Jeremiah – Chapter 27

Jeremiah 27 (an amazing aha moment)

If we carefully read chapter 27 of Jeremiah, and have studied end time events according to the Minor Prophets, Isaiah, Zechariah, 2 Thessalonians, especially Daniel 11, and let’s throw Revelation in just for a kicker, we can see some amazing future events; i.e. End Time.

First…why is it called End Time? Good question? Let’s jump back to the very first book and chapter in the Bible: Genesis1:5&6,  “He named the light ‘Day’ and the he named the darkness ‘night’.” There was evening and there was morning. This was the first day.”

Second…there is nothing here to suggest this was a Sunday or any other day of the week. It simply states this is the beginning or creation of time. God is infinite so the saying, “a day is as a thousand years to God” simply means time is a creation; not an eternal thing without beginning, without end or without measure. Thus, “End Time” simply means the same thing as a new earth and a new heaven. It is timeless. It will have a beginning but is eternal so time will then not exist.

loud and clearWe know from psychological studies that there are three types of learners; The visual, auditory and kinesthetic. God leaves no stone unturned in Jeremiah. The words spoken by Jeremiah are good for the auditory learner but, they challenge the kinesthetic and visual learner. Chapter 27 considers this. God is so wise. He has Jeremiah put on a visual demonstration that the kinesthetic can also relate to in order to GET THE MESSAGE LOUD AND CLEAR.

Jeremiah 27:2

“This is what the LORD said to me: “Jeremiah, make a yoke out of straps and poles. Put that yoke on the back of your neck.”

This is a visual and touchable (Kinesthetic means using our other senses other than hearing or seeing) example of the same warning. But this time it includes those visiting Jerusalem from Edom, Moab, Ammon, Tyre, and Sidon. Jeremiah’s message is sent via the ambassadors and visitors of these countries to the King of Judah. We won’t take the time to repeat previous lessons, but these mentioned countries have direct connections with Abraham beginning 1500 years earlier.

  1. Edom or people of Mt Sier are descended from Esau.
  2. Moab is a descendant of Lot through one of his two daughters.
  3. Ammonites are the same as Moabites but through a second daughter of Lot.
  4. Tyre and Sidon are territories where The Tribe of Dan migrated making alliances with during the time of the judges when they were not satisfied with Judaism. Also, some members of the original Tribes of the dispersed Northern Kingdom of Israel fled there during the Assyrian dispersion of these ten tribes.
Reading a glowing book

Aha moment in the Living Word of God!

Amazing aha moment in scripture: Here is the futuristic probability and parallel prophecy as stated about Israel’s End Time; i.e. Jacobs Trouble and the Tribulation. These are very likely to be the battle grounds between the king of the north and the king of the south as prophesied in Daniel 11. This addresses both the future End Time and the immediate future of these kingdoms specifically mentioned in 27:3. These same territories will be the battle ground of Nebuchadnezzar’s military march to which Jeremiah has consistently prophesied in Israel.

These territories are also part of the Promised Lands Joshua and his leadership never conquered or took possession. God promised to “enlarge the land holding of Israel: if they followed his commandments and worshiped only him. They didn’t so God didn’t enlarge; at that time. (See the study on Revelation in this website.)

What a proclamation God makes in 27:5…”I made all things including eretz (earth). I can give it to whomever I wish.”

In the very next verse, close examination of words used is critical. 27:6 begins by saying. “and now I have given all these lands to…” (the Babylonians). Look at the phrasing. It does not say God has given these lands to the Babylonians. It is written, God has now given… The word “now” is ‛attâh which means, at this time. It also means that there will be times when he gives this land to others such as End Time. Once again God calls Nebuchadnezzar “His Servant.” This is better explained in Daniel, Ezekiel and Ezra, but not at this time in this article.

Another learning moment: Jeremiah specifically states Babylonian ruler-ship will follow “his son and his son’s son.” This should do away with the debate of other so called  theologian experts that there are other kings of Babylon fitted between the rule of Nebuchadnezzar and Belshazzar. Belshazzar falls to the Medes and Persians per Daniel’s interpretation of the writing on the wall in the king’s parlor while he is entertaining his other kingdom Lords.

Verse 8 in Jeremiah 27 is a bit of an oddity. God is not only cursing Israel (Jerusalem) but its neighboring nations. He says (v8) that if they do not put their neck under the “yoke” of Babylon, he will punish them; i.e. the other nations or kingdoms around Judah. It almost appears that somehow Nebuchadnezzar and God Almighty are somehow in cahoots. God call Neb His servant, yet Neb has other gods in his kingdom.

Let’s understand this phenomenon. Nebuchadnezzar probably did not know that he was a servant or instrument of God. God identifies Nebuchadnezzar as his servant mostly because he is fulfilling God’s will over those nations (v3); all of them are related to Abraham. This means, like Israel and Judah, they all once knew the true God. Also like Israel and Judah, they have taken other gods into their culture of worship.

Some bible students including ones who call themselves scholars get the names and reigns of of this quick change in leadership in Judah. Here is why…In 598 BC, Jehoiakim died during the siege of Jerusalem and was succeeded by his son Jeconiah (also known as Jehoiachin). Jerusalem fell within three months. Jeconiah [aka: Jehoiachin] was deposed by Nebuchadnezzar, who installed Zedekiah, Jehoiakim’s brother, in his place. Scripture is not confusing who is king of Judah. It is those trying to cut the fine line of Judean kings into conflicting dates; often to the dismay of a bible student.

27:12 tells us that God instructed Zedekiah to “Bring your neck under the yoke of the king of Babylon, and serve him and his people and live. Jeremiah raises the question: “Why will you and your people die by the sword, by famine, and by pestilence, as the LORD has spoken concerning any nation that will not serve the king of Babylon?” Great question but the answer is too obvious. We don’t wish to be in bondage to Babylon!!! King Zedekiah remained a vassal of Nebuchadnezzar for 10 years then he rebelled. He paid a high price (v15) for doing so.

Obviously there were many false so-called prophets in the lands during this time. True prophets don’t lie. Those contradicting Jeremiah’s prophets would better be identified as Sooth-Sayers. The rest of chapter 27 is Jeremiah challenging the false prophets to approach God and ask him to protect the Temple vessels that Nebuchadnezzar had not yet removed and taken to Babylon. Whether they did is not recorded. Then Jeremiah concludes this chapter by telling them in a soon but later date, even these precious Temple vessels will be removed to Babylon, but God promised that they will be returned after the 70 years of Babylonian captivity ends.

Read Daniel and discover how and when this happens. All of it according to what Jeremiah had said would happen. Jeremiah 52:6 elaborates a bit on this fall of Jerusalem. Ezekiel also discusses this time and fall of Jerusalem (Ezekiel 40:1) as does 2 Kings 25:27. This is ten years after Nebuchadnezzar installs Zedekiah on the throne in Jerusalem; i.e. 588/587 B.C.

Next blog: Chapter 28. A false prophet named Hananiah challenges Jeremiah and makes a prediction (or false prophecy) about the captured people of the Tribe of Judah and the Temple vessels. It is a very bold statement but…. (see the next article on Jeremiah 28)

miniJimRev. Dr. Jstark June, 2017

Jeremiah – Chapter 2

Jeremiah Chapter 2 – Backslidden IsraelBook of Jeremiah

This chapter is somewhat similar to the  message to the Church of Ephesus as found in Revelation 2:4,5.

“But I have this against you: You have left the love you had in the beginning. [2:5] So remember where you were before you fell. Change your hearts and do what you did at first. If you don’t change, I will come to you and remove your lamp stand from its place.”

Israel did and now Judah continued(s) to turn their back on the God of creation. They know [yadda] that they are God’s chosen people. In a sense it gives them self-sanctioned proprietary claim to life and land. One might say it has gone to their heads. They feel it is license to do as they please as chosen people of God. They want to add additional gods, one or more to their liking; one they create. This is their desired reality but it is not God’s actuality. The same is true in many churches today in America and on TV.

This is so much like Christians today in practice. We want to be God’s chosen but want license to do things we should not and are not pleasing to God. He is NOT a way of life but only a part of our life. This is in a nutshell what Judah is during the time of Jeremiah. It is also a lot like a foxhole Christian; God get me out of this mess and I promise….; but once out of the mess, we do it our way (sorry Frank Sinatra). This is chapter 2 of Jeremiah.

Like it clearly states in verse 17 of Jeremiah 2, “the people [of Israel] have brought it upon themselves.” In our previous chapter blog, we see the historical context of this time and the life of Jeremiah. Verse 4 adds to this context.

[ERV] “Family of Jacob, hear the LORD’S message. Tribes of Israel, listen.” [note the repetition, family of Jacob is all the tribes of Israel.]

We know that the Kingdom of Israel was dispersed by the Assyrians over 100 years earlier, but v4 brings us to a future yet to happen. God is not finished with his chosen people. This includes all twelve Tribes of Israel. He is reminding them of what Daniel and the Apostle John have yet to write in the sequence of global histories. In the first few verses of Jeremiah 2 Jeremiah recaps what God has done for the Israelites since they became a people in Egypt then retrieved to a Promised Land; promised to Abraham.

sin.jpgThis is similar to someone getting away with a sin, for a while, and his or her confidence in getting away with it becomes their foundation for continued sin action. Numbers 32:33 if taken out of context says one’s sins will find thee out. This passage in Numbers has to do with the three Tribes: Reuben, Gad and the half-tribe of Manasseh. They did not want to cross over Jordan to help the other tribes settle their land and dislodge the sparse nomadic inhabitants west of Jordan. Moses told them they must help their brothers fight the good fight before returning to the land that today is known as Jordan. If they did not help, then Numbers 32:33 says, be sure thy sin (of not helping) will find them out (paraphrased). One might just as easily see this as analogous to the makeup of today’s church. “ Just let us sit in the pew [on our side of Jordan] and cheer on those who carry the load against the enemy.”

However, as Dr. Jack Hyles puts it [2015], “Some of the members of the tribes of Gad and Rueben [half tribe of Manasseh] are still alive today. In fact, America is full of these loafers who say, “We are tired of fighting. Let us relive our victories in the wilderness. It is time for us to rest and enjoy the fertile plains on the east side of the Jordan.” Oh, these people still go to church. They just don’t want to fight.

Blog Note: For the geography impaired, this land on the east side of Jordan is the country or State of Jordan, 2016.

Jeremiah is reminding (2:4) those from all 12 tribes that the fight is far from over. The Kingdom of Judah is going to pay a price for their sin as did those in the Northern Kingdom of Israel 100 years earlier. A great and applicable message on sin finding us out as it applies to us today can be found at https://www.baptist-city.com/sermons/your_sin.htm.

This time in Jeremiah’s life is a three-way grudge and continual fighting between Assyria, Egypt and Babylon. Each striving to dominate the regain with Israel stuck between the three battlers. Some may have studied the “hanging Gardens of Babylon as one of the seven wonders of this world. This all happened during the time of Jeremiah. Around 1125 B.C. there was another ruler in Babylon named Nebuchadnezzar I. He is not related to the Nebuchadnezzar II of Jeremiah’s time.

A Wise Note: Often Christians are criticized by claiming that bible history not being documented (which is false in and of itself per archeology) so it didn’t exist. Well, how many have heard of the “hanging Gardens of Babylon; i.e. the seventh wonder of the world? We all studied it is school history, However, read the following from the encyclopedia Wikipedia:

The Babylonian priest Berossus, writing in about 290 BC and quoted later by Josephus, attributed the [Hanging] gardens to the Neo-Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar II, who ruled between 605 and 562 BC [the same time period of the 70 years of Judean captivity in Babylon]. There are no extant Babylonian texts which mention the gardens, and no definitive archaeological evidence has been found in Babylon. [Emphasis mine].

However, our American school history books report it as one of the 7 wonders of the world and as fact.

Another fact and historical note is mentioned almost in passing in Jeremiah 2:2d… “in a that had never been planted by other inhabitants.” Israel did not simply move int5o the Promised Land and kick others out. Secular historians want us to think this is what happened. God says, it is “in a land that was NOT SOWN” (planted-grazed). Make a personal note that the Promised Land was not overpopulated by other people at this time but was under occupied.

When Jeremiah mentions in verse 2, “At the time you were a young nation, you were faithful to me. You followed me like a young bride. You followed me through the desert, through a land that had never been used for farmland.” The “young” time two which Jeremiah relays this information told him of God was when for almost 400 years the 12 Tribes of Israel lived as a confederacy without a king but judges. [Read this in the Book of Judges]

Verses 5-8 in Jeremiah 2 are in contrast to the years of loving and following Judaism and the God of Israel as a confederacy.

  1. Israel wondered from me
  2. They worshiped worthless Gods
  3. They did not seek God
  4. They ruined the land God promised Abraham, Isaac and Jacob (Moses)
  5. The land was good soil at first but they ruined it
  6. False prophets spoke message from Baal.

Verse 10 is amazing in and of itself. God tells his people to, Go to the coasts in the west and look. Send people to the countries in the east. Let the people look carefully. See if there has been anything like this (Promised Land).”

God instructs his people to go west; go east; compare their land with what God had provided their forefathers and the God he was to and for them. Providentially, this is exactly what happened to the people of Israel. They were dispersed east and west to the four corners of the earth; Isaiah 11:12, Isaiah 12:15, Ezekiel 22:15 and 36:19, Daniel 7, Jeremiah 29:14, Ezekiel 11:17.

Verse 13 really tells us God’s attitude and analysis of his Chosen People Israel:

My people have been guilty of two sins.

They have left me.

I am like fresh water that comes up from the ground.

But my people have dug their own wells.

But these wells have cracks in them.

They cannot hold any water.

To quote Hilda Bright in her analysis of Jeremiah 2:17,18: “Verses 17-18 ‘To drink water from the River Nile or the River Euphrates.’ This describes how Judah tried to make friends with the powerful countries called Egypt and Assyria. The LORD had rescued his people from Egypt. But they were turning back to a country that could not help them. Judah was trusting Egypt for help. Already Isaiah had said that this was foolish (Isaiah 30:1-5; 31:1-3).”

This is also why Jeremiah fought and resisted his fellow countrymen when they forced him to flee to Egypt with them. We will study this when we get to Jeremiah 43.

Jeremiah 2:20 – end of chapter is very explicit. God compares his people who have deserted him to the whiles of wild living; wild animals seeking to mate; running from one to another to get what one can on his or her own; sniffing the wind to go with the direction of, might we say today, political correctness; telling a piece of wood “you are my father-god,” I have disciplined my people Israel but they did not learn; you have killed my *prophets.

*How prophetic of this as they also killed Jesus Christ. Even Muslims see Jesus as one of the great teachers and prophets.miniJim

Amos’ Earthquake

The Bible often mentions earthquakes. If they are so, they are also a matter of secular records making these Bible records the same history as found in secular records. This series is designed to explore secular history, archeological digs [discoveries] and scriptural records of Biblical Earthquakes. This series will end with an article or two on End-Time earthquakes.

Earthquake
Earthquakes reveal much. Our classes on this at Northern Michigan Bible School, September 2011 through April 2012, studied this prophetic and profitable stroke of God’s hand upon his chosen people and end time events. The purpose of this first article is what is known by many as The Amos’ Earthquake; 750 B.C.Amos 1:1 The words of Amos, who was among the shepherds of Tekoa, which he saw concerning Israel in the days of Uzziah king of Judah and in the days of Jeroboam II the son of Joash, king of Israel, two years before the earthquake; ESV.It is rarely discussed from the pulpits in America and I have personally met not a single person who questioned the curious fact of the Bible mentioning this particular earthquake. Over 200 years later the Prophet Zechariah points to it in Zechariah 14: 4, 5.It is easy to understand other earthquakes mentioned in the bible such as: Matthew 27:51-54 (crucifixion), Matthew 28:2 (Christ’s resurrection), Numbers 16:32 (wilderness revolt against Moses), Job 9:6, Nahum 1:5 (end times), I Samuel 14:15 (Jonathan and his armor bearer attack the Philistines)… etc. But, the question of curiosity and the demand for inquiry come in to play when there seems to be more to the verse mentioning an earthquake.

This new series begins a study of such earthly disasters and God’s judgment paralleling modern day seismic activity and recording of their history with the Bible mentioning of the same thing at the same time in the same places. When end times come into play, we have an even greater curiosity; will we look at it as just that, a curiosity or will we realize God is telling us something about the end of this old earth and his tolerance of sin? See and read Matthew 24.

We will use the USGS (United States Geological Society records), secular history as recorded by the ancients, the Beck Index and the Bible throughout this series. It will be discovered by the reader that there is NO CONFLICT between these independent records of the earth shaking, burning, convulsing, up heaving, splitting mountains into two or three separate mountains with new valleys and the fact that the Bible is not full of stories, but historical facts that align with scientific facts.

In 750 B.C. and as recorded originally in Amos 1:1 there was a significant earthquake. Yes, we are beginning in the middle of much historical timeline fact/data, but this is where God took this writer over the past weekend while doing my personal Bible Studies. So this is where we will begin.Creation Faith Facts records: “Widely separated archaeological excavations in the countries of Israel and Jordan were conducted in 1955 by archaeologist Yigael Yadin. He found architecture bearing damage from a great earthquake…earthquake evidence is seen prominently at Hazor, Israel’s largest ancient city. Excavations in Hazor revealed tilted walls, inclined pillars, and collapsed houses. The city of Gezer was also severely shaken. The outer wall of the city shows hewn [hand-cut] stones weighing tons that have been cracked and displaced several inches off their foundation. Earthquake debris at six sites…is tightly confined [by strata] to the middle of the eighth century B.C. So, the evidence points to a single large regional earthquake that occurred about 750 B.C. at magnitude 8.2 on the Richter Scale”Isn’t it a curiosity in and of itself that even secularists call the great earthquake in the Middle East of 750 B.C. Amos’ Earthquake? Why? As far as I can tell Amos predicted it and it happened when God’s hand of judgment once again fell on the divided kingdoms of Judah and Israel. He made it a cornerstone of a major event in his writing of the Book of Amos and what made it an even more memorable was the 8.2 magnitude earthquake with an epicenter in northern Israel/Lebanon. There must be secular records of this event.We must back up a bit in history to pull things together during the time of Amos and the earthquake he mentions in Amos 1:1. Much archeological work has been and continues to be done in the Middle East, Palestine, Egypt, Israel and Jordan (river basin and country). These ventures make discoveries and log the findings as secular findings of past events. Recall the history of Samson. He was a judge of the combined original Tribes of Israel in the Promised Land being ruled by judges. Samson was not a Samuel or a Moses; other judges of Israel. There was not yet a king over Israel at the time of the judges. Each Tribe “did what was seen as right in their own eye” Judges 17:6.

Sampson, as did future generations of Israel, often contended with the Philistines. They had five basic cities in the area south-west of Israel; Ashdod, Gaza, Ashkelon, *Gath and Ekron; I Samuel 6:17. Mario Seiglie , Scott Ashley, Tom Robinson co-authored an article in God, Science and the Bible, about many archeological digs and discoveries. While doing a dig within the territory occupied by the Philistines, they discovered evidence of several earthquakes; one of them dating to the precise time of Amos’ Earthquake, 750 B.C., as recorded in Amos 1:1. Note: *Gath, a Philistine city, is recorded in scripture as the hometown of Goliath.

Previously in 1955 archeologist Yigael Yadin discovered and dated the same earthquake while doing a dig in Hazor, Israel’s largest ancient city.

Point in history: Amos is a contemporary of Hosea, Isaiah, *King Uzziah (aka: Azariah) of Judah and King Jeroboam II of Israel. The theme of the Book of Amos is the Judgment of God, then and yet to come..

*LEARNING NOTE: King Uzziah is listed in the Bible as within the genealogy line of Jesus.

Here is another fascinating learning note in bible/secular history. Uzziah was struck with leprosy for falling away from God (2 Kings 15:5); (2 Chronicles 26:19-21). Edwin R. Thiele (archeologist, renown author and Old Testament professor) dates Uzziah being struck with leprosy to 751/750 BC, at which time his son Jotham took over the government as co-regent. Uzziah died with his leprosy in 740/739 B.C. Why is this 750 B.C. date so important? It is the same date as Amos’ Earthquake; a judgment brought on Judah and Israel for their low-point in following God.

We read in 2 Chronicles 26:15-16. Uzziah’s pride led to his downfall; even after many years of “doing what was right in the eyes of God” [2 Kings 15:3]. He was unfaithful to the Lord his God, and entered the temple of the LORD to burn incense on the altar of incense. As a lesson to God’s people, Amos warns about the wrath of God (the earthquake hit at the same time as Uzziah was stricken with leprosy. End Times Note: Zechariah cautions us that in the end times there will be a future earthquake that will rattle people as much or more than did Amos’ Earthquake.

Here is the key to Amos’ Earthquake and the immediate leprosy of King Uzziah as seen through the writings of secular historian Flavius Josephus…

Josephus, the First Century Jewish historian, described the events in Jerusalem during this earthquake [750 B.C.; emphasis mine]. King Uzziah was in the Temple trying to offer incense on the altar at Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, a duty only allowed the High Priest (Lev. 16 and 17). The priests tried to stop him, but he was defiant. Josephus records what happens next: “But, while he [Uzziah] spoke, a great tremor shook the earth, and, as the temple was riven, a brilliant shaft of sunlight gleamed through it and fell upon the king’s face so that leprosy at once smote him” (Antiquities of the Jews 9:225; LCL 6:119; II Chronicles. 26:19-21, 23). The Bible does not place the two events together chronologically, but Josephus had access to records that are no longer available to us.

Here is aha-bible/secular history from this time period; i.e. 750 B.C.

• King Uriah struck with leprosy at the same time as the 8.2 magnitude earthquake struck the area
• King Sardui of the Kingdom of Urartu, a small but powerful enemy of the Assyrians caused great consternation in the heart of Assyrian rulers
• It marked the beginning of the end for the northern Kingdom of Israel
• The legendary Romulus ruled in Rome
• Hosea, Micah, Isaiah were contemporary prophets at this time
• The Greeks began colonizing Italy and Sicily.
• Harnesses and horse bits began to be used
• Sparta becomes a very disciplined society. The famous laws of Sparta were said to have been given by the legendary Lycurgus shortly after the time of Homer. Plutarch in his Life of Lycurgus credited the lawgiver with redistribution of the land into equal lots. [redistribution of wealth; sound a bit like America today… 2008 – ?]
• Egyptians build the first known dam called the Sadd el-Kafara; 37 ft tall, 348 ft wide of rubble masonry filled with 100,000 tons of gravel and stone.
• Homer writes the Iliad and the Odyssey
• Caste System firmly established in India
• 750 to 612 is “the time of the Assyrians we read of in the Bible”

Enough said as we begin our study of earthquake history and its implications to world events including the Bible times of this same world during the Amos’ Earthquake. We will limit our scope of study to the earthquakes mentioned in the Old and New Testaments with the sole purpose of demonstrating to the reader that the Bible is not a story and world history something else. They happened at the same time and are a part of the same history book; one of these books is the inspired Word of God.jStark3