Jeremiah 27–31: A Yoke & Exile

Read the Bible in 2023 ◊ Week 18: Friday

I spoke words like all these to Zedekiah king of Judah, saying, “Bring your necks under the yoke of the king of Babylon and serve him and his people, and live! Why will you die, you and your people, by the sword, famine, and pestilence, as Yahweh has spoken to that nation which will not serve the king of Babylon? So do not listen to the words of the prophets who speak to you, saying, ‘You will not serve the king of Babylon,’ for they prophesy a lie to you; for I have not sent them,” declares Yahweh, “but they prophesy a lie in My name, in order that I may banish you and that you may perish, you and the prophets who prophesy to you.”
Jeremiah 27:12–15 LSB

Friday’s Bible reading of Jeremiah 27–31, takes us into the reign of Zedekiah as king of Judah. Remember, Jeremiah began to prophesy during the final days of Judah, but Judah’s continued rebellion led to God’s judgment of the nation, and Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon invaded Judah in 605 BC. Judah’s king, Jehoiachin, his household, captains, officials, craftsmen and smiths were deported in 597 BC. Nebuchadnezzar made Zedekiah king in place of Jehoiachin, but his rebellion against Nebuchadnezzar led to the burning of Jerusalem in 587 BC, and those remaining were taken captive into Babylon. (cf. 2 Kings 24–25).1

These chapters contain Jeremiah’s warning given to Zedekiah to not rebel against Nebuchadnezzar, but to serve him.

From the context you can tell these events took place after the deportation in 597 BC, and before the burning of Jerusalem. Hananiah was a false prophet who told Judah that within two years God would break the yoke of Babylon and bring Jeconiah, the son of Jehoiakim, king of Judah, back from Babylon (Jehoiakim was killed in Jeremiah 26:23). Because he made Judah trust in this lie, Hananiah dies at the end of chapter 28.

In chapter 29, the Lord instructs Jeremiah to send a letter to the exiles in Babylon telling them to build houses, marry and have children, and seek the welfare of Babylon because they will be there for 70 years, and then God will bring them back. Shemaiah the Nehelamite is another false prophet who sends out his own letter contradicting Jeremiah. At the end of this chapter, Jeremiah pronounces God’s judgment on Shemaiah and his house.

In chapters 30–31, God speaks of His restoration of Israel and Judah. In Jeremiah 31:31–34, we have God’s wonderful promise of His new covenant:

“But this is the covenant which I will cut with the house of Israel after those days,” declares Yahweh: “I will put My law within them, and on their heart I will write it; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. And they will not teach again, each man his neighbor and each man his brother, saying, ‘Know Yahweh,’ for they will all know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them,” declares Yahweh, “for I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more.”
Jeremiah 31:31–34 LSB

How will this new covenant be made?

And in the same way He took the cup after they had eaten, saying, “This cup which is poured out for you is the new covenant in My blood.
Luke 22:20 LSB

Read Hebrews 8:7–13, and continue on into Hebrews 9.

And for this reason He is the mediator of a new covenant, so that, since a death has taken place for the redemption of the trespasses that were committed under the first covenant, those who have been called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance.
Hebrews 9:15 LSB

And in this new covenant Gentiles who repent and believe in the Lord Jesus will no longer be aliens and strangers, but also members of God’s household.

Silvesterzug Laterne: Bk muc. (CC BY-SA 4.0).
The prophet Jeremiah with a yoke and a cracked clay pot: Bernt Fransson,Lindås. (CC BY-SA 4.0).
1J. G. Baldwin, “The History of Israel,” The New Bible Commentary: Revised, third ed., D. Guthrie, J. A. Motyer, eds., A. M. Stibbs, D. J. Wiseman, contributing eds. (Inter-Varsity Press, London 1970) 24.
Further reading: “Jeremiah Versus Hananiah,” Copyright 2013, Ligonier Ministries.

I’m using Michael Coley’s Bible reading plan (one page PDF to print) to read through the Bible in 2023. Each day my posts are on different books because he divides Bible readings into seven categories, one for each day of the week: Epistles, The Law, History, Psalms, Poetry, Prophecy and Gospels. There’s more information on his plan and other ones at Read the Bible in 2023.

Copyright ©2011–2023 Iwana Carpenter

Leave a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s