Jeremiah - The Word of God Prevails
Read Time: 11 Minutes
Jeremiah the prophet's ministry spans the years: of 518 to 477 B.C. (approximately) and he sees the reign of several kings. Josiah believed God and did that which was right in His eyes but after that there were no more believing kings. After Josiah was killed in a battle he shouldn't have been in the neighborhood goes downhill. Reading Jeremiah and Lamentations gives you an idea of what Jeremiah was up against. He continually exhorted the people to return to the Lord and His abundance and protection but after Josiah's reign the people no longer listened. They were tricked into worshipping false gods.
The following is a chronology according to E.W. Bullinger in The Companion Bible from Jehoahaz to the destruction of Judah. Chronologies differ in their assignment of the years but my use of a chronology is to give you an idea of the progression and concurrencies of events, reigns of kings and ministries of prophets.
After Josiah, Jehoahaz his 23-year-old son reigned for three months but was captured by Pharaohnechoh and taken to Egypt where he died. II Kings 23:31 - 33 and II Chronicles 36: 1-2.
Josiah's other son, Eliakim (age 25), was made king and Pharaohnechoh changed his name to Jehoiakim. He reigned 11 years and did evil in the sight of the Lord. Judah was also put to tribute before Egypt. During Jehoiakim's reign Babylon beat back the Egyptians ( 496 B.C.) and Jehoiakim rebelled against Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon. Nebuchadnezzar comes up against Jehoiakim and carried him away to Babylon with the vessels of the house of the Lord. Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego are also taken during the third year of his reign. II Kings 23:34 - 24:5, II Chronicles 36:4 - 8, Jeremiah 25 - 27, 35 & 36, Daniel 1
495 - 424 B.C.
Daniel is influencing the kings of Babylon and even Persia when they take over the Babylonian empire.
Jehoiachin, the son of Jehoiakim, was made king of Judah when he was eight years old and he did evil in the sight of the Lord and only lasted 3 months and 10 days. He was brought to Babylon also along with the mighty and the craftsman of Judah. II Kings 24:6 - 16, II Chronicles 36:9, 10
489 - 477 B.C.
Zedekiah (who was Mattaniah, another son of Josiah) was 21 when he began to reign and was on the throne for 11 years in Jerusalem and did that which was evil in the sight of the Lord. He also rebelled against Nebuchadnezzar who tried to make him turn unto God. Jeremiah told Zedekiah to live peaceably with the Babylonians so that they would survive but he refused to do so. Therefore the Chaldees (a people in southern Babylonia) came up against him and carried him away with the vessels of the house of the Lord and burned the temple. II Kings 24:17 - 25:7 II Chronicles 36:10 - 20, Jeremiah 21 - 28, 32 - 39
488 - 477 B.C.
484 - 462 B.C.
Jerusalem is overthrown and the temple burned. Zedekiah is taken to Babylon.
Jeremiah stood fast on God's Word regardless of the circumstances. He faced much opposition when speaking the Word. Not many believed anymore. One record that I would like to focus on is during the reign of Jehoiakim. The Lord our God is a mighty God. We will see that He did not let Jehoiakim destroy the Word of God.
II Kings 23
:34 And Pharaohnechoh made Eliakim
the son of Josiah
king in the room of Josiah his father,
and turned his name to Jehoiakim,
and took Jehoahaz away:
and he came to Egypt,
and died there.
:35 And Jehoiakim gave the silver and the gold to Pharaoh;
but he taxed the land
to give the money according to the commandment of Pharaoh:
he exacted the silver and the gold of the people of the land,
of every one according to his taxation,
to give it unto Pharaohnechoh.
:36 Jehoiakim was twenty and five years old when he began to reign;
and he reigned eleven years in Jerusalem.
And his mother's name was Zebudah,
the daughter of Pedaiah of Rumah.
:37 And he did that which was evil in the sight of the Lord,
according to all that his fathers had done.
Because Jehoiakim was so disobedient to God he was troubled by Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon. Nebuchadnezzar is also referred to Nebuchadrezzar.
:1 In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah
came Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon unto Jerusalem,
and besieged it.
:2 And the Lord gave Jehoiakim king of Judah into his hand,
with part of the vessels of the house of God:
which he carried into the land of Shinar
to the house of his god;
and he brought the vessels into the treasure house of his god.
[Daniel is carried away to Babylon during this first deportation]
The following record is an example of how reprobate the mind of Jehoiakim had become. Jeremiah had been warning Judah and the kings for years. He had been telling the people to repent and follow after God so He could take care of them but they have refused.
:1 And it came to pass
in the fourth year of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah king of Judah,
that this word came unto Jeremiah from the LORD, saying,
:2 Take thee a roll of a book,
and write therein all the words that I have spoken unto thee against Israel,
and against Judah,
and against all the nations,
from the day I spake unto thee,
from the days of Josiah,
even unto this day.
:3 It may be that the house of Judah will hear all the evil
which I purpose to do unto them;
that they may return every man from his evil way;
that I may forgive their iniquity
and their sin.
:4 Then Jeremiah called Baruch the son of Neriah:
and Baruch wrote from the mouth of Jeremiah
all the words of the LORD,
which he had spoken unto him,
upon a roll of a book.
Baruch is the grandson of Maaseiah (Jeremiah 32:12), who was governor of Jerusalem during Josiah's reign (II Chronicles 34:8), his family ties afforded him the education to be a scribe. He was also the brother of Seraiah (Jeremiah 51:59) who was probably the chief chamberlain (attendant).
:5 And Jeremiah commanded Baruch, saying,
I am shut up;
I cannot go into the house of the LORD:
:6 Therefore go thou,
and read in the roll,
which thou hast written from my mouth,
the words of the LORD
in the ears of the people
in the LORD'S house
upon the fasting day:
and also thou shalt read them in the ears of all Judah
that come out of their cities.
:7 It may be they will present their supplication before the LORD,
and will return every one from his evil way:
for great is the anger
and the fury
that the LORD hath pronounced against this people.
:8 And Baruch the son of Neriah
did according to all that Jeremiah the prophet commanded him,
reading in the book the words of the LORD in the LORD'S house.
:9 And it came to pass in the fifth year of Jehoiakim
the son of Josiah king of Judah,
in the ninth month,
that they proclaimed a fast before the LORD to all the people in Jerusalem,
and to all the people that came from the cities of Judah unto Jerusalem.
One year has passed since the first verse, they weren't supposed to have a feast at this time.
:10 Then read Baruch in the book the words of Jeremiah in the house of the LORD,
in the chamber of Gemariah the son of Shaphan the scribe,
in the higher court,
at the entry of the new gate of the LORD'S house,
in the ears of all the people.
:11 When Michaiah the son of Gemariah,
the son of Shaphan,
had heard out of the book all the words of the LORD,
12 Then he went down into the king's house,
into the scribe's chamber:
and, lo, all the princes sat there,
even Elishama the scribe,
and Delaiah the son of Shemaiah,
and Elnathan the son of Achbor,
and Gemariah the son of Shaphan,
and Zedekiah the son of Hananiah,
and all the princes.
:13 Then Michaiah declared unto them all the words that he had heard,
when Baruch read the book in the ears of the people.
:14 Therefore all the princes sent Jehudi the son of Nethaniah,
the son of Shelemiah,
the son of Cushi,
unto Baruch, saying,
Take in thine hand the roll wherein thou hast read in the ears of the people,
So Baruch the son of Neriah took the roll in his hand,
and came unto them.
The princes wanted the scroll, it is damning evidence.
:15 And they said unto him,
Sit down now,
and read it in our ears.
So Baruch read it in their ears.
:16 Now it came to pass,
when they had heard all the words,
they were afraid both one and other,
and said unto Baruch,
We will surely tell the king of all these words.
They were afraid because they were doing the opposite of the Word of God, they also knew the consequences of disobedience.
:17 And they asked Baruch, saying,
Tell us now,
How didst thou write all these words at his mouth?
:18 Then Baruch answered them,
He pronounced all these words unto me with his mouth,
and I wrote them with ink in the book.
:19 Then said the princes unto Baruch,
Go, hide thee,
thou and Jeremiah;
and let no man know where ye be.
:20 And they went in to the king into the court,
but they laid up the roll in the chamber of Elishama the scribe,
and told all the words in the ears of the king.
:21 So the king [Jehoiakim king of Judah] sent Jehudi to fetch the roll:
and he took it out of Elishama the scribe's chamber.
And Jehudi read it in the ears of the king,
and in the ears of all the princes which stood beside the king.
:22 Now the king sat in the winterhouse in the ninth month:
and there was a fire on the hearth burning before him.
:23 And it came to pass,
that when Jehudi had read three or four leaves,
he cut it with the penknife,
and cast it into the fire that was on the hearth,
until all the roll was consumed in the fire
that was on the hearth.
24 Yet they were not afraid,
nor rent their garments,
neither the king,
nor any of his servants that heard all these words.
Their conscience is seared with the unbelief of their king, they did not have any regard for the Word of God. It is the same today.
:25 Nevertheless Elnathan
had made intercession to the king
that he would not burn the roll:
but he would not hear them.
:26 But the king commanded Jerahmeel the son of Hammelech,
and Seraiah the son of Azriel,
and Shelemiah the son of Abdeel,
to take Baruch the scribe and Jeremiah the prophet:
but the LORD hid them .
:27 Then the word of the LORD came to Jeremiah,
after that the king had burned the roll,
and the words which Baruch wrote at the mouth of Jeremiah, saying,
:28 Take thee again another roll,
and write in it all the former words that were in the first roll,
which Jehoiakim the king of Judah hath burned.
:29 And thou shalt say to Jehoiakim king of Judah,
Thus saith the LORD;
Thou hast burned this roll, saying,
Why hast thou written therein, saying,
The king of Babylon shall certainly come and destroy this land,
and shall cause to cease from thence man and beast?
:30 Therefore thus saith the LORD of Jehoiakim king of Judah;
He shall have none to sit upon the throne of David:
and his dead body shall be cast out in the day to the heat,
and in the night to the frost.
:31 And I will punish him
and his seed
and his servants
for their iniquity;
and I will bring upon them,
and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem,
and upon the men of Judah,
all the evil that I have pronounced against them;
but they hearkened not.
:32 Then took Jeremiah another roll,
and gave it to Baruch the scribe,
the son of Neriah;
who wrote therein from the mouth of Jeremiah
all the words of the book
which Jehoiakim king of Judah had burned in the fire:
and there were added besides unto them many like words.
The Word of God would have kept them from going into captivity, it would have forgiven them for backsliding, it would deliver them from their enemies and sicknesses--the King threw it in the fire. The Word of God is still being hashed to pieces. We all have done it in our ignorance. We think it's bad that the king threw the scroll in the fire but adding to it, deleting from it and changing the Word of God and publishing it as truth is the same thing. You no longer have the truth of God's Word. Satan is always trying to get rid of the Word.
Jehoiakim's unbelief in the one true God caused great trouble for the kingdom of Judah. Because of this God's hands were tied, he had no one to believe him and allow him to defeat Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon. Consequently Nebuchadnezzar carried away 3,023 Judeans (Jeremiah 52:28).
:18 Therefore thus saith the LORD
the son of Josiah king of Judah;
They shall not lament for him, saying,
Ah my brother! or, Ah sister!
they shall not lament for him, saying,
Ah lord! or, Ah his glory!
:19 He shall be buried with the burial of an ass,
drawn and cast forth beyond the gates of Jerusalem.
:20 Go up to Lebanon,
and lift up thy voice in Bashan,
and cry from the passages:
for all thy lovers are destroyed.
:21 I spake unto thee in thy prosperity;
but thou saidst,
I will not hear.
This hath been thy manner from thy youth,
that thou obeyedst not my voice.
:22 The wind shall eat up all thy pastors,
and thy lovers shall go into captivity:
surely then shalt thou be ashamed
and confounded for all thy wickedness.
II Chronicles 36
:8 Now the rest of the acts of Jehoiakim,
and his abominations which he did,
and that which was found in him,
behold, they are written in the book of the kings of Israel and Judah:
and Jehoiachin his son reigned in his stead.
Jeremiah didn't let Jehoiakim's actions destroy his stand for God. God hid him and Baruch when Jehoiakim was after him. God also gave Jeremiah the words again so that the Word was not lost.
We are entrusted with the Word of God. It is up to us to study it and rightly divide it so that we have the true Word of God.
II Timothy 2
:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God,
a workman that needeth not to be ashamed,
rightly dividing the word of truth.