To review, Zedekiah became king when he was 21 years old and ruled for 11 years. He decided to rebel against Nebuchadnezzar in the ninth year of his reign. Nebuchadnezzar besieged Jerusalem for the next two years. By the end, people were starving. when the walls were finally breached, Zedekiah and his army tried to feel, but they were captured near Jericho.
Nebuchadnezzar made Zedekiah watch as all his sons and officials were put to death, then he ordered his eyes put out and to be chained in with the other prisoners to be force marched to Babylon. There Zedekiah rotted in prison for his remaining years. Continue reading “Jeremiah 52: Recap”
Jeremiah sent word of Babylon’s impending destruction to the Jews in exile there. He told them that Babylon would be invaded and all its people murdered in retaliation it did to the Jews and Israel and Judah–even though God ordained that harm to punish them for their own misdeeds. But logic aside, when the fighting started, Jews were advised to flee!
And lo, after Babylon finishes destroying all the other nations that God is mad at, it too will be destroyed! For lo, God is mad at it, for the violence it has perpetrated at God’s will and because it worships other gods like Marduk and Bel! The destruction of Babylon will make that of Sodom and Gomorrah look like a cake walk! And in that time, God will forgive the Jews and give them back the Promised Land.
So Johanan asked Jeremiah to ask God what It thought about everyone going to Egypt. Jeremiah was all, But what if you don’t like the answer? But everyone was all, You’ve always been right! We’ll listen to you this time!
Then Jeremiah went and communed with God, and at the end of ten days, he called everyone to him and was all, God wants you to stay right here. If you stay here, you will prosper and life will be good because the king of Babylon will treat you well. But if you go into Egypt, you will all suffer and die.
Jeremiah told Ebed-melech that because of his good deed, he would be spared and freed at the fall of Jerusalem.
Not long after, the Babylonians breached the city walls and Jerusalem was overran. The king and his court tried to flee, but were captured. Nebuchadnezzar made Zedekiah watch as all of his sons and most of his nobles were executed. Then he had Zedekiah’s eyes put out and force marched with the remaining Judeans to Babylon. The palace and the Temple were burned. Nebuchadnezzar told his general he left on clean up to treat Jeremiah well. As we’ll find out in the next chapter, that meant Jeremiah got to stay in Jerusalem, at least for a little while
In this version, Zedekiah imprisoned Jeremiah thusly.
First, the king sent servants to ask Jeremiah to pray for the king and to auger well for the war. But of course Jeremiah was all, God says your allies the Egyptians are going to abandon you and the Babylonians will break through the walls and burn the city down!
However that’s not what got him arrested. See, when the Egyptians first showed up, the Babylonians temporarily withdrew from their siege. Jeremiah wanted to take this opportunity to go finalize buying that land in Benjamin. But on his way out of the city, one of the captain of the guards recognized him and was all, You’re going to desert to the Babylonians, you naysaying traitor! And arrested him.
After several days, Zedekiah ordered Jeremiah before him to p Continue reading “Jeremiah 37: Another version of how Jeremiah got arrested”
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 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.