We are in the Prophetic Stream today as we read with the New King James Version.
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Commentary by Dr. Drake Travis
Lord, may we find YOUR peace in our hearts even though we may be in troubling times. Amen.
38 – Jeremiah was giving advice and prophecies that sounded backward to the leaders in Jerusalem. Thinking he was a traitor, they debated whether to kill him or not, then they put him in a mucky cistern/tank underground, then others had pity on him and they pulled him out of it again. Hey, the Babylonians were attacking soon, Jeremiah knew it and he wasn’t going to lie to people. Jeremiah then gives advice to the last King of Jerusalem in this era of their history. The advice is prophetic, sage, brilliant, and accurate as ever. Zedekiah then makes it quite clear that he didn’t know how to lead nor stand, nor flee, nor negotiate. His weakness led to foolishness as he did not yield to Jeremiah’s words as he should have. It was his last chance of surviving..but scizophrenia seemed to take over.
39 – Then The Day finally came as Nebuchadnezzar, King of Babylon with all his army broke into Jerusalem, broke down the wall, burned the king’s home, and the other homes, killed King Zedekiah’s sons, blinded him and took him to Babylon. Jeremiah, however, is given special protection at Nebuchadnezzar’s orders. This day of Jerusalem’s doom factors so large in history and for the Hebrews, that it is further commented on in Jeremiah 52, The parallel tale is told in II Kings 25, and in II Chronicles 36. It’s such a disaster – and God knows how many times they were told that this nightmare could have been avoided had they honored God . . .
40 – Gedaliah was put in charge of the poor and non-influential in Judah/Israel; those of whom were no threat to the Babylonians. Jeremiah was then offered a glorious invitation to come to Babylon and he would be given a fine life there. Even the captain of the guard in Babylon would tend to him. Jeremiah prefers [defers?] and stays in his home country. Gedaliah does a yeoman’s job of calming fears and assuring those left in the land that they would be well and do well. Others Jews who had been away to avoid the onslaught began to trickle back into The Promised Land (that had now been spiritually mismanaged for much of it’s 850 year history). It wasn’t long until Gedaliah was warned about a plot to rid him. Some of those returning had perceived that Gedaliah had sold out to the Babylonians. It was some dicey days they were living through.
41 – A certain “Ishmael” came and led a murder plot against Gedaliah. He schemed his treachery that would follow a modest feast Ishmael’s malcontent further drove him to kill all the Jews who were with Gedaliah plus the Chaldeans/Babylonians who were in the area. Soon after, a group of misguided worshipers arrived who were ignorant that Ishmael had killed Gedaliah. Ishmael lured them, pretended to guide and join them before he killed all of them too. Ishmael was a first rate skallywag/pirate type! He took the rest of Gedaliah’s associates captive and headed for Ammon far to the south and east. A man, Johanan, gathered a group to counter Ishmael. He did and liberated those that Ishmael was taking to the Ammonites. Johanan took these Jewish people -who had been harassed enough- and led them to an area down past Bethlehem. They wanted to be far from the departed Babylonians for fear that they might be confused with the deeds of Ishmael who killed the leader Gedaliah that Nebuchadnezzar had put in charge. It was a dissettling time in what was once enjoyed as the Promised Land.