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Jeremiah and the stubborn king

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posted on Nov, 18 2016 @ 05:02 PM
The battle of Megiddo was the beginning of the end for the kingdom of Judah.
King Josiah had been defeated and killed by Pharaoh’s army.
The people in Jerusalem hastily chose Jehoahaz, one of the sons of Josiah, to succeed him.
But Pharaoh came to Jerusalem himself, and chose to demonstrate his power by deposing the new king and taking him captive.
In his place he established the slightly older brother Eliakim, changing his name to Jehoiakim at the same time.
He also imposed a tribute of a hundred talents of silver and one talent of gold; Jehoiakim paid this, and then reimbursed himself by collecting it from the people. (2 Kings ch23 vv20-35)

I have a theory about Jehoiakim. I think he may have been captured in the battle of Megiddo, and then obliged to swear allegiance to Pharaoh.
That would explain why Pharaoh made a point of placing him on the throne, and why the people of Judah did not elect him in the first place.
It would also explain his later policy of rejecting Babylonian rule in the hope of getting help from Egypt.

Josiah had been God’s man, introducing reforms.
But Jehoiakim and his subjects proved themselves to be quite intractable.
The prophet Uriah, son of Shemaiah, prophesied in the name of the Lord, in front of the king “with all his warriors and all his princes”.
Hearing that the king wanted to put him to death, Uriah fled to Egypt.
But since this king was a client of Egypt, that country was not a safe place of refuge.
An arresting party was sent out from Judah to “extradite” him. They brought him back to Jehoiakim, who slew him with the sword- seemingly doing the job in person. (Jeremiah ch26 vv20-23)

It was unlikely that Jeremiah would fare any better.
At the beginning of the reign, he was instructed to stand in the court of the Lord’s house and give a solemn warning to the people.
If they did not listen to the Lord’s prophets, the Temple would be destroyed as Shiloh had been destroyed, and the city itself would be left uninhabited.
When he did so, the priests and the [official] prophets “and all the people” seized him and demanded the death penalty.
In other words, they were treating it as a case of blasphemy (and thus implicitly equating the Temple with God himself, which is telling).
The princes of Judah were called in to act as judges, and the case was tried on the spot.
Jeremiah’s answer in defence was that he had been sent by God to say these things. Therefore they would be bringing [the guilt of shedding] innocent blood upon themselves and upon the whole city, if they put him to death.
Crucially, the princes “and all the people” believed him.
Also “certain of the elders” reminded the court that Micah had given similar warnings in Hezekiah’s time. The Judah of those days had listened to the prophet instead of killing him.
Thus the court chose not to allow Jeremiah to be put to death. (ch26 vv1-19).

He was forbidden to enter the house of the Lord, though. The power of the priesthood availed that much.
This was an obstacle to renewing his preaching activities.
A couple of years later, Jeremiah was instructed to get down on a scroll all the prophecies which he had received up to that point.
His friend Baruch, the son of Neriah, did the writing for him.
But how was this collection to be published?
Jeremiah left the scroll in Baruch’s keeping, and instructed him to read it out at the Lord’s house, on a fast day (when people would be gathering in large numbers).
The priests would have regarded this as the kind of action which even ATS forbids; “posting by proxy the material of a banned member”.
But that was the only way of getting the message out, in the circumstances. (ch36)

It seems that Jeremiah had a party of supporters within the government, perhaps even within the priesthood.
When the next fast day arrived, Baruch was given the use of a chamber within the Temple, which belonged to Gemariah the secretary.
This must have been large enough to be a semi-public place, so that Baruch could read the scroll “in the hearing of all the people”, as Jeremiah had instructed.
At the same time, it may have been private enough to postpone the danger of interruption.
Gemariah himself was not present during the reading, but he had a son, Micaiah, who was listening avidly.
Finally Micaiah went down to the secretary’s chamber in the king’s house, where his father and the other “princes” were sitting.
When they heard his report, they sent Jehudi son of Nethaniah to say to Baruch “Take in your hand the scroll that you read in the hearing of the people, and come”.
This must have been a nervous moment for Baruch. For all he knew, he might have been facing arrest and interrogation or worse.

In fact these princes, who feared their God as well as their king, were not at all sure what they were going to do.
They made Baruch read the scroll again, all the way through.
Then they “turned to one another in fear”, and said to Baruch “We must report all these words to the king”.
What they feared, I believe, was the danger to the kingdom and to themselves if the warnings of the Lord were ignored.
They questioned him again about the way the scroll came to be written; a confirmation that all the words had been dictated by Jeremiah would make it more probable that they truly came from God.
They told Baruch that he and Jeremiah should go into hiding in case the king took the report the wrong way.
After which, they went down the corridor, as it were, to the chamber in the “winter house” where the king was sitting.
They prudently left the scroll itself behind. Once the king heard their story, though, he sent Jehudi to fetch it.

It was an extraordinary scene.
The king was sitting close to the fire burning in a brazier, holding a pen-knife in his hand. All the princes were standing around him (nobody sits in the presence of the king, except another king).
Jehudi was made to read out what was written on the scroll, unrolling it and reading three or four columns at a time.
As he read each portion, the king would take the scroll and cut out that section, throwing it onto the fire.
It would have been quicker just to burn the whole scroll forthwith, but the king evidently wanted to hear the message which he was rejecting.
Otherwise he showed no sign of interest.
He ignored the protests of the men who had brought the message to his attention.
He and his immediate servants were not moved by the Lord’s rebukes, and did not “rend their garments” as a sign of remorse.
Indeed, he sent officers to arrest both Baruch and Jeremiah, but they were already well-hidden.

The information on the scroll was not lost.
Jeremiah just dictated it all over again, with additions which the Lord gave him.
But Jehoiakim son of Josiah was certainly lost.
The later chapters and 2 Kings describe how he rebelled against Babylonian suzerainty.
Had he not died before Nebuchadnezzar arrived on the scene, he would have been killed or taken into exile, as the first stage of the destruction of his kingdom.

The moral is that refusing to listen to the words of the Lord does not prevent them from being fulfilled.

edit on 18-11-2016 by DISRAELI because: (no reason given)

posted on Nov, 18 2016 @ 05:32 PM
a reply to: DISRAELI

Ezekiel 17 makes it clear .

11 Then the word of the Lord came to me: 12 “Say to this rebellious people, ‘Do you not know what these things mean?’ Say to them: ‘The king of Babylon went to Jerusalem and carried off her king and her nobles, bringing them back with him to Babylon. 13 Then he took a member of the royal family and made a treaty with him, putting him under oath. He also carried away the leading men of the land, 14 so that the kingdom would be brought low, unable to rise again, surviving only by keeping his treaty. 15 But the king rebelled against him by sending his envoys to Egypt to get horses and a large army. Will he succeed? Will he who does such things escape? Will he break the treaty and yet escape?

Note that he makes oat or a treaty and then turns around and breaks it .Bad enough on the first point the second point in not honoring you oats before God brings destruction .

16 “‘As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign Lord, he shall die in Babylon, in the land of the king who put him on the throne, whose oath he despised and whose treaty he broke.

posted on Nov, 18 2016 @ 05:41 PM
a reply to: the2ofusr1
Indeed, though Ezekiel is talking about the next king, his brother Zedekiah. Ezekiel was one of the people who went into exile with Jehoiakim (v12 in the passage you quoted).
Ezekiel points out that the covenant made with the king of Babylon was also a covenant made with God, so Zedekiah is breaking both at the same time.

edit on 18-11-2016 by DISRAELI because: (no reason given)

posted on Nov, 18 2016 @ 05:50 PM
a reply to: DISRAELI

I thought that it was two waves as the chapter seems to have in the allegory.

17 The word of the Lord came to me: 2 “Son of man, set forth an allegory and tell it to the Israelites as a parable. 3 Say to them, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: A great eagle with powerful wings, long feathers and full plumage of varied colors came to Lebanon. Taking hold of the top of a cedar, 4 he broke off its topmost shoot and carried it away to a land of merchants, where he planted it in a city of traders.

The second one that is contemporary with Jeremiah is the second part

5 “‘He took one of the seedlings of the land and put it in fertile soil. He planted it like a willow by abundant water, 6 and it sprouted and became a low, spreading vine. Its branches turned toward him, but its roots remained under it. So it became a vine and produced branches and put out leafy boughs. 7 “‘But there was another great eagle with powerful wings and full plumage. The vine now sent out its roots toward him from the plot where it was planted and stretched out its branches to him for water. 8 It had been planted in good soil by abundant water so that it would produce branches, bear fruit and become a splendid vine.’

Ezekiel was in Babylon telling the remnant there what was happening back in Jerusalem .

posted on Nov, 18 2016 @ 05:59 PM
a reply to: the2ofusr1
You're quite right, there are two waves of exile- one at the end of Jehoiakim's reign, one at the end of Zedekiah's.
But Jeremiah's time of prophecy includes both of them. He preaches through Jehoiakim's reign, and this thread covers that period. He evidently stays in Jerusalem at the first wave of exile, which takes Ezekiel (and apparently Daniel).
Then he preaches through Zedekiah's reign (which is for a different thread).
The dated chapters in Jeremiah are completely out of sequence, which doesn't help.

posted on Nov, 18 2016 @ 06:04 PM
a reply to: DISRAELI

Thanks . I probably need to re-read both books but I have been looking into Ezekiel and was thinking he started in Babylon .I guess I wasn't thinking about the over lap .

posted on Nov, 18 2016 @ 06:10 PM
a reply to: the2ofusr1
Yes, Ezekiel's first prophecy is dated the fifth year of the first king's exile, so halfway between the two waves.
I was slightly inaccurate in my first reply, when I said he went into exile with Jehoiakim. In fact, as I mentioned in the OP, Jehoiakim died and the exiles accompanied his son Jehoiachin (even 2 Chronicles gets confused between the two).

edit on 18-11-2016 by DISRAELI because: (no reason given)

posted on Nov, 20 2016 @ 12:27 PM
This is one of a short series of Jeremiah threads, which began with
What's wrong with Jerusalem? and
The harlot city

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