06 – Jer 21-24 False Shepherds & Scattered SheepJeremiah & Lamentations
In 588 BC, the invincible Babylonian army was camped around the walls of Jerusalem. Hoping to secure help from Egypt, weak King Zedekiah had rebelled against Nebuchadnezzar by refusing to pay tribute (2 Chron. 36:13; see Ezek. 17:11–18); now Judah was suffering the dreadful consequences of his foolish decision. – Wiersbe
Jer 21 Critical Moment
21:1-7 Desperation and Destruction
– King Zedekiah: 588 BC. Trusted Egypt, rebelled against Babylon.
Babylon has now camped around Jerusalem’s walls.
Last resort: ask Jeremiah to ask God for deliverance!
Yahweh: “I Myself will fight you and hand you over to Babylon!”
21:8-14 Life and Death
– The People: Stay and die or yield and live. Cf. 37:11-21; 38:1-6.
– The House of David: Do justice; deliver the oppressed.
“Valley dweller, rocky plain” – Jerusalem personified, having a false sense of security, as if invincible.
Compared to a forest set on fire.
Jer 22 Cumulative Momentum
After King Josiah’s 31-year righteous reign … 3 sons, 1 grandson. Last king is noted first, then 1-2-3 preceding him.
22:1-9 Zedekiah (Mattaniah). Son of Josiah, crowned by king of Babylon, reigned 11 years; rebelled. 2 Kg 24:17-20.
22:10-12 Shallum (Jehoahaz): son, after Josiah, reigned 3 months; Pharaoh Neco deported him to Egypt, where he died. 2 Kg 23:30-33
22:13-23 Jehoiakim (Eliakim): next, another son of Josiah, reigned 11 years and died in Jerusalem. 2 Kg 23:34-24:6
22:24-30 Jehoiachin (Coniah, Jeconiah): grandson of Josiah, son of Jehoiakim, reigned 3 months; taken to Babylon, died. 2 Kg 24:6-12
Jer 23 Culpable Ministers
23:1-8 Shameless Shepherds
Play on the word “attend” in 23:2. Righteous Branch: the Messiah. Isa 4:2; 11:1–5; 53:2; Jer 30:9; 33:15, 16; Zech 3:8; 6:12, 13
23:9-40 Promiscuous Prophets
23:9-15 Their disgraceful conduct.
23:16-32 Their dishonest message.
False … 23:16-20 Hope. 23:21-24 Authority. 25-32 Inspiration.
23:33-40 Their disrespectful attitude.
The oracle, lit. “burden” – “I will abandon you.”
Jer 24 Figs and the Future
In 597 BC, Babylon deported King Jehoiachin, with officials and key citizens. Only the poor remained to work the land. 2 Kg 14:10-17
24:1-3 Two Baskets of Figs
24:4-7 Like the Good Figs – Those Who Went
Yahweh would preserve, build, plant, and restore those who submitted to Babylon.
Again, the prophet calls the people to surrender and go into exile.
24:8-10 Like the Bad Figs – Those Who Stayed
King Zedekiah, his officials, and those who remained under him in the land.
Written by Cory Collins
Cory Collins is a Bible teacher and a minister of the gospel. He serves with Keller church of Christ in Keller, Texas. He and his wife, Tanya, have been married since 1977. They have two children and two grandchildren.