Jeremiah – Chapter 52

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Jeremiah 52, is a historical appendix to the Book of Jeremiah, giving details of the capture of Babylon. Jeremiah was not the author of this last chapter. Most commentators believe this chapter was taken from the 2nd Book of Kings.

The Capture of Jerusalem

Verse 1 – Zedekiah was twenty-one years old when he became king, and he reigned eleven years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Hamutal the daughter of Jeremiah of Libnah.

This is not the prophet Jeremiah, because he had no children and he was from Anathoh.

Verse 2 – He also did evil in the sight of the Lord, according to all that Jehoiakim had done.

Verse 3 – For because of the anger of the Lord this happened in Jerusalem and Judah, till He finally cast them out from His presence. Then Zedekiah rebelled against the king of Babylon.

Verse 4 – Now it came to pass in the ninth year of his reign, in the tenth month, on the tenth day of the month, that Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon and all his army came against Jerusalem and encamped against it; and they built a siege wall against it all around.

Verse 5 – So the city was besieged until the eleventh year of King Zedekiah. (They held out one year and six months.)

Verse 6 – By the fourth month, on the ninth day of the month, the famine had become so severe in the city that there was no food for the people of the land.

The siege of Jerusalem, with its horrible famine, began in the ninth year of Zedekiah’s reign (January of 588) and it dragged on until July of 587 B.C., Zedekiah’s eleventh year.

Verse 7 – Then the city wall was broken through, and all the men of war fled and went out of the city at night by way of the gate between the two walls, which by the king’s garden, even though the Chaldeans were near the city all around. And they went by way of the plain.

Jeremiah had plainly said to the king not to resist the Babylonian army and he would live, but he wouldn’t listen. He thought he could sneak out through his garden at night.

Verse 8 – But the army of the Chaldeans pursued the king, and they overtook Zedekiah in the plains of Jericho. All his army was scattered from him.

Verse 9 – So they took the king and brought him up to the king of Babylon at Riblah in the land of Hamath, and he pronounce judgement on him.

Riblah was 200 miles north of Jerusalem. This was the Babylon headquarters for ruling the region. Hamath was the district of Aram containing the nation’s capital.

Verse 10 – Then the king of Babylon killed the sons of Zedekiah before his eyes. And he killed all the princes of Judah in Riblah.

Verse 11 – He also put out the eyes of Zedekiah; and the king of Babylon bound him in bronze fetters, took him to Babylon, and put him in prison till the day of his death.

Verse 12 – Now in the fifth month, on the tenth day of the month, which was the nineteenth year of King Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, Nebuzaradan, the captain of the guard, who served the king of Babylon, came to Jerusalem.

Verse 13 – He burned down the house of the Lord and the king’s house; all the houses of Jerusalem, that is, all the houses of the great men, he burned with fire.

One month after the fall of Jerusalem, the Babylonian army returned under the command of Nebuzaradan to burn down the temple, the king’s palace, the houses in the city, and to raze the city walls.

Verse 14 – And all the army of the Chaldeans who were with the captain of the guard broke down all the walls of Jerusalem all around.

Verse 15 – Then Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard carried away captive some of the poor people, the rest of the people who remained in the city, the defectors who had deserted to the king of Babylon, and the rest of the craftsmen.

Verse 16 – But Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard left some of the poor of the land as vine-dressers and farmers.

Verse 17 – The bronze pillars that were in the house of the Lord, and the carts and the bronze Sea that were in the house of the Lord, the Chaldeans broke in pieces, and carried all their bronze to Babylon.

Verse 18 – They also took away the pots, the shovels, the trimmers, the bowls, the spoons, and all the bronze utensils with which the priests ministered.

Verse 19 – The basins, the firpans, the bowls the pots, the lampstands, the spoons, and the cups, whatever was of solid gold and whatever was of solid silver, the captain of the guard took away.

Verse 20 – The two pillars, one Sea, the twelve bronze bulls which were under it, and the carts, which King Solomon had made for the house of the Lord – the bronze of all these articles was beyond measure.

Verse 21 – Now concerning the pillars: the height of one pillar was eighteen cubits, a measuring line of twelve cubits could measure its circumference, and its thickness was four fingers; it was hollow. (A cubit was a standard of measure about 17 to 20 inches long.)

Verse 22 – A capital of bronze was on it; and the height of one capital was five cubits, with a network and pomegranates all around the capital, all the bronze. The second pillar, with pomegranates was the same.

Verse 23 – There were ninety-six pomegranates on the sides; all the pomegranates, all around on the network, were one hundred.

The Exile to Babylon

Verse 24 – The captain of the guard took Seraiah the chief priest, Zephaniah the second priest, and the three doorkeepers.

Verse 25 – He also took out of the city an officer who had charge of the men of war, seven men of the king’s close associates who were found in the city, the principal scribe of the army who mustered the people of the land and sixty men of the people of the land who were found in the midst of the city.

Verse 26 – And Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard took these and brought them to the king of Babylon at Riblah.

Verse 27 – Then the king of Babylon struck them and put them to death at Riblah in the land of Hamath. Thus Judah was carried away captive from its own land.

Verse 28 – These are the people whom Nebuchadnezzar carried away captive: in the seventh year, three thousand and twenty-three Jews;

Verse 29 – in the eighteenth year of Nebuchadnezzar he carried away captive from Jerusalem eight hundred and thirty-two person;

verse 30 – in the twenty-third year of Nebuchadnezzar, Nebuzaradan the captain to the guard carried away captive of the Jews seven hundred and forty-five persons. All the persons were four thousand six hundred.

Why these particular priests and leaders were executed is not known.

Verse 31 – Now it came to pass in the thirty-seventh year of captivity of Jehoiachin king of Judah, in the twelfth month, on the twenty-fifth day of the month, that Evil-Merodach king of Babylon, in the first year of his reign, lifted up his head of Jehoiachin king of Judah and brought him out of prison.

Verse 32 – And he spoke kindly to him and gave him a more prominent seat than those of the kings who were with him in Babylon.

Verse 33 – So Jehoiakin changed from his prison garments, and he ate bread regularly before the king all the days of his life.

Verse 34 – And as for his provisions, there was a regular ration given him by the king of Babylon, a portion for each day until the day of his death, all the days of his life.

In 561 B.C., Jehoiakin was released from prison and allowed to eat with the king. God continued to show kindness to the descendants of King David, even in exile.

Even though all the years of Jeremiah’s life was to deliver the message of destruction on Judah, he completed the task God had set before him. Success can never be measured by popularity, fame, or fortune. If we are obedient and faithful to the assignment God gives us, then we are successful in God’s eyes!

 

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Jeremiah Chapter 51

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The judgement message against Babylon continues in the longest chapter in the book of Jeremiah, concluding with a special message to Babylon.

Babylon’s Destiny

Verse 1 – Thus says the Lord: “Behold, I will raise up against Babylon, against those who dwell in Leb Kamai, a destroying wind.

Verse 2 – And I will send winnower’s to Babylon, who shall winnow her and empty her land. For in the day of doom they shall be against her all around.

Winnower’s worked to separate the wheat from the chaff. When they threw the mixture in the air, the wind blew away the useless chaff while the wheat settled to the floor. Check out Matthew 3:12, when John the Baptist says Jesus will separate the wheat from the chaff.

Verse 3 – Against her let the archer bend his bow, and lift himself up against her in his armor. Do not spare her young men; utterly destroy all her army.

Verse 4 – Thus the slain shall fall in the land of the Chaldeans, and those thrust through in her streets.

Verse 5 – For Israel is not forsaken, nor Judah, by His God, the Lord of hosts, though their land was filled with sin against the Holy One of Israel.”

Verse 6 – Flee from the midst of Babylon, and every one save his life! Do not be cut off in her iniquity, for this is the time of the Lord’s vengeance; He shall recompense her.

Verse 7 – Babylon was a golden cup in the Lord’s hand, that made all the earth drunk. The nations drank her wine; therefore the nations are deranged.

Verse 8 – Babylon has suddenly fallen and been destroyed. Wail for her! Take balm for her pain; perhaps she may be healed.

Babylon’s great wealth is depicted as a gold cup. Previously, Babylon had been God’s instrument of wrath to judge the nations, now it is her turn to drink the cup of God’s wrath.

Verse 9 – We would have healed Babylon, but she is not healed. Forsake her, and let us go everyone to his own country; for her judgement reaches to heaven and is lifted up to the skies.

Verse 10 – The Lord has revealed our righteousness. Come and let us declare in Zion the work of the Lord our God.

Verse 11 – Make the arrows bright! Gather the shields! The Lord has raised up the spirit of the kings of the Medes. For His plan is against Babylon to destroy it, because it is the vengeance of the Lord, the vengeance of His temple.

Babylon’s enemies are mentioned for the first time in these verses as the Medes. Cyrus, king of Persia, had once allied with Babylon to defeat Nineveh (capital of the Assyrian empire) in 612 B.C. Then the Medes joined Persia to defeat Babylon (539 B.C.).

Verse 12 – Set up the standard on the walls of Babylon; make the guard strong, set up the watchmen, prepare the ambushes. For the Lord has both devised and done what He spoke against the inhabitants of Babylon.

Though the Medes and the Persians were the instruments that God used to destroy Babylon, it was His plan and He’s the one who executed it.

Verse 13 – O you who dwell by many waters, abundant in treasures, your end has come, the measure of your covetousness.

Verse 14 – The Lord of hosts has sworn by Himself: “Surely I will fill you with men as with locusts, and they shall lift up a shout against you.”

Verse 15 – He has made the earth by His power; He has established the world by His wisdom, and stretched out the heaven by His understanding.

Verse 16 – When He utters His voice – there is a multitude of waters in the heavens: “He causes the vapors to ascend from the ends of the earth; He makes lightnings for the rain; He brings the wind out of His treasures.”

The omnipotence of God is manifested in the works of creation. The wisdom of our God is seen in the omniscience of providing for every living thing. Everything He created by His power, has the ability to procreate and multiply. Our God is amazing in everything He is and does!

Verse 17 – Everyone is dull-hearted, without knowledge; every metalsmith is put to shame by the carved image; for he’s molded image is falsehood, and there is no breath in them.

Verse 18 – They are futile, a work of errors; in the time of their punishment they shall perish.

Verse 19 – The Portion of Jacob is not like them for He is the Maker of all things; and Israel is the tribe of His inheritance. The Lord of hosts is His name.

So many people now of days put their trust and security in things that rust and decay but God is eternal and will never not exists. When we place our trust and devotion in this Mighty Creators Hands, we will have eternity with Him too!

Verse 20 – “You are My battle-ax and weapons of war: For with you I will break the nation in pieces; with you I will destroy kingdoms:

Verse 21 – With you I will break in pieces the horses and its rider; with you I will break in pieces the chariot and its rider;

Verse 22 – With you also I will break in pieces man and woman; with you I will break in pieces old and young; with you I will break in pieces the young man and the maiden;

Verse 23 – With you also I will break in pieces the shepherd and his flock; with you I will break in pieces the farmer and his yoke of oxen; and with you I will break in pieces governors and rulers.

The phrase “with you”, you being God’s battle, falls ten times in these verses like the beat of a heavy war drum.

Verse 24 – “And I will repay Babylon and all the inhabitants of Chaldea for all the evil they have done in Zion in your sight,” says the Lord.

Verse 25 – “Behold, I am against you, O destroying mountain, who destroys all the earth,” says the Lord. “And I will stretch out My hand against you, roll you down from the rocks, and make you a burnt mountain.

Babylon was not only high in power and greatness, but had high walls and towers, that it looked like from a distance like a high rocky mountain. They had destroyed many cities and people and now they would burn like a burnt offering.

Verse 26 – They shall not take from you a stone for a corner nor a stone for a foundation, but you shall be desolate forever,” says the Lord.

Never again will Babylon have a seat of greatness and never again will they be an empire to rule over other nations.

Verse 27 – Set up a banner in the land, blow the trumpet among the nations! Prepare the nations against her, call the kingdoms together against her: Ararat, Minni, and Ashkenaz. Appoint a marshal against her; cause the horses to come up like the bristling locusts.

Verse 28 – Prepare against her the nations, with the kings of the Medes. Its governors and all its rulers, all the land of his dominion.

Verse 29 – And the land will tremble and sorrow; for every purpose of the Lord shall be performed against Babylon, to make the land of Babylon a desolation without inhabitant.

Three kingdoms of the Median Empire-Arat, Minni, Ashkenaz – are invited to join in battle against Babylon. These kingdoms were northwest of Babylon in what is today generally called Armenia. Arat occupied southwestern Turkey and the northern regions of Iraq and Iran, about the same area the Kurdish people live today.

Verse 30 – The mighty men of Babylon have ceased fighting, they have remained in their strongholds; their might has failed, they became like women; they have burned her dwelling places, the bars of her gates are broken.

The reed-filled marshes that surrounded Babylon were set on fire, cutting off escape and flushing out fugitives.

Verse 31 – One runner will run to meet another, and one messenger to meet another, to show the king of Babylon that his city is taken on all sides;

Verse 30 – The passages are blocked, the reeds they have burned with fire, and the men of war are terrified.

Verse 33 – For thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: “The daughter of Babylon is like a threshing floor when it is time to thresh her; yet a little while and the time of her harvest will come.”

Verse 34 – “Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon has devoured me, he has crushed me; he has made me an empty vessel, he has swallowed me up like a monster; he has filled his stomach with my delicacies, he has spit me out.

Verse 35 – Let the violence done to me and my flesh be upon Babylon,” the inhabitant of Zion will say; “And by blood be upon the inhabitants of Chaldea!” Jerusalem will say.

Verse 36 – Therefore thus says the Lord: “Behold, I will plead your case and take vengeance on you. I will dry up her sea and make her springs dry.

This verse may refer to Cyrus who took Babylon by surprise by diverting the river that ran through the city far upstream and walking in on dry river beds. Unlike Jerusalem, Babylon would not be restored.

Verse 37 – Babylon shall become a heap, a dwelling place for jackals, an astonishment and a hissing, without an inhabitant.

Verse 38 – They shall roar together like lions, they shall grow like lion’s whelps.

Verse 39 – In their excitement I will prepare their feasts; I will make them drink, that they may rejoice, and sleep a perpetual sleep and not awake,” says the Lord.

Just as lions are excited over their prey, this verse refers to what happened in Daniel 5:1-4.

Belshazzar, the king of Babylon made a great feast for thousands and had the gold vessels that had been taken from the temple of the house of God by his father Nebuchadnezzar. They all drank from these vessels and praised the gods of gold, silver, and bronze, and iron, wood, and stone. However, after Daniel read the hand writing on the wall, that very night Belshazzar was slain and Darius the Mede received the kingdom. I can’t wait to get to Daniel because all the these prophecies of Jeremiah will unfold, right before our eyes!

Verse 40 – “I will bring them down like lambs to the slaughter, like rams with male goats.

Verse 41 – “Oh, how Sheshach is taken! Oh, how the praise of the whole earth is seized! How Babylon has become desolate among the nations!

Verse 42 – The sea has come up over Babylon; she is covered with the multitude of its waves.

Verse 43 – Her cities are a desolation, a dry land and a wilderness, land where no one dwells, through which no son of man passes.

Verse 44 – I will punish Bel in Babylon, and I will bring out of his mouth what he has swallowed; and the nations shall not stream to him anymore. Yes, the wall of Babylon shall fall.

Bel is one of the names of Maruk, the chief god of the city of Babylon. God was going to destroy two things Babylon was famous for, their great wall and their god. Towers rose above these walls 60 feet and the walls ere wide enough for chariots to drive on.

Verse 45 – “My people, go out of the midst of her! And let everyone deliver himself from the fierce anger of the Lord.

Verse 46 – And lest your heart faint, and your fear for the rumor that will be heard in the land; a rumor will come one year, and after that, in another year a rumor will come, and violence in the land, ruler against ruler.

Verse 47 – Therefore behold, the days are coming that I will bring judgment on the carved images of Babylon; her whole land shall be ashamed, and all her slain shall fall in her midst.

Verse 48 – Then the heavens and the earth and all that is in them shall sing joyously over Babylon; for the plunders shall come to her from the north,” says the Lord. (Before the conquest of Jerusalem by the Romans, the church had similar warnings in Matthew 24:6, 7.)

Verse 49 – As Babylon has caused the slain of Israel to fall, so at Babylon the slain of all the earth shall fall.

Verse 50 – You who have escaped the sword, get away! Do not stand still! Remember the Lord afar off, and let Jerusalem come to your mind.

Verse 51 – We are ashamed because we have heard reproach. Shame has covered our faces, for strangers have come into the sanctuaries of the Lord’s house.

The people were paralyzed with guilt over their past. They had watched as the Babylonian army had desecrated God’s temple in Jerusalem. But God told them to get moving and return because He was going to destroy Babylon.

Verse 52 – “Therefore behold, the days are coming,” says the Lord, “That I will bring judgement on her carved images, and throughout all her land the wounded shall groan.

Verse 53 – Though Babylon were to mount up to heaven, and though she were to fortify the height of her strength, yet from Me plunders would come to her,: says the Lord.

Verse 54 – The sound of a cry comes from Babylon, and great destruction from the land of the Chaldeans,

Verse 55 – because the Lord is plundering Babylon and silencing her loud voice, though her waves roar like great waters, and the noise of their voice is uttered,

Verse 56 – because the plunder comes against her, against Babylon, and her mighty men are taken. Everyone of their bows is broken; for the Lord is the God of recompense, He will surely repay.

Recompense – return; restore; repay. This is one reason why God tells us not to go after others when they have done us wrong; God is the one who will restore that which was lost or stolen. No one can restore like our God can!

Verse 57 – “And I will make drunk her princes and wise men, her governors, her deputies, and her mighty men. And they shall sleep a perpetual sleep and not awake,” says the king, whose name is the Lord of hosts.

Verse 58 – Thus says the Lord of hosts: “The broad walls of Babylon shall be utterly broken, and her high gates shall be burned with fire; the people will labor in vain, and the nations, because of the fire; and they shall be weary.”

Verse 59 – The word which Jeremiah the prophet commanded Seraiah the son of Neriah, the son of Mahseiah, when he went with Zedekiah the king of Judah to Babylon in the fourth year of his reign. And Seraiah was the quartermaster.

Jeremiah could not visit Babylon, so he sent the message with Seraiah, the officer who cared for the comforts of the army. Seraiah was probably Baruch’s brother (32:12). This prophecy was many years before Babylon was destroyed.

Verse 60 – So Jeremiah wrote in a book all the evil that would come upon Babylon, all these words that are written against Babylon.

Verse 61 – And Jeremiah said to Seraiah, “When you arrive in Babylon and see it, and read all these words,

Verse 62 – “then you shall say, ‘O Lord, You have spoken against this place to cut it off, so that none shall remain in it, neither man nor beast, but it shall be desolate forever.’

Verse 63 – “Now it shall be, when you have finished reading this book, that you shall tie a stone to it and throw it out into the Euphrates.

Jeremiah must have made a copy of this book and hid it, or we would not have it.

Verse 64 – “Then you shall say, ‘Thus Babylon shall sink and not rise from the catastrophe that I will bring upon her. And they shall be weary.’ ” Thus far are the words of Jeremiah.

Jeremiah – Chapter 50

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Babylon’s Defeat

When Babylon had finished serving God’s purpose of punishing Judah for her sins, it would be punished and crushed for its own. Babylon was destroyed in 539 B.C. by the Medo-Persians (Daniel 5:30). Babylon is also used in scripture as a symbol of all evil.

Verse 1 – The word of the Lord spoke against Babylon and against the land of the Chaldeans by Jeremiah the prophet.

Verse 2 – “Declare among the nations, proclaim, and set up a standard; proclaim, and do not conceal it – say, ‘Babylon is taken, Bel is shamed. Merodach is broken in pieces; her idols are humiliated, her images are broken in pieces.’ (Bel and Merodach were the two principal idols of the Babylonians.)

Verse 3 – For out of the north a nation comes up against her, which shall make her land desolate, and no one shall dwell therein. They shall move, they shall depart, both man and beast.

The nation from the north was Medo-Persia, that would become the next world power. Cyrus took the city by surprise and brought the nation to its knees in 539 B.C (Daniel 5:30, 31).

Verse 4 – “In those days and in that time,” says the Lord, “The children of Israel shall come, they and the children of Judah together; with continual weeping they shall come, and seek the Lord their God.

Verse 5 – They shall ask the way to Zion, with their faces toward it, saying, ‘Come and let us join ourselves to the Lord in a perpetual covenant that will not be forgotten.’

When judgement begins on Babylon, the children of Judah will come out of captivity, and some of the children of Israel. They will be weeping for their sin and glad God showed mercy on them.

Verse 6 – “My people have been lost sheep. Their shepherds have led them astray; they have turned them away on the mountains. They have gone from mountain to hill; they have forgotten their resting place.

Verse 7 – All who found them have devoured them; and their adversaries said, ‘We have not offended, because they have sinned against the Lord, the habitation of justice, the Lord, the hope of their fathers.’

Verse 8 – “Move from the midst of Babylon, go out of the land of the Chaldeans; and be like the rams before the flocks.

Verse 9 – For behold, I will raise and cause to come up against Babylon an assembly of great nations from the north country, and they shall array themselves against her; from there she shall be captured. Their arrows shall be like those of an expert warrior; none shall return in vain.

Verse 10 – And Chaldea shall become plunder; all who plunder her shall be satisfied,” says the Lord.

Verse 11 – “Because you were glad, because you rejoiced, you destroyers of My heritage, because you have grown fat like a heifer threshing grain, and you bellow like bulls,

Verse 12 – Your mother shall be deeply ashamed; she who bore you shall be ashamed. Behold, the least of the nations shall be a wilderness, a dry land and a desert.

Babylon had turned cities into wastelands, but now would be turned into a wilderness. Babylon had also plundered all these cities and had become very rich. Now the Persians were going to plunder them.

Verse 13 – Because of the wrath of the LOrd she shall not be inhabited, but she shall be wholly desolate. Everyone who goes by Babylon shall be horrified and hiss at all her plagues.

Verse 14 – “Put yourselves in array against Babylon all around, all you who bend the bow; shoot at her, spare no arrows, for she has sinned against the Lord.

Verse 15 – Shout against her all around; she has given her hand, her foundations have fallen, her walls are thrown down; for it is the vengeance of the Lord. Take vengeance on her. As she has done, so do to her.

The world has a saying, “What goes around, will come around; what you dish out, you will receive.” The Bible says it this way, “You will reap what you sow.” We can all look back in our lives and see what we’ve sown. If you sow discord, strife, and evil, that’s exactly what you will reap in and on your own life. It’s a very strong principle that can either benefit or tear down. If you want good things that you sow into others, then only sow what is good!

Verse 16 – Cut off the sower from Babylon, and him who handles the sickle at harvest time. For fear of the oppressing sword everyone shall turn to his own people, and everyone shall flee to his own land.

The sower and the one who wields the sickle (the farmer) depict the rural population that will feel the onslaught of warfare even before the city dwellers.

Verse 17 – “Israel is like scattered sheep; the lions have driven him away. First the king of Assyria devoured him; now at last Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon has broken his bones.”

Verse 18 – Therefore thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: “Behold, I will punish the king of Babylon and his land, as I have punished the king of Assyria.

Verse 19 – But I will bring back Israel to his habitation, and he shall feed on Carmel and Bashan; his soul shall be satisfied on Mount Ephraim and Gilead.

Verse 20 – In those days and in that time,” says the Lord, “The iniquity of Israel shall be sought, but there shall be none; and the sins of Judah, but they shall not be found; for I will pardon those whom I preserve.

God would punish wicked Babylon as He punished Assyria for what they had done to Israel. Assyria was crushed by Babylon, over which it had once ruled. But in the midst of this judgment, God promises to restore the Jews and give them forgiveness of their sins. Even if someone searched for their guilt, there will be none.

Verse 21 – “Go up against the land of Merathaim, against it, and against the inhabitants of Pekod (Merathaim was located in southern Babylon; Pekod was in eastern Babylon). Waste and utterly destroy them,” says the Lord, ‘And do according to all that I have commanded you.

Verse 22 – A sound of battle is in the land, and of a great destruction.

Verse 23 – How the hammer of the whole earth has been cut apart a broken! How Babylon has become a desolation among nations! I have laid a snare for you;

Verse 24 – You have indeed been trapped, O Babylon, and you were not aware; you have been found and also caught, because you have contended against the Lord.

Babylon is called “the hammer of the whole earth.” They had hunted and set traps. Now they would be the trapped.

Verse 25 – The Lord has opened His armory, and has brought out the weapons of His indignation; for this is the work of the Lord God of hosts in the land of the Chaldeans.

Verse 26 – Come against her from the farthest border; open her storehouse; cast her up as heaps of ruins, and destroy her utterly; let nothing of her be left.

Verse 27 – Slay all her bulls, let them go down to the slaughter. Woe to them! For their day has come, the time of their punishment.

Verse 28 – The voice of those who flee and escape from the land of Babylon declares in Zion the vengeance of the Lord our God, the vengeance of His temple.

Verse 29 – “Call together the archers against Babylon. All you who bend the bow, encamp against it all around; let none of them escape. Repay her according to her work; according to all she has done, do to her; for she has been proud against the Lord. Against the Holy One of Israel.

Verse 30 – Therefore her young men shall be cut off in that day,” says the Lord.

Verse 31 – “Behold, I am against you, O you most proud!” says the Lord God of hosts; “For your day has come, the time that I will punish you.

Verse 32 – The most proud shall stumble and fall, and no one will raise him up; I will kindle a fire in his cities, and it will devour all around him.”

Verse 33 – Thus says the Lord of host: “The children of Israel were oppressed, along with the children of Judah; all who took them captive have held them fast; they have refused to let them go.

Verse 34 – Their Redeemer is strong; the Lord of hosts is His name. He will thoroughly plead their case, that He may give rest to the land, and disquiet the inhabitants of Babylon.

Pride (arrogance), was Babylon’s characteristic sin. Pride comes from feeling self-sufficient or believing that we don’t need God. Proud nations or persons, however, will eventually fail because they refuse to recognize God as the ultimate power.

Verse 35 – “A sword is against the Chaldeans,: says the Lord, “Against the inhabitants of Babylon, and against her princes and her wise-men.

Verse 36 – A sword is against the soothsayers, and they will be fools. A sword is against her mighty men, and they will be dismayed.

Verse 37 – A sword is against their horses, against their chariots, and against all the mixed peoples who are in their midst; and they will become like women. A sword is against her treasures, and they will be robbed.

Verse 38 – A drought is against her waters, and they will be dried up. For it is the land of carved images, and they are insane with their idols.

A sword hung over the head of God’s enemies. The channel of the Euphrates had dried up, by which Cyrus army entered the city.

Verse 39 – “Therefore the wild desert beasts shall dwell there with the jackals, and the ostriches shall dwell in it. It shall be inhabited no more forever, nor shall it be dwelt in from generation to generation.

Babylon remains a wasteland to this day. Babylon was a major city of ancient Mesopotamia in the fertile plain between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers. Babylon is the place where the Tower of Babel was built and God destroyed it in Genesis. Also the same Babylon where Daniel had his dreams of this last generation. The same Babylon where Nebuchadnezzar had his dream of his own empire ending and the Lord returning to destroy the last one world government. Google Babylon today at Google Earth.

Verse 40 – As God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah and their neighboring cities,” says the Lord, “So no one shall reside there, nor son of man dwell in it.

Babylon’s destruction will be as permanent as the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah (Genesis 19:24, 25; Isaiah 13:19). Cyrus only took away their government, but Seleucus Nicanor, and Grecian prince, utterly destroyed Babylon, so that in the time of Adrian the Roman emperor, there was nothing left standing of that great city.

Verse 41 – “Behold, a people shall come from the north, and a great nation and many kings shall be raised up from the ends of the earth.

Verse 42 – They shall hold the bow and the lance; they are cruel and shall not show mercy. Their voice shall roar like the sea; they shall ride on horses, set in array, like a man for the battle, against you, O daughter of Babylon.

Verse 43 – “The king of Babylon has heard the report about them, and his hands grow feeble; anguish has taken hold of him, pangs as of a woman in childbirth.

Verse 44 – “Behold, he shall come up like a lion from the flooding of the Jordan against the habitation of the strong; but I will make them suddenly run away from her. And who is chosen man that I may appoint over her? For who is like Me? And who is that shepherd who will withstand Me?”

Verse 45 – Therefore hear the counsel of the Lord that He has taken against Babylon, and His purposes that He has proposed against the land of the Chaldeans: Surely the lest of the flock shall draw them out; surely He will make their habitation desolate with them.

Verse 46 – At the noise of the taking of Babylon the earth trembles, and the cry is heard among the nations.

This invader was Cyrus, who attacked Babylon by surprise and overthrew it. The world was shocked that its greatest empire was overthrown so quickly. No earthly power, no matter how great, can last forever, only God’s kingdom can.

 

 

Jeremiah – Chapter 49

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Prophecies Against Ammon

Verse 1 – Against the Ammonites. Thus says the Lord: “Has Israel no sons? Has he no heir? Why then does Milcom inherit Gad, and his people dwell in its cities?

The Ammonites were descendants of Lot through an incestuous relationship with one of his daughters, as were the Moabites (Genesis 19:30-38). They were condemned for stealing land from God’s people and for worshiping the idol Molech, to whom they made child sacrifices.

During the reign of the Judean King Zedekiah, the Ammonites participated with Judah in a revolt against Babylon, and continued their revolt beyond the fall of Jerusalem in 587 B.C.

Verse 2 – Therefore behold, the days are coming,” says the Lord, “That I will cause to be heard an alarm of war in Rabbah of the Ammonites; it shall be a desolate mound, and her villages shall be burned with fire. Then Israel shall take possession of his inheritance,” says the Lord.

Rabbah was the capital city of the Ammonites.

Verse 3 – “Wail, O Heshbon, for Ai is plundered! Cry, you daughters of Rabbah, gird yourselves with sackcloth! Lament and run to and fro by the walls; for Milcom shall go into captivity with his priests and his princes together.

The Ai here, is not the same Ai in Israel, but another town with the same name. The people will run to and fro in confusion – seeking safety and finding none.

Verse 4 – Why do you glory in the valleys, your flowing valley, O backsliding daughter? Who trusted in her treasures, saying, ‘Who will come against us?’

Verse 5 – Behold, I will bring fear upon you,” says the Lord God of hosts, “From all those who are around you; you shall be driven out, everyone headlong, and no one will gather those who wander off.

Verse 6 – But afterward I will bring back the captives of the people of Ammon,” says the Lord.

The Ammonites are supposed to have returned with the Moabites and Israelites, on permission given by Cyrus.

Prophecies Against Edom

Verse 7 – Against Edom, thus says the Lord of hosts: “Is Edom no more in Teman? Has counsel perished from the prudent? Has their wisdom vanished?

The Israelites descended from Jacob and the Edomites from his twin brother, Esau. There was constant conflict between these two nations, and Edom rejoiced when Jerusalem fell (Obadiah).

Verse 8 – Flee, turn back, dwell in the depths, O inhabitants of Dedan! For I will bring the calamity of Esau upon him, the time that I will punish him.

Dedan was a flourishing city that supported caravan travel. God was telling the inhabitants to flee to the caves or they would be destroyed.

Verse 9 – If grape-gatherers came to you, would they not leave some gleaning grapes? If thieves by night, would they not destroy until they have enough?

Verse 10 – But I have made Esau bare; I have uncovered his secret places, and shall not be able to hide himself. His descendants are plundered, his brethren and his neighbors, and he is no more.

Verse 11 – Leave your fatherless children, I will preserve them alive; and let your windows trust in Me.”

Verse 12 – For thus says the Lord: “Behold, those whose judgment was not to drink of the cup have assuredly drunk. And are you the one who will altogether go unpunished? You shall not go unpunished, but you shall surely drink of it.

Israel had not escaped God’s judgment, so why should the Edomites expect to?

Verse 13 – “For I have sworn by Myself,” says the Lord, “that Bozrah shall become a desolation, a reproach, a waste, and a curse. and all its cities shall be perpetual wastes.”

Bozrah was the capital and chief city of Edom in Jerusalem’s time.

Verse 14 – I have heard a message from the Lord, and an ambassador has been sent to the nations: Gather together, come against her, and rise up to battle!

Verse 15 – “For indeed, I will make you small among nations, despised among men.

Verse 16 – Your fierceness has deceived you, the pride of your heart, O you who dwell in the clefts of the rock, who hold the height of the hill! Though you make your nest as high as the eagle, I will bring you down from there,” says the Lord.

Edom was located in a rock fortress and they thought they were unconquerable. Today this area is known as Petra, in southern Jordan. Edom was destroyed because of her pride.

Verse 17 – “Edom also shall be an astonishment; everyone who goes by it will be astonished and will hiss at all its plagues.

Verse 18 – As in overthrow of Sodom and Gomorrah and their neighboring cities,” says the Lord, “No one shall abide there, nor shall a son of man dwell in it.

From 536 a. d. onward, Petra suddenly vanishes from the pages of history: Only in the present century was its real site discovered. I believe Petra has a significant role to play in the end times. This is speculation: The Jews will escape the Battle of Armageddon and find refuge in the clefts of Petra where God will protect them. Some even speculate that this area can hold 144,000 people, the number of Israelite evangelists listed in Revelation 7 and 14. Petra though is not the name used in the Bible, Sela or Selah, is, both words mean rock.

Verse 19 – “Behold, he shall come up like a lion from the flooding of the Jordan against the habitation of the strong; but I will suddenly make him run away from her. And who is a chosen man that I may appoint over her? For who is like Me? Who will arraign Me? And who is that shepherd who will withstand Me?”

The Edomites shall come up against Nebuchadnezzar, but will suddenly flee. No one can win when coming against God.

Verse 20 – Therefore hear the counsel of the Lord that He has taken against Edom, and His purposes that He has proposed against the inhabitants of Teman: Surely the least of the flock shall draw them out; surely He shall make their habitations desolate with them.

Verse 21 – The earth shakes at the noise of their fall; at the cry its noise is heard at the Red Sea.

Verse 22 – Behold, He shall come up and fly like the eagle, and spread His wings over Bozrah; the heart of the mighty men of Edom in that day shall be like the heart of a woman in birth pangs.

Prophecies Against Damascus

Verse 23 – Against Damascus. Hamath and Arpad are shamed, for they have heard bad news. They are fainthearted; there is trouble on the sea; it cannot be quiet.

Verse 24 – Damascus has grown feeble and turns to flee, and fear has seized her. Anguish and sorrows have taken her like a woman in labor.

Verse 25 – Why is the city of praise not deserted, the city of My joy?

Verse 26 – Therefore her young men shall fall in her streets, and all the men of war shall be cut off in that day,” says the Lord of hosts.

Verse 27 – “I will kindle a fire in the wall of Damascus, and it shall consume the palaces of Ben-Hadad.”

Damascus was the capital of Aram, north of Israel. This city was defeated by both Assyria and Babylon. Nebuchadnezzar attacked and defeated Damascus in 605 B.C. Ben-Hadad was the common name of the king of Syria.

Prophecies Against Kedar and Hazor

Verse 28 – Against Kedar and against the kingdoms of Hazor, which Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon shall strike. Thus says the Lord: “Arise, go up to Kedar, and devastate the men of the East!

Verse 29 – Their tents and their flocks they shall take away. They shall take for themselves their curtains, all their vessels and their camels; and they shall cry out to them, ‘Fear is on every side!’

Verse 30 – “Flee, get away! Dwell in the depths, O inhabitants of Hazor!”says the Lord. “For Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon has taken counsel against you, and has convinced a plan against you.

Verse 31 – “Arise, go up to the wealthy nation that dwells securely,” says the Lord, “Which has neither gates nor bars, dwelling alone.

Verse 32 – Their camels shall be for booty, and the multitude of their cattle for plunder. I will scatter to all the winds those in the farthest corners, and I will bring calamity from all sides,” says the Lord.

Verse 33 – “Hazor shall be a dwelling for jackals, a desolation forever; no one shall reside there, nor son of man dwell in it.”

Kadar and Hazor were nomadic tribes east of Israel and south of Aram, in the desert. In 599 B.C. Nebuchadnezzar completely destroyed them.

Prophecies Against Elam

Verse 34 – The word of the Lord that came to Jeremiah the prophet against Elam, in the beginning reign of Zedekiah king of Judah, saying,

Elam lay east of Babylon and was attacked by Nebuchadnezzar in 597 B.C. Latter Elam became the nucleus of the Persian empire (Daniel 8:2) and the residence of Darius.

Verse 35 – “Thus says the Lord of hosts: ‘Behold, I will break the bow of Elam, the foremost of their might.

Elamites were known for their skill in archery, but the LOrd would take that away. When Elam was absorbed into the Persian Empire, landowners were required to furnish the Persian king with a bow-man.

Verse 36 – Against Elam I will bring the four winds from the four quarters of heaven, and scatter them towards all those winds; there shall be no nations where the outcasts of Elam will not go.

Verse 37 – For I will cause Elam to be dismayed before their enemies and before those who seek their life. I will bring disaster upon them, My fierce anger,’ says the Lord; ‘And I will send the sword after them until I have consumed them.

Verse 38 – I will set My throne in Elam, and will destroy from there the king and the princes,’ say the Lord.

Verse 39 – ‘But it shall come to pass in the latter days: I will bring back the captives of Elam,’ says the Lord.”

The throne represents God’s judgment and sovereignty. God would preside over Elam’s destruction. He is King over all kings.

 

Jeremiah – Chapter 48

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Prophecies Against Moab

Verse 1 – Against Moab. Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: Woe to Nebo! For it is plundered, Kiyathaim is shamed and taken; the high stronghold is shamed and dismayed –

The Moabites were descendants from Lot through an incestuous relationship with one of his daughters (Genesis 19:30-37). They led the Israelites into idolatry (Numbers 25:1-3) and joined the band of raiders Nebuchadnezzar sent into Judah in 602 B.C. They eventually were conquered and as a nation disappeared.

Verse 2 – No more praise of Moab. In Heshbon they have devised evil against her: ‘Come, and let us cut her off as a nation.’ You also shall cut down, O Madmen! The sword shall pursue you; (Heshbon was a principal city of the Moabites.)

Verse 3 – A voice of crying shall be from Horonaim: ‘Plundering and great destruction!’

Verse 4 – “Moab is destroyed; her little ones have caused a cry to be heard;

Verse 5 – for in the Ascent of Luhith they ascend with continual weeping; for the descent of Horonaim the enemies have heard a cry of destruction.

Verse 6 – “Flee, save your lives! and be like the juniper in the wilderness.

Verse 7 – For because you have trusted in your works and your treasures, you also shall be taken. And Chemosh shall go forth into captivity, his priests and his princes together.

Chemosh was the main god of the nation of Moab (Numbers 21:29), and child sacrifices was a major part in their worship (2 Kings 3:26, 27).

Verse 8 – And the plunder shall come against every city; no one shall escape. The valley also shall perish, and the plain shall be destroyed, as the Lord has spoken.

Verse 9 – “Give wings to Moab, that she may flee and get away; for her cities shall be desolate, without any to dwell in them.

Verse 10 – Cursed is he who does the work of the Lord deceitfully, and cursed is he who keeps back his sword from blood.

Being deceitful, usually has a hidden agenda. People shouldn’t try to convince themselves that they are doing the Lord’s work when they know good and well they are not being truthful with others. God always sees the true motive behind our actions.

Verse 11 – “Moab has been at ease from his youth; he has settled on his dregs, and has not been emptied from vessel to vessel, nor has he gone into captivity. Therefore his taste remained in him, and his scent has not changed.

Verse 12 – “Therefore behold, the days are coming,” says the Lord, “That I shall send him wine-workers who will tip him over and empty his vessels and break the bottles.

The Moabites had always been a quiet people. They had never been invaded or carried off into captivity. However, Jeremiah tells them because of their complacency towards their sins and refusal to do God’s work, Moab would be totally destroyed.

Do we honestly think that as a nation, America can commit the same atrocities as this nation did with the thousands of child sacrifices, and not go unpunished? The Moabites sacrificed their children to a pagan god. They were complacent about the entire ritual. Here in America, babies are murdered in the womb for the convenience of “not having a child.” It is not a “woman’s health issue!” It’s murder plain and simple. God hasn’t changed His mind about child sacrifice which is murder.

Verse 13 – Moab shall be ashamed of Chemosh as the house of Israel was ashamed of Bethel, their confidence.

After Israel divided into northern and southern kingdoms, the northern kingdom set up golden calf-idols in Bethel and Dan to keep the people from going to Jerusalem to worship in the southern kingdom (1 Kings 12:25-29).

Verse 14 – “How can you say, ‘We are mighty and strong men of war’?

Verse 15 – Moab is plundered and gone up from her cities; her chosen young men have gone down to the slaughter,” says the King, whose name is the Lord of hosts.

Verse 16 – “The calamity of Moab is near at hand, and his affliction comes quickly.

Verse 17 – Bemoan him , all you who are around him; and all you who know his name, say, ‘How the strong staff is broken, the beautiful rod!’ (Moab lost her independence around 580 B.C. forever.)

Verse 18 – “O daughter inhabiting Dibon, come down from your glory, and sit in thirst; for the plunder of Moab has come against you, he has destroyed your strongholds.

Verse 19 – O inhabitant of Aroer, stand by the way and watch; ask him who flees and her who escapes; say, ‘What has happened?’

Verse 20 – Moab is shamed, for he is broken down. Wail and cry! Tell it in Aron, that Moab is plundered.

Verse 21 – “And judgment has come on the plain country: On Holon and Jahzah and Mephaath,

Verse 22 – on Dibon and Nebo and Beth Diblathaim,

Verse 23 – on Kirjathaim and Beth Gamul and Beth Meon,

Verse 24 – on Kerioth and Bozrah, on all cities of the land of Moab, far or near.

Verse 25 – The horn of Moab is cut off, and his arm is broken,” says the LORD.

The horn and arm are Old Testament metaphors fro strength and military might.

Verse 26 – “Make him drunk, for he magnified himself against the Lord. Moab shall wallow in his vomit, and he shall also be in derision.

Moab had a wine-producing industry and this metaphor is used to say they have drunk from the cup of God’s wrath.

Verse 27 – For was not Israel a derision to you? Was he found among thieves? For whenever you speak of him, you shake your head in scorn.

Verse 28 – You who dwell in Moab, leave the cities and dwell in the rock, and be like the dove which makes her nest in the sides of the cave’s mouth.

Verse 29 – “We have heard the pride of Moab he is exceedingly proud. Of his loftiness and arrogance and pride, and of the haughtiness of his heart.”

Moab’s people had a spirit of pride on it. They thought because they were a quiet people, that they did nothing wrong. It is what kept them from worshiping God with a humble heart.

Verse 30 – “I know his wrath,” says the Lord, “But it is not right; his lies have made nothing right.

Verse 31 – Therefore I will wail for Moab, and I will cry out for all Moab; I will mourn for the men of Kir Heres.

Kir Heres was a stronghold city in Moab.

Verse 32 – O vine of Sibmah I will weep for you with weeping of Jazer. Your plants have gone over the sea, they reach to the sea of Jazer. The plunder has fallen on your summer fruit and your vintage.

Sibmah was famous in those days for vines. Jazar was first taken and carried into captivity.

Verse 33 – Joy and gladness are taken from the plentiful field and from the land of Moab; I have caused wine to fail from the wine-press; no one will tread with joyous shoutings – not joyous shouting!

Verse 34 – “From the cry of Heshbon to Elealeh and to Jahaz they have uttered their voice, from Zoar to Horonaim, like a three-year-old heifer; for the waters of Nimrim also shall be desolate.

Verse 35 – “Moreover,” says the Lord, “I will cause to cease in Moab the one who offers sacrifices in the high places and burns incense to his gods.

Verse 36 – Therefore My heart shall wail like flutes for Moab, and like flutes My heart shall wail for men of Kir Heres. Therefor the riches they have acquired have perished.

Try to imagine: You live in one of these cities; you have known about God, but chose to worship pagan idols in the high places; and along comes this prophet of the One True God, pronounces death and destruction on every living thing, but you chose to ignore him because your pride won’t let you surrender to His loving Kindness.

Verse 37 – “For every head shall be bald, and every beard clipped; on all the hands shall be cuts, and on the loins sackcloth –

Verse 38 – A general lamentation on all the housetops of Moab, and in the streets; for I have broken Moab like a vessel in which is no pleasure,” says the Lord.

Verse 39 – “They shall wail: ‘How she is broken down! How Moab has turned her back with shame!’ So Moab shall be a derision and a dismay to all those about her.”

They were ashamed of what was happening to them, not the sins they had committed. There is a difference. People can feel ashamed because of how others see them, but yet never realize it was their own actions that caused the hardship and shame to come upon them. That’s what Moab did.

Verse 40 – For thus says the Lord: “Behold, one shall fly like an eagle, and spread his wings over Moab.

Verse 41 – Kerioth is taken, and the strongholds are surprised; the mighty men’s hearts in Moab on that day shall be like the heart of a woman in birth pangs.

Verse 42 – And Moab shall be destroyed as a people, because he has magnified himself against the Lord.

Proverbs 16:18 – Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall. This is why Moab was destroyed and their people were no more. Pride and a haughty spirit is what keeps people from surrendering to Christ. A haughty spirit is rebellion against the things of God.

Verse 43 – Fear and the pit and the snare shall be upon you, O inhabitant of Moab,” says the Lord.

Verse 44 – “He who flees from the fear shall fall into the pit, and he who gets out of the pit shall be caught in the snare. For upon Moab, upon it I will bring the year of their punishment,” says the Lord.

Verse 45 – “Those who fled stood under the shadow of Heshbon because of exhaustion. But fire shall come out of Heshbon, a flame from the midst of Sihon, and shall devour the bow of Moab, the crown of the head of the sons of tumult.

Verse 46 – Woe to you, O Moab! The people of Chemosh perish; for your sons have been taken captive, and your daughters captive.

Verse 47 – “Yet I will bring back the captives of Moab in the latter days,” says the Lord. Thus far is the judgment of Moab.

Some of the Moabites might have returned when King Cyrus let the Jews go back to their land, but they were never again a national distinction. Perhaps the restoration spoken here, which was to take place in latter-day, may mean the conversion of these people in the existing remnants, to the faith of the Gospel.

 

 

 

 

Jeremiah – Chapter 47

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Prophecies Against Philistia

Verse 1 – The word of the Lord that came to Jeremiah the prophet, against the Philistines, before Pharaoh attacked Gaza.

Verse 2 – Thus says the Lord. “Behold, waters rise out of the north, and shall be an overflowing flood; they shall overflow the land and all that is in it, the city and those who dwell within it; then the men shall cry, and all the inhabitants of the land shall wail.

The rising waters is referring to the Babylonians. Isaiah used the same figure of speech for the Assyrians.

Verse 3 – At the noise of the stamping hooves of his strong horses, at the rushing of his chariots, at the rumbling of his wheels, the fathers will not look back for their children, lacking courage,

So powerful will the attack be against the Philistines, that the fathers won’t turn back for their children.

Verse 4 – Because of the day that comes to plunder all the Philistines, to cut off from Tyre and Sidon every helper who remains; for the Lord shall plunder the Philistines, the remnant of the country of Caphtor.

Tyre and Sidon were neighbors to the Philistines and so were often called to their help. The Philistines and Caphtorim were both the sons of Mizriam the son of Ham, one of the sons of Noah.

Verse 5 – Baldness has come to Gaza, Ashkelon is cut off with the remnant of their valley. How long will you cut yourself?

There were three signs of mourning; shaving the head, being silent, and inflicting gashes on oneself. Anakim, which links the people of Gaza and Ashkelon with the race of giants that were in the land before the Israelites invaded it. Joshua 11:22 notes remnants of the race still lived in Gaza, Gath, and Ashdod.

Verse 6 – “O you sword of the Lord, how long until you are quiet? Put yourself up into your scabbard, rest and be still!

Verse 7 – Now can it be quiet, seeing the Lord has given it a charge against Ashkelon and against the seashore? There He has appointed it.”

Attempts to quiet the Lord’s sword would be futile. What had been decreed by the Lord was finished when Nebuchadnezzar overran Ashkelon after a siege in 604-603 B.C. The attack against Ashkelon prompted King Jehoiakim to proclaim a fast in Jerusalem (chapter 36). This fast gave Baruch the opportunity to read Jeremiah’s scroll.

Jeremiah – Chapter 46

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Prophecies Against Egypt

Verse 1 – The word of the Lord which came to Jeremiah the prophet against the nations.

In this chapter, we will gain insights about God and His plan for the world: (1) Although God chose Israel for a special purpose, He loves all people and wants all to come to Him. (2) Our God is holy and can not tolerate sin. (3) God does not delight in judgement, but in salvation. (4) God’s standards are not prejudice, they are the same for everyone.

Verse 2 – Against Egypt, concerning the army of Pharaoh Necho, king of Egypt, which was by the River Euphrates in Carchemish, and which Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon defeated in the fourth year of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah, king of Judah:

Verse 3 – “Order the buckler and shield, and draw near to battle!

Verse 4 – Harness the horses, and mount up, you horsemen! Stand forth with your helmets, polish the spears, put on the armor!

Verse 5 – Why have I seen them dismayed and turned back? Their mighty ones are beaten down; they have speedily fled, and did not look back, for fear was all around,” says the Lord.

Verse 6 – “Do not let the swift flee away, nor the mighty man escape; they will stumble and fall toward the north, by the River Euphrates.

This king, Necho, is the one who killed King Josiah of Judah at Megiddo in 609 B.C. Necho placed Johoahaz on the throne for 3 months and then removed him and put him in prison. He then put Jehoiakim in his place. The Babylonians defeated Egypt in the battle at Carchemish by surprise which passed leadership to Babylon. So, with Egypt’s power declining, it was wrong for Judah to form alliance with Egypt.

Verse 7 – “Who is this coming up like a flood, whose waters move like rivers?

Verse 8 – Egypt rises up like a flood, and its waters move like the rivers; and he says, ‘I will go up and cover the earth, I will destroy the city and its inhabitants.’

Verse 9 – Come up, O horses, and rage, O chariots! and let the mighty men come forth: The Ethiopians and the Libyans who handle the shield, and the Lydians who handle and bend the bow.

The soldiers from Cush and Put were from eastern and northern Africa. The men of Lydia may have been from Greece. Apparently these were mercenary troops that followed the Egyptian army to Cush or Ethiopia.

Verse 10 – For this is the day of the Lord God of hosts, a day of vengeance, that he may avenge Himself on His adversaries. The sword shall devour; it shall be satiated and made drunk with your blood; for the country by the River Euphrates.

The day of vengeance is much broader than God’s vengeance on Egypt for killing King Josiah. Egypt’s defeat is viewed as a sacrifice to the Lord.

Verse 11 – “Go up to Gilead and take balm, O virgin, the daughter of Egypt; in vain you will use many medicines; you shall be cured.

Verse 12 – The nations have heard of your shame, and your cry has filled the land; for the mighty man has stumbled against the mighty; they both have fallen together.”

One mighty man against another. The champions hired to fight Egypt’s battle get in one another’s way and are slaughtered together.

Verse 13 – The word that the Lord spoke to Jeremiah the prophet, how Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon would come and strike the land of Egypt.

Verse 14 – “Declare to Egypt, and proclaim in Migdol; proclaim in Noph and in Tahpanhes; say, ‘Stand fast and prepare yourselves, for the sword devours all around you.’

Verse 15 – Why are your valiant men swept away? They did not stand because the Lord drove them away.

Verse 16 – He made many fall; yes, one fell upon another. And they said, ‘Arise! Let us go back to our own people and to the land of our nativity from the oppressing sword.’ (These were the foreign mercenaries supporting Egypt who were talking.)

Verse 17 – They cried there, ‘Pharaoh, king of Egypt is but a noise. He has passed by the appointed time!’

The Pharaoh had promised to come to Jerusalem’s aide, but had been all talk and no action. Oh, he started out to march against the Babylonians, but when the Babylonian army resisted and stood against him, the Egyptians retreated.

Verse 18 – “As I live,” says the king, whose name is the Lord of host, “Surely as Tabor is among the mountains and as Carmet by the sea, so he shall come.

Verse 19 – O you daughter dwelling in Egypt, prepare yourself to go into captivity! For Noph shall be waste and be desolate, without inhabitant.

Verse 20 – “Egypt is like a very pretty heifer, but destruction comes, it comes from the north.

Verse 21 – Also her mercenaries are in her midst like fat bulls, for they also turned back, they have fled away together. They did not stand, for the day of their calamity had come upon them, the time of their punishment.

Verse 22 – Her noise shall go like a serpent, for they shall march with an army and come against her axes, like those who chop wood.

Verse 23 – “They shall cut down her forest,” says the Lord, “Though it cannot be searched, because they are innumerable, and more numerous than grasshoppers.

Verse 24 – The daughter of Egypt shall be ashamed; she shall be delivered into the hand of the people of the north.”

Verse 25 – The Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, says: “Behold, I will bring punishment on Amon of No, and Pharaoh and Egypt, with their gods and their kings-Pharaoh and those who trust in him.

Despite the Egyptians hiding in the forest, they would laterally be cut down by the Babylonian army.

The multitude of No – Rather Amon of No, Amon of Jupiter-Amon was the deity invisible, whose name signifies “the concealed.” No-Amon is the city of Thebes, the capital of Upper Egypt.

Verse 26 – “And I will deliver them into the hand of those who seek their lives, into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon and the hand of his servants. Afterward it shall be inhabited as in the days of old,” says the Lord.

Later the god of Amon was merged with Re to become Amon-Re, the sun-god and the god of rulers of Egypt. However, after Thebes is punished, there is a promise of restoration, which is repeated for other nations as well.

Verse 27 – “But do not fear, O My servant Jacob, and do not be dismayed, O Israel! For behold, I will save you from afar, and your offspring from the land of their captivity; Jacob shall return, have rest and be at ease; no one shall make him afraid.

Verse 28 – Do not fear, O Jacob My servant,” says the Lord, “For I am with you; for I will make a complete end of all nations to which I have driven you, but I will not make a complete end of you. I will rightly correct you, for I will leave you wholly unpunished.”

These verses are the same as what was written in 30:10 and 11. God would bring destruction on all the nations that He had banished His people to. Discipline fell on Judah, but God saved a remnant.