Jeremiah responds to all the Judeans (Jer 44:24-44:25)

“Jeremiah said

To all the people

Including all the women.

‘Hear the word of Yahweh!

All you Judeans

Who are in the land of Egypt!

Thus says Yahweh of hosts!

The God of Israel!

‘You

With your wives

Have accomplished in deeds,

What you declared in words,

Saying.

‘We are determined

To perform the vows

That we have made.

We will make offerings

To the queen of heaven.

We will pour out libations

To her.’

By all means,

Keep your vows!

Make your libations!’”

Jeremiah addressed all the people of Judah and then added all the women, as if they were not people. Jeremiah wanted them to hear the word of Yahweh that he was interpreting. He said that they and their wives had accomplished what they said that they were going to do. They were going to make offerings and libations to the “Queen of heaven,” the Canaanite goddess of fertility, Astarte. Jeremiah’s response to them was to go ahead and keep your vows with your sacrifices and drinks. Just see what happens to you!

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The forgotten crimes of the Judeans (Jer 44:9-44:10)

“Have you forgotten

The crimes

Of your ancestors,

Of the kings of Judah?

Have you forgotten

The crimes of their wives,

Your own crimes,

The crimes of your wives?

They committed them

In the land of Judah,

In the streets of Jerusalem.

They have shown

No contrition,

No fear,

Even to this day.

They have not walked

In my law,

In my statutes

That I set before you,

Before your ancestors.”

Yahweh, via Jeremiah, wanted to know if they had amnesia. They seem to have forgotten the crimes of their ancestors, the kings of Judah. They have forgotten the crimes of the royal wives, their own crimes, and those of their wives that were committed in Judah and on the streets of Jerusalem. They have never shown any kind of contrition for their transgressions. They have not feared Yahweh, since they do not walk in his law or his statutes that were given to their ancestors.

Jeremiah brings the Rechabites to the Temple (Jer 35:3-35:4)

“So I took Jaazaniah

The son of Jeremiah,

The son of Habazziniah,

With his brothers,

As well as all his sons,

With the whole house

Of the Rechabites.

I brought them

To the house of Yahweh,

Into the chamber

Of the sons of Hanan,

The son of Igdaliah,

The man of God.

This was near

The chamber of the officials,

Above the chamber of Maaseiah,

The son of Shallum,

Keeper of the threshold.”

Jeremiah went out and got the whole house of the Rechabites. This included Jaazaniah, who apparently was the head of this clan, since Jeremiah lists his father and grandfather. He and his brothers with their sons also came with Jeremiah. This seems to be the whole house of the Rechabites, a small group. There was no mention of their wives or daughters. When they got to the Temple, Jeremiah brought them to a special room or chamber that belonged to the sons of Hanan, whose father was Igdaliah, a man of God or a prophet. Thus some of the prophets may have had a room at the Temple, but Jeremiah does not seem to have one for himself. They were near the chamber of the other Temple officials or scholars. They were above where Maaseiah, the son of Shallum, the same name as King Jehoahaz (609 BCE), lived. Maaseiah was the keeper of the threshold or keeper of the door, a high ranking priest. Thus this episode explains something about what was going on in the Temple.

The vicious request of Jeremiah (Jer 18:21-18:23)

“Therefore give their children

Over to famine!

Hurl them out

To the power of the sword!

Let their wives become childless!

Let their wives become widowed!

May their men meet death

By pestilence!

May their youths be slain

By the sword in battle!

May a cry be heard

From their houses,

When you bring the marauder

Suddenly upon them.

They have dug a pit

To catch me.

They laid snares

For my feet.

Yet you!

Yahweh!

Know all their plotting

To kill me.

Do not forgive their iniquity!

Do not blot out their sin

From your sight!

Let them be tripped up before you!

Deal with them

While you are angry!”

Jeremiah does not hold back his contempt for his adversaries. He is vicious in this lament to Yahweh. First, he wanted their children to die whether by famine or by the sword. He wanted their wives to be childless and widows. He hoped that they might die from a pestilence. He wanted their young men killed in battle. He wanted a marauder to suddenly attack them. They had plotted to catch him and kill him in a pit, as they laid snares for his feet. He told Yahweh not to forgive their iniquity, not to blot out their sins. They should be tripped up. He wanted Yahweh to deal with them while he was angry, so that they would receive a worse sentence. There was no sense of Jeremiah’s mercy or compassion here. He wanted his enemies completely destroyed.

Yahweh rails against the false prophets (Jer 14:14-14:16)

“Yahweh said to me.

‘The prophets are prophesying lies

In my name.

I did not send them.

I did not command them.

I did not speak to them.

They are prophesying to you

A lying vision,

A worthless divination,

The deceit of their own minds.

Therefore thus says Yahweh

Concerning the prophets

Who prophesy in my name,

Although I did not send them.’

They say.

‘Sword shall not come on this land.

Famine shall not come on this land.’

By sword and famine

Those prophets shall be consumed

By sword

Or with famine.

The people to whom they prophesy

Shall be cast out into the streets of Jerusalem.

They will be the victims of famine.

They will be the victims of the sword.

There shall be no one to bury them,

Themselves,

Their wives,

Their sons,

Their daughters.

I will pour out their wickedness

Upon them.”

Yahweh spoke again to Jeremiah about the false prophets who told them not to worry about the sword or famine. Yahweh said that they were lying false prophets pretending to prophesize in his name. Yahweh did not send them or command them to speak. They were, in fact, prophesying a lying vision or a worthless prediction. They were deceived in their own minds. He never told them that there would be no sword or famine. Instead, these prophets would be consumed by the sword or famine. Those listening to them will also be consumed, that includes themselves, their wives, and their children. Yahweh was going to pour out all their wickedness upon them.

The false prophets and priests (Jer 8:10-8:12)

“Therefore I will give their wives to others.

I will give their fields to conquerors.

Because from the least to the greatest,

Everyone is greedy for unjust gain.

From prophet to priest,

Everyone deals falsely.

They have treated

The wound of my people carelessly.

Saying.

‘Peace!

Peace!’

When there is no peace.

They acted shamefully.

They committed an abomination.

Yet they were not at all ashamed.

They did not know how to blush.

Therefore they shall fall

Among those who fall.

At the time that I punish them,

They shall be overthrown.’

Says Yahweh.”

This is a copy word for word of the same thing that was found in chapter 6. Yahweh was going to give away their wives and their fields, since he is not happy about the false priests and prophets. This goes for the least of the people to the most important ones in Jerusalem. All of them were greedy for monetary gain. They were all careless with his people. They pretended that there was peace when there was no peace there. They acted shamefully, but they were not ashamed since they didn’t even know how to blush. These priests and prophets would fall with all the others, as they will be overthrown at the time of punishment.

The death of all (Isa 13:14-13:16)

“Like a hunted gazelle,

Like sheep

With no one to gather them,

All will turn

To their own people.

All will flee

To their own lands.

Whoever is found

Will be thrust through.

Whoever is caught,

Will fall by the sword.

Their infants

Will be dashed to pieces,

Before their eyes.

Their houses will be plundered.

Their wives will be ravished.”

Now Isaiah has the death of all, no questions asked. Humans will be like hunted deer or sheep with no one guiding them. People will return to their own people and lands. However, whoever is caught would by killed by the sword. Their infants would be smashed. Their houses would be robbed and their wives raped. This is not a pretty picture.