Talks for Growing Christians
The Duration of Captivity
Lesson Number 22
- The Jewish captives in Babylon would be the good figs.
- The Jewish captivity in Babylon would be for 70 years.
- Your boss is God’s servant!
- This prophetic message came to Jeremiah after ___________ had been taken into captivity. Another prophet, ___________, was also taken into captivity at this time. The year was 597 BC.
- The prophets and people taken into captivity in 597 BC, noted here in chapter 24, were part of the _________ wave or deportation of captives taken to Babylon.
- The people taken into captivity during this time were represented by the _______ figs in the object lesson of the two baskets. The people who remained in Jerusalem and in the land of Judah were represented by the _____ figs.
- In chapter 25, the Lord clearly specified that the duration of the captivity in Babylon would be 70 years. What was the reason for the specified time of 70 years?
- In chapter 25, the message from the Lord to Jeremiah was recorded in the year 605 BC. It was during this year that Nebuchadnezzar defeated Pharaoh Neco at the Battle of ____________.
- Jeconiah (Jehoiachin) had been taken into captivity as well as the prophet Ezekiel.
- The prophets and people taken into captivity in 597 BC were part of the second wave or deportation. The first wave had taken place in 605 BC when Daniel was taken captive. The third wave took place in 586 BC when Jerusalem and the Temple were destroyed and the majority of the Jewish people were either killed or taken captive to Babylon.
- The people taken captive were represented by the good figs, and those who remained in Jerusalem or in the land of Judah were represented by the bad figs. It is important to note that the good figs represented the godly remnant that would know and love the Lord with their whole heart. Daniel, Ezekiel, Zerubbabel, Ezra, Haggai, Zechariah, Nehemiah and Malachi would all have been part of this godly remnant.
- We know from 2 Chronicles 36:20-21 that Israel had failed to keep 70 sabbatical years in the land. They deliberately disobeyed the Lord in this matter.
- The significant battle in which Nebuchadnezzar defeated Pharoah Neco in the year 605 BC was the Battle of Carchemish. This city guarded a main ford across the Euphrates River, and was located in what is now far-eastern Turkey (border area between Turkey and Syria).
- Jeremiah made it clear that God was about to bring judgment against all of His people. But consider the significant difference in what God promised each of the two groups of people (represented by the good and bad figs). For those who went into captivity, He promised, in verses 6 and 7, that He would bring them back, build them up, plant them so they could grow, and give them a heart to know Him. God also promised them that they would be His people and He would be their God, and that they would return to Him with their whole heart.
In contrast, in verses 8-10, God promised the people who remained in Jerusalem, in the land of Judah, and in Egypt, that He would deliver them to trouble for their harm, that they would be a reproach, a taunt and a curse in the lands in which He would drive them, and that He would send the sword, famine and pestilence among them until they were consumed.
Discuss the significance of the promises God made to those who went into captivity in Babylon, both in terms of the following few centuries, and in terms of the end times. Also refer to the background notes in the next lesson (23).
- How many days have you gone to work thinking of those in authority over you (such as your boss) as God’s servants? How often have you considered being God’s witness of the Gospel to them? Perhaps a frequent review of 2 Corinthians 4:15 and Rom. 8:28 would prepare your mind and heart to approach your workplace with a new understanding of God’s sovereignty, even in the work place.
- “Then I will give them a new heart to know Me, that I am the Lord; and they shall be My people, and I will be their God, for they shall return to Me with their whole heart.” Jeremiah 24:7