Jeremiah – Chapter 8

time.jpgThis is a very unusual chapter in almost all of scripture. Jeremiah is telling his countrymen what to expect in the immediate and end time future in and around Jerusalem and Judah. The Babylonians are coming! Not just this, but the almost cannibalistic marauding they will do in this Kingdom of Judah.

The Babylonians will be grave robbers!!! As did happen 1,500 years later when the Spanish conquistadors invaded and conquered the Inca, Aztec and other South American Indian cultures and civilizations, their [Babylonians’] thirst for treasures and gold simply could not be satisfied. Jeremiah is telling the people of Judah that the Babylonians will even defile the graves of the average citizen of this  kingdom. Why? A two-fold reason.

  1. The graves being defiled will be the graves of those of the Tribe of Judah who worshiped, as it states in verse two, the sun, moon, stars and unseen and imaginary heavenly hosts (not God however).
  2. All this in the quest for hidden or buried treasures in these graves.

Contemporary English Version (CEV): These bones will be scattered and left lying on the ground like trash, where the sun and moon and stars can shine on them.

A side note gives additional insight. This passage is probably from where we get the statement, make no bones about it.”

The God of Israel is allowing this to happen because of his disgust with the very people he has rescued over and over again. He took them from the edge of defeat many times. He blessed them when they didn’t deserve it. He called them HIS CHOSEN PEOPLE. We should note that God also promises in Isaiah 13 and *Habakkuk 2 that he will punish the Babylonians for what we would call today – overkill; brutal actuality. The bones of these Judeans were NOT reburied but left to sit under the false gods they worshiped; that is the sun, heavenly beings such as stars, and moon.  In a sense one might deduce that God is saying “their false gods won’t even care about this grave robbing and after-death abuse.”

* Habakkuk pleaded with God, asking Him to save Judah from her own wickedness. God answers, but not in the way Habakkuk expected.

To judge Judah’s wickedness, God says He will hand them over to the Chaldeans [Babylonians]: a nation even more wicked, violent, and corrupt.

Again, the CEV reads: Jeremiah 8:4, 5 The LORD said: People of Jerusalem, when you stumble and fall, you get back up, and if you take a wrong road, you turn around and go back.  v5 So why do you refuse to come back to me? Why do you hold so tightly to your *false gods? (of wood, stone, sun, moon stars…)

Deuteronomy 4:24 says that God is a jealous god. He will not have other gods put before him. Translation? Anything that comes before God in worship or importance is not acceptable in His eyes. Israel, Judah, today’s church, and its quasi-Christian membership, are guilty of this.

As powerful and descriptive as Jeremiah 8 is, verse 7 adds to it. God points out through Jeremiah that even the birds of the air know when to fly away from the impending winter. God’s chosen people hide behind things in their vain attempts to justify their ungodly actions and staying put in their ways. Remember back in Jeremiah 7:4 we have the Judeans pleading and hiding behind the fact that “we have the temple.”

To God this is not a safeguard. It is another obstacle to worshiping Him.  Later he promises to let the TEMPLE be destroyed in order to make this point. The Romans destroyed it for the final time in 72 A.D. What so many do not understand per Syria, the huge city of Aleppo and how the Levites treasure things more than God; Jews hid the “Aleppo Codex” in Aleppo for 6 centuries. Yes, the same Aleppo Muslims have conquered and destroyed in their attempt to wipe off the face of the map. They know things we Americans haven’t a clue.

Sarina Roff’e of JewishGen.org writes: “Few cities can match the glory of Aleppo, Syria, a city that spans Jewish history from the days of King David over 3,000 years ago. Aristocratic and noble, Aleppo was the crown of Jewish splendor in the Sephardic [Jewish] world.” 

The Book of Psalm [30:] and Samuel call Aleppo, Aram Soba. The New Testament sometimes identifies the same Aleppo of today as Ber[o]ea. The original settlement was called “Halab” which in Arabic (ﺣﻠﺐ) means: “where Abraham milked his cows.” Arab (Muslims) and Jewish tradition both state that Abraham first stopped in Halab (Aleppo) after leaving Ur, his home town.

SPECIAL BLOG NOTE: The Aleppo codex is the ONLY COPY of the entire text of the Bible. It is written on animal skins using a black iron ink. Hid and secretly protected for centuries by Levite priests.  Paul E. Kahle, when revising the text of the Biblia Hebraica in the 1920s, tried and failed to obtain a photographic copy of the Aleppo Codex. This forced him to use, believe it or not, the Leningrad [like in Russia] Codex instead for the [his] third edition, which appeared in 1937. This tells us something about where large dispersed communities of Jews, Levites and other Israelis from the Northern Kingdom must have lived for hundreds of years after the Assyrian and Babylonian dispersions; Aleppo and Leningrad. MY, my, my, how (secular) history IS [actually] all about God.

Why all this about Aleppo and Jeremiah? Jeremiah points out that Judaism of his time had become a religion of THINGS or religious items instead of God. We  need to know the significance of the bible being history, not a religious manuscript.

Judeans and the priestly Levites also hide behind the Laws of Moses but only when they are to their advantage. Jeremiah points this out in a backhanded way in Jeremiah 8:8 & 9. Again, the Israeli’s, in particular those of Judah (Jews), hide behind the teachings and laws of ‘the Lord’ rather than worshiping the God who created them.

Jeremiah 8:13 needs explanation. It reads as if God will wipe out the people of Israel and Judah. The translated Hebrew words “wipe out” are sûph in the Hebrew. It means to “snatch away” and be placed elsewhere but not as a country or kingdom. That reuniting of both the Northern Kingdom of Israel and the Southern Kingdom of Judah will not again happen until Jesus returns to the Mount of Olives. He will call his people from the four corners of the earth to return to Israel under his kingship (see this website: Book of Revelation series).

Once again and in reference to the birds that know to leave when winter is approaching, those of Judah simply say in V14, Let’s run and hide in a fortressed wall of another city. They never consider returning to God and confessing their sins to him. He did promise to not disperse them if they would. THEY NEVER DID! This confession of the sins of Israel happened about 70 years later. Daniel prayed a confessional prayer for his people, all Israel, from captivity in Babylon (Daniel 9).Admission of Guilt - legal concept

Jeremiah 8:17 is another step backward in their history and a parallel prophecy. It says in the CEV: Our enemies (plural as in enemies; so it is more than Babylon alone) have reached the town of Dan in the north, and the snorting of their horses makes us tremble with fear. The enemy will destroy Jerusalem and our entire nation. The northern kingdom by the time of Jeremiah was long dispersed as was this abode of Dan. This is either a reference back 120 years when the Kingdom of Israel still existed or a prediction of Armageddon in a history yet to be played out. This is an Armageddon or Har Megeddo where 200,000,000 troops from all nations gather to invade Jerusalem. (revisit our study on Revelation in the website).

Micah 3:11 puts the wrap in this deserved punishment of Israel and Judah. He writes:

Her leaders judge for a bribe, her priests teach for a price, and her prophets [prophecy] for money. Yet they look for the LORD’s support and say, “Is not the LORD among us? No disaster will come upon us.”

The vipers and snakes mentioned in verse 17 are symbolic of the invading enemy(ies). They will not be charmed or bought off either then or in End Time Armageddon. Neither will negotiation be available. Young’s Literal Translation (YLT) uses the past tense (have been bitten) meaning they are already determined to conquer. The wonderful promise in this parallel prophecy with Revelation 16:12-14, Israel will finally realize Jesus Christ IS THEIR MESSIAH when he destroys these invading armies of the nations. First is the invasion of Babylon; 597 B.C. Then comes the return of Jesus to the Mount of Olives where He proclaims himself as King of kings and the armies of the world gathered in Har Magiddo attack Jerusalem.

CLOSING STUDY NOTE: Jeremiah is not written in a chronological order. This makes it a little bit tougher to sequence events. One might out line this book in a broad way: the early chapters preview what is going to happen. Then the middle chapters and the bulk of them describe in great detail these events and how they will happen. Concluding the Book of Jeremiah is a summary of these same events and the prophesied destruction of Babylon, Egypt, Moabites, Philistines (today’s Palestinians; Jordan), judgment of Edom and the Ammonites (Jordon, Damascus of Syria and Kedar, Hazor, Elam in present day Islamic Iran but in End Time.

miniJimRev Dr Jstark
December 2016

Jeremiah – Chapter 7

Book of JeremiahIf a given people have the Temple of God in their midst, might they think that they are indestructible because GOD’S HOUSE is in their town? This is similar to a very big guy standing between you (us) and someone who wants to fight or defeat us. What we forget is the attitude and idea of the big guy. Is he going to do anything to prevent an attack? Does he even care? Might he be a person in who we put hope but it is not in his mind to protect those who had previously abandoned him? Have we previously given the big guy little recognition?

This is the opening scenario in Jeremiah 7. This chapter is full of “what ifs.” We will concentrate on them with this blog. Most quotes will be from the CEV and when not, the translation used will be identified. We strongly recommend one reads this chapter before delving into the blog review and study of chapter 7.

The Kingdom of Judah is on the verge of collapse yet no one in Judah, the king, synagogue leaders, and general population wants to acknowledge it. The previously ruling dynasty of the Middle East was Assyria. Babylon under the leadership of Nabopolassar through off the overlord of Assyria and began the road to Middle East dominance. His son Nebuchadnezzar finished the job his father began by conquering Judah and defeating Egypt.

Now that the reader is up to date, let’s look at the defiance and bad attitude of the Kingdom of Judah just before this time of Assyria’s fall and Babylon’s rise to power.

Jeremiah was told by YHWH – God to stand by the gate of the Lord’s house and announce: “Confess or be punished for 70 years under the rule of a kingdom where you do not even know the language” [paraphrased]. Recall in our chapter 6 study, the people and leadership of Judah, to a soul, did not live an honest life.

Pay attention, people of Judah! Change your ways and start living right, then I will let you keep on living in your own country.” [v3]

Here is another one of those promises that begins with an “If you will….” God can do anything as He is sovereign, but man has a free will. We opt in or out; God only offers. To stay neutral means to NOT TO OPT IN so the end result is the same.

Verse 4 is unusual for scripture. It is common to find “verily, verily I say unto you.” But, here is something repeated three times.

‘This is the temple of the LORD, the temple of the LORD, the temple of the LORD.’

God is not speaking here. It is the voice of the people of Judah and the leadership of false prophets. In modern terminology one might ask, who are you trying to convince? Me or you? Verses 5-7 list the prerequisite conditions God sets for preventing being overrun and dispersed into captivity by the Babylonians.

  1. Amend your ways
  2. Amend your deeds
  3. Execute justice
  4. Do not oppress the stranger or traveler, widow, poor
  5. Shed not innocent blood (child sacrifice)
  6. MOSTLY… get rid of those useless idols of stone, wood, wealth, position, influence

Verse 7 helps us to understand why in verse 4 screaming multiple times that “this is the temple of the LORD” is useless. The Lord is not IN THE TEMPLE TO SERVE THEIR PURPOSES handing out good enough certificates of protection. He has been abandoned by Judah for idols and other gods. It is just a building. This bothers me personally to realize the many churches where the LORD is not part of the service or worship and praise. They offer words to bounce off the ceiling but never get to the Lord’s ears. They sing catchy tunes with spiritually meaningless lyrics. They preach that God is Love and pass over the fact that He is also JUST.

Jer 7:9 You steal and murder; you lie in court and are unfaithful in marriage. You worship idols and offer incense to Baal, when these gods have never done anything for you.

Jer 7:10  And then you come into my temple and worship me! Do you think I will protect you so that you can go on sinning?

Ever hear the phrase NO BRAINER? It fits well with the above two verses. Somehow I think they people of Judah may be looking back at the Ark of the Covenant protection during times of battle and war. I like how Jon W. Quinn puts it… They were wrong about that [too]. It was at Shiloh where the Ark of the Covenant had been captured by the Philistines and the unfaithful people of Israel defeated (1 Samuel 4:10-11). It was as if they believed that the ark was like a lamp and God was a genie inside enslaved to whoever possessed the ark. That was certainly a mistake. What Jon is saying is that the Temple of the LORD is not going to protect an evil.

3d rendering words lie and believeJeremiah 7:8 reminds us of how some search the scriptures for support of whatever stance or issue for which s/he needs that third-person validation. “…ye trust in lying words that cannot profit.” In other words, we search or listen for that which supports our pre-desired opinion or outcome, then ignore the context or rest of the verse or chapter. As a 20 year college professor and Dean, I often saw this in papers from students. Instead of looking for the truth after stating a supposition, s/he only keeps that which supports his or her desired outcome. Commentators constantly say, “they believed lies.” We disagree. They desire it [lies] to be right as this is how they wish to live their lives.  People do the same thing today by taking scripture out of context in a way it supports his or her lies, or self-deceit.

In Jeremiah 7:11 God – Jeremiah puts it all on the table. “You are thieves, and you have made my temple your hideout” [CEV].

I guess standing in a garage does not make one an auto mechanic. Neither does attending college make one a scholar. This is verse 11 in layman terms. Showing up to church and tithing does not make one a Christian. We hasten to remind our readers of James 2:19 and Romans 10:9 & 10.

James 2:19 You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that–and shudder.

Romans 10:9,10 If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.

Jeremiah is not being unkind however today he would be crucified by the news and social media for being so very politically incorrect, discriminating and offensive of others rights to “shut him up.”

Dr. jStark

 

 

Jeremiah – Chapter 6

Verse 1 in Jeremiah 6 does not step outside of Judah. The Tribe of Benjamin was absorbed by Judah during the split of the 12 Tribes into two separate kingdoms. There were also remnants from the northern tribes who opted to live in Judah when the evil kings of the Kingdom of Israel to the north rejected God (YHWH).  The City of Jerusalem was part of the Benjamine territory when the land was divided by Joshua some 900 to 1,000 years earlier in history.

It is not uncommon to see different names in reference to the same people, place and thing. Not only in the Bible, but also the secular part of the same history. The King James Version is a bit difficult to understand when it comes to Jeremiah chapter 6. Following is the *CEV version; easier to understand and read. [*Contemporary English Version]

sound the trumpet.jpgJer 6:1  Run for your lives, people of Benjamin. Get out of Jerusalem. Sound a trumpet in Tekoa and light a signal fire in Beth-Haccherem. Soon you will be struck by disaster from the north. *

V2  Jerusalem is a lovely pasture, but shepherds will surround it and divide it up,

V3  then let their flocks eat all the grass.

V4  Kings will tell their troops, “If we reach Jerusalem in the morning, we’ll attack at noon. But if we arrive later,

V5  we’ll attack after dark and destroy its fortresses.”

V6  I am the LORD All-Powerful, and I will command these armies to chop down trees and build a ramp up to the walls of Jerusalem. People of Jerusalem, I must punish you for your injustice.

V:7  Evil pours from your city like water from a spring. Sounds of violent crimes echo within your walls; victims are everywhere, wounded and dying.

V8  Listen to me, you people of Jerusalem and Judah. I will abandon you, and your land will become an empty desert.

V9  I will tell your enemies to leave your nation bare like a vine stripped of grapes. I, the LORD All-Powerful, have spoken.

V10  I have told the people that you, LORD, will punish them, but they just laugh and refuse to listen.

V11  Your anger against Judah flames up inside me, and I can’t hold it in much longer. Don’t hold back my anger! Let it sweep away everyone-– the children at play and all adults, young and old alike.

V12  I’ll punish the people of Judah and give to others their houses and fields, as well as their wives. I, the LORD, have spoken.

V13  Everyone is greedy and dishonest, whether poor or rich. Even the prophets and priests cannot be trusted.

V14  All they ever offer to my deeply wounded people are empty hopes for peace.

V15  They should be ashamed of their disgusting sins, but they don’t even blush. And so, when I punish Judah, they will end up on the ground, dead like everyone else. I, the LORD, have spoken.

V16  The LORD said: My people, when you stood at the crossroads, I told you, “Follow the road your ancestors took, and you will find peace.” But you refused.

V17  I also sent prophets to warn you of danger, but when they sounded the alarm, you paid no attention. *

V18  So I tell all nations on earth, “Watch what I will do!

V19  My people ignored me and rejected my laws. They planned to do evil, and now the evil they planned will happen to them.”

V20  People of Judah, you bring me incense from Sheba and spices from distant lands. You offer sacrifices of all kinds. But why bother? I hate these gifts of yours!

V21  So I will put stumbling blocks in your path, and everyone will die, including parents and children, neighbors and friends.

V22  The LORD said, “Look toward the north, where a powerful nation has prepared for war.

V23  Its well-armed troops are cruel and never show mercy. Their galloping horses sound like ocean waves pounding on the shore. This army will attack you, lovely Jerusalem.”

V24  Then the people said, “Just hearing about them makes us tremble with fear, and we twist and turn in pain like a woman giving birth.”

V25  The LORD said, “Don’t work in your fields or walk along the roads. It’s too dangerous. The enemy is well armed

V26  and attacks without warning. So mourn, my people, as though your only child had died. Wear clothes made of sackcloth and roll in the ash pile.”

V27  Jeremiah, test my people as though they were metal.

V28  And you’ll find they are hard like bronze and iron. They are stubborn rebels, always spreading lies. *

V29  Silver can be purified in a fiery furnace,

V30  but my people are too wicked to be made pure, and so I have rejected them.

This is a powerful chapter defining Judah is at this time, and in general, what all of Israel, north and southern kingdoms became in the eyes of their God YHWH. We can see that Jeremiah is talking about what is about to happen to Judah and a bit of the events during the Tribulation period in a distant future.

The highlighted portions of the CEV verses above will be our primary discussion points in this chapter 6 study.

In Tekoa:  This is the birthplace of the prophet Amos. It is only a few miles south of Jerusalem.  The interesting note is that Tekoa, where the trumpet is to be sounded, is located south of Jerusalem but the enemy approaches from the north. Judah has become a dreadfully sinful place and Jeremiah cannot find a single soul through which Judah and Jerusalem will be saved from God’s punishment. Zechariah 3:9 is a future event not yet fulfilled but it addresses the sin of Israel. “God will remove their sin in a single day.”

…but shepherds will surround it: We see pictures on TV of what Jerusalem looks like today. The curse of God has left the surrounding lands lacking in water or much rain.  Desert is easy to see in and around the outskirts of Jerusalem. However, when the Children of Israel entered into the Promised Land under the leadership of Joshua, it was the land of milk and honey. The huge clusters of grapes hauled out of the countryside took two men to carry one cluster [Numbers 13:23]. The shepherds, the future occupants of this land, may be in reference to what Jeremiah writes in Jeremiah 1:15; kings of northern kingdoms.

Kings will tell their troops: Note that this is plural…KINGS. Babylon itself had but one king; Nebuchadnezzar. Close examination of scripture leads us to believe this prophecy is not only of the pending Babylonian invasion and Judah’s consequential 70 year captivity, but a future time when many from the north will come up against Jerusalem. In our Revelation study we saw that the gathering of troops from every nation in Har Megiddo; I.E. what we will call Armageddon, about 50 miles NORTH of Jerusalem, will be a combination of armies from every nation. All gathered to storm the gates of Jerusalem…200,000,000 men.

I must punish you for your injustice: God is love BUT, he is also justice. He is patient and longsuffering but will not be fooled. Israel is God’s chosen [wife] people. As does a good father, he does not spare the rod only to spoil his children [Proverbs 13:24]. Judah has been warned for by prophets since the fall of their northern cousin tribes in the Kingdom of Israel. At a time when Jeremiah is actually pleading with God to spare Judah and Jerusalem, he couldn’t find one single honest person in the country.

Evil pours from your city like water from a spring: The religious leaders had made a sham of the Law of Moses and used it only when to their advantage. Child sacrifice was a practice at this time; akin to our sacrifice of children via abortion. Lying, cheating, moral standards, and the fact that Judaism had become a religion instead of a way of life gave God his fill of tolerance. Jeremiah said “it poured like water from a spring.” That is abundant, not random sin. This is reminiscent of Genesis 6:5… “…every inclination of the thoughts of the human heart was only evil all the time.”

I will abandon you, and your land will become an empty desert: Recall that at one time this land was “milk and honey.” When my father visited Israel, he could see the difference between the cultivated lands of Israelis and the sands of the Arab territories. The point is what once was watered by God now has canals and irrigation ditches [2017]. Just as in the Garden of Eden where no labor was required to produce the fruits of the garden, after the fall of Adam, man had to cultivate to eat. Genesis 3:19 tells us just that. But the promise of God will still be a fulfilled covenant of God and Israel. This is described in the Millennial Reign of what Israel will be.

…bare like a vine stripped: Important note. God says in Jeremiah 6:9 that he will command the enemies of Jerusalem/Judah to strip the vines of their fruits. This is a twofold thought. To strip the vine of its grapes means to remove them from the garden. However, there is another more subtle point in this same passage. He, meaning God, did not say pull up the vines by their roots. This leaves the potential of future grapes/population. This is the future Kingdom of God-Jesus on the throne in Jerusalem; King of all kings; ruler of the earth; Satan bound in the pit.

V10 is the underlining statement of why God will punish his chosen people: “…but they just laugh at me” (Jeremiah that is). This was and is still true today of most prophets, evangelical preachers, teachers and witnessing testimonies of the Word of God. People do not take kindly to their sins being pointed out. The last four kings of Judah are prime examples of “in your face YHWH” attitudes. We will see in chapter 36 that King Jehoiakim burned the scrolls, the original copy of Jeremiah, in his heating pot at his winter room in Jerusalem. He not only laughed at but scorned both Jeremiah, through his scribe Baruch, and God. Very dangerous ground as it borders on the unpardonable sin. There is little doubt that King Jehoiakim will not be one singing the praises of Jesus on the great resurrection morning.

Let it sweep away everyone: This is actually Jeremiah pleading with God. He was very angry for the stupidity, rejection, and blasphemous statements of his fellow countrymen. Their self-confidence and cocky attitude was about all Jeremiah could take. If he could, he might have slaughtered them on his own. However, the Lord God follows up Jeremiahs pleading to destroy these people is found in the very next verse (V12).

V12  I’ll punish the people of Judah and give to others their houses and fields, as well as their wives. This verse needs little explanation. The punishment will be severe and total. The last half of this verse reads…”I the Lord have spoken.” From 72 A.D. to 1948, this vow was fulfilled.

Everyone is greedy and dishonest: In the ESV this same verse reads: “For from the least to the greatest of them, everyone is greedy for unjust gain; and from prophet to priest, everyone deals falsely. The word “everyone” in the Greek [kole] means NONE EXCLUDED. Once again we return to the pre-Noah days and the condition of the people’s heart. It is the fear and belief of this bible blogger that America is getting closer and closer to the same condition. The split and disrespect of peoples has never been greater aside from possibly the Civil War. Even back then it was mostly over principles and not hate and greed. Today it is hate and greed. What’s in it for me? Even ministers plead for more and more money’s to line the pockets of their own ministries. Huge churches have huge overhead. This tends to cause compromise of the scripture and appeal to those who are religious but want to attend a church with great chandeliers, huge auditoriums (not sanctuaries), professional bands to lead the music, and songs that sometimes are difficult to recognize as ones that praise or honor God. Catchy tunes but shallow lyrics.

In verse 14 I prefer how the King James Version puts it. Peace, peace; when there is no peace. This is what the priests and leaders offer the people of Judah; false hope in something that does not and will not exist until the Millennial Reign of Christ. This is a man’s peace; not God’s. Since the leaders of Judah at this time, secular and religious, were not in the foot prints of God, anything they did was in the foot prints of man.

They should be ashamed of their disgusting sins: Do you know anyone who is such a compulsive liar or evil (Stalin, Hitler, Mussolini, and others) that they don’t even faint back a bit, add a sheepish grin or blush when sinning?  This is similar to Pharaoh of Egyptian captivity times. The Pharaoh didn’t hesitate to withdraw or hold back his support for Israel slavery. His heart hardened each time it got a little bit soft. Pharaoh’s concerns never were for Israelis. It was always for him and his kingdom rule. Judah was the same at the time of Jeremiah. No shame; only lust for more.

Follow thweight of the world.jpge road your ancestors took, and you will find peace.” But you refuse: Even though history tells us that Israel of old had an on and off again relationship with God, there were times of a true peace for them. Let’s put it this way. Do you have a hidden sin? One that you must hide day after day in the hopes it stays hidden? There is no peace. This is what Jeremiah is talking about in this verse. Sin is more denial than hidden. I have often asked others when he or she is trying to justify a given action or hate: “Who are you trying to convince? Me or you? When it does happen and a wrong is made right, people feel a true peace. We identify it with the saying, “the weight of the world or a great weight has lifted from my shoulders.”

I tell all nations on earth: The word “ALL” is significant in this Jeremiah passage. When the bible says ALL, it means all! No exceptions. If anyone thinks America is exempted, s/he is all but right. What else might ALL THE NATIONS ON EARTH possibly mean? America, specifically the United States of America, is not mentioned in scripture. However, this verse is without exception and that does include the Americas. This verse is connected to the passage where God calls the Kingdom of Judah more evil than was their northern cousins, the Kingdom of Israel. Judah did not learn from what she saw happen to the ten tribes in the north. Jeremiah is telling us to learn from what we see. Yes, God is love, but he is also just.

“…the evil they planned will happen to them.” The word “evil” in Hebrew is rah which means naturally or morally. Since man cannot bring supernatural evil upon others, Jeremiah points out that God will use their own devices against them. Upon whom shall this evil be allowed? The answer is in the use of the word “Them, They or People.” It is “’AM in Hebrew meaning a specific tribe or group of people such as a given or multiple Tribes of Israel. In the King James 619 reads “even the fruit of their thoughts.”  Watch out ‘oh people,’ even their thoughts will materialize if it is bad.

You offer sacrifices of all kinds. But why bother? People today as back during this time of Jeremiah, have a lot to learn. It is not the value of the gift that God accepts as better or worse. It is not expensive spices or large checks that dazzle God or, in a sense, bribe his attention. It is how the gift is given. We can look at our own giving as see why it is we give. A minister once said “to give until it hurts.” I disagree. It is better to give until one is satisfied in his or her heart.” That is the value of the gift; i.e. the intent of the heart.

Look toward the north, where a powerful nation has prepared for war.

V23 Its well-armed troops: Jeremiah is not prophesying into the distant future at this point. He identifies the threat as ONE NATION this time. This is an imminent prophecy. God tells Judah and their leadership from which direction the enemy will come and probably identifiable by them per it being a power house nation; i.e. Babylon.

Verse 24 is somewhat a confliction. Jeremiah is saying one thing and the “tickle thy ears” prophets of Judah are saying “we are safe.” But then V25 says the Lord God says “don’t work in your fields.” This creates a dichotomy of interests and priorities. If the people of Judah don’t work their fields, there will be no crop; thus famine or starvation. Jeremiah has told the people of Judah to not fight the Babylonians when they invade. Their captivity is ordained of God. Jeremiahs primary message is, on’t make it worse by resisting. 

[Verse 26 begins a new paragraph in the this book but the same chapter] “ Wear clothes made of sackcloth and roll in the ash pile. V27 Jeremiah, test my people…” This set of instructions is not for Judah but for Jeremiah. Jeremiah is God’s tower and example for which HE wants the Judeans to emulate. Just as heat and boiling purifies lead, silver, gold, water and other metals, God identifies the entirety of Judah as bullheaded and hard as metal per being persuaded. They are [V30] “reprobate or mâ’as (Hebrew) skum at the top of the pot. They are NOT the purity God desired of them. However, God will purge their hearts and minds. It states in Hebrews 10:16 and he is talking about Israel at this time…

“This is the covenant I will make with them after that time, says the Lord. I will put my laws in their hearts, and I will write them on their minds.” 

miniJimJames W. Stark (M.M., Rev. Dr.)
December 2016

Jeremiah – Chapter 5

Jeremiah Study:

This week’s blog and the following picture graph is to help each to better understand that Jeremiah is not a stand-alone book per activities and participants. Five Kings of Judah, at least 5 other major prophets overlap the life of Jeremiah, the Judean exile of 70 years, the historical Battle of Carchemish between winner Babylon and loser Egypt, the fall of Assyria (Nineveh of Jonah and whale fame) to Babylon-Medes, the history of Nebuchadnezzar, Daniels’ dream interpretations in Babylon, Athens ends it rule of hereditary kings and becomes a democracy, Rome (Etruscans) begin a future Roman Empire but as a small city/village, and let’s not forget Obadiah in the later years of Jeremiah or Nebuchadnezzar’s Hanging Gardens… a wonder of the world; Shadrach, Meshrach, Abenego… all during the lifetime of Jeremiah. Fact and history.

Chapter 5 adds to this mix of history during the life of Jeremiah. Jeremiah is told of God in 5:1 to…

The LORD says, ‘Go up and down the streets in Jerusalem.

Look round you. Think about what you see.

Search through the market places.

Can you find just one person who acts honestly?

Can you find one person who tries to tell the truth?

If you can, I will forgive this city.

Does this remind us of something that happened about 1,500 years earlier? In Genesis 18 we find Abraham doing just what God told Jeremiah to do.  Abraham was pleading with God for Sodom where his nephew Lot was living. God told Abraham to find but a few believers in Sodom and he would not destroy it. Jeremiah was told a very similar thing in the opening verse of chapter 5. Abraham had to find ten persons; Jeremiah needed to find but ONE to prevent Gods judgment. Jeremiah didn’t find even one.

As amazing as it may sound, Jeremiah in 5:4 and 5 tells God it is because “these people are

entendre

They refused to listen.

Israel and Judah didn’t listen

poor and ignorant.” They simply do not know what God expects. Jeremiah tells God that he will go to the leaders and re-explain what God’s chosen people are supposed to be doing and who they are to worship. NOT TO BE! These people of Judah wanted a god created within their own image, not accepting that they were chosen of God, were once a dynamic nation of Israel under Saul, David and Solomon, and that Judaism was a life not a religion.to be followed. None listened.

Verse 7 of Jeremiah 5 is quite plain and blunt. It reads…

. “How can I pardon you? Your children have forsaken me and have sworn by those who are not gods. When I fed them to the full, they committed adultery and trooped to the houses of whores” (ESV)


JIV NOTE:
The harlotry and whores mentioned here means, according to Strong, “Jewish people being regarded as the spouse of God have chosen other gods to worship.”

God reminds Jeremiah that HE as the husband of [all] Israel supplying her every NEED time after time.  Yet, they seek and prostitute themselves to other gods of stone, wood, child sacrifice. 100 plus years earlier (8th century B.C.), Amos and Micah tried to appeal to the Israelis and their relationship with each other and to God. Israel and Judah didn’t listen to them either.

In Jeremiah 5:9 God tells Jeremiah two reasons for his anger. One reason is that the people of Judah, as did the dispersed tribes of the northern Kingdom of Israel, rejected the commandments of God given to Moses and have forgotten HIM. Second the people of Judah by this time were taking oaths in the name of foreign gods; not the God of Israel. God is simply asking Jeremiah “why should I hold back my anger?”

In verse 12 we see the true attitude of all Israelites and especially those in Judah. Since THEY were the children of God, they thought themselves to be exempt to punishment. God promised them this Promised Land. God had not destroyed Judah, yet they had witnessed what God had allowed to happen to their northern cousins 120 years earlier. Oh you stiff necked and uncircumcised people… [Acts 7:51]

Go through the nation’s vineyards and destroy them.

But do not destroy them completely.

Tear off their branches,

because these people do not belong to the LORD.

The people in Israel and Judah

have not been loyal to me at all’, declares the LORD.

Those people have lied about the LORD.

They said, ‘He will do nothing!

Nothing bad will happen to us.

We will never see war. We will never be hungry.
What a false piety and attitude of these people. God will NOT destroy us??? Who do they think they are? Truth be known, there were a great number of false prophets running around at this time in Jerusalem and Judah.  What was their message? We are safe and will never go hungry. In a sense and although defeated in wars and battles since they were established as Tribes in the Promised Land and governed by judges, they have already forgotten what happened to their northern cousins only a 100 plus years earlier. One can almost imagine their thoughts. “It happened to them up north but our king has always been a descendant of King David. It has been over 100 years and we are still here even though they are not. Nothing bad will happen to us. We have priests and the Temple.”

Elijah could destroy 600 priests of Baal and Jezebel [I Kings 19} but Jeremiah was just a messenger. He knew the eventual outcome. He also knew that God would not stay angry forever; just 70 years this time. We say this in anticipation of the next verse; i.e. v15. Other bible bloggers or commentators either don’t see this or they opt to not discuss it. In verse 15 Jeremiah goes from discussing Judah to “Oh house of ISRAEL.” [All Israelites are not of the Tribe or Kingdom of Judah] This is a leap forward in time to the books and contents of Daniel and Revelation; the future yet to be called history in the End Time events of the 7 year Tribulation. In a sense it is a parallel to what is about to happen [Babylon] and what is going to happen during the time of Jacob’s Trouble; that is the 70th week of Daniels dream; Tribulation period. For more insight to this, refer to the Daniel Study or the Revelation study found on this website.

V16, although it identifies “cases of arrows” it identifies these weapons as certain death or possibly weapons of mass destruction. This will be the machinery and weaponry of the 200,000,000 man army of Armageddon. Then in verse 19, just as it was asked when Babylon attacked Judah in the 6th century B.C., Israel will ask the same question at the time of the great tribulation (Revelation) when the antichrist attacks…”why is the Lord God doing this to us?”

Jeremiah 5:18 adds credibility to this thought of the THEN and again at the END TIME being parallel prophecies. Jeremiah writes, “But even in those days, declares the LORD, I will not make a full end of you. BUT EVEN IN THOSE DAYS??? This is a jump forward to what has yet to happen. Babylon is at their back door at that time, but the Great Tribulation [those days] is yet to happen to Israel and the world of Christianity.

Jeremiah 5:19 may also be a double application prophecy. Them that Judah will serve in a foreign land is/are Babylon. They know because Jeremiah is telling them. Those “foreigners” of End Time and to where they are now [current history] dispersed as a former nation of twelve tribes, then as a divided kingdom of North and South is yet to happen.

Jeremiah 5:23 to the end of this chapter describes a “Jew” as defined by the world today. They are stubborn; they do not fear God but are secular; they are deceivers or what many would call wheelers and dealers… mostly deceivers of themselves; (v26) they set traps to catch men (mostly off guard); (v28) they have grown greedy and wealthy; they are willing to listen to false prophets and those who wish to tickle their ears with only good news; not the truth.The end writing draw in sand

The end of chapter five is a powerful question for us today. It reads in the last sentence: “…but what will YOU DO when the end comes?” Hmmmm?

miniJim