The language of these pictures paint an indelible image that cannot be erased nor altered no matter what translation. Withered vines and broken cisterns, insolent camels and wild asses, brides in harlots attire, butchers stained in blood declaring themselves innocent. These things cannot be mis-interpreted into being something better or good about the state of Israel/Judah. The Lord is extremely upset there can be no doubt.
We have it that Israel had crossed the line quiet some time ago. The Lord requests that they look back to a time very early on 'the love of their espousals' that He seems to view fondly. If we look back we see that even in that time Israel didn't seem so faithfully betrothed. Yet the Lord has waited. He has been more than patient. If that was a fond time for Him just imagine how bad things must have been now at this critical point.
The kings of Judah surely had their part in this coming judgment. There was a long pronounce track record of God pleading to them through His prophets. They were warned, they chose not to listen. They were commanded to execute judgment on behalf of the people and would not. They enslaved them for their own gain and ended up loosing everything. To the end that later, when other nations looked upon the wreckage they would know that this was not typical downfall of just any nation, this was God's people that had deserted their God.
Jeremiah is imprisoned for message at the east gate by the chief priest Pashur. He imprisons himself at the same time in a fit of depression. Every word that he had spoken in this prophecy is later proved to be right but, that is not of console to the prophet. I would imagine that even in these times the Lord brings people alongside to comfort, but, what really can be said? It is a tough time for all of Judah especially those in the right. The name given Pashur - Magormissabib suggests moved by fear all around.
Pashur inquires of Jeremiah, perhaps while Jeremiah was imprisoned by Pashur, perhaps later we are not told. Either way it has to be an odd situation for both men. The answer given Pashur is much the same but now with detail as to the king's demise.
This is a powerful vision we are allowed to see into of the good and evil that can be purposed in the same decisive action. The same fearful action upon two different types of figs causes the utter shame of the one and the future establishment of the other. This should give the depressed and afflicted prophet hope as it should the true figs amongst us as well.
Many would place the first world war in the early nineteenth century A.D., a major reshuffling of the power structures of the world. What is described here is perhaps the first world shift in the fifth B.C.. What had begun in a smaller scale in the 6th included Israel but, not Judah nor Eygypt etc... No nation now was allowed by the Lord not to drink from this cup. It was not a war of powerful alliances but of fracturing splits and singular domination. We see here God's greater vision, we have been focused too narrowly on Israel/Judah (false prophets, kings,etc..) and not on the entirety of mankind. The cup is prepared and filled in Jerusalem, but, is shared on all the nations. Babylon is used to begin the drunken slug-fest but, it too fractures soon after and is forced to drink as well by the much inferior Medes. The void is later filled by the Persians and then the Greeks.
Much of what the prophet has said has begun to come to pass. The evidence should be clear. Yet the other prophets are saying what has been taken away thus far will be taken back and the temple restored by their word. The Lord is flushing these false prophets out. The king must be aware of the Lord's doings here; those nations that will place themselves under the yoke Nebuchadnezzar will be spared, those who rebel or think otherwise will be consumed. Willing humility, acceptance of reproof, subjection to the counter intuitive is what will save the nation in the long run.
One must ask themselves "do I speak for the Lord"? We all intend well. It would have seemed good for this all to end within two years. Good for the people, but, what about for the Lord. Is it that the Lord is only concerned for our good and not for His own? His good was being served in a thorough purging of our rebellious hearts, a rooting out of the spoiled figs and tainted prophets. Sure the people were put to shame and humbled, but, isn't that better than being stiff necked and hard hearted? If you intend to speak for the Lord you better well know what He would have you to say.
I am just as confused here as the people must have been. Multiple messages coming from multiple places? Who is right and who is wrong? Do we listen to Jeremiah or Shemaiah who wants Jeremiah killed? Remember, we are reading the story line clinically detached; we know who is right in the end. They did not have such luxury. Would you vote for seventy years of peaceful subjection (running the risk of deep foreign integration) or a few years of radical revolt and resistance? Which prophets are true and which are false? Aren't they all about the same from ground level? Again, luckily we know the story.
Quoted is kjv@Jeremiah:31:31-34. Elsewhere in Jeremiah kjv@Jeremiah:24:7 it is written that the heart to know after God will be given by Him and that this will cause us to return to Him with our whole hearts. It is precisely what the Law could not do.
2012 - pBiblx2 Field Wise Bible System Version 2.0.9d - GPL3