These chapters refer in turn to the last five kings of Judah: Josiah (22:15, 16), Jehoahaz or Shallum (22:10-12), Jehoiakim (22:13-19), Jehoiachin or Coniah (22:24-30), and Zedekiah (21).
- Zedekiah’s hope was that God would work a miracle, as he had done in the days of Hezekiah, a little over a century before (21:2; 2 Chr. 32:20-22).
What was Jeremiah’s answer, and what light does this throw on ‘unanswered prayer’?
Cf. 7:16; 11:14; 14:11, 12; Is. 59:1, 2.
- Chapter 22. Why did Jeremiah condemn injustice and outrage?
Consider the contemporary application of this word from the Lord.
Are we guilty of conforming to any current social iniquities or sharp practices?
- 22:21. (The northern kingdom behaved in the same way – see 3:25.) Reflect upon this verse as depicting the pattern of Judah’s history.
- 22:6. Gilead and Lebanon typify prosperity.
- 22:20. ‘Abarim’: a mountain range to the south-east of Palestine.
- 22:22. ‘Shepherds’: see 2:8 and mg.
These two chapters consist of a kind of colloquy between Jeremiah and God. The prophet is driven to prayer by a time of drought (14:1-6).
- What pleas of the people does the prophet present before God in 14:7-9, and what does God’s answer (14:10-12) tell us of the people’s confession?
Cf. 3:10; 15:6, 7; Is. 59:1, 2. What further pleas does Jeremiah urge in his second and third prayers (14:13 and 19-22)?
What are God’s answers in each case?
- The prophet, ceasing to pray for the people, breaks into a lament (15:10) and prays for himself (15:15-18). Observe carefully God’s answer; especially in verses 19-21. How well did Jeremiah know himself?
What new element is added in verse 19?
Have you ever had a comparable answer to prayer?
Cf. 2 Tim. 2:19-21.
- 14:7, 21. ‘For the sake of your name’: God’s name is ‘his nature as revealed in the covenant, which is the ultimate ground of prayer’ (Cunliffe-Jones). Cf. Exod. 33:19; 34:5-7.
- 15:1.Cf. Ps. 99:6-8. Moses (e.g., Exod. 32:11-14, 30-32) and Samuel (e.g., 1 Sam. 7:8, 9) were outstanding in intercession for their people.
- 15:4. See 2 Kgs. 21:1-5, 16.
- 15:11. The Hebrew is very difficult, and NIV, RSV, AV, and RV all differ considerably from each other.
- 15:12. A reference to the Chaldeans.There is no hope of breaking their power.
6.15:19. The tone is severe. Jeremiah must return to a more undivided allegiance. For ‘stand before’ (RSV), cf. verse 1 and Note 3 above, and 18:20.
- What is the purpose of the incident of the belt? Which is a truer description of you, verse 10 or verse 11?
- Consider the images used to describe the coming judgment, and their usefulness for preaching today. See Notes below; and cf. Pss. 1:4; 60:3; Is. 8:22; 51:17; Mic. 3:6, 7; John 12:35; 2 Thess. 2:11, 12.
- Verse 23. What answer does the New Testament give to this question? See Rom. 5:6; 2 Cor. 5:17.
- Verses 13, 14. ‘Drunkenness’ is used in a figurative sense to describe mental fear and bewilderment, when men in their panic turn against each other.
- Verse 16. ‘Give glory to the Lord’: a Hebrew expression for confession of sin, recognizing God’s holiness, and turning from sin to obedience. Cf. Josh. 7:19; Mal. 2:2; John 9:24.
- Verse 18: i.e., Jehoiachin and his mother Nehushta (2 Kgs. 24:8, 9). Queen mothers regularly wielded great influence at court.
- Verse 19. ‘The Negev’ is the area of Palestine south of Beersheba.
5. Verse 21. Another translation reads ‘he’, i.e., God instead of ‘they’ (Driver). Cf. Deut. 28:13, 44; Lam. 1:5.