Jeremiah Study – Part 2: Jeremiah and the Last Kings of Israel

The Jeremiah Study from Tabernacle of David Restored, in Edom

Presented by Jaco van der Merwe
The Tabernacle of David Restored in Edom
Produced by Kimberly Rogers Brown – The Messianic Message

 

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Jeremiah Study Part-2 Lesson-1 Jeremiah and the Last Kings of Israel.pdf
Jeremiah Study Table-3 King Josiah and his Sons.pdf

DISCLAIMER! WHEN WE SAY THE WORD “JEWS” or “THE JEWS”, WE MEAN THE RELIGIOUS JEWS, THE CHABAD CABAL AND OTHER JEWISH LEADERSHIP AND THOSE FROM THE HOUSE OF JUDAH WHO SUBSCRIBE TO CHABAD’S EVIL DOCTRINES. I DO NOT MEAN CULTURAL JEWS OR ALL JEWISH PEOPLE!

 

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Listen to the Tuesday Midrash

 

I want to quote some Scripture before we start:

Mat 23:8-10 MJKV But you must not be called Rabbi, for One is your teacher, Christ, and you are all brothers. And call no one your father on the earth, for One is your Father in Heaven. Nor be called teachers, for One is your Teacher, even Christ. 

2Ti 3:13-17 MKJV But evil men and seducers will go forward to worse, deceiving and being deceived. But continue in the things that you have learned and have been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them, and that from a babe you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise to salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is God-breathed, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be perfected, thoroughly furnished to every good work.

Col 2:8-12 MKJV Beware lest anyone rob you through philosophy and vain deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the elements of the world, and not according to Christ. For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily. And you are complete in Him, who is the Head of all principality and power, in whom also you are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ, buried with Him in baptism, in whom also you were raised through the faith of the working of God, raising Him from the dead.

 

Jeremiah Study – Part 2: Jeremiah and the Last Kings of Israel
2Kings 22 – 25 & 2Chronicles 34 – 36 including the prophets of those Times

 

Last week we finished The History of the Kings, Part 1 of the Jerimiah study. This week we will start Part 2 of our study and we will name it Jeremiah and the last Kings of Israel. In this study we will look at King Josiah and his sons who were the last Kings on the throne in Jerusalem. The book of 2nd Kings and 2nd Chronicles tell us the story of King Josiah and how he cleaned up all Israel from idolatry. All Israel, meaning even the lands of the Tribes of Manasseh, Ephraim, Simeon and as far North as Naphtali. These books also tell us the last days of Israel and the last descendants of King David on the throne of Israel in Jerusalem.

The prophet Jeremiah and Ezekiel explain to us the condition of the land and the hearts of the people. We will find that even when Israel had a righteous King, they did not want to follow after Yahweh. They still walked in the ways of Egypt and Assyria. We will bring in Isaiah’s prophecies and instructions about this, as well as the consequences promised if Israel continue to do so. These patterns kept repeating and give us more understanding of the hearts of the Israelites and why, even by the time Yeshua came to visit His people, they still had this double mindedness of following the God of Abraham.

Why do I say Israel and not Judah? Yahweh’s people are always Israel – 12 Tribes and not just one of the 2 Houses as religion is trying to tell us through replacement Theology. In Judaism they tell us that Israel is only the tribes of Judah, Benjamin, Simeon and Levy. In Christianity, not knowing better or understanding that Paul was sent to gather those people of Israel who was scattered into the Nations, call themselves a new creation in Christ. They are actually the Northern lost tribes who are calling themselves Israel, who replaced “the Jews” as Yahweh’s people. Then we have the Messianic and Hebrew Roots people that say that Yahweh have 2 sets of people named Ephraim and Judah. The Jews who are blinded in part and do not have Yeshua, and the Christians, who are in fact Ephraim, who are blinded in part and do not understand that they should keep the Torah. These views are formed based on incomplete information based on bits and pieces of Scripture, puzzled together by only focusing on the verses that they like and disregarding the Scriptures which they don’t like.

Reading through the Gospel of John and the first 5 Chapters of the book of Acts should make it very clear that there is no Israel without Yeshua. Studying the Torah, we know that there is and always was forgiveness for sin because of ignorance, so not all Christians are condemned for not keeping the Laws of Yahweh, but the book of Revelation makes it very clear that only the Remnant who have both the Testimony of Messiah as well as keep the Torah, will make it through the Tribulation and reign and rule with Yeshua as the King of Israel.

The Remnant of Israel was kept within the House of David, which became know as “the Jews” due to foreign invasion and political control. The concept as “the Jews” did not exist till after the Babylonian captivity and this stereotype stayed with them up until today. (We will discuss why this happened when we focus on Jeremiah chapter 42-44 during Part 3 of our Study.)

It is the remnant of Israel – 12 Tribes that accepted Yeshua as the Messiah, and walked out of the House of Judah to follow after Yeshua, who are the King and Messiah of Israel, restoring the House of Israel to what it was intended to be – a light to the Nations. We find this story in the book of the Acts of the Apostles, together with this Gospel of Luke, and with the other 3 Gospels supporting what Luke wrote in his Gospel of Messiah. Everything Paul wrote in his letters was around was and about the circumstances created because of the believers coming out of Judaism and Paganism (which the Bible calls Ba’al worship) to learn more about and to follow the God of Abraham, Isaack and Israel.

The Book of Jeremiah forms the basis of the understanding of the Gospel of John and Paul’s letters in the New Testament as a whole. It tells us how it came to be that Yeshua spoke of “the lost tribes of Israel” as well as to define what this means. We learn in Jeremiah that Yahweh broke the covenant with Judah as well, and said that He would scatter them also, like he did with the House of Ephraim.

We learn about “the New Covenant”, also referred to as a “renewed Covenant” and depending of how you read the context, both terms can be either right or wrong. We need Paul’s input on this to clearly understand what this “New/Renewed Covenant” really means. Abraham is mentioned several places in the new Testament implying that this new covenant is a restoration back to Abraham and not so much to Moses and mount Sinai. We will also look into this during part 3 of our Jeremiah study, but it is worth mentioning now, because again – we have to read all scripture and understand it within its chronology to know the full extension of what Yahweh meant when he had the Prophets pen down what He wanted us to understand.

The Prophets Zephaniah and Nahum also prophesied during the time of King Josiah, together with Jeremiah. The book of Daniel starts with the 1st attack of the Babylonians during the time of King Jehoiakim’s 3rd year of being King. Ezekiel was taken captive together with King Jehoiachin, 3 months after he took the throne in Jerusalem, about 8 years later.

I am going to suggest a possible chronology between the interaction of the books of the Kings and the books of Jeremiah and Ezekiel. In this study we will focus more on the narrative of what happened during the lives of Jeremiah and the Kings of Judah, rather than the metaphors and parables given. I will not claim my chronology to be absolutely correct or even correct at all. In the bigger picture of things it will not change anything about the meaning of scripture. The idea is to give some sense of what happened during the time of the last Kings of Judah.

I need to mention that it is vital for understanding that you should have listened to all 9 lessons of Part 1 on the History of the Kings. All scriptures are connected and the understanding lays in the chronology of the History of Israel. During Part 1 I mentioned several principles as well as point the origin out of Yahweh’s anger during the times of King Ahab and Jezebel. Then this being repeated with King Ahaz and Manasseh. I also connected the Prophets to where they fit in with the Kings of Israel. Our understanding of Scripture is within the context of the History in which they were written, and if we do not know this History, we will not understand or grasp scripture fully in the context of which it was written.

Yahweh chose a nation for himself out of the descendants of Abraham. He never changed His character and He never changed His mind about Abraham. He made a promise to Abraham which He never changed. He might have made some alterations on how He would keep this promise made to Abraham, but regarding His people Israel, the work of His hands, He intends to finish it. Following through the Chronology of the History – His Story – of Israel, I will be able to show who this People of Israel is and why Yahweh had to send His Son, whom He named Yeshua, to come die for the sins of Israel. Also, to grasp the full story and understanding that happened during the times of Jeremiah and Ezekiel, it really helps to know what happened to Yahweh’s people that led up to the events that played out during the fall of the House of Judah and the removal of her Kings from the Throne in Jerusalem.

 

 

The Last Kings of Judah Prophets
Josiah King Josiah, last Righteous King of Israel. Jeremiah Zephaniah Nahum
Shallum (Jehoahaz) Son of King Josiah, exiled to Egypt. Jeremiah
Jehoiakim (Eliakim) Son of King Josiah, was killed outside Jerusalem. Jeremiah Daniel
Jehoiachin (Coniah/Jeconiah) Son of King Jehoiakim, exiled to Babylon. Jeremiah Ezekiel Daniel
Zedekiah (Mattaniah) Son of King Josiah, died in Babylon. Ezekiel Daniel Haggai Zechariah

 

 

Jeremiah Study – Jeremiah and the Last Kings of Israel – Part 2 Lesson 1

Let us read Isaiah 28:9-13 before we start

Isa 28:9-13 MKJV Whom shall He teach knowledge? And whom shall He make to understand doctrine? Those weaned from the milk and drawn from the breasts. For precept must be on precept, precept on precept; line on line, line on line; here a little, there a little; for with stammering lips and another tongue He will speak to this people. To whom He said, this is the rest; cause the weary to rest; and this is the refreshing.

Yet they were not willing to hear. But the Word of Jehovah was to them precept on precept, precept on precept; line on line, line on line; here a little, there a little; that they might go, and fall backward, and be broken and snared and taken.

 

Introduction

Solomon’s son, Rehoboam became King after him. Solomon broke Yahweh’s commandment to “not marry the daughters of the sons of the surrounding nations”, and in his old age, they caused his heart to move away from Yahweh and he started to worship Ba’al and Asherah. So, when Rehoboam became king, Yahweh caused the Kingdom to be split into 2 parts, the Northern house of Israel with 10 Tribes, and the Southern House of Judah with 2 Tribes.

Yahweh did not take away the throne from Rehoboam, because of a promise that He made to King David after David offered to build Yahweh a House for the Ark of the Covenant. For Yahweh made a promise that somebody from a future generation from the seed of David, one of his descendants, will build a House for Yahweh and that this House as well as the throne of the one building this house, will stand forever. We call this “seed” of David, King Messiah.  David wrote about him in the Psalms, specifically Psalm 110.

Psa 110:1 MKJV A Psalm of David. Jehovah said to my Lord, Sit at My right hand until I place Your enemies as Your footstool.
Psa 110:2 MKJV Jehovah shall send the rod of Your strength out of Zion; rule in the midst of Your enemies.

Psa 110:3 MKJV Your people shall be willing in the day of Your power, in holy adornment from the womb of the morning: You have the dew of Your youth.
Psa 110:4 MKJV Jehovah has sworn, and will not repent, You are a priest forever after the order of Melchizedek.
Psa 110:5 MKJV The Lord at Your right hand shall strike through kings in the day of His wrath.
Psa 110:6 MKJV He shall judge among the nations, He shall fill them with dead bodies; He shall shatter heads over much of the earth.
Psa 110:7 MKJV He shall drink of the brook in the way; therefore He shall lift up the head.

This specific Psalm was quoted 2ce in the Gospels, in Luke 20:42, and Mar 12:36, and in Acts chapter 2:34 by Peter when he explained to the people of Judah that Yeshua was the King Messiah whom they were waiting for.

Because of the sin of King Solomon, the kingdom was again split into 2 houses. The 12 Tribes were united under King Saul. When Saul disobeyed Yahweh, his Kingdom was split into the 2 Houses. King David ruled Judea from Hebron for 7 years and 6 months before Yahweh reunited the 2 Houses under King David. David had to fight a couple of wars to get this done. During the time of David’s son Absalom, the Kingdom of Israel again was split into the 2 Houses and David had to flee into the wilderness. After Absalom died, the Tribes again was reunited as one kingdom.

If we have these repeating patterns, then we know that the seed of David, promised by Yahweh, again have to unite the 2 Houses into 1 Kingdom. During our study through the Kings, this almost happened several times.

King Solomon received a United Kingdom and He build the Temple. He was the 1st King that qualified to have been the promised King Messiah. In his old age, his many wives had his heart turn away from Yahweh and the Kingdom of Israel was split back into the 2 Houses as it were during the times of the Houses of Saul and David.

King Jehoshaphat made an Alliance with King Ahab, by having his son marry the daughter of Jezebel, and Athaliah became the Queen of Judah. This had the possibility to unite the 2 Houses through marriage, but both houses were rejecting Yahweh and were worshipping Ba’al and Asherah. Jehu was sent by Yahweh and killed both the Kings of Judah and Israel, and was the only King ruling from Samaria after this, but he chose to walk in the sins of Jeroboam. He did not even attempt to reunite the 2 Houses.

King Uzziah received a broken kingdom and manage to restore the Kingdom of Judah after Yahweh punished his father for worshipping the gods of the Edomites. He was a well blessed King, but he missed his opportunity to qualify as King Messiah when he went into the Temple and tried to burn incense to Yahweh. Yahweh struck him with leprosy in the forehead.

Then came King Hezekiah. When King Hosea of Israel was taken captive by the Assyrians, King Hezekiah was the only king left in Israel and he was a descendant of King David. The Temple was desecrated by his father, King Ahaz. So, King Hezekiah managed to repair the Temple and restore the feasts back to how it were during the time of King David. He also managed to Unite those who were still left from the house of Ephraim, to the Throne in Jerusalem. He was the 1st King of the descendants of King David that could actually claim the position of being king Messiah, except that he became very ill and laid on his death bed when the Assyrians came against Jerusalem, so he was not able to fulfil the position of a conquering King.

Our Next King, who was more righteous than any of those before him was King Josiah. King Josiah was actually prophesied about during the time of King Jeroboam. He was to destroy the idol worship of the Northern tribes of Israel and bring an end to the golden calf worship cult, set up by King Jeroboam.

1Ki 13:1 MKJV And behold, a man of God came out of Judah, by the Word of Jehovah, to Bethel. And Jeroboam stood by the altar to burn incense.
1Ki 13:2 MKJV And he cried against the altar in the Word of Jehovah and said, O, altar, altar, so says Jehovah. Behold, a son shall be born to the house of David, Josiah by name, and on you he shall offer the priests of the high places who burn incense on you, and men’s bones shall be burned on you.
1Ki 13:3 MKJV And he gave a sign the same day, saying, This is the sign which Jehovah has spoken. Behold, the altar shall be torn apart, and the ashes that are on it shall be poured out.
1Ki 13:4 MKJV And it happened when King Jeroboam heard the saying of the man of God who had cried against the altar in Bethel, he put forth his hand from the altar, saying, Lay hold on him! And his hand, which he put forth against him withered up so that he could not pull it in again to himself.

1Ki 13:5 MKJV The altar also was torn apart, and the ashes poured out from the altar according to the sign which the man of God had given by the Word of Jehovah.
1Ki 13:6 MKJV And the king answered and said to the man of God, Seek now the face of Jehovah your God, and pray for me, and my hand may be given back to me again. And the man of God prayed to Jehovah, and the king’s hand was given back to him again, and became as at the beginning.

 

 

King Josiah reign in Jerusalem

King Manasseh was the son of King Hezekiah and the Grandfather of King Josiah. Josiah’s father ruled only for 2 years. He was a wicked King that walked in the evil ways of King Manasseh from before his repentance. So, his servants killed him. Then the people of the land killed those involved with the murder of King Amon, and they made Josiah, his son, the King in Jerusalem.

King Josiah was 8 years old when he became king and started to reign and he ruled for 31 years from Jerusalem. He walked in all the ways that his father, King David did and he did not turn to the right or to the left from the ways of Yahweh.

By the age of 16, Josiah started to seek after Yahweh to learn more about His ways. By his 20th year he started to clean Judah and Jerusalem from the high places and Asherah poles, and destroy the molten images that were dedicated to the hosts of the heavens. He did not stop in the lands of Judah, but he did the same in the cities of Simeon in the south and to the cities of Naphtali in the far north. He also did the same in the cities of Manasseh which stretched to the East and west of Israel. 

When Josiah was 21 years old, Yahweh called Jeremiah. Jeremiah was the son of Hilkiah, who was the High Priest of that time. We will learn from the opening visions of Jeremiah that he was supposed to be the next High Priest to be in Yahweh’s Temple, but Yahweh called him out for a different task. He was to be a prophet to call the House of Israel back to repentance.

Jeremiah was prophesying in Jerusalem and to the mountains of the North in the lands of the house of Ephraim, that Israel should repent and return to Yahweh. He was proclaiming their sins against them and told them that Yahweh would forgive them if they would just confess and repent. He also called the sins of Jerusalem and Judah out against them and told them to return to Yahweh.

At the age of 26, Josiah sent his advisors to Hilkiah the High Priest to make arrangements for the restoration of Yahweh’s Temple. Now, by this time the Temple received tithings from the people of Israel and these tithing was to be used to do the Temple restorations. The Temple was in such a condition that it could not be used for service to Yahweh because of what King Manasseh did during his 55 years of being king.

With the cleaning up of the Temple, Hilkiah the High Priest found the book of the Law hidden inside. So, he gave it to Shaphan, the scribe to the King, who read it. Then when Shaphan brough report on the progress of the Temple repairs, he informed the King about the book that was found and read it to King Josiah.

It was during these times that the prophet Zephaniah prophesied and he brough prophecy of the restoration of Jerusalem and the salvation of the people of Israel. The prophecies of Jeremiah and Zephaniah would have inspired King Josiah to clean the land of Idolatry, and to restore the Kingdom of Israel back to Yahweh, just as King David did during his reign.

Shaphan read the words of the Book of the Law to King Josiah, and when he heard the words written in the Law, he understood the message and tore his clothes. It would be around this time that Jeremiah received the prophecy of the destruction coming from the North. This prophecy brought great anguish over Jeremiah, just as the Book of the Law brought anguish over King Josiah. So, King Josiah sent his advisors to go and see Huldah the prophetess about the writings in the Law that speaks about the destruction if the covenant of Yahweh was broken.

Huldah was the wife of Shallum, who was the keeper of the robes of the priests. This means that Shallum was a Levite and that Huldah was the wife of a Levy. It is even possible that Shallum was the uncle of Jeremiah from who’s son Jeremiah will buy the field in Anathoth, so to redeem it.

Yahweh spoke to Huldah, the prophetess and told her that because of all the evil that the people did by forsaking Him, and burning incense to other gods, that all the curses that was written in the book of the Law shall come to pass and that His wrath would not be quenched. But because King Josiah’s heart was tender towards Yahweh, it shall not happen while he was still alive, but will come to pass after he joined his fathers peacefully in the grave.

This message from Huldah the prophetess did not discourage King Josiah. Every time through the History of Jerusalem, Yahweh forgave their sins when they return to Him. So Josiah called all the men of Judah, the elders, the Levites the priests everybody to come and listen to the words of the Covenant which was found in the Temple.

The Book of the Law was the book that was placed outside of the Ark of the Covenant as a witness against Israel if they should fail to uphold the covenant made by their fathers when they entered into the land of Israel. This was before the time of the Judges when Joshua took the Israelites over the Jordan to possess the land of the Canaanites. The book of the Covenant was the book inside the Ark of the Covenant and was the covenant that Yahweh made with Israel so that they could be His people and He would be their God. The Book of the Law was the conditions that had to be kept for the covenant to keep standing.

King Josiah read the book of the covenant to all the people who gathered in Jerusalem. This would include the Book of the Law, which basically would be all of the Torah as we have it today. He read all of the Covenant to the people and he had the Priests and the Levites clean out the Temple of all the idolatry that was placed there by King Manasseh. He also killed all those who burned incense to Ba’al, to the sun and the moon and the hosts of the heavens.

He brought out the priests from the cities of Judah and defiled the High places where they burned incense to Yahweh. Incense was only to be burned at the Temple and no ware else in the Kingdom. Josiah went through the land of Israel and did the same that he did in Judea. In Bethel, where Jeroboam made Israel to sin with the golden calf worship, Josiah destroyed the Altar that was build by Jeroboam and destroyed the high places, just as the prophet told Jeroboam. He also removed the bones from the tombs as the prophet predicted and burned it with the high places and the Altar in Bethel. He also killed all the Priests of the High Places in the cities of Samaria before he returned back to Jerusalem.

The next thing King Josiah did was the restoration of the Passover. He commanded the people to keep the Passover as it was written in the book of the Covenant. This all happened during the year that King Josiah was 26 years old. He cleaned up all the land of Israel of Idolatry and removed the High places and commanded the people to do to Passover and he restored the covenant of Yahweh with the people. And all the days of King Josiah he did not depart from worshipping Yahweh and he made all the people present in Israel to serve Yahweh. This happened in the 18th year of the reign of King Josiah.

But Yahweh did not turn away from the heat of His wrath and He said that He will remove Judah as He did with Israel and that He would cast off Jerusalem because of the sins of the people.

It was during the days of Josiah that the Assyrians lost their grip on the lands that they controlled. Babylon was making war with them on the one side and Egypt was against them on the other side. Pharaoh-Neco raised up an army and was traveling to Carchemish by the Euphrates. This was about 13 years after the events of reformation in Israel by King Josiah. During these times the prophet Nahum was prophesying the destruction of Nineveh, which was the capital of Assyria. Egypt was assisting with the fall of Assyria. Pharaoh-Neco warned Josiah that he should not interfere, but he disguised himself so that he could go to war against Egypt. Josiah took his army to attack Pharaoh-Neco as the armies of Egypt were passing through the lands of Israel. This was not from Yahweh and King Josiah was killed by an Egyptian arrow and he was brought back to Jerusalem where he was buried.

There were no King like king Josiah before him and after him, who turned to Yahweh with all his heart and with all his soul according to the Torah of Moses (Book of the Covenant and the book of the Law, for it is all Torah.) But yet, Josiah died in a battle just like any unrighteous person would, being disobedient to Yahweh. I believe that this is a good place to look at the writing of the prophet Habakkuk, since this incident was what his complaint against Yahweh was all about. The righteous gets punished and the unrighteous seems to get away.

 

King Jehoahaz (Shallum) made king in Jerusalem

After the death of King Josiah, the people made Jehoahaz king in his place. Jehoahaz was also called Shallum in 1st Chronicles Chapter 3 and he was the youngest of the sons of Josiah. He did evil in the sight of Yahweh and after 3 months, Pharaoh-Neco came to Jerusalem and took him into exile to Egypt.

This would be a good place for Jeremiah to tell the people of Israel that they broke the covenant of Yahweh and that destruction to the House of Judah was coming. Jeremiah, just like Habakkuk complained about the wicked being prosperous while the righteous suffer.

 

Jehoiakim (Eliakim) Reigned in Jerusalem

Pharaoh-Neco made Eliakim the brother of Jehoahaz King in Jerusalem and changed his name to Jehoiakim. He also placed a heavy tax on the people of Israel, each man according to his worth. Jehoiakim was 25 years old when he became King in Jerusalem and was a Vassal King to Pharaoh-Neco because of what happened with King Josiah who attacked Egypt when they went to war against the Assyrians.

Jehoiakim ruled for 11 years and he walked Evil toward Yahweh and not like his father, King Josiah did. Josiah was a righteous king, but his people only followed after him because he forced it down on them. When he died, the people in the land were quick to revert back to their old ways. Jeremiah started to prophecy against Jerusalem and the land of Israel because of the wickedness of their hearts.

In the beginning of the reign of Jehoiakim, Jeremiah made bonds and Yokes for himself, by the words of Yahweh, and sent these yokes to the surrounding nations of Israel, telling them that Babylon will come and conquer them all. Jeremiah walked with these bonds during the time of Jehoiakim and later again during the time when Zedekiah was king so to bring the message that Yahweh said that all Israel and the surrounding nations would become servants to Babylon.

Yahweh send Jeremiah to the gate of the Temple where he called the people out for their sins. When the rulers heard about this they sent for Jeremiah and tried to kill him. Yahweh also sent Jeremiah to the Kings House to sent them a message regarding the sons of Josiah. Shallum, who was also called Jehoahaz was to die in Egypt where he was exiled to and he would not return back to Jerusalem. Jehoiakim was to die outside Jerusalem and would be buried like a donkey and nobody would mourn over him. His son, Jeconiah was to be taken captive to Babylon where he would live out all the years of his life. He would be taken together with his mother. So, the mighty men of Josiah were sent to kill Jeremiah, but the hand of Ahikam, the son of Shaphan was with Jeremiah and he prevented that Jeremiah was handed over to the guard to be killed.

From here on forward Jeremiah was not regarded as very popular amongst his people. Yahweh gave Jeremiah prophecies about the 70 years of captivity. He showed Jeremiah the parable of the ruined Loincloth and he also told Jeremiah that he will fill all the people of the land, including the rulers with drunkenness. Yahweh will have no more pity on the people of Jerusalem.

In the 3rd year of the rule of King Jehoiakim, Nebuchadnezzar attacked Jerusalem and Yahweh gave Jehoiakim, King of Judah into his hand. He took away many of the vessels and riches that we in the House of Yahweh and took it to Shinar to the house of his own god. He also took some of the sons of Israel and of the King’s seed and its rulers. This was the time that Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah was taken into exile to Babylon.

In the 4th year, Yahweh told Jeremiah to write all the prophecies and words that He gave him on a scroll. Jeremiah told Baruch this and he became a scribe to Jeremiah to write down all the words that Yahweh gave him against Judah and Jerusalem. This was a time that Jeremiah was locked up and he could not go himself to the House of Yahweh to read the scroll, so Baruch went in the 5th year of King Jehoiakim to read the words of Yahweh to the people and to bring the scroll to the King. When the King and his rulers with him heard the words of the scroll, King Jehoiakim burned it the fire and did not fear the words of Yahweh. So, Yahweh told Jeremiah to take another scroll and write all the words again. In this scroll would be all the prophecies, parables and messages to the surrounding nations that Yahweh spoke to Jeremiah since he started to prophecy, written down. I believe it is safe to say that Baruch kept this scroll safe and may even have added the rest of the prophecies given to Jeremiah which were prophesied up until the time of the end of King Zedekiah.

Yahweh send another message to Jehoiakim and told him that he would die by the hands of the Babylonians. And that he shall not have a descendant on the throne. Babylon will for certain come against Jerusalem and destroy it. Yahweh also told Jeremiah of the coming Famine, Pestilence and the destruction by the sword and also told Jeremiah not to pray for these people any more. Jeremiah was also not to take a wife since his children will die during the times of the coming wrath of Yahweh.

In the 6th year of Jehoiakim, he rebelled against Babylon and conspired with Egypt. According to History, Babylon had a great war with Egypt and it took several years until Nebuchadnezzar could recover and come back to go after Jehoiakim. Never the less, in the 11th year, Yahweh sent the troop of the Chaldeans, Syrians, Moabites and the Ammonites against Jerusalem to destroy it just like the message of Jeremiah said.

Jehoiakim did evil in the sight of Yahweh and he was not humbled before Jeremiah the prophet.  Nebuchadnezzar made Jehoiakim swore by Yahweh that he would be a loyal Vassal to Babylon, but he broke his word and rebelled. So Nebuchadnezzar took him away in bonds and carried him away to Babylon. Between the Books of Kings and Chronicles, it is not very clear what happened to Jehoiakim, but it is believed that he died on his way to Babylon, as Jeremiah said, that he would die and be buried like a donkey and nobody will be there to morn for his death.

 

Jehoiachin Reign in Jerusalem

Jehoiachin, the son of Jehoiakim was 18 years old when he took the throne in Jerusalem. It was custom in those days that a prince ruled together with his father. So, from the time that Jehoiachin was 8 years old, he was involved with the matters of the Kingdom. Jehoiachin reigned for 3 months and 10 days. Jeremiah was sent to King Jehoiachin to tell him that if he does not humble himself against Yahweh that he and his mother will also go into Exile to Babylon. But he also did not listen to Jeremiah.

And again Nebuchadnezzar came against Jerusalem and besieged it. Jehoiachin and his mother, and his servants, and his leaders and his eunuchs, all went out and was taken captive by the king of Babylon. He also carried out all the treasure out of the Temple of Yahweh and also out of the Kings house. He took away all the leaders and the mighty men of war, everyone that could be of benefit to the King of Babylon was taken away. The craftsmen and the smiths, all but the poorest sort of people of the land was taken.

Ezekiel was also taken captive during this time. Ezekiel wrote 13 scrolls that was dated since this captivity took place. Mordecai in the book of Ester was also taken into captivity during this time. This was still 11 years before the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple happened.

 

King Zedekiah, the last King of Israel

The King of Babylon made Mattaniah, the King over Jerusalem and changed his name to Zedekiah. He was the brother of Jehoiachin and was 21 years old when he started to reign. He reigned for 11 years in Jerusalem and he also did evil in the sight of Yahweh just as Jehoiakim did. He listened to the false prophecies of the prophets in Jerusalem and also rebelled against the King of Babylon. He also did not listen to Jeremiah. It was because of the anger of Yahweh that He caused Zedekiah not to listen to Jeremiah and caused him to rebel against Babylon.

Yahweh also send messengers to the Temple to warn the priests and the people of Jerusalem, but they were laughed at and nobody listened to them and they continued to defile the Temple. Jeremiah again reminded the people and King Zedekiah of the Joke of Babylon, but Hananiah assured them that Jeremiah was mistaken and he took the yoke from Jeremiah and broke it. Hananiah also told the people that it was said to him by Yahweh that Jehoiachin and the other captives would be returned from Babylon and that all will be will, making Jeremiah a liar before the people. The People chose to rather listen to the message they liked rather than to the message that they did not.

Yahweh was done with this people, and He started to give Jeremiah visions of the destruction of Judah and of a restoration of Israel. (This would-be Israel 12-Tribes and should not be mistaken with the replacement Theology of a restoration of a 10 Tribe or even Christian congregation.) Yahweh gave Jeremiah the Vision of the 2 baskets of figs. One basket with good figs and the other with rotten figs, so bad that it could not be used. Yahweh also gave Jeremiah the parable of the Potter and the clay and explained to Jeremiah that He was the potter and the Israel was the clay pot and that he will destroy this clay pot and make a new one. Then Yahweh had Jeremiah write a letter to the Exiles that were in Babylon giving them good news of a Restoration coming.

In the 4th year of King Zedekiah, he was summoned to appear before Nebuchadnezzar in Babylon, and Jeremiah sent a letter with the prophecy of the destruction of Babylon to Nebuchadnezzar and also the letter of the good hope to those in Exile. Scripture does not tell us who received these letters but for the purpose of the story, we can say that Daniel received the one of destruction of Babylon, since he was in the courts of Nebuchadnezzar and ended up as the messenger that caused him to repent and become a servant of Yahweh. The other letter would have gone to Ezekiel since he was dealing with the elders that were taken captive to Babylon.

In the 5th year of the captivity of Jehoiachin, this was also the 5th year of the reign of Zedekiah, Yahweh started to show Ezekiel about the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple.

In the 6th year after the captivity of Jehoiachin, Yahweh gave Ezekiel a vision of the abominations in the House of Yahweh. Yahweh also gave him the vision that shows how the Glory of Yahweh leaved the Temple and that the Temple was being set up to be destroyed. Ezekiel also Symbolized the captivity of Judah and played it out before the people that were in captivity with him.

Ezekiel had to deal with false prophet in Babylon, just like Jeremiah was dealing with false prophets in Jerusalem. Jeremiah was in the midst of the destruction, while Ezekiel was in Babylon explain to the exiles what was happening and why it was happening. Just like the prophet Hosea was the commentary of Yahweh on the destruction on the House of Israel, so Ezekiel is now giving us the commentary of Yahweh of why the destruction was coming over Jerusalem and the Temple.

In the 7th year of the captivity of Jehoiachin, which would be the 7th year of Zedekiah, Ezekiel shares with the exiled about the continuous rebellion of Israel since Yahweh brought them from Egypt. But as the nature of Yahweh is, he always gave a ray of hope and Ezekiel shared with the Exiled that Israel will again be restored…. and then he continues with more messages of destruction.

Jeremiah also gave messages to the people in Jerusalem and told them that they would go into exile, and when they do, they should not worship God like the nations do, by worshipping the works of their hands.

In the 9th year, in the 10th of the month in the tenth month of the reign of Zedekiah, Nebuchadnezzar, King of Babylon came against Jerusalem with all his armies and besieged the fortified cities of Judah that was left. At the same time, Yahweh spoke to Ezekiel and gave him the reason for the siege on Jerusalem. It was also the time that Ezekiel’s wife died and Yahweh told him not to grieve for her.

When Babylon came against Jerusalem, Zedekiah sent some of the Levites to Jeremiah to enquire if Yahweh will perhaps save them from the Babylonians. The replay was that it was not the Babylonians that came against Judah, but Yahweh Himself was against them and that the armies of the Chaldeans was sent by Him and that the destruction of Judah and Jerusalem was at hand.

In the 10th year, in the 10th month of the captivity of Jehoiachin, which will also be about the same time that Zedekiah was King in Jerusalem, Yahweh told Ezekiel to prophecy against Egypt. This was the time that Egypt thought it a good idea to attack Babylon while they were besieging Judah. If they could defeat the armies of Babylon, then they can take Jerusalem back for themselves. So, the armies of Babylon withdraw from Jerusalem and defended themselves against Egypt.

During this time, Yahweh sent Jeremiah again to King Zedekiah and told him that Jerusalem would fall to Babylon and that Zedekiah will be taken captive. This happened just after Zedekiah cut a covenant with all his people to proclaim liberty to the Hebrew slave men and women and to let them go free. This gives an indication that it was a Sabbatical year in which the Hebrew servants were to go free. It could also be that Zedekiah was grateful and thought that everything is over now because the Babylonians had withdrawn from Jerusalem and he thought to proclaim liberty to the slaves as good faith. What ever the case may be, the Rulers changed their minds and they went again and took the released slaves back into captivity. So, Yahweh sent Jeremiah back to Zedekiah and reminded him of the Torah commandment about the release of Hebrew servants after 6 years of service. So, because of this, Yahweh will send the armies of Babylon back to finish what they started after they defeat the Egyptians.

Jeremiah wanted to leave the city of Jerusalem to go to the land of Benjamin because of a portion that he was to receive from the midst of the people. And as he was about to leave the city to go through the gate of Benjamin, Jeremiah was seized and accused of wanting to surrender to the Chaldeans. When Jeremiah was brought to the rulers, they did not believe his story of going to receive land during these times and they structed him and threw him into a pit that was in the house of the scribe with the name of Jonathan. Zedekiah most probably heard about this and was confused. Why would Jeremiah want to go claim land if the Chaldeans were going to return to destroy Jerusalem? So Zedekiah sent for Jeremiah and removed him from the pit and had him taken to his house to enquire more about this. So Jeremiah replied to Zedekiah and told him to go call those prophets that said everything were going to be fine. So, Zedekiah made arrangements for Jeremiah to be locked up in the court of the prison, rather than to be taken back to the pit.

While Jeremiah was locked up, Yahweh gave him a prophecy that his cousin Hanameel, the son of Shallum who was the uncle of Jeremiah, and most probably also the husband to the prophetess Huldah, will come to sell to Jeremiah a piece of land. And just as Yahweh told Jeremiah, Hanameel came to him, while he was locked up and told him that there was a piece of land in Anathoth, in the land of Benjamin, and that Jeremiah had the right to redeem it. Hanameel made the claim that he was sent by Yahweh and that Jeremiah must buy the land to prove this to be so, so Jeremiah bought the land. This was a sign that Yahweh gave, that He will again restore Israel back into their own land.

Again Zedekiah called for Jeremiah and asked him what he could do to be saved from this wrath of Yahweh. So, Jeremiah told him to surrender to the Chaldeans, and to submit to their authority, then they would not burn down the city and his life, together with those of his household, would be spared. But Zedekiah was afraid of those who was already taken captive by that Chaldeans. Jeremiah urged him to listen to the voice of Yahweh, but Zedekiah did not. Jeremiah stayed in the court of the prison until the Chaldeans returned and finished their siege.

In the 11th year, in the 1st month, in the 17th of the month of the capture of Jehoiachin, which would be about the same time of how long Zedekiah was king in Jerusalem, Yahweh sent again to Ezekiel to prophecy against Egypt. Egypt strength was broken and Babylon either already defeated them or they were about to defeat them. This prophecy was about the destruction of Egypt as a powerful nation. About 16 years after this prophecy, Ezekiel again spoke a prophecy against Egypt, and I believe it is safe to say, that it was either again, just before Babylon attacked them or during an attack that was happening by then, just like Ezekiel was prophesying against Jerusalem and Egypt on previous occasions while Babylon was making war against them.

In the 12th year, in the 10th of the month, in the 5th month of their capture, a messenger came to Ezekiel and told him that Jerusalem was stricken. In the 5th month, in the 7th of the month, in the 12th year (which was the 19th year since Nebuchadnezzar 1st attacked Jerusalem and took Daniel and his friends’ captive) Jerusalem and the Temple was burned with fire. In the 11th year of Zedekiah, in the 4th month, in the 9th of the month, the Chaldeans broke through the defences of Jerusalem, and Zedekiah fled from the city at night, by the way of the King’s garden. Zedekiah was then captured by the Chaldean army and taken to Babylon.

Jeremiah was released from prison and was entrusted to Gedaliah, who was chosen as a Governor by the Babylonians to take care of the lands of Israel, that now belonged to Babylon.

This is where I am going to end this story. This was a long reading with a lot of information. Do not be concerned if you did not follow all of it. This was only an introduction and a summation, and we will be going through the Scriptures pertaining to this in the coming weeks.

Please join us next week when we start to read the Bible and discuss all that happened during the time of the prophet Jeremiah and his interaction with the last Kings of Israel.

 

Author: Jaco Van Der Merwe

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