Jeremiah Chapter 44

lower egyptFirst we must know what or where Pathros is per verse 1 in chapter 44. Without going into the Hebrew, it is the southernmost part of Egypt. Egypt was sometimes divided into two kingdoms and had two pharaohs; one in the lower kingdom next to the Mediterranean Sea and one in the upper Nile in northern Sudan. If you wish additional explanation per Pathros in Jeremiah 44:1, go to http://www.icr.org/books/defenders/4499/.

Simply put, the fleeing remnant of Israelis of the Tribe of Judah spread out in Egypt. Their motive? Possibly thinking they could hide from God’s promised wrath for having fled there instead of (see chapter 42 article) remaining in Judea. This same act of defiance was done by Jonah in the 8th century B.C.; about 200 years earlier. He fled or tried to flee God by sailing to Tarshish, Spain. We can run but we cannot hide.

Amazingly, Jeremiah 44 tells us in verse 2 that all the cities of Judah and Jerusalem itself at this time are DESOLATE. Chorbâh in the Hebrew can mean “totally absent of mankind” or “a land laid waste and in decay.” Since the YLT (Young’s Literal Translation) is a fairly accurate word-for-word translation, it says “there is none dwelling in them.”  This means at this time neither Israeli nor Arab dwelt in this land at the time Jeremiah had these words penned to scripture. However, if we consider verse three, it may mean it is desolate of Judeans… We read the same words in Jeremiah 44:6.

It is clear that God is a jealous God (Deuteronomy 4:24) and Israelis knew this from the onset. The Book of Deuteronomy was written by Moses; it is in the Jewish Pentateuch. Moses himself told them God is jealous.  “Put no other god before me;” i.e. Ten Commandments. If it was wrong yesterday, it is still wrong today. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. Years between do not change right from wrong in God’s eyes. However, and this is a warning to the reader, a time has now come when some things that are right are called politically wrong, and wrong is called politically right (Isaiah 5:20). Go back to Jeremiah 3 and we see that God considered Judah’s sins more frightful than those that brought demise to her northern cousins, the Kingdom of Israel 120 plus years earlier.

Reading Jeremiah very closely, it appears that the Judeans went out of their way to provoke God by burning incense to other gods. Example: A little girl went to a basketball game with her father. He told her that she could play in the stands as long as she did not bother other people and did not step foot on the basketball court. Shortly thereafter, she went down to the bottom bleacher putting one foot onto the court while looking back at her father. Was she wrong or just sort of wrong? This is provocation even if it was one foot over the line.

Jeremiah 44:7 takes an unexpected twist. God does not say that their idol worshipping was as hurting to him as much as he asked…”Why are you continually hurting yourselves?” Jeremiah 44:8c is most earie when we look at the news today seeing people after people line up against Israel. It reads…”The people of all the other nations on the earth will say bad things about you and make fun of you.” Isn’t this precisely what is going on today? They brought it upon themselves.

Jeremiah 44:10 can be applied across the board to the Israel we see even today, 2017.

“Even to this day the people of Judah have not made themselves humble. They have not shown any respect for me, and they have not followed my teachings. They have not obeyed the laws I gave you (them) and your (their) ancestors.” [ERV]

The next few verses are explicit to those who fled to Egypt against God’s will. He assures all that they will not see, nor will their children even in Sudan ever again see their home land. The King James Version says: “…they shall all be consumed, and fall in the land of Egypt; they shall even be consumed by the sword and by the famine: they shall die, from the least even unto the greatest, by the sword and by the famine: and they shall be an execration (insult), and an astonishment, and a curse, and a reproach.” There is no room for theological wiggle room. They are condemned by God himself.

In verse 16 the people once again spoke in unison, “we will not harken onto your voice. We will do as we please.” Now we get some interesting insight as to why or the rationale behind why the Catholics worship the mother Mary as the Queen of Heaven. Keep in mind that Jesus doesn’t appear on earth for another 600 years, none the less, this is of interest; 44:7. “But we will certainly do whatsoever thing goeth forth out of our own mouth, to burn incense unto the queen of heaven, and to pour out drink offerings unto her…” The Queen Mother of Heaven? Hmmmm?

Even here in Jeremiah it is seen as a sin unto God. What makes it correct to do today? The wayward Judeans even mention her again in verse 18, 19 and 25. They blindly blame their lack of making offerings to the Queen Mother of Heaven for their demises and famines. They say they must return to that way of worship in order for things to be corrected. They did not know of a future mother of Jesus named Mary. However, Catholics of today do.

Jeremiah 44:23 points out that it is because of this worship practice and others like it that they are in the struggle they are currently in. Jeremiah 44:23c states: “therefor this evil is happened to you.” This is pure blasphemy to God the Holy Spirit. They looked him in the face and opted for another way to worship. They all died in the land to which the fled. We wonder how people today can be so blind. Easy! They are just like Israel and Judah of old. They wanted it their way. I’ll Do It My Way. Their choice has been made. Their judgement is sealed and of their own making. In Jeremiah’s closing remarks of chapter 44, he is very clear. He includes and mentions even the women [v25], not just the men.

one way

 Only ONE Way. 

Unless one knows a bit of Egyptian history, Pharaoh Hophra mentioned in 44:30, sometimes identified as King Apries, was the one with whom King Zedekiah of Judah made an alliance and wanted to aid him in revolting against Babylon. While the Babylonians (Chaldeans) were besieging Jerusalem, HOPHRA/APRIES came out to confront Nebuchadnezzar’s army. The Babylonians left the besieging of Jerusalem to challenge him. Pharaoh Hophra changed his mind and returned to Memphis, capital of Egypt. Nebuchadnezzar later attacked and burned all the worship centers and capital buildings in Memphis, Egypt; just as Jeremiah had predicted would happen in Jeremiah 37:8.

Author’s NOTE: In 1909, in the course of excavations carried on by the British School of Archaeology in Egypt, the palace of King Apries, aka Pharaoh Hophra, was discovered on the site of Memphis, the ancient capital of Egypt. They found a silver carrying cart (palanquin) burned just as Jeremiah had prophesied would happen during the time of the fleeing Judeans in Egypt. This included many buildings and the palace of Pharaoh Hophra. My, my, my. How coincidental?

miniJim

Dr. J. Stark

November, 2017

 

 

 

 

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