Miscellaneous flashbacks to earlier times

In the next three chapters, Jeremiah recounts several incidents that occured earlier in the narrative.

Jer 34:1-7   Jeremiah approaches King Zedekiah while the army of King Nebuchadnezzar is fighting against Lachish and Azekah - the only fortified cities in Judah not yet taken by the Babylonians. Jeremiah warns Zedekiah that he will be captured by Nebuchadnezzar and taken captive to Babylon.

Jer 34:8-22   Jeremiah condemns the people of Jerusalem for refusing to set free their Hebrew slaves during a year of Jubilee: "I said to your ancesters, 'At the end of every seven years, each one of you must set his Hebrew slaves free...' But now you have changed your minds. You have shown you do not honour me. Each of you has taken back the male and female slaves you had set free, and you have forced them to become your slaves again." (Jeremiah 34:14-16)

Jer 35:1-19   Jeremiah tells the story of the family of Recab, who were offerd wine to drink in one of the side rooms of the Temple. "But the Recabite men answered, 'We never drink wine'. Our ancestor Jonadab son of Recab gave us this command: 'You and your descendents must never drink wine. Also you must never build houses, plant seeds, or plant vineyards... You must live only in tents. Then you will live a long time in the land where you are wanderers... But when Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon attacked Judah, we said to each other, 'Come. we must enter Jerusalem so we can escape the Babylonian army and the Aramean army'.  (Jeremiah 35:6-11)

The LORD tells Jeremiah to use the Rechabite family as a good lesson to teach the people of Jerusalem how to lead a sober and responsible life.

 

Jerusalem - Entrance to Suq Aftimos (Rastaman3000 )

Entrance to Suq Aftimos, Jerusalem   (Rastaman3000 )

 

Jer 36:1-32   During the 4th year of Jehoiakim's reign (607BC), Jeremiah dictates the LORD's messages to his scribe, Baruch, and tells hims to read the LORD's warnings about the king's evil deeds to the people in the Temple. The people and officials are shocked by the LORD's words, and persuade the king's secretary to read the scroll to King Jehoiakim.

But the king merely cuts the sections off the scroll and throws them into the fire, then orders the arrest of Jeremiah and Baruch. Fortunately, Jeremiah and Baruch have gone into hiding, so Jeremiah dictates another message to Jehoiakim in which he says Jehoiakim will die and his descendents will not inherit David's throne.

In December 599BC, Babylonian, Aramean, Moabite and Ammonite forces are deployed against Judah. Jehoiakim is killed and is succeeded by his son Jehoiachin in 598BC. Later that same year, Nebuchadnezzar beseiges Jerusalem. King Jehoiachin surrenders in March 597BC and is taken captive to Babylonia while Zedekiah is installed in his place.

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