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MORE MESSAGES FOR ZEDEKIAH
In some respects the most important chapter here is the first, which deals with Babylon’s supremacy, and reveals the beginning of “the times of the Gentiles,” or “the fulness of the Gentiles” (Romans 11:25 ). The term refers to the period when Israel, because of her disobedience to God, has forfeited her place of power in the earth and is scattered among the nations. It begins when God transfers this power to the Gentiles as represented by Babylon, and continues until Christ comes a second time for the deliverance of Israel from the Gentiles at the end of this age. The occasion of the transfer is set forth here.
Babylon is increasing in power, and threatening the smaller nations standing in the way of her mastery of the Mediterranean. These by their ambassadors are now in conclave in Jerusalem, presided over by Zedekiah, meditating the means of defense or opposition to the common enemy. God seizes the occasion to send the prophet to them with a revelation of His will in the premises (Jeremiah 27:1-11 ).
Verse one speaks of it as in Jehoiakim’s reign, but the context shows that it is an error.
With what symbolic action does the prophet introduce his message (Jeremiah 27:2-3 )? What nations are represented in the conclave? What is the divine declaration he makes (Jeremiah 27:6-7 )? What penalty is attached to the failure to comply with God’s will (Jeremiah 27:8 )? What promises to submission (Jeremiah 27:11 )? What special message is vouchsafed to the king of Judah (Jeremiah 27:12-15 )? What other classes in Judah are addressed (Jeremiah 27:16-18 )?
When God calls Nebuchadnezzar his “servant” (Jeremiah 27:6 ), it does not mean that the king knows and consciously desires to please Him, but only that, like the king of Assyria before him, he is being used for the time being to execute God’s purposes of chastisement on His people.
Chapter 28 gives a flesh illustration of the persecution Jeremiah endured from the enemies of the truth. Read carefully it will explain itself. May its warnings and encouragements not be lost upon us.
Chapter 29 recalls the earlier one on the good and bad figs. To the “good figs” the prophet sends this letter (Jeremiah 29:1 ), that is to the earlier captives (Jeremiah 29:2 ), who are to return after seventy years as the others are not (Jeremiah 29:10-14 ). To what evil teaching were they exposed in the land of their captivity (Jeremiah 29:8-9 ; Jeremiah 29:15-19 )? What were the names of the false prophets (Jeremiah 29:21-23 )? What man tried to stir up evil against Jeremiah by a letter (Jeremiah 29:24-29 )? What punishment would befall him (Jeremiah 29:30-32 )?
Chapters 30 and 31 speak again of the future redemption of Israel. What command comes to the prophet touching this testimony, and why (Jeremiah 30:1-3 )? What language shows that the end of the age is in mind (Jeremiah 30:7-9 )? Have these words yet been fulfilled in Israel’s history? Compare also Jeremiah 30:18-24 , and indeed the whole of the next chapter.
Chapters 32 and 33 cover the same ground as the preceding chapters, except that they are more picturesque because of the real estate transaction they record. What was the period, and what was the prophet enduring at the time, and why (Jeremiah 32:1-5 )? What is he called upon to do (Jeremiah 32:6-8 )? What care is taken about this purchase (Jeremiah 32:9-15 )? What shows his surprise and ignorance of its meaning (Jeremiah 32:16-25 )? What question does God put to the prophet (Jeremiah 32:26-27 )? Does this demand on the prophet to purchase the field indicate any change of God’s mind concerning Judah and Babylon (Jeremiah 32:28-35 )? What does it indicate for the future, however (Jeremiah 32:36-44 )? Point out at least ten reasons to show that all of these last verses point to the future. The theme is continued into the next chapter, and the Messiah once more referred to as the cause of the restoration and blessing (Jeremiah 33:15-16 ). What name is given Him? What corresponding name is to be given Judah in that day?
Chapter 34 is self-explanatory. A special offense on the part of the leaders brings renewal of the prophecy of judgment.
1. What chapter in this lesson is the most important, and why?
2. What is the meaning of, “the time of the Gentiles”?
3. Look up that phrase or its equivalent in your concordance.
4. Describe the occasion of chapter 27.
5. In whose reign did this take place?
6. Why is Nebuchadnezzar called God’s “servant”?
7. Tell the story of chapter 28 in your own language.
8. Name the chapter containing the type of the good and bad figs.
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Gray, James. "Commentary on Jeremiah 34". Gray's Concise Bible Commentary. https://studylight.org/
the Fourth Week after Epiphany