Jerusalem is mentioned 810 times in the Bible. Clearly, a focal point. However, Babylon is mentioned quite a bit too with 287 mentions. 164 of those 287 are in the book of Jeremiah. So what is the take-home? Well for me, God wants us to be very educated on the topic of Judgement. We can’t ignore it. We are judged individually and collectively as a nation. We also need to consider the judgment that will fall on non-believers.
The last 2 chapters of Jeremiah:
- God appoints a judgment to come (is that a correct phrase? 🤪)
- God uses humans in that judgment
- The humans are not motivated by God, but by their own sinful desires
- God then brings judgment on those humans He used
Yes, I want to talk about each scripture…such good stuff in this read! I will pick out some and the next time we do a read through we will pick out some more.
OK, a few chapters back I mentioned that Babylon would be destroyed and a King named Cyrus would let the Israelites OUT of captivity. Do you remember that? Do you remember what nation he was from?? Persia.
11 “Sharpen the arrows,
take up the shields!
The Lord has stirred up the kings of the Medes,
because his purpose is to destroy Babylon.
The Lord will take vengeance,
vengeance for his temple.
These “Medes” are God’s instrument to destroy Babylon, as punishment for destroying His temple. The fall of Babylon to the Medes was a fulfillment of this prophecy. The Medes lived north of Babylon (in modern northwest Iran). The Medes had been allies of the Babylonians in the destruction of Nineveh, the capital of the Assyrian Empire, in 612 B.C. Seventy-three years later, they joined with the Persians to defeat Babylon. Cyrus’ mother was a Mede, and Persians were linked together several times in the book of Daniel.
(Mentioned again in verse 28)
Before Babylon was destroyed, it was protected by huge walls. Nebuchadnezzar further fortified the city with three rings of walls that were 40 feet tall. The walls of Babylon were so thick that chariot races were held on top of them. The city inside the walls occupied an area of 200 square miles, roughly the size of Chicago today.
Nebuchadnezzar built three major palaces, each lavishly decorated with blue and yellow glazed tiles. He also built a number of shrines, the largest of which, called Esagil, was dedicated to Marduk. The shrine stood 280 feet tall, nearly the size of a 26-story office building.
37 Babylon will be a heap of ruins,
a haunt of jackals,
an object of horror and scorn,
a place where no one lives.
Not for God….here is today:
The irony is that Saddam Hussein and the Iraqi government excavated Babylonian ruins and attempted to reconstruct certain features of the ancient city, including one of Nebuchadnezzar’s palaces.
But always remember that God’s hand, just like Babylon was used as the “instrument” for judgment (my mother was Italian, I think of it as the wooden spoon in a spanking) the same goes for Medes/Persia conquering Babylon. They are just the spoon!
55 The Lord will destroy Babylon;
he will silence her noisy din.
Waves of enemies will rage like great waters;
the roar of their voices will resound.
56 A destroyer will come against Babylon;
her warriors will be captured,
and their bows will be broken.
For the Lord is a God of retribution;
he will repay in full.
The chapter opens with Zedekiah, the last of Jeremiah’s kings. This is a recap, we have already read it….HOWEVER, it gives us an intro to tomorrow’s book: Lamentation. Here is Solomon’s Temple being destroyed.