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11 May, 2017

Search The Scriptures —Study 29 — Jeremiah 44 and 45

Study 29 From the Book of Jeremiah is: Jeremiah 44 and 45

This is the last recorded scene of Jeremiah’s life. The now aged prophet, exiled in Egypt, visits some place where his fellow-countrymen are gathered and delivers a last message from their God, a message which they resolutely reject, thus drawing upon themselves their own destruction. Chapter 45 is a much earlier fragment, belonging, to the fourth year of Jehoiakim (see Note on 36:8)
1.     How would you sum up Jeremiah’s message in 44:2-14? What was the spiritual condition of the people as revealed in their reply (cf. 17:9; Is. 44:20)? And what was God’s final word to them, through His servant?  Cf. 1 Jn. 5:21.
2.     44: 17, 18, 21-23. Here are two divergent interpretations of Judah’s recent past. Outwardly, at least, there seems much to support to the idolaters’ standpoint. Since Josiahs’ reformation Judah had experienced nothing but trouble and calamity. Could outward events alone adjudicate between these two interpretations? Is there always an immediate correspondence between godliness and prosperity? Cf. Ps. 73.
3.     Chapter 45. Baruch was the son of a princely house.  His brother Seriah held an important office under the king (see 51:59), and he himself probably had ambitions (45:5).  His work for Jeremiah would reveal to him the doom of the city and the kingdom. What were his natural reactions? What was God’s message to him, and what may we learn from it for ourselves? Was Baruch’s distress greater than the Lord’s in having so to deal with His people (verse 4)? Cf. Mk. 10:42-45; Mt. 10:24, 25a.
Notes
1.     44:1. The three cities represent Jewish settlements in northern Egypt, and Pathros was the name given to Upper (i.e., southern) Egypt.
2.     44:17. ‘The queen of heaven’: see Note on 7:18