“Bible History IS Secular History when given the truth, whole truth, and nothing but the truth.”
Instruct the wise and they will be wiser still; teach the righteous and they will add to their learning.
Paul Harvey, during his daily radio broadcasts, made famous the statement “The Rest of the Story.” He would tell the unfamiliar stories behind the familiar stories of men, feats, events and situations. Did you know the same is true of many “bible stories” found in the Old and New Testament scriptures? The following may not be quite the same as Mr. Harvey’s reviews of history, events and people, but they can be just as stunning, revealing, informative, and mind opening.
This publication will look at dozens of these surprising “aha moments” from scripture. Some will startle, some readers will find them particularly satisfying, and some will realize that history and the Bible are the same thing; a review of what was and remains an actuality. The Bible stories in scripture are space-limited and cannot publish everything surrounding, coinciding, or consequential to these stories. Some Bible time events are well-known and others not quite as well known but none the less found in scripture with a correlating “aha moment”. NOTE: The Bible and history are contemporaneous.
Included in this website are messages from others who serve our God; i.e. studied individuals such as ministers and Bible teachers.
Let’s explore some of these aha moments in scripture and have a ton of fun while doing so!!
– Dr. J
Historical Information on Acts
The great German composer Ludwig van Beethoven is still remembered around the world for his beautiful and skillful compositions. But as wonderful as his musical scores are in themselves, his works are even more impressive when we learn that Beethoven suffered progressive hearing loss that began when he was a young man. In fact, it is astounding to realize that Beethoven wrote many of his greatest works when he was entirely deaf. Knowing the background of Beethoven’s life makes his music all the more impressive.
In important ways, appreciating the Scriptures is similar to appreciating Beethoven. It isn’t difficult to see the power and clarity with which the various books of the Bible proclaim God’s revelation. But when we learn about the backgrounds of the writers of the Bible, their world, their lives and their purposes, our understanding and appreciation of the Scriptures becomes much deeper.
Acts of the Apostles: Critical verse to this study of Acts is in Hebrew 10:25 (last line…”*as we see the end time day drawing nigh”) *”as” (hosos) means: how much; how many; whoever.
History and Background Information
Luke wrote two, possibly three New Testament books: Luke, Acts and possibly some of Hebrews. Acts is the second of these books. At the end of the gospel of Luke Jesus says “that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.” In the Book of Acts he picks it up where he leaves it off in Luke. We see the fulfillment of Christ’s words as the apostles carry the gospel to the world. See Luke 24:48-53. Luke is the third of the four Gospels. Matthew, Mark, and Luke are called synoptic gospels.
The Book of Acts is the FIRST account of the original church. In brief it covers the period of time between Jesus’ resurrection and the death of the Apostle Paul. Often Luke reverts to the inclusive or plural pronoun “we” in his writing. This is probably when he references him and Paul with others who may be present at that time. Some try to discredit Luke as author when all Luke is doing is including himself and probably Paul.
According to legend, Paul died by execution at the time when “firebug” Roman Emperor Nero was looking for a scape goat per the burning of parts of Rome. He started with the Apostle Paul then continued by accusing the new sect of religion called “THE WAY;” i.e. Christians. The Romans originally saw Christianity as an offshoot of Judaism since the original “church” consisted of Jews (Israelites). They identified themselves as The Way.”
Dictionary: The “Way” with a capital “W” was the early name for followers of Jesus. Considered a sect of Judaism, later in Acts 11 it is replaced with the term “Christian.” The first of only six biblical references, all in Acts, occurs as Saul obtained letters to arrest members of the “Way” in Damascus, immediately after stoning “Way” follower Stephen in Jerusalem. (Acts 9:2, 19:9, 19:23, 22:4, 24:14, 24:22)
This by itself reminds me of Matthew 16 per our understanding or lack of it… (Matthew 16:2, 3; NASB)
The Pharisees and Sadducees came up, and testing Jesus, they asked Him to show them a sign from heaven. 2 But He replied to them, “When it is evening, you say, ‘It will be fair weather, for the sky is red.’ And in the morning, ‘There will be a storm today, for the sky is red and threatening.’ Do you know how to discern the appearance of the sky, but cannot discern the signs of the times?
This reminds me of a man who once came up and asked for a Word for him from God. While acknowledging the request the reply was almost spontaneous. Turning to the man asking for “a word” I replied… “God said, ‘Ask him yourself but don’t forget to listen to what He tells you.’”
We will follow an outline of Acts provided in small sections with an applicable article with each section of the building outline in this new study. Acts is the ORIGINAL Acts of the Apostles Peter then Paul, the early church, and the acts of the early church. Today’s church is a far thing from what the early church did. This too will be discussed; sometimes in detail. For now, let’s begin with:
OUTLINE of ACTS: (Part 1)
- It appears that Luke set out to show in two volumes how redemption came to mankind.
- Luke relates the coming of a Redeemer who died for our sins, rose in triumph, and looked to the time when mankind might share in salvation. Luke 24:46-47.
- Volume II (Acts) takes up the narrative at that point and shows how over a period of about 30 years the gospel went from Jerusalem to Rome.
- The Gospel he wrote tells about the things “Jesus began both to do and to teach.” Acts 1:1.
- Acts tells what Jesus brought about through the Holy Spirit’s continuation of his work. Acts 1:8; cf. John 16:13.
- Based on volume/content, Luke, not Paul, wrote over one fourth of the entire New Testament.
- The Acts of the Apostles is a crucial part of Holy Scripture.
- It tells of the establishment of the church.
- It describes the growth (amid frequent perils) of the church and records the gospel’s amazing spread through the Roman Empire.
- It gives inspiring accounts of great persons who loved not their lives unto death; people who loved Jesus more than life itself.
There is reasonable consideration or allowance for this final chapter in Jeremiah, although penned by Baruch, was also authored by him, not Jeremiah per dictation. In a sense it is a summary of the previous 51 chapters from prophecies to fulfillments. Bright quotes: “In its present context the chapter seems to say: the divine word both has been fulfilled – and will be fulfilled!” Bright is pointing out that there was both imminent and eminent prophecy in Jeremiah; similar outcomes but two very different time periods. One was a current event and the others are events yet to happen.
Let’s not forget or learn for the first time, the Book of Lamentations, the book following Jeremiah, is also Jeremiahs’ pen. In Lamentations he did not lament the Babylonian captivity as much as his fellow countrymen not heading his warnings. We will only point out a few incidents in this chapter that should be reviewed per chapter 52 since it does summarize the previous 51 chapters. We encourage the reader to take it upon her or his-self to read the Book of lamentation to add depth of understanding.
Jeremiah 34 to 36 describes the situation in Judah before the fall. Chapter 37 to 39 describe the time of the fall of the kingdom of Judah. Chapter 40 to 45 describes the fulfillment of the prophecy and fall of Judah; a fall that remains contested to this date. That will only change upon the second advent of Jesus when he returns to earth as King of kings. C40 to 45 is consequential to the fall but chapter 46 to 51 describe and End Time element that includes the judgment of not only the world opposed to Israel but judgement awaiting the unbelieving Gentiles.
If we back up to Jeremiah 30 to 33 we find the “hope of a future” Jerusalem. Let’s review some of the major players in Jeremiah. One of them is a person named Shaphan. Biblical account. When the chief Temple priest Hilkiah discovers an ancient Torah scroll, he gives it to the scribe Shaphan, who in turn brings in to King Josiah. Josiah reads it aloud to a crowd in Jerusalem, resulting in a great religious revival. Josiah was the last good king.
Shaphan’s sons play significant roles in Jeremiah:
The chronology of rulers on the throne in Jerusalem during the time of Jeremiah:
JIV NOTE: I did not include King Jehoiachin (Jeconiah) in the above chart. He only ruled 3 months 10 days. He followed his father Jehoiakim to the throne but was removed by Nebuchadnezzar almost upon his taking the throne. A fascinating and historical connection or ahamoment is found in 1 Chronicles. It states that Jeconiah (Jehoiachin) is the father of Pedaiah. That in and of itself means little, but Pedaiah was the father of Zerubbabel. It was Zerubbabel along with Ezra who lead the first Judeans out of captivity in Babylon back to Judah. He also set the foundations for the second temple according to Ezra 5:2.
Chapters 30 – 33 are considered chapters of consolation and not easily identified as being written of prophesied during the era of any of the kings identified in Jeremiah. They are promises of a reunited Israel; the people and twelve Tribes of Israel/Jacob. These chapters could have been revealed to Jeremiah at any time during his years. They assured him and his fellow countrymen of a true Promised Land guaranteed under the signature and promise of God him-self.
The same is true of chapters 46-44. These passages are judgement passages that cover two distinct time periods; one that is during the life of Jeremiah/Baruch and one that is End Time. They include both the destinies of Israel and Gentile nations who oppose God.
There are actually two different 70 year judgements running parallel to each other in Jeremiah. It was 70 years between the first exiles of Judeans (includes Jeconiah) and their release by Darius the Mede [605 to 536 B.C.]. The other 70 years is between the time Nebuchadnezzar totally destroyed the Temple and when the Temple was completed a second time [586 – 515 B.C.] We usually only here of the 70 year Babylonian activity but there was parallel judgement periods.
Lamentation, also written by Jeremiah, was penned sometime after 586 B.C. 586 was when the third and final deportation of Jews (Tribe of Judah) occurred.
The following may help a bible student better grasp the events and dates.
The above chart was created by biblequestions.org
Rev. Dr. Jstark
There is reasonable consideration or allowance for this final chapter in Jeremiah, although penned by Baruch, was may also have been authored by him, not dictated by Jeremiah. In a sense it is a summary of the previous 51 chapters from prophecies to fulfillments. Bright quotes: “In its present context the chapter (51) seems to say: the divine word both has been fulfilled – and will be fulfilled!” Bright is pointing out that there was both imminent and eminent prophecy in Jeremiah; similar outcomes but two very different time periods. One was a current event and the others are events yet to happen.
Let’s not forget or learn for the first time, the Book of Lamentations, the book following Jeremiah, is also Jeremiahs’ pen. In Lamentations he did not lament the Babylonian captivity as much as his fellow countrymen not heading his warnings. We will only point out a few incidents in this chapter that should be reviewed per chapter 52 since it does summarize the previous 51 chapters. We encourage the reader to take it upon her or his-self to read the Book of lamentation to add depth of personal understanding.
Jeremiah 34 to 36 describes the situation in Judah before the fall. Chapter 37 to 39 describe the time of the fall of the kingdom of Judah. Chapter 40 to 45 describes the fulfillment of the prophecy and fall of Judah; a fall that remains contested to this date. This will only change upon the second advent of Jesus when he returns to earth as King of kings in Jerusalem. C40 to 45 is consequential to the fall but chapters 46 to 51 describe an End Time element that includes the judgment of not only the world opposed to Israel but judgement awaiting the unbelieving Gentiles and Israelites.
If we back up to Jeremiah 30 to 33 we find the “hope of a future” Jerusalem. Let’s review some of the major players in Jeremiah. One of them is a person named Shaphan; Biblical account. When the chief Temple priest Hilkiah discovers an ancient Torah scroll, he gives it to the scribe Shaphan, who in turn brings in to King Josiah. Josiah reads it aloud to a crowd in Jerusalem, resulting in a great religious revival. Josiah was the last good king of Judah.
Shaphan’s sons play significant roles in Jeremiah:
The chronology of rulers on the throne in Jerusalem during the time of Jeremiah:
JIV NOTE: I did not include Kings Jehoahaz or Jehoiachin (Jeconiah) in the above chart. Jehoahaz was almost immediately replaced by Pharaoh Necho upon defeating Judah and King Josiah at Megiddo (he was 3 months on the throne). Jehoiachin only ruled 3 months 10 days. He followed his father Jehoiakim to the throne but was removed by Nebuchadnezzar almost upon his taking the throne. A fascinating and historical connection or ahamoment is found in 1 Chronicles. It states that Jeconiah (Jehoiachin) is the father of Pedaiah. That in and of itself means little, but Pedaiah was the father of Zerubbabel. It was Zerubbabel along with Ezra who lead the first Judeans out of captivity in Babylon back to Judah. He also set the foundations for the second temple according to Ezra 5:2.
Chapters 30 – 33 are considered chapters of consolation and not easily identified as being written of prophesied during the era of any of the particular kings identified in Jeremiah. They are promises of a future reunited Israel; the people and twelve Tribes of Israel/Jacob. These chapters could have been revealed to Jeremiah at any time during his years. They assured him and his fellow countrymen of a true Promised Land guaranteed under the signature and promise of God him-self.
The same is true of chapters 44-46. These passages are judgement passages that cover two distinct prophetic time periods; one that is during the life of Jeremiah/Baruch and one that is End Time. They include both the destinies of Israel and all Gentile nations.
There are actually two different 70 year judgements running parallel to each other in Jeremiah. It was 70 years between the first exiles of Judeans (includes Jehoiachin; aka Jeconiah or Coniah) and their release by Darius the Mede [605 to 536 B.C.]. The other 70 years is between the time Nebuchadnezzar totally destroyed the Temple and when the Temple was completed a second time [586 – 515 B.C.] We usually only here of the 70 year Babylonian activity but there was parallel judgement periods. One for the Tribe of Judah and one for the Temple.
Lamentation, also written by Jeremiah, was penned sometime after 586 B.C. The year 586 B.C. was when the third and final deportation of Jews (Tribe of Judah) occurred.
The following may help a bible student better grasp the events and dates.
The above chart was created by biblequestions.org
Kings of Judah during the life of Jeremiah: Josiah – Jehoahaz – Jehoiakim – Jehoiachin – Zedekiah – Gov. Gedaliah
We begin part b with terminology. Jeremiah 51:26 states, [ESV] “no stone shall be taken from you (Babylon) for a corner” (stone). It was so crushed, burned and destroyed once that it had no stone worthy of using later in building. In End Time this will also be true. There will be but one foundation stone; Jesus Christ. No idols to worship. Nothing will be worthy other than “Worthy is the one who was slain.”
The Jewish Targum sees this stone (above) as meaning “no future king or ruler will come from Babylon.” The Targum is also identified as the Tanakh.
Verse 28 is the actuality of THAT TIME; not a future event. But in verse 29, it will be an End Time land desolate and without inhabitants. This has not yet occurred. The End Time slaughter of humans will take place during the 7 year Tribulation. The anti-Christ will decimate the world’s population under orders from Satan himself. Manmade nuclear weapons will help accomplish God’s will. After the fall to the Medes and Persians of Beltshazzar’s Babylon, other historical and following invaders included Achaemenes, Greek, Seleucid, Parthian, Roman, and Sassanid empires. Keep in mind that the Babylonians and the original [Abraham’s] Chaldeans are basically the same peoples between the upper and lower Mesopotamian valley.
To the left is a picture of the former great city-state of Babylon as seen in 1932. Itb. was twice a known primer world power; once under Hammurabi, 1800’s B.C. and again 1,200 years later under Nebuchadnezzar. Hammurabi is famous for codifying laws that the world often defers to today.
Somehow we must justify the next few verses. The bible and historians tell us the Babylon and King Beltshazzar were taken by total surprise and no battle ever recorded. So we must ask…how does verses 30 – 32 make parallel sense? Answer: One prophecy but two different times in history. One already competed without a battle and another in End Time when Babylon is symbolic of the rule and domain of anti-Christ.
Verse 34 of Jeremiah 51 is describing Jerusalem. Nebuchadnezzar totally emptied her of building and human, burning it to the ground. Again in verse 37 we are told it will be a desolate land of jackals. The “SEA” mentioned in verse 42 is a sea of militants overrunning that land. These armies will overflow covering the entire land of Babylon. This too could be a reference to End Time and the gathering of a 200,000,000 million man army that will eventually fight Jesus at the splitting of the Mt of Olives.
Jeremiah 51:46 again defines what Revelation tells us about End Time. Ruler against ruler; kingdom against kingdom; nation against nation; rumors and wars of actuality. Why do we conclude this? Read verse 48, 49 (ESV)…
Jer 51:48 “Then the heavens and the earth, and all that is in them, shall sing for joy over Babylon, for the destroyers shall come against them out of the north, declares the LORD.
Jer 51:49 Babylon must fall for the slain of Israel, just as for Babylon have fallen the slain of all the earth.” Note: Heavens and earth? All that is in them? “The slain of all the earth?”
Jeremiah 51:50 to me is one of those verses that have such personal meaning. “Remember the Lord from far away, and let Jerusalem come to mind.” Now that President Trump has officially declared recognition of Jerusalem as past, present and future capital of Israel, it all fits into God’s plans for his son’s millennial reign; Jesus Christ. That means everything to this author. The original legislation to relocate the U.S> Embassy to Jerusalem was under President Clinton in 1996.
Verse 51 continues this author’s feelings per verse 50. Many foreigners have come into the land of promise and decimated her. Jeremiah in this verse is also very personal per his feelings; he includes in his comments all of those who descended from Jacob. It is him referencing the shame of his people both Judeans and the rest of Israel’s Ten Lost Tribes. For the destroyers of city-state Babylon and symbolic Babylon of the anti-Christ will be torn asunder; “destroyers come from me says the Lord.” What a promise as we watch the daily news and see these things falling into place. Having difficulty seeing how these prophecies are falling into place? 2 Timothy 2:15… [NIV] “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.”
We continue to read and add to our confidence in the God we trust… (51:56; ESV) “for the Lord is a God of recompense; he will surely repay.” To give confidence in the God we trust to those taken captive to Babylon, Jeremiah instructed Seraiah (a man servant) to carry this assurance to Babylon and he is told to read it to his fellow countrymen. Problem? YUP! 70 years later when released from further Babylonian captivity as promised by God himself, most of the Judeans had become successful in the Mesopotamia, Chaldean, Babylonian territories and did not want to leave it all behind. Today’s Christian-claiming church pew dweller could learn from this verse if s/he studied rather than simply read it.
What a reflection on us today. Do we want to leave the security of our current homes, jobs, friends, reputations, habits, or even our home church to stand out in the crowd as Romans 12:1 tells us: “Do not be conformed to this world, but be renewed in mind and spirit…” There is nothing in this verse found in Romans to leave this world to some isolated commune or community. It simple is a priority commandment. God first! Not!!!! God in the center of our daily living? Now we get it.
The final chapters of both the Book of Jeremiah are the final chapters of the world as we know it. The Hebrew word *Yome [day] can mean a time of day and night; 24 period of time. However, there is an additional translation of the same word. According to Strong and Thayer it can mean:
*“a season, space, time of trouble, an age or period of time” [paraphrased for understanding].
The King James puts it in verse 2 (Jeremiah 51) “shall empty her land in her day of trouble…” The Medes and Persians [Achaemenid Empire] occupied the land and conquered the peoples of Babylon. King Cyrus sat on the throne of Babylon. Does this sound like it was EMPTIED? Jeremiah 51:2 in the ASV, YLT, ABP, ISV, ESV and many other translations indicate the same thing. The Medes and Persians did not, per history, devastate Babylon. They snuck in through the river Euphrates after stopping up its flow, captured ad killed the leadership. They did not destroy it. They only occupied it. One may easily suggest it is a reference to the Babylon of the anti-christ of End Time.
V1… “I will send foreigners against her.”
Secular history reports that both the Babylonian Chronicles and the Cyrus Cylinder describe Babylon being taken “without battle”, whereas the Greek historians Herodotus and Xenophon report that the city was besieged. The Book of Daniel implies that Babylon was taken in one night and that Belshazzar was killed. The total destruction prophesied in Jeremiah 51 was not fulfilled at this time. This means Babylon became part of Persia; today it is within the territory of Iraq. More on Babylon can be found in Revelation and Isaiah including the proverbial Whore of Babylon in End Time.
We should go back to verse 1 to explain the term Leb Kamai…”Thus says the LORD: “Behold, I will stir up the spirit of a destroyer against Babylon, against the inhabitants of Leb-kamai…” Leb Kamai basically is a reference to “those who rise up against me.” Who is the ME in this vers? It is God! This is without doubt a reference to End Time when there are those who rise up against Jesus or the End Time following the thousand year reign of Christ and Satan is released for a short time gathering a great army to “rise up against Jesus.”
It may very well be that Jeremiah used a kind of code [Leb Kamai] which neither Babylonian security nor modern Scripture theorists have been able to crack. http://www.abarim-publications.com/Meaning/Leb-kamai.html. It may also simply mean those who rise up against God, Christ, Holy Spirit.
Jeremiah 51:5 & 6 continue this thought of End Time judgement. Once again Jeremiah mentions Israel and Judah as God’s chosen. Guilty? YES! Forsaken? No! Verse 6 tells us that Jeremiah says to “flee the land of the Babylonians before her destruction” [ESV] However men like Daniel, Ezra, and Nehemiah remained in Babylon long after the King Darius defeated the Babylonians releasing the Judeans to return to their land, rebuilt the Temple, and rebuild the walls of Jerusalem. Perhaps the next verse (v7) helps our understanding. It speaks of the Babylon to which End Time evil is identified, even the Whore of Babylon, as [ESV]:
Babylon was a golden cup in the LORD’s hand, *making all the earth drunken; the nations drank of her wine; therefore the nations went mad.
*“making all the earth drunk.”
This is not just the historical territory of Chaldean Babylonians, but the entire world to which Jeremiah is referring. Recall that Abraham originated from the biblical land of the Chaldeans. This is a reference to a much greater population and territory; i.e. all the earth.
Jeremiah 51:8 could easily be understood as sarcastic in tone. “…wail for her and take balm to her for her pain; perhaps she may be healed.” In light of those who will survive the “time of Jacob’s trouble [tribulation]” and after the millennial reign of Christ, people will be measured and judged according to the intent [kavanah] of their heart. Satan will raise a huge army to try and return the world to destroy as many as he can. If he can destroy them before accepting the King of kings as savior, they will join him in the Lake of Fire. Babylon is the symbolic “world” at this time. Then will come this Great White Throne judgement.
51:9 “let us each go to our own country…” This points out that the world recognizes that they as humans are not in charge of the earth. Satan is bound. There is no longer any point to fight a lost battle with the King of kings.
In verse 10 & *11 Jeremiah returns in thought to the biblical time of the Jews in Babylon; the vindication of the Jews (Judeans). If this is in fact relevant to just that time in history, why would men like Daniel, Ezra, Nehemiah, and the future queen Esther along with men like Mordechai remain in Babylon? Simply put… this passage is in reference to two different periods of time; the time of the 70 captivity and End Time meaning the world itelf. Return each one to his own country…[ESV verse 9].
*V11 also says to “sharpen the arrows.” It sounds or reads like it a defensive move of those in Babylon. It certainly isn’t the Jews who are told to sharpen their arrows as God ordained the Medes and Persians to conquer Babylon without even a battle. The snuck in as previously mentioned in this article.
51:11b (NASB) “For it is the vengeance of the Lord, vengeance for his Temple.” This seems to have little to do with the biblical event of the Babylonian captivity. Fact is, it is the anti-Christ’s abomination of the rebuilt Temple in Jerusalem. He sets himself up on the throne within the Temple requiring all to pay homage to him. He has offerings of abominable sacrificed to him in the Temple and on the Alter of God.
It gets more clear and obvious that this prophecy in chapter 51 has dual meanings as we continue to the next verses in Jeremiah 51. Read verses 12 and 13 then look at v14 through 18. Verse 17a says it all (NASB) “All mankind is stupid, devoid of knowledge.” When we are devoid of knowledge, there is not a chance of understanding.
Verses 19-24: Jeremiah once again brings Jacob/Israel into the scripture. He is no longer addressing the Babylonian captivity or Judean release. God is telling us HE has a covenant with Jacob/Israel; a covenant that does not apply to the rest of mankind. Jesus in the New Testament makes provision for the rest of us.
[NASB; Jeremiah 51:19-24]
He says, “You (Israel) are My war-club, My weapon of war;
And with you I shatter nations,
And with you I destroy kingdoms.
“With you I shatter the horse and his rider,
And with you I shatter the chariot and its rider,
And with you I shatter man and woman,
And with you I shatter old man and youth,
And with you I shatter young man and virgin,
And with you I shatter the shepherd and his flock,
And with you I shatter the farmer and his team,
And with you I shatter governors and prefects.
“But I will repay Babylon and all the inhabitants of Chaldea
for all their evil that they have done in Zion before your eyes,” declares the Lord.
If one does not like what is quoted above from the NASB bible, that is precisely what is stated in ‘v17a’ in the previous paragraph…“All mankind is stupid, [because they are] devoid of knowledge.” Without knowledge there cannot be understanding. Without understanding, we make poor choices or none at all.
Jeremiah 51:24b: “before our very eyes”(ESV)… Jeremiah could not be speaking in the first person being his own eyes as God initially punished Babylon the city-state 70 years after this fact. Jeremiah would have been long gone. So, whose eyes is Jeremiah writing about? This too is End Time prophecy. The world will see this punishment brought upon the anti-God forces of its armies. In short, this is the forces of the king of the north (anti-Christ), king of the south, kings of the east…confirmed in the next verse (v25)… (ESV) “I am against you, declares the Lord which destroys the whole earth. There we have it. Jeremiah finally identifies these enemies as the whole world. Babylon is symbolic of this prophetic destiny; imminent and eminent. (Jeremiah 51 part B is next week)
“In those days and in that time, declares the LORD, the people of Israel and the people of Judah shall come together, weeping as they come, and they shall seek the LORD their God. They will seek directions to Zion.” (ESV)
This passage found in the 4th verse of Jeremiah 50 makes it clear that Jeremiah is no longer speaking of the imminent future but a far distant yet eminent or prominent future. It is one that is a conclusive impact upon mankind and all of God’s creation. How do we know that? Jeremiah is speaking of a time when all twelve Tribes of Israel will once again come together; “the people of Israel and the people of Judah shall come together.”
This gives us a setting and time for the rest of this chapter. The desolation of Babylon, figuratively that might be a location or symbolic of another place God calls (like) Babylon; for a nation or group of people out of the north will come up against her. Both man and beast will flee away. This must be a massive intrusion or invasion if even beasts of the wild and domesticated will flee. End Time will exceed even the wildest of anyone’s imagination or perception if only God himself knows the time.
The Hebrew for “nation” (v4) means a race or a people; non-Jewish peoples; Gentiles.” It is a bit of fascination to look at the word “north” in V3, for out of the north… The Hebrew here is Boreas…a north, north east wind. It is very close in spelling to the city the Apostle Paul visited in the New Testament; Berea. Today Boreas is a stronghold of ISIS and is called Aleppo. There is also a military outpost in another Berea near Macedonia, Greece. If we take Thayer or Strong for their translation(s), NNE would be the Boreas/ Aleppo. The map here shows, Berea, Greece/Macedonian would be NNW of Babylon.
Insight: this is from where the Bereans get their denominational name. According the the Wikipedia…In ancient times, the Bereans were the inabitants of the city of Berea, also known in the Bible as Beroea. [Acts 17:11]
Jeremiah 50:6 is something anyone who has followed this website has read many times before. There are a huge number of descendants of the twelve Tribes of ISRAEL who simply have forgotten or lost their DNA connection to their Hebrew roots. It read in 6b…They have forgotten their fold.” They do not connect the dots back to their original fold or roots of Israel. Even the one reading this article has a probably chance of being connected by DNA, like it or not.
Verse 50:7 needs a bit of explanation.
“All who found them (offspring of the lost tribes) have devoured them, and their enemies have said, ‘We are not guilty, for they have sinned against the LORD, their habitation of righteousness, the LORD, the hope of their fathers.’
We are not guilty because…! Out of the bible we find the excuse the Muslims and most Arabs, past and present, use to justify pushing today’s Israel into the sea and eliminating them from the face of the earth. It is too obvious to look in the mirror and see that members of Israel are not the only ones who have “sinned against the Lord.” For all have sinned and come short of the Glory of God [Romans 3:23].
Might the he-goat or ram of verse 8, Jeremiah 50, be a reference from which Daniel in the Book of Daniel; 8:21, he used the same terminology? Recall or learn that much of Daniel’s writing was inspired from what Jeremiah had written prior to their (Daniel’s) Babylonian captivity.
We do know from history that the Greeks (Alexander the Great) with their “forced captive military from conquered nations” invaded Babylon but only after it had already been conquered by the Medes and Persians 300 years earlier. We also know that the Medes and Persians amassed a significant and multi-national military that conquered Babylon killing King Belshazzar. He was the one who saw the writing on the wall and sought out Daniel to interpret it for him.
Babylon is in the southern part of Iraq today. Even though Saddam Hussain attempted to rebuild it, there is little there per population and much sand. However, we do not know or yet understand if the “Babylon” to which Jeremiah is referring is a symbolic area under God’s future judgement upon the return Of Jesus Christ as King of kings.
Jeremiah 50:15 can be explained by a photograph of today’s Babylon. Amazingly, there are actually funds and foundations established to try and bring Babylon back to its original greatness including the “hanging Gardens” and the Lion of Babylon monument of Nebuchadnezzar. In 2016, WMF and the State Board of Antiquities and Heritage launched a conservation program at Ishtar Gate in Babylon.
[ISV] Raise a battle cry against her on every side. She has surrendered, her pillars have fallen, her walls are thrown down. For this is the vengeance of the LORD. Take vengeance on her; as she has done, do to her. Jeremiah 50:15
Jeremiah 15:16 support the fact that Babylon practiced deportation of conquered lands. This verse tells us at the time of Babylon’s prophesied destruction, the occupants of foreign lands should “turn their face toward the own people and flee back to the land of their origin. Recall in a previous study of the Book of Daniel, we learned that less than1% of the Judean captives, including Daniel, return to Judah or Jerusalem when release by Cyrus the Great. See illustration on next page.
Captive in 606 B.C.
Released in 536 B.C.
It was Daniel who approached the Mede-Persian conquering king and told him of the promise of the God of Heaven. Cyrus not only released those in Babylon, but his entire Kingdom. The Book of Esther proves that many Jews (Tribe of Judah) did not return. She became queen of King Xerxes (AKA: Ahasuerus)
Many times I have been asked who wrote the Book of Esther. There are two viable candidates; Mordecai and Nehemiah. In Esther 9:20 we find that Mordecai “wrote these things down.” However we also know the Nehemiah was a servant (and prophet of God; 486 B.C. to 464 B.C.)
Verse 18 and 19 tells us (actually reminds us) that God judged the Assyrians through the Babylonians and the Babylonians were judged through the Medes and Persians. God will again return and forgive the remnant of the Twelve Tribes to their Promised Lands. This has not yet happened even though we have a place called Israel today. The twelve tribes have not yet been recalled by the returning of Jesus Christ. Verse 20 says that there will be a remnant and God will “pardon” them.
Jeremiah 50:24 may hint of God’s judgement of the world by identifying this world as Babylon. You will all be judged because you challenged the Lord. V25: “…a work of the Lord GOD of the Heavenly Armies will be in the land…” Again in verse 29 God says “repay Babylon (the world?) for her deeds” against the Lord God. Why might this be the world and only symbolically identified as Babylon? In verse 33 both Israel and Judah are identified as those who have been oppressed. It was only the Judeans who were captive in the biblical Babylon. Then in verse 34 we read (ESV) that it is the world that will get rest.
Verse 37 states… “all the foreign troops that are in her midst.” Whose midst? Those within the territories of the Promised Lands. This could very well be a reference to the 200,000,000 man army discussed in Revelation 16:12. The [ESV] “drought in her waters” could also refer to the drying up of the Euphrates as it runs through Babylon also seen in Revelation 16:12. In verse 41 we read that this invading army included many kings from many nations in the north (antichrist?).
Verse 46…”certainly the world will tremble” in fear.
Rev. Dr. Jstark – January, 2018
Chapter 49:23-39 (Part 2)
We have another future prophecy concerning Damascus. There was a time when Damascus was heavily populated by Israelis. As we studied earlier, Aleppo, Syria was once a domain of large populations of “Jews.” These two cities have rivaled each other as to which one is the largest in Syria. They also rival each other as two which is the longest occupied major city of the world. Didn’t Saul, renamed Paul go and dwell there for a while to regain his site?
WARNING! There is a significant amount of history revision going on right under our nose and few recognize it. The often used Wikipedia of the internet states as concerning Damascus: “First settled in the second millennium BC, it was chosen as the capital of the Umayyad Caliphate from 661 to 750.” First settled in the second millennium B.C.? To accept this sheds question on the ignorant about bible history. We read in Genesis 14:15 that Abraham, due to the trouble his nephew Lot seemed often to attract, pursued Lot’s captives “north of Damascus.” Abraham lived around 2,000 B.C. It had to already be there or Abraham, through the pen of Moses, would not have made mention of it as an existing city. History revisionists are at work in our lifetime. Study the Bible first.
Damascus (49:23-27) is often identified as a city-state in the Bible and other histories. 2 Samuel 8:5 tells us that David, the second king of Israel, “Struck down the Arameans (Assyrians) of Damascus.” He put this area under his and eventually Solomon’s kingships. This city-state was originally established by Asshur [or sometimes spelled Ashur, but not of the Tribe of Asher], the second son of Shem. This means that the people of Syria/Damascus as did Abraham, Isaac, then Jacob, descended from Shem (Noah’s son).
God has a reason to be directly involved in these people lives. HE appointed Shem the spiritual one of the three sons of Noah. These people of Damascus worshiped their founder as a god – Asshur. Isaiah [*chapter17] prophesied the destruction of Damascus 2700 years ago yet it continues today. We must keep in mind that we must work in God’s timetable, not the other way around. The destruction of Damascus may be at hand per the ongoing civil war(s) in Syria.
*Isaiah 17:1 tells us that Damascus will become a burned heap of rubble ceasing to exist. That has not yet happened in history. A nuclear bomb would do this and have similar results. Iran and Syria are sworn enemies of nuclear powered Israel. Yes, the Babylonians defeated and burned Damascus in 732 B.C. However, it continues to be a city. The total destruction has not yet happened. Watch the news.
Jeremiah 49:27 (people of Kedar) Kedar is a son of Ishmael therefore a grandson of Abraham through Kater’ah. He is the sixth son of the twelve sons of Ishmael (Genesis 25). Back in Jeremiah 2:10 Jeremiah challenges his fellow countrymen to “cross over to Kedar” to see if they change gods’ as Judah (and Israel in the north) is guilty of doing?
JIV NOTE: All but Philistia and Babylon being discussed by Jeremiah in chapter 49 are found in between Israel and Iran today. This is purely speculation, thus Jim’s Introspective View. If [when] war breaks out between nuclear focused Iran who is sworn to drive Israel into the Sea, and nuclear Israel, these lands told by Jeremiah that will become desolate, burned and heaps of rubble with no occupants, sit between these two eternal enemies.
Is not verse 24 potentially a relevant spotlight today? “Damascus has become feeble and turning to panic. Anguish and pain has seized her” [NIV]. The process has begun.
Kedar and Hazor (49:28-33) Nebuchadnezzar did invade this territory in his conquests. In reading this scripture passage one can glean from it a future prophecy upon Kedar and “Hazor.” According to the Book of Joshua, Hazor was the seat of Jabin, a powerful Canaanite king who led a Canaanite confederation against Joshua. He and his coalition of armies were defeated by Joshua. As with the people of Kedar, these people too descended from Ishmael. These lands will become a (NIV) “haunt of jackals, a desolate place. No one will live there; no man will dwell there.” This has NOT yet happened in history. It has to be a reference to End Time.
Jeremiah 49:34-39 (Elam) Let’s remind ourselves that Elamites also descended from Shem. Their territory is today’s western border of Iran (Persia). Once an empire in and of itself, it disintegrated to a province of Persia. It exists today on the NE shores of the Persian Gulf. Its immediate neighbor to the west is Iraq.
This prophecy to Jeremiah came from the Lord God during the reign of Zedekiah. The bow is called “the mainstay of their might.” It must mean these people were experts with bow and arrow. Similar in a way to a description given to the men from the Tribe of Benjamin, they had great accuracy with a weapon of war. Similar to what God says about his scattering of the twelve Tribes of Israel, in 49:36b it reads (NIV) “I will scatter them to the four winds and there will not be a nation where Elam’s exiles do not go.” The amazing prophecy and a bit difficult to explain is verse 38…”I (God Jehovah) will set my throne in Elam.” Other scriptures put Jesus on the throne in Jerusalem. We hesitate but want to mention, most Judeans (Benjamites) remained in Babylon after release.
However, if we accept that the covenants between God and Israel and the future covenants between Christians and Jesus are distinct, it makes sense. Jesus’s throne is in Jerusalem and God-Jehovah has his in Elam. This is not often taught by theologians. Fact is most will avoid it. Once again God promises to bring about their rerun in End Time. This is a common message throughout this chapter. What else is common is the fact these are people in this chapter descended from Shem. The ones promised nothing of the sort are the Philistines in chapter 47 and Babylonians in chapter 50. There is a Lud mentioned in Genesis 10:13; a descendant (first born) of Mizraim (Ham). But there is also a Lud who descended from Shem [Genesis 10:22].
|Shem (Semitic Race)|
(The Prophecy against Ammon, Edom; 49:1-18)
Chapter 44: Jeremiah makes his final appeal to his fellow countrymen (a remnant) to abandon their worship of the “queen of heaven” meaning the Ashtoreth dance Pole.
Chapter 45: Baruch, Jeremiah’s scribe, is assured by God that he will have a good life similar to “the plunder of war taken by the victor.” Baruch was faithful and now God rewards him.
Chapter 46: The near and distant future of Egypt. Over 100 years earlier the prophet Isaiah had predicted a similar fate of Egypt…conquered and subjugated by the Assyrians. In C46 it is the Babylonians who attack and defeat the Egyptian “mercenary” army after defeating Assyria.
Chapter 47: The Philistines of Gaza or Philistia are overrun by the Egyptians then the Babylonians overrun them on their way to defeating Egypt.
Chapter 48: Moabites. These offspring of Lot occupied the former lands of the Tribe of Gad. They helped Nebuchadnezzar conquer the Kingdom of Judah then in turn, were conquered by Babylonians, their supposed ally.
Chapter 49: This is where we are with this article. It has to do with several territories that fall to Babylon, God’s instrument of judgement. Ammon is another descendant of Lot. For additional information besides what is follows, go to Ezekiel 25:1-11.
Ezekiel 25:43 “Say to the Ammonites, Hear the word of the Lord GOD: Thus says the Lord GOD, Because you said, ‘Aha!’ over my sanctuary when it was *profaned, and over the land of Israel when it was made desolate, and over the house of Judah when they went into exile,” [*perhaps a futuristic insight to the antichrist’s profaning of the Temple]
Ezekiel 25:4 … therefore behold, I am handing you over to the people of the East for a possession, and they shall set their encampments among you and make their dwellings in your midst. They shall eat your fruit, and they shall drink your milk.
Israel helped the Ammonites by destroying their old enemies, making the later conduct of Ammon even more reprehensible. They frequently fought against Israel during the days of the Judges and during the reigns of Saul and David (2 Samuel 10). In later years they are absorbed by Arabs and became unidentifiable as a distinct people. Which Arabs? This is a later discussion.
Jeremiah 49:1 begins with a question…”has Israel no sons? Why is their land occupied by the Ammonites?” This paraphrase of verse one tells us that God is not pleased with two distinct people; the Tribe of Gad and the Ammonites. Pay close attention to the prophecy found in verse 2 of Jeremiah 49.
[49:2] “The days are coming, declares the LORD, when I will cause the battle cry to be heard against Rabbah of the Ammonites; it shall become a desolate mound, and its villages shall be burned with fire; then Israel shall dispossess those who dispossessed him, says the LORD.”
Did we catch that? Read the final sentence of verse two once again. “Israel will dispossess those who dispossessed him SAYS THE LORD.” Bear in mind that by this time, Judah was captive in Babylon and the Northern Kingdom of Israel was long dispersed by the Assyrians. So what Israel may Jeremiah be referring to per the voice of God? It can be nothing less than End Time prophecy. This land is not currently under the authority or territorial domain of the Israel of today. It is southern Jordan. There is more to happen in our or near distant future.
Of great interest is the history of Rabbah, a significant city of Ammon. Today it is known by the name Amman, Jordan. It is a war between then King David of Israel and the Ammonites but historically and per scripture of significance to him and Bathsheba. 2 Samuel 11:15 tells us this is where Bathsheba’s husband was killed in war; David’s way of ridding himself of the husband of Bathsheba.
One obvious question is “who is Milcom” in verse 2? This is another Ammonite name of their idol god Molech, Moloch… spelling is dependent on the translation one is reading. In short, the name means “a king” god. They referred to their idol as a king, a slander on king of kings. This is not their king himself but their god. Remember that these people descended from Lot, Abraham’s nephew and one he continually had to rescue. Lot sought possession getting him into trouble over and over. His descendants seem to have the same problem.
God through Jeremiah does give recognition to the lineage of the Ammonites. He calls them his faithless daughters in verse 4; the people who trusted in their wealth over God himself. This gives heed to us today. We don’t see or admit wealth is a god but this verse points out that it is precisely that…a god.
Jeremiah 49:6 is reminiscent of chapter 48 and the Moabites. Both the Moabites and Ammonites are part of God’s chosen via Abraham. Verse 6 tells us that in a future time: “But afterward I will restore the fortunes of the Ammonites, declares the LORD.” This has yet to happen in modern history. It is another prophecy or news item for us to keep an eye on.
Jeremiah 49:7 shifts the subject to another descendant of Abraham/Jacob, the Edomite. They descend from Esau the twin brother of Isaac. He was the eldest but not given the birthright of the first born. He sold it to Jacob for a plate of food. Abraham in his blindness blessed Jacob. We can see the deceitfulness of these people all through history. Not God’s will, but actuality. They were and perhaps still are so deceitful many times in scripture deceived themselves.
A rather interesting verse is 49:8 and the reference to them [Ammonites] as Dedan. The Oxford Bible says it well:
“Russia continues to build alliances with Middle Eastern nations. Sudan (Cush) and Iran (Persia) are strong allies. The Muslim nations of Central Asia also are developing ties with Iran, Russia and Turkey. The hatred for Israel by the Middle Eastern Muslim nations continues to boil. It is not too difficult to imagine the nations mentioned in Ezekiel 38:1-7 coming together under Russian leadership to mount a furious attack against Israel, perhaps from Megiddo’s’ oil fields. And who are the nations that object to and oppose Russia per Ezekiel? Exactly the ones we would expect from the present day political situation: the Western Powers as described by TARSHISH and her young lions (cubs).
But there is also an Eastern Power named that objects to the [End Time] Russian Invasion: SHEBA and DEDAN. These were ancient names for the land we know today as Arabia, especially Saudi Arabia, showing that at least some of the Arab states will not favor Russia’s presence in the Middle East.”
What happened to the Edomite people after being scattered by Nebuchadnezzar? They went south and eventually established what we know today as Saudi-Arabia. Even though Esau was a direct descendant of Abraham through Jacob, he married a daughter of Ishmael; the first born of Abraham through Sarah’s handmaid Hagar. Hagar and Ishmael were not part of the blessing of Abraham or God himself. They knew the truth but went elsewhere. For greater knowledge read Ezekiel 48 as it regards End Time and these same people.
For clarity per Dedan and Sheba, In Genesis 25 we read that Abraham married Ketur’ah after Sarah died. She has six sons by him. One of them is named Jokshan. Sheba and Dedan are his sons [Genesis 25:3]. This makes Sheba and Dedan grandsons of Abraham. The ancient capital of Saudi-Arabia is Dedan. Does anyone recall “the queen of Sheba?”
It is gruesome reading but God’s judgement on Ammon is specified as to one reason why as described in Amos 1:13. Sit down before going there to read the WHY of God’s judgement upon Ammon.
JIV NOTE: Recall our article on Jeremiah 40. The assassination of Gedaliah, a ruler put in place by Nebuchadnezzar over Judah. His murder was engineered by none other than the King of Ammon. Go back to the article on Jeremiah 40 for greater detail.
The Bozrah identified in Jeremiah 49:13 is the same Bozrah mentioned in Isaiah 63:1. It was the capital city of Edom. Bozrah is also significant to End Time and the retreat of Israelis to a desert haven of security; i.e. the mountain caves of Bozrah; i.e. Petra. Jeremiah 49:11-18 describes the totality of the destruction of Edom.
Another aha moment is the fact that Ammon saw wealth as their god. Basrah is a southern port city of Iraq; spelled Bazra. In April of 2017, the Iraqi Parliament recognized Basra and its oil fields as their economic capital. Money is their god. Go back to Jeremiah 49:4 to better connect this insight.
Perhaps connected and perhaps not, but in Bazra there is a creek named “Ashar” (Tribe of Asher”?). It is a shopping mall or bazar of shopping places accessible by boats. The picture to the right was taken in 1915. Why might this creek’s name be similar to the name of the Tribe of Asher? The Encyclopedia Britannica states that over 4,000 “Jews” lived in Basra in 1911.
(Jeremiah 49:23 – 39 follows in our next article; Part 2)
Moab? Ammon? Edom? There are many names and terms in chapter 48 of Jeremiah that most will simply read through or past them. This article will discuss the chapter but also define some of the terms to help with knowledge and potential understanding.
Let’s begin with a map of this time in Jeremiah. We can see Moab’s geographical location. It is between Edom and Ammon. Today this is mostly Jordan. To the north is war-torn Syria; a true source of potential war that could spread with powerful weapons of mass destruction in their hands. This may very easily fit into God’s final judgement plans. The orange indicates the map as it stood in 1000 B.C. The gray is how it politically and geographically lines up today (2017 A.D.).
Now to help us better understanding all the names a few terms in Jeremiah 48, read the following. (Boring perhaps but better understanding and identifiers)
Jeremiah 48:1 “Woe unto Nebo” This is a Babylonian deity. It is also a mountain in Moab, southern Jordan. It is also the Mount upon which Moses stood in order to view the Promised Land. Moses saw the lands but never entered it.
Jeremiah 48:1 “Kiriathaim is confounded and taken” Kiriathaim is a city in NW Palestine.
Jeremiah 48:1 “Misgab is confounded” This is a term for ‘a high place.’ It was a Moab fortress. Odd as it may seem, perhaps a curiosity… it is only mentioned one time in scripture.
Jeremiah 48:2 “in Heshbon” Mistakenly many would take this word for the name of a person, place or thing. It is and isn’t these. It means “contrived intelligence.” It is also a destroyed village on the east side of the Jordan. It is here where [ESV; verse 2a] Moab is no more. In Heshbon they planned disaster against her.
Jeremiah 48:2 “Madmen?” The people here may have been ‘mad’ but in this incident it is a location in north-west Moab of old. It has several meanings; “dung hill” is one of them. It was once a city located between the boundaries of the Tribes of Gad and Reuben east of the Jordan River.
Jeremiah 48:3 “Horoniam” This is a Moabite ‘double cave town.’ Obviously it is located in a mountain; thus the cave implication. Today it is an unidentified place in southern Moab (Jordan).
It would be safe by now to understand that this very descriptive chapter in Jeremiah is location specific. In short, it is a complete destruction. Moab, a tribe descended from Lot and his daughter, and per other verses in chapter 48, is important to God-Jehovah. In verse 42 it explains that they magnified themselves above the Lord (ESV). Not unusual but a sin against God. It is a sin for which there is a cost and God is judge; the only judge. The existence of the Kingdom of Moab is attested to by numerous archaeological findings, most notably the Mesha Stele, which describes a Moabite victory over an unnamed son of King Omri of the northern ten Tribes of Israel. This area today is within the Kingdom of Jordan.
Originally the territory of ancient Moab was dominated by a race of giants known as the Emim. At the time when Moses came to the area with the children of Israel Moab was an area that ranged from the brook Zered on the South, and the river Arnon on the North. During the period of Old Testament history there were numerous cities within this region, and we know this from the Scriptures and also from the famous Moabite stone. The cities mentioned were Dibon, Nebo, Beth-diblaim, Kerioth, and Zoar [Bible History Online].
Unless one has happened upon the scripture or the secular history of this, most do not realize that Moab helped Nebuchadnezzar in his conquering of other nations; particularly the Kingdom of Judah. After their help, he turned on them, conquering and removing them as a people in this land.
According to the New World Encyclopedia, records of the Moabites, if not the people themselves, disappeared after or around the time of the return of a remnant of Judeans from their 70 year captivity in Babylon. Up to the time of King David, the Moabites were a constant thorn in the side of nation of Israel defeating them at times of war. This is especially true during the time of the judges when an Israeli Confederacy existed. Israel was then ruled by judges but lived within their own tribal territories. Each man did as he saw was right back then [Judges 21:25; Judges 17:6].
Jeremiah 48:46 and 47 are significant verses of prophecy. We are told in Numbers 21:29 and again in 2 Kings 3:27 that the god of the Moabites was named Chemosh. During the end and downfall years of King Solomon, he too erected a “high-place to Chemosh” to satisfy the whim of one of his many foreign wives. We find this in 1 Kings 11:7 & 8. It wasn’t until the last good king of Judah, Josiah, that this “high-place” and other gods of enemies inside Judean lands were destroyed. This we read in 2 Kings 23:1-37.
The final three verses say much about the prophetic destinies of Moab. Plural word, destinies, because the prophecy is two if not three-fold.
[V45] “A fire will come out of Heshbon. It will destroy [devour] the corner of Moab, burn the hair on the heads of its occupants.” We should note that the word devour in the Hebrew in this verse is ‘âkal. It means more than to burn like one would expect from a fire. It also means “to eat away at.” Just like a cancer from nuclear fallout.
JIV NOTE: This has the tinge of a future nuclear explosion that casts its radiation a great distance. One of the consequences of radiation is the losing of hair.
[V46] Their sons and daughters will be taken captive and the “people of Chemosh [their idol-god] shall perish.” This is recorded as having happened when Nebuchadnezzar overran these once furious people of war. As we have mentioned before, this is a routine of both the Assyrians of old and the Babylonians; i.e. to remove them from their homelands.
[V47] There is a distant sounding prophecy of God promising to return these relatives of the Israelites through Abraham’s nephew Lot…[KJV] ”Yet I will bring again the captivity of Moab in the latter days.” The final sentences says the “thus far is the judgment of Moab.” Thus far; what does this mean? It means this will do it for now but there is more coming in End Time be it reprieve or final judgement.
2 Corinthians 5:10 “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil.”
Who is next? Jeremiah 49 tells us about the other daughter of Lot and her descendants; the Ammonites. Has anyone noticed that Jeremiah has shifted away from the judgements of Judah to those of its neighbors? It is Nebuchadnezzar causing all of this havoc. This is why he is also identified several times in Jeremiah, even though evil, as “the servant of God” [Jeremiah 25:9; 27:6; 43:10].
JIV NOTE: In his own ignorance he is carrying out the will of God-Jehovah. It is not the will of the god of Babylon. That would be Baal, but he or it is only made of inanimate material. “The servant of God” translates as “an instrument of God” as through him we find Daniel interpreting Neb’s dreams. Through that we get a glimpse into a prophetic future that is very comprehensive and accurate. We also get a shirt-tail introduction to Revelation.
Is it ironical, paradoxical or prophetic? The very same land Jeremiah 47 is talking about, Philistia, is still a major issue to Israel today; Gaza Strip. It has been a thorn in the side of Israel/Judah since Israel of old was established as a confederation of tribes in the Book of Judges. The Tribe of Dan was to destroy them but instead abandoned their Joshua assigned territory. They went north of Israel, conquered Laish, a city of isolated Sidonians, and renamed it Dan.
Philistia/Gaza has been there a long time. Jeremiah, as he prophesied in chapter 46 the troubles of Egypt, he in Jeremiah 47 warns them of their present and future fate…God’s direct judgement.
Egypt currently borders Gaza. It was the same in Jeremiah’s time. For him to warn these people as God commanded, it would be a short journey to get there. What is of some interest in chapter 47 is stated in the first verse of chapter 47, “…before Pharaoh struck down Gaza.” However, Jeremiah warns them of a flood tide enemy from the north. Egypt is located to the south of Gaza, Babylon is due-east. Jeremiah 47:2…”Thus says the LORD: Behold, waters are rising out of the north…” Commentaries often take the easy way out and forget geography in that process.
There is little reason to question whether or not Babylon overran this territory as it moved into Egypt to do the same thing. However, it remains there today; Gaza Strip, Palestinians, sworn enemies of Israel. Could there be more to this passage in Jeremiah? Of course there could. It may be as much a future prophecy as it was an imminent one. Recall that Jeremiah’s prophesy against Egypt was two-fold; pending and End Time. This force from the north as the “flood waters or a torrent” could also include an attack by the Antichrist; i.e. the King of the North (Europe) against the King in the south (Muslim confederation or Caliphate in the south). It is highly unlikely Muslims will accept the Antichrist as their 12 Imam. That is not how the end is written in their “book.”
There is another strong thought about timing. While Nebuchadnezzar was besieging Judean cities (Jerusalem included), history tells us that the Pharaoh of Egypt attacked Gaza. It is likely that this Pharaoh was Pharaoh Necho. He attacked and smote Gaza, either when he came to Carchemish [the battle of] to confront the Assyrians, or when he returned from there, after he had slain King Josiah of Judah who had foolishly aligned with Assyria.
This map shows where Ur is located. It is almost directly east of Israel, thus Philistia/Gaza strip. Ur is the land from where Abraham came. It was identified as the Land of the Chaldeans. Ur is the city, part of what we would see today as Kuwait at the head of the Persian Gulf and outlet of the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers. See Genesis 11:31.
Since the descendants of Philistia (Dirty Arabs) still live in this area it does not fit with the rest of chapter 47. We read that they will be in such a panic they will even leave their children behind [47:3]. This author is not familiar with any other secular or biblical sources saying that this already happened. History seems to tell us that this small portion of land is occupied by a people who historically are perpetual occupants. Egypt in contrast to the Assyrians and later the Babylonians, did not remove a conquered people to other lands or the hinterlands of unoccupied or sparsely occupied territories. Pharaoh Necho would not have removed them.
Jeremiah 47: 6 & 7 make a good case for this being the judgement of God in End Time. He commanded his sword to punish and will not recall it.
(ESV) Ah, sword of the LORD! How long till you are quiet? Put yourself into your scabbard; rest and be still!
How can it be quiet when the LORD has given it a charge? Against Ashkelon and against the seashore he has appointed it.”
Might this include another invasion of this land yet to happen? An invasion that God ordains upon the Hezbollah and anti-Israeli occupants of Gaza; i.e. Ashkelon. God’s judgements continue in chapter 48. Now it is Moab, offspring of Lot through one of his daughters.