It’s the last section of Jeremiah, ya’ll!
Jeremiah Thrown into a Cistern- Jeremiah was preaching to the Israelites to go and live under the Babylonians, leaving the city to its ruin, which really pissed off some of the city officials. They accused him of trying to discourage the remaining soldiers defending Jerusalem and give up the city and flee. These guys went to the king to tell them what Jeremiah was doing, and the king told them to do with Jeremiah as they felt best. So they put him down a well. One palace official found out and told the king what had become of Jeremiah, and the king sent some guys to fish him out.
Zedekiah Questions Jeremiah Again- After saving Jeremiah’s life for the second time, King Zedekiah decided to question him a second time. Jeremiah refused to answer the king’s questions at first, fearing repercussions, but the king promised not to hurt Jeremiah. So Jeremiah told him what he had been preaching all along: leave and surrender to the Babylonians=living, stay and try defend Jerusalem=death for the king and his family. Upon hearing this, the king released Jeremiah.
The Fall of Jerusalem-Zedekiah ignored Jeremiah’s warning, and because of it he faced some pretty serious consequences. Eventually, the Babylonians broke through Jerusalem’s wall; Zedekiah, his family and his officials tried to flee, but they were caught. The Babylonians killed all of Zedekiah’s sons and officials in front of him, then poked out his eyes and shackled him. Then they burned the city and carried off all but the poorest of its inhabitants. Though Jeremiah was also captured, God promised him freedom.
Jeremiah Freed- While the Babylonians were leading their new slaves back home, an official went to find Jeremiah. Once found, the official freed him and gave him the choice to either go to Babylon or back to Judah to live amongst his remaining people. Jeremiah picked Judah, and off he went.
Gedaliah Assassinated- Gedaliah was the guy whom the Babylonians had left in charge of the remaining Israelites. He was a good guy, and any Israelites who had scattered and hidden to avoid slavery came back to live and serve under him. But Ishmael, an Ammonite dude, soon attacked and killed Gedeliah and many of those working under him. He tried to carry off a bunch more to be slaves, but a group of Israelites attacked Ishmael, freeing the slaves, but failing to capture Ishmael.
Flight to Egypt-Once the small group of Israelites escaped Ishmael, they made for Egypt. On the way there, they stopped to ask Jeremiah (yes, he survived and is with the group) what God said they should do. God told them, through Jeremiah, that they were not under any circumstances to go to Egypt; they would be miserable and die there. But, they called Jeremiah a liar and went anyway. Then, God told Jeremiah that He intended to have His servant, Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon, capture Egypt and trash its temples.
Disaster Because of Idolatry- God is super pissed at this point. He rants to Jeremiah about the Israelites and their worship of foreign Gods. At this point, He is particularly irritated at the women and their worship of the Egyptian female god that is referred to as the “Queen of Heaven.” He then just restates how dead everybody is going to be when He gets done with them. I mean at this point, He has already done it once, so you think they would listen, but you would be wrong.
A Message to Baruch- Baruch seems to be Jeremiah’s scribe, and he called out to God asking for help because he was really miserable. Jeremiah told Baruch that God was going to destroy everybody, but God would let Baruch off of the hook for being a good kid.
A Message About Egypt- God gets super poetic about how dead He is gonna make Egypt. Real dead. It is a beautiful passage though.
A Message About the Philistines- Also gonna be super dead.
A Message About Moab- You guessed it, gonna be dead.
A Message About Ammon- Same.
A Message About Edom- Same.
A Message About Damascus- Same.
A Message About Kedar and Hazor- Same.
A Message About Elam-Same.
A Message About Babylon- Same. Super dead. Babylon might be the plaything of God, a tool used to punish His people, but He is still gonna fuck their shit up for doing the thing He made them do.
As a side not about these “A Message About” passages, they are beautifully written in a horrible, destroy everything way. I didn’t go into a lot of detail on these passages, because we’ve pretty much heard this stuff before in Isaiah. If you’ll remember, God wanted to bring destruction down on every nation that had either enslaved, attacked or just disliked His people (which is pretty much everybody). His end goal was not to completely destroy these people forever and ever, just to mostly destroy them and the repopulate the regions with people who were more God friendly.
The Fall of Jerusalem- We know this one, but this part goes into greater detail than earlier accounts. When the Babylonians besieged Jerusalem, it caused a horrible famine (as sieges often do). In the midst of the famine, the Babylonians broke through the outer wall, and Jerusalem’s army fled with King Zedekiah and his sons. We already know that the Babylonians caught up with and killed many of those who fled. As for Zedekiah, after he was brought to Babylon in chains, he was thrown into a prison cell, which is where he later died. The Babylonians burnt much of the city and carried off the riches from Solomon’s temple.
Jehoiachin Released- Jehoiachin was a one-time king of Judah who had been pretty decent to God, so God had promised him that he wouldn’t die a prisoner in Babylon. True to his word, Jehoiachin was released after being a prisoner for some time and allowed to dine with the King of Babylon as a free man.
Haven’t had enough of deathy things and destruction? Worry not! Lamentations is up next!