Sorry for posting this late!
(21 verses, 3:40 to read)
What I am about to READ:
Zedekiah refused to listen to Jeremiah, yet he protected him from certain death in prison.
- The Babylonian captivity was kind of a gradual process. Most of Judah was sieged by Babylon already during Jehoiakim’s reign, and people were being deported to Babylon, but Jerusalem still had not fallen.
- Jerusalem fell three months into Jehoiachin’s reign.
- More people were taken captive into Babylon, including Jehoiachin and his mother.
- At that time the Babylonians also took the wealth of Judah, including the temple furnishings, to Babylon.
- The Babylonians set up Zedekiah, Jehoiakim’s brother, as king in Jerusalem. Zedekiah, however, rebelled.
- This set up Nebuchadnezzar’s final siege on Jerusalem. He took the city and completely destroyed it. The people of Jerusalem were taken into captivity. This is the third deportation.
- Chapter 37 takes place as the Babylonians were laying siege on Jerusalem prior to its final downfall.
1:“Zedekiah . . . reigned.” Jehoiakim would have “none to sit on the throne of David” (36:30). After his son Coniah’s [Jehoiachin’s] deportation to Babylon after a three-month reign, Jehoiakim’s brother Zedekiah was made king of Judah by Nebuchadnezzar. Zedekiah, Judah’s last king, reigned from 597–586 BC.
3–5:“The army of Pharaoh”— The approach of Egyptian troops (verse 5) caused Nebuchadnezzar to lift the siege of Jerusalem in order to deal with the threat from the south. Zedekiah was probably hoping that Jeremiah would pray for Egypt to defeat Nebuchadnezzar and bring an end to Judah’s trouble with Babylon.
6-10: Zedekiah’s requested Jeremiah to pray. We aren’t told that Jeremiah prayed to the Lord. Before he had a chance, the Lord told him Babylon would return and Jerusalem would be destroyed.
11-15: Jeremiah was placed under arrest and accused of being a traitor. He was heading out of Jerusalem to take care of some personal business in the territory of Benjamin. Because he counseled a surrender to Babylon, Jeremiah was seen as a Babylonian sympathizer.
16-20: How did Jeremiah showed the king that his imprisonment was unjust. He said that if he was in prison for telling the truth, the false prophets should be there too.
John says that the Jews who would not believe in Jesus even after seeing His miracles eventually came to the point where they could not believe (John 12:37, 39). There is a warning also for us: hearing God’s Word but failing to do what it says can make hardened hypocrites of us.
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Pastor Kevin Zellers, Jr.