Jeremiah 39:1-18 … GOD’S PUNISHMENT OF JERUSALEM AND ZEDEKIAH COMES.
Q.1. Could King Zedekiah and his people escape from judgment? Why? How badly did it go for Zedekiah? – (Jer.39:1-10) =
Q.2. How did the Lord provide for His prophet? – (Jer.39:11-14) =
Q.3. How did God treat Ebed-melech for his protection of Jeremiah the prophet? – (Jer.39:15-18) =
The Fall of Jerusalem
39 In the ninth year of Zedekiah king of Judah, in the tenth month, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon and all his army came against Jerusalem and besieged it. 2 In the eleventh year of Zedekiah, in the fourth month, on the ninth day of the month, a breach was made in the city. 3 Then all the officials of the king of Babylon came and sat in the middle gate: Nergal-sar-ezer of Samgar, Nebu-sar-sekim the Rab-saris, Nergal-sar-ezer the Rab-mag, with all the rest of the officers of the king of Babylon. 4 When Zedekiah king of Judah and all the soldiers saw them, they fled, going out of the city at night by way of the king’s garden through the gate between the two walls; and they went toward the Arabah. 5 But the army of the Chaldeans pursued them and overtook Zedekiah in the plains of Jericho. And when they had taken him, they brought him up to Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, at Riblah, in the land of Hamath; and he passed sentence on him. 6 The king of Babylon slaughtered the sons of Zedekiah at Riblah before his eyes, and the king of Babylon slaughtered all the nobles of Judah. 7 He put out the eyes of Zedekiah and bound him in chains to take him to Babylon. 8 The Chaldeans burned the king’s house and the house of the people, and broke down the walls of Jerusalem. 9 Then Nebuzaradan, the captain of the guard, carried into exile to Babylon the rest of the people who were left in the city, those who had deserted to him, and the people who remained. 10 Nebuzaradan, the captain of the guard, left in the land of Judah some of the poor people who owned nothing, and gave them vineyards and fields at the same time.
The Lord Delivers Jeremiah
11 Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon gave command concerning Jeremiah through Nebuzaradan, the captain of the guard, saying, 12 “Take him, look after him well, and do him no harm, but deal with him as he tells you.” 13 So Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard, Nebushazban the Rab-saris, Nergal-sar-ezer the Rab-mag, and all the chief officers of the king of Babylon 14 sent and took Jeremiah from the court of the guard. They entrusted him to Gedaliah the son of Ahikam, son of Shaphan, that he should take him home. So he lived among the people.
15 The word of the Lord came to Jeremiah while he was shut up in the court of the guard: 16 “Go, and say to Ebed-melech the Ethiopian, ‘Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: Behold, I will fulfill my words against this city for harm and not for good, and they shall be accomplished before you on that day. 17 But I will deliver you on that day, declares the Lord, and you shall not be given into the hand of the men of whom you are afraid. 18 For I will surely save you, and you shall not fall by the sword, but you shall have your life as a prize of war, because you have put your trust in me, declares the Lord.’”
Q.1. Could King Zedekiah and his people escape from judgment? Why? How badly did it go for Zedekiah? – (Jer.39:1-10) = God knew right from the time of Israel’s birth as a nation, that they would treacherously turn to other gods, and break their covenant with Him. This He had told Moses before Israel ever entered the Promised Land (Deut.31:14-22). Chastisement and judgment would inevitably come. God also knew that Zedekiah would give in to the advice of the rebellious leaders who had persecuted Jeremiah. In the eleventh year of Zedekiah’s reign, Nebuchadnezzar’s army invaded the city of Jerusalem (Jer.39:1-2). Zedekiah and his advisors tried to flee to Egypt for refuge, through the King’s garden, via the Jordan Valley (Jer.39:3-4). They were soon overtaken on the plains of Jericho, and sentence was passed on Zedekiah by Nebuchadnezzar, at Riblah (Jer.39:5-6). Zedekiah’s royal sons were slain before his eyes – He then blinded Zedekiah’s eyes and bound him in fetter of bronze to bring him to Babylon (the last thing he saw) (Jer.39:7). Everything was destroyed. The remaining people were carried into exile, with just a few poor people left to look after the land (Jer.39:8-10). Everything happened, just as Jeremiah had repeatedly warned.
Q.2. How did the Lord provide for His prophet? – (Jer.39:11-14) = Jeremiah was treated with much greater respect by Nebuchadnezzar, King of Babylon than by his own king. Nebuchadnezzar commanded – Take him and look after him, and do nothing harmful to him, but rather deal with him just as he tells you (Jer.39:12). Nebuchadnezzar had no doubt heard of Jeremiah’s prophecies, and his instructions to the Israeli exiles to settle down and raise families, and to – seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the Lord on its behalf; for in its welfare you will have welfare (Jer.29:7. Jeremiah was taken back to his own home, to safety. He was entrusted into the hands of his friend Gedaliah, who was appointed governor over the land. He also was provided with resources to look after his own welfare (Jer.39:14 c.f. Jer.26:24; 40:5). What an encouraging example of the Lord looking after His own.
Q.3. How did God treat Ebed-melech for his protection of Jeremiah the prophet? – (Jer.39:15-18) = The city of Jerusalem was wrecked, and the people either killed or exiled. However, God did not forget the courage of Ebed-melech, the Ethiopian – 17 But I will deliver you on that day,” declares the Lord, “and you will not be given into the hand of the men whom you dread. 18 For I will certainly rescue you, and you will not fall by the sword; but you will have your own life as booty, because you have trusted in Me,” declares the Lord.’” (Jer.39:17-18). Whether in this life or the one to come, God will come through for His children – 6 For after all it is only just for God to repay with affliction those who afflict you, 7 and to give relief to you who are afflicted and to us as well when the Lord Jesus will be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels in flaming fire, 8 dealing out retribution to those who do not know God and to those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus (2 Thes.1:6-8).
(Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.)
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