Jeremiah – Chapter 31 (Part 1)

Dr. JNOTE: Jeremiah 31 is a rather long chapter and covers much so it will be divided into two parts. This is part 1.end time.jpg

Chapter 30 to 33 is eschatological; i.e. End Time centered.  It is about ISRAEL and God’s promise to forgive them in the end for betraying HIM as a people and as a nation. Remember that the Old Testament is about a nation (Israel) and the New Testament is about individuals. God is the husband of Israel and Jesus is the husband of the church of believers. This distinction is seldom taught but straight out of scripture.

(God) Husband of Israel – Isaiah 54:5; Jeremiah 3:14; Hosea 2:16.

(Jesus) Husband of the New Testament church – II Corinthians 11:2; Revelation 19:7-9.

CAUTION: There are several references to the God-head husband in Revelation but read it with due caution. Most of the references in Revelation is a reminder and promise of God as husband to Israel/Jerusalem; not Jesus and the church of believers.

The very first verse in Jeremiah 31 is specific… (ESV) “At that *time, declares the LORD, I will be the God of all the clans of Israel, and they shall be my people.” A side note: God is not talking about the church. He is specific in that it is God of all the clans of Israel. The dichotomy of the realm of Jesus and the Father God is in the words used. They are distinct yet in most ways, parallel. Parallel does not mean the same path. This is often argued by those who don’t fully understand why the Old Testament Covenants are Israel and the New Testament Covenants do not nullify the O.T. Covenants, rather they are specific to born again individuals.

*That time is a continuation of chapter 30 being a prophetic view for Israel and End Time. This is covered in verses 1-9. God assures his people that in That Time, he alone will protect their existence and they will not be eliminated from populating the earth.

Israel has been an unfaithful wife but Jeremiah 31:3 is specific. “I (God) have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore I have continued my faithfulness to you.” God continued his love for Israel even when she abandoned him over and over. An Old Testament and very specific example of this relationship is the life of Hosea (Hosea 1:2-4). Hosea is a God-given example of his relationship with Israel. It is THE THEME of the entire Book of Hosea. If space allowed, which it doesn’t, this would be a good time to give a review of Hosea but the reader/student can do this on his or her own.

Verse 5: Again you shall plant vineyards on the mountains of Samaria; the planters shall plant and shall enjoy the fruit.

Verse 8: I will bring them from the North Country and gather them from the farthest parts of the earth, among them the blind and the lame, the pregnant woman and she who is in labor, together; a great company, they shall return here. (Here being Jerusalem).

Is there any reason to attempt to spiritualize these verses??? NONE, but history and bible revisionists attempt to warp its obvious meaning. These verses are straight forward and must be taken as God intended Jeremiah to present them to the captive Judeans now in or under Babylonian control. However, the problem comes in when we misunderstand that God is not talking about 70 years later when Daniel reminds the King Cyrus (the Mede) of the promised release and return. God is telling Jeremiah about a time even today is yet to come. Watch the news today and study the Apocalyptic End Times. We are extremely near this time if not one foot not already in the doorway. Everything is in place even as you read this article.

We know that this TIME has not yet occurred as the promises found in Jeremiah 31:9, 10 & 11 have not yet happened. Israel and Judah have yet to reunite as a single identity of people even though Gentiles have corrupted their identities by calling all of them Jews. The word Jews is never mentioned in the Bible until the nation of Israel has divided and the King of the Northern Ten Tribes prepares to go to defend itself from the “Jews” of Judah [I Kings 12:24]. This is the first time in scripture the word “JEW” is ever used. However, and depending on which Bible translation is referenced, some scholar’s point to II Kings 2:6 where most of the translations correctly use the name “Jew” as an identity of the Tribe of Judah.

The next several verses in Jeremiah 31 continue to explain (Prophecy) how God will reunite all of Israel (descendants of Jacob) and what will be waiting for them via God’s own hand. Note that the church is never mentioned or even indicated to be a part of any of this eventuality. This is God’s Covenant with his chosen. Jesus’s followers have a similar but different Covenants. In short, this is when God intervenes in world events and returns his blessing upon his chosen sons of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. The world (other nations) will recognize this fact and whatever the New Covenant God enacts with ISRAEL, we can only speculate.

Jeremiah 31:17 makes it totally clear; “There is hope for your future, declares the LORD, and your children shall come back to their own country.” We are discussing a covenant with Israelis here, not just Judean Jews. Why hope in the future and not then? Verse 18 explains this if one understands how an unruly or untrained calf is treated by their shepherd; one that continues to violate the “rules of the shepherd” and repeatedly wanders off. The shepherd will break the leg of the animal making it totally dependent upon the shepherd to carry it. This is what Hosea points out with his prostitute wife exemplifying how Israel treats their God-husband. God will need to break the leg of Israel in End Time so that she can do absolutely nothing on her own. They will then realize there are totally dependent upon their God (shepherd).hope

Verse 21 of Jeremiah 31 is of particular insightfulness. It hints of other bible passages and promises being fulfilled. “There is hope for your future, declares the LORD, and your children shall come back to their own country.” There is hope for Israel but it will be many generations later and through their children’s children. For there is a new thing on earth that God has or was about to initiate. Most commentaries avoid discussing it but we will offer suggestions; i.e. V22 “and woman will encompass a man.”

According to Merriam-Webster dictionary, “encompass” means: to completely go around; group a task or tasks; a thick fog; encircle. Encompass: sâbab (H5437)

  1. Some translations state that a woman will protect a man. But, is this a “NEW THING” as stated in verse 22? Doubtful as even back in the time of Jacob when he had issues with his twin brother Esau, the women lead their return and reunion upon the death of their father Isaac. In a sense, they lead the way to protect Jacob from the fury of Esau.
  2. The control phrase is “God is creating a NEW THING on earth.” In a world that had traditionally held women at bay and in a sense, servitude, God is going to bring women to the forefront; beginning a form of dominance over their male counter-part.
  3. Some commentaries see this as a hint of the Virgin Mary bringing Jesus into the world by birth. This could mean that the strategy of God has now officially changed. He is moving from a nation to individual relationships with the God-head. That is shifting from the Old Testament concepts of Judaism to the New Testament relationship between God (Jesus) and mankind.
  4. In the spiritual relationship which the prophet has in view, this male/female relationship will now begin to be inverted. Israel, the erring but repentant wife, shall woo her Divine husband. The history of Gomer in Hosea 2:14-20 again presents a striking parallel. A like inversion of the normal order is indicated, though with a different meaning. Men traditionally woo the woman.
  5. Israel will eventually press herself to her God-husband and seek him out for eternity.
  6. Personally, this author sees it as the beginning of role reversal. This is very evident in today’s society and cultures with exceptions like in Islam. Men have defaulted to women to take leadership roles, head of households, guiding the man instead of the man guiding his family and wife.

This is an oft debated verse. We leave it to your discretion and interpretation as to its meaning. It is there so it is something that God intends us to grasp. It most likely suggests that someday God will make things on earth as different as a woman controlling man; role reversals

miniJimRev. Dr. Jstark

 

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Jeremiah – Chapter 28

fake news.jpgJust like the Fake News of today on liberal TV and radio, Jeremiah is dealing with Fake Prophecy in a man called Hananiah. Oddly he is called a prophet and is the son of one also [Jeremiah 28:1].

Hananiah was a Gibeonite: These people descended from the line of Ham; a son of Canaan. They are a mix of the Hivites and Amorites. NOTE: Amorites are not the descendants of Lot’s daughter; i.e. the Ammonites.  400 years earlier during the time of *Joshua (he replaced Moses as their last kingless leader), the Gibeonites, fearing the mass of Israelis coming into the land, tricked Joshua into signing a “non-aggression” peace pact of sorts. After signing an agreement with them, Joshua soon realized these were not a people of a great distance, but were in the land God had instructed him to conquer. They eventually melded into the Tribes almost becoming one of them. (Find this history in Joshua 9)

*After Joshua died, Israel (all 12 tribes) was more of a confederacy and ruled by judges. This is what the Book of Judges is all about.

God had told Joshua to not sign any peace agree with the inhabitants of the Promised Land. He was tricked so God told Joshua to honor his word and signature. After 400 years of living amongst them, King Saul violated this “non-aggression pact.” The history is gruesome but God expected King Saul to continue honoring Joshua’s word and peace agreement. It cost Saul 7 of his sons by hanging as retribution. Oddly enough, after these hangings, the Gibeonites are not mentioned again in scripture.

Hananiah claims to have heard from God and what he says is prophecy goes directly against what Jeremiah already knew was going to continue to happen. Hananiah says the “He has broken the yoke of bondage on the captive Israelites (the Jews/Judeans of the Kingdom of Judah). What was stolen from the Temple in Jerusalem and those taken into captivity would all be returned within the next two years.

He says: “I will also bring the king of Judah, Jehoiachin son of Jehoiakim, back to this place. And I will bring back all the people of Judah that Nebuchadnezzar forced to leave their homes and go to Babylon,’ says the LORD. ‘So I will break the yoke that the king of Babylon put on the people of Judah.” (ERV)

However, in a previous article on Jeremiah we learned that Jehoiachin, who had been on the throne of Judah for only 3 months, would never see his homeland again dying while in captivity. He was released by Nebuchadnezzar’s son Evil-Merodach after 36 years in a prison but remained in Babylon. Evil-Merodach ruled Babylon for two years before being assassinated. (https://www.biblicaltraining.org/library/evil-merodach)

JIV NOTE: Jehoiachin was also known by the names Jeconiah and Coniah.

This short chapter in Jeremiah gives us insight into false news or prophecy. This can include in modern terms, fake news concerning Israel. There is always going to be a price to pay for violating God’s hand chosen people Israel. Jeremiah humors Hananiah and the witnesses in the Temple. He acts delighted that this may be a good, no, a great thing if it were true.

Jer 28:6  Jeremiah said to Hananiah, “Amen! May the LORD do that. May the LORD make the message you say come true. May he bring the things of the LORD’S Temple back to this place from Babylon. And may he bring all those who were forced to leave their homes back to this place. listen

Jer 28:7  “But listen to what I have to say to you and to all the people.

Jer 28:8  There were prophets long before you and I became prophets, Hananiah. They spoke against many countries and great kingdoms and always warned that war, hunger, and disease would come to them.

Jer 28:9  So the prophet who says that we will have peace must be tested. (so…) People can know that he really was sent by the LORD only if his message comes true.” (ERV)

All of this conversation and predictions or prophetic declarations happened, as Jeremiah 28 tells us, during the “the fifth month of the fourth year Zedekiah (appointed by Nebuchadnezzar to rule) sat on the throne.” Jeremiah 28:15 – 17 tells us the rest of the history though very short-lived. It reads in the ERV:

Jer 28:15  Then the prophet Jeremiah said to the prophet Hananiah, “Listen, Hananiah! The LORD did not send you. But you have made the people of Judah trust in lies.

Jer 28:16  So this is what the LORD says: ‘Soon I will take you from this world, Hananiah. You will die this year, because you taught the people to turn against the LORD.'”

Jer 28:17  Hananiah died in the seventh month of that same year.

miniJimRev Dr. Jstark July, 2017

 

 

Revelation Chapter 14 (a)

There are three other articles/blogs on this website that address specific topics within miniJimchapter 14; 666, What happens to those who never hear of the Gospel? The 144,000.  This blog is more of a shorthand review of other issues with which one should be familiar and  connected to Revelation 14.

Chapter 14 begins with the mentioning of the 144,000 standing with Jesus (the lamb) on Mt Zion. They have the Father’s name written in their foreheads. Some translations say the Father’s and the Lamb’s (Jesus) name. Let’s consider some of the differences between this 144,000 in C14 and the 144,000 in C7.

  1. end of the ages Revelation 7: the 144,000 are all identified as specifically from the multiple Tribes of Israel, then in verse 9 John sees *a great multitude around the throne wearing white robes that **came out of the ongoing Great Tribulation; 7:9. Before the tribes of Israel and their count is given; 12,000 from each, the first couple of verses in this chapter express a great calamity about to overwhelm man and earth. The 144,000 Israelites are protected from these calamities. In short, the calamities (God’s bowl judgments; the 7th Seal) are about to be poured out. These 144,000 folks are still on planet earth.

*They were from every nation, tribe, race of people, and language of the earth. They were standing before the throne and before the Lamb. They all wore white robes and had palm branches in their hands [ESV].

** “These are the ones who have come out of the great suffering” [ESV; 7:14]. JIV: perhaps these are the souls under the throne waiting for their deaths to be avenged by God [Revelation 6:10].

  1. 144,000 of Revelation 14 have specific traits that differ from the 144,000 discussed in chapter 7 of Revelation. John sees them standing with the Messiah on Mount Zion going everywhere he goes. This passages says they are “purchased from among men” (on earth) and are the first fruits. The word “men” here is “anthrōpos” meaning redeemed from the *earth. Contrast this to the specifics of chapter 7 where the 144,000 are selected from specific Tribes of Israel; not the generic anthrōpos,  men on earth and in general.

*redeemed from the earth is quite different than being protected while on earth.

  1. C14 has angels flying around making proclamations where C7 mentions a few angels with specific jobs or tasks to perform. Chapter 14 becomes what I call the “harvest chapter.” The only mention of great masses of people in this chapter is associated with a warning to NOT worship the beast, its image or take his mark, and the reward for those who do NOT take his mark or worship him. (14:7 and 14:9). People are still on earth and God’ kingdom on earth has yet to be established.
  • They sing a NEW song only they can learn (also with an orchestra of harps)
  • They are new babes in Christ (virgins); totally committed 24/7 for the duration of the Tribulation
  • They follow the lamb everywhere. This suggests Christ 2nd advent has now occurred.
  • No lie has crossed their lips since their tribulation acceptance of the coming messiah
  • They stand before the Throne, the elders and the 4 Living creatures.
  • They are reaped through the gospel message proclaimed world-wide by the angel spreading this good news and with fair warning found in verse 6.

There are some other passages we should consider as they too relate to chapter 14. One should ask, what about some of the other distinguishing or mentioned characteristics unique to groups of people in end time sealed or marked in one way or another.

Ezekiel 9

This book is focused on Israel, as is most of Revelation following the first four chapters that discuss the seven Messianic Christian churches.

  1. Ezekiel’s vision is isolated to Jerusalem, not throughout the world
  2. Those marked (tauv) in Jerusalem by the angels lament the sins of the city (historical past and present just as did Daniel for the nation of Israel in *Daniel 9). Here is how Rev. Dr. Robert Deffingbaugh puts it:
    1. Verses 24-27 [of Daniel 9] begin to spell out future events in detail rather than with vague, mysterious symbols. While all may not agree on the meaning of these verses, all Christians would agree they provide very specific information concerning the last times. For the first time in Daniel’s prophecy, the suffering and death of Messiah is introduced.
  3. The rest of the population [in Jerusalem] is slain without pity
  4. The context of this judgment goes back to Ezekiel 7: (1-10) but should include the entire chapter 7 in Ezekiel.

tavPS: Tauv is the last letter of the Hebrew Alphabet.