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!
By the way, it is really important to know that back when Baruch was helping Jeremiah write his book, he kept whining about his hard lot at being stuck at helping Jeremiah, so Jeremiah told him that God had a message: Suck it up, buckaroo. God was turning everyone’s life to shit. But…for helping Jeremiah out, God would make sure that Baruch wouldn’t be murdered during the wars.
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”
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!
See, Jeremiah knew that everything was hopeless, because way back nine years earlier, at the beginning of Zedekiah’s reign, during one of the previous wars with Babylon–the one where Nebuchadnezzar took King Jehoiachin hostage, Jeremiah had had a dream.
In that dream, there were two baskets of figs offered as sacrifices to God. One basket was full of ripe, succulent fruits. The other, with rotten ones. As Jeremiah contemplated the figs, God told him that most of the people of Judah were like those bad fruit, bound to die and rot.But those few who would be purified by exile would be like the good figs, and God would gather them and return them to the Promised Land.
So then God told Jeremiah to convince some of the elders and priests to meet him in the Valley of Topheth and to be sure to take a bottle or a flask with him.
When everyone was gathered, Jeremiah was all, Behold, God is going to bring destruction on you all because you have let people sacrifice their children to Baal in this valley! The ground cries out with their blood! Lo, a great battle will be fought here and Judah will lose and her warriors left here to rot. Then Jerusalem will be besieged and food will become so scarce that people will eat their children to keep from starving!
Then he threw the bottle on the ground at their feet so that it broke and spattered them all with shards and shouted, God will break the Jews like I just broke that bottle!
God was all, Look, I don’t care if Samuel, or even Moses himself, stood before me and plead for mercy for Judah. I’d tell them to go suck an egg. I’m going to destroy Judah with pestilence, famine, and war.
Jeremiah lamented, Woe is me! I wish I had never been born! Everybody hates me! They curse me and abuse me! When I tell them your message, they’ll probably try to kill me!
God was all, What are you whining about now? Who cares if those jerks hate you? I don’t and that’s what matters. I’ll make sure they don’t kill you.
But Isaiah assures him that God will protect Judah. See II Kings 19