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Bible Commentaries
Jeremiah 40

Old & New Testament Restoration CommentaryRestoration Commentary

Verses 1-6

Jer 40:1-6

Jeremiah 40:1-4

GEDALIAH WAS APPOINTED GOVERNOR

The word which came to Jeremiah from Jehovah, after that Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard had let him go from Ramah, when he had taken him being bound in chains among all the captives of Jerusalem and Judah, that were carried away captive unto Babylon. And the captain of the guard took Jeremiah, and said unto him, Jehovah thy God pronounced this evil upon this place; and Jehovah hath brought it, and done according as he spake: because ye have sinned against Jehovah, and have not obeyed his voice, therefore this thing is come upon you. And now, behold, I loose thee this day from the chains which are upon thy hand. If it seem good unto thee to come with me into Babylon, come, and I will look well unto thee; but if it seem ill unto thee to come with me into Babylon, forbear: behold, all the land is before thee; whither it seemeth good and right unto thee to go, thither go.

The captain...

let him go from Ramah (Jeremiah 40:1). Many writers have difficulty discussing what is written in the Bible, being continually troubled with what they call difficulties! Graybill wrote: It is difficult to reconcile the statement here that Jeremiah was released after being held a prisoner at Ramah with the inference of the previous chapter (Jeremiah 39:13-14) that the Babylonian princes freed him from the Jerusalem prison. The simple answer is that Jeremiah was released twice. Could there be any wonder that something like that occurred in the confusion and disordered bedlam of the siege and destruction of a great city? See our more complete discussion of this under Jeremiah 39:14. It is high time that men stopped criticizing the Bible and started reading it!

Another alleged "difficulty" concerns Jeremiah 40:2-3, in which the captain of the guard uses the very language of Jeremiah in describing what happened to Jerusalem. "Some believe that such a quotation is incongruous in the mouth of a Babylonian"; and from this false judgment deny the integrity of the passage. Such an error again springs from the lack of information on the part of the critics. They should know that both the Assyrians and the Babylonians were familiar with the religion of conquered peoples; and they were skilled in the use of all those religions in their psychological warfare.

A startling example of using the religion of opponents against them is that of Rabshakeh (2 Kings 18:19-25), in which event Rabshakeh pointed out that Hezekiah had destroyed the high places of Jehovah all over Judaea, and claimed that Jehovah had sent him (his master Sennacherib) to attack and destroy Jerusalem!

In addition to all this, Nebuzaradan had without doubt spent much time with Gedaliah (about to be appointed governor), and from him had learned all about Jeremiah’s life-long campaign to persuade Israel to submit to Babylon, and the reasons that underlay God’s decision to destroy the nation of Judah. Upon what other basis, may it be supposed, would the Babylonians have released Jeremiah?

Thus, as Feinberg noted, "Nebuzaradan knew of Jeremiah’s preaching and was merely quoting it in Jeremiah 40:2-3, upon an appropriate occasion."

Because ye have sinned against Jehovah...

(Jeremiah 40:3). The word ye here is plural, referring not to Jeremiah, but to the whole nation.

In addition to the familiarity with Gedaliah, there were countless deserters to the Babylonians who most certainly would have told them about Jeremiah’s preaching.

Jeremiah 40:5-6

Now while he was not yet gone back, Go back then, [said he], to Gedaliah the son of Ahikam, the son of Shaphan, whom the king of Babylon hath made governor over the cities of Judah, and dwell with him among the people; or go wheresoever it seemeth right unto thee to go. So the captain of the guard gave him victuals and a present, and let him go. Then went Jeremiah unto Gedaliah the son of Ahikam to Mizpah, and dwelt with him among the people that were left in the land.

Now while he was not yet gone back...

(Jeremiah 40:5). The Revised Standard Version noted that the Hebrew text here is obscure, rendering it, If you remain, then return to Gedaliah, ... etc.

In this abbreviated account, Jeremiah’s answer is not recorded, but his choice was obvious enough. He elected to remain in poverty and hardship with the poor remnant of the people left behind to make a new beginning in Judah.

Jeremiah went with Gedaliah. to Mizpah

(Jeremiah 40:6). There were several places called Mizpah, but this one was, a Benjaminite town near Gibeon and Ramah a few miles northwest of Jerusalem. F11

TRAGEDY BEYOND TRAGEDY

Jeremiah 40:1 to Jeremiah 45:5

Chapters 40–44 are a continuation of the narrative begun in chapter 37 which was interrupted briefly by the oracle to Ebed-melech in Jeremiah 39:15-18. The events take place in two geographical areas—Judah (Jeremiah 40:1 to Jeremiah 43:7) and Egypt (Jeremiah 43:8 to Jeremiah 44:30). Chapter 45 serves as an appendix to the entire second division of the Book of Jeremiah (chapters 26–45).

The introductory formula at the beginning of Jeremiah 40:1 would lead one to expect a prophetic utterance to follow. “The word which came to Jeremiah from the Lord.” As a matter of fact no oracle or prophecy occurs until Jeremiah 42:9. Some suppose that a prophetic word or prophecy originally followed this introduction and that it has been lost or removed to some other part of the book. Others think that “the word” includes all the revelations given at various times during the critical period pictured in chapters 40–44. Probably, however, the expression “the word” should be taken in a wider sense, including history as well as prophecy.

EVENTS IN JUDAH Jeremiah 40:1 to Jeremiah 43:7

The events in Judah following the fall of Jerusalem center around the Babylonian appointed Gedaliah, his administration (Jeremiah 40:1-12), his assassination (Jeremiah 40:13 to Jeremiah 41:16) and the aftermath of his death (Jeremiah 41:17 to Jeremiah 43:7). This section contains biographical narrative (Jeremiah 40:1 to Jeremiah 42:6; Jeremiah 43:1-7) and one prose sermon (Jeremiah 42:7-22). With the exception of Jeremiah 40:1-6, a brief account of the release of Jeremiah, the life of the prophet is not mentioned in chapters 40 or 41. The term “biographical narrative” is still appropriate however in that these chapters are the necessary transition to the last chapter of the prophet’s life, his forced immigration to Egypt.

The Preferential Treatment of Jeremiah 40:1-6

In chapter 39 Jeremiah was freed from prison and committed to the care of Gedaliah. He was taken to his home where he must have remained for some time. Evidently while mingling with the people, Jeremiah was picked up by Babylonian soldiers under orders to fetter the Jews and prepare them for deportation. Perhaps Gedaliah was away from Jerusalem on business for Nebuchadnezzar at the time. In the absence of his protector Jeremiah did not receive any special favor from the soldiers who were in charge of the deportation. When Jerusalem was put to the torch the captives Were removed to Ramah which appears to have been the processing point for deportation to Babylon (Jeremiah 40:1).

Nebuzaradan, the commander of the occupational forces, found Jeremiah among the captives in Ramah. He quickly and apologetically removed the chains from the wrists of the prophet. How embarrassed Nebuzaradan must have been to discover that Jeremiah had been subjected to the indignities of being a captive when Nebuchadnezzar had expressly given orders that he be treated with kindness. This seems to be the first face to face meeting between Jeremiah and this powerful general. Nebuzaradan must have been quite accurately informed about the preaching of Jeremiah. He certainly speaks the very language of the prophet in Jeremiah 40:2-3. Most commentators regard these two verses as later insertion by some “pious” reader. A heathen could never have spoken in this manner! But is it not possible that this heathen might have heard of the predictions of Jeremiah? Perhaps he was impressed with the way in which these predictions had been so accurately fulfilled. It is, of course, possible that Jeremiah is merely paraphrasing the words of Nebuzaradan and putting his thoughts into language that would be meaningful to an Israelite. At any rate there are several other examples in Scripture of amazingly perceptive language attributed to heathen leaders. As for example the edicts of Cyrus (Ezra 1:3-4) and Darius (Ezra 6:1-12), of Huram of Tyre (2 Chronicles 2:11-12); Pharaoh Necho at the battle of Megiddo (2 Chronicles 35:21) and Rabshakeh’s boast outside the walk of Jerusalem (2 Kings 18:25).

Upon freeing Jeremiah, Nebuzaradan allows the prophet to choose his own course of action. He may either go to Babylon with the other captives or remain in the homeland with the remnant of the people. If he should choose the former alternative, Nebuzaradan promises to personally see to his welfare. “NOW while he was not yet gone back,” i.e., while he was still in the process of making up his mind, Nebuzaradan suggested that if he should choose to remain in the homeland he should join Gedaliah the newly appointed governor. Jeremiah chose to cast his lot with the humble people who remained in the land. Like Moses before him, he chose to suffer ill treatment with the people of God than to enjoy the prestige and pleasure of a royal court. So Jeremiah was given a supply of food, a present of some kind, and then was sent on his way. The prophet elected to follow the advice of Nebuzaradan and join Gedaliah who had set up his headquarters at Mizpah.

Mizpah is generally identified with Tell en-Nasbeh, seven miles north of Jerusalem on the main road to Shechem. This town had played an important role in the history of Israel. Here Samuel led the nation in a great revival (1 Samuel 7:5); Saul was publicly named king of Israel (1 Samuel 10:17). Excavations have revealed no signs of a destruction of Mizpah in the sixth century B.C. It may be that Mizpah opened its gates to the Babylonians and as a result was made an administrative center by the conquerors.

Verses 7-12

Jer 40:7-12

Jeremiah 40:7-9

THE PEOPLE COME TO GEDALIAH

Now when all the captains of the forces that were in the fields, even they and their men, heard that the king of Babylon had made Gedaliah the son of Ahikam governor in the land, and had committed unto him men, and women, and children, and of the poorest of the land, of them that were not carried away captive to Babylon; then they came to Gedaliah to Mizpah, [to wit], Ishmael the son of Nethaniah, and Johanan and Jonathan the sons of Kareah, and Seraiah the son of Tanhumeth, and the sons of Ephai the Netophathite, and Jezaniah the son of the Maacathite, they and their men. And Gedaliah the son of Ahikam the son of Shaphan sware unto them and to their men, saying, Fear not to serve the Chaldeans: dwell in the land, and serve the king of Babylon, and it shall be well with you.

The forces that were in the fields...

(Jeremiah 40:7). These were straggling remainders of the defenders of Jerusalem. There were only seven of these captains of small groups; and they had not been considered important enough for Nebuzaradan to bother with mopping them up.

Dwell in the land and serve the king of Babylon...

(Jeremiah 40:9). Gedaliah’s message was one of peace and encouragement. As representative of the king of Babylon, Gedaliah assured them that there would be no reprisals. Those persons against whom Nebuchadnezzar sought revenge were already dead or on their way into captivity; and all that remained for the pitiful remnant of a once proud nation to do was to settle down in peace and submission to their new masters.

Jeremiah 40:10-12

SURROUNDING NATIONS COME TO GEDALIAH

As for me, behold, I will dwell at Mizpah, to stand before the Chaldeans that shall come unto us: but ye, gather ye wine and summer fruits and oil, and put them in your vessels, and dwell in your cities that ye have taken. Likewise when all the Jews that were in Moab, and among the children of Ammon, and in Edom, and that were in all the countries, heard that the king of Babylon had left a remnant of Judah, and that he had set over them Gedaliah the son of Ahikam, the son of Shaphan; then all the Jews returned out of all places whither they were driven, and came to the land of Judah, to Gedaliah, unto Mizpah, and gathered wine and summer fruits very much.

I will dwell at Mizpah. to stand before the Chaldeans .....

(Jeremiah 40:10). Mizpah was probably chosen as the headquarters of Gedaliah because it was apparently spared of any devastation during the war. Archaeologists have found no evidence of its destruction.

Gather ye wine and summer fruits...

(Jeremiah 40:10). The city had fallen in July; winter was coming on with spring and part of the summer gone; and Gedaliah here urged the people to concern themselves with the food problem. They were confronted with the necessity of survival largely upon dried fruits and vegetables; and there was also the prospect of an olive harvest.

In your cities which ye have taken...

(Jeremiah 40:10) This means: (1) in the cities which you have adopted as residences, or (2) in the cities you have taken over following the end of the war.

Out of all the places whither they were driven...

(Jeremiah 40:12). Many of the Jews during the siege of Jerusalem had fled to surrounding places of refuge; but now they returned from throughout the whole region.

The Program of Gedaliah Jeremiah 40:7-12

After the fall of Jerusalem, Judah became a province of the Babylonian empire. The Holy City, of course, had been completely destroyed, reduced to a heap of ashes. Jerusalem had been a thorn in the flesh of Nebuchadnezzar for so many years that he had unleashed his vengeance against her. But it was not the intention of Nebuchadnezzar to leave the whole land desolate. In case of future campaigns against Egypt it would be very advantageous to have cultivated land available in that area which could furnish at least part of the provisions for his huge armies.

Nebuchadnezzar appointed Gedaliah, a member of a prominent Jewish family, as governor. He did not appoint a Babylonian as governor because he did not wish to arouse the hostility of those Jews who remained in the land. Nor would a descendant of the house of David do, lest ambitions of a restored monarchy be aroused. Gedaliah was an ideal choice. He came from a God-fearing and influential family which through the years had supported the contention of Jeremiah that Nebuchadnezzar had been appointed by God the ruler of the world. Gedaliah’s father, Ahikam, had once protected Jeremiah when he was on trial for his life (Jeremiah 26:24). His grandfather Shaphan had been secretary of state under the godly king Josiah (2 Kings 22:8).Some conjecture—and they are probably correct—that Gedaliah had followed the advice of Jeremiah and defected to the Chaldeans early in the siege of Jerusalem. Be that as it may, it would have been very difficult for Nebuchadnezzar to have found a man better qualified than Gedaliah to lead the Jews in reorganizing themselves, Under his leadership Nebuchadnezzar intended to create in Palestine a self-governing commonwealth under Babylonian sovereignty. The great king hoped to maintain the loyalty of the new colony by granting to them as much freedom as possible, especially freedom of religion. Thus he hoped to create a state in western Asia upon which he could depend in any future showdown with Egypt.

The wisdom of Nebuchadnezzar’s choice of Gedaliah became evident at once. Gedaliah immediately launched into a program of reconstruction. His first goal was to unite the various factions into which the remnant of the people was divided. Scattered throughout the land were small guerrilla bands which had somehow escaped capture and destruction by the Chaldean army. Once the main body of foreign troops withdrew, these guerrilla units either came voluntarily or were summoned to Mizpah. Gedaliah wished to discuss with the leaders of these troops the future of the community in Palestine. Among those named as participating in the discussions are Ishmael who later turned traitor and murdered Gedaliah; Johanan and his brother Jonathan who later would lead the remnant to Egypt; Seraiah the son of Tanhumeth; the sons of Ephai from the town of Netophah which was located near Bethlehem; and Jezaniah, the son of the Maachathite. The name Jaazaniah was found on a seal discovered at what is thought to be ancient Mizpah in 1932. With the cooperation of these men Gedaliah hoped to form a central government which would be adequate to the needs of the people during these dark days.

Gedaliah honestly and forthrightly presented his program to these captains and urged them to use their influence to secure peace throughout the land. First he assured these former soldiers that they had no reason to fear serving the Chaldeans. It may have been that Gedaliah had used his influence to secure from Nebuchadnezzar amnesty for all those who participated in the war against Babylon. Secondly, Gedaliah calls upon these leaders and their followers to dwell peacefully in the land and render service to the king of Babylon. If they continue to do this he promises them a life of peace and tranquility (Jeremiah 40:9). Gedaliah assures them that he would stay at Mizpah and handle the affairs of government. The verb in 10a translated “serve” is not the same verb that is used in Jeremiah 40:9. The verb here literally means “stand before” and means to be the minister of another and look after his interests. He would act as liaison between Judeans and the Chaldean officials who might appear from time to time in the land. Finally, he urges the people to get busy and gather the harvest for the coming winter (Jeremiah 40:10).

News of Gedaliah’s appointment and the progress he had made in reorganizing the remnant spread far and wide. Many homesick Jews, who had fled across the Jordan some months earlier when hostilities had broken out in Palestine, now began to filter back to their native land. From Moab, Ammon and Edom as well as other lands they came. Catching the spirit of the reorganized community they joined in harvesting the land. After reaping an abundant harvest the remnant settled down in their homeland (Jeremiah 40:11-12). How thankful they must have been that God had so abundantly cared for their needs even during those difficult months of devastating warfare. How thankful they must have been to be living in the land of their forefathers.

The Plot of Ishmael Jeremiah 40:13 to Jeremiah 41:16

The peace and tranquility of the tiny remnant in Palestine was soon shattered. Ishmael, a member of the royal family, began plotting behind the scenes to assassinate Gedaliah. Just what motivated Ishmael in this ruthless plot is not clear. It may be that he resented the fact that Gedaliah had been appointed governor rather than a member of the royal family. On the other hand Ishmael may have despised and hated Gedaliah for collaborating with the Chaldeans. Whatever the explanation for the dastardly deed which he committed, it is clear that Ishmael is being used as political pawn of Baalis, the king of the Ammonites. Baalis must have coveted the territory of Judah for himself and decided that Gedaliah was standing in the way. Envy, jealousy and greed must surely have been the factors which drove Baalis and Ishmael into their unholy alliance.

Verses 13-16

Jer 40:13-16

Jeremiah 40:13-16

THE PLOT AGAINST GEDALIAH’S LIFE

Moreover Johanan the son of Kareah, and all the captains of the forces that were in the fields, came to Gedaliah to Mizpah, and said unto him, Dost thou know that Baalis the king of the children of Ammon hath sent Ishmael the son of Nethaniah to take thy life? But Gedaliah the son of Ahikam believed them not. Then Johanan the son of Kareah spake to Gedaliah in Mizpah secretly, saying, Let me go, I pray thee, and I will slay Ishmael the son of Nethaniah, and no man shall know it: wherefore should he take thy life, that all the Jews that are gathered unto thee should be scattered, and the remnant of Judah perish? But Gedaliah the son of Ahikam said unto Johanan the son of Kareah, Thou shalt not do this thing; for thou speakest falsely of Ishmael.

Baalis king of Ammon hath sent Ishmael to take they life...

(Jeremiah 40:14). It seems incredible that Gedaliah should have disbelieved a rumor like this, which was backed up by all the forces in the fields. It seems that everybody knew about it.

Why did Baalis desire to remove Gedaliah? Gedaliah as a friend of Jeremiah had opposed the coalition proposed by Ammon and other nations, of which we read back in Jeremiah 27. Also, by the device of fishing in troubled waters, he probably hoped to make himself the master of the land of Judah.

His enlistment in the plot of Ishmael, who was of royal blood of the House of David, was probably easy enough. Ishmael, of royal descent probably fancied himself superior in every way to Gedaliah, and avidly desired vengeance against him, hoping to replace him.

What a tragedy Gedaliah became! He was a man of integrity and ability but totally lacking in the skill of evaluating men and their veracity. He might also have been overconfident.

In any case, the fears which Johanan expressed concerning the scattering of the people in the event of Gedaliah’s death were soon confirmed. The tenure of Gedaliah which began with such hope perished miserably in the thrust of the sword of Ishmael. (See the next chapter). The Jews who had begun to gather in Judaea were again scattered.

1. The plot revealed (Jeremiah 40:13-16)

Somehow word of the treacherous plot reached the ears of Johanan. Perhaps Ishmael had even tried to enlist Johanan in the conspiracy. At once he warned the governor (Jeremiah 40:13-14). Gedaliah, being the righteous and godly man that he was, could not bring himself to believe that the report was true. Whether Gedaliah is here being naive and foolish or courageous is difficult to tell. Some have suggested that he brushed aside this threat to his life in order to inspire confidence on the part of the various leaders who had come to him at Mizpah. Perhaps he thought the report was only symptomatic of the divisions within the remnant and that it would be best to disregard such malicious slander. But Johanan knew that the death of Gedaliah would mean disaster for the tiny remnant. He was convinced that the reports concerning Ishmael were true. Privately he pressed the matter with the governor, offering to immediately slay Ishmael if Gedaliah so desired. He underscored the point that if Gedaliah were slain the Jewish remnant in Palestine would be scattered and destroyed (Jeremiah 40:15). If Gedaliah had merely been putting up a brave front before there is no reason for him to do so now. He ordered that no action be taken against Ishmael and he accuses Johanan of making false accusations against a fellow officer (Jeremiah 40:16). While of course Gedaliah was right in refusing to allow the assassination of Ishmael, it does seem that he should have taken more active steps to protect his own person. His lack of cautiousness led to his own assassination.

The Fall of Jerusalem - Jeremiah 39:1 to Jeremiah 40:6

Open It

1. What is your favorite story, true or fictional, of a total reversal of fortunes?

2. What do you think of the idea that the captain should go down with the ship? Why?

Explore It

3. What happened to Jerusalem? (Jeremiah 39:1-3)

4. What did the king of Judah and his soldiers do when the Babylonians entered the city? (Jeremiah 39:4)

5. What happened to Zedekiah and his troops because they decided to flee? (Jeremiah 39:5-7)

6. What was left of the kingdom of Judah when the Babylonians finally left? (Jeremiah 39:8-10)

7. What happened to the prophet Jeremiah when the Babylonians took the city? (Jeremiah 39:11-14)

8. What words of comfort did Jeremiah have on the eve of the Babylonian victory for the man who had rescued him from the cistern? (Jeremiah 39:15-18)

9. Where was Jeremiah when the Babylonian commander of the guard came looking for him in order to carry out the king’s instructions? (Jeremiah 40:1-2)

10. What did Nebuzaradan understand about what had just transpired in Judah? (Jeremiah 40:2-3)

11. What choices were given to Jeremiah about where he would live? (Jeremiah 40:4-5)

12. Where did Jeremiah choose to stay after he was freed by the Babylonians? (Jeremiah 40:6)

Get It

13. Although Zedekiah had been installed as a puppet king for the Babylonians, why did he run in fear when they finally took the city?

14. Why would the Babylonians have left a few poor people and given them property?

15. What can we learn about Jeremiah’s character and motives from the fact that he chose to stay with his people rather than receive honor in Babylon?

16. What is revealed about God’s character through His concern for Ebed-Melech?

17. How would you respond to the self-imposed suffering of someone who had ignored your previous warnings about the consequences of a specific behavior?

Apply It

18. What immediate action can you take this week concerning a warning from God’s Word?

19. What person of faith could you study in the coming weeks in order to learn how to take a stand for God’s righteousness while maintaining compassion for sinners?

The Flight to Egypt - Jeremiah 40:7 to Jeremiah 45:5

Open It

1. Whom do you know who has been too trusting and suffered because he or she refused to believe ill of another person?

2. What traditional superstitions were you taught as you were growing up?

Explore It

3. How did the governor appointed by the Babylonians reassure the small fighting force that remained in the land after the Babylonians withdrew? (Jeremiah 40:7-10)

4.How did the remnant of people in the land of Judah grow and begin to prosper? (Jeremiah 40:11-12)

5. What warning did some of the commanders give to Gedaliah, the appointed governor? (Jeremiah 40:13-14)

6. How did Johanan propose to solve the threat against Gedaliah, which he perceived as potentially disastrous to the whole remnant? (Jeremiah 40:15)

7. How did Gedaliah respond to Johanan’s desire to protect him? (Jeremiah 40:16)

8. What devious plan was carried out by Ishmael and his followers? (Jeremiah 41:1-3)

9. What evil deeds did Ishmael add to his murder of Gedaliah? (Jeremiah 41:4-10)

10. What transpired when Johanan caught up to Ishmael? (Jeremiah 41:11-15)

11. What did Johanan assume the remaining faithful people would have to do since Gedaliah had been murdered? (Jeremiah 41:16-18)

12. What request did Johanan and the people with him make of the prophet Jeremiah? (Jeremiah 42:1-3)

13. What promises did Jeremiah and the people make to one another? (Jeremiah 42:4-6)

14. What positive commands and reassuring words did Jeremiah bring from God? (Jeremiah 42:7-12)

15. What warning did God have for the people in anticipation of their intended disobedience? (Jeremiah 42:13-18)

16. Of what fatal mistake did Jeremiah accuse the remnant of Judah? (Jeremiah 42:19-22)

17. How did Johanan and the other leaders rationalize their disobedience? (Jeremiah 43:1-3)

18. Who were the people who entered Egypt, some of them against their will? (Jeremiah 43:4-7)

19. When he was at Tahpanhes with the others, what symbolic action did God tell Jeremiah to take, and what was the meaning? (Jeremiah 43:8-13)

20. For what sin did God, through Jeremiah, remind the people that He had punished Judah and Jerusalem? (Jeremiah 44:1-6)

21. Why was Jeremiah amazed that the remnant had not learned a lesson from all that had happened before? (Jeremiah 44:7-10)

22. What did God say He would do to all those determined to go to Egypt for protection? (Jeremiah 44:11-14)

23. What superstitious belief did the people cite as they defied Jeremiah openly? (Jeremiah 44:15-19)

24. How did Jeremiah proceed to correct their thinking about the real cause of their misfortune? (Jeremiah 44:20-23)

25. With what vow did God answer the people’s vow to continue worshiping the "Queen of Heaven"? (Jeremiah 44:24-28)

26. What did God promise to do to the pharaoh of Egypt, whom the Israelites considered an ally against Babylon? (Jeremiah 44:29-30)

27. Why was the scribe, Baruch, feeling sorry for himself? (Jeremiah 45:1-3)

28. How did God respond to Baruch’s self-pity? (Jeremiah 45:4-5)

Get It

29. What mistake on the part of a well-meaning governor kept the remnant of poor people and fugitive soldiers from prospering after the Babylonian conquest?

30. How did reliance on their own wisdom and preconceptions about God’s answer get Johanan and his fellow leaders into trouble?

31. What (other than fear of the Babylonians) led the people to ignore God and His prophet, Jeremiah?

32. Why did Jeremiah call the disobedience of the people who insisted on fleeing to Egypt a fatal mistake?

33. Why do people swear oaths that they don’t really intend to keep?

34. Why are some people willing to attribute their misfortune to God’s indifference or powerlessness rather than to their own sins?

35. When have you felt discouraged because of how long you have endured hardship in doing the right thing?

36. What blessings will follow if we allow God’s loving-kindness to be our reward for faithfulness?

Apply It

37. In what area of your life do you need to pray for God’s perspective on human evil?

38. What initial steps can you take to refocus on the eternal rather than the earthly rewards when you face discouragement in serving the Lord?

Questions On Jeremiah Chapters Thirty-Nine Thru Forty-One

By Brent Kercheville

1 What does chapter 39 describe?

What were some of the horrors of this event?

Where in Deuteronomy did God warn Israel that this would happen if they disobeyed?

2 How does Nebuchadnezzar treat Jeremiah (Jeremiah 39:11-14)? Compare and contrast his treatment by Nebuchadnezzar with his treatment by Zedekiah.

3 What is God’s promise to Jeremiah (Jeremiah 39:15-18)?

4 What happens to Jeremiah in Jeremiah 40:1-6? Who does the text say did all of this for Jeremiah?

5 What happens in Jeremiah 40:7-16?

6 What else happens in chapter 41?

TRANSFORMATION:

How does this relationship change your relationship with God? What did you learn about him? What will

you do differently in your life?

Bibliographical Information
"Commentary on Jeremiah 40". "Old & New Testament Restoration Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/onr/jeremiah-40.html.
 
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