August 16



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Jeremiah 49-50

We are in the Prophetic Stream reading from the Tree of Life Version this week.

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Commentary by Dr. Drake Travis

Lord God, your ways are too intricate to be fully understood this side of meeting you face to face.  Still we press forward and study your ways in faith; knowing that you do all things well.

49 – Jerusalem was/had been burned in Jer. 39. And the surrounding nations were not at all bothered by this. They were entertained and delighted even by what appeared to be the end of the Hebrew nation.  A notable portion of the remainder of Jeremiah’s book (since Jerusalem fell) is that of punishment upon Jerusalem’s enemies who had been gloating over her destruction. Egypt’s punishments is told in Jer. 46, the Philistines in 47, Moab in 48.  In Jer. 49 we hear of Ammon being reduced to a mound of ruins; burning ruins at that.  Ezekiel 25 tells the same for Ammon.   Next Edom also will be punished since they delighted in Jerusalem’s destruction as well.  They will be stripped bare; a land laid to waste, utterly conquered, offspring destroyed. Edom will be a disgrace, and accursed for it. Edom will cry for help but be swept away. The prophet Obadiah had his words for Edom as well.  Syria and Damascus (next in the litany) are too feeble, decrepit and demoralized to put up a fight anymore.  They wither and fall as their capital is easily lit on fire and conquered. They were ‘big stuff’ 150 years prior. Not now.   Kedar and the kingdoms of Hazor are listed next. These people are those who have scattered across Arabia and dwell among themselves in tents.  We might today refer to people like these as a collection of hermits.  Well, so much for hiding – Nebuchadnezzar is coming after them too. They will be desolate; a demolished people. They will people that will not be found anymore.  Elam, mentioned last, are the people of the area where today it’s southern Iran.  They were Persian people. Their actions against Israel in the past earned them a day of reckoning and it was coming soon.  They would be a people shattered. God was very angry at them.  But the chapter ends that God will restore them. wh-Why? Look at their heritage and involvement. Elam was the father of a whole race. Elam was Shem’s son – Shem being one of the three sons on the ark.  Elam therefore was “Shemite”; a Semitic people. The Jews were exiled to this area and learned Aramaic; a language that is 45% identical to Hebrew. Jesus spoke Aramaic as his mother tongue. Do you realize that Jesus was linguistically intertwined with the Persian people? And Jesus is our Savior.  So yes, Jesus is going to gather up the Elamite people. It may seem a far-fetched tale but it’s in the Book, so it’s true.

50 – Here comes a doozy of a prophecy: Babylon is going to fall.  Captured, disgraced, dismayed, left desolate – It’s all coming.  The Hebrews they held captive will return to the Promised Land they entered after the Exodus. What a joy it will be to go back after 70 years in Babylon.  This captivity was predicted in Jeremiah 25. (Capitivity began in 604 B.C. – so it ends in the 530’s B.C.).  And doom of Babylon is a detailed rendition of bad things that are coming for Babylon. They had ‘steamrolled’ the whole known world. Now it’s their turn. The Lord Himself is summoning together an alliance of peoples and armies to take Babylon down.  It will be doom for Babylon’s soldiers, farmers, workers, their culture – thrashed to pieces. They will be conquered and their people killed.  And as has been said elsewhere in literature, “it will become a haunt for jackals and hyenas.”  Babylon’s ancient capital is still an archaeological dig today.  Saddam Hussein said he would raise up Babylon again. It didn’t happen. It won’t happen.  The fall of Babylon is going to be a trembling cry that is heard across the nations.  Jeremiah talks about this development (after the fall of Jerusalem 586 B.C.) and what is going to happen to Babylon –> it did in 539 B.C.  That region still hasn’t recovered.  Thus it goes for those who fight the God of Abraham and His Chosen.

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