Death at the idol worship sites (Ezek 6:13-6:14)

“You shall know

That I am Yahweh.

Their slain

Shall lie

Among their idols,

Around their altars.

On every high hill,

On all the mountain tops,

Under every green tree,

Under every leafy oak,

Wherever they offered

Pleasing odor

To all their idols,

I will stretch out

My hand

Against them.

I will make

The land desolate.

I will make

The land waste

Throughout all their settlements,

From the wilderness

To Riblah.

Then they will know

That I am Yahweh.”

These false worshippers would know that Yahweh was in charge. All these worshippers would die and lie with their idols, around their altars, on every high hill, on all the mountain tops, under every green tree, and under every leafy oak. This is the first mention of the green trees and leafy oaks, instead of the vague high places. Wherever they offered the pleasing odor to their idols, Yahweh was going to stretch out his hand against them. He was going to make their land desolate and a waste, no matter where they lived, from the wilderness in the south to Riblah in the north on the Syrian border. They would all come to know that Yahweh was in charge. He was Yahweh.

The flight and capture of King Zedekiah (Jer 52:8-25:9)

“But the army

Of the Chaldeans

Pursued the king.

They overtook

King Zedekiah

In the plains

Of Jericho.

All his army

Was scattered.

They had deserted him.

Then they captured

The king.

They brought him up

To the king of Babylon,

At Riblah,

In the land of Hamath.

He passed sentence on him.”

This is pretty much the same as in 2 Kings, chapter 25. The Chaldeans caught them in the plains of Jericho, about 5 miles from Jerusalem. In 2 Kings, chapter 25, the Judean troops scattered and deserted the king as here, but in the earlier Jeremiah story, there was no mention of that. They then brought the king to King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon, who was at Riblah in Hamath, north of Jerusalem, almost on the Syrian border. The Babylonian king then passed sentence on him.

The flight and capture of King Zedekiah (Jer 39:4-39:5)

“When King Zedekiah

Of Judah,

With all the soldiers

Saw the Babylonians,

They fled.

They went out of the city

At night

By way of the king’s garden

Through the gate

Between the two walls.

They went toward the Arabah.

But the army of the Chaldeans

Pursued them.

They overtook King Zedekiah

In the plains of Jericho.

When they had taken him,

They brought him up

To King Nebuchadnezzar

Of Babylon,

At Riblah,

In the land of Hamath.

He passed sentence on him.”

This is pretty much the same as in 2 Kings, chapter 25. The king and his army escaped through a hole in the wall via the king’s garden. They were headed for Arabah, the Jordan River valley, but the Chaldeans caught them in the plains of Jericho, about 5 miles from Jerusalem. In 2 Kings, chapter 24, the Judean troops scattered and deserted the king, but there is no mention of that here.  They then brought the king and his army officials to King Nebuchadnezzar, who was at Riblah in Hamath, north of Jerusalem, almost on the Syrian border.

Tracing the coming enemy (Jer 4:15-4:17)

“A voice declares

From Dan.

It proclaims disaster

From Mount Ephraim.

Tell the nations!

‘Here they are!’

Announce to Jerusalem.

‘Besiegers come from a distant land!

They shout against the cities of Judah!

They have closed in around her

Like watchers of a field.”

Jeremiah has a little play by play of how the invading destroyers were coming to Jerusalem. First, they were in the far northern territory of Dan near the Syrian border. Then the second disaster warning comes from Mount Ephraim, just north of Benjamin, in the central area. Finally, they are besieging and surrounding the cities of Judah, the heartland, where Jerusalem is on the border with Benjamin. They were in fields watching as the attack was imminent.