Jeremiah 27:1-28:17 Comments by Stephen Ricker
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The Yoke of Exile
Comments for Study 21

Jeremiah 27:1-28:17
Memory Verse: 27:5

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I. The Yoke (27:1-11)

Judah's Fall Time line

>1. When did this message come from the Lord? (1)

* Jeremiah 27:1 "Early in the reign of Zedekiah son of Josiah king of Judah, this word came to Jeremiah from the LORD:"

* "Early in the reign" -Jeremiah's ministry was just over half finished. Chapter 28 continues this one and states, "In the fifth month of that same year, the fourth year, early in the reign of Zedekiah king of Judah". Therefore events in this chapter took place in 601 and 602 B.C., before Nebuchadnezzar's final siege of Jerusalem (10 January 587 B.C.). Nebuchadnezzar would not have been sent by the Lord with his troups until the nations Jeremiah delivered this message to had a chance to respond to it.

* "Zedekiah son of Josiah" -Zedekiah reigned from 597-586 B.C. Nebuchadnezzar had made him king. He was the last king of Judah. Zedekiah was twenty-one years old when he became king, a puppet king of Babylon. (2 Kings 24:18-19) King Zedekiah took an oath of allegiance to the Babylonian but soon became disloyal. So Nebuchadnezzar besieged the city from 10 January 587 to 9 July 586 B.C. Jerusalem fell and approximately eighty distinguished leaders of the community were executed, the royal palace and the city were set on fire, and the survivors (except the poorest of the land) were taken into captivity. After him govenors ruled Israel/Judah on Babylon's behalf.

* 2 Kings 24:18-20 "Zedekiah was twenty-one years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem eleven years. His mother's name was Hamutal daughter of Jeremiah; she was from Libnah. He did evil in the eyes of the LORD, just as Jehoiakim had done. It was because of the LORD's anger that all this happened to Jerusalem and Judah, and in the end he thrust them from his presence. Now Zedekiah rebelled against the king of Babylon."

* 2 Chronicles 36:11-14 "Zedekiah was twenty-one years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem eleven years. He did evil in the eyes of the LORD his God and did not humble himself before Jeremiah the prophet, who spoke the word of the LORD. He also rebelled against King Nebuchadnezzar, who had made him take an oath in God's name. He became stiff-necked and hardened his heart and would not turn to the LORD, the God of Israel. Furthermore, all the leaders of the priests and the people became more and more unfaithful, following all the detestable practices of the nations and defiling the temple of the LORD, which he had consecrated in Jerusalem."

>What did the Lord tell Jeremiah to do? (2-3)

* Jeremiah 27:2-3 "This is what the LORD said to me: "Make a yoke out of straps and crossbars and put it on your neck. Then send word to the kings of Edom, Moab, Ammon, Tyre and Sidon through the envoys who have come to Jerusalem to Zedekiah king of Judah."

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>How did the Lord introduce himself to the kings of the Middle East? (4-5)

* Jeremiah 27:4-5 "Give them a message for their masters and say, 'This is what the LORD Almighty, the God of Israel, says: "Tell this to your masters: With my great power and outstretched arm I made the earth and its people and the animals that are on it, and I give it to anyone I please."

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>What would happen to them? (6-7)

* Jeremiah 27:6-7 "Now I will hand all your countries over to my servant Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon; I will make even the wild animals subject to him. All nations will serve him and his son and his grandson until the time for his land comes; then many nations and great kings will subjugate him."

* "Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon" -Nebuchadnezzar (634562 B.C.) was king of the Neo-Babylonian Empire, who reigned from 605562 B.C. The Akkadian name means "O god Nabu, preserve/defend my firstborn son". Nabu is the Babylonian deity of wisdom, and son of the god Marduk. In an inscription, Nebuchadnezzar styles himself as Nabu's "beloved" and "favourite". Nebuchadnezzar was the oldest son and successor of Nabopolassar, who delivered Babylon from its three centuries of vassalage to its fellow Mesopotamian state Assyria, and in alliance with the Medes, Persians, Scythians and Cimmerians, laid Nineveh in ruins. During the last century of Nineveh's existence, Babylon had been greatly devastated, not only at the hands of Sennacherib and Assurbanipal, but also as a result of her ever renewed rebellions. Nebuchadnezzar, continuing his father's work of reconstruction, aimed at making his capital one of the world's wonders.

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>2. Why would the Lord be telling these nations to serve Nebuchadnezzar? (8)

* Jeremiah 27:8 "If, however, any nation or kingdom will not serve Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon or bow its neck under his yoke, I will punish that nation with the sword, famine and plague, declares the LORD, until I destroy it by his hand."

* "will not serve Nebuchadnezzar" -In the form of tribute.

* "bow its neck under his yoke" -As two oxen are yoked together to plow a field, so the Lord was telling these nations to work with Nebuchadnezzar.

* "I will punish that nation with the sword, famine and plague" -Out of love the Lord is warning these nations to accept what is being done to them or worse things will happen to them.

* "until I destroy it by his hand" -Eventually any nation that does not accept what the Lord is doing will be destroyed.

>What deception were the false religious leaders portraying? (9-10)

* Jeremiah 27:9-10 "So do not listen to your prophets, your diviners, your interpreters of dreams, your mediums or your sorcerers who tell you, 'You will not serve the king of Babylon.' They prophesy lies to you that will only serve to remove you far from your lands; I will banish you and you will perish."

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>What promise was the Lord giving them? (11)

* Jeremiah 27:11 "But if any nation will bow its neck under the yoke of the king of Babylon and serve him, I will let that nation remain in its own land to till it and to live there, declares the LORD."

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II. The Rest Will be Taken to Babylon (27:12-22)

>3. Who else did Jeremiah give this message to? (12)

* Jeremiah 27:12 "I gave the same message to Zedekiah king of Judah. I said, "Bow your neck under the yoke of the king of Babylon; serve him and his people, and you will live."

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>What question did he ask him? (13)

* Jeremiah 27:13 "Why will you and your people die by the sword, famine and plague with which the LORD has threatened any nation that will not serve the king of Babylon?"

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>What are some of the reasons that Jeremiah's message was hard to receive? (14-15)

* Jeremiah 27:14-15 "Do not listen to the words of the prophets who say to you, 'You will not serve the king of Babylon,' for they are prophesying lies to you. 'I have not sent them,' declares the LORD. 'They are prophesying lies in my name. Therefore, I will banish you and you will perish, both you and the prophets who prophesy to you.'"

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>What is a good thing to do when confronted with hard and major choices in our lives? (Deuteronomy 4:29-31)

* Deuteronomy 4:29-31 "But if from there you seek the LORD your God, you will find him if you look for him with all your heart and with all your soul. When you are in distress and all these things have happened to you, then in later days you will return to the LORD your God and obey him. For the LORD your God is a merciful God; he will not abandon or destroy you or forget the covenant with your forefathers, which he confirmed to them by oath."

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>4. What were the false prophets tempting the king with? (16)

* Jeremiah 27:16 "Then I said to the priests and all these people, "This is what the LORD says: Do not listen to the prophets who say, 'Very soon now the articles from the LORD's house will be brought back from Babylon.' They are prophesying lies to you."

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>What was Jeremiah saying? (17)

* Jeremiah 27:17 "Do not listen to them. Serve the king of Babylon, and you will live. Why should this city become a ruin?"

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>What did Jeremiah say the false prophets should be praying for? (18)

* Jeremiah 27:18 "If they are prophets and have the word of the LORD, let them plead with the LORD Almighty that the furnishings remaining in the house of the LORD and in the palace of the king of Judah and in Jerusalem not be taken to Babylon."

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>5. Knowing they would not pray according to the words of the Lord, what would happen to the remaining temple articles? (19-21)

* Jeremiah 27:19-21 "For this is what the LORD Almighty says about the pillars, the Sea, the movable stands and the other furnishings that are left in this city, which Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon did not take away when he carried Jehoiachin son of Jehoiakim king of Judah into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon, along with all the nobles of Judah and Jerusalem-- yes, this is what the LORD Almighty, the God of Israel, says about the things that are left in the house of the LORD and in the palace of the king of Judah and in Jerusalem:"

* "Jehoiachin son of Jehoiakim king of Judah" -Jehoiachin was eighteen years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem three months and ten days. He did evil in the eyes of the LORD. In the spring, King Nebuchadnezzar sent for him and brought him to Babylon, together with articles of value from the temple of the LORD, and he made Jehoiachin's uncle, Zedekiah, king over Judah and Jerusalem. (2 Chronicles 36:9-10)

* "into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon" -Babylon's second invasion into Judah in 597 B.C.

* "along with all the nobles of Judah and Jerusalem" -Jehoiakim rebelled against Nebuchadnezzar, who ransacked Jerusalem and many other major Judean cities as Jeremiah had prophesied. Nebuchadnezzar killed many Jews. He also took around 10,000 selected captives. Ezekiel, the prophet was among the captives.

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Jehoiachin's steward Eliakim

* See a jar/seal to the right. "The property of Eliakim, steward of Jehoiachin", so runs the inscription on this jar-seals which have been unearthed at Debir and Berh-Shemesh in Judah. They shed considerable light on the position of Jehoiachin in Babylon, since they prove that between 598 and 587 B.C. a man by the name of Eliakim must have been in charge of the crown lands of Jehoiachin during his Babylonian captivity. Thus it would appear that the estates of the King of Judah were left unmolested by the Babylonians. (The Bible as History in Pictures, Werner Keller)

>What hope was given? (22)

* Jeremiah 27:22 "'They will be taken to Babylon and there they will remain until the day I come for them,' declares the LORD. 'Then I will bring them back and restore them to this place.'"

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>What can we learn about the Lord's faithfulness to his covenant with Israel? (2 Chronicles 36:20-23)

* 2 Chronicles 36:20-23 "He carried into exile to Babylon the remnant, who escaped from the sword, and they became servants to him and his sons until the kingdom of Persia came to power. The land enjoyed its sabbath rests; all the time of its desolation it rested, until the seventy years were completed in fulfillment of the word of the LORD spoken by Jeremiah. In the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, in order to fulfill the word of the LORD spoken by Jeremiah, the LORD moved the heart of Cyrus king of Persia to make a proclamation throughout his realm and to put it in writing: "This is what Cyrus king of Persia says: "'The LORD, the God of heaven, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth and he has appointed me to build a temple for him at Jerusalem in Judah. Anyone of his people among you--may the LORD his God be with him, and let him go up.'"

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III. The False Prophet Hananiah (28:1-17)

>6. Why did Hananiah predict a prophecy deliberately in Jeremiah's face? (1-3)

* Jeremiah 28:1-3 "In the fifth month of that same year, the fourth year, early in the reign of Zedekiah king of Judah, the prophet Hananiah son of Azzur, who was from Gibeon, said to me in the house of the LORD in the presence of the priests and all the people: "This is what the LORD Almighty, the God of Israel, says: 'I will break the yoke of the king of Babylon. Within two years I will bring back to this place all the articles of the LORD's house that Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon removed from here and took to Babylon."

* "In the fifth month" -The Hebrew calendar.

* "the fourth year, early in the reign of Zedekiah king of Judah" -601 or 602 B.C. See notes in question 1 above.

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>What did he use to counter Jeremiah's words? (4)

* Jeremiah 28:4 "I will also bring back to this place Jehoiachin son of Jehoiakim king of Judah and all the other exiles from Judah who went to Babylon,' declares the LORD, 'for I will break the yoke of the king of Babylon.'"

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>Why are some so zealous in their attack against God's people? (Amos 5:7, 10-11; John 3:19-21, 15:18-21)

* Amos 5:7, 10-11 "You who turn justice into bitterness and cast righteousness to the ground... you hate the one who reproves in court and despise him who tells the truth. You trample on the poor and force him to give you grain. Therefore, though you have built stone mansions, you will not live in them; though you have planted lush vineyards, you will not drink their wine."

* John 3:19-21 "This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God."

* John 15:18-21 "If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you. Remember the words I spoke to you: 'No servant is greater than his master.' If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also. They will treat you this way because of my name, for they do not know the One who sent me."

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>7. Did Jeremiah agree with Hananiah? (5-6)

* Jeremiah 28:5-6 "Then the prophet Jeremiah replied to the prophet Hananiah before the priests and all the people who were standing in the house of the LORD. He said, "Amen! May the LORD do so! May the LORD fulfill the words you have prophesied by bringing the articles of the LORD's house and all the exiles back to this place from Babylon."

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>What did Jeremiah remind Hananiah about the prophets before them? (7-8; Isaiah 39:5-7; Micah 4:10)

* Jeremiah 28:7-8 "Nevertheless, listen to what I have to say in your hearing and in the hearing of all the people: From early times the prophets who preceded you and me have prophesied war, disaster and plague against many countries and great kingdoms."

* Isaiah 39:5-7 "Then Isaiah said to Hezekiah, "Hear the word of the LORD Almighty: The time will surely come when everything in your palace, and all that your fathers have stored up until this day, will be carried off to Babylon. Nothing will be left, says the LORD. And some of your descendants, your own flesh and blood who will be born to you, will be taken away, and they will become eunuchs in the palace of the king of Babylon."

* Micah 4:10 "Writhe in agony, O Daughter of Zion, like a woman in labor, for now you must leave the city to camp in the open field. You will go to Babylon; there you will be rescued. There the LORD will redeem you out of the hand of your enemies."

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>What made a prophet truly from the Lord? (9; Deuteronomy 18:21-22)

* Jeremiah 28:9 "But the prophet who prophesies peace will be recognized as one truly sent by the LORD only if his prediction comes true."

* Deuteronomy 18:21-22 "You may say to yourselves, "How can we know when a message has not been spoken by the LORD?" If what a prophet proclaims in the name of the LORD does not take place or come true, that is a message the LORD has not spoken. That prophet has spoken presumptuously. Do not be afraid of him."

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>8. How did Hananiah respond to Jeremiah's logic? (10-11)

* Jeremiah 28:10-11 "Then the prophet Hananiah took the yoke off the neck of the prophet Jeremiah and broke it, 11 and he said before all the people, "This is what the LORD says: 'In the same way will I break the yoke of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon off the neck of all the nations within two years.'" At this, the prophet Jeremiah went on his way."

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>What does this show about the state of fallen man?

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>9. What would happen to Judah because of Hananiah's actions and words? (12-13)

* Jeremiah 28:12-13 "Shortly after the prophet Hananiah had broken the yoke off the neck of the prophet Jeremiah, the word of the LORD came to Jeremiah: Go and tell Hananiah, 'This is what the LORD says: You have broken a wooden yoke, but in its place you will get a yoke of iron."

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>What did it mean? (14)

* Jeremiah 28:14 "This is what the LORD Almighty, the God of Israel, says: I will put an iron yoke on the necks of all these nations to make them serve Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, and they will serve him. I will even give him control over the wild animals.'"

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>10. What would happen to the false prophet? (15-16)

* Jeremiah 28:15-16 "Then the prophet Jeremiah said to Hananiah the prophet, "Listen, Hananiah! The LORD has not sent you, yet you have persuaded this nation to trust in lies. Therefore, this is what the LORD says: 'I am about to remove you from the face of the earth. This very year you are going to die, because you have preached rebellion against the LORD.'"

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>When was it fulfilled? (17)

* Jeremiah 28:17 "In the seventh month of that same year, Hananiah the prophet died."

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>How can we be sure if a message is from the Lord or not? (Romans 12:1-2)

* Romans 12:1-2 "Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God--this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is--his good, pleasing and perfect will."

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