Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Warning To Yield To Babylon

Jeremiah 27:1-22

“In the beginning of the reign of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah king of Judah came this word unto Jeremiah from the LORD, saying,  Thus saith the LORD to me; Make thee bonds and yokes, and put them upon thy neck, And send them to the king of Edom, and to the king of Moab, and to the king of the Ammonites, and to the king of Tyrus, and to the king of Zidon, by the hand of the messengers which come to Jerusalem unto Zedekiah king of Judah; And command them to say unto their masters, Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Thus shall ye say unto your masters; I have made the earth, the man and the beast that are upon the ground, by my great power and by my outstretched arm, and have given it unto whom it seemed meet unto me.” (Jeremiah 27:1-5)

Jehoiakim would be dethroned by the Babylonians, and the Jews would make his son king, but Nebuchadnezzar would make Zedekiah king instead.   God commanded Jeremiah to make yokes and bands that were to be placed around his neck symbolizing slavery.  Like the slave collars and leg irons of early America.  When Zedekiah became king, the neighboring countries would send representatives to establish relations with him.     The messengers were to be sent back with the symbols of slavery to be sent to the king of Edom, the King of Moab, and the king of Ammon, the king of Tyre, and the king of Zidon with a message from God, that he had created all of them and he has decided who should control the various lands.    

“And now have I given all these lands into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, my servant; and the beasts of the field have I given him also to serve him.  And all nations shall serve him, and his son, and his son's son, until the very time of his land come: and then many nations and great kings shall serve themselves of him.” (Jeremiah 27:6-7)

God had chosen to place all the countries in the region under Nebuchadnezzar’s control.  They will be subject to him and his son and grandson until their time is up.  Once their time runs out, Babylon will become subject to other nations.  Neriglissar and Labashi Marduk were his son and grandson,  Later and Assyrian called Nabondius, took control of Babylon, placing his son, Belshazzar as regent to rule Babylon itself.  Belshazzar’s mother appears to have been a daughter of Nebuchadnezzar.  It was during his reign as regent that the Medo-Persian Empire and Darius the Mede ascended the throne.  Upon Darius’ death, Cyrus took control of the entire Medo-Persian Empire and it became known as the Persian Empire.  Although there were brief periods of independence, Babylon was ruled by numerous groups until the present day. 

“And it shall come to pass, that the nation and kingdom which will not serve the same Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, and that will not put their neck under the yoke of the king of Babylon, that nation will I punish, saith the LORD, with the sword, and with the famine, and with the pestilence, until I have consumed them by his hand.  Therefore hearken not ye to your prophets, nor to your diviners, nor to your dreamers, nor to your enchanters, nor to your sorcerers, which speak unto you, saying, Ye shall not serve the king of Babylon:  For they prophesy a lie unto you, to remove you far from your land; and that I should drive you out, and ye should perish. ” (Jeremiah 27:8-10)

Most of the prophets, not only in Judah, but in the other countries as well, were seeking to encourage the people in fighting for their freedom.   God warns then not to fall for what those prophets and soothsayers say because they are lying and listening to them will result in the loss of their lands and total destruction of the nations. 

“But the nations that bring their neck under the yoke of the king of Babylon, and serve him, those will I let remain still in their own land, saith the LORD; and they shall till it, and dwell therein.” (Jeremiah 27:11)

Nations which submit to Nebuchadnezzar would escape with minimal punishment and be allowed to continue as nations under the Babylonian Empire.   When Nebuchadnezzar invaded Egypt, they did not resist, but submitted willingly, and as a result, the prophecy in Ezekiel 29:1-12 was never fulfilled, just as Jonah’s prophecy against Nineveh was not fulfilled.   They paid attention to Jeremiah’s prophecy.

“I spake also to Zedekiah king of Judah according to all these words, saying, Bring your necks under the yoke of the king of Babylon, and serve him and his people, and live.  Why will ye die, thou and thy people, by the sword, by the famine, and by the pestilence, as the LORD hath spoken against the nation that will not serve the king of Babylon?  Therefore hearken not unto the words of the prophets that speak unto you, saying, Ye shall not serve the king of Babylon: for they prophesy a lie unto you.  For I have not sent them, saith the LORD, yet they prophesy a lie in my name; that I might drive you out, and that ye might perish, ye, and the prophets that prophesy unto you.” (Jeremiah 27:12-15)

Jeremiah made a special effort to warn Zedekiah to yield to Nebuchadnezzar so Judah would not be destroyed.  He advised him not to listen to the prophets that were telling them to fight the Babylonians.  They were not from God, and were prophesying a lie to get the people to make god angry and drive them out and destroy them. 

“Also I spake to the priests and to all this people, saying, Thus saith the LORD; Hearken not to the words of your prophets that prophesy unto you, saying, Behold, the vessels of the LORD'S house shall now shortly be brought again from Babylon: for they prophesy a lie unto you.  Hearken not unto them; serve the king of Babylon, and live: wherefore should this city be laid waste?  But if they be prophets, and if the word of the LORD be with them, let them now make intercession to the LORD of hosts, that the vessels which are left in the house of the LORD, and in the house of the king of Judah, and at Jerusalem, go not to Babylon.” (Jeremiah 27:16-18)

Jeremiah gave the same warning to the priests and the people, that the prophets who claimed Babylon would set them free were lying.  If they listened to those prophets and resisted they would be destroyed.  If the prophets were legitimate, they would be praying that God not allow the rest of the Temple furnishings to be taken to Babylon instead of telling them that they didn’t have to worry. 

“For thus saith the LORD of hosts concerning the pillars, and concerning the sea, and concerning the bases, and concerning the residue of the vessels that remain in this city, Which Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon took not, when he carried away captive Jeconiah the son of Jehoiakim king of Judah from Jerusalem to Babylon, and all the nobles of Judah and Jerusalem; Yea, thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, concerning the vessels that remain in the house of the LORD, and in the house of the king of Judah and of Jerusalem; They shall be carried to Babylon, and there shall they be until the day that I visit them, saith the LORD; then will I bring them up, and restore them to this place.” (Jeremiah 27:19-22)

When Nebuchadnezzar conquered Judah the first time under Jehoiakim, he had carried off the king and a lot of the gold and silver.  Judah then set up his son,  Jehoiachin as their king in an act of defiance.  Three months later, the Babylonians came back and took Jehoiachin captive and carried off a great deal more of the treasure, but left the Temple furnishings so that they could continue to worship god as they should.  Jeremiah warns them that rebellion will result in Nebuchadnezzar coming back and taking everything form the Temple, including the brazen sea and it bases it sat on.  They would  be kept in Babylon until the captivity ended, and would be returned when the Jews returned to rebuild the Temple

It is sad that the Egyptians would heed jeremiahs prophecies and yield to Nebuchadnezzar, thus escaping part of the Judgment, but Judah, who claimed to believe God would not, and were destroyed. 


  1. It is sad that God's chosen people often fail to learn from their mistakes, refusing to obey God and harboring the delusion that they know a better way. But God will not be mocked, and will bring judgment as it is merited. Thanks as always for the great exposition of Scripture. God bless.

    1. Thanks, Laurie.

      The more I study, the more concerned I am that we ignore what God has said so often.