Two incidents that occurred during the siege of Jerusalem at the end of Zedekiah’s reign.
- Nebuchadnezzar doubtless thought that he, with his numerous and powerful forces (verse 1), was master of the situation.
But who is revealed here as the forces (verse 1), was master of the situation.
But who is revealed here as the controlling, deciding the fate of cities and kings?
Cf. Is. 40:15, 17, 21-24; Luke 3:1, 2.
- Why was the failure to go through with the freeing of the slaves so severely condemned?
Cf. Eccles. 5:4, 5; Matt. 7:21; 21:28-31a; Luke 9:62. With verse 17, cf. 22:16. Do I owe some promised obedience that has not yet been performed?
- Verses 2-5. Cf. 32:3-5; 52:11.
- Verse 14. Cf. Deut. 15:12-15.
- Verse 17. ‘Freedom’ to fall by the sword’: i.e., freedom to be destroyed by conquest.
- Verses 18, 19. The ceremony of the covenant of repentance (verse 15) included the participants’ passing between the parts of a calf that had been cut in two (cf. Gen. 15:7-18). By such ritual they asked to be put to death in a similar violent manner, if they failed to keep their promise. See verse 20.
- What was Jeremiah’s response to God’s command to purchase land:
(a) immediately (32:9-12), and
(b) subsequently (32:16-25)?
What has this to teach us when faced by perplexities of Christian obedience? What was God’s answer to Jeremiah’s prayer?
What was the significance of his being commanded to buy land at such a time?
- What blessings are promised in chapter 33?
Which of them are for us also under the new covenant?
E.g., with 33:3, cf. Eph. 1:17-19a; 1 Cor. 2:9, 10.
33:1. ‘The courtyard of the guard’: Jeremiah’s friends would be able to visit him, but he would not go outside the court.
See Analysis. This passage forms part of a group of prophecies. It was a time of darkness and despair, and Jeremiah himself apparently derived much comfort from the message (31:26).
- This passage falls into sections that are all variants of the one theme, that after judgment will come restoration. See 30:1-3, 4-11, 12-22, 23, 24; 31:1-9, 10-14, 15-20, 21-22, 23-25.
What are the blessings promised?
- To what extent have these blessings been fulfilled?
Observe that they are spoken of northern Israel as well as of Judah (30:4; 31:1). Cf. Rom. 11:25-27.
- Meditate on the greatness of the blessings promised here as fully realized only in Christ. Cf. John 7:37, 38; 15:9-11; 16:27.
- 30:14. ‘All your allies’: i.e., the nations with whom Israel had sought alliance. Cf. verse 17b.
- 31:2. ‘The desert’: here denoting the place of exile.
- 31:15. ‘Rachel weeping for her children’: a graphic picture of the sorrows of the exile. Rachel, the mother of Joseph and Benjamin, is depicted weeping in her grave, which was near Ramah, as the exiles pass by. Cf. 40:1; also Matt. 2:17, 18.
Those who had carried into exile in the first captivity under Jehoiachin (2 Kgs. 24:14-16) were being made restless by prophets who prophesied falsely that they would soon be set free. Jeremiah therefore wrote a letter to them declaring that the exile would last seventy years.
- What, as revealed to Jeremiah, were the Lord’s thoughts:
(a) towards the exiles in Babylon, and
(b) towards Zedekiah and those who remained in Jerusalem? With verse 17, cf. chapter 24.
- Verses 10-14. What is God’s doing and what ours in the promised restoration?
Note the divine initiative and sovereignty throughout this chapter, and indeed throughout the book.
Note also how its benefits are to be enjoyed.
- What three prophets are mentioned by name by Jeremiah?
What accusations did he bring against them, and what judgment did he pronounce upon them?
- Verse 24. ‘Shemaiah’: that he, too, was a prophet is seen from verse 31.
- Verse 25. ‘Zephaniah’: probably the same as the Zephaniah who in 52:24 is called ‘the second priest’, i.e., second to the high priest. Cf. 21:1.
Five kings of surrounding nations seek Zedekiah’s co-operation in an attempt to throw off the yoke of Babylon. Jeremiah opposes the plan.
- What means did Jeremiah use to impress upon the five kings the futility of resistance to Babylon?
Notice the claim that God made for himself in his message to these heathen rulers (27:4-7).
- What did Jeremiah condemn in the propaganda of the prophets?
- In chapter 28 we have a leading prophet of the time attacking Jeremiah, and we can consider the two men at close range.
In what respects did they resemble each other, and in what respects did they differ?
Ponder Jeremiah’s now unwavering courage in prediction passive acceptance of Babylonian control in the face of prominent religious position. What ought we to learn from this?
Note. 27:16-22. only a part of the vessels of the temple had at this time been carried off to Babylon.
Jehoikim was a very different king from Josiah. At the beginning of his reign, therefore, God sent Jeremiah to warn the people against being led astray into further disobedience to him
- What reason does God given for sending his servant on this dangerous mission?
See verse 3 and cf. 2 Chr. 36:15; 2Pet. 3:9; Luke 13:34, 35.
- Note the points of resemblance between Jeremiah and Jesus (See Study 8, Question 3; and Matt. 16:14); e.g. cf., Matt. 24:1, 2; 26:61; 27:4, 24, 25. Consider also the experiences of Jeremiah and Uriah in the light of what Jesus foretold for his disciples. Cf. John 15:18-20; 16:33; 1 Pet. 4:12, 13.
- Verses 4-6. It seems probable that this brief summary of Jeremiah’s words is given more fully in chapter 7.
- Verse 18. ‘Micah of Moresheth’: see Mic. 1:1, 14.
- Verse 24. ‘Ahikam son of Shaphan’: one of those sent by King Josiah to consult the prophetess Huldah (2 Kgs. 22: 12, 13), and the father of Gedaliah, who was made governor after the fall of Jerusalem (40:5, 6).