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Bible: What Does Jeremiah 26-7 Teach Us About the Word of God and Prophecy?
The Law of God
Preach Every Word from God
Possibly four years earlier than the previous chapter, another word came from the LORD (v. 1).
In order that His message might reach a greater number of worshipers, Yahweh commands Jeremiah to do some open court preaching.
God emphasizes totality: "speak all the words," "do not diminish a word," "perhaps everyone will listen" (vv. 2-3).
[He saw it as vital that the prophet speak every word that He gave him.
Restoring everyone, whether in terms of salvation or fellowship, is/was God's heart desire, though it is not His decreed will (cf. 1Tim. 2:4; 2 Peter 3:9)].
His revelation focuses on the negative consequences of disobedience (vv. 4-6).
Judah totally rejects both the prophet and the LORD’s message; consequently, Jeremiah makes a point of listing all of his adversaries (vv. 7-9).
Through the instigation of the religious leaders, the princes of Judah enter fully into an impromptu trial of the prophet (vv. 10-11; cf. Matt. 26:66; Acts 22:22).
In response to their threats, Jeremiah presents a beautiful, selfless defense, seeing himself simply as one sent of God to deliver His word of repentance and mercy.
The prophet asserts that, after his mission is over, he does not care what they do to him.
However, he does warn them that if they murder him, an innocent servant of God, the LORD will surely repay them for their deed (vv. 12-15).
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Good King Hezekiah
Apparently, the princes retain some spiritual sensitivity, recognizing the truth of Jeremiah's words, for they cast their vote in favor of sparing him (v. 16).
The elders remind the people of another prophet, Micah, who once foretold destruction (vv. 17-18).
Because Hezekiah responded properly to that message, the LORD relented (v. 19); thus the people support the decision to spare Jeremiah's life, too.
Verses 20-23 narrate an account of a certain prophet (Urijah) who did not fare well, though he also spoke "in the name of the LORD."
Urijah's fearful reaction to Jehoiakim's death threat and his subsequent flight into Egypt differentiated him from Jeremiah.
Ahikam, apparently an influential official, secures Jeremiah's release (v. 24; cf. 2 Kings 22:12).
Nebuchadnezzar, King of Babylon
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"Submit to Nebuchadnezzar"
Jeremiah pens another chapter that dates from the beginning of Jehoiakim's reign (v. 1; see Jer. 26:1).
[Some MSS read “Zedekiah,” not Jehoiakim.]
By employing yet more symbolic props—bonds and yokes—Yahweh teaches both foreign kings and Israel's king how they should respond to Nebuchadnezzar’s authority; specifically, do not resist, but willingly submit to it.
Apparently, the LORD tells the prophet to wear these implements of servitude in the presence of foreign emissaries, who would then return to their kings bearing a matching set and an accompanying message from Yahweh (vv. 2-4).
[Zedekiah is Mattaniah: the uncle of Jehoiachin (Jeconiah/Coniah; cf. 22:24; 2 Kings. 24:17)].
That divine word would reveal to these monarchs not only who the LORD truly is—the Sovereign Creator—but also the identity of the one through whom He had chosen to work His plan—Nebuchadnezzar (vv. 5-6).
In addition, it contains a brief summary of Babylon's future of dominion and servitude (v. 7).
[Belshazzar was Nebuchadnezzar’s grandson, who reigned as co-regent with Nabonidus, his father].
Knowing Babylon’s immediate designs on conquest, Yahweh admonishes their certain victims: "Submit to Nebuchadnezzar, or die!" (v. 8).
Listening to the advice of their so-called wise men would only lead them astray into destruction, but heeding the word of the LORD would permit them to live a relatively peaceful existence (vv. 9-11).
Then Jeremiah relates how he advised Zedekiah to do the same thing; that is, “Submit to Nebuchadnezzar” (v. 12), and “Do not listen to his prophets' lies” (vv. 14-15).
The prophet tried to reason both with him (v. 13) and with the priests and people also, commanding the latter groups not to obey the prophets who foretold the soon destruction of Babylon and the return of the temple vessels from that country (vv. 16-17).
To prove the illegitimacy of these seers, Jeremiah directs the people to watch what happens to the vessels that Nebuchadnezzar did not remove from Jerusalem when he took Jeconiah into exile.
“If these vessels stay put,” he says, in essence, “then they are the true prophets” (v. 18). But the word of the LORD says, "Babylon will carry them away" (vv. 19-22).
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