In 931 BC, because of King Solomon’s idolatry, the nation of Israel was divided into two kingdoms: Israel and Judah (1Ki 11:9-13 w/12:16-20). Shortly thereafter, both kingdoms began their own downward descent into idolatry and apostasy. The result, God sent His prophets. As God’s mouthpiece, the prophets’ messages were primarily focused on Judah (the place of God’s house and city) – though Israel as well as surrounding nations were often included in their address.
The role of the prophet was two-fold:
1.1. To pronounce His judgment in the form of devastation and occupation by foreign invaders (Assyria, Babylon – even insects!) if the people did not repent and begin practicing righteousness; 1.2. To proclaim restoration through such judgment. This (then) was also the role of Jeremiah. Though young in age (1:7), God nonetheless called him to warn the His unfaithful Bride (Judah/Israel) of the impending doom He was planning against them. It was the Babylonians and within the span of Jeremiah’s sixty plus years of ministry (631-570 BC), he would see God use their armies to not only destroy the holy city and its temple (586 BC), but also exile the majority of Jewish survivors far away in the land of Babylon. This would be the price for their unwillingness to repent and practice righteousness. This however would also be the way that God would cleanse the land and restore the nation. All would be a part of Jeremiah’s message in fulfilling his role (1:10-16). As such, what Jeremiah (as a book) offers is a generous look into God’s marriage covenant and sound gospel message, as well as how God uses the Babylonian judgment to (prophetically)establish His redemptive purposes in Christ and the New Covenant.
- Chronology of Events:
2.3.1. Jeremiah begins as prophet to Judah in 13th year of King Josiah (631 BC; Jer 1:1-2). 2.3.2. In 18th year of king Josiah’s reign, the Book of the Law is discovered. Huldah the prophetess confirms Jeremiah’s (and Habakkuk’s) message of God’s coming national judgment (2Ki 22). Josiah brings reform and causes God to relent until the end of his reign 13 years later (626-613 BC; 2Ki 23). 2.3.3. Because of the sins of his grandfather, king Manasseh, God still plans to bring national judgment (2Ki 21:1-16, 23:26). 2.3.4. King Josiah’s son, Jehoiakim exacerbates the situation by his loyalty to Egypt and disobedience to God (2Ki 23:34-37). 2.3.5. In the third year of his reign, Babylonian king, Nebuchadnezzar, besieges Jerusalem, ran-sacks the Temple, takes several of Judah’s nobility into captivity and places Jehoiakim into servitude (2Ki 24:1; Dan 1:1-4). The following year Jeremiah prophecies that Judah’s inhabitants will be exiled to Babylon for 70 years (610-609 BC; Jer 25:1-11); 2.3.6. Seven years later, Judah is again attacked by Nebuchadnezzar and the Temple ran-sacked. This time however, Jehoiakim is bound in chains and taken to Babylon where he dies (2Ki 24:1-5; 2Chr 36:5-7). Three months after, Nebuchadnezzar and his armies return to Jerusalem taking Jehoiakim’s son, king Jehoiachin (Jeconiah/Coniah), along w/his officials, the skilled men, soldiers and more treasure from the Temple and king’s house back to Babylon. Jehoiachin remains in Babylon for the rest of his life (1st EXILE and beginning of the seventy years; 602 BC; 2Ki 24:8-17, 25:27-30; Jer 22:24-29, 28:6, 29:1-2, 20, 52:28, 31-34; Eze 1:2); 2.3.7. Nebuchadnezzar names Jehoiachim’s brother, Zedekiah as provincial king of Judah (Jer 37:1; 2Ki 24:17); 2.3.8. King Zedekiah does evil, rebels against Nebuchadnezzar and is deposed after 11 years. Jerusalem is once more besieged and additional Jews are exiled into Babylon (2nd EXILE; 591 BC; 2Ki 24:18-25:7; Jer 21:8-9, 37:1-2, 39:1-10, 52:1-11, 29). 5 years later, Nebuzaradan, captain of the bodyguard to the king of Babylon, enters Jerusalem, destroys the Temple and takes the majority of those left in Judah into captivity (3rd EXILE; 586 BC; 2Ki 25:8-21; Jer 52:12-27, 30).
- CHAPTER QUESTIONS (31-36)
3.39. According to (31:31-34) what is different about the NC?
3.40. How are God’s promises in (31:35-37) fulfilled?
3.41. Where in chapter 33 do we find prophecy regarding the NC? How are each of its specific promises fulfilled?
3.42. Why did Zedekiah and the Jews take back the slaves they set free (34:8-16)? What is the instruction established for us through this historical account?
3.43. How do we reconcile the words concerning Zedekiah in (34:4-5) with (29:22)?
- SOUND GOSPEL and MARRIAGE COVENANT
Where in each chapter do we find aspects of the gospel (AL,LBS, C/C) or MC?