Jeremiah 44 & 45

This is the last recorded scene of Jeremiah’s life. The now aged prophets, exiled in Egypt, visits some place where his fellow-countrymen are gathered and delivers a last message from their God, a message which they resolutely reject, thus drawing upon themselves their own destruction. Chapter 45 is a much earlier fragment, belonging to the fourth year of Jehoiakim (see Note on 36:8).

  1. How would you sum up Jeremiah’s message in 44:2-14?
    What was the spiritual condition of the people as revealed in their reply (Cf. 17:9; Is. 44:20)?
    And what was God’s final word to them through his servant? Cf. 1 John 5:21.
  2. 44:17, 18, 21-23. Here are two divergent interpretations of Judah’s recent past. Outwardly, at least, there seems much to support the idolaters’ standpoint. Since Josiah’s reformation Judah had experienced nothing but trouble and calamity. Could outward events alone adjudicate between these two interpretations?
    Is there always an immediate correspondence between godliness and prosperity? Cf. Ps. 73.
  3. Chapter 45. Baruch was the son of a princely house. His brother Seraiah held an important office under the king (see 51:59), and he himself probably had ambitions (45:5).
    His work for Jeremiah would reveal to him the doom of the city and the kingdom. What were his natural reactions? What was God’s message to him, and what may we learn from it for ourselves?
    Was Baruch’s distress greater than the Lord’s in having so to deal with his people (verse 4)? Cf. Mark 10:24, 25a.

Notes

  1. 44:1. The three cities represent Jewish settlements in northern Egypt, and Pathros was the name given to Upper (i.e., southern) Egypt.
  2. 44:17. ‘The queen of heaven’: see Note on 7:18 (P. 347).
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