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Bible Commentaries

Bell's Commentary on the Bible

Jeremiah 40

Verses 1-16

  1. Intro:
    1. “One thing we learn from history is we don’t learn from history!”
      1. (ww,+me) “There is a cast of characters that is seen in every age. The script of history may change a bit from time to time, but the characters are still the same.”
    2. Outline: We’re going watch Jeremiah make another good decision; then we’ll meet: Gedaliah the good governor; Johanan the concerned captain; & Ishmael the deceitful descendant.
  2. STAY OR GO? (1-6)
    1. ​​​​​​​Mixed in w/the captives at Ramah(city) they set Jeremiah free.
      1. The choice: go to babylon or stay here in the land.
    2. The Babylonian captain Nebuzaradan preached a sermon that sounded a great deal like what Jeremiah had been saying for 40 years! (2-4)
      1. Here is a pagan Babylonian telling the children of Israel they were sinners!
      2. As Gods people, we bow in shame when the world publicly announces the sins of the saints.
        1. Whether it’s Pharaoh rebuking Abraham for lying ‘Why didn’t you tell me she was your wife?” (Gen.12)
        2. Or, Abimelech w/the same rebuke! (Gen. 20)
        3. Or, Jay Leno revealing the latest scandal in Christendom. It hurts.
        4. The Lord doesn’t like to be embarrassed. Listen to how serious he dealt with it when David embarrassed God in front of His enemies.
          1. 2 Sam.12:14 "However, because by this deed you have given great occasion to the enemies of the LORD to blaspheme(the sin w/Bathsheba), the child also who is born to you shall surely die."
    3. Vs.5 “Rations, a gift basket, & his freedom” - Prov.16:7 “When a man's ways please the LORD, He makes even his enemies to be at peace with him.”
    4. Vs.6 So, should he stay or go?
      1. Esp. after telling for many years “go to Babylon for God’s protection”. Shouldn’t he go?
      2. We learn Ezekiel would start up his ministry in the next 5 years in Babylon (he was deported in 597bc); & Daniel was taken there on 605 bc soon to start up his ministry.
      3. With 2 prophets there to minister in Babylon, Jeremiah the faithful shepherd stays w/the remnant, though Babylon would have been more comfortable(wasn’t like the Egyptian captivity).
        1. You must “Study Yourself”! - Know yourself & your calling! - We are not to study others: 1st it’s a sin, 2nd God doesn’t do it! (Howard Hendricks tape) – Know your gifts calling & minisry!
  3. GEDALIAH THE GOOD GOVERNOR! (7-12)
    1. ​​​​​​​Gedaliah = God is greatness.
      1. A good man, from a good family(Dad protected Jeremiah from king Jehoikim in 26:24).
      2. Though he was very naïve about practical policies. (see later 13-16)
      3. He was a Jew, placed in charge of Judah, while Neb. left back to Babylon.
        1. Like Julius Caesar did with Herod who wasn’t Roman but was Idumean/Edom yet Jewish in faith. Placed him over Judea.
    2. Vs.8 – He 1st was able to halt the guerilla warfare led by these men & their soldiers.
    3. Vs.9,10 - He told he people exactly what Jeremiah was telling them.
    4. Vs.11,12 – Next, other Jews that were hiding in near by countries came home.
    5. Arch. Note: (Halleys pg.317) “Starkey, of the “Wellcome Archaeological Expedition”, found in 1935, in the ashes left by Neb.’s fire, among the “Lachish letters”, aseal bearingthis inscription, “Belonging to Gedaliah, the one who is over the house.”
      1. ​​​​​​​What a cool job in Israel!
  4. JOHANAN THE CONCERNED CAPTAIN! (13-16)
    1. ​​​​​​​Johanan – started out a courageous leader, later led the people in the wrong direction.
    2. Vs.14 – We don’t know where he got his info…but it was accurate.
      1. Had Gedaliah listened his life would have been spared.
    3. Vs.15,16 – He offered to take him out for him so the coup wouldn’t happen.
      1. Gedaliah thought the best in people!
        1. ​​​​​​​Like General Robert E. Lee who was asked what he thought of a fellow officer in the Confederate Army who had made some derogatory remarks about him. Lee rated him as being very satisfactory. The person who asked the question seemed perplexed. "General," he said, "I guess you don't know what he's been saying about you." "I know," answered Lee. "But I was asked my opinion of him, not his opinion of me!"
      2. Gedaliah should have listened, or at least better protected himself.
Copyright Statement
These files are the property of Brian Bell.
Text Courtesy of Calvary Chapel of Murrieta. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Bell, Brian. "Commentary on Jeremiah 40". "Bell's Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/cbb/jeremiah-40.html. 2017.