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Lowell Brueckner

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Appendix to Jeremiah


Chapter 52



The Fall of Jerusalem Recounted

1.      Zedekiah was twenty-one years old when he became king, and he reigned eleven years in Jerusalem. His mother's name was Hamutal the daughter of Jeremiah of Libnah. 

2.      He also did evil in the sight of the LORD, according to all that Jehoiakim had done. 

3.      For because of the anger of the LORD this happened in Jerusalem and Judah, till He finally cast them out from His presence. Then Zedekiah rebelled against the king of Babylon. 

4.      Now it came to pass in the ninth year of his reign, in the tenth month, on the tenth day of the   month, that Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon and all his army came against Jerusalem and encamped against it; and they built a siege wall against it all around. 

5.      So the city was besieged until the eleventh year of King Zedekiah. 

6.      By the fourth month, on the ninth day of the month, the famine had become so severe in the city that there was no food for the people of the land. 

7.      Then the city wall was broken through, and all the men of war fled and went out of the city at night by way of the gate between the two walls, which was by the king's garden, even though the Chaldeans were near the city all around. And they went by way of the plain. 

8.      But the army of the Chaldeans pursued the king, and they overtook Zedekiah in the plains of Jericho. All his army was scattered from him. 

9.      So they took the king and brought him up to the king of Babylon at Riblah in the land of Hamath, and he pronounced judgment on him. 

10.  Then the king of Babylon killed the sons of Zedekiah before his eyes. And he killed all the princes of Judah in Riblah. 

11.  He also put out the eyes of Zedekiah; and the king of Babylon bound him in bronze fetters, took him to Babylon, and put him in prison till the day of his death. 

12.  Now in the fifth month, on the tenth day of the month (which was the nineteenth year of King Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon), Nebuzaradan, the captain of the guard, who served the king of Babylon, came to Jerusalem. 

13.  He burned the house of the LORD and the king's house; all the houses of Jerusalem, that is, all the houses of the great, he burned with fire. 

14.  And all the army of the Chaldeans who were with the captain of the guard broke down all the walls of Jerusalem all around. 

15.  Then Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard carried away captive some of the poor people, the rest of the people who remained in the city, the defectors who had deserted to the king of Babylon, and the rest of the craftsmen. 

16.  But Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard left some of the poor of the land as vinedressers and farmers. 

17.  The bronze pillars that were in the house of the LORD, and the carts and the bronze Sea that were in the house of the LORD, the Chaldeans broke in pieces, and carried all their bronze to Babylon. 

18.  They also took away the pots, the shovels, the trimmers, the bowls, the spoons, and all the bronze utensils with which the priests ministered.

19.  The basins, the firepans, the bowls, the pots, the lampstands, the spoons, and the cups, whatever was solid gold and whatever was solid silver, the captain of the guard took away. 

20.  The two pillars, one Sea, the twelve bronze bulls which were under it, and the carts, which King Solomon had made for the house of the LORD the bronze of all these articles was beyond measure. 

21.  Now concerning the pillars: the height of one pillar was eighteen cubits, a measuring line of twelve cubits could measure its circumference, and its thickness was four fingers; it was hollow. 

22.  A capital of bronze was on it; and the height of one capital was five cubits, with a network and pomegranates all around the capital, all of bronze. The second pillar, with pomegranates was the same. 

23.  There were ninety-six pomegranates on the sides; all the pomegranates, all around on the network, were one hundred.

At the end of chapter 51, we are informed that Jeremiah has finished his book. This chapter is added later. It is also evident that Jeremiah was not alive to give the account concerning King Jehoiachin, at the end of this chapter, 37 years after the king was taken into captivity. It is, then, an appendix to the book, some think probably written by Ezra.

 It begins with a short biography of King Zedekiah, then recounts the story of the defeat of Jerusalem, from verse 4 to 16, already related by Jeremiah in chapter 39. You may want to return to that chapter to review my comments about this event. Various details are given throughout the book of Jeremiah and this account is also written in 2 Kings 24 and 25. 

Judgment against Babylon (Part 2)



Babylon mound

Chapter 51


The Lord orders the righteous fall of Babylon

 1.      Thus says the LORD: "Behold, I will raise up against Babylon, Against those who dwell in Leb Kamai, A destroying wind. 

2.      And I will send winnowers to Babylon, Who shall winnow her and empty her land. For in the day of doom They shall be against her all around. 

 3.      Against her let the archer bend his bow, And lift himself up against her in his armor. Do not spare her young men; Utterly destroy all her army. 

 4.      Thus the slain shall fall in the land of the Chaldeans, And those thrust through in her streets. 

The judgment of Babylon is given major attention at the end of this book of Jeremiah, more than any other foreign nation. Babylon plays a major role, throughout the book, as the conqueror of Judah and as their captors. It was a mighty empire, the head of gold in Nebuchadnezzar’s dream of a great image, interpreted by Daniel, to be the prominent, over the three empires that follow.

 The Omniscient knows the history of this city and, beyond its physical majesty in Jeremiah’s day, is concerned with its spiritual roots. The spirit in its roots carries on down through the centuries, even after physical Babylon is in ruins, and survives nearly to the end of time. The Babylon of the book of Revelation is certainly not literal Babylon, but a city which continues in the spirit of ancient Babylon, representing its idolatrous religion, its economy, and its politics. This is the story behind these two lengthy chapters in Jeremiah.

 The city was founded by Nimrod, who also built Nineveh, capital of the Assyrian Empire (Ge.10:10-11). Nimrod was grandson of Ham and great-grandson of Noah. Being the builder of cities, which became so prominent in the earth, we can understand why he was given special attention, above his brothers, in Genesis 10:7-8. “He was a mighty one in the earth,” well-known in the primitive world after the flood, and mentioned in an ancient proverb: “Like Nimrod the mighty hunter before the Lord.” (Ge.10:9).

 Matthew Henry comments that “the first builders of cities, both in the old world, and in the new world here, were not men of the best character and reputation: tents served God’s subjects to dwell in; cities were first built by those that were rebels.” Nimrod’s position before the Lord, was not a favorable one, but that of a renowned rebel, who defied God. He was a hunter of men, not animals, meaning that he persecuted them to gain rulership over them. He set up his own government and his own idolatrous religion and so, Babylon became the Mother of Harlots (Rv.17:5). Nimrod, in some way, was involved in the construction of Babel, later called Babylon. Even from its inception, it was a center of humanistic ideology (Ge.11:1-7): “Come, let us build ourselves a city, and a tower whose top is in the heavens; let us make a name for ourselves.” This ideology has come into play in our day: “Man, you can do anything that you set your heart on. Dream big dreams!” That is the language of humanism and of Antichrist. 

Judgment against Babylon (Part 1)


Ruins of ancient Babylon

Chapter 50


The value of faithful reporting

 1.      The word that the LORD spoke against Babylon and against the land of the Chaldeans by Jeremiah the prophet. 

 2.      "Declare among the nations, Proclaim, and set up a standard; Proclaim—do not conceal it—Say, 'Babylon is taken, Bel is shamed. Merodach is broken in pieces; Her idols are humiliated, Her images are broken in pieces.' 

 3.      For out of the north a nation comes up against her, Which shall make her land desolate, And no one shall dwell therein. They shall move, they shall depart, Both man and beast. 

 A principle is taught in this chapter that we will attempt to learn. Paul encounters it and a false interpretation of it in Romans, because he taught that by the deeds of the law no flesh will be justified in His sight” (Ro.3:20). Since we are justified without doing good works, some Jews interpreted Paul’s teaching to mean, "Let us do evil that good may come"? (Ro.3:8). The questions follow, ‘Is the glory of God promoted by sin? If so, should man be counted guilty for his sin? If not, then should he do all the sinning that he can, in order that God be glorified?’ Paul says that this is not gospel teaching; it is ridiculous, damnable doctrine, and Paul shows that God will righteously judge sin. It is true to a certain point that man’s sin does amplify the holiness of God, but He does not, for this reason, excuse it, but He will bring judgment upon it.

 Similarly, we have seen in these chapters in Jeremiah, that God has called evil Nebuchadnezzar His servant, because He has used him to carry out His judgment upon many nations, including Judah, because of their sin. The prophet advised Judah to submit to the emperor and they would find protection and even prosperity in Babylon. Serving and exalting God in His justice, is he to be excused from his own evil deeds? No, we will now see that Nebuchadnezzar and Babylon will be judged, because of their own sin.

 It is clearly factual that God has allowed the enemy, Satan, to exist for a reason. As an example, we read how he was permitted to test Job (Job 1:12, 2:6). God gave Paul a messenger of Satan to buffet him, “lest I should be exalted above measure” (2 Co.12:7). In 2 Thessalonians 2, Paul teaches that the Lord will permit that Antichrist deceive the world, “because they did not receive the love of the truth… God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth” (2 Th.2:11,12). After he has played his part, Antichrist will be thrown into the Lake of Fire (Rev.19:20). God allowed a lying spirit to deceive the prophets of Ahab, to destroy the evil king (1 K.22:20-22). So, the Lord is sovereign over the kingdom of darkness, utilizes it to perform His will, then condemns it to everlasting fire. 

Judgment against Other Nations



Ammon, Edom (Moab, Philistia)

 Chapter 49


 Ammon, son of Lot (Verses 1 – 6)

 1. Against the Ammonites. Thus says the LORD: "Has Israel no sons? Has he no heir? Why then does Milcom inherit Gad, And his people dwell in its cities?

 2.      Therefore behold, the days are coming," says the LORD, "That I will cause to be heard an alarm of war In Rabbah of the Ammonites; It shall be a desolate mound, And her villages shall be burned with fire. Then Israel shall take possession of his inheritance," says the LORD. 

 3.      "Wail, O Heshbon, for Ai is plundered! Cry, you daughters of Rabbah, Gird yourselves with sackcloth! Lament and run to and fro by the walls; For Milcom shall go into captivity With his priests and his princes together. 

  4.      Why do you boast in the valleys, Your flowing valley, O backsliding daughter? Who trusted in her treasures, saying, 'Who will come against me?' 

  5.      Behold, I will bring fear upon you," Says the Lord GOD of hosts, "From all those who are around you; You shall be driven out, everyone headlong, And no one will gather those who wander off.  

6.      But afterward I will bring back The captives of the people of Ammon," says the LORD. 

Genesis 19 tells the story of Lot, first of all, how angels rescued him from Sodom (1-22). It goes on to tell of the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah (23-29) and finally relates the story that concerns us in this chapter and the one before it (30-38). We remember how Lot was blessed in the Promised Land, his possessions multiplying, until there was not room in the land for both Abraham and him. Abraham advised him to choose a land for himself and Lot chose the plain of the Jordan River, but in his nomadic lifestyle, he journeyed as far east as Sodom, an extremely sinful city.

 God destroys Sodom and Gomorrah, Lot flees for his life, along with his daughters, but his wife looked back to the city, where they had left all their possessions, and she was consumed by the destruction. Again, remember that Jesus instructed us concerning the danger, which is also sin, of looking back towards our former lifestyle and fortune… “Remember Lot’s wife”.  Lot is afraid of the mountain country, where his safety lies, and begs the angels to let him reside in Zoar, at the end of the valley. However, in time, Lot’s fear of Zoar, was greater than his fear of the mountains, so the three went to live in a mountain cave, apparently stripped of all his possessions.

 This man, who had prospered so wonderfully in Canaan, now lives in a cave, destitute of flocks, herds, tents or servants. His chosen land, with its cities, has been destroyed. In the last chapter, we learned of the plot of the daughters of Lot, who persuaded their father to drink until he became totally drunken. It was this part of the sin, with which he cooperated.  Perhaps, it was not difficult for him, after he was brought to poverty. 

Judgment against Moab


From Nebu, Moses viewed the Promised Land    

Chapter 48


(Verses 1 -9)

   1.   Against Moab. Thus says the LORD of hosts the God of Israel: "Woe to Nebo! For it is plundered,  Kirjathaim is shamed and taken; The high stronghold is shamed and dismayed—

   2.     No more praise of Moab. In Heshbon they have devised evil against her: ‘Come, and let us cut her off as a nation.’ You also shall be cut down, O Madmen! The sword shall pursue you;

  3.      A voice of crying shall be from Horonaim: ‘Plundering and great destruction!’ 

  4.      “Moab is destroyed; Her little ones have caused a cry to be heard; 

  5.      For in the Ascent of Luhith they ascend with continual weeping; For in the descent of Horonaim the enemies have heard a cry of destruction. 

  6.      “Flee, save your lives! And be like the juniper in the wilderness. 

  7.      For because you have trusted in your works and your treasures, You also shall be taken. And Chemosh shall go forth into captivity, His priests and his princes together. 

  8.      And the plunderer shall come against every city; No one shall escape. The valley also shall perish, And the plain shall be destroyed, As the LORD has spoken. 

  9.      “Give wings to Moab, That she may flee and get away; For her cities shall be desolate, Without any to dwell in them.         

Lot’s wife left him no sons, but only two daughters. On the day that she looked back upon wicked Sodom, the liquid lava of its destruction reached her (Ge.19:26). The Lord Himself told of the future days of Jacob’s trouble and the danger of delay, in looking back upon lost possessions, adding, “Remember Lot’s wife” (Lk.17:32). His daughters, concerned about remaining unmarried for the rest of their lives, as well as the preservation of their family name, planned an incestuous relationship with their father (although the law of incest was not in play until Moses). The result was a son to the oldest daughter, named Moab. The son of Abraham’s nephew, Lot, was the patriarch of this nation, east of Israel (Ge.19:37).

Moab was bordered by Ammon, the nation descended from his brother, as well as the Canaanite nation of the Amorites, on the north and, Edom, descended from Jacob’s son, Esau, on the south. Towards the end of the Israelite journey in the wilderness, a Moabite king, Balak, hired a prophet, Balaam, to curse Israel (Nu.22:36-24:25). This attempt failed miserably, Balaam blessing Israel instead, four times, but a plot to entrap Israel into fornication and idolatry, did not fail. As a result, 24,000 Israelites died under God’s judgment, by a plague (Nu.25:1-9).