False *Prophets and the Message of the True *Prophet
An EasyEnglish Bible Version and Commentary (2800 word vocabulary) on Jeremiah
chapters 21 to 33
This commentary has been through Advanced Checking.
Words in boxes are from the Bible.
A word list at the end explains words with a *star by them.
Verses 1-2 Nebuchadnezzar had made Zedekiah king. That happened after Nebuchadnezzar had taken the previous king, Jehoiachin, and the important people to Babylon in 597 *BC. Zedekiah had tried to act against Nebuchadnezzar. Zedekiah had asked Egypt to help (Jeremiah 37:4-8). In about 588 *BC, the *Babylonian army had returned to attack Jerusalem. They waited outside the city. And Zedekiah sent men to ask whether the *LORD would free the city.
Pashhur is different from Pashhur, son of Immer, who had put Jeremiah in prison (Jeremiah 20:1-6). Zephaniah received a letter from Babylon. It accused him because he had not punished Jeremiah. The punishment was because he had written a letter. He had written to the people from Judah when they were in Babylon (Jeremiah 29:25-29). The *LORD had acted in wonderful ways in the past. If Jeremiah prayed for Jerusalem, perhaps the *LORD would cause the *Babylonian army to go away.
Verses 3-7 Although the people had swords and arms, they would be of no use. The *LORD himself would allow the king of Babylon and his army to win. The *LORD was very angry with the people in Judah. So he would act to bring the *Babylonian army inside the city. People and animals would die. They would die from hunger and disease. Or they would die in battle. The king of Babylon would show no pity to the people whom he had defeated.
Verse 8 Moses gave to the people in Israel the choice between two ways. If they obeyed the *LORD, they would have a good life. If they did not obey, they would die (Deuteronomy 30:15,19). The people in Jerusalem had to make a choice.
Verses 9-10 Jeremiah's advice was practical. Those people, who gave themselves to the *Babylonians, would escape alive. If the people stayed in Jerusalem, they would starve. Or they would die because of disease. When the enemy attacked the city, they would kill the people there. The *LORD was using the *Babylonian army to punish Judah. So certainly the *Babylonians would win against Judah. Jeremiah himself did not leave the city. The officials accused him. They said that he was trying to join the *Babylonians (Jeremiah 37:11-15). But Jeremiah was loyal to his people. In 587 *BC, he had the choice to go to Babylon. But he remained with those people who remained (Jeremiah 40:1-6).
Verses 11-12 It was the king’s responsibility to make fair decisions. If the king obeyed the *covenant (Deuteronomy 17:18-20), he would do the right deeds. 'Every morning' means every day. Some people cheated and robbed other people (Psalm 72:1-4, 12-14). But the king would defend those people who had troubles. Psalm 45: 6-7 spoke about justice (fair decisions) as the evidence of the royal power of a king. The *LORD would judge those people who failed in their duties. He would judge those people who were guilty of wrong behaviour. These words describe the *LORD's punishment as a fire that nothing can stop.
Verse 13 The city called Jerusalem was David's royal city. It stood on a high, level area above deep valleys. It was easy to defend. David had found that when he had attacked it (2 Samuel 5:6-7). People were confident that they would be safe. It was partly because of its strong position on the mountain. Also the *prophets told them lies. That gave them false confidence.
Verse 14 The *LORD would punish them in the way that they deserved. 'Fire' is a way to describe the *LORD's punishment. There were no forests near to Jerusalem. Some writers have suggested that 'your forests' refers to the royal palace. The builders had used many trees when they made the palace. The trees were called *cedar trees and they came from Lebanon. So the palace was called 'the house of the forest of Lebanon' (1 Kings 7:2).
This is a collection of messages about the kings who reigned after King Josiah.
Verse 1 The message may be for Zedekiah. But it may be for a previous king who could have changed his behaviour.
Verses 2-5 To sit on David’s *throne meant to rule as king. The list of the duties of a king starts in Jeremiah 21:11-12 and it continues here. The *LORD ordered the king, his officials and his people to be fair. The king had to rescue people whom other people have robbed. The king had to defend the people who could not defend themselves. Widows and children, whose fathers had died, could not defend themselves. They should not have difficulties because the king used his power against them. He should behave fairly towards strangers. He should not kill people who had done no wrong deeds. That may refer to the *sacrifice of children in the valley of Ben-hinnom (2 Kings 23:10). But sometimes kings killed people who were not guilty. However, the *LORD told the rulers to kill people who did very bad things.
If the king obeyed the *LORD's commands, his family *descendants would continue. The king and his officials would continue to enter the palace. They would arrive in ways that showed their authority. If the king failed to obey the *LORD, someone would ruin his palace. Nobody would live in it. The *LORD said that was certain. He used his own name when he made that serious promise. There is nobody greater than the *LORD. So the *LORD used his own great name to show that it was a serious promise (Hebrews 6:13-16).
Verse 6 Gilead and Lebanon were regions with famous forests. The *cedar wood for the palace and other buildings came from those places. Solomon built 'the house of the forest of Lebanon' (1 Kings 7:2-5). Isaiah wrote about the 'palace of the forest' (Isaiah 22:8). But the *LORD would ruin those wonderful buildings. The place would become like a desert where nobody lived.
Verse 7 The *LORD would send the *Babylonians to destroy the royal buildings. They would arrive with equipment to chop down all the wonderful *cedar beams. They would throw them into the fire. Psalm 74:5-7 describes how the enemy used axes and hammers to destroy the *Temple.
Verses 8-9 Many foreigners would travel past Jerusalem. They would wonder why the *LORD had caused such a terrible thing to happen to a great city. But the answer was that the people in Judah had caused it. They had *worshipped false gods. They had promised to obey the *LORD. But they had not been loyal to him.
Verse 10 Shallum was Josiah's 4th son (1 Chronicles 3:15). Shallum was his personal name. Jehoahaz was his name as the king. The people in the country appointed him as the king. They did that after his father, King Josiah, died in the battle at Megiddo in 609 *BC (2 Chronicles 36:1). Perhaps they were a group who had agreed with Josiah's actions. They believed that Shallum would continue his father’s actions. But they made a mistake if they chose him because of that reason. The *LORD said that he did wrong things (2 Kings 23:32). But he was king for only three months. *Pharaoh Necho, was on his way to help the *Assyrians against Babylon. Necho took control of Judah. He removed Shallum as king and took him as a prisoner into Egypt.
Shallum was the first king of Judah to die away from his own country. Josiah had been a good king for 31 years (2 Chronicles 34:1). Shallum was only 23 years old. People were sad about him. It was a terrible fate for a person to die away from his country.
Verses 11-12 These two verses explain the poem in verse 10
Verses 13-14 *Pharaoh Necho made Eliakim, Josiah's second son, the king. He changed his name to Jehoiakim. To change his name meant that Jehoiakim was under *Pharaoh's authority. Jehoiakim ruled only because *Pharaoh allowed him to be the king. *Pharaoh made Jehoiakim pay large sums of money. That showed that Egypt was the master over Judah. Jehoiakim got that money as he made his people pay large taxes (2 Kings 23:35).
Jehoiakim was selfish and unfair. He built a wonderful palace for himself. He used *cedar wood and red paint to make it attractive. *Cedar wood smells pleasant and red was a popular colour. There were large rooms upstairs and big windows. But Jehoiakim did not pay the workmen. They had to work and they received nothing in return. That was against the law. The law said that a man must have his wages at the end of the day (Deuteronomy 24:14-15).
Verses 15-17 The *LORD spoke directly to Jehoiakim. The *LORD said that the great amount of *cedar wood in Jehoiakim’s buildings did not make him a real king. Jehoiakim's father, Josiah, had enjoyed his life. But he performed his royal duty and he provided justice. And because of that he succeeded. He did the right and fair things. He helped the people who were poor. He helped those people who could not defend themselves. To ‘know the *LORD’ meant that a person obeyed the *LORD’s laws. That person helped those people who had troubles. But Jehoiakim cheated other people so that he could get rich. Also he was cruel. He allowed to continue the *pagan customs that Manasseh had begun. Jehoiakim took other people’s possessions by force. He destroyed the record of Jeremiah's *prophecies. Also Jehoiakim ordered other people to arrest Jeremiah (36:20-26). Uriah, the *prophet, spoke in the same way as Jeremiah. So Jehoiakim ordered Uriah to return from Egypt in order to kill him (Jeremiah 26:20-23).
Verses 18-19 When Jehoiakim died, nobody would weep for him. They would not use the sad words suitable for a royal funeral. People sang sad songs about his father, Josiah, a long time after his death (2 Chronicles 35:24-25). But Jehoiakim would not have even a grave. People would drag his body outside Jerusalem. They would deal with him in the same way as they dealt with a dead animal. People would throw out his body. It would lie outside in hot and cold weather, during the days and the nights (Jeremiah 36:30).
2 Kings 24:6 says 'he rested with his fathers’. It does not mean that people buried him properly. That was the usual way to say 'he died at the end of his time as king'. Jehoiakim came under the authority of the *Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar after Egypt was no longer powerful. After three years, Jehoiakim was not loyal to Nebuchadnezzar. So Nebuchadnezzar marched into Judah and intended to take Jehoiakim to Babylon. But Jehoiakim had died. People in Jerusalem who supported Babylon may have made a plot to kill him. Josephus was a man who wrote about *Jewish history. He said that Nebuchadnezzar had ordered the people to throw out Jehoiakim's body.
Verses 20-21 The *LORD spoke to the people in Jerusalem. Lebanon was to the north and Bashan to the north east of Israel. Moab was to the south of Israel. These three countries were round Israel. The people should have trusted the *LORD. But they did not listen to him or obey Him. They had not obeyed him from the time that the *LORD took them out of Egypt (Jeremiah 7:25-26). Instead, they had trusted other nations to help them. The people felt safe. They did not listen when the *LORD warned them. Now the *Babylonians had defeated those nations on which Israel had depended. The people in Jerusalem should cry aloud because of their troubles.
Verses 22-23 The wind is the *LORD’s judgement. He would remove the leaders and the nations that Israel asked for help. The kings of Israel lived in a wonderful palace in Jerusalem that they made from *cedar wood. *Cedar wood came from Lebanon. They thought that they would be safe. But they had been wicked. So the enemy would come and ruin proud Jerusalem. When a woman has a baby, the pain comes suddenly. Trouble would come to the people suddenly and they would cry because of their shame.
Verse 24 Jehoiachin also was called Jeconiah (Jeremiah 24:1). The shorter form of his name was Coniah (Jeremiah 37:1). He became king after the death of his father, Jehoiakim. But he ruled for only three months before King Nebuchadnezzar took him away to Babylon.
The ring on a finger of the right hand showed that its owner had authority. *Pharaoh put Joseph in control in Egypt. Then *Pharaoh gave his ring to Joseph (Genesis 41:41-43). That ring had the king's name on it. He used it to sign his name on his official records and on his own possessions. This verse shows that Jehoiachin was king by means of the *LORD's authority. But the *LORD had decided that he would take away Jehoiachin‘s authority as ruler.
Verses 25-27 Both Jehoiachin and his mother, Nehusta, (2 Kings 24:8) would go into a country that was strange to them. They would want to return to their own country. But they would die in Babylon.
Verse 28 The *Hebrew word for 'pot' describes a pot that is of poor quality. Like the pot, Jehoiachin was not good. The pot was broken. Jehoiachin was like a broken pot because he had no use. The enemy would throw him and his children into a foreign country.
Verse 29 Jeremiah said the word 'country' three times. It shows that Jeremiah was talking about his country. He loved his country but soon the enemy would destroy it. That is like Jesus, who wept about Jerusalem (Luke 19:41-44).
Verse 30 They kept a record of the number of people in the nation. But they had to record that Jehoiachin had no children. In fact, he had seven sons (1Chronicles 3:17). But none of his children would become king after him. The next king, Zedekiah, was not Jehoiachin's son. Later his grandson, Zerubbabel, became ruler to govern Judah. But he was not the king (Haggai 2:23).
In 561 *BC, the king of Babylon who ruled after Nebuchadnezzar, freed Jehoiachin from prison. He allowed Jehoiachin to live in the royal palace (Jeremiah 52:31-34). People have found records in the palace in Babylon. They were flat pieces of hard mud on which people had written. Four of those record the supplies of food to 'Jehoiachin, king of Judah, and his 5 sons’.
Most of the *prophecies refer to the immediate future of the *Jews. But not all of them happened when the *Jews returned after the *exile. For example, Jeremiah *prophesies that the two *kingdoms will unite. He also *prophesies about the ‘Branch’ that rules. (Those *prophecies are mainly in Jeremiah chapters 30, 31 and 33.) But neither of those happened after the *exile. Bible teachers explain that those *prophecies can refer to three different future times. Many *prophecies happened when the *Jews returned to Jerusalem and to their country after the *exile. Some *prophecies happened after Jesus was born. A few *prophecies have not happened yet. But they will happen when God creates the new heaven and the new earth.
Verses 1-4 The *shepherds were the king and his officials. The sheep were the ordinary citizens in Judah. The king was probably Zedekiah, the last king against whom Jeremiah had *prophesied. Zedekiah was a weak king. He allowed his officials to plan Jeremiah's death. He told them that the king could do nothing to oppose them (Jeremiah 38:5). The *shepherds were bad officials who did not obey the *LORD. And they did not look after their people. Ezekiel wrote about the selfish and cruel ways in which they behaved badly towards the *LORD's people (Ezekiel 34:2-6). Those bad leaders had not shown the people how to live in the right way. The people had gone into *exile because of those bad leaders.
The *LORD would punish those false *shepherds (leaders). But the *LORD would bring back his sheep (his people) from the countries where he had sent them. The *LORD would appoint leaders who would look after them. Isaiah spoke about leaders who would rule in a fair way. They would be like a shelter from danger (Isaiah 32:1-2). Jesus said that he was the good *shepherd. He would die on behalf of the sheep (John 10:11). That means that Jesus is the *shepherd of all his followers. The person who wrote the letter to the *Hebrews called Jesus 'that great *shepherd of the sheep’ (Hebrews 13:20).
Verses 5-6 The *LORD promised a king who would be like a branch. It would grow from the roots of a tree that had fallen down. Isaiah used a similar description (Isaiah 11:1). That new king would be fair and he would rule wisely. Like David, he would rule over Judah. 'The Branch' became the name for that ideal king for whom the people hoped (Zechariah 3:6; 6:12). Zedekiah's name means 'the *LORD shows that I am right’. His behaviour was very different from his name. He did not do right and fair things. But the king, whom the *LORD promised, would be fair. And he would make people in a right relationship with the *LORD. By his death, Jesus Christ made it possible for people to have a right relationship with the *LORD (2 Corinthians 5:21).
Verses 7-8 These verses repeat Jeremiah 16:14-15. They are a promise. In the past, the *LORD had brought the *Israelites out from Egypt. In the future he would bring them out from the north. And also from all the countries where they were in *exile. That would unite the northern and southern *kingdoms of Israel again. Ezekiel *prophesied that future unity. (Ezekiel 37:19-22).
Jeremiah has spoken against the political rulers of Judah. Now he speaks against the *religious leaders in the nation.
Verse 9 Jeremiah could not understand why the *prophets had refused to listen to the *LORD. He could not understand why his people were so wicked. He was so confused in his mind. His thoughts were affecting him physically. His legs trembled. He felt like someone who had drunk too much wine.
Verses 10-12 Everywhere people had left the real God. They were like those women who were not loyal to their husbands. The people *worshipped the false god, *Baal. But that had not made the land successful. Instead, the land had become dry. There used to be grass for the animals to eat. Now there was no grass. The *prophets did not use their power in the right ways. Even in the *Temple, the *prophets and the priests continued *pagan customs and wrong moral acts. People *worshipped all kinds of false gods. Ezekiel described how they *worshipped the sun there (Ezekiel chapter 8). The *prophets and priests were on their way to great trouble. They were like people who were walking on a path in the dark. The path was so smooth that they would slip on it. And they would fall over. The right time would come for the *LORD to punish them.
Verse 13-14 The *prophets in Samaria were not loyal to the *LORD. And they turned the people away from the *LORD. When the *prophets spoke, they used the name of *Baal and not the *LORD’s name. The *prophets in Jerusalem *sinned in a worse way. They too *worshipped *Baal. But also they encouraged the people to do wrong deeds. Sodom and Gomorrah were two cities that the *LORD had destroyed. The people who lived there had been very wicked (Genesis 18:20; 19:1-9). The people in Judah were like the people in those cities. So they deserved the *LORD's punishment.
Verse 15 ‘Bitter food’ and ‘poisonous water’ was the way that they used to describe difficulties for a person. The false *prophets would have bitter pain in their lives. And they would die like someone who had drunk poison.
Verses 16-17 The false *prophets do not give messages from the *LORD. They say what they think. They make the people believe that there will be peace. They tell the people that they will not have troubles. That was a popular message, but it gave the people a false sense of security. People wanted to behave in the way that they chose. They did not want to obey the *LORD. So the *prophets encouraged them. As a result, the people continued to *sin against the *LORD.
Verses 18-20 Jeremiah speaks about those people who understand the *LORD's messages. They are his close friends. Jesus used words like those in verse 18. He spoke about what he had 'seen' with his Father. And he spoke about the truth that he had 'heard' from God (John 8:38,40). If the *prophets knew the *LORD’s message, they would talk about his punishment. That is what Jeremiah did. The *LORD's punishment on wicked people would come like a fast and powerful wind.
The false *prophets would not understand until the *LORD's punishment had happened. Nebuchadnezzar defeated Judah and took the people into Babylon. Then the false *prophets should have realised what Jeremiah meant. But even in Babylon, they did not understand Jeremiah's words (Jeremiah 27:19 - 28:8).
Verses 21-22 Those *prophets did not know the *LORD. Their messages showed that the *LORD had not sent them. A true *prophet would urge the people to change their behaviour. He would turn the people away from their *sins. But those *prophets encouraged people to believe that God would never punish them for their actions.
Verses 23-24 Nobody can hide from the *LORD. Both Amos, the *prophet, (Amos 9:1-4) and Jeremiah said that nobody can escape from the *LORD's punishment. The *LORD is near to people. But also he is above everyone and everything. He can reach the furthest places in space. So he knows what people are saying. And he knows what they are doing. He knew the truth about the false *prophets.
Verses 25-27 *Pagans thought that their false gods spoke to them by means of dreams. But dreams were less important to the people in Israel. Daniel explained his own dreams and those of Nebuchadnezzar. But Saul did not receive an answer from the *LORD by means of dreams (1 Samuel 28:6). The people in Israel would know when a *prophet's dream was false. He would try to turn them away from the *LORD (Deuteronomy 13:1-4). The dreams of false *prophets gave a false sense of security to the people (Zechariah 10:20).
The 'name' of the *LORD means his character. Once people forgot the character of the *LORD, they could accept all kinds of false ideas. Their *ancestors had forgotten how powerful and holy the *LORD is. So they had accepted *pagan beliefs about *Baal.
Verses 28-32 The dreamer could tell his dream if he wished. But it was only a dream. It was not a message from the *LORD. The dream of a false *prophet was like straw. It did nothing to help anyone. But the *LORD's message was as valuable as wheat. The *LORD's message is as powerful as a fire that destroys rubbish. His message has an effect on the person who listens to it. As a result, that person will want to remove *sin from his behaviour. The *LORD's word is as powerful as a hammer that can break rocks. The *LORD’s words can break down wrong thoughts and wrong attitudes. The false *prophets could repeat only what other false *prophets had said. But they pretended that the message came from the *LORD.
The *LORD said three times 'I am against these *prophets’. They told lies that made people continue to live in the wrong way. The *LORD had not sent those *prophets. He had appointed only the true *prophets. The *LORD had sent Amos, Isaiah and Jeremiah (Amos 7:14-15; Isaiah 6; 8-9 and Jeremiah 1:4-5). Also other *Old Testament *prophets knew that they had received their messages from the *LORD.
Verses 33-36 There are different ways to use words in these verses. The *Hebrew words for 'message' and 'heavy load' both come from a word that means 'to lift'. So it could mean to ‘lift up’ a person’s voice. That means that they speak loudly. Or it could mean to lift up (to carry) a heavy load. Also the words 'heavy load' can refer to a great responsibility. Jeremiah replied to a question about the *LORD's message and he used the two meanings of the word. The people in Judah were the *LORD's message. And they were a heavy load that he would remove.
Many times the false *prophets used the words, 'This is the *LORD's message'. But the words had no meaning, because the false *prophets were telling lies. They were using their own words. And they were changing the *LORD’s message. So the *LORD would punish anyone who used those words.
Verses 37-40 Often the people would ask a *prophet to give to them a message from the *LORD. A false *prophet would declare that he was giving to them the *LORD's message. But the *LORD had told them not to use those words. The *prophets, and the people who listened to them, were like a heavy load. The *LORD would remove them. He would throw them away from their own country. And he would destroy Jerusalem. All the people would remember that they had brought that great trouble upon themselves. It was because they had refused to obey the *LORD.
Verses 1-3 The message came to Jeremiah after 597 *BC. King Nebuchadnezzar had taken King Jehoiachin, all the important officials and the skilful workers into Babylon (2 Kings 24:14-15). Jeremiah may have had a picture that he saw in his mind. Or perhaps he had an actual experience about which he thought. The baskets of *figs were in front of the *Temple. They may have been *offerings to the *LORD from the first fruits on the tree (Deuteronomy 26:5-11). The *figs that became ripe early were the best ones. Nobody should have given bad *figs to the *LORD. People were bringing *offerings to the *LORD that were less than perfect. Perhaps the *figs were the evidence (Malachi 1:6-9).
Verses 4-7 The good *figs refer to the people. But they were not the people who remained in Judah. The *LORD's thoughts are not the same as human thoughts (Isaiah 55:8-9). The good *figs were the people who had gone to Babylon. They would realise why the *LORD had sent them there. The *LORD would change their attitude. Then they would want to obey him as their *LORD. The *LORD promised that he would bring them back to their own country. The *LORD had told Jeremiah that his work was to 'tear down and pull up'. But Jeremiah’s work was to 'build up' and 'plant' as well (Jeremiah 1:10).
Verses 8-10 The bad *figs were Zedekiah, his officials and the people alive in Judah after 597 *BC. The bad *figs were also the people from Judah who were in Egypt. They may have gone there from Judah when *Pharaoh Necho took Jehoahaz (Shallum) there in 609 *BC. (2 Kings 23:34). All those people may have thought that they were safe. So they continued in their sinful ways and their foolish political plots. But the *LORD would judge them and they would become *exiles too. The *LORD would destroy the city of Jerusalem. Other nations would joke about them.
These verses remind us about the *LORD's *blessings. He does not *bless people only when they are in a particular country. He would *bless those people in Babylon who were willing to return to him. People can find the *LORD wherever they are living. But they need to look for him sincerely (Deuteronomy 4:29).
Verses 1-2 In 605 *BC, at the battle of Carchemish, Egypt lost its power. Nebuchadnezzar became king of Babylon. In 605 *BC, Jehoiakim had been the king of Judah for 4 years. It was the year in which Jeremiah dictated his *prophecies to Baruch (Jeremiah 36:1-26). King Jehoiakim destroyed Jeremiah's work. But Jeremiah wrote his messages again and added extra ones. Jeremiah 25:1-14 may be words to start this book. Or they may be words to end it.
Verses 3-5 Jeremiah began his work as a *prophet when Josiah had been the king for 13 years (Jeremiah 1:2). That happened in 627 *BC. Both Jeremiah and the other *prophets always urged the people to turn from their wicked ways. But the people refused to listen. Jeremiah had been urging the people for more than 20 years without success.
Verses 6-7 ‘what you have made'. That refers to the *idols that men had made. They were the *idols that they *worshipped. But also it could refer to everything that they did.
Verses 8-12 The *LORD referred to Nebuchadnezzar as his servant. That does not mean that he *worshipped the *LORD. But it means that the *LORD used him to punish Judah. Judah had refused to obey the *LORD. The *LORD had been very patient. He had warned them many times. They had had a long time in which to change their ways. Later, Cyrus, the king of Persia, defeated the king of Babylon. The *LORD called Cyrus his *shepherd (Isaiah 44:28). The *LORD used him to carry out his plans. Cyrus allowed the *LORD’s people to return to their own country.
When Nebuchadnezzar attacked Judah, there would be an end to normal activities. Happy activities like weddings would not happen. There would be no corn. So the stones would have no grain to turn into flour. There would be no oil. So they would not be able to light lamps. The whole country would become like a desert. Nobody would live there. 70 years is the normal length of a person’s life (Psalm 90:10). And 70 years is a long time, but it has a definite end. Babylon would have troubles later. The *LORD would punish Babylon because of its *sins.
Verses 13-14 The *Greek translation of the *Old Testament puts Jeremiah chapters 46-51 after the first part of verse 13. They are *prophecies against foreign nations. The 'many nations' of verse 14 refer to the Medes and Persians. They defeated Babylon in 539 *B.C when Cyrus was their king.
These verses are very important. They tell that the *LORD would bring his people back to the country of Israel. Later Daniel read about this passage. He prayed that the *LORD would carry out his promise (Daniel 9:1-3).
Verses 15-17 The cup with the drink in it is a description of the *LORD's punishment. The same description is in Habbakuk 2:16 and in Lamentations 4:21. Jesus used those words in the garden called Gesthemane (Luke 22:41-42). The *LORD would send war against the nations. That would make the people behave like people who had drunk too much wine. They would go mad because of their fear. Jeremiah would be a *prophet 'to the nations' (Jeremiah 1:5). He believed that Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon, would attack the nations one at a time.
Verse 18 The *LORD would begin with his own people in Jerusalem and in the cities in Judah. ‘This is how things are today.' That suggests that some part of the *LORD's punishment was happening already.
Verses 19-26 Egypt is the first of other nations on the list. *Pharaoh, his officials and his people had to drink the cup of the *LORD's punishment. The punishment includes the group of people from other countries who lived in Egypt. Exodus 12:38 refers to other people who came out from Egypt with the people of Israel. The full *prophecy about Egypt is in Jeremiah chapter 46.
The country called Uz was the home of Job (Job 1:1). It was probably east of the river Jordan. In Lamentations 4:21, it is associated with Edom.
The *Philistine cities of Ashkelon, Gaza, Ekron and Ashdod do not include their 5th city called Gath. Amos does not mention it either (Amos 1:6-8), so Gath may have lost its importance already. There was a writer of history called Herodotus. He said that *Pharaoh Psammeticus destroyed Ashdod. He ruled until 609 *BC. That would explain the words 'those people who are left'.
The nations called Edom, Ammon and Moab (Jeremiah 48:1-49:22) and the kings of Tyre and Sidon opposed Babylon. So all of them would have troubles.
'Dedan' describes people whose family history went back to Abraham and Keturah (Genesis 25:3). 'Tema' refers to an Arab *tribe. 'Buz' came from the family of Nahor, Abraham's brother (Genesis 22:21).
The *LORD would judge all the other places to the north of Judah and everywhere else. Finally, the *LORD would judge Babylon itself. The word 'Sheshach' is a different way to refer to Babylon. (The *Hebrew word for Babylon has three letters BBL. Those letters are the second, second and 12th in their alphabet. Sh, Sh and Ch are the second, second and 12th from the end of their alphabet). 'Sheshach' may have been a secret word that they used during a time of political danger. But Jeremiah uses the name 'Babylon' in other verses. So there may be another reason why Jeremiah used it here. In Jeremiah chapters 50 to 51 there is a long passage to describe the *LORD's punishment for Babylon.
Verses 27-29 There was no way to avoid the *LORD's punishment. The *LORD told Jeremiah to say that clearly. No people on earth would escape punishment. The city where the *LORD’s name lives, refers to Jerusalem and the *Temple. Certainly the *LORD would punish Jerusalem. Amos said that the *LORD would punish his special people because of their *sins. And Peter wrote that punishment would begin with 'the family of God' (1 Peter 4:17).
Verse 30 The *prophets Amos and Hosea also describe how the *LORD is like a lion. He is like a lion that roars (Amos 1:2 and Hosea 11:10). The *LORD makes people hear him even during a noisy storm. People used to press *grapes with their feet. That is how they got juice from the *grapes to make wine. They would shout as they did that. Those all describe how people everywhere would hear the *LORD's message about punishment.
Verses 31-32 The descriptions change to a court of law. The *LORD would accuse the nations about their wrong actions. He would kill those people who are guilty. The terrible punishment would be like a great storm. It would blow up from a distant place. It would spread through every nation in the world.
Verse 33 This small verse interrupts the poem. It shows that the results of the war would be terrible. Nobody would be sad about those people. They would have no proper grave. Their bodies would be everywhere on the ground. They would be like rubbish on the ground. It is a description that Jeremiah had used before (Jeremiah 9:22; 16:6-7).
Verses 34-38 The *shepherds were the rulers of the nations. The leaders were the kings. They thought that they were safe. They thought that their countries were like peaceful fields. But those proud rulers would experience the *LORD's punishment. His punishment was for every nation. They would fall like pots that break into pieces. A different translation of this verse says this. ‘They would fall like the best sheep that the people kill.’
A lion leaves its home to attack the sheep. The *LORD is like that lion. The *LORD is very angry. He will use an enemy to fight the nations. The enemy will turn the land into a desert where nobody can live.
Verses 1-6 This is a shorter account of the message that is in Jeremiah chapter 7. In chapter 7, there is no date. Jeremiah may have given the same message on two different occasions. Or it may be the same occasion. But the importance here is what happened to Jeremiah as a result. Jehoiakim became king soon after *Pharaoh Necho had taken his father, Jehoahaz, into Egypt. Jeremiah could not leave out a single word of his message. The message warned them. The *LORD would destroy the *Temple and Jerusalem unless the people changed their ways. The *Philistines had destroyed Shiloh about 1050 *BC. It had been the place where the people in Israel *worshipped the *LORD. That was before Solomon built the *Temple in Jerusalem (1 Samuel 1:3). Some people think that the *Philistines destroyed that *Temple. They may have done that after they had seized the God’s special box (1 Samuel chapter 4).
Verses 7-11 The *religious leaders and the people seized Jeremiah. They accused him. He had used the *LORD’s name when he spoke. So they said that he had insulted the *LORD. They believed that the *LORD protected Jerusalem. The LORD’s *Temple was in Jerusalem. Therefore, it would be impossible for the *LORD to destroy the city. The officials may have received a message about what was happening. Or perhaps they heard all the angry noises. It was usual to hold legal meetings at a gate of the city. At a city gate, Abraham obtained the right to buy a field (Genesis 23:10-20). At a city gate, Boaz obtained the right to have Ruth as his wife (Ruth 4:1-9). The *religious leaders accused Jeremiah. They said that he ought to die because of his *prophecy against Jerusalem.
Verses 12-16 Jeremiah spoke to defend himself. He said that he was a true *prophet. He urged the people to change their ways. Then they could avoid the trouble that the *LORD intended to send upon them. If they killed Jeremiah, they would kill an innocent person. So they might bring the *LORD's punishment upon themselves and upon the city. The officials acted as judges. They and the people there believed Jeremiah. He did not deserve to die. His message was a true message from the *LORD.
Verses 17-19 Some of the older leaders remembered the *prophecy that Micah gave (Micah 3:12). It said that Jerusalem would become like an empty field. And the *Temple hill would be a place where bushes grew. An enemy would destroy the city completely. King Hezekiah and the people in Judah had not killed Micah then. They had changed their ways. So they had escaped the *LORD's punishment. The older leaders pointed out that they would bring terrible trouble upon themselves. The officials had already declared that Jeremiah was innocent. And the leaders’ words supported their decision.
Verses 20-23 These verses show that it was dangerous to speak the truth. Uriah came from a place that was quite near to Jerusalem. His message was the same as Jeremiah's. Uriah heard about the king's plan to kill him. So Uriah escaped to Egypt. But Jehoiakim was a cruel king. Probably there was some political agreement between Jehoiakim and the leaders in Egypt. So Elnathan was able to go to Egypt to return Uriah to his own country. Elnathan may have been the father of Jehoiakim's wife (2 Kings 24:8). He probably acted on Jehoiakim's orders. Later, he tried to stop Jehoiakim when he burned Jeremiah's book (Jeremiah 36:25). The graves of the ordinary people were in the Kidron valley, outside Jerusalem. Zechariah was the only other *prophet in the *Old Testament whom the people killed (2 Chronicles 24:20-22). But Jesus spoke about the death of *prophets. That means that there were other *prophets who died because of their courage (Matthew 23:31; Luke 13:34).
Verse 24 Fortunately, Ahikam and his family supported Jeremiah. Ahikam's father Shaphan may have been the secretary when Josiah was the king (2 Kings 22:3-14). Ahikam's brother Gemariah, tried to stop Jehoiakim when he burned Jeremiah's book (Jeremiah 36:11,25). Gedaliah, was also a son of Shaphan. He looked after Jeremiah after the *Babylonians destroyed Jerusalem (Jeremiah 39:14; 40:5-16).
There is a contrast between what happened to Jeremiah and to Uriah. The *LORD allows different things to happen to his servants. Uriah died. But Jeremiah *prophesied and had troubles for many more years. In the same way, Herod killed the James, who was one of Jesus’ followers (Acts 12:2). But his brother, John, lived until he was old. People find those differences hard to understand. But we must realise that the *LORD is wiser than people.
Verses 1-2 That event took place after 597 *BC. Already King Nebuchadnezzar had defeated Judah. He had taken the king and the important people to Babylon. He had made Zedekiah the king. Jeremiah 28:1 says that it was the 4th year of Zedekiah's rule. So it would have happened about 594 *BC.
Men put a *yoke on the neck of animals. Then they used thick string to attach the *yoke to a plough. Then the animals had to obey the farmer. So in verse 8, the *yoke meant that one country would have to obey another country.
Verses 3-7 Men with messages came from the group of small countries. They had arrived in Jerusalem. They intended to plot with Zedekiah and no longer to obey Nebuchadnezzar. Jeremiah told them to take the message back to their masters. The message said that the *LORD is great and powerful. He created the world and everything in it. Therefore, he can give the world to anyone that he chooses. The *LORD decided that Nebuchadnezzar and his *descendants would control the nations. Later, the *LORD would judge Babylon. He would do that by means of other nations and kings. It had seemed impossible that Babylon itself would lose its power. People listened to Jeremiah's message. They thought that he was not loyal to his country.
Verses 8-11 Any nation that refused to accept Jeremiah's message would have troubles from a military attack. The results of war were hunger and disease. It was foolish to believe all the people who were telling lies. Those people were false *prophets. And they said that they knew future events. The *LORD did not allow the *Israelites to use those wrong customs (Deuteronomy 18:9-13). To listen to those false *prophets would lead to the *LORD's punishment. They were saying that people should not obey Nebuchadnezzar. Nebuchadnezzar would make them go into *exile, where they would die. But they should follow Jeremiah's advice and accept Nebuchadnezzar as their master. Then they would remain in their own country. They would have to pay money to the king of Babylon. But they would live peacefully. And they would continue to cultivate the land.
Verses 12-15 Jeremiah himself appealed to the king. Zedekiah should not listen to the false *prophets. The *LORD had not sent them. He did not want his people to die in war. He did not want them to die because of hunger and disease. So Zedekiah should serve Nebuchadnezzar. Then Zedekiah and his people would remain in their own country. But if Zedekiah believed the promises of the false *prophets, he would have to leave Judah. Both Zedekiah and the false *prophets would die.
Verses 16-18 Jeremiah urged the priests and the people not to listen to the false *prophets. Nebuchadnezzar took objects from the *Temple in 597 *BC. That was when he took away into Babylon king Jehoiachin and the important people (2 Kings 24:13). The false *prophets said that soon Nebuchadnezzar would return those objects. The false *prophets should pray to the *LORD. They should ask the *LORD to protect the *religious objects that remained in the *Temple. They should pray that he would protect the other valuable objects. Those objects were in the king's palace and in the city of Jerusalem. If the priests and the people did not serve the king of Babylon, he would destroy the city. And he would take away every valuable thing that remained.
Verses 19-21 The two metal columns were at the entrance to the *Temple (1 Kings 7:15-22). The 'Sea' was an enormous metal bowl, which could hold hundreds of gallons of water. The priests used the water to make themselves pure. They had to be pure before they carried out their ceremonies (Exodus 30:17-21). The ten stands held basins, which contained water. The priests washed parts of animals with that water before they gave them as *burnt offerings (1 Kings 7:27-39; 2 Chronicles 4:6).
Nebuchadnezzar took all those away when he destroyed Jerusalem in 587 *B.C (2 Kings 25:13-17).
Verse 22 Jeremiah ended with hope for the future. The *LORD would bring back those objects from Babylon.
Verse1 Hananiah came from Gibeon. It was a place north of Jerusalem where the chief officer of David's army had killed Amasa (2 Samuel 20: 8-10).
Verses 2-4 Jeremiah had spoken about 70 years of *exile. Hananiah said that in two years the *yoke of Babylon would break. The holy objects from the *Temple would return to Jerusalem. Also the king and the other people that Nebuchadnezzar had taken into Babylon, would come back. The reference to Jehoiachin suggests that still some people thought of him as their legal king.
Verses 5-6 Jeremiah's reply may have shown that he had serious doubts about Hananiah's message. But Jeremiah loved his own country. He may have wished that Hananiah's words would happen.
Verses 7-9 Jeremiah said that all the previous *prophets had *prophesied punishment. Their main message was about war, hunger and disease. Hananiah's message about peace might happen. That would prove that he was a real *prophet. But it was a very different message from that of previous *prophets. So it was less likely to be true. They would have to wait and see who had the right message.
Verse 10-11 Hananiah became angry. He broke the *yoke that was on Jeremiah's neck. Hananiah repeated what he believed. In less than two years the *LORD would remove Nebuchadnezzar's power as he had removed the *yoke. Jeremiah did nothing. He just walked away. He did not reply in an angry way. But he waited for the *LORD to speak to him
Verses 12-14 The *LORD said that Nebuchadnezzar's power over the nations was as strong as an iron *yoke. To oppose him would make matters worse for them. The phrase ‘over even the wild animals' means that the *LORD had given complete authority to the king of Babylon.
Verses 15-17 Finally, Jeremiah gave a message to Hananiah himself. Hananiah was a false *prophet. Hananiah taught lies. He was speaking against the *LORD's authority. He was also making the people believe lies. In Deuteronomy 18:20, the law states that the rulers should punish a false *prophet by death. Jeremiah *prophesied that Hananiah would die that year. In less than two months, Hananiah died. The record does not say how he died. His death would show that Jeremiah was a true *prophet.
Verses 1-3 There was communication between King Zedekiah in Judah and King Nebuchadnezzar in Babylon. Perhaps Zedekiah was sending the money that Nebuchadnezzar demanded. Or perhaps he wanted to persuade king Nebuchadnezzar that Judah remained loyal to its political ruler. Elisah may have been the brother of Shaphan's son Ahikam (Jeremiah 26:24). Gemariah was the son of Hilkiah. Hilkiah was chief priest when Josiah was the king (2 Kings 22:4-14). They were both friendly towards Jeremiah. They took his letter with them on their official business. The letter was to the whole group in *exile. 'The older leaders who were alive.’ That suggests that some elders had died already. Or perhaps someone had killed them.
Verses 4-6 Jeremiah reminded the *exiles that the *LORD had sent them to Babylon. Therefore, he advised the *exiles to accept their situation. They should live in a normal way. They should not waste time or pity themselves. Instead, they should make permanent houses for themselves. They should expect success with the crops that they had planted. They should have children and grandchildren. The book of Ezekiel shows that they had freedom to do that. They had their own organisation and they had leaders (Ezekiel 8:1; 14:1).
Verses 7-9 The people from Judah should work and pray for Babylon. They should desire its peace and success. That was the best way to make sure of their own security and success. They should not listen to the false *prophets. The people from Judah should take no notice of other people who told lies. Those men were trying to persuade the people from Judah that soon they would return to Judah. The *LORD had sent none of those men. They were disturbing the people with their false promises.
Verses 10-14 These verses repeat the promise in Jeremiah 25:12. The *LORD had plans for the future of his people after their 70 years in Babylon. The *LORD’s people had to be completely sincere when they returned to the *LORD. Then he would answer their prayers. He would take them back to their own country from wherever he had sent them. Paul described God's promise for the future of those people who love him. It is far beyond anyone's knowledge or imagination (Ephesians 3:19; 1 Corinthians 2:9). There are no limits to the way that God loves us.
Verses 15-16 In Babylon there were *prophets. They made the people think that everything would be good. The king was a *descendant of David’s family. He continued to rule in Jerusalem. There were people who remained in Judah.
Verses 17-19 Jeremiah had to remind them about his picture of the *figs (Jeremiah chapter 24). Nebuchadnezzar had taken their king and leaders into Babylon in 597 *BC. Those people who remained in Judah were like the bad *figs. They had not learned to change their ways. The *LORD would judge them too. They would have troubles in war. They would die because of hunger and disease. Other nations would think about them with disgust. Those nations would joke about the fate of those people who had remained in Judah. The *LORD had sent his servants, the *prophets, to warn them many times. But they had not listened. The *exiles in Babylon had not listened either.
Verses 20-21 Ahab and Zedekiah were two *prophets among the *exiles in Babylon. They said that their words were messages from the *LORD. But they were guilty because they told lies. Probably they told the *exiles that soon they would return to Judah. The two *prophets may have been involved in some political crime too. To kill people in a fire was a form of punishment in Babylon. The account in Daniel chapter 3 is an example of this. Nebuchadnezzar ordered his officials to throw three *Jews into the fire. He did that because they would not *worship his gold image.
Verse 22 Sometimes some of the *exiles in Babylon wanted to wish evil things upon someone. So they used the names of those *prophets. They would ask the *LORD to punish people in the same way that Nebuchadnezzar had punished Zedekiah and Ahab.
Verse 23 Those two *prophets had lived wicked lives. They had told lies. They had not obeyed the *LORD's law. They made their neighbours' wives not loyal to their husbands. That was also the evidence that they were not true *prophets. The *LORD knew all about their bad behaviour and their false *prophecies.
Verses 24-25 Shemaiah was a *prophet in Babylon. 'Nehelamite' may mean that he came from a place called Nahlam. He decided to send several letters to Judah. In his letters, he complained about Jeremiah's letter to the *exiles. Among his letters to the priests, he sent one to Zephaniah. Zephaniah had replaced Jehoiada as the priest. He was the head of discipline in the *Temple.
Verses 26-28 One of the priest's duties was to lock up mad men. Also he had to lock up anyone who behaved like a *prophet. Shemaiah wrote that Zephaniah should have locked up Jeremiah because of his advice to the *exiles. Jeremiah had told them that they would be in Babylon for a long time. He had said that they should build houses. Then they should remain there. They should plant gardens. They should eat what they produced (Jeremiah 29:5). There is no record of the rest of Shemaiah's letter. The other *prophets did not like Jeremiah. He was telling the people that they would be in Babylon for a long time. But they wanted to get back to their own country quickly.
Verse 29 Zephaniah read the letter to Jeremiah. He may have sympathised with Jeremiah or wanted to warn him. But he did not act against Jeremiah.
Verses 30-32 Jeremiah wrote to the *exiles. His answer was similar to his answer to Hananiah (Jeremiah 28:15-16). Shemaiah had told a lie. And he made the people believe it. The *LORD had not sent him. So the *LORD would punish him and his *descendants. None of them would live to see the good things that the *LORD would do for his people. He had *sinned. They had taught people to turn away from the *LORD.
Verses 1-3 are like a title to the promises in Jeremiah chapters 30-31. 'All the words that I have spoken to you' refer to these chapters. It does not refer to all of Jeremiah's *prophecies. The *LORD had promised hope for his people in Jeremiah 3:12 -18. Now a series of poems will remind people about that hope. The people from the northern *kingdom of Israel went into Assyria as prisoners in 722 *BC. The people in Judah went into *exile in Babylon in 597 *B.C and 587 *BC. The *LORD said that they would return from *exile to their own country. The *LORD had given that country to their *ancestors.
Verses 4-7 These verses describe the great trouble and pain that people would experience. The *LORD’s people would have troubles in *exile. They would suffer pain like a woman who was having a baby. People's faces grew pale because they were so afraid. They could do nothing against their powerful enemy. ‘I will save them out of this' could be a question. 'Can I save them out of this?' The situation seemed without hope. It was difficult to believe that the *LORD could rescue his people. But that is a message about hope. Even out of a terrible situation like that, the *LORD can rescue his people. 'Jacob' means 'Israel'. And it refers to both the *kingdoms of Israel and Judah.
Verse 8 The *LORD promised that he would free his people. They would not have to obey people from other countries any longer. The *LORD would be like a farmer. Thick strings tied the *yoke to the plough. A farmer sets free the animal from the *yoke across its neck. The *LORD would set free his people completely.
Verse 9 The people who had been in *exile would obey the *LORD. This *prophecy looks forward to that time. The *LORD would send an ideal king to them. That does not refer to king David himself. It means one of David's royal *descendants. That king would be the *LORD's servant, who would come to look after his people. Ezekiel spoke about the servant as the *shepherd of the nation (Ezekiel 37:24-25). Luke spoke about how that servant would rescue the *LORD’s people (Luke 1:69). Those *prophecies happened when Jesus came to earth. He did not come as a political ruler. He came to give freedom from the '*yoke' of *sin (Acts 2:30, 38). Jesus told Pilate that he would not be the king in any one country (John 18:36). Jesus is king of everyone who follows him.
Verses 10-11 These verses are very similar to Jeremiah 46:27-28. They repeat the promise. The *LORD would bring back the people of Israel from the countries where their enemies had taken them. The *LORD’s people would be able to live in peace and safety. The *LORD himself would destroy their enemies. But the *LORD warned his people that they would not escape punishment for their *sins. Amos had said that. The *LORD had chosen Israel out of all the families on the earth. So he would punish Israel for all its *sins (Amos 3:2). But the *LORD would not destroy his people completely. His punishment would be right and fair.
Verses 12-14 The people had described their troubles as an injury that nothing could heal (Jeremiah 10:19). Jeremiah had used the same language when he had troubles (Jeremiah 15:18). It describes terrible damage that an enemy had caused. It may refer to the situation after 587 *BC, when the king of Babylon had destroyed Judah and Jerusalem. Judah had trusted other nations to help them against Assyria and Babylon. But Egypt was not a loyal friend (2 Kings 18:21). Edom failed to help when Nebuchadnezzar attacked Jerusalem. Edom even prevented the people so that they could not escape to safety (Obadiah v9-14). Moab, Ammon, Tyre and Sidon were other political friends whose help was of no use (Jeremiah 27:3).
Verse 15 The people complained but it was no use. They should not feel sorry for themselves. They had only themselves to blame. The *LORD had punished them because of their very many *sins.
Verses 16-17 There is a sudden change from the situation without hope in verses 12-15. The *LORD would destroy Judah's enemies. He would heal the country’s injury. People were calling Zion an ’*exile’. Zion was like someone whom people threw away. It was like someone for whom nobody cared. But the *LORD would act. He would show that this insult was an insult to himself (Ezekiel 36:22-23).
Verses 18-20 People would rebuild the city. The enemy had destroyed the buildings. But people would build on the broken buildings. The palace would remind the people about the ruler who would come in the future. There would be a change in how the people lived. They would sing. They would praise and thank the *LORD. And people would laugh as they enjoyed themselves. The number of people would increase. In the past, the number of people had decreased because of the *exile. And many people had died because of disease. Other nations would respect them and not insult them again. ‘Society’ refers to a group of people who come together for a *religious or political purpose. So that suggests that people were beginning to organise their politics again. The *LORD would deal with anyone who tried to prevent their normal way to live.
Verse 21 Instead of the word 'king', the writer uses the word 'leader' and 'ruler'. Perhaps he was keeping the word 'king' for the future ideal ruler. The ruler would not come from the powerful countries of Assyria, Egypt or Babylon. Instead, he would come from among the *LORD’s own people. The *LORD would bring that ruler. Therefore he would be able to approach the *LORD. In the *Old Testament, a person could not approach the *LORD unless the *LORD asked him. Otherwise, the person would risk death. So the ruler would be someone who was loyal to the *LORD. He would be someone of whom the *LORD approved. The ruler would act as a priest as well as a political leader.
Verse 22 The purpose of all those promises was that the people in Israel should obey the *LORD. Then he would consider them as his own people. You can find that those two promises are in other places in the *Old Testament. For example, Leviticus 26:12; Jeremiah 7:23; Ezekiel 36:28.
Verse 23 The *LORD’s anger is like a sudden storm. In the storm, strong winds rush round and round. They destroy everything that is in their way. In a similar way, wicked people will feel the effects of the *LORD’s powerful anger. It will be like the power of a great wind.
Verses 23-24 are also in Jeremiah 23:19-20. There, they warned the false *prophets that there would be punishment in the future. There would not be peace. The verses here emphasise that the *LORD promised to judge Israel's enemies. The *LORD has decided his plans already. He will carry them out until they are complete. People will understand them only when they happen in the future.
Verse 1 refers to the promise in Jeremiah 30:22. The close relationship between the *LORD and Israel would begin again. 'Israel' here means all the people in both the northern and southern *kingdoms.
Verses 2-6 refer especially to the northern *kingdom of Israel. The people had gone into *exile in 722 *BC. Samaria was its capital city. Ephraim is another name for the northern *kingdom, because it was the largest of the 10 *tribes. Now Israel was like a woman who would be loyal to her future husband. Maybe the nation was prepared to be loyal to the *LORD.
Verse 2 When Israel escaped from Egypt, the *LORD took care of them in the *desert. The people who had been in *exile would come out from Babylon. The *LORD would look after them. The *LORD would give them peace.
Verse 3 'in the past' may refer to the *covenant that the *LORD made between himself and all Israel at Sinai. The *LORD would love and be loyal to his people always. However, the *Hebrew words for ‘in the past’ may mean 'from a long way away'. The *LORD acted while his people were still in a distant country. That reminds us about Jesus' story about the son who had left home. When the son returned, the father saw him a long way in the distance. The father ran to welcome him home (Luke 15:20). So when the people in Israel began to return to the *LORD, he would welcome them back to their own country.
Verses 4-5 The *LORD would rebuild the nation in safety. People would be able to have a happy time. They would play music and dance. Farmers would be able to plant *vineyards. There, they could grow the fruit to make wine. Their work would not be a waste of time. There would be no enemy to steal or destroy the fruit. The *LORD’s people would be able to enjoy the fruit themselves.
Verse 6 Men used to watch from high places. They could warn the people if an enemy was coming. Now they would call the people to *worship the *LORD in Zion (Jerusalem). Dan and Bethel were places in the northern *kingdom where they *worshipped the *LORD (1 Kings 12:25-30). So Jeremiah saw the two *kingdoms of Israel joining. They were uniting because all of them were *worshipping at the *Temple in Jerusalem.
Verse 7 People would be very happy as the people of Jacob (Israel) returned. They called Jacob 'the greatest nation'. Probably that showed that the people were proud of their nation. The *LORD had rescued those people who remained alive in Israel. They were the people who remained alive after 722 *BC.
Verses 8-9 These verses are similar to verses in Isaiah 35. They describe how the *LORD leads his people to their home again. Some people would find the journey especially difficult. There would be blind people and those people who could not walk well. Some women, who were returning, would be expecting babies. Some women would be nearly ready to give birth. But the *LORD would look after them all. There would be plenty to drink. The streams would flow all the time. That was different from the time when the people had escaped from Egypt in the past. Often they had been without water. But in the future, the journey would be easy. It would be in contrast to the journeys that they had made as prisoners to Assyria and Babylon.
The journey from Egypt in the past had been difficult. But for those people who return, the *LORD would make their way like a smooth path. They had wept because they were away from their own country. That had made them very sad (Psalm 137:1-4). Now they would be weeping because they were so happy. They would be praying because of several reasons. They would ask the *LORD to forgive them because of their past *sins. They would praise him because they were on the way home. They would ask him to look after them in the future.
The *LORD calls Israel his 'eldest son'. The *LORD wanted the people of Israel to know that he loved them. Ephraim is like the oldest son because the oldest son was the most important son. ‘Ephraim’ refers to all the people who lived in the north of the country. Assyria took those people away. Later, the *LORD talks about ‘Judah’. Those are the people in the south, where Jeremiah was speaking (Jeremiah 31:23, 27). So the *LORD was speaking to all the *Jews.
Verse 10 The nations will be a witness to what the *LORD will do. He will bring back his people from all the places where he had scattered them. He will look after them in the way that a *shepherd looks after all his sheep. Isaiah used the same kind of language. He described how the *LORD would love his people. And also how he would look after them (Isaiah 40:11).
Verse 11 'Rescue' often meant to pay a price to free someone. The person who paid was a relative. When a member of the family died, that relative had the responsibility for the property. The family had to continue to own the property. That happened in the book of Ruth. Boaz bought land from Naomi that was her dead husband's property. Also it gave to Boaz the right to marry Ruth (Ruth 4:1-11). Jeremiah bought his cousin Hanamel's field (Jeremiah 32:1-15). The *LORD acted in a similar way because he brought back the people of Israel from Babylon.
Verses 12-13 The *LORD would give to them a plentiful supply of all the food that they needed. Corn, wine and oil would provide their normal food. Their animals would have many young animals. The people themselves would be successful. They would be like a garden that had a plentiful supply of water. The young and the old people, both men and women, would dance because they were happy. People would not be sad any longer.
Verse 14 The priests did not own any land. So they obtained their food from the gifts that people brought to them. Also the priests could eat their part of the *sacrifices (Numbers chapter 18). In that way, they would enjoy plenty of good things that the people had.
Verse 15 Ramah was about 5 miles (about 8 kilometres) from Bethlehem. Rachel's grave was there. Rachel was Jacob's wife. And she was the mother of Joseph. Joseph's two children were Ephraim and Manasseh (Genesis 41:50-51). So the *tribe of Ephraim was one of her *descendants. Ephraim was another name for the northern *kingdom of Israel. Rachel's spirit was weeping because her *descendants were going into *exile in 722 *BC, after her death. The writer of Matthew's gospel thought about this verse in Jeremiah when Herod killed all the babies in Bethlehem (Matthew 2:18).
Verses 16-17 Rachel should not continue to cry. Her children will return from *exile to their own country.
Verses 18-20 Ephraim had begun to feel sorry because of his *sins. Hosea had spoken about Israel who had refused to obey the *LORD. Israel was like a young cow who refused to obey its master (Hosea 4:16). Ephraim had understood why the *LORD had punished him. He would turn back to the *LORD. Ephraim would ask the *LORD to forgive him. He was ashamed about his behaviour in the past. The enemy had taken Ephraim’s people into *exile. That had caused Ephraim to be ashamed. When a person hit his body, it expressed his inner pain. It was evidence that they felt sorry about their *sins. The man who collected tax in Jesus' story did that. And he asked the *LORD to forgive him (Luke 18:13). The *LORD speaks about Ephraim as a dear son. The *LORD wanted Ephraim to return to him. Often the *LORD had to tell the people of Ephraim that they had *sinned. But still the *LORD loved them.
Verse 21 People had to be ready to return home. They would follow a road that they knew well. Little heaps of stones and signs would show them the way. Israel had been like a daughter who was not loyal. Israel had wandered everywhere. Now the *Israelites would return to their own towns.
Verse 22 'A woman would protect a man' was probably a familiar phrase. There are several explanations about its meaning:
It may refer to something that people did not expect. Israel was the woman. The *LORD was the man. Israel had not been loyal. But now she would return to the *LORD and be loyal to him. That was something new in Israel's history.
It may look forward to the time when Israel would love the *LORD sincerely. In the same way, the *LORD’s love protects the person who trusts him (Psalm 32:10).
Verses 23-25 The *Temple in Jerusalem stood on a hill. The *Temple and the hill were both holy. People would refer to those places. They would show that the *LORD would *bless his people there. People would live in the towns in Judah again. Farmers and *shepherds, who looked after sheep, would do their daily work. The *LORD would welcome his people home after their long journey.
Verse 26 Jeremiah woke up after his dream about the future for Judah. It was a pleasant dream, because it gave hope to him. It was in contrast to the immediate situation. Nebuchadnezzar was preparing to destroy Judah and Jerusalem.
Verses 27-28 The people in Israel and the people in Judah would unite again. The *LORD would increase the number of people and animals. Verse 28 repeats the words of Jeremiah 1:10, when the *LORD had called Jeremiah to *prophesy punishment. Now the *LORD repeats his promise to rebuild the nation.
Verse 29 Those words were a popular phrase. It meant that people would receive punishment because of the *sins of their *ancestors. People knew the words in Exodus 20:5. But they did not understand what it meant. They thought that the *LORD was not fair. He would punish people because of *sins that were not theirs. That is not what the words meant. It means that a person's *sins can have a bad effect on his *descendants. For example, a child may imitate its parents' *sins. A mother, who takes bad drugs, will affect her unborn child. In Jeremiah's time, the phrase was an excuse for the behaviour that led to the *LORD’s punishment.
Verse 30 The idea of personal responsibility was not new. Joshua declared that he and his family would serve the *LORD. And they would serve the *LORD whatever anyone else chose to do (Joshua 24:15). Elijah was alone when he opposed the false *prophets (1 Kings 19:10). Both Jeremiah here and Ezekiel in Ezekiel18:3 said that each person would die because of his own *sin. Deuteronomy 24:16 says, 'Fathers shall not die because of their children. Nor will children die because of their fathers. Each shall die because of his own *sin'. Jesus' followers talked to Jesus about a man who was blind from birth. They believed that he might be blind because of his parents' *sin. Jesus denied that (John 9:1-3).
Verses 31-32 At *Mount Sinai, the *LORD made a *covenant with the people in Israel. He told them that they were his special people. Then the people agreed that they would obey him. They said that they would obey his laws (Exodus 19:6, 8). That *covenant between the *LORD and Israel happened after the *LORD had rescued his people from Egypt. The *LORD was like a husband to Israel. But the people in Israel had not obeyed that *covenant. They had *worshipped false gods and they did not obey the *LORD. They behaved badly towards other people.
Verses 33-34 The new *covenant that the *LORD would make would be different. The *LORD wrote the old *covenant on two stones. The new *covenant would be in people's hearts. That means that the *LORD’s laws would be deep in their minds. They would not obey the *LORD’s commands just because they were afraid of his punishment. Instead, the people would desire to obey the *LORD. There would be no need for priests and *prophets to teach people. They would not have to say, 'Know the *LORD'. The word 'know' means a deep personal knowledge. Everyone would obey the *LORD. That would include young people and old people. It would include the least important people to the most important people. That relationship with the *LORD would affect people’s desires and their emotions. The *LORD would forgive their past behaviour. The *LORD would forget about all their *sins. Jesus spoke about that new *covenant before he died. He spoke during the last meal that he had with his followers (Luke 22:20).
A *sacrifice had introduced the old *covenant. Jesus' death on the cross was the *sacrifice that made the new *covenant possible. God loves people. And people would be able to have a new relationship with him. They had to accept that he would forgive them. The new *covenant emphasises personal responsibility and a personal relationship with God.
Verse 35 Genesis 1:16 says that God created the sun, moon and stars. Isaiah 17:12 describes the waves of the sea roaring.
Verse 36 It would be impossible for God's natural laws to stop. So it would be just as impossible for the nation of Israel to come to an end.
Verse 37 This means the same as verse 36. At that time, people did not think that anybody could measure the sky above or the earth below. So that meant that the *LORD would never turn away from the people in Israel.
Verses 38-39 The Tower of Hanamel was at the north-east corner of the city. Nehemiah 3:1 describes how they began to rebuild the walls near to here. The hills of Gareb and Goah were probably places on the west side of the city.
Verse 40 The valley of Hinnom was the place where the people threw dead bodies. And they threw ashes there from the fires on the *altar in the *Temple. All that made the valley *unclean. But when they came to rebuild the city, that valley would be a special place for the *LORD. The valley of the Kidron stream, as far as the Horse Gate, would become holy. The Horse Gate was at the south-east corner. Jeremiah said that never again would an enemy destroy the city completely.
Probably that *prophecy looks beyond the time when Nehemiah and the people rebuilt Jerusalem . Zechariah 14:9-11 speaks about the security of Jerusalem. That will happen when the *LORD comes to rule the whole earth.
Verses 1-2 That incident happened when the *Babylonian army was preparing to destroy Jerusalem. When Zedekiah had been king for 9 years, the *Babylonian army had begun to wait outside the city (Jeremiah 39:1). The *Babylonians went away for a short time when an *Egyptian army approached (Jeremiah 37:5). But soon they returned when the *Egyptians decided not to fight them. The officials in Jerusalem had arrested Jeremiah. He was going to Anathoth to arrange to buy some family property. They said that he was trying to join the enemy (Jeremiah 37:11-14). They kept him in a small room below the ground in the secretary's house. But later, Zedekiah moved him into an area inside the palace grounds. Jeremiah had greater freedom there (Jeremiah 37:21).
Verses 3-5 explain why Jeremiah remained in prison. Zedekiah and his officials considered that his *prophecy was dangerous. Jeremiah had *prophesied that the *Babylonians would defeat the city and its king. They thought that Jeremiah was an enemy of his own country. So he should remain where he could not *prophesy. Then he could not affect the courage of the people in Jerusalem.
Verses 6-8 The law said that, in certain circumstances, a close relative could buy land. That meant that the family would continue to own the land (Leviticus 25:25). Hanamel decided to sell his field. Perhaps he wanted money rather than land that the enemy would take. So he persuaded Jeremiah that he should buy the land. Hanamel used the words 'your right' as Jeremiah was his nearest relative. Hanamel may have tried to sell it to other relatives. But probably they were not willing to buy it in those dangerous times. The *LORD had warned Jeremiah that Hanamel would arrive with that demand.
Verses 9-12 The field belonged to Jeremiah after the usual legal custom at that time. People did not use coins as money. Instead, people weighed silver or gold to pay for things. Abraham weighed out 400 silver pieces for land in which to bury his family (Genesis 23:16). Jeremiah weighed out 17 pieces of silver to pay for his cousin's field. With witnesses, he signed the legal record of his purchase. He gave the two copies to his secretary Baruch. They closed one copy and they left open the other copy.
Verses 13-15 Jeremiah told Baruch to put the two copies into a *clay jar. It was a usual custom to put records in jars. That meant that the records would last a long time. After the *exile, the records would prove who was the owner. Jeremiah believed that the *LORD would renew the nation one day. Then normal business would begin again. People would be able to buy houses, fields and land on which to grow *grapes. Jeremiah’s purchase of the field showed that he believed the *LORD.
Verses 16-19 Jeremiah had given to Baruch the record of his purchase. Then Jeremiah began to wonder whether he had done the right thing. So he prayed to the *LORD. He began to praise the *LORD. He knew that nothing was too difficult for the *LORD. Jeremiah imagined that the *LORD was like a very strong man. The *LORD had created the world. The *LORD loved thousands of people. He had punished the fathers' *sins. Those *sins had affected their children. The *LORD's deeds are powerful and his plans are great. He notices everything that people do. He judges everyone. And he gives to them what their actions deserve.
Verses 20-21 The *LORD had performed great and wonderful acts when he rescued the people of Israel from Egypt. The *Egyptians and other people became afraid because of what the *LORD did. Everywhere people knew what the *LORD had done.
Verses 22-23 God had carried out his promise to their *ancestors. He had given a good country to them. There was plenty to eat and to drink. But the people in Israel had not obeyed the *LORD's laws. They did not *worship the *LORD alone. They followed the religion of the people in the country. Sometimes they *worshipped the *LORD but mixed in *pagan customs. So they had brought great trouble onto themselves.
Verses 24-25 The *LORD sent a message to warn his people. Now that had happened. Already the enemy had built up slopes of mud and stones against the city walls. Then they would break down the walls and climb easily into the city. The *Babylonian army would take control of Jerusalem. People would die because they would be fighting outside the city. Inside the city, they would starve or die from disease. In such circumstances, Jeremiah thought that the *LORD’s instructions were a puzzle. Jeremiah had to buy a field. But it was difficult for him to believe that he would be able to enjoy his field.
Verses 26-30 The *LORD agreed with Jeremiah. Nothing was impossible for the *LORD to do. But his power would be with the *Babylonians who were attacking the city. They would enter the city of Jerusalem and burn the buildings. That would include the houses where *pagan *worship had taken place. The people were guilty. For many years, they had made the *LORD angry. So the *LORD would let those bad things happen. That is how he would punish the people.
Verses 31-32 Jerusalem had been the place where people did so many wrong things. So the *LORD had decided to destroy it. That involved everyone. The king and his officials, the *religious leaders, and the ordinary people in Judah, were all guilty.
Verses 33-35 The *LORD had taught the people carefully how to live in the right way. But they refused to listen. They refused to obey him. They had put *idols in the *LORD’s *Temple so that they could *worship the sun, the moon and the stars (2 Kings 21:4-5; 23:4). So the *Temple became *unclean. It was no longer right to *worship the *LORD there. Often people *sacrificed their children in the fire when they *worshipped their false god, Molech (2 Kings 23:10). That happened in the valley of Hinnom, outside Jerusalem. The *LORD had not ordered anything like that. It led the people in Judah to *sin.
Verses 36-37 'You' is plural. So the people in Judah were repeating what the *LORD had said. War, hunger and disease would cause the *Babylonians to take control of Jerusalem. But now the *LORD makes a promise. He would gather all the *exiles from the countries to which he had sent them. He would bring them back home. And he would let them live there safely.
Verses 38-40 The people would change their attitude. They would respect the *LORD as their God. That would benefit both them and their children. The *LORD would make a new *covenant with them. It was the same as the new *covenant that he promised in Jeremiah 31:31-34. He made it clear that this *covenant will continue for always. God's people would respect him. He would never turn away from them. And Israel would not turn away from the *LORD.
Verse 41 The *LORD would bring back his people to stay in their own country. And the *LORD would enjoy giving his *blessings to them. Isaiah spoke about the *LORD’s delight with a new Jerusalem (Isaiah 62:4-5). Deuteronomy 30:9 described the *blessings that the *LORD would give. The *blessings were for the people who obeyed him.
Verses 42-44 The *LORD answered Jeremiah's question about the purchase of a field (Jeremiah 33:25). The *LORD promised that people would be able to buy fields again in every part of the country. Again people would live in the country that was like a desert. They would buy and sell fields again. Verse 44 describes the normal commercial activity that could happen in a peaceful country.
Verses 1-2 While Jeremiah was still a prisoner, the *LORD spoke to him again. He reminded Jeremiah about the *LORD’s power. The *LORD had created the world. He is the *LORD. His name means 'I am’. So for always he can be with those people who trust him. He invited Jeremiah to call to him. The *LORD will answer anyone who asks. But that person must listen. The *LORD will show him what normal human knowledge can never know. The *LORD was comforting Jeremiah while he was in prison.
Verses 3-5 describe the results of the attack by the *Babylonian army. People in Jerusalem had tried to make their city strong. They used stones from their houses and even from their palaces. However, the verse may refer to how the *Babylonian army destroyed the buildings. Houses would contain dead bodies. The *Babylonians killed some of the people. Other people died because of hunger or disease. That happened because the *LORD was very angry. He would not protect the city because the people had been so wicked.
Verses 6-8 Later, the *LORD would heal the nation and he would bring peace. These verses contain different words for *sin. One word means 'to wander away from the right path’. Another word means that people fail to obey completely a holy God. A third word refers to people who were refusing to obey the *LORD. Instead they were deciding to do what they wanted to do. The *LORD would forgive his people in whatever way they had *sinned. They would not continue to be guilty.
Verse 9 In the past, the people in Jerusalem had brought shame upon the city. Now the people from every nation would hear about the good things that the *LORD was doing for the city. They would wonder. And they would tremble because of what they heard. They would give honour to the *LORD. That reminds us that the *LORD is God of the whole world.
Verses 10-11 Jeremiah had said that the *LORD’s punishment would make the land into a desert. He would take away all the sounds that people made. He would take away the happy sounds of a wedding (Jeremiah 25:10). In the future, the situation would be different. People could be happy at a wedding. They could sing for joy when they go to the *Temple. They would take their *offerings to thank the *LORD. They would praise the *LORD in words like those words in the Psalms (for example, Psalm 106:1).
Verses 12-13 Everywhere in the country it would be peaceful. That would include the dry land in the south called the Negev. Again the *shepherds would be able to find grass for their sheep near to towns. They would count their sheep each night. They would make sure that every sheep was present. Probably the *shepherd would stand in the entrance of the sheep’s shelter. He would touch each sheep as it went into the safe shelter.
Jesus is the good '*shepherd'. He knows when just one of his 'sheep' is not present (John 10:7-11; Luke 15:4-6).
Verses 14-16 The *LORD would carry out his promise. One day he would rebuild the nation. The *LORD repeats the promise about a king who would come from David’s royal family (Jeremiah 23:5-7). He would be an ideal king who would rule fairly. He would do what was right. The *LORD would rescue Judah. Jerusalem would not be the city for which nobody cared (Jeremiah 30:17). Instead, Jerusalem would receive the same name as the ideal king. The city would have peace with the *LORD. The city would be an example of the right way to live.
Verse 17 The *prophecy said that always there would be a *descendant from David. He would rule as king. That happened in Jesus Christ. He is called 'the Root and Son of David' (Revelation 22:16). He will rule the *kingdoms of the world for always (Revelation 11:15).
Verse 18 The priests belonged to the family of Levi. Jeremiah had blamed some of the priests because of their false promises about peace (Jeremiah 6:13). But always there would be a priest through whom the people could approach the *LORD. Jesus Christ is that priest. His perfect *sacrifice allows us to approach the *LORD (Hebrews 7:24-25). He is a priest for always (Hebrews 10:19-22). In the *New Testament, some of the priests believed and trusted Christ (Acts 6:7). But everyone who trusts Christ becomes a priest. They give to the *LORD the *sacrifice of praise (1 Peter 2:5-9).
Verses 19-22 When the *LORD created the world he created things in order (Genesis 1:5). It was stupid to think that the *LORD would stop that order. Always the *LORD would do what he promised to Noah. While the earth remains, 'day and night will not end' (Genesis 8:22). So it was just as impossible for the *LORD to end his *covenant with David and with the priests. The *LORD repeated the promise that he made to Abraham. He promised to give him so many *descendants that nobody would be able to count them. They would be as many as the stars in the sky and the sand by the sea (Genesis 22:17).
Verses 23-26 People were thinking that the *LORD did not care about the *kingdoms of Israel and Judah. They were *worthless. But the *LORD promised to pity his people. But the *LORD would not end his own laws. He had made laws for heaven and earth, and for day and night. So it was impossible that he would not continue to look after Israel. He would not fail to choose a son from David’s family as king. He would rule over the *descendants of those people who began their nation. Again, they would become a successful nation.
AD ~ refers to the years after Christ was born.
altar ~ a block of wood or stone with a flat top. People gave gifts or *sacrifices on it to God or to a false god.
ancestors ~ members of your family who lived in the past.
Assyrian ~ people who live in, or come from, the country called Assyria; anything connected with Assyria.
Baal ~ a local false god. People thought that these false gods made crops grow.
Babylonian ~ people who live in, or come from, the country called Babylon; anything connected with Babylon.
BC ~ refers to the years before Christ was born.
bless ~ to say or to do good things to a person.
blessings ~ the good things that God gives to us or that he does for us.
burnt offerings ~ see ‘offerings’
cedar ~ a type of large tree.
clay ~ a type of earth from which people made pots.
clean ~ suitable for God or for God’s people; pure in thought and action. A clean person could go to *worship God. In the Old Testament many things could make a person *unclean. The *Israelites could not eat animals that God called *unclean.
covenant ~ the special promise that the *LORD made to his people, the *Israelites. The *LORD’s covenant with the *Israelites established a special relationship between him and them. But they had to obey him.
descendants ~ members of your family who live after you live.
desert ~ a wild place where there are small bushes and not much water. It has poor soil and people cannot produce crops there.
Egyptian ~ a person who comes from the country called Egypt; something that has a connection with Egypt.
exile ~ absence from the country where usually you live. Usually somebody forces a person to go into exile.
fig ~ a small fruit with many seeds inside it; the tree that produces these fruits.
grapes ~ the fruit of a plant called a *vine. People eat grapes. Also they use grapes to make wine.
Greek ~ the language in which the authors wrote the *New Testament.
Hebrew ~ the language in which the authors wrote the *Old Testament. The language that the *Israelites spoke. Another name for a *Jew or for an *Israelite.
idol ~ an image of a false god that people *worship instead of the *LORD.
incense ~ a substance that gives a sweet smell when people burn it.
Israelites ~ people from the nation called Israel; another name for the *Jews.
Jew ~ a *descendant of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
Jewish ~ something that has a connection with the *Jews; something that belongs to the *Jews
kingdom ~ a country where a king rules.
LORD ~ a special name for God. In the *Hebrew Bible it translates the word YHWH. Probably YHWH (Yahweh) means ‘he is always alive’.
miracle ~ a wonderful work that God does by means of his power.
mount ~ another name for mountain.
New Testament ~ the last part of the Bible that the writers wrote after the life of Jesus.
offering ~ a gift to
please the *LORD or a false god.
burnt offering ~ the *Israelite priest burnt the whole animal on the *altar
Old Testament ~ the first part of the Bible that the writers wrote before the life of Jesus.
pagan ~ a person who loves a false god or false gods; something that has a connection with a false god.
Pharaoh ~ the title of the king in Egypt.
Philistines ~ a nation that fought against the people in Israel and in Judah.
prophecy/prophecies ~ the words that a *prophet speaks or writes.
prophesy ~ to speak or write about things that will happen in the future; to speak on behalf of God or on behalf of a false god.
prophet ~ a person who declares God's message.
religious ~ something that has a connection with religion.
sacrifice ~ an *offering to God or to false gods. The *Israelites had to give sacrifices to the *LORD when they asked him to forgive their *sins. Usually the priest had to kill a special animal and burn it on the *altar. Sometimes *pagans killed a child as a sacrifice.
shepherds ~ men who look after sheep. Sometimes leaders in Israel were called shepherds.
sin ~ when a person does or says bad things against God or against other people; the bad things that a person does or says when they do not obey God.
Temple ~ the most important building in Jerusalem where the *Jews *worshipped God.
throne ~ a magnificent royal seat on which a king or ruler sits
tribe ~ group of people that have the same *ancestor.
unclean ~ not *clean; unsuitable for God or for God’s people. When somebody was unclean that person was unable to go and to *worship God.
vineyard ~ the place where *vines grow.
worship ~ to show honour to God or to a false god. People may sing or pray when they worship. Or they may kneel or give a gift to God.
worthless ~ of no value.
yoke ~ a piece of wood that goes across the neck of an animal when it pulls a plough or a cart; a way to describe how a king has control over a nation.
R.K. Harrison ~ Tyndale Old Testament Commentaries: Jeremiah and Lamentations ~ Tyndale Press 1973
Derek Kidner ~ The Bible Speaks Today: The Message of Jeremiah ~ IVP 2003 reprint
Alan Millard ~ Discoveries from Bible Times ~ Lion Publishing 1997
J A Thompson ~ New International Commentary on the *Old Testament: The Book of Jeremiah ~ Eerdmans 1980
Concise Oxford Chambers 21st Century
Thesaurus ~ Geddes and Grosset ~ 1999
New International Version ~1st published 1979
New International Readers Version ~ 1998
New International Version Study Bible ~ 1987
New English Bible ~ 1970
Jerusalem Bible ~ 1974
Today's English Version ~ 1976
© 2014, Wycliffe Associates (UK)
This publication is in EasyEnglish Level B (2800 words).
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