The 2010 Jeremiah Project

This project was inspired by encouragement to be diligent students of God's Word received at a Circuit Assembly in December of 2009. It is a year long endeavor. I hope to provide a point or two I appreciated from each of the 52 Chapters in the book of Jeremiah.
Introduction to Jeremiah.  Click here

   1:7 And Jehovah went on to say to me: “Do not say, ‘I am but a boy.’ But to all those to whom I shall send you, you should go; and everything that I shall command you, you should speak. 8 Do not be afraid because of their faces, for ‘I am with you to deliver you,’ is the utterance of Jehovah.” 1:11-12 And the word of Jehovah continued to occur to me, saying: “What are you seeing, Jeremiah? ”So I said: “An offshoot of an almond tree is what I am seeing.” And Jehovah went on to say to me: “You have seen well, for I am keeping awake concerning my word in order to carry it out.” This is a play on Hebrew words since the almond tree is one of the first to blossom, thus Jehovah is awakening or keeping awake.


   2:12 Stare in amazement, O YOU heavens, at this; and bristle up in very great horror,’ is the utterance of Jehovah, 13 ‘because there are two bad things that my people have done: They have left even me, the source of living water, in order to hew out for themselves cisterns, broken cisterns, that cannot contain the water.’ Yes, the angels would be "amazed" at how bad the Israelites were behaving. They left Jehovah and sought out false gods. Even the nations did not abandon their gods for others.
   3:14  “Return, O YOU renegade sons,” is the utterance of Jehovah. “For I myself have become the husbandly owner of YOU people; and I will take YOU, one out of a city and two out of a family, and I will bring YOU to Zion.."    Researching this verse led me to an article about the Rich Man and Lazarus. Huh? It led me to Ro 7:1-6. I didn't really get those verses until the Jeremiah Project. See research here.
   4:10  And I proceeded to say: “Alas, O Sovereign Lord Jehovah! Truly you have absolutely deceived this people and Jerusalem, saying, ‘Peace itself will become YOURS,’ and the sword has reached clear to the soul.” How did Jehovah "deceive" the people? In Jeremiah’s day, there were prophets ‘prophesying in falsehood.’ (Jeremiah 5:31; 20:6; 23:16, 17, 25-28, 32) Jehovah did not prevent them from proclaiming misleading messages. 4:19  O my intestines, my intestines! I am in severe pains in the walls of my heart. My heart is boisterous within me. I cannot keep silent, for the sound of the horn is what my soul has heard, the alarm signal of war. The following comments give an idea how "intestines" can be used in the scriptures: In this respect, the three Gospel writers Matthew, Mark, and Luke use a Greek verb, splag·khni′zo·mai, which comes from the Greek word for “intestines.” “From its very derivation,” explains Bible scholar William Barclay, “it can be seen that it describes no ordinary pity or compassion, but an emotion which moves a man to the very depths of his being. It is the strongest word in Greek for the feeling of compassion.” It is variously translated “feel pity” or “moved with pity.”—Mark 6:34; 8:2.
   5:17 . . .They will also certainly eat up your harvest and your bread. The men will eat up your sons and your daughters. They will eat up your flocks and your herds. They will eat up your vine and your fig tree. They will shatter with the sword your fortified cities in which you are trusting.” About fig: Because of its importance to the nation’s food supply the utter failure of the fig crop would be calamitous. Thus, the fig tree received special mention when destruction, or ruination, was foretold for the land. 5:22 . . .‘Do YOU not fear even me,’ is the utterance of Jehovah, ‘or are YOU in no severe pains even because of me, who have set the sand as the boundary for the sea, an indefinitely lasting regulation that it cannot pass over? Although its waves toss themselves, still they cannot prevail; and [although] they do become boisterous, still they cannot pass over it. . .Ocean boundries: Long stretches of such beaches line thousands of miles of coastlines around the earth. This ever-changing divide between sand and water marks the limits of the sway of the sea. That is how the Creator designed it to be.
   6:3*** w94 3/1 pp. 22-23 par. 22 Jehovah’s Controversy With the Nations *** Who are these shepherds? They are not the religious leaders, who have already drunk of Jehovah’s anger. They are the militaristic shepherds, described also at Jeremiah 6:3, who assemble their armies in droves in defiance of Jehovah. They are the political rulers, who have grown rich at the expense of the ruled. Many of these are wheeler-dealers, masters of corruption. They have been slow to assuage the famines that have decimated entire peoples in disadvantaged lands. They enrich “the majestic ones of the flock,” such as armaments barons and greedy destroyers of the environment, while declining to provide the medical help and nourishing food that could at so little cost save tens of millions of dying children.*** w88 4/1 pp. 18-19 pars. 10-11 Christendom Exposed as the Promoter of False Worship ***There are other points of similarity between ancient Jerusalem and modern Christendom. Jeremiah stated: “Look! The very word of Jehovah has become to them a reproach, in which word they can take no delight.” (Jeremiah 6:10) The clergy prefer to quote philosophers and scientists, rather than the Word of Jehovah. Many are ashamed of the Bible; they even ridicule it by means of their “higher criticism.” They claim that it is myths and legends presented as good literature. (Jeremiah 7:28) And as for its Author’s name, they disdain it. What proof do we have for this assertion? Although the Hebrew tetragrammaton (יהוה) appears nearly 7,000 times in the Hebrew Scriptures, the name Jehovah, or Yahweh, has been replaced in many English Bibles by the anonymous LORD. For example, the name is totally omitted from current translations of the Bible in the Afrikaans language. The Spanish Franquesa-Solé translation used the name in its original edition. When the revised version was published, the divine name had disappeared, replaced by Señor (Lord). And even when Christendoms translations do include Gods name, the clergy seldom use it. Yet, Jeremiah used Gods distinctive name 726 times in his prophetic message!*** w88 4/1 p. 12 par. 8 Jeremiah—Unpopular Prophet of God’s Judgments *** True, they were leading the nation in making sacrifices. They were going through the motions of true worship, but their hearts were not in it. Ritual meant more to them than right conduct. At the same time, the Jewish religious leaders were lulling the nation into a false sense of security, saying, “There is peace! There is peace!” when there was no peace. (Jeremiah 6:14; 8:11) Yes, they were fooling the people into believing that they were at peace with God. They felt that there was nothing to worry about, for they were Jehovah’s saved people, possessing the holy city and its temple. *** w07 3/15 p. 10 Highlights From the Book of Jeremiah ***6:16. Jehovah exhorts his rebellious people to pause, examine themselves, and find their way back to “the roadways” of their faithful ancestors. Should we not examine ourselves from time to time to see if we are really walking in the way Jehovah wants us to walk? 
  7:12 “‘However, GO, now, to my place that was in Shi′loh, where I caused my name to reside at first, and see what I did to it because of the badness of my  people Israel  *** w79 8/1 p. 12 par. 11 Why Will Christendom Not Survive? *** What happened to Shiloh in the days of the young prophet Samuel shocked the religious susceptibilities of the Israelites. They trusted in the sacred ark of the covenant to save them from defeat at the hands of the Philistines. So it was taken out of the Most Holy of the tabernacle that was in Shiloh, and lawbreaking priests, the sons of high priest Eli, carried it into the battle. But the Ark did not protect them from the consequences of their violations of Jehovah’s law. Alas, the Ark fell into the hands of the pagan Philistines, Eli’s priestly sons, Hophni and Phinehas, were killed, and, on receiving the sad news, fat high priest Eli swooned backward, broke his neck and died. The Israelites continued under oppression by the Philistines, and never again did the Ark, the symbol of Jehovah’s presence, return to its place in the sacred tabernacle in Shiloh, even though it was sent back by the plagued idolatrous Philistines.—1 Sam. 3:1 through 7:2.   7:13 How is it Jehovah gets up early and speaks?  *** w79 8/1 pp. 9-10 pars. 2-3 Why Will Christendom Not Survive? ***Regularly, to the church members of Christendom, Jehovah has sent these Christian witnesses of his, he, as it were, “daily getting up early and sending them.” (Jer. 7:25, 13) But all in vain! However, Christendom’s “prophets” and “priests” have refused to take heed. They do not like to have their “flocks” disturbed. So they give them false assurances that belie God’s prophecies. It was like that in Jeremiah’s day. It was like that in the days of Christ’s apostles  7:31 . . .And they have built the high places of To′pheth, which is in the valley of the son of Hin′nom, in order to burn their sons and their daughters in the fire, a thing that I had not commanded and that had not come up into my heart.. . .*** w73 4/15 p. 228 Would a God of Love Torment Souls? ***While the Israelites were engaging in the revolting practice of child sacrifice, Jehovah told his prophet Jeremiah: “They have built the high places of Topheth, which is in the valley of the son of Hinnom, in order to burn their sons and their daughters in the fire, a thing that I had not commanded and that had not come up into my heart.” (Jer. 7:31) If the abominable practice of child sacrifice was something that could never have been conceived by the God of love, how could he possibly conceive of eternal torment for humans who violate his laws?
    8:7 Even the stork in the heavens—it well knows its appointed times; and the turtledove and the swift and the bulbul—they observe well the time of each one’s coming in. But as for my people, they have not come to know the judgment of Jehovah.”*** w82 10/1 p. 5 Does God Keep Time? ***Instinctively animals know when it is time to respond to seasonal changes. But the Israelites, despite repeated appeals to their minds and hearts, did not want to know that it was God’s time for their judgment, or, rather, they did not care.          What about us today? Do we know what time it is? Jehovah has always had an appointed time for expressing his will and judgment. In the apostle Paul’s speech to the Athenians, he said: “True, God has overlooked the times of such ignorance, yet now he is telling mankind that they should all everywhere repent. Because he has set a day in which he purposes to judge the inhabited earth in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed.” (Acts 17:30, 31) Do you believe that we are close to that ‘day of judgment’? Or do you think that time is far off? 8.11 And they try to heal the breakdown of the daughter of my people lightly, saying: “There is peace! There is peace!” when there is no peace*** w79 8/1 p. 20 pars. 15-17 Saying “Peace” When There Is None ***With words that throw their ailing flocks off guard, the modern-day “priests” and “prophets” keep assuring Christendom with the words: “There is peace! There is peace!” or, “All is well, all is well.”—Jer. 8:11; An American Translation; see also The New English Bible.     Thus these religious leaders act falsely. They make their flocks feel that there is nothing basically wrong with Christendom. They assert that her relationship with God is good, and hence there is no tribulation to be expected at his hands. So, do not pay attention to predictions that the Jeremiah class makes about early destruction for Christendom in a “great tribulation.”—Jer. 6:14.     The threatening situation is thus falsified by Christendom’s mouthpieces in their giving such assurances of peace, “when there is no peace.” There is no peaceful relationship between Jehovah God and Christendom. Her sins are not covered by the atoning blood of Christ. Her sky-high mass of sins is unpardonable. So God is not at peace with her. Destruction, not “peace” or spiritual prosperity, awaits her, because her clergy and church members have shamelessly ‘done even what is detestable’ to Jehovah.—Jer. 8:12.
   9:1  weeping for slain ones  9:20-22 Death coming. Many dead bodies. *** w79 8/15 pp. 17-18 pars. 2-3 The “King of the Nations”—Our Only Help ***  Why should not a sympathetic person today weep? For now there impends over mankind what was long ago foreshadowed by the national calamity concerning which Jeremiah was told to say: “Teach your daughters a lamentation, and each woman [teach] her companion a dirge. For death has come up through our windows [into our very homes]; it has come into our dwelling towers, in order to cut off the child from the street, the young men from the public squares. . . . ‘The dead bodies of mankind must also fall like manure upon the face of the field [spread out as fertilizer] and like a row of newly cut grain after the reaper, with no one to do the gathering up.’”—Jer. 9:20-22.     Who is it that cannot see worldwide trouble ahead, the worst in all human history? We do not need to have the prophetic foresight of Jeremiah of old to see this. So, then, how can any of us survive what even uninspired observers of world trends today predict? 9:23-24 *** w74 9/1 p. 532 pars. 21-22 Faithfulness—A Way of Life *** When it comes to a proper estimate of oneself, Jehovah gives this fine counsel: “Wisdom is with the modest ones.” (Prov. 11:2) One walking modestly with God realizes that he has nothing to brag about in himself, regardless of his ability or accomplishments. If he wants to boast, let him boast about the wonderful God he serves. This is what the Bible urges when it says that one should not brag about himself because of his mightiness or his riches. But, rather, let him brag about the fact that he knows Jehovah as a God of loving-kindness, justice and mercy.—Jer. 9:23, 24.   Some may have a little more of this world’s goods than others. Some may seemingly have a better station in life. But the instruction is most straightforward that the Christian must not be overconfident, relying on the things he possesses, but, rather, must work out his own salvation with fear and trembling. (Luke 12:15; Phil. 2:12) This recommended way of life means staying totally involved in pure worship, being rich in fine works.—1 Tim. 6:17-19.
   10.1 “Signs in heavens…..” What are they and how should we view them? *** g86 5/8 p. 6 Your Future—Is It Written in the Stars? ***Over 2,500 years ago, Jehovah God told the nation of Israel: “Do not learn the way of the nations nor be apprehensive of the signs of the sky because the nations are apprehensive of them; for the usages of the nations are superstition.” (Jeremiah 10:2, 3, Byington) Or as the New World Translation expresses it: “The signs of the heavens . . . are just an exhalation.” In other words, astrological signs have as much substance as the breath exhaled from your lungs. 10:10-12 Contrast Jehovah with the gods men make. Does Jehovah have indignation? *** w79 8/15 p. 21 par. 15 The “King of the Nations”—Our Only Help ***15 Is there real reason for Jehovah God the Creator to have indignation today? Well, let us just think of the widespread disregard for his laws, the contempt for his name, the crime, the love of pleasures rather than the love of God, the immorality, the religious hypocrisy, the persecution upon those who form a modern-day Jeremiah class, the refusal of the nations to submit to Jehovah’s kingdom by Christ. Certainly, in the face of all these things, there is every good reason for Jehovah God the Great Potter to have indignation. Soon he will express it, just as he did in Jeremiah’s day by destroying Jerusalem and the kingdom of Judah. 10:23 Ah yes, the first Bible verse I ever learned! *** w79 1/1 p. 5 We Need God’s Kingdom! ***Every form of human government and society has been tested. The most sophisticated sciences and inventions have been used to try to help. But nothing has solved man’s problems, which have persisted and grown worse. What has been proved beyond reasonable doubt is: “To earthling man his way does not belong. It does not belong to man who is walking even to direct his step.”  *** w52 1/15 p. 49 God’s Word a Sure Guide ***The stars heed God’s laws, the birds obey the migration laws, but men balk at God’s laws for them. But if God is capable of guiding the stars by natural law, of guiding the birds by instinct, then is he not capable of guiding man by the Bible? “Thy word is a lamp to my feet, and a light on my path.”—Ps.
  11:14 This chapter again highlights the people had refused to obey God’s commands. Verse 14 tells Jeremiah not to pray in behalf of the people. *** w62 11/15 pp. 701-702 Patriotism and Religious Freedom ***Since the matter of prayer is involved in the national anthem, what the Bible has to say on this subject is also pertinent. It is true that there are many religious leaders who regularly in their churches pray for the various institutions of the world and who would therefore see nothing amiss in a patriotic anthem that expressed like sentiments. However, those who are governed by the Word of God cannot pray for the perpetuation of a system that the Bible shows to be out of harmony with God and for that reason due to pass away. (Jas. 4:4; 1 John 2:17) They recall God’s command to his prophet Jeremiah, who lived in the midst of a people who professed to serve God but whose society was permeated with stealing, murdering, committing of adultery, false swearing and idolatry: “Do not pray in behalf of this people, neither raise in their behalf an entreating cry or a prayer nor beseech me, for I shall not be listening to you.” (Jer. 7:9, 16; 11:14; 14:11) The situation today is not at all unlike the one that prevailed in Jeremiah’s time, and Christians wisely take note of God’s specific command regarding prayer under such circumstances. They also are aware of the precedent that Jesus Christ set when he said: “I make request, not concerning the world.” (John 17:9) Therefore, it is not out of any self-righteousness on their part, but in imitation of Christ and out of obedience to God that Jehovah’s witnesses refrain from indicating their participation in the sentiments of the occasion by standing when the national anthem is played.  For me, I think of Bible students or interested persons who asked me to pray for them. If they are not obeying Jehovah, I need to be careful  what I pray for.

   12:1  Jeremiah, like Job, David, Asaph and Malachi ask "Why is it that the way of wicked ones is what has succeeded, that all those who are committing treachery are the unworried ones?" But, they are assured: 17 But if they will not obey, I will also uproot that nation, uprooting and destroying [it],” is the utterance of Jehovah. The other point I like in this chapter has to do with the significance of reference to kidneys in verse 2: *** w77 11/1 p. 665 pars. 17-19 Our Spiritual Health and the Kidneys ***Thus, just as the “heart” represents the seat of motivation and appreciation, the “kidneys” represent the seat of something personal. Of what? Of one’s genuine personality. One’s underlying personality affects one’s motivation. Peering at that seat of personality, God sees what an individual really is in his basic reactions. So the “kidneys” do affect the “heart,” even figuratively speaking. By taking the “advice” of Jehovah to ourselves and sincerely applying it to ourselves as personalities, we benefit our spiritual health. We are purified to be “the real thing.”

13:1-11 This chapter starts out with an illustration about a linen belt. It should have hugged their hips picturing Jehovah clinging to them, yet the belt is ruined since the people did not want Jehovah. 18. Mentions a "lady". Who is the lady, I wondered. A lady could be a queen, wife or mistress. 2 Ki 24:12 speaks of a king going out with his mother (cross reference for lady). 23.“Can a Cush′ite change his skin? or a leopard its spots?.." Jah says at 13:27 Woe to you, O Jerusalem! You cannot be clean.
14:7 I appreciated this chapter since it shows we have a basis to appeal to Jehovah for help with a talk or duty on the basis of his name even though we are sinful and unworthy. 9--O Jehovah, and upon us it is that your own name has been called. Do not let us down. 21--Do not disrespect [us] for the sake of your name; Sadly, for his people then He sees no basis for healing for the people. And Jeremiah is told 11--“Do not pray in behalf of this people for any good.

15:10, 15, 20. Jeremiah was faithful as a prophet. Because he was zealous in proclaiming Jehovah’s “words,” the entire nation called down evil upon him. But when he cried to Jehovah for relief, his God reassured him, saying: “I have made you to this people a fortified copper wall; and they will certainly fight against you, but they will not prevail over you. For I am with you, to save you and to deliver you.” That “utterance of Jehovah” gave him strength to endure.—15:16, 17. Like Jeremiah, we can fight discouragement. We can do so by rejoicing in meaningful personal Bible study, by exalting Jehovah’s name in the ministry, and by avoiding bad associations.15:18—In what sense did Jehovah deceive his renegade people? In Jeremiah’s day, there were prophets ‘prophesying in falsehood.’ (Jeremiah 5:31; 20:6; 23:16, 17, 25-28, 32) Jehovah did not prevent them from proclaiming misleading messages.

16:2-4 Why was the prophet Jeremiah commanded to remain single?  This served to confirm the fact that the fulfillment of Jehovah’s word regarding the destruction of Jerusalem was certain. The prophet would thus be spared fathering children that would experience calamity. Since Jeremiah was fully absorbed in his prophetic work, he heeded God’s command without voicing complaint.—16:5-6 Christendom, the modern antitype of apostate Jerusalem and Judah, has not been any exception to the suffering of such calamitous things. The prayers of her clergymen have not availed for her. The reason for this is the same as that in the case of the Israelites of Jeremiah’s days: “‘I have taken away my peace from this people,’ is the utterance of Jehovah, ‘even loving-kindness and mercies.’ For this is what Jehovah of armies, the God of Israel, has said, ‘Here I am causing to cease out of this place before the eyes of you people and in your days the voice of exultation and the voice of rejoicing, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride.’”—16:16 “sending for many fishers” Older WTs apply this verse to Luke 5:1-11. However later WT: 16:16—What is implied by Jehovah’s “sending for many fishers” and “for many hunters”? This may refer to the sending forth of enemy forces to look for unfaithful Jews upon whom Jehovah would execute his judgment. In view of what Jeremiah 16:15 states, however, the verse could also allude to the searching out of the repentant Israelites.

17:1, 2. The sins of the people of Judah made their sacrifices displeasing to Jehovah. Moral uncleanness makes our sacrifices of praise unacceptable. 17:5-8. Humans and institutions are worthy of our trust only to the extent that they act in harmony with God’s will and divine principles. When it comes to such matters as salvation and genuine peace and security, we are wise to put our trust in Jehovah alone.—Psalm 146:3. 17:9 How can the heart be treacherous—a danger to us? Well, an automobile, for example, is a valuable tool, even a lifesaver in an emergency. But if the driver does not control the car, constantly guiding the steering wheel, that same car may easily become a deadly weapon. Similarly, unless you safeguard your heart, you will be at the mercy of your every inner desire and impulse, and your life course will veer into disaster. 

18:1-6 Did that mean that people in Israel were just like lumps of lifeless clay in Jehovah’s hands for him to mold arbitrarily into one kind of vessel or another? Jehovah never uses his almighty power to make people do things against their will; nor is he responsible for defective products, as might be the case with a human potter. (Deuteronomy 32:4) Defects develop when those whom Jehovah tries to mold in a positive way resist his direction. That is one huge difference between you and a lifeless lump of clay. You have free will. Exercising it, you can choose to respond to Jehovah’s molding influence or deliberately reject it. 

Those rebels even returned bad to Jehovah’s prophet Jeremiah for the good that he was seeking to do to them. Why, they even schemed to kill Jeremiah. (Jer. 18:18-23) Hence, finally, it became agreeable to Jeremiah for Jehovah’s adverse judgments to be executed upon those rebels.—

19: 1,2,6,10,11 Jeremiah, who prophesied in the days of Kings Josiah, Jehoahaz, Jehoiakim, Jehoiachin, and Zedekiah, expressed Jehovah’s judgment for the sins of the nation, one of the foremost being the abominable sacrifice of their children to Molech. He was commanded to take some of the older men of the people and the priests out the Gate of the Potsherds (Gate of the Ash-heaps), located at the SE corner of Jerusalem, to the Valley of Hinnom in the area of Topheth. There he declared Jehovah’s pronouncement: “Look! there are days coming . . . when this place will be called no more Topheth and the valley of the son of Hinnom, but the valley of the killing.” Then, smashing an earthenware flask before their eyes, he continued with Jehovah’s judgment: “In the same way I shall break this people and this city . . . and in Topheth they will bury until there is no more place to bury.” In other words, the slaughter, not of sacrificial victims to Molech, but of the wicked by God’s judgment, would be so great that some bodies would lie unburied in the valley. This would pollute it to an even greater degree than Josiah had done.

20:1-18. Irritated by Jeremiah’s bold preaching, the temple commissioner Pashhur puts Jeremiah in stocks for a night. On his release, Jeremiah foretells Pashhur’s captivity and death in Babylon. Grieved by the derision and reproach leveled against him, Jeremiah contemplates quitting. However, he cannot keep silent. The word of Jehovah comes to be ‘in his heart like a burning fire shut up in his bones,’ so that he is compelled to speak. Though cursing the day of his birth, he cries out: “Sing to Jehovah, you people! Praise Jehovah! For he has delivered the soul of the poor one out of the hand of evildoers.”—20:9, 13.

In response to questions about protection from the attacking Babylonians, Jeremiah responds with Jehovah’s words: 21:4 ‘This is what Jehovah the God of Israel has said: “Here I am turning in reverse the weapons of war that are in the hand of YOU people, with which YOU are fighting the king of Babylon 21:8.  “And to this people you will say, ‘This is what Jehovah has said: “Here I am putting before YOU people the way of life and the way of death. Even at the last hour, Jehovah provided a choice for the unrepentant inhabitants of Jerusalem, who deserved to die. 10 ‘“For I have set my face against this city for calamity and not for good,” is the utterance of Jehovah. “Into the hand of the king of Babylon it will be given, and he will certainly burn it with fire.”

In chapter 22 I find that some of the kings had more than one name. For example, in verse 11 Shallum is same as Jehoahaz. In verse 24 Conan is Jeconiah or Jehoiachin. In prophesying against Jerusalem, Jeremiah referred to the loftiness of Lebanon’s trees and the value of its cedarwood, used particularly by kings and rich men in construction of their houses. The palace of Judah’s king and the government buildings at Jerusalem had been constructed largely of cedar. Hence Jeremiah spoke of the inhabitants of Jerusalem as those “dwelling in Lebanon, being nested in the cedars.” But from this lofty position they were to be brought low.— 22:6, 23.   22:30—. . .This is what Jehovah has said, ‘WRITE down this man as childless, as an able-bodied man who will not have any success in his days; for from his offspring not a single one will have any success, sitting upon the throne of David and ruling anymore in Judah.’”  Did this decree annul Jesus Christ’s right to ascend the throne of David? (Matthew 1:1, 11) No, it did not. The decree barred any descendant of Jehoiachin from “sitting upon the throne of David . . . in Judah.” Jesus was to rule from the heavens, not from a throne in Judah.

23 “In the prophets of Jerusalem I have seen horrible things, committing adultery and walking in falsehood . . . To me all of them have become like Sodom, and the inhabitants of her like Gomorrah.”— 23:14. 23:33—What is “the burden of Jehovah”? In Jeremiah’s day, the weighty pronouncements uttered by the prophet regarding Jerusalem’s destruction were a burden to his fellow countrymen. In turn, the unresponsive people were such a burden to Jehovah that he would cast them off. Similarly, the Scriptural message regarding the coming destruction of Christendom is a burden to Christendom, and the people who give no heed are wearisome to God.‘Jehovah Is Our Righteousness.’”23:3-6.

24 The Scriptures sometimes use figs or fig trees symbolically. For instance, Jeremiah compared the faithful exiles of Judah to a basket of good figs, the early figs that would usually be eaten fresh. However, the unfaithful exiles were likened to bad figs, which could not be eaten and would have to be discarded   24:2, 5, 8, 10.  Among those who were counted in as the class of “good figs” of Jeremiah’s day was King Jehoiachin (or, Jeconiah) of Judah. Jesus Christ became an adoptive descendant of King Jehoiachin through his noted descendant Zerubbabel, who was like a ‘good fig.’  In 617 B.C.E., after King Jehoiachin surrendered Jerusalem to the king of Babylon, Nebuchadnezzar made Zedekiah, the uncle of Jehoiachin, the new king of Judah, under an oath before Jehovah to be a loyal vassal of Babylon. But King Zedekiah turned out to be a ‘bad fig,’ as it were. So the God by whom he had sworn, Jehovah, likened him to an uneatable fig.

25 Lots of points in this chapter. A few that stood out to me are: 25:4-And Jehovah sent to YOU all his servants the prophets, rising up early and sending [them], but YOU did not listen, neither did YOU incline YOUR ear to listen.  11- And all this land must become a devastated place, an object of astonishment, and these nations will have to serve the king of Babylon seventy years.” (Prophesy about Jerusalem pointing to destruction of Christendom). 29-For, look! it is upon the city upon which my name is called that I am starting off in bringing calamity, and should YOU yourselves in any way go free of punishment? (Destruction starts for those claiming to serve Him) 33-And those slain by Jehovah will certainly come to be in that day from one end of the earth clear to the other end of the earth. They will not be bewailed, neither will they be gathered up or be buried. As manure on the surface of the ground they will become.’ For more on this chapter see W94 3/1 Jehovah’s Controversy With the Nations

In Chapter 26, Jehovah instructs Jeremiah to warn the people in the courtyard of the temple. The priests and prophets laid hands on Jere to put him to death. But, the princes say: 16 “There is no judgment of death belonging to this man, for it was in the name of Jehovah our God that he spoke to us.” Two contrasting examples are given: Micah who was not put to death and spoke calamity for the nation, and Urijah who fled to Egypt and was hunted down, returned to Judah and martyred. So, vs 24 Moreover, it was the hand of A·hi′kam the son of Sha′phan that proved to be with Jeremiah, in order not to give him into the hand of the people to have him put to death.

27:2. . .“This is what Jehovah has said to me, ‘Make for yourself bands and yoke bars, and you must put them upon your neck. . .Yes, the nations must submit to Bablyon to live. . Nebuchadnezzar  is referred to as “my servant” by Jehovah. The magic practicers and fortunetellers contradicted Jere, but the people were strongly warned not to listen to them. Jere prophesied that the remaining items still in Jerusalem would be taken to Babylon.

28:10 At that Han·a·ni′ah the prophet took the yoke bar from off the neck of Jeremiah the prophet and broke it. 14 . . .For this is what Jehovah of armies, the God of Israel, has said: “A yoke of iron I will put upon the neck of all these nations, to serve Neb·u·chad·nez′zar the king of Babylon; and they must serve him. . .  Yes, another false prophet says that in two years everything will be returned from Babylon. But, not so and Hananiah dies that year.

29:10  “For this is what Jehovah has said, ‘In accord with the fulfilling of seventy years at Babylon I shall turn my attention to YOU people, and I will establish toward YOU my good word in bringing YOU back to this place.’ After those prophetic words, Jehovah has these beautiful words recorded by Jere: 11-12 “‘For I myself well know the thoughts that I am thinking toward YOU,’ is the utterance of Jehovah, ‘thoughts of peace, and not of calamity, to give YOU a future and a hope. 12 And YOU will certainly call me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to YOU.’And, we have some more false prophets:  :31 “For the reason that She·mai′ah has prophesied to YOU people, but I myself did not send him, and he tried to make YOU trust in falsehood, 32 therefore this is what Jehovah has said, ‘Here I am turning my attention upon She·mai′ah of Ne·hel′am and upon his offspring.’

30:1-3 Jehovah will bring the captive ones back. 11-Correct to the proper degree 15-Uncurable pain due to the abundance of error. But, 19-Sound of laughing will return. Vs 21 Speaks of a “Majestic One”. Who is this? Well, Jehovah says he “will come near” Other marginal references point to Jesus since other verses tell of him “gaining access” “sitting at right hand” etc.

31—The highlight of this chapter is the promise of a new covenant:31--  “Look! There are days coming,” is the utterance of Jehovah, “and I will conclude with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah a new covenant;    Observe that a feature of this new covenant was the forgiveness of sins, evidently in a way that was ‘not like’ the arrangement with animal sacrifices under the Law. Jesus shed light on this the day he died. After joining his disciples in celebrating the Passover as required by the Law, Christ instituted the Lord’s Evening Meal. This annual celebration would involve a shared cup of wine, about which Jesus said: “This cup means the new covenant by virtue of my blood, which is to be poured out in your behalf.”—Luke 22:14-20.

32---The interesting point in this chapter is that as the Babylonians were about to take Jerusalem, Jeremiah is told to buy a field. Why? The answer comes later in the chapter--42 “For this is what Jehovah has said, ‘Just as I have brought in upon this people all this great calamity, so I am bringing in upon them all the goodness that I am speaking concerning them. 43 And fields will certainly be bought in this land of which YOU people will be saying: “It is a desolate waste without man and domestic animal. It has been given into the hand of the Chal·de′ans.”’44 “‘With money people will buy fields themselves, and there will be a recording in the deed and a sealing and a taking of witnesses in the land of Benjamin and in the surroundings of Jerusalem and in the cities of Judah and in the cities of the mountainous region and in the cities of the lowland and in the cities of the south, because I shall bring back their captives,’ is the utterance of Jehovah.”

What a nice thought here in Chapter 33---  3 ‘Call to me, and I shall answer you and readily tell you great and incomprehensible things that you have not known.’” Then Jehovah assures Jeremiah that he will not break his covenant: 20 “This is what Jehovah has said, ‘If YOU people could break my covenant of the day and my covenant of the night, even in order for day and night not to occur in their time, 21 likewise could my own covenant be broken with David my servant so that he should not come to have a son ruling as king upon his throne…

In Chapt. 34 Jeremiah tells Zedekiah he will be going to Babylon. Babylon is closing in. Zedekiah decides to release those in servitude to appease Jehovah. But when Egypt came to give them assistance, they reneged on their promise made by passing between the cut calf which is explained here:   ‘Cutting the calf in two and passing between its parts’ alludes to an ancient mode of entering into a solemn obligation or covenant. (Compare Ge 15:9-21.) Doubtless Jeremiah used this expression to stress the sacredness of the covenant into which the Jews had entered before God, and by the terms of which they were obligated to liberate fellow Israelites whom they had enslaved.—Jer 34:17-19.

35 Jehovah was pleased with the respectful obedience they showed. Their unswerving obedience to an earthly father stood in contrast to the disobedience of the Judeans to their Creator. (Jer 35:12-16) God gave the Rechabites the rewarding promise: “There will not be cut off from Jonadab the son of Rechab a man to stand before me always.”—Jer 35:19.

During Nehemiah’s governorship after the exile, “Malchijah the son of Rechab” repaired the Gate of the Ash-heaps. If this Rechab is the same one who was the father or ancestor of Jehonadab, it shows that Rechabites survived the exile and returned to the land. (Ne 3:14)

36 Why was Baruch called? Jeremiah told him: “I am shut up. I am unable to enter into the house of Jehovah.” (Jeremiah 36:5) Evidently, Jeremiah had been barred from the temple area where Jehovah’s message was to be read, perhaps because earlier messages had angered the authorities. (Jeremiah 26:1-9) Baruch was without doubt a sincere worshipper of Jehovah, and he “proceeded to do according to all that Jeremiah the prophet had commanded him.”—Jeremiah 36:8.  Writing the warnings that had been given over the past 23 years took time, and perhaps Jeremiah was also waiting for the right moment. But in November or December 624 B.C.E., Baruch boldly “began to read aloud from the book the words of Jeremiah at the house of Jehovah, in the dining room of Gemariah . . . , in the ears of all the people.”—Jeremiah 36:8-10.The King burns the scroll and Jeremiah has Baruch write it again with more denunciations for unfaithful Jews.

37 Zedekiah is ruling. Chaldeans are advancing. Egypt shows up and Chaldeans withdraw. Jah tells Jere what to tell the king: 37:8  And the Chal·de′ans will certainly come back and fight against this city and capture it and burn it with fire.”Jere tries to go to land of Benjamin, but detained. Jere appeals to king and is put in protective custody with bread while it is available.

 38 And the princes began to say to the king: “Let this man, please, be put to death, for that is how he is weakening the hands of the men of war who are left remaining in this city and the hands of all the people, by speaking to them according to these words. For this man is one seeking not for the peace of this people but for calamity.”  Princes want Jere dead! They put in cistern (vs. 6), put his faithful Ebed melech rescues him with 30men from king. 14. Zed has secret meeting with Jere. Jere again lays it out-go to Assyrians or suffer huge defeat. Jere is told not to tell the princes.

39  In this chapter we find Babylon attacking Jerusalem for about 18 months and breaking through into the city. Zedekiah flees, is captured, sons killed, blinded and taken to Babylon. City burned and walls brought dow. But, true to his word, Ebedmelech is spared: 15-18And to Jeremiah the word of Jehovah occurred while he happened to be shut up in the Courtyard of the Guard, saying:  “Go, and you must say to E′bed-mel′ech the E·thi·o′pi·an, ‘This is what Jehovah of armies, the God of Israel, has said: “Here I am bringing true my words upon this city for calamity and not for good, and they will certainly happen before you in that day.”’ “‘And I will deliver you in that day,’ is the utterance of Jehovah, ‘and you will not be given into the hand of the men of whom you yourself are scared.’ “‘For I shall without fail furnish you an escape, and by the sword you will not fall; and you will certainly come to have your soul as a spoil, because you have trusted in me,’ is the utterance of Jehovah.”

40 Jere is captive on the way to Babylon when he is released, given some supplies and told he can go where he wants. He goes to Mizpah where Gedaliah has been put in charge of the remaining ones near Jerusalem. The remaining Jews gathered there. Gedaliah was warned that the king of Ammon wants him dead: 14 And they proceeded to say to him: “Do you not at all know that Ba′a·lis, the king of the sons of Am′mon, himself has sent Ish′ma·el the son of Neth·a·ni′ah to strike you to the soul?” But Ged·a·li′ah the son of A·hi′kam did not believe them.

41   Gedaliah is killed by a really bad man, Ishmael from Ammon. He kills more men who are traveling to Mizpah to meet Gedaliah. Then the people left scatter since the one King Neb set up as governor was dead.

42  Formally Johanan and his chiefs approach Jeremiah, who had been accurate in prophesying Jerusalem’s ruin. They promised that, whether Jehovah’s message by Jeremiah turned out to be to their liking or not, they would follow it. Ten days after their consulting Jeremiah Jehovah’s message came through him. They should not yield to fear, but should remain in the land in subjection to Babylon. But if they faithlessly moved south into Egypt, they would there be overtaken by the victorious sword of the king of Babylon, and by famine and by pestilence.

43 Despite divine warnings, the remaining Jews departed and took “Jeremiah the prophet and Baruch the son of Neriah” with them. Jeremiah recorded: “They finally came into the land of Egypt, for they did not obey the voice of Jehovah; and they came gradually as far as Tahpanhes,” a frontier city in the eastern Nile delta, bordering Sinai. At that, Baruch disappears from the Bible account.—Jeremiah 43:5-7. Jah says: 12 And I will set a fire ablaze in the houses of the gods of Egypt; and he will certainly burn them and lead them captive and wrap himself up in the land of Egypt, just as a shepherd wraps himself up in his garment, and he will actually go out from there in peace. 13 And he will certainly break to pieces the pillars of Beth-she′mesh, which is in the land of Egypt; and the houses of the gods of Egypt he will burn with fire.”’”

44  The Jews also contended: “From the time that we ceased to make sacrificial smoke to the ‘queen of the heavens’ and pour out drink offerings to her we have lacked everything, and by the sword and by the famine we have come to our finish.”—Jeremiah 44:18.       How selective the memory can be! What were the facts? The Jews had indeed sacrificed to false gods in the land Jehovah had given them. Sometimes, as in the time of Ahaz, they suffered because of that apostasy. However, Jehovah was “slow to anger” with his covenant people.  He sent his prophets to urge them to repent. At times, when the king was faithful, Jehovah blessed him, and the people benefited from that blessing, even though most of them were unfaithful.  How wrong those Jews in Egypt were to claim that any prosperity enjoyed back in their homeland had come from their false gods!

45 Words for Baruch: “ ‘This is what Jehovah has said: “Look! What I have built up I am tearing down, and what I have planted I am uprooting, even all the land itself. 5 But as for you, you keep seeking great things for yourself. Do not keep on seeking.”’“‘For here I am bringing in a calamity upon all flesh,’ is the utterance of Jehovah, ‘and I will give you your soul as a spoil in all the places to which you may go.’”

46:22—Why is the voice of Egypt likened to that of a serpent? This may refer either to a hissing retreat or to the lowness of her national voice because of experiencing disaster. The analogy also shows how futile it was for Egyptian Pharaohs to wear a representation of the sacred snake on their headdress for supposed protection by the serpent-goddess Uatchit.   I found it interesting that Egypt was given to Babylon. Note:Therefore this is what the Sovereign Lord Jehovah has said, ‘Here I am giving to Nebuchadrezzar the king of Babylon the land of Egypt, and he must carry off its wealth and make a big spoil of it and do a great deal of plundering of it; and it must become wages for his military force.’”—Ezek. 29:18, 19.What did Bible prophecy foretell regarding Memphis and Thebes? Judgment was pronounced against Egypt’s Pharaoh and its gods, especially the chief god, “Amon from No.” (Jeremiah 46:25, 26) The crowd of worshipers who flocked there would be “cut off.” (Ezekiel 30:14, 15) And so it turned out. All that is left of Amon’s worship are temple ruins. The modern town of Luxor is situated on part of the site of ancient Thebes, and other small villages exist among its ruins.

Ashkelon.  47:7 A seaport on the Mediterranean and one of the five principal Philistine cities. (Jos 13:3) It is identified with Asqalan (Tel Ashqelon) located about 19 km (12 mi) NNE of Gaza. The city was situated in a naturally formed rocky amphitheater, the concave part facing toward the Mediterranean. The countryside is fertile, producing apples, figs, and the small onion known as the scallion, which apparently derives its name from that of the Philistine city.Jeremiah (after 647 B.C.E.) uttered two prophecies involving Ashkelon. While Jeremiah 47:2-7 could have seen some fulfillment when Nebuchadnezzar sacked the city early in his reign (c. 624 B.C.E.), the prophecy at Jeremiah 25:17-20, 28, 29 clearly indicates a fulfillment subsequent to the fall of Jerusalem in 607 B.C.E.
48. Most of this chapter is judgment against Moab:  48:6 "You should become like a juniper tree" How so? The root word in the Hebrew from which the tree’s name is drawn has the idea of “nakedness” or being “stripped” (compare Ps 102:17), and this dwarf juniper is correspondingly described as of rather gloomy appearance, growing in rocky parts of the desert and on crags. It is fittingly used in the book of Jeremiah when comparing the man whose heart turns away from Jehovah with “a solitary tree [‛ar·‛ar′] in the desert plain,” and also in warning the Moabites to take flight and become “like a juniper tree [ka·‛aroh·‛er′] in the wilderness.” 25 Breaking the arm represents shattering one’s might.

49:16-18  Despite having the best natural defenses of any city in the world, Petra (Edomite capital) was captured, and the remaining Edomites were driven out. In time the Edomites disappeared from history. But the land did not become a desolate waste with ‘no man dwelling there.’ Rather, the new inhabitants (the Nabataeans) brought Petra to its greatest power. Tolls from the rich caravans filled it with great wealth. Exquisite buildings and architecture were carved into the rose-colored rock. The city became one of the ‘wonders of the ancient world.’ Yet suddenly the trade routes shifted, no one any longer crossed through the land, and the city died. The 1,000-year-old Bible prophecy came true. As one who visited the ruins declared: “I would that the skeptic could stand as I did, among the ruins of this city among the rocks, and there open the sacred Book and read the words of the inspired penman, written when this desolate place was one of the greatest cities in the world.”

 50:31, 32 Babylon had been the very personification of presumptuousness. Jehovah says: “Look! I am against you, O Presumptuousness, . . . for your day must come, the time that I must give you attention. And Presumptuousness will certainly stumble and fall, and it will have no one to cause it to rise up. And I will set a fire ablaze in its cities, and it must devour all its surroundings.” Babylon had not learned a lesson from the experience of her most powerful king Nebuchadnezzar at the hands of Jehovah God when he suffered seven years of madness, then on recovery and restoration to his throne acknowledged the King of the heavens and said: “Those who are walking in pride he is able to humiliate.” (Dan. 4:1-37) No, she had to learn the hard way the truth of the proverbs: “Everyone that is proud in heart is something detestable to Jehovah,” and, “Pride is before a crash, and a haughty spirit before stumbling.”

51 Many years in advance, the prophet Jeremiah had written a graphic description of Babylon’s fall: “The mighty men of Babylon have ceased to fight. . . . One runner runs to meet another runner, and one reporter to meet another reporter, to report to the king of Babylon that his city has been captured at every end, and that the fords themselves have been seized, and the papyrus boats they have burned with fire.” 30-32. The Nabonidus Chronicle, now in the British Museum, confirms this description. It says that “the army of Cyrus entered Babylon without battle.”  In one night Babylon had fallen. The third world power of Biblical history had come to a sudden halt. Cyrus could boast on a cuneiform document, known as the Cyrus Cylinder: “I am Cyrus, king of the world, great king, legitimate king, king of Babylon, king of Sumer.” Soon thereafter, Cyrus issued his famous decree, and about 50,000 Jewish captives returned to rebuild Jerusalem and Jehovah’s temple, arriving back there just at the end of the foretold 70 years of captivity.  Today, mighty Babylon is nothing but dusty piles of stones, ruins in a wasteland—a silent and eloquent testimony to the unfailing accuracy of Jehovah’s prophetic Word 36, 37.

  52 The year is 607 B.C.E. Zedekiah is in the 11th year of his kingship. King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon has laid siege against Jerusalem for the past 18 months. On the seventh day of the fifth month of the 19th year of Nebuchadnezzar’s reign, Nebuzaradan, the chief of the bodyguard, ‘comes to,’ or arrives at, Jerusalem. Perhaps from his camp outside the city walls, Nebuzaradan surveys the situation and plans a course of action. Three days later, on the tenth of the month, he ‘comes into,’ or enters, Jerusalem. And he proceeds to set the city aflame.12, 13. 

Well, I was able to reach my 2010 goal. It was enjoyable and informative. Now what spiritual goal can I set for 2011?

To Home Page