God told Jeremiah to write his book during the fourth year of Jehoiakim’s reign. So Jeremiah hired Baruch to be his scribe and when to work. When it was done, he told Baruch, Since I’ve been banned from the Temple, I’ll need you to go there and read the book on the next time a fast day is declared. And after you read it in the Temple, go out in the streets and read it to the crowds. Maybe after hearing it, people will turn from their evil ways and the impending disaster will be averted.
The next winter, Jehoiakim declared a fast day, so Baruch dutifully went and read the book. One of the places he read the book at was at gathering held at Gemariah’s house. Gemariah was the son of one of Jehoikaim’s secretary. Afterwards, Micaiah, Gemariah’s son, went and told his grandpa and the other officials about Baruch and the book. They ordered Baruch come before them and read the book. When they heard its contents, they were pretty freaked out and were all, Did you write this? We have to tell the king! Is this dictated by Jeremiah? Continue reading “Jeremiah 36: Book burning”
During Jehoiakim’s war with Nebuchadnezzar, God decided to test this clan of people, the Rechabites, who, like many rural folk, had sough refuge in Jerusalem. God told Jeremiah to invite the clan to the Temple and to offer them wine as a refreshment. Jeremiah did, but the Rechabites were all, No thank you. We don’t drink. We vowed to our father and grandfather that we, nor any of our women or slaves would ever drink or would live in houses. Our clan has a strict no booze, tent only policy. We’re only here in Jerusalem because of this blasted war. We’d rather be out camping in our tents, and as soon as it’s safe, that’s where we’ll be.
Jeremiah said, God is pleased with your answer and promises that there will always be a Rechabite to stand before It. Your clan is a lesson for all other Jews who have broken all the vows their ancestors made to God. For this they will be destroyed!
Jeremiah got thrown in jail because, when Zedekiah rebelled against Babylon and Nebuchadnezzar besieged the city, he made a point to go to the king and tell him that Jerusalem would fall and Zedekiah would be captured, taken back to Babylon and there be executed–but, at least he could look forward to a state funeral–he was king after all.
One of the reasons God had decided to punish Jerusalem with horror, pestilence, and famine was because they were breaking God’s slaver laws that declared that Hebrew slaves had to be freed after seven years.
While in jail, Jeremiah spent a lot of his time telling everyone that although Babylon would win the war and raze Jerusalem, everything would be ok in the end because one day God would forgive the Jews and restore them to the Promised Land and set over them a descendant of David who was righteous and deserved to be king.
Eventually, during the final rebellion against Babylon, King Zedekiah imprisoned Jeremiah for all his negative prophecies. While Jeremiah was in jail, his cousin Hanamel came to him and offered to sell him some land in Anathoth in Benjamin because Jeremiah had first dibs on it. Jeremiah bought the land for half a pound of silver. Then in front of everyone, he handed the deed to this dude named Baruch, and said, Store this deed in a well-sealed earthenware pot! See, he explained, I do this because, although I’ve assured you Jerusalem will fall and burn, and the Jews be sent into exile, one day, we will be forgiven and the Promised Land will again be ours to buy and sell! And in that day, my nearest relatives will have this deed to show they own that land!
Jeremiah wasn’t just doom and gloom. He also told everyone that God promised that everything would be restored and a new covenant would be made!
We know all this because God told Jeremiah to write a book to record everything. Jeremiah wasn’t only doom and gloom. He did tell everyone that they should suck it up and take their punishment because God promised to return the Jews to the Promised Land one day.
Jeremiah wrote a letter to the people taken hostage by Nebuchadnezzar when he deposed King Jehoiakim. The letter said, God wants you to settle down there in Babylon and lead your lives. Get jobs, get married, have kids. Your fates are now tied to that land for the next 70 years or so. I know there are prophets up there saying that your exile will end soon, but don’t listen to them. They’re lying. Those prophets will be burned alive by Nebuchadnezzar. And really, you guys are better off because the people left in Judah are going to be be punished with war and famine.
Those people wrote back to the priests left in Judah, Shemaiah and Zephaniah, complaining about Jeremiah’s letter and asking them to punish the prophet.
Zephanaiah read that letter out-loud in front of Jeremiah and glared at him and asked him what he had to say for himself. Jeremiah was all, God is going to kill you and all of your children and your children’s children.
But another prophet, Hananiah, confronted Jeremiah with , God had told me that within two years, all the Temple goods will be restored, as will King Jehoiachin, and Babylon defeated.
Jeremiah replied, I hope what you say is true, brother. But all the prophets before us have prophesied famine, and war, and death, just like I do. If ever a prophet foresees peace and it happens, that man will truly be from God.
At that jab, Hananiah ripped the yoke from around Jeremiah’s neck and broke it, and was all, This is what God will do to Nebuchadnezzar’s yoke on us!
Later, Jeremiah went privately to Hananiah and was all, God says that for breaking my yoke God is putting an iron one on you. Look, we both know you weren’t sent by God and don’t actually talk to It. You’re a liar. You’re going to die before the year is out.
And Hananiah died around 7 months later.
When Nebuchadnezzar appointed Zedekiah king in his nephew’s place, God told Jeremiah to put a yoke around his neck and to go stand in front of the palace and give all the emissaries of foreign nations coming to congratulate Zedekiah this message:
God made the earth. God made you. God made Nebuchadnezzar and has decided to give the earth, its animals, and you unto the Babylonian king! So tell your king to accept the yoke of Nebuchadnezzar and serve him or be punished with sword, famine, and exile! However, if you do serve him, your people will get to remain in their lands.
So Jeremiah waylaid the emissaries from Edom, Moab, Ammon, Tyre, and Sidon, and eventually told this to Zedekiah himself.
Then Jeremiah told the priests and people that any prophet who prophesied victory of Babylon and a return of the Temple goods that Nebuchadnezzar had taken was a lying liar who shouldn’t be listed to.