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Jeremiah's letter to the Babylonian Jews (ch29)

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posted on Nov, 11 2022 @ 05:18 PM
When Jehoiakim rebelled against Babylonian rule, the king Nebuchadnezzar brought up his army against Jerusalem. Since Jehoiakim was no longer king, the Babylonians took away his son and successor Jeconiah or Coniah At the same time, they crippled the city by taking away the social leadership (elders, priests, prophets), and the craftsmen and smiths.

The new king Zedekiah had occasion to send envoys to Nebuchadnezzar. This may well have been the delivery of the (annual?) tribute. Obviously this mission could not have been given to the “Egypt and idolatry” party among the city leadership. His chosen emissaries would have to be men who supported reform and submission to Babylon. One of them, in fact, was Elasah son of Shaphan. Shaphan was the royal secretary who was involved in the “finding of the book of the law” in Josiah’s reign, and Elasah’s brother Ahikam was Jeremiah’s main protector ((ch26 v24).

So it is not surprising that they were willing to take a letter from Jeremiah to the exiles in Babylon. His message was against the false expectation that they would be brought back to Jerusalem in the near future.

That was why he was urging them to prepare themselves for a settled life in Babylon. “Build houses and live in them; plant gardens and eat their produce” (ch29 v5). They should take wives and have children and encourage those children to marry, so that they might increase and multiply in their new home. They should even pray for the welfare of Babylon, because that city’s welfare would be their own welfare.

Meanwhile, they should not listen to the false prophets and diviners living among them. The Lord did not send these people, and they are prophesying a lie. Jeremiah does not specify the lie in this chapter, but it must have been a message akin to Hananiah’s prophecy in the previous chapter. That is, that the Lord would break the yoke of the king of Babylon in the next couple of years and restore the exiles to Jerusalem.

This attack on false encouragement is followed by a message of true encouragement (vv10-14). The difference is that the fulfilment of the promise requires them to wait.

“When seventy years are completed for Babylon”. As I have shown before, this is a symbolic number. 7, the number of God, multiplied by 10, the number of completeness. In this case, it means “At the end of the full period which God has assigned”. History shows that the actual period of exile was less than a literal seventy years.

Then the relationship between God and his people would be fully restored; “For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”

He will “visit” them; that is, he will start taking action regarding their situation. He will fulfil his promise and bring them back to the land. They will seek him out by calling upon him and praying to him. That “seeking out” is not a prediction, but part of his promise. When they seek him with all their heart, then he will allow himself to be found. Then he will restore their fortunes and gather them from all the places where he sent them, returning them to the place from which he sent them.

posted on Nov, 11 2022 @ 07:31 PM
I think it was very, very rare for a people to be removed in those days, and return to their homeland later.

must have taken some serious faith

'without faith it is impossible to please God'

very sad how so many of the 'leaders' were such poor guides.

posted on Nov, 11 2022 @ 07:53 PM

a reply to: DISRAELI
That “seeking out” is not a prediction, but part of his promise. When they seek him with all their heart, then he will allow himself to be found. Then he will restore their fortunes and gather them from all the places where he sent them, returning them to the place from which he sent them.

And almost 70 years later, Daniel prays a heart-wrenching prayer of repentance and seeks God:

Dan 9:2  In the first year of his reign I Daniel understood by books the number of the years, whereof the word of the LORD came to Jeremiah the prophet, that he would accomplish seventy years in the desolations of Jerusalem. 
Dan 9:3  And I set my face unto the Lord God, to seek by prayer and supplications, with fasting, and sackcloth, and ashes: 
Dan 9:4  And I prayed unto the LORD my God, and made my confession, and said, O Lord, the great and dreadful God, keeping the covenant and mercy to them that love him, and to them that keep his commandments; 
Dan 9:5  We have sinned, and have committed iniquity, and have done wickedly, and have rebelled, even by departing from thy precepts and from thy judgments: 
Dan 9:6  Neither have we hearkened unto thy servants the prophets, which spake in thy name to our kings, our princes, and our fathers, and to all the people of the land. 
Dan 9:7  O Lord, righteousness belongeth unto thee, but unto us confusion of faces, as at this day; to the men of Judah, and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and unto all Israel, that are near, and that are far off, through all the countries whither thou hast driven them, because of their trespass that they have trespassed against thee. 
Dan 9:8  O Lord, to us belongeth confusion of face, to our kings, to our princes, and to our fathers, because we have sinned against thee. 
Dan 9:9  To the Lord our God belong mercies and forgivenesses, though we have rebelled against him;


posted on Nov, 12 2022 @ 12:57 AM
a reply to: ElGoobero
It did take the overthrow of Babylon. The big mistake of the leadership was the assumption that "broken reed" Egypt was up to the job. They trusted in Egypt instead of God. I'm convinced that they were led astray by the cheap Egyptian victory at Megiddo.

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