JEREMIAH CHAPTER 27: At times, kneeling down and play it cool is the only remedy for your destruction. A cat may look at a king (Humbleness).





This chapter is troublesome a little because of the confusion involved in its first verses. While most bible versions, including the King James Version (the one I am reading), indicate the prophecy to have come out in the reign of King Jehoiakim just at the preceding chapter of 26, the message entailed in this chapter fits well what happened in the reign of King Zedekiah. Some commentators believe that the message could have come to Jeremiah in King Jehoiakim’s time but the prophet kept it safe only to be delivered at the right time of King Zedekiah. Others say that the prophet, in the beginning of Jehoiakim's reign, made the yokes as he was ordered, and put one on his neck, to signify the subjection of Judah to the king of Babylon, which quickly took place, about the third or fourth year of this reign; and that the rest were sent to the ambassadors of the neighboring nations in Zedekiah's time (check with John Gill’s exposition).

But what most writers agree on is that there must have been a mistake in ancient times during copying whereby the first verse of chapter 26 was just copied and pasted here.  This is the truest explanation since all the events described in the whole chapter historically happened during the reign of King Zedekiah and also verse 3 shows that the period of this prophecy happened during King Zedekiah’s reign. And thus I, personally, agree that a mistake which is rarely found in bible was done here and we thank God that we have verse 3 which corrects everything.

Early in the reign of Zedekiah, representatives from various neighboring countries came to Jerusalem, in the hope of forming an alliance with Zedekiah against Babylon. Jeremiah delivered God’s message to them, illustrating the message by putting an ox’s yoke on his neck. The meaning was that the people were to submit to the yoke, or rule, of Babylon. This was God’s will, and there was no use rebelling against it. Babylon would not be overthrown till God’s time for it had come (27:1-7).
This message applied to all nations. All had to acknowledge Babylon’s over-lordship, regardless of the pronouncements of self-appointed prophets in Judah or fortune-tellers in other nations. Those who resisted Babylon were only inviting disaster and ruin (8-11). Jeremiah repeated the message for the benefit of the Judean king in particular, since he had mistakenly placed his hope in the assurances given by the false prophets (12-15).
The priests of Jerusalem were also building up false confidence in people. They announced that Babylon would soon be overthrown, and the temple vessels that Nebuchadnezzar had taken to Babylon would be returned. Such prophecies were lies (16-17; cf. Dan 1:2; 2 Kings 24:13). The priests and prophets should rather have been urging the people to repent and so prevent any further plundering of the temple by the Babylonians (18).
But Jeremiah knew that the people would not repent. As a result the few remaining treasures in the temple would also be taken to Babylon. Only in the distant future, when Babylon’s power was gone, would these temple treasures return to Jerusalem (19-22).

Our Today’s lesson is on verse 11, “But the nations that bring their neck under the yoke of the king of Babylon, and serve him, those will I let remain still in their own land, saith the LORD; and they shall till it, and dwell therein”. Yeah, there are times in life when we really have to surrender as the only way to become stronger. Because you are fearless doesn’t make you safe. It is also strength and wisdom to discover that in certain situations we have to be humble, apologize, if we must and cool down as we prepare a revolt if necessary. God had questioned the morals of the nation and they had not repented to push away the punishment and so since it was near, their job was embrace it with gratefulness and wait for the right time of redemption. Picture a prisoner who is caught escaping, the punishment is worsened.

We all have those moments in life where we have to behave as if defeated yet we still have a vision, where we have to surrender and save life and rebuild ourselves later, where we need to apologize and rightfully accept that we were wrong. There are thousands of people who have lost jobs, big opportunities and even lives simply because they refused to bow down, to admit defeat, to apologize or ask for mercy. Instead, they kept fighting a war they well knew had lost until their last breath. That is not knowledge. In case you missed chapter 24, here is what happened when King Zedekiah refused to give up the already lost fight:

While King JECONIAH and his people were taken as captives to Babylon, they later prospered in that foreign land and this prosperity was in all directions whether economical, spiritual, social and political leadership.  People like Ezekiel were remarkably good people spiritually, people like Daniel grew up in leadership, wisdom and spiritual prosperity (This captivity happened in 597 BC). Those that refused to be taken captives were left. The Babylonian King appointed Zedekiah as their king. But because great thinkers and wise men were taken with King Jeconiah, King Zedekiah was left with fake leaders who were corrupt and always thinking about their self prosperity. They later persuaded King Zedekiah to fight against Babylon using help from Egypt. 

While Egypt helped Judah to relieve this Babylon pressure for a while, Prophet JERMIAH told them that they were doing everything in vain since Babylonian King will return to destroy Judah together with Egypt. This revolt stirred Nebuchadnezzar’s anger. He besieged Judah and destroyed its city Jerusalem together with the temple. All the great people were taken captives. Jeremiah, who was in prison because he had opposed anti-Babylonian revolt was set free by Babylonian army and asked to decide where to, whether to stay in Judah or go to Babylon. Jeremiah decided to remain with the few farmers and unimportant people who Babylon had not considered fit to be taken captives (2 Kings 25:8-21; Jer 39:13-14; 40:4-6). This was the end of Jerusalem in 587 BC.

The people later made Gedalidah their governor but he was later murdered by those who still wanted to fight against Babylon and they fled to Egypt in fear of being revenged on by Nebuchadnezzar for their continuous revolts. They captured Jeremiah and went with him to Egypt (2 Kings 25:25-26; Jer 40:13-43:7). While in Egypt, the country that he hated to collaborate with their Judah, Jeremiah continued to preach God’s message until one day he was stoned to death by his haters or God’s haters (Jer 43:8-44:30).

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