Click here to get started today!
CHAPTER FOURTEEN BONDS AND YOKES
(Chaps. 27, 28)
Chapters twenty-seven and twenty-eight are intimately connected. Both alike treat of the general subject of passive submission to the Babylonian yoke.
Strange as it may seem to those not conversant with the ways of GOD with man on earth as outlined in the Scriptures, it was He Himself who had raised up Nebuchadrezzar and had given His people and the Gentile nations into his hand. This, and the failure on man's part (especially that of the "head of gold," (Daniel 2:38) as the Chaldean monarch was declared to be), will all be found fully detailed in the book of Daniel.
It was for Israel and Judah to own GOD's righteousness in thus causing the dominion to pass from David's house, because of their sin, and to be given to the stranger. This, Zedekiah, as we have seen, did not do; and from the present position it would appear that he and the kings of the surrounding nations, Edom, Moab, Ammon, etc., had attempted an organized coalition against the king of Babylon. Jeremiah is therefore commissioned to warn Zedekiah and his allies of the futility of any such attempt.
It was in the early part of the reign of Zedekiah then, Judah's last king, that Jeremiah was bidden to make bonds and yokes and put them first upon his own neck, then send them for a testimony to the kings of Edom, Moab, Ammon, Tyrus, and Zidon, by the hand of their own ambassadors, who had come to Jerusalem to confer with the Hebrew ruler (Jeremiah 27:2-3).
Not only was he to give to each the symbolic bonds and yokes, but he was to give them the explanation likewise:
"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. 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 27:4-7).
Resistance for the present is but folly, and worse than useless. The king of Babylon was the servant of the Lord, though he wist it not. He could but act by divine permission, and it was the will of GOD to use him as the scourge to punish the people with whom He had a controversy. That purpose achieved, his power should be broken; but till then no might could stand against his victorious armies. The nation refusing to put the neck under his yoke would incur greater punishment, in the way of the sword, the famine, and the pestilence, until they should be utterly consumed (Jeremiah 27:8).
They were warned against giving heed to charlatans parading as prophets and diviners, as also dreamers, enchanters, and sorcerers, who abounded among the heathen. Such, as a rule, give the message which they know is most likely to be received with favor; but when they spoke, saying, "Ye shall not serve the king of Babylon," they were prophesying a lie, and only the more drawing down the vengeance of GOD upon those believing and acting upon their prognostications. If the nations would submit to the yoke, they should be permitted to remain in their own lands as tributaries to Nebuchadnezzar (Jeremiah 27:9-11).
To Zedekiah also a personal warning and entreaty was given. He was urged not to rise in rebellion, but to bend his neck to the yoke, thus saving himself and the people. In his court also were false prophets, who predicted the success of his effort to throw off subjection to Babylon, but the Lord had not sent them. They were prophesying lies in His name (Jeremiah 27:12-15).
To the priests and the people a similar address is directed. The pseudo-prophets had declared, "Behold, the vessels of the Lord's house shall now shortly be brought again from Babylon." (Jeremiah 27:16) This was utterly false; and he pleads with the people not to be deceived.
"If," he says, "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).
For the Lord had made known to him that not only should there be no present recovery of the sacred utensils now in Babylon, but the brazen pillars and the sea, with all the vessels hitherto allowed to remain in Jerusalem, "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," should soon be carried away also and kept in the city of their captivity until the day appointed for His visitation, when He would bring them up and restore them to the holy city (Jeremiah 27:19-22).
The record of their restoration is given in Ezra 1:7-11.
In His own time the word of the Lord was literally fulfilled, while the testimony of the false prophets was proven to be a lie, as the next incident shows.
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Ironside, H. A. "Commentary on Jeremiah 27". Ironside's Notes on Selected Books. https://www.studylight.org/
the Week of Proper 11 / Ordinary 16