Desolation haunts the streets;
Even the wealthy hunger.
Starvation’s haggard visage peeks from every window.
Old people lay in streets dying, children beg;
Ladies cook their babies and feast,
Aspiring to live one more day.
Tragedy consumes the city.
In the palace, the princes weep.
Only God can end the suffering
Nebuchadnezzar causes at Its whim.
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”
This chapter is a long poem about how the Ammonites, Edomites, and Elamites would all be destroyed because God was mad. Also, Nebuchadnezzar would raze the cities of Damascus, Reder, and Hazer because God was mad.
Jeremiah generally prophesied woe to everyone. In this chapter, he wrote a long poem describing how Egypt would be destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar because God was mad.
Being forcibly carried into Egypt by his compatriots of course didn’t change Jeremiah’s tune. He continued preaching destruction and desolation. In particular he singled out the idolatry of the women who continued offerings and prayers to the Queen of Heaven, hallowed by her name, be it Asherah, Ishtar, Isis, or Aphrodite. Jeremiah intoned, The cheating on God continues, especially among the women, and for that, you are all doomed to destruction!
The men folk told Jeremiah, Go suck an egg, you old debbie downer! Mind your own business and leave us to tend to our women! If you wanted a wife to boss, you shoulda got married! If God didn’t want our wives to make offerings to the Queen of Heaven, then It should have manifested Itself a feminine version for them!
Jeremiah just raised his eyes and said, You should all renew your vows to God and stop cheating on It, or you’ll be sorry! But because you won’t, you’ve condemned Pharaoh Wahibre Haaibre and all his people to death and destruction at the hands of Nebuchadnezzar!
Everyone was all, You’re just a Babylonian spy, Jeremiah! You’re a traitor and a liar! God doesn’t talk to you. Fuck you and your prophecies. We’re going to Egypt, and by damned, you’re coming with us!
When they got to Egypt, to Tahpanhes on Lake Manzala, where Pharaoh had a summer palace, Jeremiah took some stones and hid them in the pavement in front of the one of the palace gates and was all, Mark this spot! For here, Nebudcadnezzar will destroy Pharaoh and all Egypt! He will cast down the obelisks of Heliopolis–well most of them anyway! In any case, Egypt will not prove a safe haven. It will burn, just like Jerusalem!
Nebuchadnezzar’s general was sorting out the captives–who was too poor to bother with, who was coming to Babylon–when he came to Jeremiah. He was all, You’re cool, dude. If you want to come with us, you’re welcome. If you want to stay here, that’s cool too.
Jeremiah stayed. He went to live with Gedaliah, whom Nebuchadnezzar had appointed governor of Judah.
When all the Judeans who had fled to other lands like Moab and all the troops who had been stationed in the hinterlands heard that the war was over and Jerusalem had fallen, they made their way to Mizpah, where Gedialiah was headquartered to figure out what to do next. So they all settled down and eked out a living.
However, trouble was afoot. General Johanan tried to warn Gedaliah that this dude, Ishmael, who claimed he had royal blood, was gunning for him, but Gedaliah ignored him.
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
Although Jeremiah was in prison, Pashur, his son, and some other officials didn’t think that was punishment enough because everyone knew about his prophesying defeat and destruction and it was really demoralizing. So they asked the king to have Jeremiah executed. Zedekiah was all, I gave him my word that I wouldn’t kill him, but….. So the officials seized Jeremiah and threw him into Prince Malchiah’s well. Unfortunately, there was no water in the well, so Jeremiah just sunk into the mud.
When Ebed-melech, an Ethiopian eunuch who belonged to the king, heard what had happened, he stormed to Zedekiah and was all, Sire, those officials have committed a great evil! So Zedekiah told him to take some men and get Jeremiah out of the well. Continue reading “Jeremiah 38: Jeremiah’s in the well”
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!