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Jeremiah; - The prophet's task (ch1)

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posted on Jan, 14 2022 @ 05:00 PM
“Jeremiah, what do you see?” ch1 v11
In the first half of the chapter, the Lord told Jeremiah that he had been chosen to speak to the world as a prophet. This was not an impulse decision, and this destiny was not optional.

The Lord is showing to Jeremiah (in vision?) something which Jeremiah recognises as a rod of almond. This is the right answer, because the Lord is “watching over my word to perform it”. The translation footnote points out that the Hebrew word for “almond” resembles the word for “watching”, so the image in this vision conveys its message in word-play.

Then “The word of the Lord came to me a second time” (v13) and Jeremiah is shown an image. Which confirms in my mind that the rod of almond was also a visionary picture, not something which he happened to spot in the vicinity. He sees a boiling pot, “facing away from the north”. That is, it is ready to be tipped over to pour its contents all over the south.

The prophets are always talking about “the north” as the source of hostile power. That’s because most of Judah’s enemies did come from that direction. Egyptian armies approached from the south. The tribesmen of the wilderness came in from the east. All the other menacing armies came down the northern road, like Scotsmen coming down to London in the imagination of Doctor Johnson. Even if their home base was eastward, as the crow flies, they would not try to cross the great deserts. Their safe route was to go round by Antioch, followed by Damascus or Mt. Lebanon.

So, from the viewpoint of the prophets, “the north” was the inevitable source of hostility. Assyria was “the north”, and Babylon was “the north”, and also Persia. Modern readers are prone to see “the north” as a reference to Russia, but that is the European perspective. For the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the boundary-line of “the far north” is the Sea of Galilee.

V15 “Lo, I am calling all the tribes of the kingdoms of the north, says the Lord”. They would all come together and besiege Jerusalem and the other cities of Judah. When Jeremiah first heard this warning, he would have been thinking “Assyria”. But the world would change before he was many years older. The warning would be fulfilled by a Babylonian siege, twice over during his own lifetime.

The coming of these enemies is to be regarded as the Lord’s judgement on Jerusalem. They have ceased to be his people, because they have decided to abandon him and worship other gods instead, including “the work of their own hands”.

If this message is being received in the thirteenth year of king Josiah, then the reforms of Josiah would begin five years later. These reforms would sweep away; vessels made for Baal and for Asherah, found in the temple itself; priests burning incense to Baal, the sun and the moon and all the host of heaven; the Asherah itself; houses provided for male cult prostitutes; the place Topheth, where people were burning their children as an offering to Molech; horses and chariots dedicated to the sun; and the altars originally established by Solomon for Ashtoreth, Chemosh, and Milcom (2 Kings ch23). And the reform would have been very short-lived. Undoubtedly most of these cults would have come back in the aftermath of the battle of Megiddo, when Josiah lost his life, which would have been blamed on his commitment to the Lord. Some of them are seen in Ezekiel’s vision of the idolatry in Jerusalem, including worship of the sun, and “the image of jealousy” (which I think is Molech).

V17 “But you, gird up your loins”.
In these circumstances, Jeremiah’s task is to pass on to the people every word that God commands him to speak. He will be complaining about their sins and warning them of the coming judgements, in order to give them one last chance to repent and change the outcome.

“Do not be dismayed by them, lest I dismay you before them”.
There will be violent opposition to Jeremiah’s message. He must not be afraid of what they might do, because God is there to support him. If he does not continue to depend on that support, it may be withdrawn.

We have been told that the peoples of the north will be coming down to besiege the city. In Isaiah’s time, the promise would have been that God would himself strengthen the city walls in order to protect the city. In the changed circumstances of Jeremiah’s time, the promise is now that the Lord will make Jeremiah himself into a fortified city with walls of bronze and iron, in order to protect him from the attacks of the kings, princes, priests, and people of the land, who have become the new enemies of the Lord.

They “shall not prevail against you, for I am with you, says the Lord, to deliver you.”

edit on 14-1-2022 by DISRAELI because: (no reason given)

posted on Jan, 15 2022 @ 04:38 AM
A lovely sermon. Thank you.

I’d like to read more of your insights.

What is it about the image of jealousy that makes you suspect Moloch?

Does Jeremiah succeed and how does he accomplish Gods goals?

a reply to: DISRAELI

edit on 15-1-2022 by Dalamax because: (no reason given)

edit on 15-1-2022 by Dalamax because: 👍

posted on Jan, 15 2022 @ 06:39 AM
a reply to: Dalamax
I do one of these pieces a week. I've just begun working through Jeremiah, starting with last week, so the following weeks will show what else he was doing.
I don't think it's too much of a "spoiler" if I add that the climax of the book is the Babylonian siege, which ends with the destruction of the city, the temple, and the kingdom, while the Jews are taken off into exile.

The image of jealousy.
The first clue I see is the location at the north gate of the sanctuary. The name "Molech" is derived from the word for "king", so this god s identified by name as a rival king to the Lord. That's one reason for jealousy. And the king of Judah sat at the north gate of the city when he was giving justice to the people, so the image has been placed in an equivalent position.

The other clue is that Molech is not mentioned anywhere else in that Ezekiel vision. He was the god who was demanding the sacrifice of children in Gehenna, and Ezekiel makes it clear that God hates this practice. Of all the rival gods being worshipped at the time, he is the most serious danger. It just doesn't make sense that he should be left out of the vision. The only explanation that I can see is that he does appear in the vision, but not by name. His image is the image of jealousy.

posted on Jan, 15 2022 @ 08:07 AM
a reply to: Dalamax

It is not a sermon.

Try reading the book of Jerimiah and the Book of Lamentations you can find the answers yourself.

posted on Jan, 15 2022 @ 08:10 AM
a reply to: DISRAELI

There is not a whole lot of interest in your "TEACHINGS" anymore. You fail to see why that is? And your Pride, Headiness and Boasting will keep you from it.

2Tim 3:1-5
edit on 1/15/2022 by ChesterJohn because: (no reason given)

posted on Jan, 15 2022 @ 10:17 AM
a reply to: ChesterJohn

Who made you the judge of that?

I enjoy what DISRAELI brings to the table. Exploring scripture and bringing out our best, always reminds me about the power of the word and its relevancy today.

I've gained many insights in our community, and this subforum in particular. It's important to practice sharing our perspective, so we can understand ourselves and our place in the universe better. I believe the prophets did their best to share their spiritual understanding, and the lasting impact of their words is testimony to that.

Agreement is not required to entertain ideas, and look deeper within. Everyone is on their own journey with the Lord, and practicing respect for how they see things is part of developing the vision required to overcome.

This thread for example has encouraged me to remember the message of the prophets, and resist the temptation to feed doubts at the expense of the principles that stand behind us...

edit on 15-1-2022 by dffrntkndfnml because: proof reading, removed repetation about the table

edit on 15-1-2022 by dffrntkndfnml because: grammar

posted on Jan, 15 2022 @ 12:28 PM

posted on Jan, 15 2022 @ 01:50 PM
I can find someone else’s insight by reading the bible myself? Wouldn’t that be me reinventing the wheel?

I read what interests me and if following along here leads me to it, what say you then?

a reply to: ChesterJohn

To Disraeli, thank you again for taking the time to reply. Despite our Chester John I look forward to reading more and will go back over your previous threads until next week.

You are appreciated!
edit on 15-1-2022 by Dalamax because: Multitasking

posted on Jan, 15 2022 @ 02:04 PM
a reply to: Dalamax

If you are interested in looking at the previous threads, this "index" should help (I use it myself);
Ten years of Bible threads

posted on Jan, 15 2022 @ 02:56 PM
Will do

a reply to: DISRAELI

posted on Jan, 17 2022 @ 01:14 AM
I’d just like to say thank you for the link.

Where three gather in my name there is my church.

a reply to: DISRAELI

posted on Jan, 19 2022 @ 09:16 AM
a reply to: Dalamax

Do you even know what that verse means? Seriously? Ever look at the context? Everybody uses it out of context.

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