message on the Covenant (11 - 12)
III. In the Reign of Jehoiakim (13 - 20)
A. The Symbol of the Linen Girdle (13)
[The Girdle speaks of Service.]
B. The Intercession of the Prophet (14 - 15)
C. The Symbol of the Prophet’s Attitude (16:1 - 17:18)
D. The Message Concerning the Sabbath (17:19-27)
E. The Sin of the Potter’s Vessels (18)
F. The Symbol of the Potter’s Bottle (19)
G. The Persecution of the Prophet (20)
IV. In the Reign of Zedekiah (21)
[The siege of Nebuchadnezzar has already begun.]
V. In the Reign of Jehoiakim (22 - 23)
A. The Message in the King’s House (22)
B. The Message of Future Redemption (23)
[Restoration under Messiah]
VI. In the Reign of Zedekiah (24)
VII. In the Reign of Jehoiakim (25 - 26)
A. The Prophecy of the Seventy Years Captivity (25:1-14)
B. The Prophecy of the Wine Cup of God’s Fury (25:15-38)
C. The Arrest of the Prophet (26)
VIII. In the Reign of Zedekiah (27 - 34)
A. The Sign of the Yoke (27)
B. The Controversy with Hananiah (28)
C. The Letter of Jeremiah (29)
D. The Prophecy of Future Restoration (30 - 31)
E. Imprisonment of Jeremiah (32 - 33)
F. Prophecy of Judgment (34)
IX. In the Reign of Jehoiakim (35 - 36)
A. Sign of the Rechabites (35)
B. Destruction of the Scroll (36)
X. In the Reign of Zedekiah (37 - 39)
A. Imprisonment of Jeremiah (37 - 38)
B. Fall of Jerusalem (39)
XI. In the Period of Captivity in Judah (40 - 44)
A. The Remnant in the Land (40 - 41)
1. Gedaliah as Governor (40:1 - 41:10)
2. Johanan as Leader (41:11-18)
B. The Remnant in Egypt (42 - 44)
1. The Warning Against the Flight (42:1 - 43:13)
2. The Prophecy Against Judah in Egypt (44)
XII. In the Reign of Jehoiakim (45:1 - 49:33)
A. Prophecy Concerning Baruch (45)
B. Prophecy Concerning the Nations (46:1 - 49:33)
1. Egypt (46)
2. Philistia (47)
3. Moab (48)
4. Ammon (49:1-6)
5. Edom (49:7-22)
6. Damascus (49:23-27)
7. Kedar and Hazor (49:28-33)
XIII. In the Reign of Zedekiah (49:34 - 52:64)
A. Prophecy Concerning the Nations (49:34 - 51:64)
1. Elam (49:34-39)
2. Babylon (50 - 51)
[‘Filled full’ in Revelation 17 - 18]
B. History of the Fall of Jerusalem (52)
The meaning of Jeremiah is “whom Jehovah hath appointed.”
He is of the tribe of Levi — of the Cohens (priests).
He lives in the city (Anathoth).
Anathoth is located in the tribe of Benjamin.
The Word comes to Jeremiah in the days of Josiah, 641 B.C., and continues over forty years:
in the days of Jehoiakim,
to the end of the eleven years of Zedekiah
which is the carrying away of Judah to Babylon.
The doctrine of Election (choosing) is presented here:
Before God formed Jeremiah in the belly,
before Jeremiah came out of the womb,
God sanctified him;
God ordained him a prophet to all nations.
[The election of God is for the child of God’s service.]
Jeremiah hesitates: “... I cannot speak: for I am a child” - [sounds like Moses, doesn’t it!].
Jehovah answers, “Say not I am a child: for thou shalt go to all that I shall send thee, and whatsoever I command thee thou shalt speak.”
“Be not afraid of their faces: for I am with thee to deliver thee,” saith the Lord.
Then the LORD touches Jeremiah’s mouth — cleanses it.
And the LORD says that He will put words in his mouth — those that Jeremiah will speak.
The LORD tells Jeremiah, “I have this day set thee over the nations and over the kingdoms,
to root out,
and to pull down,
and to destroy,
and to throw down,
and to plant.”
“What seest thou?” the LORD asks Jeremiah.
Jeremiah sees the rod of an almond tree (Aaron’s rod that budded (Numbers 17:1-13) — it was the custom of men to cut their walking sticks from the almond tree.)
When God asks the second time, Jeremiah sees a seething pot facing toward the northern nations [the beginning of the four-world empires that shall destroy Jerusalem (See Zechariah 1:18-21.)].
The LORD tells Jeremiah not to be afraid of “their faces”!
He tells him that He has made him—
A defended city,
An iron pillar,
— Not only to the Gentile power Babylon, but also against the Kings of Judah;
And the princes thereof — political;
Also against the priests — ecclesiastical;
And against the people in the land.
The LORD goes on to tell Jeremiah that these enemies shall fight against him, but they shall not prevail against him, for...
“I am with thee,” saith the LORD, “to deliver thee.”
[The word LORD is taken from the Hebrew word Yahweh - Jehovah, which is God’s personal name, meaning Redeemer.]
Verses 1, 2
“I remember thee.” (2:2). [Praise God for His remembrance of the rainbow when rainstorms approach. He remembers the cross of Jesus when we confess Jesus as our Saviour who died for us and rose from the grave for our justification. One thing, however, that God does forget is our sins when we are saved.]
“Remember me ...” (Nehemiah 13:31).
“Remember me ...” (Nehemiah 13:14).
“Remember them ...” (Nehemiah 13:12).
[Israel has come out of Egypt into the wilderness in holiness, for her people have been redeemed by the blood of the Passover Lamb.]
“Where are the iniquities of your fathers?” They have not asked this yet, nor have they asked: “Where is the LORD who—
brought us up out of the land of Egypt!
that led us ...
through a land of deserts and of pits,
through a land of drought and of the shadow of death,
through a land that no man passed through and where no man dwelt?”
[Remember, Jeremiah prophesies nearly forty years, and the two-tribe kingdom of Judah is in a backslidden condition.]
God’s people commit two evils:
1. They forsake HIM, the FOUNTAIN of living waters.
2. They hew out cisterns, broken cisterns that can hold no water. [What a difference between a fountain of running waters and stagnant cistern waters; yet Judah’s cisterns are cracked, not even holding stagnant water — a complete loss.]
Verses 14 - 19
Why does Israel suffer so? Is it her birth? No, she is born free. It is Israel’s sins which have led to such punishment.
There is a Syrian general, Naaman, who develops leprosy, and whose king has heard an Israelite prisoner state that there is healing in Israel by a great prophet by the name of Elisha.
Naaman seeks healing by Elisha but is discouraged at the curing prescribed by Elisha: “Go and wash in Jordan seven times” (II Kings 5:10). Does Naaman not have clearer and purer waters than the Jordan? Nevertheless, he heeds the advice of his servants and bathes in the Jordan seven times and is healed. [O, Israel, is there not still cleansing in the land of Promise? Naaman found out; so forget about the religions of Assyria and Egypt! You know the Lord has said, “In that day there shall be a fountain opened to the house of David and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem for sin and uncleanness” (Zechariah 13:1).] (See also Zechariah 12:10.)
There is a definite time when Israel determines to throw away God’s Word and His commandments, even HIM! Every hill throughout Israel is dedicated to forbidden prostitution to whatever god she chooses.
God has planted a noble vine for Israel, and she has turned into the degenerate plant of a strange vine.
Verses 22 - 25
Israel may wash her body with every new detergent, yet the stain of sin is still there. Her people cannot deny it— do they not know that He is the only omnipresent God, that He knows all things? He knows what they do in despising Him.
To what can God liken them? Why, to the she-camel and to the wild donkey in heat — nothing can restrain them. Israel pants after idolatry, the gods of now.
Verses 26 - 27
Here is the broken cistern:
Saying to a stock (tree), “Thou art my father”;
Saying to a stone, “Thou hast brought me forth: for they have turned their back unto me.”
Verses 27 - 31
However, when trouble comes, the Israelites cry out, “Come and save us!” Why do they not cry to their false gods? Where is the deliverance they can give?
“Can a maid forget her ornaments; or a bride, her attire? Yet my people have forgotten me, days without number.”
Isaiah speaks the same idea, comparing Israel to a mother who forgets her baby (Isaiah 49:15)
Verses 33 - 34
How skilled Israel is in pursuing gods that are not gods, entering into such ecstasy wholly of the flesh and not of the spirit, for God has not commanded such worship.
“Behold, I will plead with thee, because thou sayest, ‘I have not sinned.’” [But you have!]
“Why gaddest thou about so much ...?” —doing one thing one moment and another thing the next moment. God has commanded no such thing!
There is NO prosperity apart from the LORD! Man and his plans omit God.
If a man put away his wife and marry another, he shall not marry her again if she is loosed from her second husband. Israel has been married to Jehovah, divorced, and married to her lovers. Yet Israel can marry Jehovah again! And she will do so. Israel has defiled God on every hand yet seemingly does not realize why God’s anger is not appeased.
Verse 6 (610 B.C.)
Judah seems to have a revival in the time of King Josiah, a righteous king; and she celebrates the greatest Passover feast of her existence. She sees what her sister Israel does until God sends Israel (Ten-Tribe Kingdom) away to Assyria in judgment, yet even then Judah will not mend her ways. Moreover, there is judgment coming upon her: to be sent away to Babylon.
Faithless Israel (Ten-Tribe Kingdom) is more righteous than unfaithful Judah (Two-Tribe Kingdom). All Israel has to do is confess her sins.
Judah has not returned to the LORD.
Backsliding Israel has justified herself now.
*(612 B.C. Death of Josiah)
Verses 12 - 13
To the north (Israel’s ten tribes are in Assyria), “Return unto me,” saith the LORD.
Verses 14 -15
Israel is told to return unto the LORD! He is able to forgive her sins and restore her to the land.
What happens to the Ark of the Covenant? Nebuchadnezzar has destroyed it.
When Zerubbabel later builds his temple, there is no Ark of the Covenant. Therefore, a slab of granite is placed in the Holy of Holies, and the high priest anoints this slab with the blood of the bullock and the blood of the he-goat on the Day of Atonement. Even when Herod builds his great temple, the same slab of granite is used for the blood of the two sacrifices on the Day of Atonement until it too is destroyed, this time by Titus in 70 A.D.
In the Millennium, Jerusalem shall be called “The Throne of the Lord Jehovah.” Jerusalem shall also be called “The LORD is there” (Ezekiel 48:35). All nations will be gathered unto her to honor the name of Jehovah (LORD). In the days of the Millennium, Judah and Israel shall join each other and come back to the land of Promise.
Verses 19 - 20
Jehovah wants Israel and Judah to possess the Holy Land and call Him “Father” and not turn away from following Him, but Israel becomes as a faithless wife to her husband.
Verses 21 - 25
The cry of all Israel knowing her sin and resting in her shame is for the LORD’s forgiveness. He wants to forgive all twelve tribes of Israel; but there is no repentance, no desire to break away from her sins to be restored to God and the land of inheritance. [Chapter 4 continues these thoughts.]
Verses 1 - 2
The reader must remember that Jeremiah prophesies (many) years before the Babylonian captivity, about forty-one years.
Return unto the LORD!
Judah is still intact (Judah and Benjamin).
The Temple is still standing. God’s forgiveness is awaiting Judah’s confession, faith, and the life that He wants His people to live.
Verses 3 - 4
The LORD instructs Judah and Jerusalem to break up their fallow ground; land that had once been sown and harvested, but now is barren and unproductive.
There is the need for breaking the earthen clods; their human hearts in full knowledge of their sins and their sorrow for such acts and a true desire for God’s forgiveness. [When hearts are thus broken, the Seed of God’s Word will be planted there and the desired harvest realized.]
Verses 5 - 6
Judah is warned of the coming invasion of an enemy, God’s instrument of judgment.
The enemy is a LION — Babylon; he has already left his own territory and is marching to Israel’s! Yea, a wolf is set to ravage them. A leopard is without to tear to them to pieces. [This does happen to Judah, as the reader will find in Revelation 6:7-8, where God speaks of the destruction of one-fourth of the earth in the first half of the Tribulation (Seventieth Week of Daniel) by the sword, famine, and plague, and by the wild beast of the earth.]
Why should the LORD forgive Israel and Judah?
The people of Judah are instructed to start their mourning.
The king and state of Judah, even the priests, shall be frustrated and shall view their mediation as hopeless; and the prophets shall confess back of the Word of God.
Does the LORD (Jehovah) actually promise peace to Judah? Yes, but upon her repentance, confession of sin, and turn to righteous acts. However, Judah demonstrates none of these proofs of sorrow for her past.
Verses 11 - 17
All Judah shall be told of every step of God’s vindication of wrath and judgment. The speed of the enemy in his attack is swift. Reports about the devastation that Judah is suffering come from the outlying districts such as Dan and the hills of Ephraim.
Judah and Jerusalem are marked for the same destruction. Israel needs regeneration! Her atonement is there in Solomon’s Temple, but the Temple will soon be destroyed. But before it is, Israel, go there quickly and offer your sacrifice.
Verses 18 - 21
All this destruction is laid as Judah’s fault in refusing to obey God. In fact, she does not know God. [It is your fault, Judah. You are being punished for not believing in God nor in His wrath.] The prophet can hardly bear Judah’s complete defeat. How bitter it is! He can hear the enemy’s battle trumpets—the army; what is left of this parade force is no more, and town after town falls in complete defeat. The prophet can hardly endure the blare of the trumpet anymore; and all of this destruction is caused by the wickedness of God’s people, who ignored God’s Word and who are now suffering God’s vindication!
Verses 22 - 25
Israel will not give glory to God for anything! The whole house of Israel has become polluted. Righteousness is ignored in every act. When there is good to do, Israel does evil.
The prophet views the earth and it is empty; he looks heavenward and the lights are dimmed; he gazes at the mountains and they are under the throes of an earthquake; he looks to the hills, and they are suffering the same; he looks at the cities and there are no people; he looks at the skies and they contain no birds.
The prophet looks at the fruitful fields, and they have become deserts; at the towns, and they lay in ruins. Everything is condemned by the LORD (Jehovah) in His fierce anger.
Verses 27 - 28
Thus saith the LORD (Jehovah)!
“The whole land [of Judah] shall be desolate, yet will I not make a full end.” The earth, as well as the heavens, is personified; and even though they are pathetic looking, the LORD will not change this judgment.
Verses 29 - 31
The towns are deserted at the sound of the horsemen. Death is a conclusion! Israel’s women begin to adorn themselves with gold and paint their eyelids as prostitutes, which they are, not knowing that the enemy will show no mercy because he does not care for their lives. Judah is as a woman having her first child, dying in trying to bring it forth. Alas, it is her life the enemy desires.
By reading Genesis 18:22-32, the reader learns of the LORD’S dealing with Abraham concerning the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. Abraham’s nephew Lot is living there. Abraham begs the LORD (Jehovah) to spare the city if fifty righteous people can be found there. God tells Abraham that He will. After fifty righteous people cannot be found, Abraham continues to “deal” with the LORD. Finally, he asks the LORD to spare the city if ten righteous people can be found. The LORD replies that He will. Certainly, there must be at least ten who are righteous: Lot, his wife, and two unmarried daughters — four; Lot’s two married daughters and their husbands — four more, a total of eight; Lot’s two married sons and their wives — four more. That would be twelve; but alas, the last four are not righteous!
Verses 1 - 2
Here in verse one, God cannot find one single righteous person! The people use the name of the LORD in their dealings, but they are not sincere. [How many righteous people will God demand if America is to be spared?]
Jeremiah pleads with the LORD for more grace for Judah.
These people are from the lower class of Judah; they are uneducated and do not know the Word of God or His will.
So Jeremiah writes the educated of Judah; but they have cast God’s law aside, breaking their bond with the LORD (Jehovah). [They are the worst sinners.]
As in Chapter 4, there is the lion multiplying itself because there is so much food; the carcasses of the fallen slain.
Such treatment from the hands of Him who is the God of love? He is that, too! But He is a “Consuming Fire” (Deuteronomy 4:24) against the workers of iniquity even if they are called by His name. God supplies every need of Israel, but they are not thankful. They leave the God of purity and hasten to the house of prostitution, including the idolatrous houses of fornication.
Verses 8 - 9
They, like lusty horse stallions, have gone neighing for other men’s women.
What punishment do they deserve? God is mortified with Judah!
God commands the enemy to ravage yet not destroy the vineyards, but strip the branches; for these people are not HIS.
Verses 11 - 13
Both Israel and Judah have been unfaithful to the LORD (Jehovah). Moreover, they are saying—
God will not do anything about it.
No harm will He mete out.
We shall not see sword or famine.
Why, the prophets are just bags of wind; they know nothing and thus say nothing.
Verses 14 - 17
But God! But God! But God! in Judgment—
God’s words shall be fire in their mouths, and He shall bring a nation of which they know not and whose language they cannot speak.
This nation comes prepared for war. [What kind of fighting force do Israel and Judah have? They have been stripped twice before and could not defend themselves.]
The enemy nation is armed with unending supply. It shall devour the people’s harvest — all of it. The enemy shall slay their sons and daughters, and their flocks and herds shall also be destroyed. In its rampage, the enemy shall strip the vines and fig trees.
All fortified cities, including Jerusalem in which the people put their trust, shall crumble before them.
[We pause at this point to mention that at the time of Jeremiah’s prophecy, there are three prophets living, waging spiritual warfare at the hands of Satan. They are Daniel, Ezekiel, and Jeremiah. Daniel hardly mentions the war with Israel and Judah, whereas Ezekiel and Jeremiah substantiate each other’s accounts. Ezekiel lives in the land of Babylon, while Jeremiah lives in Judah; Daniel lives the whole seventy years in the Babylon captivity; hence he writes of the time covering the captivity. Ezekiel is a prophet to the exile for over twenty years. Jeremiah prophesies in Judah for forty years.]
Though they do not deserve it, God promises the people future restoration rather than complete annihilation. He is Israel’s and Judah’s God. He cannot lie, for the gifts and callings of God are without repentance (change of mind). God never changes His mind concerning any gift He has given. He has made all Israel His possession, making them the chosen people of God. He will never change His mind (Romans 11:29). [But a generation who ceases to believe in Him and follow His words has nothing to look forward to but Hell!]
People will ask [as they are asking in 1992], “Why has the LORD our God done all this to us?” Israel should say, “We have forsaken Him, and He has thus forsaken us.”
Verses 20 - 25
What an indictment of God!
“Listen, you have eyes, but do not see, ears that do not hear.” [Sounds like the prophet Isaiah (6:9, 10) and the Lord Jesus Christ (Matthew 13:15).] Same people, same sinning, and still no repentance nor confession of sin.
Should they not fear the LORD? Yes.
Should they not tremble in His presence? Yes.
The waves of the sea obey Him. They have their boundaries and refuse to cross over, but these people have not a willingness to admit that God is the one who has provided them with good things; now because of their unconfessed sins, they fail to honor Him in thanksgiving and admit that their wrongdoing has kept the blessings of God from flowing upon them. [That is all it takes — a turn-about trust in God their Saviour. For such a long time Israel has suffered being the earth’s chosen people; yet what will it be when all Israel (the twelve tribes) repents, believes that Jesus is the Son of God, that He died for all their sins and arose from the dead — what will it be? “...life from the dead?” (Romans 11:15).
Verses 26 - 31
Among God’s people are treacherous ones who set snares of sin for men and catch many! What a profit these wicked ones make from God’s people! They are rich, they are fat, they are careless, they are unthoughtful, they are sinful in that they plea not for the fatherless and defend the rights of the poor.
What should be their end? His laws reveal the answer!
Why do the prophets lie?
Why are priests allowed to rule by their own authority?
It is because “... my people love to have it so...”! But alas, at the end of time just before the Millennium, what happens to the lost Jewish people? They, like lost Gentiles, shall go to Hell.
Verses 1 - 3
Invasions shall come from the north; men, women, and children will be subject to the enemy for slaughter because of the sin of Benjamin, Judah, and Israel.
[The reader will notice that the invading army is God’s instrument of all Israel’s correction. After the complete annihilation, Jerusalem shall be a place for the enemy’s shepherds. It comes to pass, and the city of Jerusalem is dormant for seventy years (Jeremiah 25:11).]
Verses 4 - 5
Babylon, the enemy, intends to attack Jerusalem at noon but is delayed until night.
Verses 6 - 9
What devastation shall come to pass. It must come! It has to come from a righteous God who punishes His unrighteous servants.
God knows that His warning is useless. Israel will not see nor hear His word.
God is full of wrath while His people are full of sin. God cannot hold it in but must pour it out upon unbelieving Israel.
Verses 12 - 15
Their houses are to be lost to the enemy who will live in them; wives, prophets, and priests all take pleasure in refusing God’s way and choosing their own. They predict “peace,” but there is no peace. [Are they ashamed? No.]
“... ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls.” But they said, “We will not walk therein.” [The Lord Jesus certainly has proved He is the Way, but almost all of Israel fails to acknowledge Him.]
“Also I set watchmen over you, saying, Hearken to the sound of the trumpet.” But they said, “We will not hearken.” [That is it! Even God cannot make people hearken and act upon His Word. He can, however, make them wish they had.]
Verses 18 - 20
Because of Israel’s sin and rejection of Him and His warnings, God will not accept their burnt offerings. [The LORD wants their hearts, not their beasts.]
The LORD has set before them stumbling blocks to block their walk into sin. They have stumbled, fallen, picked themselves up; but they continue in their walk of lust.
Verses 22 - 30
Rejection by Israel —
She is left for destruction to an enemy who shows no mercy. [Repent Israel! Wail to God as one who has lost an only Son.] All Israel shall act with contrition when they see the Lord Jesus just after the Tribulation.
And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn (Zechariah 12:10).
God has chosen this terrible judgment to test Israel through adversity, but to no avail. Her people will not yield to chastisement, for they are beyond redemption. The result of the fires of adversity is that they turn out to be “rejected silver.” However, there is always the remnant of Grace — not at the time of the Babylonian conquest, but hundreds of years later when the antichrist takes his wrath against Israel, killing two-thirds in the land:…
And it shall come to pass, that in all the land, saith the LORD, two parts therein shall be cut off and die; but the third shall be left therein. And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as god is tried: they shall call on my name, and I will hear them: I will say, It is my people: and they shall say, the LORD is my God (Zechariah 13:8,9);
…and nine-tenths in the world:
But yet in it shall be a tenth, and it shall return, and shall be eaten: as a teil tree, and as an oak, whose substance is in them, when they cast their leaves: so the holy seed shall be the substance thereof (Isaiah 6:13);
For thus saith the LORD GOD; the city that went out by a thousand shall leave an hundred, and that which went forth by an hundred shall leave ten, to the house of Israel (Amos 5:3).
Verses 1 - 3
“Proclaim in the gate of the LORD’S house.” Jeremiah is no stranger there, as he is of the priestly line, and can come and go as he pleases. Moreover, nothing is said of his eating from the altar of the peace offering nor of the sin and trespass offerings.
Verses 4 - 8
Proclaiming “The Temple of the LORD” three times will not be sufficient. Israel must stop her sinning. They reason, “God has given us the Temple, and there is no sin we can commit which will cause God to destroy it.”
However, the LORD says that He will destroy this beautiful edifice unless His people change their ways, do not oppress the alien, the fatherless, or the widow, do not shed innocent blood in this place; and if they stop following strange idolatrous gods, He will let them live in this place forever.
[Israel, stop these sins and abide in the land, or continue in them and perish.]
Verses 9 - 10
He who commits such sin and stands in this temple shall have a rude awakening! [And look at us. What is the matter with the Church? Does she think that she too is immune to the judgment of God? We who are born in grace cannot live in sin either, for judgment must begin in the house of God.]
For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God? And
And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear? (I Peter 4:17-18).
Beautiful stones fashioned into a gorgeous building cannot be substituted for repentance, faith, and good works. [These words are for those who are already saved by God’s grace, through faith without good works as a basis for salvation.] Once saved, can a Christian be guaranteed not to be chastened if he sins? No, if the child of God (saved by grace through faith) sins, he can look for the judgment of God; for judgment must begin at the house of God. However, he, like Israel and Judah, can escape the chastisement of God by repentance, confession, and good works.
Verses 11 - 15
Whatever the people think of the Temple, they must remember that is dear to the LORD.
The LORD tells the people to go back to Shiloh and see the place where He set His name at the first and see what He did to Israel because of their sin (sons of Eli). (Shiloh was the first resting place for the Tabernacle, forerunner of the Temple.)
God promises that He will do the same to this house — and as He did to Ephraim (Israel) now in Assyria!
Verse 16 - 19
God wants no prophet nor priest to pray for Judah; her future is sealed.
See what the people do in Judah (Ezekiel 8).
Whole families unite to worship idols. When they do, they are not only provoking God, but they are also bringing harm to themselves.
The whole wrath of God will be poured upon Judah.
Verses 21 - 23
Not only does God give them the regulations of the burnt offering and other sacrifices; but He also tells them, “Obey my voice, and I will be your God, and ye shall be my people [in the land]” (Deuteronomy 28:1-14).
God speaks, but Judah does not listen.
Verses 25 - 26
God tells the people that since their fathers came out of Egypt, He sent prophets; but their fathers did not hearken.
Jeremiah shall speak, but the people will not listen.
Verses 28 - 31
The LORD rejects and forsakes this generation.
They have done evil in His sight.
They have set their abominations in His house!
They have built the high places of Tophet — drums (the drums are sounded to drown out the cries of their children when they die as they pass through the fire). So many will be sacrificed until there will be no room to bury the dead; consequently, wild animals shall eat the unburied bodies of the dead.
Verses 32 -33
It shall be called slaughter, Hinnom, the word from which the word HELL is derived.
No more in the cities of Judah,
No more in the streets of Jerusalem—
the voice of mirth,
the voice of gladness,
the voice of the bridegroom,
the voice of the bride.
For the land shall be desolate!
Verses 1 - 3
At the time of Jeremiah’s writing, Judah has been ruled over by faithless kings and dishonest prophets speaking of things which the LORD (Jehovah) had not spoken. Moreover, dishonest scribes have copied the Law of God to their own gain and not to the truth of God.
What is God going to do? Many have died, but in the coming siege, tombs of the dead shall be opened and the graves unearthed to become trophies for the invading soldiers of Babylon. The bones of kings and officials of Judah, of the priests and prophets, and the bones of the people of Jerusalem shall be removed from their graves and exposed to the sun, moon, and stars which they loved, served, and worshipped. Furthermore, they shall be exposed to the elements and shall be as dung in the streets.
Death rather than life shall be chosen by the residue (ALL).
Guilty of perpetual backsliding, the people refuse to return to the LORD (Jehovah).
Verses 5 - 6
God asks why Judah always turns away from Him? [It is unbelief soured with unbelief!]
Isaiah 1:3 states:
The ox knoweth his owner, and the ass his master’s crib: but Israel doth not know, my people doth not consider.
Jeremiah adds that the stork of heaven knows her appointed time, that the turtle dove and the crane (swift and thrush) observe the time of migration, but God’s people do not know the requirements of the LORD!
The people say, “We are wise!” How can they truthfully presume that claim when the Scribes (the copiers of the Word of God) use a lying pen, changing or omitting pertinent facts of God and His truth?
God’s punishment will not only be felt by the heart, but also in the disgrace of the sinner. Their wives shall be given to other men; their fields, to new owners.
“Peace, peace when there is no peace” — even as today.
For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape (I Thessalonians 5:3).
Verses 12 - 19
Because Israel does not repent, there is nothing left but judgment; and Israel is not ashamed. The harvest is to be taken away: no grapes, no figs — but poisonous snakes shall appear. Anything more?
“The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved.” All hope is gone — no mercy, no grace; but there is hope if Israel only confesses and turns from her sins.
God — through His prophet Jeremiah — hurts because of the hurt of His people. [It is the same as the Body of Christ — not one member of His body (the Church) can hurt without the whole body hurting.]
Is there no balm in Gilead?
Is there no physician there?
Apparently not. Israel has suffered for twenty-five hundred years —yet no repentance, no confession; but she will repent and all Israel shall be saved.
Verses 1 - 3
Jeremiah, the weeping prophet, weeps for what he knows is reserved judgment for the “the daughter of my people.”
“Oh, that my head were waters and mine eyes a fountain of tears that I might weep day and night ...” as a spring.
[We Caucasians can hardly believe that there are people who can weep not just for hours but for days and weeks. The Orientals can; and Jeremiah, an Oriental, does weep for a long time. Also, mourners are employed just to weep at the gravesides to show that the loved one is missed. The more mourners, the more sorrow will be shown. Jesus comes in contact with paid mourners when the twelve year old daughter dies. Some tears are natural; but when bought, they are nothing but “a show.”]
Because of his Oriental background, Jeremiah weeps for a long time, especially for the horrors which will be poured out upon Israel.
When sinners repent, shedding tears is natural; but the shedding of tears is not necessarily a confession of guilt nor the result of sorrow for sins. Here, the tears are the tears of the prophet, the man of God, for Israel’s coming judgment and not Israel’s sorrow for her sins nor for the coming judgment she must endure.
Verses 4 - 6
Trust no one (Psalm 118:8) — no, not even friends or kin. They care not for the truth and will bring accusation for any advantage to themselves. A man’s enemies will be of his own household.
Verses 7 - 9
All men are corrupt. The men of Judah speak as saints; but they are laying a trap to deceive, corrupt, and steal men of their possessions with a smile on their faces, unable to persuade their own minds that they are wrong.
Verses 10 -11
In the mind of God, Judah shall become a desolate desert: no one travels there, no cattle can be heard, no birds can be seen, and all animals have disappeared. Scavengers alone make it their home. No human lives there anymore.
The inquisitive mind may ask why God allows such devastation to His land and to His people. [Such deprivation has lasted twenty-five hundred years.]
Verses 13 - 16
The LORD (Jehovah) alone can answer: Israel has forsaken His law and Him, the LORD of Host, Jehovah-Sabaoth, and has followed Baalim. Her people shall eat bitter foods and drink poison waters, and He will pursue them with the sword until they are destroyed.
Verses 17 - 19
Death has come, people are dead, and those in the mourning business must be called so that a great funeral can be held.
Let them come quickly and wail that the people may be introduced into the wailing profession. “We are ruined; we are ashamed,” says Israel. How great it is; the people must leave their land — there are no men left to till it.
Oh, women, teach your daughters to wail. They are going to have a lifetime of it.
Death is personified; it has taken on a form of man and animal and has entered every home and business until the children are cut off from the streets and the young men, from the public squares.
God declares the results of His judgment: that men will fall and their bodies will lie as fertilizer on the open fields, yea as cut grain behind the reaper with no one to gather them.
Verses 23 - 24
The LORD declares, “Let not —
the wise man glory in his wisdom,
neither let the mighty man glory in his might,
let not the rich man glory in his riches;
But let him that glorieth, glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me, that I am the LORD (See also I Corinthians 1:31) which exercise —
righteousness, in the earth:
for in these things, I delight, saith the LORD.”
Verses 25 - 26
Those prepared for judgment — some friends, some neighbors, some enemies, but close or not — shall fall with Israel in judgment. Egypt, Judah, Edom, children of Ammon and Moab — all this comes to pass in Jeremiah’s day! There is future salvation for Egypt (Isaiah 19) and for all Israel (Romans 11:25, 26).
Verses 1 - 5
Israel must heed the LORD’S Word, obey His commandment, and ignore the flesh (the Old Nature). On the contrary, Israel’s history has proved her conduct otherwise.
At the time of Jeremiah’s writing, Israel seems to have experienced a revival (during the reign of Josiah). From the pen of this prophet, the reader learns that though Israel celebrates the greatest Feast of the Passover of her history, the people as a whole are not following King Josiah’s devotion to Jehovah. Their hearts are not centered in the LORD but in hidden idols kept in their homes.
Verses 2 - 3
They are cautioned against the ways of nations about them: to ignore their customs, to laugh at the signs in the sky; for all are worthless.
Verses 3 - 4
What is the matter with Israel anyway? Human reasoning should tell the Israelites that hewing down a tree, even cutting a choice piece, forming an idol, then falling before it, and declaring that the fashioned idol is their creator is foolishness! What nonsense!
The idols remind one of a scarecrow — ugly, unable to talk, see, hear, or walk; they have to be carried from place to place. “... for they cannot do evil, neither also is it in them to do good.”
Verses 6 - 9
Satan has dulled Israel’s thinking if she exalts a piece of wood to be worshipped — when the LORD Jehovah is truly the One and Only God. There are no other gods existing but Jehovah! Idols are what they really are — the works of man’s hands, the object of man’s stupidity in worshipping it.
Verses 10 - 11
Jehovah (LORD) is the true God (Elohim). He is living, the Eternal King! What people can stand against His anger? None, and they shall be destroyed by the anger of God’s fire.
Verses 12 - 13
Jehovah (the LORD) created the earth by his power, power to be demonstrated by the heavens which contain His clouds and rain. Everything of nature — clouds, lightning, rain, and wind — are at [our] God’s command.
Verses 14 - 16
Everything about idolatry is false, a fraud; but everything about Jehovah is that He Himself created all things. The idols have no breath. God is the maker of breathing. He is the maker of all things — even Israel!
Verses 17 - 18
Here Israel, Judah, and some others of the eleven tribes who are to be under the siege by King Nebuchadnezzar and the Babylonian army, and the few who shall be left are urged by God to gather their belongings as they are driven from their land. Yes, there will be a complete capture with few who shall make up the remnant.
Verses 19 - 20
The coming battle shall leave many injured, with wounds inscrutable. The homes of tents shall be destroyed; not a support rope will be left.
The shepherds lose their sheep — a total loss. They know not Jehovah (the LORD) — that He can deliver, but His ear is heavy and cannot hear.
The enemy is from the north. [Almost every attack by Israel’s enemies have been from the north.]
How beautiful for the born-again child of God to realize that a man’s life is not his own. The direction is not the man’s to take.
Verses 24 - 25
Listen to the prayer of Jeremiah:
“O LORD, correct me, but with judgment ...”
He continues by asking the LORD to pour out His anger upon the enemies; for they have wasted Jacob, completely destroyed him and his homeland.
Verses 1 - 3
One can see why Jeremiah is called the “weeping prophet.” He himself is righteous, not perverting his ways in sin against his God. The reader weeps with Jeremiah as he learns of the great things God has reserved for Israel (Ten-Tribe Kingdom) and Judah (Two- Tribe Kingdom) — if only they believed God and obeyed the laws of the Old Covenant.
Israel and Judah have been blessed repeatedly; but now because of their rebellion, Israel has been taken into the Assyrian captivity and Judah is seeing God’s hand of punishment against her. Almost all of the two tribes of Judah and Benjamin are already in the Babylonian captivity. Now the siege is announced and will be carried out for the King and remaining people of Judah.
Verses 4 - 12
God announces His curse upon all His people who disobey His Covenant (Ten Commandments). When the covenant under Moses was offered to Israel, all Israel said, “All the LORD (Jehovah) has said we will do.” Israel placed herself under this Old Covenant (Old Testament), but with only a feigned obedience. Hundreds of years have passed without complete obedience.
In verse 5, Jeremiah answers, “Amen, LORD”; but not Israel. [The Old Covenant (Old Testament) is made only with Israel; the Gentiles are strangers to it.]
Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands; That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world (Ephesians 2:11, 12).
In Jeremiah 31:31-34 the reader learns that God Almighty sees the futility of Israel’s repentance, confession of sin, and faith expressed in the LORD Jehovah. Therefore, He, Jehovah the LORD, will do away with the Old Testament (Old Covenant) and make a New Covenant (New Testament) which Israel will in the future ratify, accept, and act upon, believing in Jehovah, their LORD and God. Thus Israel at that time will be saved and saved forever.
Jehovah declares Judah’s guilt of spreading idolatry throughout their kingdom — burning incense to Baal instead of to God!
Jehovah commands Jeremiah to cease praying for these people. It is against His will, and thus He will not hear their prayers and will not answer them (See I John 5:14-15).
What are these unbelievers doing? They know not the LORD, yet they are coming into His Temple and, of all things, offering dedicated meat to Baal — of all the irony!
Verses 16 - 17
Israel and Judah combined are called a thriving “Olive Tree” pouring out her blessings but not unto and for Jehovah. Thus she is appointed to disaster.
This pronouncement is true, yet one can find that there are two people who shall be found faithful, true, and abounding in the Word of God for His glory. These are the two witnesses; pure and strong, standing before Israel and the world in the Tribulation, condemning Israel for her sins and in like manner condemning the entire Gentile world of ungodliness and idolatry.
And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth. These are the two olive trees, and the two candlesticks standing before the God of the earth. And if any man will hurt them, fire proceedeth out of their mouth, and devoureth their enemies: and if any man will hurt them, he must in this manner be killed. These have power to shut heaven, that it rain not in the days of their prophecy: and have power over waters to turn them to blood, and to smite the earth with all plagues, as often as they will. And when they shall have finished their testimony, the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them. And their dead bodies shall lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified. And they of the people and kindreds and tongues and nations shall see their dead bodies three days and an half, and shall not suffer their dead bodies to be put in graves. And they that dwell upon the earth shall rejoice over them, and make merry, and shall send gifts one to another; because these two prophets tormented them that dwelt on the earth. And after three days and an half the Spirit of life from God entered into them, and they stood upon their feet; and great fear fell upon them which saw them. And they heard a great voice from heaven saying unto them, Come up hither. And they ascended up to heaven in a cloud; and their enemies beheld them (Revelation 11:3-12).
These two witnesses are found first in Zechariah 4:1-7. From these verses, the reader learns that they are the only two saved people on earth after the Rapture. There are no other believers suggested in the Word of God besides these two after the Rapture; they are the first. The results of their witnessing are the 144,000 Jews saved, and the results of their preaching is the great innumerable multitude who are saved and who come out of the Great Tribulation (Revelation 7:9-14).
Verses 18 - 20
Of course, Jeremiah gives warning to the people of Anathoth, as God shows him, that Israel as an olive tree will be cast down; so in their hatred of the revealed truth, they conspire against the prophet of God to destroy him (a tree), that his name be remembered no more. [By the way, who were these people? What were their names? No one knows; but who is he that they wanted to destroy, even his remembrance? Why, Jeremiah? And how long ago was it he prophesied? Twenty-five hundred years. Men remember Jeremiah, his name, his faithfulness. Who was on God’s side?]
Verses 21 - 23
Thus God judges these haters of Jeremiah, those who live in Anathoth. They are the ones who shall be slaughtered and forgotten. Even their children shall die by the sword and by the famine. Not a remnant shall be left — ever.
Verses 1 - 4
In this chapter the reader finds the prophet Jeremiah himself presents his cause of complaint to the LORD Jehovah. He does not question the fact that God is sovereign in His dealings with Israel, but Jeremiah cannot understand the way the LORD treats the enemies of God. He has made them rich; and with their tongues they boast that Jehovah has made them rich even when they really do not mean it, for they know not the LORD. Yes, these sinful people reason that God has made them rich, though they practice open sin, because Jehovah is a lesser God and is unable to detect their sins.
“My, my,” the LORD seems to say. “These people are disturbing your thoughts, a fact which is troubling you. You are letting their conditions bother you. You are weakening in your faith in Jehovah — do not let that happen! If men have exhausted you in their race, how in the world can you keep up with horses? If you are stumbling on even ground, how will you fare when you run the obstacle course?”
The LORD warns Jeremiah to wake up, that even his own kinsmen are planning his death. Jeremiah cannot trust any of them.
Verses 7 - 9
The LORD says that He has allowed His enemies to plunder His people and His inheritance because of their sin. His destruction is fierce and complete. He does not allow His people to get by with sin.
Verses 10 - 13
Yes, it is true that the LORD has allowed the enemies of God to prosper in trampling down His land until it has become a wilderness. It is His anger against the land of His people.
Verses 14 - 17
God also declares His fury upon those nations which surround Israel and which have taken the land, and its people should profit by His actions toward Israel. Should they turn from Baal to GOD, He will make them strong among His people; but should they not worship the LORD, He will rend the land from their hands also.
Verses 1 - 11
God teaches His people many times by illustrations. Here He uses a belt or man’s girdle. God instructs Jeremiah to buy a new girdle, put it on without letting it touch any water, and then wear it as he goes to the bank of the Euphrates. There he is to remove the linen belt and hide it among the rocks of the river. He does so; and after a long time, the LORD (Jehovah) commands Jeremiah to return to the place of the hidden girdle. Jeremiah returns and finds it; but now the belt is damp, mildewed, and rotten. It is completely useless. Then the LORD (Jehovah) lets the prophet know that Israel and Judah have become the same way — rotten and useless. God first designs that He will clothe Himself with all Israel and being so close, He and Israel can walk together. However, because they cast off every restraint, the LORD holds them; yet they first cast Him away and take to themselves Baal. Now He casts them away from Himself as filthy, dirty, and defiled in their sins; exposing themselves without shame — useless!
Verses 12 - 21
Next, the LORD (Jehovah) uses wine containers, barrels which are to be filled with wine. All Israel agrees — the King and the King’s Mother agrees — that certainly they shall be filled to demonstrate how prosperous the economy of Israel shall be — not a jug shall be filled. Prosperity shall be turned into poverty, an act of God’s judgment for the sins of all Israel and Judah. Destroyed they shall be!
Without question, the Upper Ten-Tribe Kingdom shall lose their prestige and honor. In addition, though Judah (the Two-Tribe Kingdom) has delayed her judgment, she will be completely carried away into exile. The enemy shall come from the North. [In most cases, Israel and Judah have always been attacked from the North.] The enemy shall not spare the people whose safety God entrusts to the Kings who have sold out to the enemy.
The people should just ask themselves why such judgment shall come to them. It is because of their sin.
Here are two more illustrations by which God teaches.
Verses 23 - 27
The skin of the Cushite and the spots of the wild leopard — “Can the Ethiopian change his skin or the leopard his spots?” No, and neither can Israel and Judah change; God does not want to save them. They are doomed.
— The LORD will scatter them as chaff — driven to all corners of the world.
— He will pull up their shirts and reveal (their) sins.
How long will they be unclean? — Until Israel repents, confesses, and trusts that He is God, Jehovah!
The background of this chapter is that the kingdom of Judah has already been invaded twice before by Babylon; and in only a few years, Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon will lay siege to Jerusalem and take the rest of the people to Babylon for the captivity which will last seventy years.
Verses 1 - 6
These verses are written and spoken just before the third invasion. At this time, the LORD (Jehovah) reveals God’s decision to blast Judah with a drought: the rain is withheld, the springs and fountains dry up — man and beast suffer; an occasional water hole is discovered, but water has to be brought in.
Verses 7 - 9
This is the prayer of Jeremiah: “Surely Thou art our Saviour. Can you not save us this time?”
Verses 10 - 12
The LORD (Jehovah) declares: “Thus have they loved to wander, they have not refrained their feet.” The LORD withholds His help from them. He tells Jeremiah not to pray for this people! The LORD says that He has stopped His ears to their cries! Their burnt offerings and oblation He will not accept, but He will consume them by His three great judgments: the sword, the famine, and the pestilence. [As one reviews the book of Ezekiel, he finds that the LORD (Jehovah) uses these three great judgments many times.]
Jeremiah intercedes. The people’s unbelief is caused by false prophets who are telling the people that they shall not suffer by the sword nor by famine and that they shall enjoy peace. Yes, when they say, “... Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them ...” (I Thessalonians 5:3).
The LORD (Jehovah) declares that these are false prophets who speak lies in His name and that He does not send them. They know nothing of Him; hence their speaking is the work of man to create a false hope.
These false prophets who deny the coming judgments of sword and famine shall be consumed, utterly destroyed by sword and famine.
The people of Judah who are placing their confidence in these false prophets and their meaningless words shall be cast into the streets of Jerusalem because of the famine and the sword. There shall not be left any kin to bury them — no wives, sons, nor daughters.
Yes, here is Jeremiah, the weeping prophet of Judah, shedding tears of remorse and reality for the virgin daughter of his people at their breaking with a devastating blow.
Jeremiah says that as he shall go into the field, he shall behold those slain by the sword; and if he enters the city, he shall behold the dying who are sick because of the famine. The false prophets and priests shall walk up and down in the land that is not familiar to them.
The prophet Jeremiah seeks the forgiveness of Jehovah (LORD): “Is Judah completely rejected? Why these fatal blows? Thou are Jehovah-Rapha (the LORD that healeth) — is there not healing for us? We look for peace and there is none, for time of peace, behold trouble (judgment).”
Verses 20 - 21
As a representative of Judah, Jeremiah continues: “We acknowledge our sins. Do not abhor us.” Daniel also prays for the people (Daniel 9:17-19).
The drought is on; the situation is critical. Famine is breaking out. The LORD’s (Jehovah) mind is made up; He will not forgive Judah this time. He even tells Jeremiah that should Moses [who pled for the people at the golden calf] and Samuel [who pled for Saul] stand before Him, they cannot change His mind. Devastation is inevitable.
If the people ask where they should go, the LORD instructs Jeremiah to tell them that He has already chosen where they shall go: Some are appointed to death, while others are appointed to the sword; many are appointed to famine, and the remaining are appointed to the captivity in Babylon.
Here the LORD declares that there are four destroyers that He will send upon His people: the sword to slay, the dogs to tear, the fowls of the heaven, and the beast of the earth to devour and destroy. In Leviticus 26:14-31, the LORD speaks of six chastisements upon Israel and Judah and each of these contains many more. [What a difference the Millennium will make: “The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them. And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together: and the lion shall eat straw like the ox” (Isaiah 11:6, 7)].
The dispersion of the people of God to the ends of the world shall be caused by King Manasseh for his terrible sinning against God.
No one shall pity Jerusalem — Judah!
Israel has still forsaken her God, the LORD (Jehovah). “I am wearied of repenting with no fruit of repentance;” and as one translation puts it, “I am tired of always giving you another chance.”
Verses 7 - 8
There is no hurt that parents suffer like the hurt and death of their children, but the children must suffer because of the sinning of the parents. The LORD will take the young, and widows shall be as numerous as the sand of the sea for their young husbands have been given to the sword.
A mother of seven who dies naturally is better far than those who shall lose husbands and children by the sword of the enemy.
Jeremiah declares that it would have been better for his mother if he had not been born. However, he relates that he has kept the Law and lived righteously; the LORD (Jehovah) responds to him.
Verse 11 - 14
The LORD tells Jeremiah that it will be well with his remnant — those of his family and the remnant who believe Him because of His Word. All that Jeremiah owns shall be sport to the enemies; he shall not die but go into captivity.
Jeremiah pleads to be allowed to stay in Judah. He entreats the LORD to remember that because of his stand for the LORD, he has suffered rebuke.
Jeremiah addresses the LORD, “O LORD (Jehovah) Sabaoth (Host),” and recounts that he found and did eat His Word, an act which produced joy and rejoicing; and that he has great honor to be called by His name.
Jeremiah continues his plea, stating that he is separated from his people, yea, from the mockers. “I sat alone because of Thy hand.” [The life of the dedicated is a lonely life — it is to be alone with Jesus. “Let us go forth therefore unto him without the camp, bearing his reproach” (Hebrews 13:13).]
The enemies of the child of God are not necessarily those of the enemy camp, but many come from those in whom His child should have confidence; but alas, they prove to be enemies of a greater degree than those afar off. Jeremiah nearly accuses God for his plight, for failing to deliver him. [Daniel learns his lesson of trusting his so-called friends and is thus cast into a den of lions. Likewise, Jeremiah has more humiliation to bear in being lowered into the mud of the dungeon.
These difficulties happen to the child of God. Think of Job and his loss. Does God not know that Job will not curse Him? Certainly! Why then does God allow such loss? He knows what His saint needs.]
There is more and more testing for Jeremiah, but the reader must realize the prophet’s strength as it increases.
The LORD (Jehovah) speaks, “If you return to me in complete faith, I shall deliver thee. But return not to these rebukers of God and His Word.”
Jeremiah’s God is going to make Jeremiah a brazen (bronze) wall and save him, deliver him, and redeem him!
Can these be the words of a giant prophet — “Why are you not answering my prayers? Why does it seem Thou art making a liar out of me?” Jeremiah wants to make God’s business his business, but he will learn the “why of it all” — just wait. [Has this same experience been yours, dear reader? Time and time the author has walked the same desert sand, plunged into the same oozing mud, yet the LORD (Jehovah) rescued in the nick of time. His deliverance is yours. Wait. Yes, wait and see!]
This great chapter pictures Judah in her state of sin causing the coming of Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon and the death of many in Judah. Punishment? Yes, yet there is the mercy of Judah’s God in the gathering of His people from the four corners of the world in the last day.
The following scriptures hold the key to the rest of the chapter:
Therefore, behold, the days come, saith the LORD [Jehovah], that it shall no more be said, The LORD [Jehovah] liveth, that brought up the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt; But, The LORD [Jehovah] liveth, that brought up the children of Israel from the land of the north, and from all the lands whither he had driven them: and I will bring them again into their land that I gave unto their fathers (16:14,15).
Verses 1 - 2
The LORD (Jehovah) speaks to Jeremiah in a very personal way, telling him of a service with which most men would refuse to comply: “Thou shalt not take a wife.” Plain — there is no misunderstanding; yet the results will not only have an impact on Jeremiah but shall also be a warning to the people of Judah. In the same way, the LORD prepares Ezekiel for the shock of his life — that his wife will die that night; she does (Ezekiel 24:18).
[Many of God’s servants have had to do what Jeremiah does — refrain from marriage. Paul advises against marriage (I Corinthians 7:24); but he does say that if marriage is more desirable than celibacy, marrying is no sin.]
By the word of God, Jeremiah learns that in the immediate future, many wives and many children will be called upon to suffer and die as in no previous generation. Thus, by not marrying, he will be delivered from such agony.
Verses 3 - 9
These words reveal the coming slaughter in Judah. The sons, the daughters, their begetters — all shall die a grievous death but shall not be lamented (mourned for); for there are too many suffering and dying at the same time. Grave-diggers refuse to bury the dead, for there are too many. So hundreds, thousands of bodies shall be as heaps of fertilizer on the land after the fowls of the air and beasts of the earth. This event is prophesied for Jeremiah’s day, and the same is prophesied for the great tribulation to come (Revelation 6:8).
God’s peace is taken from Judah; the small and the great fall together. Many make light of the suffering by having drunken orgies; Jeremiah does not to join them although he has no wife or children to mourn.
The people rise up in their hypocritical sanctimoniousness and ask, as if they do not know, why God can do this to them? What sin have they committed to deserve such acts of violence?
[Have such situations arisen in your life? You can answer the questions very easily.]
Verses 11 - 12
The LORD (Jehovah) replies to them that their fathers have sinned, but that they themselves have done even worse.
The remaining people shall be cast into Babylon. [And they were.]
Verses 14 - 15
Oh, the great God of Mercy — Jehovah is His name! He is going to bring Israel and Judah back to the land that He gave to their fathers Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
The regathering of Israel and Judah as ONE nation shall occur after the Great Tribulation. Oh, what judgment is still for all Israel. The Tribulation shall do its work in shaving down this great nation. Two-thirds of the Jews shall be cut off in the Land of Promise:
And it shall come to pass, that in all the land, saith the LORD, two parts therein shall be cut off and die; but the third shall be left therein. And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried: they shall call on my name, and I will hear them: I will say, It is my people: and they shall say, The LORD is my God (Zechariah 13:8, 9).
Nine-tenths shall be slain in the rest of the world:
But yet in it shall be a tenth, and it shall return, and shall be eaten: as a teil tree, and as an oak, whose substance is in them, when they cast their leaves: so the holy seed shall be the substance thereof (Isaiah 6:13).
Even the tribe of Levi with the priests (descendants of Aaron) shall suffer loss, for the LORD (Jehovah) shall choose Gentiles who believe to take the place of the fallen Levites and the fallen priests: “And I will also take of them for priests and for Levites, saith the LORD” (Isaiah 66:21).
Israel’s call to come home shall be made clear and plain. However, because of persecution by the antichrist, many will be fearful and will flee to the underground.
During his earthly ministry, the Lord Jesus when calling His apostles said, “I will make you fishers of men” (in winning the lost). During the Tribulation, the Messiah (Christ) shall appoint men to find the Jewish remnant who have hidden themselves. Many men shall be employed as “hunters of souls” — hunters who know the land, hills, and the mountains to seek after the hidden Jewish people:
Behold, I will send for many fishers, saith the LORD, and they shall fish them; and after will I send for many hunters, and they shall hunt them from every mountain, and from every hill, and out of the holes of the rocks (Jeremiah 16:16).
Those that are found rejoice that they have been found to be taken to the Messiah and not to the axe-man.
Verses 17 - 18
Before Israel begins the millennium with rejoicing, she must be judged as to whether she knows God and believes the Gospel:
In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power;... (II Thessalonians 1:8, 9).
Israel shall be punished double for all her sins. She has been blessed double for her works of righteousness, but now she must endure God’s punishment.
Verses 19 - 21
“O Jehovah! Thou, alone, art my Strength and Fortress, my Refuge in the days of trouble” — Jeremiah knows God when everything around him is blasted, and God delivers him. [He will deliver each one who relies on Him for Protection and Salvation.]
Even the Gentiles shall come to Jehovah (the LORD), saying that their own fathers knew not the truth. Is it possible for anyone to make Gods? How senseless! Then the Gentiles by great numbers, after their judgment, shall trust in the Messiah (Matthew 25:31-46).
Jehovah (LORD) shall reveal Himself to the Gentiles after the first battle of Gog and Magog (Ezekiel 39:23,24).
The sin of Israel cannot be hidden. It is written upon their hearts and upon every horn of their altars to unknown gods.
They (Israel) know and remember their altars, their groves by the green trees upon the high hills. These witness to the sins of Israel and Judah.
All the treasures they have heaped up shall never be enjoyed to worship these false gods but shall be given to her enemies.
The LORD will give Israel’s and Judah’s heritage to their enemies as spoils of war. He so despises them — He can never forget their spiritual treason!
Never trust man, but trust the LORD (Jehovah). Never leave Him: “It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man” (Psalms 118:8).
The man who trusts in man shall be like the rambling bush in the desert — no water, no work — nothing.
Praise be to Jehovah the LORD and the blessings He gives to those who trust in Him — and He knows who trust in Him. “The LORD is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble; and he knoweth them that trust in him” (Nahum 1:7).
Here is the first Psalm quoted as a reality!
The heart of man is the control center of man’s spirit. The spirit of man is the “ego” of a person, the seat of his intelligence. This is the part of man which determines his salvation or his destruction. The heart controls the spirit. As a man thinkest in his heart, so is he: “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine HEART ..., thou shalt be saved” (Romans 10:9).
The heart of the unregenerate man — the lost man — is deceitful and desperately wicked. The unbelieving heart can take the things of sin and make them plausible (the right thing to do); and until the resurrection, the unregenerate man will have a conflict between the righteous heart and the unregenerate heart. The saved man, however, knows what spirit is right and what spirit is wrong.
God knows men’s hearts and will recompense men according to what their hearts lead them to do: to sin and hell, or to believe and miss hell.
Verses 11 - 18
How Jeremiah loves Judah and Judah’s God! He knows the mind of Jehovah (LORD) and the consequence of those who refuse to honor Him and believe Him.
Those who knew Him not ask Jeremiah for the latest word from God. [This request reminds the reader of the account found in the book of Ezekiel where the elders of Israel sit before Ezekiel, waiting for something new to be revealed (Ezekiel 8:1).] The people sit before the prophet Jeremiah to enquire about the LORD (Jehovah). The LORD is vindictive — “how dare them to enquire of Me;” they are already tasting the judgment of God for not obeying His commandments.
And it came to pass in the seventh year, in the fifth month, the tenth day of the month, that certain of the elders of Israel came to inquire of the LORD, and sat before me (Ezekiel 20:1).
Verses 19 - 22
The Sabbaths which the LORD loves are not being kept. Exodus 31:13 states:
Speak thou also unto the children of Israel, saying, Verily my sabbaths ye shall keep: for it is a sign between me and you throughout your generations; that ye may know that I am the LORD that doth sanctify you.
One reads that the LORD made the Sabbath between Israel and no one else. God does not give the Sabbath as a sign to the Church, but only to Israel — to be kept by Israel to show her sanctification (separation) from other people so that the world knows that Israel is God’s people and that Jehovah (LORD) is the God of Israel.
The Israelites are not to come in nor go out on this glorious day — Israel was not. No burden is to be carried on this day — the Sabbath, the Rest Day of Jehovah (LORD); for He rested after the creation. He blessed that Day and sanctified it.
Israel does not keep the Sabbath holy; thus, they lose their sanctification — a people separated unto God and God alone.
Verses 24 - 25
Even in Jeremiah’s day, if they kept it, other descendants of David would sit upon the throne. They did not; therefore, the scepter is taken away and Israel has had no king for twenty-five hundred years.
All Israel will come to honor the LORD with their burnt offerings and grain offerings, but they have not as a whole worshipped Jehovah (LORD) for twenty-five hundred years.
There will be judgment upon those who will not keep the Sabbath, of course.
[Israel, hide your face in shame. Can you not obey only ONE COMMANDMENT? There are nine more! Yea, four hundred and twenty- six more in the Pentateuch.]
What about Israel today?
There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God. For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his (Hebrews 4:9, 10).
There is a sabbath rest for the people of God — it is Jesus the Messiah, the Christ. One enters by placing his or her faith in Christ just as God rested after His work of creation — just as the LORD Jesus did after His work of Recreation upon the cross.
Verses 1 - 6
Jeremiah visualizes Israel, or himself, upon the potter’s wheel, and God, the potter, fashioning Israel or himself after His design.
[After visiting in a potter community in North Carolina, I saw the meaning of a vessel to be used of God. The clay dies get the “breaking” on the wheel before being placed there. The potter first takes the clay, beats it, kneads it, throws it up in the air and slams it as it comes down upon his table. After about ten minutes of pounding the clay with the fists, pulling it apart, and slamming it on the table many times, the clay is now broken completely. Its resistance gone, the clay is now ready for the wheel to be shaped by the potter. No wonder Israel has been broken, and broken, and slammed. She has still resisted the will of God. Oh, how many times has my spirit been broken and still is — God is getting Israel ready for the wheel the second time and her glory shall outshine. And I am waiting for my LORD to place me back on the wheel to shape me for a vessel meant for the master’s use.]
Verses 9 - 10
The Gentiles lie heavy upon the heart of God. They have sinned; but if they repent and break off their sinning, then He shall change His mind and not chastise them.
If, however, the nation plunges into terrible sin, the LORD will repent of the good which He has in mind to do for them and He will punish them.
Verses 11 - 12
Jeremiah is commissioned to go to Judah and tell her people that the LORD frames to chastise them but should they break away, He will do good unto them.
The leaders of Judah turn a deaf ear, even treading into the pitfall of atheism. Alas, there is nothing left but the utter destruction of Judah. She shall be scattered to the ends of the earth.
[So many of God’s people are forsaking the call that God has given them. To preach another gospel, to interpret the Word to state that man may do as he pleases, is sin. There is another standard in the world today — the world, yes; but God has never changed, nor has His Word changed. God still calls His servants unto holiness, purity, and love undefiled.]
Verses 13 - 23
Jeremiah calls the LORD (Jehovah) to be witness to his integrity: that he gives the Word clear, straight, pure, without dross.
He then concurs with God’s wisdom in destroying the great part of Israel.
Verses 1 - 6
Jeremiah goes into the potter’s field, and from it he calls for the elders of Judah and the elders of the priest. There he meets them with a potter’s earthen bottle which has not been used.
To these elders Jeremiah proclaims the Word of God when he tells them that the LORD is against this place; for it has been used by kings and people alike to offer their sons as sacrifices for a burnt offering, an act which He does not command.
“... that this place shall no more be called Tophet, nor The valley of the son of Hinnom [burning], but The valley of slaughter.”
The LORD (Jehovah) reveals the following:
He will make void the counsel of Judah and Jerusalem;
he will cause them to fall by the sword; and
he will give their carcasses to be meat for the birds and beasts;
he will make this city desolate; and…
…he will cause them to eat the flesh of their children and friends.
Verses 10 - 11
Then Jeremiah will break the earthen bottle as a sign; the vessel is destroyed and no potter can make it whole again.
Verses 12 - 13
As Jeremiah does to the earthen vessel, so will the LORD (Jehovah) do to this place.
All the houses, even the house of the King, shall be defiled as Tophet, the valley of burning; for the houses of Jerusalem have provided on their housetops the place for the burning of incense to the host of heaven and poured out drink offerings unto other gods.
Verses 14 - 15
Jeremiah comes from the Valley of Tophet and stands in the court of the LORD’s (Jehovah) house and delivers God’s message of doom upon Jerusalem and upon her towns all the evil that is pronounced upon it — “because they have hardened their necks, that they may not hear my words.”
The rest of this dialogue is continued in chapter 20:1-18.
Verses 1 - 2
In this chapter, a political priest contends with Jeremiah, who also is a priest and the only one to whom God has revealed His word at this time. His name is Pashur, meaning “prosperity round about.” He meets Jeremiah and in anger smites him; he places Jeremiah in the stocks that are in the high gate of Benjamin next to the House of the Lord.
The next day, Pashur releases Jeremiah from the stocks. Jeremiah declares that Pashur’s name is going to be changed to Magor-missabib, meaning “terror on every side.”
The LORD (Jehovah) saith:
I will make thee a terror to thyself and to all thy friends; and they shall fall by the sword of their enemies, and thine eyes shall behold it; and I will give all Judah into the hand of the king of Babylon, and he shall carry them captive into Babylon, and shall slay them with the sword.
God will deliver all the strength of this city and its possessions into the hands of the Babylonians.
Pashur and all that dwell in his house will go into captivity to Babylon to die and be buried there.
Verses 7 - 9
Here Jeremiah complains to the LORD. [Can you imagine that?] He tells the LORD that being a prophet [to his own people] is tiresome. Jeremiah has nothing but captivity and death to report until his own people are saying that he will condemn himself and fall into a trap set for the enemies of God. He determines never to speak anymore in the LORD’S name. He is finished — but he cannot keep quiet. Jeremiah cannot help but speak out, for the Word is in his heart as a burning fire. He cannot be stifled.
The family of Jeremiah is opposed to him; even his own opposed him; and as they see him halting his speaking, they think they have discovered a fault by which they can overpower him.
Jeremiah adds, “But the LORD is with me ....” [How awful to be called into a service with which one is not familiar or in which he is interested but is left alone. God does not put his people in situations like that. He promises, “I will never forsake thee.” For the work, one shall have added strength! That is our God.]
Jeremiah prays for the failure of his enemies.
O Jehovah Sabaoth, LORD of Host, Hallelujah! “... for he hath delivered the soul of the poor from the hand of evildoers.”
After this pause of victory, Jeremiah, like Job, curses the day he was born. [He does not curse God, for he would have died.]
Jeremiah wants to curse everyone who had anything to do with his birth. “What good am I to the LORD (Jehovah) or to myself?” Self-pity wants to answer for the cause of his near spiritual defeat. All of God’s prophets have faced the same testing, but they rejoice in the victory.
Jeremiah has already spoken of King Nebuchadnezzar’s (Babylon) coming invasion of Jerusalem (Jeremiah 20:4), and King Zedekiah of Judah has much to fear in the approach of the King of Babylon.
When he chose Zedekiah, son of King Josiah, as King of Judah, Nebuchadnezzar had Zedekiah swear by lifting up his hand to heaven that he will rule righteously, honestly, and loyally to the King of Babylon. Zedekiah has not done so; so he fears facing Nebuchadnezzar.
Zedekiah’s brother Jehoiakim has been placed upon the throne of Judah by the Pharaoh of Egypt, Pharaoh-nechoh, eleven years before. Jehoiakim pledges loyalty to Nebuchadnezzar and is loyal for three years. He is dethroned by the King of Babylon and is buried with the burial of an ass. (The burial of an ass is simply the throwing of a body into a ravine and left to rot or be eaten by rats.)
Jehoiachin, the son of Jehoiakim, takes his father’s throne and reigns three months. To Nebuchadnezzar he surrenders himself, his wife, children, and leaders of Judah; then he is taken to Babylon where the prophet Daniel has remained since the invasion of Judah by Nebuchadnezzar.
Nebuchadnezzar places Zedekiah, the uncle of Jehoiachin and brother of Jehoiakim, upon the throne; but Zedekiah is not loyal to Nebuchadnezzar. His losses can be found in II Kings 24:20; Jeremiah 39:6; 52:10, 11.
What an introduction to this twenty-first chapter!
Verses 1 - 3
King Zedekiah sends Pashur and Zephaniah (not the writer of the book of Zephaniah) the priest to ask a great favor of the prophet Jeremiah. This is another Pashur who seemingly admires Jeremiah more than the rest of the priests. The king has a natural fear of the King of Babylon as he has not been found true to his word in being loyal to Nebuchadnezzar; and he desires help from the LORD (Jehovah) to ward off, even change his intention to fight Judah.
Verses 4 - 6
Does Jeremiah have the Word of the LORD for Zedekiah!
The irony of it all is that they have even a thought of accomplishing a victory over Nebuchadnezzar! Why, the weapons in their hands shall be taken from them and used against them. Even their own consciences should tell them that they have no reason to expect the LORD to deliver them. “I myself,” saith the LORD, “will fight against you ....” Man and beast shall be smitten. There is no hope for Judah and her King.
After the invasion and after the siege, God will spare King Zedekiah and the people who are left from the sword and pestilence (disease) and from the famine; then they shall be taken to Babylon. No mercy shall be shown.
Verses 8 - 9
“... I set before you the way of life, and the way of death.” Those who surrender to Nebuchadnezzar shall be spared; those who remain in the city shall die by the sword or by the famine or by the pestilence.
Oh, the doom of the LORD — “For I have set my face against this city for evil,... it shall be given into the hand of the king of Babylon ....”
Verse 11 - 13
What about the House of David? He should not have had a son as Zedekiah! God’s anger and fury is set against Judah; even the forest shall burst out with fire to complete Judah’s destruction.
This twenty-second chapter concludes the dialogue to Zedekiah. Zedekiah proves to be the last king of Judah, yet God has promised David that he will have a son to sit upon his throne forever. Can there be living in the world today a descendant of Zedekiah who can claim the throne of David. If there is such a person living today, he will not be recognized as the heir destined for the throne of David; for this chapter proves only One shall be the true Heir of David, and that person is the Lord Jesus Christ!
Verses 1 - 4
The LORD (Jehovah) apprises Zedekiah of the possibility of prolonging his reign, even extending it to others of his line to rule over the House of David and the kingdom of Judah. The possibility depends fully upon his and Judah’s conduct in holy living and pursuing the righteousness of God.
Verses 5 - 10
If Zedekiah and Judah refuse to obey this command of God, the house of Zedekiah shall become a desolation; it shall come to an end. How does this fact affect the promise of God to David that he will have a son to live and sit upon David’s throne forever? [Oh, how many times Satan has tried to eradicate this line of Solomon; this attack is called by others outside the Scriptures the “conflict of the ages.” It seems that this line of Solomon will come to an end! But remember, God is not man that He should lie. How will this promise work out — to end this line, yet to have a son to sit upon David’s throne?]
The Land of Judah shall become a wilderness. Already she has suffered two attacks by King Nebuchadnezzar, and she is about to have another. Most of Judah’s inhabitants have already been carried into the Babylonian captivity. Those who remain shall see utter destruction both to man and land.
Verses 11 - 12
Shallum is mentioned as being taken into captivity and never returning. Shallum is a son of the beloved King Josiah, named in Scriptures as Jehoahaz. Upon the untimely death of his father, who is slain by Pharaoh-nechoh upon the plain of Megiddo, Shallum (Jehoahaz) is anointed king in his father’s stead. Pharaoh-nechoh takes Shallum to Egypt and places his brother Eliakin (renamed as Jehoiakim) upon the throne. Shallum is buried with the burial of an ass (donkey).
Verses 13 - 23
The destruction is coming to this part of the House of David.
Verses 24 - 28
Coniah is now in focus. He is the same as Jehoiachin (II Kings 24:8) and Jechoniah (I Chronicles 3:16, 17), a man with three names. Coniah, or Jechoniah, alone is left of the beloved Josiah; but he and his mother, his servants, his princes, and his officers surrender to the King of Babylon, having reigned only three months. Nebuchadnezzar then has him and his family taken to Babylon.
Zedekiah rebels against Nebuchadnezzar, flees with a few soldier horsemen; but he is overtaken by the army of Nebuchadnezzar on the plains of Jericho. His small sons are slain before his eyes; then his eyes are put out. He himself is taken prisoner to Babylon.
Verses 29 - 30
Here in these two verses, Jehovah (LORD) pronounces His judgment upon Coniah and his descendants; the House of David through Solomon is at an end! Verse 30 does not say that Coniah (Jehoiachin) shall have no children but that none of his seed will ever prosper, sitting no more upon the throne of David.
[Certainly, Satan claps his hands in glee; Has God broken his covenant with David? No, He has not, but God’s curse is pronounced upon the house of Solomon.]
The coming Messiah must be of this line (of Solomon) to have a clear claim to the throne, but God’s curse is upon it!
Looking at the genealogy of the Lord Jesus as found in Matthew 1:11, one can see that this man Coniah is mentioned as Jechonias, ancestor to Joseph, husband of Mary. He may be called a carpenter, which he was; but he is a true prince in Israel. The Messiah, the next King of Israel, must come from that legal heir, but the curse is there. [Watch the curse disappear!] This genealogy goes back to Abraham.
When the virgin Mary gives birth to her Son, Jesus, He becomes legal heir to the throne of David through Joseph. Jesus is not, however, the blood son of Joseph because Joseph did not beget Him.
Now looking to the genealogy found in Luke’s Gospel, the reader finds that the bloodline of Jesus comes through His mother Mary. Turning to Luke 3:23, one may read, “... being (as was supposed) the son of Joseph, which was the son of Heli ....” Joseph is the son-in-law of Heli. Heli is the father of Mary. Everyone would assume that Heli’s son-in-law, Joseph, is considered his son. The rest of the genealogy is tracing the bloodline of Jesus back from Mary to ANOTHER SON of David: “... the son of Nathan, which was the SON OF DAVID” (Luke 3:31). This bloodline of Jesus through Mary goes back to Adam.
Tracing now the legal line from David to the LORD Jesus, the reader comes to Coniah (Jechonia) where the curse is pronounced; but Jesus is not of this bloodline and thus skips the curse. Then, according to the bloodline, Jesus traces his ancestors through Mary, to Heli, to Nathan to David — no curse. [Truly, the marriage of Joseph and Mary is made in heaven!] Joseph is the legal heir but with a curse; Mary provides the bloodline to another son of David with no curse. Jesus is not begotten by man, but by God with Mary! Truly Jesus is the Seed of the Woman, the promised Redeemer of all mankind (Genesis 3:15).
As God denounces the King (God’s anointed) in Chapter 22, God does the same with the false prophets and the unholy priests in Chapter 23.
The priests are the first teachers of God to the people of Israel; the prophets also teach the people of God’s will and tell them of the forthcoming events of the future.
The priests are born into their office, being of the tribe of Levi and the family of Aaron, the first high priest, whereas the prophets are called of God for this high calling.
The priests begin their service in the Tabernacle, then in the Temple at age thirty, and serve until they reach the age of fifty when they retire. The priests are given thirteen cities in which to live. All of these cities are located in the tribes of Benjamin, Judah, and Simeon. The city in which Jeremiah lives is Anathoth in the tribe of Benjamin. One boast of the tribe of Benjamin is that Jerusalem is located there.
The priests live off the alter, so to speak. The firstfruits, the tithes, and the second tithe every three years are brought to Jerusalem and divided equally among the priests.
The priests also receive things dedicated to the LORD (Jehovah), including the hide of the Burnt Offering, the meal of the Grain Offering, the right shoulder and breast of the Peace Offering, and the whole animal of the Sin and Trespass offerings.
Now as to the prophets, there are “colleges” of the Prophets where several prophets live together. Some of these colleges of the prophets are located in Ramah, Bethel, Jericho, Gilgal, and elsewhere. These prophets are pastors and ministerial monitors of the people of God. Most people think of them as being very poor; this poverty may be caused by their great persecution as they rebuke the people for their waywardness.
Who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, Quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens. Women received their dead raised to life again: and others were tortured, not accepting deliverance; that they might obtain a better resurrection: And others had trial of cruel mockings and scourgings, yea, moreover of bonds and imprisonment: They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword: they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins: being destitute, afflicted, tormented; (Of whom the world was not worthy:) they wandered in deserts, and in mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth (Hebrews 11:33-38).
Verses 1 - 2
However, the prophets and priests at the time of Jeremiah are not of this caliber of suffering. They do not know what suffering means; they are rich because they approve the sins that Israel is committing. Instead of being pastors of the Sheep of Israel, they become destroyers of His people. Israel’s scattering to the four corners of the earth is due to the apostate teaching of the false shepherds.
Yet God will restore those who are not contaminated by these false leaders in the future restitution.
Verses 4 - 5
New shepherds shall be found, especially David’s future SON, the Righteous Branch, the King, the Messiah!
In His day, Judah shall be saved and all Israel shall dwell in safety. This is the name of the future Son of David: the LORD (Jehovah), OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.
Verses 7 - 9
Israel, especially Judah, has been saying for at least thirty-five hundred years, “The LORD (Jehovah) liveth who brought up Israel out of the North country (Assyria and Babylon) and from all countries whither I have driven them, and they shall dwell in their own land.”
This event occurs after the Great Tribulation when Israel’s righteous dead also are raised from the dead and become a great army (Ezekiel 37:1-10); and together with Israel’s righteous, or saved, living saints are called back to the land of Israel.
Verses 9 - 12
The prophet’s heart is broken over the spiritual vacuum of Judah and Israel. Everywhere crime is paying; anything and everything can be bought for a price with no fear of retribution by authorities or God. They believe in neither.
Verses 13 - 15
The prophets of Samaria (Samaria is the capital of the Ten- Tribe Kingdom of Israel) do not fare well as they prophesy in Baal’s name. The prophets of Jerusalem are no better. They commit adultery, walk in lies, and even make sinners strong in their practice. Their payment for the wages of sin is that God will give them wormwood to eat and gall to drink.
Verses 16 - 19
Judah is to listen to them with a deaf ear. They prophesy lies, denouncing God’s true prophets. They falsely speak of peace, but there shall be war with the remnant of Judah, with a devastation of total defeat.
The anger of the LORD (Jehovah) shall not be appeased until these false prophets are annihilated. [In the latter day, the difference will be seen.]
Verses 21 - 27
These prophets have not been sent by the LORD; He has not revealed His word to them. Who do these people think God is — The God who is afar off, who sees not sins practiced in darkness? These prophets declare their dreams, but they have no lesson to give. They ignore God, turning people away from Him, because they desire that they forget Him!
Verses 28 - 29
The LORD says to compare His Word with the false prophets’ dreams. His word is the wheat and their dreams are chaff. [What a difference! Try the Word. Listen to it; it is like fire and a hammer. No one can safely resist God’s Word. It destroys everything and everybody who opposes it.]
Verses 30 - 32
What have these false prophets done to merit God’s wrath? They steal God’s word; they use their tongue instead of His; they prophesy false dreams.
Verses 33 - 40
As for the false priests and prophets who have interpreted the Word of God wrongly and have pronounced new revelations of God when there is none, Jehovah declares, “I, even I, will utterly forget you, and I will forsake you, and the city that I gave you and your fathers, and cast you out of my presence.”
Jehovah (the LORD) cast upon them the curse of everlasting Gehenna — hell.
Verses 1 - 4
In revealing His plans, God uses many “object lessons” to prove His point. In this chapter, two baskets full of figs are set before Judah. One basket is full of good, edible figs; the other basket is full of rotten figs that cannot be eaten.
The fulfillment of this lesson occurs before Solomon’s Temple is destroyed after Nebuchadrezzar (same as Nebuchadnezzar) has taken Jeconiah (the king with three names, the other two being Coniah and Jehoiachin) captive to Babylon.
Verses 5 - 7
The Good Figs represent those who are carried to Babylon for their good. They shall be brought back to the land (after the resurrection of righteous Israel and Judah — after the Great Tribulation).
These shall be God’s people and He shall be their God “for they shall return unto me with their whole heart” during their captivity. They shall die and be resurrected after the resurrection with the other saints of Israel. This does not occur at the same time that the Church has its resurrection; the Church shall have its resurrection before the Tribulation (Seventieth Week of Daniel).
Verses 8 - 10
The evil figs, the rotten figs which cannot be eaten, represent those of Judah who care not for Redemption, including King Zedekiah, his princes, the residue of Jerusalem, and those who dwell in the land of Egypt. These are not killed during the siege, but they still refuse Jehovah and shall be scattered to all kingdoms of the earth to their hurt.
The rest shall suffer the sword, the famine, and the pestilence until they live no more in the land, or elsewhere. These shall not be raised from the dead with the others but will be raised after the Millennium (their souls and spirit have been in Hades, or Sheol). Sheol shall empty itself of them and they shall appear before the Great White throne and be cast into the Lake of Fire where they shall be tormented day and night forever (Revelation 20:12-15).
This great chapter gives the duration of Judah’s captivity (verse 11) — the exact number; this revelation can only be of God!
The attack of Babylon against the Kingdom of Judah occurs in the following three phases:
(1) At the time of the reign of Jehoiakim, in which the prophet Daniel is taken to Babylon;
(2) At the time of the reign of Jehoiachin, in which the prophet Ezekiel is taken to Babylon; and
(3) At the time of the reign of Zedekiah, in which the prophet Jeremiah is prophesying.
King Nebuchadnezzar permits Jeremiah either to stay in Judah or go to Babylon. Jeremiah chooses to stay; but those of the remnant who are spared “gang up” against Jeremiah and take him against his will, and contrary to the Word of God, to Egypt. There he dies.
Reading of the ending of the seventy years in captivity prophesied by Jeremiah is remarkable. At its end, Jeremiah is long dead, but the prophet Daniel is still living, having lived the whole seventy years of captivity in Babylon. He reads in Jeremiah that the duration of the captivity will last seventy years (Daniel 9:2). Verses 3 and 4 say, “And I set my face unto the Lord God, to seek by prayer and supplications, with fasting, and sackcloth, and ashes: And I prayed unto the LORD my God [Elohim], and made my confession ....” He knows that it is time to return home. The rest of the ninth chapter shows that he makes plans to return (he had left as a young man), but the last verse in Daniel (12:13) reveals that his God has other plans: He will not go back now — “But go thou thy way till the end be: for thou shalt rest [die], and stand in thy lot [his inheritance] at the end of the days [Seventieth Week — the Tribulation].” [Oh, yes, he too will get back home but in a resurrected, glorified body!]
Verses 1 - 4
Jeremiah is a prophet in the days of the beloved King Josiah; he has prophesied for twenty-three years and will prophesy for at least seventeen years more. The people, however, have not paid any attention to him though the LORD (Jehovah) has come to him and revealed His Word to him for Judah’s forgiveness and usefulness.
Verses 5 - 7
Jeremiah tells the people to pay heed to what he says and return to the LORD (Jehovah) in righteousness and save themselves, but they heard not and hearkened not.
Verses 8 - 9
For this act of disobedience, God will send the people of the north headed by Nebuchadnezzar and bring them against this land. Nebuchadnezzar is His Servant. Is Nebuchadnezzar a true believer in Jehovah (LORD)? The fourth chapter of Daniel seems to confirm that he is.
The land shall be without joy and the jubilation over a good harvest, lasting seventy years.
Verses 11 - 14
And this whole land shall be a desolation, and an astonishment; and these nations shall serve the king of Babylon seventy years. And it shall come to pass, when seventy years are accomplished, that I will punish the king of Babylon, and that nation, saith the LORD, for their iniquity, and the land of the Chaldeans, and will make it perpetual desolations (Jeremiah 25:11-12).
In the future, Babylon shall be destroyed and never built again; it shall become a perpetual desolation. There is a rebuilding in old Babylon today. Is this not a pure contradiction of verses 11 and 12? However, there are other pronouncements.
And Babylon, the glory of kingdoms, the beauty of the Chaldees’ excellency, shall be as when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah (Isaiah 13:19).
This verse emphasizes Jeremiah 25:11, 12. They are rebuilding there; even the hanging gardens of Nebuchadnezzar today have been rebuilt and visited.
It shall never be inhabited, neither shall it be dwelt in from generation to generation: neither shall the Arabian pitch tent there; neither shall the shepherds make their fold there (Isaiah 13:20).
This verse states that the Arab shall not pitch his tent in Babylon, but the Arabs are pitching their tents there. Is this not a contradiction? Wait.
Therefore the wild beasts of the desert with the wild beasts of the islands shall dwell there, and the owls shall dwell therein: and it shall be no more inhabited for ever; neither shall it be dwelt in from generation to generation. As God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah and the neighbour cities thereof, saith the LORD; so shall no man abide there, neither shall any son of man dwell therein. (Jeremiah 50:39, 40).
This passage states that people will no more dwell there, but there are people dwelling there today. A contradiction? Wait.
And they shall not take of thee a stone for a corner, nor a stone for foundations; but thou shalt be desolate for ever, saith the LORD (Jeremiah 51:26).
Here God says that no stones from the ruins of Babylon shall be used by anyone; but upon visiting old Babylon, one can see that hundreds of homes are built from the ruins of old Babylon. Now, is that a contradiction? No, wait.
Isaiah 13:19 states, “And Babylon, the glory of kingdoms, the beauty of Chaldees’ excellency, shall be as when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah.” Babylon shall be as Sodom and Gomorrah. As there is no trace of these cities ever existing, so shall there be no proof that Babylon ever existed. But anyone can visit the ruins of Babylon today! Besides the hanging gardens of Nebuchadnezzar already built, some of the walls of the city have also been rebuilt. Contradictions? No!
All these predictions are to be fulfilled when Babylon is fallen, is destroyed; but Babylon has never been destroyed. She has been captured three times, yet she has never been destroyed. She was captured by the Medo-Persian Empire, Greece, and Rome but never destroyed. (Alexander, the first Great king of Greece, after capturing Babylon died during a drunken spree in the Banquet Hall of Nebuchadnezzar.)
The Apostle Peter wrote his first epistle from Babylon, and the city was still standing in 600 A.D. No nation ever destroyed Babylon; she just deteriorated when she was bypassed on the trading routes.
So much concerning Babylon is yet to be fulfilled that she will have to be rebuilt so that the prophecies against her can be fulfilled, giving her ample time to be DESTROYED.
The prophet Isaiah describes her destruction:
And, behold, here cometh a chariot of men, with a couple of horsemen. And he answered and said, Babylon is fallen, is fallen; and all the graven images of her gods he hath broken unto the ground (Isaiah 21:9).
Revelation 14:8 reveals the fulfillment which occurs after the Rapture of the Church:
And there followed another angel, saying, Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication.
Revelation 18:2 depicts the same event, but places it in the Seventieth Week of Daniel, the Tribulation:
And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird.
Under the reign of King Nebuchadnezzar, Babylon captures Assyria. [Many changes have taken place since then, but Babylon is still a unification of Assyria and Babylon; today she exists as Iraq.]
Isaiah 10:5, “O Assyrian, the rod of mine anger, and the staff in their hand is mine indignation,” lets the reader know that the antichrist shall be born there. Isaiah 19:19-25 states that at the end and the Great Tribulation all Assyria (Babylon) and Egypt shall be saved with Israel.
In that day shall Israel be the third with Egypt and with Assyria, even a blessing in the midst of the land: Whom the LORD of hosts shall bless, saying, Blessed be Egypt my people, and Assyria the work of my hands, and Israel mine inheritance (Isaiah 19:24,25).
There are several “cups” in Scripture. First is the cup of God’s fury. This is the Father’s cup that the Lord Jesus asks to be removed, yet not His will be done but the Father’s. It is still God’s fury against sin and the worker of sin. [The Lord Jesus hated to become sin, for He knew no sin but was willing to go to the cross to be made sin for man that he may be made the righteousness of God.]
There is also the cup of wickedness of Satan which is offered by Babylon to the kings of the earth:
So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness: and I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet coloured beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns. And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet colour, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication (Revelation 17:3,4):
They that drink of this cup will certainly drink of God’s cup.
Verses 16 - 17
Here the nations of the earth are commanded to drink of Jehovah’s (LORD) cup of judgment.
Jerusalem is first — no nation had ever been blessed, and no nation will be devastated as Israel. Why have the nations been reserved for such treatment? God opposes and wipes out sin no matter where He finds it. Judgment must begin at the House of God, “and if it first begins at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?” (See II Thessalonians 1:8). “And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear” (I Peter 4:18)?
As God has started His judgment against Judah, shall the Gentiles who commit the same evil not also drink the cup of God’s judgment? Certainly.
Verses 19 - 38
This great judgment against the Gentiles shall be fulfilled at the close of the Great Tribulation and at the beginning of the Millennium (see Matthew 25:31-46).
Studying this great book of prophecy, the reader cannot help but notice that God does not dictate the contents in sequence or in chronological order, as he does the Gospels that begin with the birth of Jesus and then sequentially reveal His youth, His ministry, His crucifixion, and finally, His resurrection.
From the study of Jeremiah one would naturally think that as the twenty-fifth chapter ends with the approach of the siege by Nebuchadnezzar, this twenty-sixth chapter will speak of the siege. That is not the case, however. The reader is taken back in time to the reign of Jehoiakim, where the first siege of Judah takes place and Daniel is taken as prisoner to Babylon.
Verses 1 - 2
Jeremiah is commanded by the LORD (Jehovah) to stand in the court of Solomon’s Temple and speak the truth to all the cities of Judah.
Jehovah gives the people an opportunity to repent of their sins and break away from them so that He can change His mind about carrying out the terrible judgment which He has prepared to do.
Verses 4 - 6
If Judah does not repent, God proposes a judgment that will equal that visited on the city of Shiloh, the city where the Tabernacle was first located. [How it was destroyed is not told, but the Tabernacle was later moved to Jerusalem.]
Verses 7 - 11
The priests and the prophets and the many people in the court hear Jeremiah and are very much disturbed by his denunciation.
They cry out for Jeremiah’s death because he has prophesied the destruction of Solomon’s temple. Those leaders of Israel who are called princes come from the king’s house into the house of the LORD when they hear the disturbance.
Verse 12 - 15
Jeremiah declares the full counsel of God as God instructs him. The princes have an open mind to hear Jeremiah. He places his life into the princes’ hands stating that if they do kill him, they will be guilty of shedding innocent blood.
The princes declare that Jeremiah is not worthy of death for he has spoken in the name of the LORD.
Some of the elders remind the princes of Micah, the Morasthite, who prophesied the same denunciation in the time of Hezekiah. Hezekiah did not put him to death but called upon the LORD for forgiveness.
Verses 17 - 24
They are reminded of a recent prophet Urijah, who spoke of the same destruction by Jehovah (LORD) in Jehoiakim’s reign. Jehoiakim wanted to put the prophet to death. Urijah fled to Egypt, an act which resulted in Jehoiakim’s sending men into Egypt to find Urijah. They brought him back to Judah, killed him with the sword, and cast his body into the graves of the common people.
A leader, Ahikam, defends Jeremiah so that he is not turned over to the people and put to death.
Verses 1 - 8
Jeremiah establishes the time of this revelation: at the beginning of Jehoiakim’s reign. Jeremiah has prophesied in the courts of Jehoiakim’s father, Josiah, whom he loves deeply. Jehoiakim is a puppet king who is accepted by Nebuchadnezzar; Jeremiah warns him of his lackadaisical obedience to Nebuchadnezzar and uses an ox yoke as an object lesson for him and the rest of the kings in that section of the land. He tells them to place their necks in the yoke and yield to the demands of Nebuchadnezzar. In doing so, they will guarantee their lives and safety; if they do not obey, then God will punish by the sword, and with the famine and with the pestilence until they are consumed.
Verses 9 - 11
The LORD (Jehovah) tells the people to forget about these false prophets who prophesy saying, “You shalt not serve the king of Babylon”; for they speak a lie and He has not spoken to them.
Verses 12 - 13
At least eleven years later, Jeremiah speaks the same prophecies to Jehoiakim’s brother, Zedekiah, who rules in his place.
Verses 14 - 15
This king and people are also warned against the false prophets.
Verses 16 - 18
Jeremiah speaks also to the priests not to follow these false prophets who say all the golden dishes taken to Babylon by Nebuchadnezzar shall be returned to the Temple. He tells them to stop up their ears to the pleasing prophecies, for they are lies. [Today’s pulpits, classrooms, and missionary leaders are seeking the advice of the liberals and are turning their eyes from the truth (II Timothy 4:3, 4).]
Verses 19 - 21
Listen to this! The brazen oxen, the molded sea, the pillars at the entrance of the Temple on the right named Jachim (whom God strengthens) and on the left named Boaz (fleetness), all of which were left when Nebuchadnezzar carried away Jeconiah, shall be carried to Babylon “... until the day that I visit them saith the LORD; then will I bring them up, and restore them to this place.”
The same prophecy stands true to Zedekiah as it does to Jehoiakim. Why? It is the Word of God. It stands.
When Daniel is an old man, he reads from Jeremiah where he says that seventy years will cover the Babylonian captivity. He takes encouragement from the Word of God, though someone else has written it. He begins to count the years, and soon he finds that the seventy years have passed. He knows it is time to go home.
However, very few (fifty thousand) Israelites go back to the land; many millions stay in Babylon because their life is too good. They do not want to exchange the successful businesses in Babylon for the hard work which lies ahead in the homeland. [Only a few Jews have gone back to the promised land today; but after the Great Tribulation, they shall go back.]
Daniel, though being a very old man, makes plans to leave Babylon for the Promised Land; but in the last verse of the book of Daniel (12:13), God says that he will not go: “But go thou thy way till the end be: for thou shalt rest [shall die], and stand in thy lot [inheritance] at the end of the days [at the end of the Great Tribulation when the resurrection of Israel takes place].”
Here is Jeremiah wearing the ox yoke (of wood) in the house of the LORD (Jehovah) during the fourth year of Nebuchadnezzar’s reign, the fifth month (July), the first year of Zedekiah’s reign. The false prophet whom all Judah is believing enters. In the presence of the people there, he says that he has a new revelation from the LORD.
Verses 2 - 4
The yoke of Nebuchadnezzar is broken [one looks silly with that wooden ox yoke around his neck]. Within two full years the LORD Jehovah says that He will—
(1) — bring back all the vessels of the LORD’s house which Nebuchadnezzar took away; and that He will
(2) — bring back King Jeconiah (Jehoiachin, Coniah — the same man with three names) and place him back on the throne. His uncle Zedekiah who sits there now is going to lose his kingdom. The yoke of Nebuchadnezzar will be broken off the shoulders of Judah and also off the shoulders of the kings surrounding Judah.
Verses 5 - 9
Then the true prophet, Jeremiah replies, “Would to God this prophecy were true, but alas it is all false.”
Verses 10 - 11
Then the false prophet takes the wooden yoke off of Jeremiah’s neck and breaks it. The false prophet says that just as he has done this to Jeremiah, so will God take the yoke of Nebuchadnezzar from off the necks of all nations in two full years.
Verses 12 - 17
Then Jeremiah speaks to Hananiah, the false prophet. As far as Judah and the nations are concerned, the LORD will replace the wooden yoke with another yoke, this one of iron, [try to break this one!]. Time will tell if peace shall come. “Hear now, Hananiah; The LORD hath not sent thee ...: this year thou shalt die ....”
In two months Hananiah is dead.
Hananiah does not live the next two years but other false prophets do. All Israel sees not only the next two years but also eight more without any peace. So the people are to cast him out of their minds; he is a false prophet.
Verses 1 - 4
Jeremiah writes immediately to those who are first taken to Babylon (there are three captivities altogether) during the reign of Jehoiakim. He speaks clearly the Word of God to the twelve tribes of Israel. [The Ten-Tribe Kingdom of Israel has been taken into Assyrian captivity in 740 B.C. (II Kings 17:4-17). Nebuchadnezzar captures Assyria; thus the ten tribes of Israel are located in the Babylonian Empire. When Nebuchadnezzar takes captives of the lower Kingdom of Judah, all twelve tribes are now in the Babylonian captivity; therefore, the words of Jeremiah are now for all Israel.]
This is indeed a critical time for all Israel who wonders when she should be called back to the land.
Seventy years are to pass before the people can return to the Holy Land, and they certainly will need to know what to do in those seventy years. [We, the Church, are awaiting our call to our Promised Land in Heaven. What are we to do before the rapture occurs? God’s leading for both is interesting:
Build houses, plant gardens, take wives, raise children, and seek the peace for cities Israel dwells in;
For the Church:
Seek those things above, not the things on the earth (Colossians 3:1-2): seeking a divorce, seek it not; seeking a wife, seek her not — “I suppose therefore that this is good for the present distress .... But and if thou marry, thou hast not sinned” (I Corinthians 7:26-28).]
Verses 5 - 7
Jeremiah’s message is that the captivity is going to last seventy years. Most old people will die; thus the young and the younger are advised to build their houses in the place Nebuchadnezzar will choose for them. There they are to sow their grain and reap their harvest.
The people are commanded to urge their children to marry within their tribes (taken from other Old Testament surmises) and pray peace for each city in which they live — “for in the peace thereof shall ye have peace.”
Verses 8 - 9
Here Jeremiah puts Israel on her guard to beware of false prophets and teachers. The captivity shall be a long one, seventy years; and if any prophet prophesies differently, he can be branded as a false prophet.
Here in this tenth verse Jehovah reveals that after the seventy years in Babylon, the people will be able to return home to Israel.
Alas, Israel does not want to go back! [Even today (1992), the Jews are enjoying life too much in America, England, and Brazil to want to return to Israel. They see no attractions in Israel to merit their return. This return shall occur after the Seventieth Week of Daniel, not in the Church Age. Just think, the seventy year captivity occurred over twenty-five hundred years ago, yet Israel as a whole is still scattered throughout the world. Only fifty thousand did return, leaving millions in Babylon and Medo-Persia.]
Verses 11 - 13
Israel’s success in returning depends upon “when ye shall search for me with all your heart” (v. 13). [Today, Israel, located in the Promised Land, has no Temple, no priest, or sacrifice; for they have not searched for their God Jehovah — not for twenty-five hundred years.]
Verses 14 - 15
The people shall be found by Jehovah (LORD) when they do search for Him; and from later prophets, one knows that they will be found when “they shall look upon Him whom they have pierced” — the Messiah.
And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as he that is in bitterness for his firstborn. In that day shall there be a great mourning in Jerusalem, as the mourning of Hadadrimmon in the valley of Megiddon. And the land shall mourn, every family apart; the family of the house of David apart, and their wives apart; the family of the house of Nathan apart, and their wives apart; The family of the house of Levi apart, and their wives apart; the family of Shimei apart, and their wives apart; All the families that remain, every family apart, and their wives apart (Zechariah 12:10-14).
According to the Word written by Jeremiah, the LORD Jehovah pronounces judgment upon those Israelites who remain in the land and who do not confess their sins.
Verses 17 - 19
Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Behold, I will send upon them the sword, the famine, and the pestilence, and will make them like vile figs, that cannot be eaten, they are so evil. And I will persecute them with the sword, with the famine, and with the pestilence, and will deliver them to be removed to all the kingdoms of the earth, to be a curse, and an astonishment, and an hissing, and a reproach, among all the nations whither I have driven them: Because they have not hearkened to my words, saith the LORD, which I sent unto them by my servants the prophets, rising up early and sending them; but ye would not hear, saith the LORD.
Verses 20 - 23
The LORD marks Ahab and Zedekiah as false prophets and announces that they shall be slain before the eyes of those in the captivity.
Verses 24 - 32
The LORD singles out Shemaiah for his writing to those who are still free in Judah, thus Jerusalem, stating that he himself (Shemaiah) has been appointed priest in the stead of Jehoida. In acclaiming all these blessings, why does he not condemn Jeremiah for his prophecies stating that the Babylonian captivity will be long?
—But let all in the captivity know that “I will punish Shemaiah.” Neither he nor his seed will ever see the good things God shall provide for the true saints in Israel.
As the reader finds, Chapter 25 predicts the Babylonian Captivity; Chapter 30 reveals the return of Israel and Judah. “My people” includes both the Ten-Tribe Kingdom of Israel and the Two-Tribe Kingdom of Judah.
Verses 1 - 4
Here are the words of God describing the joy, the ecstacy, and the reality of the regathering of all twelve tribes of Israel to the Holy Land.
The Word is given to Israel to return; but when seventy years of the captivity is over, only fifty thousand of the millions of Judah are willing to go back. Those who remain are entrenched in the land of the enemy. They care not for the land of Beulah! Thus the regathering of Israel has been postponed already twenty-five hundred years.
Verses 6 - 7
These verses reveal that a wretched time awaits Israel before the people do go back for the Millennial reign of the Messiah. It is called Jacob’s trouble — the Seventieth Week of Daniel.
Verses 8 - 9
The reader learns that King David shall be raised from the dead with all the Old Testament saints when Israel is regathered and the Messiah begins His one thousand year reign. He shall be presented to all Israel as the Prince (Ezekiel 44-48).
When Israel shall return, “None shall make him afraid!” How glorious! [Israel’s government today (1992) which is recognized by the League of Nations is very afraid — afraid of all the enemies about. Of course, Israel today in the Holy Land is not the fulfillment of verse 10 of this chapter. Israel is very, very much afraid!]
“I am with thee to save thee.” What glorious words they are — yea, and the verse also declares that the LORD Jehovah will make an end to the nations which persecute Israel.
Verses 12 - 16
The LORD Jehovah reminds Israel that in her present state her people are helpless because of their sinning. Their wounds are not bound; their lovers in whoredom have forgotten them. Israel is hopeless. Her sins have increased, yet those who have devoured shall be devoured. [What a compassionate God is Jehovah of Israel. His grace is boundless and His love has no ending.]
Verses 17 - 23
One must look at the results of God’s forgiveness (See Psalm 103:3):
“I will heal thee ...
I will bring thee back,
I will build thy city on its ruins,
I will multiply thee,
I will restore children to thee,
I will punish your persecutors, and
I will be your God.”
In the latter days, the people will consider it. Yes, they shall understand it.
Israel has grossly sinned against God, against all that is holy and righteous; yet Jehovah the Saviour, is so full of love for His covenanted people (by the Abrahamic Covenant Genesis 12:1-3) that He ignores their looseness, their deliberate rejection of His rule over them.
Why? How can the Almighty stoop to the unbearable pain of rejection and promise them forgiveness, eternal forgiveness?
Does the Mosaic Covenant promise such unlimited grace. Of course not. The Mosaic Covenant, the LAW, demands death to any and all sinners. No grace but death!
How can God forgive and ignore His Law? Only God can produce the answer where His law can be satisfied and the sinning nation, Israel, can stand before Almighty God — Jehovah — justified? This chapter develops the answer with another Covenant which has another Sacrifice besides the offering of animals. It is the Sacrifice of Substitution — one who will die for Israel and is able to do so — God’s Own Son, the LORD Jesus Christ! Glory, amen.
Chapter 31 describes all.
Verses 1 - 2
The promise God gives to His people Israel is, “I will be your God.” Here the promise of salvation in the latter days shall be for all twelve tribes of Israel!
Those of the Assyrian captivity (Ten-Tribe Kingdom) shall find GRACE in a new wilderness and exodus.
God has loved you (Israel) with an everlasting love.
God has drawn you.
God will build you.
You shall be adorned;
You shall dance.
You shall plant.
“Let us go to Zion,” the watchman shall cry.
They shall go to Zion (v. 12).
One must look at the expressions of rejoicing:
“O LORD [Jehovah], save thy people....”
“I will bring them from the north country, and gather them from the coasts of the earth ....”
“I will lead them,” the blessed Shepherd states, “and I will cause them to walk ....”
He that scatters Israel shall gather them.
Verses 11 - 12
Look to the future, Israel.
The LORD (Jehovah) has redeemed Jacob and ransomed him.
The LORD says, “I will turn their mourning into joy, and make them rejoice from their sorrow.”
Israel shall find satisfaction in Jehovah, her God.
This verse is described in the New Testament upon the edict of Herod the Great as he seeks death for the Babe Jesus in slaying all male babes in Bethlehem.
The reader finds that Jewish leaders use these Scriptures at many calamities when loss of life is present.
The LORD tells His people to refrain from weeping, for their works shall be rewarded. [God is speaking to Israel here, yet God also speaks through the Apostle Paul to the Church in I Corinthians 15:58, when Paul says that our labor for Christ shall not be vain.]
There is hope in the future.
Verses 18 - 19
Here the future repentance and faith of Ephraim (the Ten-Tribe Kingdom) is assured; the Great Tribulation brings this to pass.
Verses 20 - 21
Not only to the Ten-Tribes does God direct His Word, but also to all Twelve Tribes. “Look back down the road you traveled out of the Promise Land; turn around, be converted, for the same road shall bring you home.”
“How long will you go about?”
Verses 23 - 27
Again Israel and Judah shall be sown with the seed of man and beast. The land shall be populated with man and his animals.
Verses 29 - 30
How can a just God forgive such a sinful nation? How can God be just and be a justifier at the same time?
The Law has condemned Israel. The Law which was established to bring about a knowledge of sin has turned out to be Israel’s slayer. By the Law is the knowledge of sin, and each one stands individually before God condemned. The Law, however, does not provide a Saviour.
Verses 31 - 34
Another Covenant is needed. Israel becomes God’s people by the Abrahamic Covenant. After that Covenant is made, God makes the Mosaic Covenant with His people Israel to show them what God expects of His people. The Mosaic Covenant is the LAW — the Ten Commandments — which can be broken in 744 ways. Israel must keep all 744 laws or perish. The Law becomes an executor. The people die if they break them, or they are blessed in the land if they keep them.
The Abrahamic Covenant does not bestow righteousness upon Israel for being Jews, and observing the law does not guarantee salvation from sin to heaven. What is missing? — A covenant that will declare Israel righteous and that will forgive her sins and guarantee her eternal life by a righteous, loving, perfect Saviour.
[No human could be found of such standing except God Himself who became Man (Jesus) and died — the just for the unjust, being put to death in the flesh but quickened by the Spirit.]
In these verses God calls this Covenant “The New Covenant,” rather, the same word, “New Testament.” It is not the renewed Covenant that God makes with his people when he brings them up by the hand out of Egypt, the one which they break. It is, consequently, a covenant which is eternal and which cannot be broken, and one which places God’s laws in their hearts, resulting in God’s forgiving their sins and forgetting those sins forever.
This new covenant (testament) is unconditional and depends upon Israel’s faith.
Verses 35 - 40
There are only two ways that this covenant can be broken: (1) if the heavens can be measured and the foundation of the earth can be searched out; and (2) if the ordinances of the sun for a light by day and the moon and the stars for a light by night are changed.
Impossible! So the Covenant stands. Amen.
These precious, powerful words are written at the time of Nebuchadnezzar’s crushing defeat of Jerusalem and the cities of Judah. Judah has suffered defeat at his hands three times; and this time all of Judah, with the exception of a very few who are left to till the ground and gather the grape harvest, are taken to Babylon. Seventy years will now pass before Israel can return to the Land.
[Two thousand five hundred years have passed and all Israel has not returned to the land. Fifty thousand return in the times of Nehemiah and Ezra and 2,400,000 have returned in this century. Most of Israel is still scattered throughout the world. All Israel has not repented and returned to Jehovah or Jehovah would have returned to them.]
And it shall come to pass, when all these things are come upon thee, the blessing and the curse, which I have set before thee, and thou salt call them to mind among all the nations, whither the LORD thy God hath driven thee, And shalt return unto the LORD thy God, and shalt obey his voice according to all that I command thee this day, thou and thy children, with all thine heart, and with all thy soul; That then the LORD thy God will turn thy captivity, and have compassion upon thee, and will return and gather thee from all the nations, whither the LORD thy God hath scattered thee. If any of thine be driven out unto the outmost parts of heaven, from thence will the LORD thy God gather thee, and from thence will he fetch thee: And the LORD thy God will bring thee into the land and which thy fathers possessed, and thou shalt possess it; and he will do thee good, and multiply thee above thy fathers. And the LORD thy God will circumcise thine heart, and the heart of thy seed, to love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, that thou mayest live. And the LORD thy God will put all these curses upon thine enemies, and on them that hate thee, which persecuted thee. And thou shalt return and obey the voice of the LORD, and do all his commandments which I command thee this day. And the LORD thy God will make thee plenteous in every work of thine hand, in the fruit of thy body, and in the fruit of thy cattle, and in the fruit of thy land, for good: for the LORD will again rejoice over thee for good, as he rejoiced over thy fathers: If thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to keep his commandments and his statutes which are written in this book of the law, and if thou turn unto the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul (Deuteronomy 30:1-10).
“Behold, the days come,” saith the LORD, “that I will make a new Covenant with the house of Israel (Ten Tribes) and with the house of Judah (Two Tribes).”
[It is already made. God is ready to confirm it. When will Israel be ready?]
The siege of Jerusalem begins. There are no actual reasons why the siege should have ever occurred if Zedekiah had continued to be the vassal of Nebuchadnezzar and carried out his orders in ruling over the captured Kingdom of Judah; for Nebuchadnezzar, in capturing Judah, needs someone who is strong and someone who will heartily exact the levies and taxes and support in service to the king of Babylon.
Zedekiah tries to interest the Pharaoh of Egypt to join him in overthrowing the iron rule of Babylon, but the Pharaoh will have no part in it because Nebuchadnezzar has conquered all the land from the Nile to the Euphrates River. Nebuchadnezzar hears of Zedekiah’s attempt, of course, and comes to Judah to put down the last rebellion of this nation and king.
Nebuchadnezzar’s attack takes place in the tenth year of the reign of Zedekiah and the eighteenth year of Nebuchadnezzar.
Verses 2 - 5
Jeremiah is in Jerusalem when the attack begins, imprisoned in the king’s court located in Zedekiah’s house.
Zedekiah is very angry with Jeremiah, for he is the prophet who foretells the capture of Jerusalem and the King and of the King’s being taken captive to Babylon. Ezekiel, prophesying at the same time but in Babylon, predicts the same events, but with added details: “My net also will I spread upon him, and he shall be taken in my snare: and I will bring him to Babylon to the land of the Chaldeans; yet shall he not see it, though he shall die there” (Ezekiel 12:13). The Bible tells that after the siege, which lasted over a year, Zedekiah is tried before Nebuchadnezzar, that his sons are slain before his eyes, and that his own eyes are put out. Zedekiah does go to Babylon but never sees it, for he is blind; and he dies there.
Verses 6 - 15
The LORD (Jehovah) reveals to Jeremiah that his uncle’s son will offer a plot of ground to be bought; the prophet is in line to buy this land. Hanameel, the son of Shallum who is Jeremiah’s uncle, comes to him to seal this legacy.
The significance of this business transaction must be noted. The siege has begun, and the land will become worthless when Jerusalem is captured. However, God lets Jeremiah know that in the future when He calls Israel back to the land, the plot will be priceless in the city of Anathoth, Jeremiah’s home.
The land is sold and bought for seventeen shekels of silver — $123.76!
The LORD Jehovah directs the deed to be sealed and recorded, then placed in an earthen vessel and hidden. Somewhere, that earthen vessel with its deed is buried in Judah and has been for twenty-five hundred years. [Oh, when Messiah returns to bring about the return of Israel to Judah, what joy there will be to witness Jeremiah unearthing the earthen vessel and opening the seal! — A multi-million dollar building may have been built upon that parcel of ground! God will be able to say, “I told you to buy, record, and seal that deed, and now look at the dividends!”]
Verses 16 - 25
[Oh, when a prophet prays to His God!]
The prophet Jeremiah tells God how great Jehovah is; he emphasizes that there is nothing too hard for God. He points out God’s leading Israel out of the land of Egypt and giving the people the Land of Promise.
As Israel possesses the land, her people turn from their God and His law and do nothing He commands them. At this time, they are surrounded by the Chaldeans (Babylonians). Israel has been stripped of her land, yet God commands Jeremiah to purchase this parcel of land, which soon shall be deserted. [What’s the answer? Twenty-five hundred years have passed, but time will soon present the Tribulation and Millennium. Those living at that time will have their faith substantiated, for Jeremiah will go in his resurrected body to the place where he hid the deed to this plot of land which he secured for himself; thus he proves to all saints then and now the directions of the LORD are perfect.]
Verses 26 - 35
Jehovah is determined to burn the city of Jerusalem with fire, including the Temple of Solomon and the wealthy homes where the people offer drink offerings upon their roofs to other gods hated by the LORD. Israel has turned her back on God.
Verses 36 - 38
Later God will gather Israel back from the lands to which He has driven her. “... And they shall be my people, and I will be their God.”
“And I will give them one heart and one Way — (“I am the Way” — John 14:6) that they may fear me forever.”
“A new Covenant [new testament] which is an everlasting covenant” (31:31; Hebrews 13:20).
“I will rejoice over them to do them good.” What a change has occurred since Jehovah God rejected His people over twenty-five hundred years ago. The change has been made by Israel, for they have repented (changed their minds). God has not repented; God is not man that He should change His mind.
Israel shall be planted in the land never to fear reprisal of any kind.
Only good will God bring to Israel.
Again fields shall be bought and sold.
Jeremiah, “keep your deed”; one day it shall be priceless — of course, in the resurrection and millennium.
Verses 1 - 2
In times past, the LORD (Jehovah) revealed his anger and disappointment at the sin of Israel (the ten tribes) and Judah (the two tribes). Here He is stating the same judgment upon the sinning nation, but now she will repent. She shall turn to her God, and she shall be brought back to the land God has promised her; but now she shall stand not as a chastised people but a redeemed people.
“Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.”
Verses 4 - 5
All Israel comes out to meet the enemy, but falls to the sword, according to the wish of the Almighty.
There is nothing but good for God’s people in spite of past wickedness.
The LORD will bring health and cure and shall reveal unto them the abundance of peace and truth.
God will cause the captivity of Judah and Israel to return and will build them as at the first. [Oh, the glory of it!]
The LORD will cleanse them from all their iniquity. He will pardon all their iniquities.
Oh, the abundance of the LORD to be poured out upon His people.
Verses 10 - 11
The desolate land now neglected shall become the source of all happiness with the voice of joy, of gladness, of the bride and of the bridegroom; all unite to praise the LORD of host (Jehovah Sabaoth) for the LORD is good and his mercy endureth forever.
“Again” — once more Jehovah (the LORD) reveals the revival of those things which have been taken away, that they will be restored: man and beast in the cities shall multiply.
The cities of the mountains, in the vale, cities of the south and in the land of Benjamin (especially Jerusalem), and the cities of Judah shall be populated.
Verses 14 - 15
God’ promises shall be fulfilled, those of prosperity for His people and especially the coming of the Messiah who is called the “Branch of Righteousness” whom He will cause to grow unto David (his father) and execute judgment and righteousness in the land.
Verses 16 - 18
In the days when Messiah returns to the earth and sets up His righteous Kingdom, Judah shall be saved and Jerusalem shall dwell in safety; and this glorious city of David shall be called “Jehovah Tsidkenu,” the LORD our Righteousness. David shall always have a Son to sit upon his throne, reigning over all twelve tribes. Neither shall the priesthood and the Levites be lacking men to carry out the duties of the Brazen (Bronze) Alter.
[As all Israel (twelve tribes) shall suffer the loss of many men during the Great Tribulation — one-third of Israel, slain in the land (Zechariah 13:8, 9); nine-tenths, slain in the world (Isaiah 6:13; Amos 6:3). In the Great Tribulation, God shall take many of the Gentile believers who shall fill the office held by the priests and Levites — “And I will also take of them for priests and for Levites, saith the LORD” (Isaiah 66:21).]
Then who and how many sons of David sit upon the throne of David? Only One, and His name is Jesus, the Resurrected Saviour who lives forever — the Son of David.
Verses 19 - 22
The Davidic Covenant (God’s contract with David that he will have a son to sit upon the throne forever) is an unconditional covenant. It cannot be broken. It is forever, for God states that there is only one way to break this covenant: to change day from being day and night from being night.
Verses 23 - 26
People are saying that the family of Israel and the family of David are no more; thus the Covenants made with Abraham and David do not exist, that these covenants are broken.
What Jehovah (the LORD) is saying is that He is chastising His people Israel with dispersion and the destruction of the temple; chastising is not that He is forsaking the people of Israel or that He is ignoring the throne of David forever; for He will return both the nation of Israel to the land and the family of David to the throne. How long? Until Israel quits sinning. When Israel repents, when Israel starts trusting the LORD and calls upon Him to forgive her of her sin and heal her, then the LORD Jehovah will honor His covenants with Israel and Judah.
Verses 1 - 3
The time of these words is at the close of the third invasion by Nebuchadnezzar of Jerusalem and Judah.
The prediction is that Jerusalem and the remaining cities of Judah, Lachish and Azekah shall be burned with fire in their destruction.
Verses 4 - 7
King Zedekiah shall die in peace though blinded and unable to see Babylon. Zedekiah’s uncle Jehoiachin is exalted in Babylon by the new King, the son of Nebuchadnezzar, Evil-merodach.
Verses 8 - 22
Before this last invasion by the armies of Babylon, King Zedekiah utters the law that gives liberty to all the Jewish slaves owned by the rich Jews. However, the owners of the slaves and handmaids who are Jewish later regain their slaves and put them under the yoke.
The LORD Jehovah rebukes these people by stating that in His Law He commands that, after serving six years, the Jewish slaves be given their liberty the seventh year — the Sabbath year.
“Israel, you made a covenant with me. Your representatives: the princes, the eunuchs, the priests and many people of the Jews passed between the parts of the calf ‘declaring liberty to the Jewish slaves,’ yet returned to slavery those that were once freed.”
For this, everyone who passes between shall die and their flesh shall be eaten by the birds of the heaven and by the beasts of the earth.
[A contract between two parties of Israelites was conducted in this manner: a calf was taken, killed, and divided. Then the two parties walked together between the pieces. They broke the law of making a contract despising God’s law as such, and thus would be dishonored by their death and become food for bird and beast.]
The occasion of this chapter is the reign of Jehoiakim, who suffers the first invasion of Nebuchadnezzar who takes Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego.
This chapter describes the refusal of the Rechabites to drink the wine in the House of the LORD Jehovah. This chapter does not describe the evil of drunkenness nor the liberty one may have in the LORD Jesus to drink or not to drink wine. This is simply a true story of the Rechabites who on being taken to the house of God are offered a banquet of wine but refuse to drink any part of the wine provided. This refusal occurs because the tribal father Jonadab, the son of Rechab, commands them not to drink wine, nor to build houses, nor to sow seed, nor to plant vineyards all the days of their lives “that ye may live long in the land where ye be strangers.”
The Rechabites refuse the wine, but they are out of their tents. They fear King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon and have retreated to Jerusalem for safety’s sake.
Through Jeremiah, God reproves Israel: “These people have obeyed the word of their father whereas Israel has My Word and My commandments but refuses to comply with My wishes. Israel will I punish severely, driving them from this land, but Jonadab the son of Rechab “shall not want a man to stand before me forever.”
[Applying this truth today, we know that God wants us to be faithful, honest, and obedient unto every word of our Heavenly Father.]
This chapter deals with the writing of the scroll, the Word of God, during the fourth year of the reign of king Jehoiakim over Judah. Jeremiah is commanded to write all of God’s judgment against Israel, Judah, and against all the nations from the day “I spake unto thee, from the days of Josiah even unto this day.”
The purpose of the writing of these judgments and the speaking of them to the people is to bring conviction of the people’s sins; thus it might bring about also the people’s awareness and conviction of their sins, leading them to return every man from his evil way so that God will forgive their iniquity and their sin.
[When sinners come to the realization of their sins, they are not to run away from God but rather to return to their God and His loving arms of forgiveness and restoration.]
The coming of God’s judgment appears four times in this chapter: the first time — by Baruch in the LORD’s house (v. 8); the second time — a year later, the Words of Baruch to the people in the higher court at the entry of the new gate of the LORD’s house (v. 10); the third time — the Words are read to the princes (vv. 14, 15); the fourth time — the Words of the roll are read into the ears of king Jehoiakim. These events occur in the ninth month, which is December, and the weather is very cold. There is a fire burning on the hearth; and as the Word of God is being read the fourth time, the King hears a few pages and then destroys them with his pen knife. He then casts them into the fire (vv. 20 - 26).
People, princes, and the King all refuse the revelation of God. None is afraid, and none rents his garment. Despising the Word of God, they despise God Himself. Is this the end of God’s revelation? Nothing can destroy God’s Word; for it is eternal as God is eternal.
Jeremiah takes another roll, writes everything the first roll contained, and even adds Words of Judgment (v. 32).
This chapter takes the reader to Zedekiah, the brother of Jehoiakim, both of whom are sons of Josiah, the King whom all Judah loves.
Jehoiachin, the son of Jehoiakim, reigns only three months and ten days (II Chronicles 36:8-10) and is taken into the Babylonian captivity. Ezekiel the prophet is also taken into the captivity at the same time.
Nebuchadnezzar makes Zedekiah swear by the God of Heaven with the raising of his hand that he will be a true vassal of the king and obey him completely. He proves to be unworthy of trust, and his end is of shame. (See chapter 39).
Verses 1 - 2
Neither King Zedekiah nor the people pay any attention to the Word of God which He speaks by Jeremiah the prophet.
Verses 3 - 10
Zedekiah sends word to Jeremiah, asking if the Word of the LORD has come to him; for the army of the Chaldeans (Babylon) leave Judah when the army of the Egyptians come to help Judah. The Word that comes to Jeremiah is that the army of Pharaoh will go to Egypt, withdrawing its help from Zedekiah, and that the forces of Babylon will then return to take up its siege against Judah.
Verses 11 - 16
As the army of Babylon leaves Jerusalem for a while, Jeremiah seeks a place in Benjamin (the temple is located in Benjamin), no doubt Anathoth, a city of the priests; but as he is traveling through Benjamin’s gate, a captain of the ward seizes Jeremiah and takes him to the princes, accusing the man of God of being a traitor to Judah.
Jeremiah disputes the charge but is cast into prison in the house of Jonathan. There he remains for several days.
Verses 17 - 21
King Zedekiah takes Jeremiah out of the prison and asks secretly if there is word from God. Jeremiah replies, “There is: for thou shalt be delivered into the hand of the King of Babylon.”
Jeremiah asks the King of Judah if he [Jeremiah] has ever offended him. He also asks the King where his prophets are now, for everything they prophesied is false.
He begs the king not to return him to the last prison in Jonathan’s house. Zedekiah commands that Jeremiah be committed to the court of the prison and be given a daily portion of bread from the baker until all the bread in the city is spent. The siege begins and soon breaks the resistance of the people of Judah.
Verses 1 - 4
The reader may go back to the beginning of this chapter and learn how much King Zedekiah fears the princes of Judah.
These leaders accuse Jeremiah of sowing seeds of fear among the people, even among the few soldiers that are left; they demand that the prophet be put to death for telling the people that the city will die by the sword, by the famine, and by the pestilence — unless they surrender to Nebuchadnezzar; then their lives shall be spared.
King Zedekiah delivers Jeremiah into the princes’ hands, who lower him into the dungeon by ropes. There is no water there, only mire — mud. And Jeremiah sinks into the darkened dungeon of mud.
[Oh, Christian! This may be our lot just before the rapture (II Thessalonians 1:5, 6) as the LORD Jesus is going to give the tribulation to them who persecute the Church just before the Tribulation begins.]
Instead of delivering Jeremiah to the executors, the princes have him lowered into the dark, miry dungeon — a fate truly which would have brought on the prophet’s death; but Jeremiah has not finished his testimony yet.
Verses 7 - 13
God let Ebed-melech, a eunuch, hear of Jeremiah’s plight. He at once appeals to King Zedekiah, who now wants to redeem himself. The king suggests that this court eunuch take thirty men with him and deliver Jeremiah before he dies. They do so by dropping old rags to Jeremiah and having him put the rags under his arm pits so that the ropes will not tear his flesh. [Just think, old rotten rags can be used in the service of the LORD — even to deliver a prophet of God from pain and misery.]
Verses 14 - 17
The last days for King Zedekiah and the Kingdom of Judah is rapidly coming to an end, yet God gives the King a way out; his life will be protected from shame and the city of Jerusalem and the Temple of God will be spared from the flames. The way out calls for the king to go out and surrender to the King of Babylon.
Verses 18 - 23
If the king will not surrender to Nebuchadnezzar, he shall be shamefully treated; and the City with its temple shall be given to the torch. Also, the women of the court that are left, including the king’s wives, shall be offered as gifts to Nebuchadnezzar’s officers.
Verses 24 - 28
By the following words of Zedekiah, the reader knows that he refuses the Word of the LORD; for he asks Jeremiah not to divulge their conversation when the princes come to ask what are the words between Jeremiah the Prophet and Zedekiah the King. The king suggests that Jeremiah say only, “I asked not to be returned to Jonathan’s prison house.” Jeremiah answers as the king requests, and he abides in the court of the prison until Jerusalem is taken. The Word says that Jeremiah is in the city when it is taken.
Verses 1 - 2
This chapter describes the third and last captivity of Judah by King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon.
The Babylonian army surrounds Jerusalem for one and one-half years until no bread exists. King Zedekiah and the people of Jerusalem do not fight in any way during the siege. They eat all animals; but when the bread runs out, so do the animals and so do the people.
Verses 3 - 5
Jerusalem usually had about 1100 people living within its gates; but at this time as many in Judah flee to Jerusalem from the Babylonians, swelling the population to about seven thousand. [But think of it! For one and one-half years they do endure the siege.] God provides a deliverance but the people choose to act upon the aid of Egypt; however, Pharaoh at the end decides not to come to Judah’s aid. Man fails Judah, yet Judah fails the LORD and will not act upon God’s Word by surrendering to Babylon. Those few who do surrender, save themselves. The rest perish.
Escaping the city by way of the gate between the walls, Zedekiah and a few soldiers flee to the plains. There they are overtaken, taken prisoners, and presented for trial before Nebuchadnezzar.
[There is a story told in Israel even today that Zedekiah and his men escaped into Solomon’s quarries whose caves led under the city and on to the hills surrounding Jericho. A lone donkey on top of the caves walked toward Jericho as its master below walked in the cave. Those who had been sent to capture the king and his men saw this spectacle and followed the donkey. Then when Zedekiah and the men came out of the caves to the plains of Jericho, they were captured.]
Oh, the horror of Nebuchadnezzar’s judgment! At first, he has the confidence of his puppet king Zedekiah, but this king betrays that trust. He is guilty of mutiny, treason, and betrayal. [Only had he followed the Word of God and surrendered. Yes, only had he measured up to Nebuchadnezzar’s trust.]
Why has Nebuchadnezzar shown such grace to begin with? He has five other Jews who have been captured during the reign of Jehoiakim and Coniah, and they are wonderful prisoners who rise in his estimation, even believing in their God, Jehovah. The five are Daniel, Meshach, Shadrach, and Abednego, and Ezekiel.
Verses 6 - 7
King Zedekiah is first to be presented. His sons are slain before his eyes; then his eyes are put out. [Just think, the last thing he sees is the shedding of his sons’ blood in their death.]
He is put into chains and led to Babylon, fulfilling Ezekiel’s prophecy concerning Judah’s last king, “... and I will bring him to Babylon to the land of the Chaldeans; yet shall he not see it, though he shall die there” (Ezekiel 12:13).
Verses 8 - 9
All the nobles, those of noble blood are slain also.
All of Jerusalem is set afire, and the people as a whole are taken to captivity in Babylon.
The very poor who have no possessions are left in the land of Judah and given vineyards and fields.
Verses 11 - 18
Now as to Jeremiah: Of course, Nebuchadnezzar has found out how Jeremiah pled with the King and people to surrender to the armies of Babylon. For this, he is spared to do what he wants: to go to Babylon and be honored or to remain in the Holy Land. While he is still in the court of the prison, Jeremiah speaks to the court eunuch, Ebed-melech, and guarantees his safety and life for the way he delivered Jeremiah from the dungeon mire.
Verses 1 - 5
Nebuchadnezzar’s campaign against Judah is now over. Those who are to be taken alive to Babylon are chained and taken to their trial, and among them is Jeremiah!
The captain of the guard speaks to Jeremiah as a true believer in the Word of God as it pronounces judgment upon God’s land and God’s people — for all of God’s warnings and judgment do come upon His people, as He said it would. The captain speaks as though Jeremiah has part in the spiritual rebellion. “The LORD (Jehovah) thy God hath pronounced evil upon this place. Now the LORD hath brought it and hath done according as he said: because YE have sinned against the LORD, and have not obeyed his voice; therefore this thing is come upon you.”
[This sounds familiar, for fifty-five years later, the prophet Daniel who has lived the whole prophetic seventy year captivity in Babylon reads the prophecy of the prophet Jeremiah where he states that the number of the years in captivity will be seventy years; then Daniel knows that those years have just been fulfilled and that it is time to go home. So, he sets his face unto the Adonai Elohim (Lord, God) to confess his own sins and the sins of his people. However, neither the Words of Jeremiah nor the confession of Daniel is enough to bring revival upon all Israel. Moreover, ALL Israel has not yet returned to the Promised Land, and twenty-five hundred years have elapsed.]
After the sermon, the captain of the guard releases the chains from Jeremiah. He is now free to do as he chooses: to go with the captain to Babylon or remain in Judah. The king has already appointed a governor over the land, Gedaliah, to whom those left in the land are to report, bringing the produce of the land to a central office where Gedaliah can ship it on to Babylon.
The captain stocks Jeremiah with food, gives him a reward, and lets him go.
Verses 6 - 10
Jeremiah reports to Gedaliah at Mizpah and lives with him.
Not all men of Judah are killed or taken prisoners to Babylon, for they have escaped and are hidden in the hills and other places. When these hear how Gedaliah has the appointment over those intentionally left, they leave their hiding places to look into the situation with Gedaliah. He in turn swears that hostilities are over, and there is no reason to fear the Babylonians anymore. They are offered peace and any place in the land they choose. He requests only that they gather the wine, summer fruits, and oil and have these produce ready for the accounting which will come at Mizpah.
Verses 11 - 14
At this time in Moab and among the Ammonites, in Edom and in the regions roundabout, there are many Jews who have fled once before out of Judah to the land of the sons of Lot and Esau. These hear that the king of Babylon has left a remnant of Judah and has set Gedaliah over them. [It is thrilling to learn how these Jews return to their land and place themselves under Gedaliah at Mizpah and gather much wine and summer fruit. These actions become a bread basket for Nebuchadnezzar.
Verses 15 - 16
Johanan and the overseers of the farmers that are in the fields come to Gedaliah to warn him of Ishmael saying the king of the Ammonites hath sent Ishmael to slay him. Gedaliah will not believe it; he just cannot. [We ourselves learn how some of God’s leaders are being double-crossed, cannot believe it, and will not.]
Verses 1 - 3
However, it comes to pass that Ishmael of the royal line of Zedekiah with ten princes (leaders) of Zedekiah visit Gedaliah and break salt with him (an emblem of perfect union); then they rise up with the ten men and slay Gedaliah, whom the king of Babylon has made governor over the land. Ishmael slays also the Jews present and the Chaldeans who are there, the soldiers of Babylon.
Verses 4 - 9
On the second day (no one knows of the slaying), there are those who come from Shechem, from Shiloh, and from Samaria, even eighty men having their beards shaved and their clothes rent, with offerings and incense in their hands to bring them to the house of the LORD (Jehovah). They have not been informed that the House of God is in ruins, having been set afire by the soldiers of Nebuchadnezzar.
Weeping, Ishmael goes forth from Mizpah, suggesting that this group go on to Mizpah and report to Gedaliah. When they are in the midst of Mizpah, Ishmael and his group fall upon them with the sword and cast their bodies into a large pit, which has been dug by King Asa of Judah to hide grain from King Baasha of Israel. There are ten men in this group, however, who ask mercy and guarantee treasures they have hidden in the fields if spared. They are saved.
Verses 10 - 18
Then Ishmael carries away captive all that are left of the people in Mizpah, including the king’s daughters and all that are in Mizpah, who Nebuzar-adan, the captain of the guard, have committed to Gedaliah for his work in collecting food for Nebuchadnezzar.
When Johanan hears of the evil done by Ishmael, he organizes his forces to seek the death of Ishmael. When those who are captured by Ishmael learn that Johanan is seeking their release, they turn about of their own and seek Johanan.
Ishmael, however, escapes with eight men and goes to the Ammonites, descendants of Lot.
Then Johanan takes all, even the eunuchs, with him and sets up quarters in Chimham, which is near Bethlehem. The people fear what the king Nebuchadnezzar will do when he learns of the treasonable acts of Ishmael; thus, they are removed from Mizpah.
Verses 1 - 6
This chapter deals with those whom Nebuchadnezzar leaves in the land to tend to the food produce which is to be sent to Babylon.
The first overseer, Gedaliah, has been murdered by Ishmael (of the royal bloodline), and Johanan has taken his place. Johanan is the one who with the captain of the farm forces speaks to the prophet Jeremiah, asking for further guidance of the LORD (Jehovah). He states that if the LORD wants them to stay in the land, they will stay; but if He wants them to go to Egypt, they will all go there. They want to know God’s will in the matter, and they promise to obey His will in all things.
Verses 7 - 10
In ten days the LORD (Jehovah) reveals His will to this remnant.
[When the Land is considered, it is always as it was with faithful Abraham at the beginning — “abide in the Land.” Because a famine had hit the Promises Land, Abraham went to Egypt (just as Johanan wants to do); but he came back with Hagar, an Egyptian slave of Sarah, his wife. Sarah allowed her slave Hagar to sleep with her husband, for she (Sarah) doubted God’s Word that Abraham could father a child or that she could mother a son. Hagar became pregnant with Ishmael, the father of the Arab people. Ishmael and his seed have always been the thorn in the side of the seed of Isaac, the son who was born of Sarah fourteen years later. This unnecessary trouble occurs because of Abraham’s unfaithful act of not abiding in the land.]
Here in these verses, the LORD (Jehovah) is speaking to the remnant of Judah, telling them to remain in the land to be blessed to the fullest, neither to fear the king of Babylon — “for I am with you to save you and to deliver you from his hand.”
Verses 11 - 22
Through Johanan the LORD also tells the people not to reason that by going to Egypt they will see no war, nor hear the sound of the trumpet, nor leave hunger, or that they will receive bread. The LORD also says that the sword that they fear in the Promised Land shall overtake them in Egypt, and the famine they fear shall overtake them. These things are promised by Him whom they do not obey. The sword shall overtake them, and famine shall stalk them, and in Egypt they shall die.
God promises to pour out His fury upon them as he has already done to Jerusalem and Judah. Right then and there the inquiring Jews show their hypocritical tongue, for they promise to obey God’s will although their hearts are far from Him.
Jehovah closes His word by stating that by not abiding in the land under the LORD’s (Jehovah’s) protection, the remnant will die in Egypt by the sword, by the famine, and by the pestilence.
Verses 1 - 6
Then these leaders of Judah all agree, as do their relatives before Nebuchadnezzar destroys the Temple and the cities of Judah, that God will not destroy the Jews nor their possessions. They brand Jeremiah a liar, stating that God has not spoken through him; and they take all those that King Nebuchadnezzar has left in Judah, even the eunuchs and the daughters of the last king of Judah, Zedekiah. All the farmers are taken to Egypt; as a result, the summer fruit, the wine, and the harvests will not be gathered and sent to Nebuchadnezzar, an action which will fire up his hatred for the remnant. He will follow them to Egypt as the following verses prove prophetically.
Verses 7 - 9
There in Egypt, the LORD speaks to Jeremiah as He spoke to Moses — in Egypt!
There in Tahpanhes, the LORD speaks to Jeremiah stating that all those who return to Egypt will die, while Moses urged the people to leave nine hundred and three years before. Jeremiah is urged to take great stones and hide them in the clay of the Egyptian brickkiln.
The LORD instructs Jeremiah to tell the men of Judah,
“... Behold, I will send and take Nebuchadrezzar the king of Babylon, my servant, and will set his throne upon these stones that I have hid; and he shall spread his royal pavilion over them.”
Verses 11 - 13
When the LORD comes, and there is no doubt that He will, He shall smite Egypt hard. Some shall be delivered to death; and some, to captivity.
God says that He will kindle a fire in the house of the gods of Egypt and that Nebuchadnezzar shall burn them and break all the images Beth-shemesh and destroy the houses of the gods.
[Another prophet, Ezekiel, sheds light upon the destruction of Egypt at this time. Jehovah (LORD) knows that these leaders who promise to do what He tells them will not do it, for the prophet Ezekiel states that the LORD (Jehovah) will deliver Egypt into the hands of Nebuchadnezzar as a reward for destroying Tyre (Ezekiel 26-28) so that Nebuchadnezzar will be able to pay for the wages of his army with the booty he takes from the Egyptians.
Son of man, Nebuchadrezzar, king of Babylon, caused his army to serve a great service against Tyrus: every head was made bald, and every shoulder was peeled: yet had he no wages, nor his army, for Tyrus, for the service that he had served against it: Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I will give the land of Egypt unto Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon; and he shall take her multitude, and take her spoil, and take her prey; and it shall be the wages for his army (Ezekiel 29:18,19).
Going to Egypt is evil for the Jews of Judah. God does not want them to leave the land. The army of Nebuchadnezzar has already come and gone. God has finished punishing His remnant by Babylon’s army, and He will take care of them in the land. The people should abide in the land and be blessed, but they disobey God and go to Egypt. Therefore, judgment will be poured out upon them in Egypt.
Five times the LORD (Jehovah) uses the expression “this day” of Judah’s idolatry and God’s punishment upon His people as He speaks to Judah, their sin, and their punishment.
“This day” is first used in Chapter 44:2. Jerusalem and the cities of Judah are in ruins.
The second time the LORD (Jehovah) uses the words, “this day,” is found in Chapter 44:6, where the LORD states that He sent prophets to the people; however, Judah and her king do not listen to them. As a result of their not listening, the cities are wasted and desolate as at this day.
God uses “this day” again in Chapter 44:10, when He asks how can the people not remember the sins of their fathers and the kings of Judah. They are not humbled even to this day. God promises that He will punish them that now dwell in Egypt as He has punished Jerusalem: by the sword, by the famine, and by the pestilence. None who goes to Egypt shall escape and remain there.
The fourth time God uses the words, “this day,” is in Chapter 44:22. Jeremiah asks the people if they did not offer incense unto false gods when they were in Jerusalem. The LORD (Jehovah) will not forgive them and their fathers because they do not ask forgiveness. Therefore, Jerusalem is in ruins at “this day,” yea, a desolation, an astonishment, and a curse!
God speaks of His judgment, “this day,” the fifth time in Chapter 44:23; for the people have sinned against the LORD and have not obeyed the voice of the LORD or walked in His law, nor in His statutes, nor in His testimonies.
The people argue that while they worship other gods, burning incense to them and making worship to the Queen of Heaven (probably “Ishtar”), they have food; but when they stop doing these things, the food stops. Their minds are searing, not realizing, that their sin is worshipping these false gods; and God’s taking their food away is the punishment for worshipping them.
Nevertheless, they are still blinded and they are going to start their idolatry again; but the food will not come — they shall suffer hunger (yea the intense form); famine shall rage among them and they shall die now in Egypt.
This short chapter deals with Jeremiah’s speaking to the faithful man of God who is with Jeremiah. God speaks through Jeremiah, and Baruch records the message.
The time of this recording takes place in the fourth year of Jehoiakim’s reign, one year after Nebuchadnezzar has taken Jerusalem; Daniel is led into the captivity (Daniel 1:1).
These words of God are given for Baruch’s benefit. By association with Jeremiah, Baruch becomes as much an enemy to the ungodly king as Jeremiah is. He realizes the shaky ground on which he is walking. Jeremiah’s danger is his danger. Jeremiah’s predicament is his predicament. The wrath and envy of king and people against Jeremiah are his wrath and envy. All hate Baruch with the same wrath they hate Jeremiah.
Baruch bemoans his situation, he quivers at the thought of death, he is afraid at what people will do to him, and the ground shakes under his feet. The LORD (Jehovah) has placed a trembling heart in the breast of this dear saint. Because of his love and loyalty to the prophet Jeremiah, Baruch is despised and opposed.
And among these nations shalt thou find no ease, neither shall the sole of thy foot have rest: but the LORD shall give thee there a trembling heart, and failing of eyes, and sorrow of mind: (Deuteronomy 28:65)
What great accomplishment can he gain under the circumstances? “And seekest thou great things for thyself? seek them not: for, behold, I will bring evil upon all flesh, saith the LORD: but thy life will I give unto thee for a prey in all places whither thou goest” (v. 5).
[What encouragement for every servant of God!]
From Chapters 46:1 - 51:64, the reader learns of God’s future for the Gentile nations who have persecuted Israel. The prophet Zechariah reveals that the four “world-rule” nations are four “world empires” who have hurt Israel: Babylon (the first world-wide nation), Medo-Persia, Greece, and Rome (Zechariah 1:18, 19). God uses these Gentile empires to chastise His people Israel, but they act more severely than God wishes, “And I am very sore displeased with the heathen [Gentiles] that art at ease: for I was but a little displeased, and they helped forward the affliction” (Zechariah 1:15).
Then the reader learns in Zechariah 1:20, 21 those nations which shall punish these nations:
Medo-Persia shall punish Babylon.
Greece shall punish Medo-Persia.
Rome shall punish Greece.
The LORD Jesus shall chastise the Roman Empire. (The reader sees Christ judging all the Gentiles in Matthew 25:31-46.)
As one studies this portion of Jeremiah, he learns of the lesser nations who are to be chastised for their part in anti-Semitism.
Verses 1 - 6
1. Against Egypt (46:2-28)
From the time of Israel’s exodus, yea, and the previous four hundred years, Egypt delights in the persecution of Israel. She rejoices at Israel’s calamities and gives a suggested hand in her dilemma.
Egypt has been severely thrashed by Babylon in the past, yet she shall be object of God’s grace in the future.
Verses 7 - 13
God uses Babylon to bring punishment to Egypt. Many years before, Babylon is used by God to exterminate Tyre (Ezekiel 26-28). For this added expense of paying the wages of his soldiers, God gives Nebuchadnezzar the nation of Egypt with all her riches as a booty; Nebuchadnezzar is then able to pay the wages of his soldiers for the Tyre campaign (Ezekiel 29:18-20).
Egypt, however, shall be blessed in the last day. By reading Isaiah 19, one learns that in the end of the last days Egypt shall call on the LORD (Jehovah) and He shall send her a Saviour — and a great one. Of course, this Saviour is the LORD Jesus; for He alone is mighty enough to save. Even Assyria (which is Iraq today) shall be saved with Egypt and Israel, for the LORD [Jehovah] says, “Blessed be Egypt my people, and Assyria [Iraq] the work of my hands, and Israel my inheritance” (Isaiah 19:25).
Israel is not to be afraid; for at last Israel shall be saved and gathered back to the land from whence the LORD once scattered her.
2. Against Philistia and Tyre
The Philistines are the arch-enemy of Israel and the ones who bring much trouble to the people of God. They are descendants of Ham of Noah.
The main cities of Philistia are five; two of them are mentioned in this chapter: Gaza and Ashkelon. Gaza is its capital and nine miles away is Ashkelon. Ashkelon is the birthplace of Herod the Great.
David slays the Philistine giant, Goliath; Philistia’s doom is announced.
Tyre’s destruction is here declared; and as the LORD (Jehovah) mentions, Tyre’s destruction has also been declared in the book of Ezekiel 26:1-28:19.
3. Against Moab
The Moabites are descendants of Lot and his first daughter, after the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. [Lot’s two daughters agree to give Lot, their father, wine to drink; the first daughter goes into him, and Lot never knows when she comes nor when she leaves; then the second daughter goes into him. Both daughters become pregnant and each bears to Lot a son. The first daughter names her son Moab, who is father of the Moabites; the second daughter names her son Be-ammon, who is the father of the Ammonites.]
Verses 1 - 46
These verses declare God’s judgment against the first descendants of Lot, not because of their being descendants of Lot, but because he opposes the children of Israel in their going through his land, a shortcut on the way to the Promised Land.
Moab shall be spared, “Yet will I bring again the captivity of Moab in the latter days, saith the LORD. Thus far is the judgment of Moab.” Yes, Moab shall be useful to the LORD in helping the remnant of Israel to find a hiding place during the great tribulation.
Send ye the lamb to the ruler of the land from Sela to the wilderness, unto the mount of the daughter of Zion. For it shall be, that, as a wandering bird cast out of the nest, so the daughters of Moab shall be at the fords of Arnon. Take counsel, execute judgment; make thy shadow as the night in the midst of the noonday; hide the outcasts; bewray not him that wandereth. Let mine outcasts swell with thee, Moab; be thou a covert to them from the face of the spoiler: for the extortioner is at an end, the spoiler ceaseth, the oppressors are consumed out of the land. And in mercy shall the throne be established: and he shall sit upon it in truth in the tabernacle of David, judging, and seeking judgment, and hasting righteousness (Isaiah 16:1-5).
The secret place for Israel’s hiding place is Sela, which is Petra, southeast of Jerusalem. The daughters of Moab shall be at the fords of Arnon to lead that group of Jews who shall flee Jerusalem (Matthew 24:15-16) and find a hiding place in Moab until the persecution of Israel is ended and the Messiah Jesus shall sit upon David’s throne, judging and seeking judgment and hastening righteousness.
4. Against the Ammonites and their Cities
Verses 1 - 6
The Ammonites are the descendants of Lot and his second daughter. These people are not charitable to Israel either. Their suffering is stated, but their deliverance is also noted. “And afterward I will bring again the captivity of the children of Ammon, saith the LORD.”
5. Against Edom
Verses 7 - 22
The Edomites are the descendants of Esau, the first son of Isaac. Isaac prefers Esau while his wife prefers Jacob. Both sons have the same blessings of being heirs of Abraham, their grandfather. God is the one who determines that the Seed shall be of Jacob — “for the elder shall serve the younger.”
The Bible student will find that a descendant of Esau, Herod the Great, becomes the ruler of Israel and is given the tile “King of the Jews” by Augustus Caesar. It is he who is the seed of Esau and a Jew by religion. It is he who later builds the great Temple at the time of the Lord Jesus.
6. Against Damascus
Verses 23 - 27
Damascus is said to be the oldest city of the East.
It is near Damascus that Saul of Tarsus, whose name is later changed from Saul to Paul, is stopped by a great light from heaven, and there he meets the LORD Jesus. A blindness comes upon him and he is three days without sight. A certain disciple there in Damascus by the name of Ananias is then sent to Saul who immediately receives his sight. Paul (his name is now changed) stays for several days in Damascus, preaching that Jesus is the Son of God. Later the Jews take counsel to kill him. He is delivered by being let down by the wall in a basket.
In Chapter 49:23-27, the reader finds that Damascus shall be tried.
7. Against Kedar and the Kingdoms of Hazor
Verses 28 - 33
Their end is to be administered by Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon.
8. Against Elam
Verses 34 - 38
The prophecy against Elam comes to Jeremiah in the beginning of the reign of Zedekiah, king of Judah.
The Elamites are from Shem, they live very near Babylon, and they are prominent in world history. They are present at Pentecost when the Holy Spirit comes as the gift of the Father and the Son (John 14:16, 26).
Doom is pronounced upon this nation, a doom which indeed has come to pass.
9. Against Babylon and Chaldea
The LORD (Jehovah) uses Babylon to chastise Israel and Judah, yet the LORD is not satisfied with Babylonian treatment of His people. In these two chapters, the reader notes the prophesies against this great nation.
On some of these prophecies, there seems to be a contradiction; but there are no contradictions in the Word of God. One must remember that Babylon is conquered by the Medo-Persian Empire BUT NOT DESTROYED. Babylon is a flourishing city when conquered by the Medo-Persian Empire. From their own records one finds “business as usual” when the Medes and Persians take over — business contracts are honored. Even when the Greeks conquer the city of Babylon, it is not destroyed; it is used by its conquerors but not destroyed. Indeed, the first king of Greece, Alexander the Great, who captures Babylon as a very young man indulges in a drunken debauchery in King Nebuchadnezzar’s Palace.
[Babylon is a standing city at the time of Christ, for Peter writes his first epistle from Babylon. The city just falls into repair around 600 A.D. as she is permanently bypassed in the trading realms, but she is never destroyed.]
Babylon shall not be destroyed now, but later in the tribulation. One reads of her destruction in Isaiah 21:9:
And, behold, here cometh a chariot of men, with a couple of horsemen. And he answered and said, Babylon is fallen, is fallen; and all the graven images of her gods he hath broken unto the ground.
…And is fulfilled in Revelation:
And there followed another angel, saying, Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication (14:8).
And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird (18:2).
To show that the destruction of Babylon is in the future, the following is noted:
They shall ask the way to Zion with their faces thitherward, saying, Come, and let us join ourselves to the LORD in a perpetual covenant that shall not be forgotten (Jeremiah 50:5).
All Israel has not sought the way to Zion yet as recorded in the following verse:
In those days, and in that time, saith the LORD, the iniquity of Israel shall be sought for, and there shall be none; and the sins of Judah, and they shall not be found: for I will pardon them whom I reserve (Jeremiah 50:20).
All Israel is not yet saved.
Therefore the wild beasts of the desert with the wild beasts of the islands shall dwell there, and the owls shall dwell therein: and it shall be no more inhabited for ever; neither shall it be dwelt in from generation to generation (Jeremiah 50:39).
Babylon, however, is inhabited today. There is even rebuilding of the “Hanging Gardens of Nebuchadnezzar,” and much of the walls are being rebuilt for tourist attractions.
As God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah and the neighbour cities thereof, saith the LORD; so shall no man abide there, neither shall any son of man dwell therein (Jeremiah 50:40).
Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed and nothing can be found of them. Babylon’s location, however, is known and is being visited today.
And they shall not take of thee a stone for a corner, nor a stone for foundations; but thou shalt be desolate for ever, saith the LORD (Jeremiah 51:26).
Many of the stones of Babylon can be found today in the home dwellings of the place.
All can be summed up in the following manner: all the things spoken against Babylon and her destruction are yet in the future. Babylon was captured three times (by the Medo-Persians, by the Greeks, and by the Romans) but never destroyed!
Therefore, all things which have not been fulfilled shall be fulfilled! Babylon must be rebuilt; then destroyed. Babylon was Assyria; today Babylon is Iraq, a large nation; even the United Nations fought her recently.
The city shall be destroyed and prophecies against her fulfilled, yet Iraq shall be one of the three nations which shall be saved: “In that day shall Israel be the third with Egypt and with Assyria [Iraq], even a blessing in the midst of the land: whom the LORD of hosts [Jehovah Sabaoth] shall bless, saying, Blessed be Egypt my people, and Assyria [Iraq] the work of my hands, and Israel mine inheritance” (Isaiah 19:24, 25).
For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them (Ephesians 2:10).
Verses 1 - 4
Jeremiah’s conclusions can also be found in the twenty-fifth chapter of II Kings and the thirty-sixth chapter of I Chronicles.
The Ten-Tribe Kingdom of Israel is captured and taken into captivity by the Assyrians. Babylon captures Assyria, thus making the Jews of the Ten-Tribe Nebuchadrezzar’s. Now, the Two-Tribe Kingdom of Judah is captured by the Babylonians, thus making the capture of all twelve tribes complete.
Oh, how God through Jeremiah warns Judah of the impending attack and defeat by Babylon.
And the LORD God of their fathers sent to them by his messengers, rising up betimes, and sending; because he had compassion on his people, and on his dwelling place: (II Chronicles 36:15).
[But so many lives — all — would have been spared if only King Zedekiah and the people had surrendered to King Nebuchadnezzar.] Zedekiah, however, places his faith in the Pharaoh of Egypt instead of in Jehovah, his God. Complete destruction of Judah with the city of Jerusalem are the results, and Babylon becomes the site of their captivity — though so many Jews are scattered to the four corners of the Babylonian empire.
Verses 5 - 11
Babylon besieges Jerusalem for one year and five months. After this time, there is no more bread in the city and Jerusalem is at the mercy of Nebuchadnezzar who shows no mercy.
But they mocked the messengers of God, and despised his words, and misused his prophets, until the wrath of the LORD arose against his people, till there was no remedy. Therefore he brought upon them the king of the Chaldees, who slew their young men with the sword in the house of their sanctuary, and had no compassion upon young man or maiden, old man, or him that stooped for age: he gave them all into his hand (II Chronicles 36:16,17).
King Zedekiah is captured on the plains of Jericho. He is taken to King Nebuchadnezzar who has Zedekiah’s sons killed before his eyes, then gouges out the king’s eyes, binds him in chains and carries him to Babylon.
Verses 12 - 15
Nebuzar-adan, captain of the guard, burns the House of the LORD (Jehovah), the king’s house, and the houses of the great leaders.
Then the soldiers break down the walls of Jerusalem.
The very poor are left to be the vinedressers and farmers.
Verses 17 - 23
The pillars of brass and all instruments of brass (bronze), including the bases, the brazen sea, the brazen bulls which are without weight, are broken down and carried to Babylon.
The instruments of gold and silver are carted away.
Verses 24 - 27
The captain of the guard takes Seraiah (the chief priest), and Zephaniah (the second priest), three door keepers, a eunuch who has charge of the men of war, seven men who are near the king’s person, the principal scribe, sixty men of the land who are found in the midst of the city; all these are taken to Riblah to stand before Nebuchadnezzar. They are all slain.
Verses 28 - 30
Many of the Jews are spared; the survivors number four thousand six hundred.
Verses 31 - 34
Jehoiachin, King of Judah reigns only three months and surrenders to Nebuchadnezzar at the second siege of Jerusalem. During this siege, the prophet Ezekiel is taken to Babylon. However, King Evil-merodach, son of Nebuchadnezzar, brings forth Jehoiachin out of prison and exalts him above all the kings of his realm. He gives him portions of the king’s food, even allowing him to eat at the King’s table continually.
Jehoiachin has spent thirty-seven years in prison.