Jeremiah Chapter 34
Verses 1-7: The promise (in verses 4-5), that Zedekiah would “die in peace” appears to be conditioned on his surrender to the Babylonians as Jeremiah advised.
Jeremiah 34:1 “The word which came unto Jeremiah from the LORD, when Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, and all his army, and all the kingdoms of the earth of his dominion, and all the people, fought against Jerusalem, and against all the cities thereof, saying,”
“Nebuchadnezzar … fought”: The siege began in 588 B.C. (39:1), and ended in 586 (39:2; 52:5-6). This chapter was set in Zedekiah’s reign, during the siege of 588-586 B.C., and was an amplification of (32:1-5), the message that resulted in Jeremiah’s incarceration.
“Against Jerusalem”: Babylon’s destruction of Jerusalem (586 B.C.; 2 Kings 25:8-9).
The word that was translated “earth” here does not mean the entire earth, but a country or area. This is speaking of the siege that came when Jerusalem and all of Judah was captured by Babylon.
Jeremiah 34:2 “Thus saith the LORD, the God of Israel; Go and speak to Zedekiah king of Judah, and tell him, Thus saith the LORD; Behold, I will give this city into the hand of the king of Babylon, and he shall burn it with fire:”
Who, though the covenant God of Israel, yet provoked by their sins, sends the following message to their king.
“Go and speak to Zedekiah king of Judah, and tell him”: Alone; and tell it to no other but him, at least at present. The message being more peculiar to him, and must, had it been told to the people, been very disheartening to them.
“Behold, I will give this city into the hand of the king of Babylon, and he shall burn it with fire” (see (Jer. 32:3); which was exactly accomplished (Jer. 52:13).
We had discussed in a previous lesson that king Zedekiah did not want to hear this prophecy. He would much rather believe the false prophets who were saying they would be quickly restored. Jeremiah has said now that the destruction will be by fire.
Jeremiah 34:3 “And thou shalt not escape out of his hand, but shalt surely be taken, and delivered into his hand; and thine eyes shall behold the eyes of the king of Babylon, and he shall speak with thee mouth to mouth, and thou shalt go to Babylon.”
This prophecy about Zedekiah (compare 32:1-5), was fulfilled (as reported in 2 Kings 25:6-7; Jer. 52:7-11).
We will see (in 39:7), that Zedekiah’s eyes will be put out. This is mentioned again in:
2 Kings 25:7 “And they slew the sons of Zedekiah before his eyes, and put out the eyes of Zedekiah, and bound him with fetters of brass, and carried him to Babylon.”
Nebuchadnezzar will be the one to pronounce sentence on Zedekiah. This is unusual since this is Nebuchadnezzar’s uncle. After they have put Zedekiah’s eyes out they will take him to Babylon.
Jeremiah 34:4 “Yet hear the word of the LORD, O Zedekiah king of Judah; Thus saith the LORD of thee, Thou shalt not die by the sword:”
Which, though a king, he ought to hearken to. And, besides, what follows was for comfort, being a mitigation of his sentence, and containing in it mercy, as well as judgment.
“Thus saith the Lord of thee, thou shalt not die by the sword”: Of the king of Babylon. Or a violent death; and therefore, fear not to deliver up thyself and city into his hands. Which he might be hesitant to do, fearing he would put him to death immediately.
Zedekiah would have preferred to die by the sword in battle. It would be very humiliating to be taken bound to Babylon.
Jeremiah 34:5 “[But] thou shalt die in peace: and with the burnings of thy fathers, the former kings which were before thee, so shall they burn [odors] for thee; and they will lament thee, [saying], Ah lord! for I have pronounced the word, saith the LORD.”
Zedekiah is told that the city shall be taken, and that he shall die a captive, but he shall die a natural death. It is better to live and die penitent in a prison, than to live and die impenitent in a palace.
“And with the burnings of thy fathers”: Spices and perfumes were burnt as a mark of honor at the burial of kings and persons of high rank, and this is the burning here referred to (2 Chron. 16:14; 21:19). The Hebrews never adopted the practice of burial by cremation, and for the most part embalmed their dead after the manner of Egypt (compare Gen. 50:2; John 19:39-40).
“They will lament thee, saying, Ah lord!” The words derive their full effect from their contrast with the prediction which the prophet had uttered (Jer. 22:18). As to the burial of Jehoiakim without any of the usual honors of the funeral dirges of the mourners. Here he comforts Zedekiah with the thought that no such shameful end was in store for him, leaving the place where he was to die uncertain.
“For I have pronounced the word, saith the Lord”: Both that which respects his captivity, and that which refers to his death. The manner of it, and his honorable interment, which shall be accomplished.
This peace was at great expense to Zedekiah. His eyes had been put out because of his rebellion against Nebuchadnezzar, his sons had been killed and his daughters left in Jerusalem. There was little for him to do but live in peace in Babylon until his death. It appears that the usual burning of spices for high officials who died, would be carried out for Zedekiah. This does not say exactly where this mourning will take place.
Jeremiah 34:6 “Then Jeremiah the prophet spake all these words unto Zedekiah king of Judah in Jerusalem,”
The threatening, as well as the consolatory ones. He kept back no part of the message he was sent with, but faithfully delivered the whole.
“Unto Zedekiah king of Judah in Jerusalem”: Though he knew it would displease him, and bring himself into trouble, as it did. For upon this he was put into prison.
This is just placing the location of the prophecy in Jerusalem.
Jeremiah 34:7 “When the king of Babylon’s army fought against Jerusalem, and against all the cities of Judah that were left, against Lachish, and against Azekah: for these defensed cities remained of the cities of Judah.”
These two key “defensed cities” were situated southwest of Jerusalem and were located on the main route to the city. Their fall would mean imminent danger for Judah’s capital city. Twenty-one ostraca (inscribed bits of pottery), have been recovered from the fortress at “Lachish”, 25 miles southwest of Jerusalem, and furnish supplemental details of the conditions described here. Ostracon IV reports the following situation at Lachish shortly before its fall: “And he [Ya’ush] would know concerning the beacons of Lachish, that we are watching, according to the instructions that my lord has given, for we do not see [the signals of] Azekah!”
The “defensed cities” meant that they had a wall surrounding them to deter any attack.
Verses 8-14: “A covenant … to proclaim liberty”: Zedekiah’s pact to free slaves or servants met with initial compliance. The covenant followed the law of release (in Lev. 25:39-55; Deut. 15:12-18), in hopes of courting God’s favor and ending His judgment.
In an attempt to gain the Lord’s favor as the Babylonian army besieged Jerusalem, Zedekiah and the people proclaimed a general amnesty and released all of their slaves, something they should have been doing every seventh year (Exodus 21:1-11).
Verses 8-9: The Hebrew laws concerning slavery and the liberation of slaves (Exodus 21:1-11; Lev. 25:39-55; Deut. 15:1, 12-18), had apparently not been kept in force. Zedekiah’s proclamation went beyond freeing slaves after six years’ service and gave “liberty” to all. However, unless people enter into the freedom that the truth supplies (compare John 8:32-36), there can be no liberty. Hence, the liberated slaves were quickly re-enslaved (verse 11).
Jeremiah 34:8 “[This is] the word that came unto Jeremiah from the LORD, after that the king Zedekiah had made a covenant with all the people which [were] at Jerusalem, to proclaim liberty unto them;”
Here begins a new prophecy, which was delivered some time after the former. That was given out while the king of Babylon was besieging Jerusalem. This after he had stopped the siege for a while, and was gone to meet the king of Egypt, who was coming to the relief of the city, as appears from (Jer. 34:21). Though the Jews say this was delivered in the seventh year of Zedekiah, in the first month, and tenth day of the month. At the same time that the elders of Israel came to Ezekiel, to inquire of the Lord by him (Ezek. 20:1). Which was two years before the king of Babylon came against Jerusalem. But this seems not likely. It is said to be;
“After that the King Zedekiah made a covenant with all the people that were at Jerusalem, to proclaim liberty unto them”: For the liberty proclaimed was to the servants, and not to them. This seems to confirm it, that it was while the city was besieged that this covenant was made. Since it was made only with the people at Jerusalem, which were pent up in it. For otherwise it would in all probability have been made with all the people of the land. And seems to have been done with this view, to obtain this favor of the Lord. That they might gain their freedom from the enemy, and come not under the yoke and into the servitude of the king of Babylon. And very probable it is that they did not do this of their own accord, but were exhorted to it by Jeremiah. Who perhaps, among other sins, had reproved them for the breach of the law respecting the liberty of servants.
This covenant had to do with the Levitical law. It appears this covenant was made in Jerusalem at the temple. It had to do with releasing Jews who had served as a slave. This was connected with jubilee.
Jeremiah 34:9 “That every man should let his manservant, and every man his maidservant, [being] an Hebrew or an Hebrewess, go free; that none should serve himself of them, [to wit], of a Jew his brother.”
This was the tenor of God’s law mentioned in the above named texts. And it seemed Zedekiah was taking notice of the common violation of this law. And the Jews’ ordinary oppressing those of their own nation this way, judging that this might be one of those sins for which the wrath of God was at this time, kindled against them. He caused the people to make a covenant that they would give that liberty to their servants of either sex which the law of God required, of which he made proclamation.
A fellow Hebrew was to serve as a slave to another Hebrew for no more than 7 years. They were to be released then. They were set free because they had fulfilled the law of the jubilee. It did not matter if the slave was male or female, this was the law.
Jeremiah 34:10 “Now when all the princes, and all the people, which had entered into the covenant, heard that every one should let his manservant, and every one his maidservant, go free, that none should serve themselves of them any more, then they obeyed, and let [them] go.”
Here the princes are mentioned, who were not before, but included in the people. They and the rest of the people are here meant, who having agreed to the covenant.
“Heard that everyone should let his manservant, and everyone his maidservant, go free, that none should serve themselves of them any more”: Or any longer, which they had done, contrary to law. When they understood that this was the sum of the covenant they had entered into, and this the intent of the proclamation they agreed unto. Or when they heard the law read and explained by the prophet, concerning the freeing of the Hebrew servants, when the time of their servitude was expired.
“Then they obeyed, and let them go”: Dismissed them from their service, in obedience to the law of God. Agreeably to their own covenant, and the proclamation of liberty they assented to. The whole might be rendered thus, “and all the princes, and all the people” obeyed, which had entered into the covenant. To let everyone his manservant, and everyone his maidservant, go free. Not to serve themselves of them anymore, and they obeyed. I say, to “let them go”; so far they did well, and were praiseworthy, that they kept the law of God, and their own covenant.
This appears from a glance that they had repented. It appears to me they realize they had not been keeping the covenant with God about their servants who were fellow Hebrews. They let them go for fear of being punished.
Verses 11-16: Reflecting their true motives, the people took back their “slaves” when the Babylonians temporarily withdrew from Jerusalem. Jeremiah had called the people who “turned” from their turning back to the Lord.
Jeremiah 34:11 “But afterward they turned, and caused the servants and the handmaids, whom they had let go free, to return, and brought them into subjection for servants and for handmaids.”
“They turned … to return”: Former salve masters treacherously went back on their agreement and recalled their servants. Some suggest that this treachery came when the Egyptian army approached and Babylon’s forces withdrew temporarily (37:5, 11), and the inhabitants believed that danger was past.
Their repentance was short-lived. They had not really repented. They repented long enough to keep from being punished and then went right back to their evil ways.
Verses 12-16: “Therefore the word … came”: God reminded the unfaithful Jews of His own covenant, when He freed Israelites from Egyptian bondage (compare Exodus 21:2; Deut. 15:12-15). He had commanded that Hebrew slaves should serve only 6 years, then be set free in the seventh (verses 13-14).
Jeremiah 34:12 “Therefore the word of the LORD came to Jeremiah from the LORD, saying,”
Because of this transgression of the princes and people, and as soon as it was committed by them. For it is plain, from (Jer. 34:21). That it was before the Chaldean army returned to Jerusalem, after its departure from it.
We may hide our sin from our neighbor but God knows. He is about to act on this in the verse above.
Jeremiah 34:13 “Thus saith the LORD, the God of Israel; I made a covenant with your fathers in the day that I brought them forth out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondmen, saying,”
Because of this transgression of the princes and people, and as soon as it was committed by them. For it is plain, from (Jer. 34:21). That it was before the covenant God of Israel, their Creator, Redeemer, and Benefactor.
“I made a covenant with your fathers”: Gave them a system of laws, among which was that of release of servants.
“In the day that I brought them forth out of the land of Egypt”: That is, at that time, quickly after, when they were come to Mount Sinai. This shows what fathers are meant, the Jewish ancestors that came out of Egypt. Brought from thence by the mighty hand of God, and indulged with many favors by him, both in the wilderness, and in the land of Canaan, where he brought and settled them.
“Out of the house of bondmen”: Where they were bondmen, servants, and slaves. This is mentioned, to put them in mind of their former state and condition. To observe unto them the foundation and ground of the law concerning servants, how equitable and merciful it was, and to aggravate their sin. Who though their fathers had been bondmen, and they must have been so too, had they not been released. Yet acted such a cruel part to their servants, who were their brethren, in not discharging them in due time.
“Saying”: Giving out the following law, as a part of the covenant made with their fathers. Chaldean army returned to Jerusalem, after its departure from it.
This covenant had been made with God and their ancestors when He brought them out of Egypt to the Promised Land. This is part of the things that set them apart from the rest of the world. This was so very important for them to keep since God had taken them out of bitter slavery in Egypt.
Jeremiah 34:14 “At the end of seven years let ye go every man his brother an Hebrew, which hath been sold unto thee; and when he hath served thee six years, thou shalt let him go free from thee: but your fathers hearkened not unto me, neither inclined their ear.”
A Jew should not be held in servitude above seven years. This law they and their fathers had broken. And when there was some hope that the siege was raised, they forced the servants they had released into their services again. Those who think to cheat God by dissembled repentance and partial reformation, put the greatest cheat upon their own souls. This shows that liberty to sin, is really only liberty to have the sorest judgments. It is just with God to disappoint expectations of mercy, when we disappoint the expectations of duty. And when reformation springs only from terror, it is seldom lasting. Solemn vows thus entered into, profane the ordinances of God; and the most forward to bind themselves by appeals to God, and are commonly most ready to break them. Let us look to our hearts, that our repentance may be real, and take care that the law of God regulates our conduct.
They were to work six years, and be released the seventh year. God made the earth and all in it in 6 days and rested the seventh. These people worked 6 years, and were to be set free the 7th. Their fathers had not kept covenant with God to do this thing. This was part of the reason God was so angry with them.
Jeremiah 34:15 “And ye were now turned, and had done right in my sight, in proclaiming liberty every man to his neighbor; and ye had made a covenant before me in the house which is called by my name:”
Or, “today indeed ye were turned” some little time ago. Indeed, it must be owned, that ye turned from the evil ways of your fathers, for which you were to be commended, as having acted a better part than they.
“And had done right in my sight”: What was acceptable to the Lord, approved of by him, being agreeably to his law. And it would have been well if they had continued so doing.
“In proclaiming liberty every man to his neighbor”: For a manservant, or maidservant, was his neighbor. And to be treated as such, and loved as himself, especially a Hebrew one, of the same nation and religion. And not to be used as a slave, or retained for ever in bondage.
“And ye made a covenant before me in the house which is called by my name”: This circumstance is mentioned as an aggravation of the breach of the covenant they had made. To dismiss their servants according to law. It was made in a very solemn manner, in the presence of God, appealing to him as a witness. It was done in the temple, a sacred place, devoted to him and his worship. Which was called by his name, the temple of the Lord, and where his name was called upon, and where were the symbols of his presence.
Since their fathers had not kept covenant and they had kept their fellow Hebrews longer than the 7 years, they were to release all of their Hebrew brothers who were slaves. In a very short time they would be slaves themselves then perhaps they would realize the misery of being a slave. “The house that is called by my name” is speaking of the temple in Jerusalem.
Jeremiah 34:16 “But ye turned and polluted my name, and caused every man his servant, and every man his handmaid, whom he had set at liberty at their pleasure, to return, and brought them into subjection, to be unto you for servants and for handmaids.”
Changed their minds, and turned from their resolutions they had entered into. And the good ways they were walking in, and returned to their former evil practices. And so polluted the name of God by taking it in vain, and breaking the covenant they had agreed to.
“And caused every man his servant, and every man his handmaid, whom he had set at liberty at pleasure. Or, “according to their soul”; according to their souls’ desire, what was very agreeable and acceptable to them, and gave them a real pleasure. Which did not last long, since they caused them to return to their former service and bondage under them.
“And brought them into subjection”: Forced them to come back to their houses, and into their service, and be subject to them, and obey their commands as formerly.
“To be unto you for servants and for handmaids”: To do the business of such, as they had done before.
They had not kept their word to the servants, but worse they had broken covenant and lied to God. They had made this oath in the temple. They had polluted God’s name before their Hebrew brothers and before the Babylonians. They had no respect for God.
Verses 17-22: “Ye have not hearkened unto me”: Due to recent duplicity (verse 16), God promised only one kind of liberty to the offenders, liberty to judgment by sword, pestilence, and famine (verse 17).
Jeremiah 34:17 “Therefore thus saith the LORD; Ye have not hearkened unto me, in proclaiming liberty, every one to his brother, and every man to his neighbor: behold, I proclaim a liberty for you, saith the LORD, to the sword, to the pestilence, and to the famine; and I will make you to be removed into all the kingdoms of the earth.”
This being the case, and this their crime, which was provoking to the Lord.
“Ye have not hearkened unto me in proclaiming liberty everyone to his brother, and everyone to his neighbor”: For though they did proclaim liberty, they did not act according to it. They did not give the liberty they proclaimed, at least they did not continue so to do. As soon almost as they had granted the favor, they took it away again. And because they did not persevere in well doing, it is reckoned by the Lord as not done at all.
“Behold, I proclaim liberty for you, saith the Lord”: Or rather against them. He dismissed them from his service, care, and protection, and consigned them to other lords and masters. He gave them up;
“To the sword, to the pestilence, and to the famine”: To rule over them; and gave them liberty to make havoc of them and destroy them, that was left by the one might be seized on by the other.
“And I will make you to be removed into all the kingdoms of the earth”: Or, “for a commotion”; to be moved, and wander from place to place in great fear and terror. Not knowing where to settle or live comfortably. This was a liberty to go about in foreign countries where they could, for relief and shelter, being banished from their own land. But this was a liberty very miserable and uncomfortable. And indeed, no other than captivity and bondage. And so, it is threatened that what remained of them, who were not destroyed with the sword of the Chaldeans, or perished not by pestilence and famine, should be carried captive. And be miserable vagabonds in each of the kingdoms and nations of the world.
God had given them a last moment chance to repent and they had backslidden into sin. Since they did this terrible thing against God and their fellowman, now they will feel hunger, the sword and pestilence. They will know how it feels to be slaves, because they will be slaves to their captors.
Verses 18, and 21: “Cut the calf in twain”: God will give the guilty over to death before the conqueror, for they denied the covenant ratified by blood (verse 21). In this custom (as in Gen. 15:8-17), two parties laid out parts of a sacrifice on two sides, then walked between the parts. By that symbolic action each pledged to fulfill his promise, agreeing in effect, “May my life (represented by the blood), be poured out if I fail to honor my part”.
Jeremiah 34:18 “And I will give the men that have transgressed my covenant, which have not performed the words of the covenant which they had made before me, when they cut the calf in twain, and passed between the parts thereof.”
Passed between the parts thereof. The contracting parties in the “covenant”. Not here but the law in general. But their covenant made before God in His house to emancipate their slaves (Jer. 34:8-9). By passing through the parts of the animal cut in two, implying that they prayed so to be cut in sunder (Matt. 24:51; Greek, “cut in two”), if they should break the covenant (Gen. 15:10, 17).
This was a blood covenant they had made. They walked between the two parts of the divided calf to show that if they broke the covenant the same would come to them. If they killed, they would be killed. In this case they took the slaves back so they will be slaves. The walking between the two halves of the calf made this a very serious covenant.
Jeremiah 34:19 “The princes of Judah, and the princes of Jerusalem, the eunuchs, and the priests, and all the people of the land, which passed between the parts of the calf;”
Here is a particular enumeration of the persons that had made the covenant, and transgressed it, and that should suffer for so doing. The princes of Judah, distinguished from the princes of Jerusalem, design such princes as lived without Jerusalem, in the cities of Judah, and presided over them. Though now at Jerusalem, having fled there, upon the invasion of the king of Babylon, for their safety. As the princes of Jerusalem, or the magistrates of that city, are distinguished from the princes of the blood, and from the courtiers, both in this and (Jer. 34:21).
“The eunuchs, and the priests, and all the people of the land”: That is, as many as had got into Jerusalem to secure themselves from the common enemy. The “priests” also were concerned herein, who had menservants, and maidservants, as well as others. And, besides, were persons doubtless concerned in drawing up the covenant and the form of an oath. As well as in slaying the sacrifice, and cutting it into pieces, and laying the parts in order. It is more surprising that there should be “eunuchs” here; that such should be in the court of the king of Judah, and have offices in it, and preside in them, as among the Gentiles. The Targum renders the word “princes”.
“Which passed between the parts of the calf”: Signifying their assent to the covenant, and wishing they might be so used if they broke it.
This just explains that anyone who walked through the calf, and in fact all who did would pay for the breaking of the covenant.
Jeremiah 34:20 “I will even give them into the hand of their enemies, and into the hand of them that seek their life: and their dead bodies shall be for meat unto the fowls of the heaven, and to the beasts of the earth.”
The Chaldeans, who were the enemies of the Jews that had come from a far country to invade, dispossess, ravage, and plunder them. And what can be a greater punishment than to be given up into an enemy’s hand, to be in his power, and at his mercy?
“And into the hand of them that seek their life”: Not their wealth and substance only, but also their lives. Nothing less will content them.
“And their dead bodies shall be for meat unto the fowls of the heaven, and to the beasts of the earth”: Not only such should be the cruelty of their enemies that sought their lives, that they should slay them with the sword, and give them no quarter. But such their inhumanity, that they should not suffer their carcasses to be buried. But leave them exposed to birds and beasts of prey. Of the princes of Judah (see Jer. 52:10).
Now we see the severity of the punishment for breaking covenant with God. They will pay with their lives. They will not even have the honor of burial. They are to be eaten of the vultures like those of disgrace.
Jeremiah 34:21 “And Zedekiah king of Judah and his princes will I give into the hand of their enemies, and into the hand of them that seek their life, and into the hand of the king of Babylon’s army, which are gone up from you.”
These were either the princes of the blood, the sons of Zedekiah, and his nobles and courtiers, as distinct from the princes in (Jer. 34:19). These shall not be spared, neither the king, nor his sons, nor those of the private council.
“Will I give into the hand of their enemies, and into the hand of them that seek their life”: As in (Jer. 34:20).
“And into the hand of the king of Babylon’s army”: Or, “even into the hand” etc. And so this is an explanation of the former, and shows who their enemies were, and those that sought their life. The accomplishment of this may be seen (in Jer. 52:9).
“Which are gone up from you”: Departed from Jerusalem, as the Chaldean army did upon hearing that Pharaoh king of Egypt was marching with his army to raise the siege of Jerusalem. Upon which they left it, and went forth to meet him. And this encouraged the wicked Jews to break their covenant, and reduce their servants to bondage again that they had let go free (see Jer. 37:5).
Earlier in this lesson we found what would happen to Zedekiah. There are worse things than death and Zedekiah’s fate was worse than death.
Jeremiah 34:22 “Behold, I will command, saith the LORD, and cause them to return to this city; and they shall fight against it, and take it, and burn it with fire: and I will make the cities of Judah a desolation without an inhabitant.”
The Lord of hosts, or armies, was “Generalissimo” of Nebuchadnezzar’s army. He had it at his command, and could direct if as he pleased, and order it to march and countermarch as he thought fit. It was under the direction of his providence that it departed from Jerusalem, to try the inhabitants of it. And now, by a secret instinct, he would so powerfully work upon it, and by the ordering of external causes so manage it, that it should return to Jerusalem again, and carry on the siege with redoubled rigor.
“And they shall fight against it, and take it, and burn it with fire”: They fought against it by shooting arrows from their bows, casting stones from their engines, and by beating down the walls with their battering rams. With which making breaches, they entered in and took the city. And burnt the temple, palaces, and other houses, with fire. Of all which see the accomplishment (in Jer. 52:4).
“And I will make the cities of Judah a desolation without an inhabitant”: Many of them were already. The king of Babylon having taken, ravaged, and plundered them before he came to Jerusalem. And whither the inhabitants of them, that escaped the sword, fled for security. And others of them, that were not, now should be made desolate upon the taking of Jerusalem, as Lachish and Azekah (Jer. 34:7). Which should fall into the hands of the enemy, and the inhabitants there be forced to flee into other countries, or would be carried captive. So that they would be without any, or have but few to dwell in them.
A very important thing to remember here is that this is God who causes this destruction. It is done, because of the sins of these people. This type of punishment is so severe, because they broke covenant with God.
Jeremiah Chapter 34 Questions
- When did this word of the LORD come to Jeremiah?
- What does “earth” in verse 1 mean?
- What was Jeremiah to tell Zedekiah?
- How will the destruction come?
- Who passes judgement on Zedekiah?
- What did he do to Zedekiah, before he took him to Babylon?
- What happened to Zedekiah’s sons?
- How would Zedekiah have preferred to die?
- How shall Zedekiah die?
- What was usually done as part of the mourning for high officials?
- Where did Jeremiah speak to Zedekiah in verse 6?
- What are two other cities specifically named, besides Jerusalem that were destroyed?
- What was meant by “defensed cities”?
- What covenant did Zedekiah make with the people?
- What was this connected with?
- What did the covenant say, they were to do?
- When they heard about the covenant agreement, what did the princes and the people do?
- What did they do afterwards?
- How did God feel about this?
- When had God made the covenant with their fathers?
- Had their fathers kept the covenant?
- When were the Hebrews supposed to release their Hebrew slaves?
- What is the “house that is called by my name”?
- How had they polluted God’s name?
- What was their punishment to be?
- What had they done, showing this to be a very serious covenant?
- Who had been part of the covenant?
- How severe is the punishment?
- Zedekiah’s fate was worse than _______.
- Who causes the destruction to come, and why?