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Jeremiah 37

Talks for Growing Christians

The Imprisonment of Jeremiah

Jeremiah 37

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Lesson Number 35

Background Notes

Doctrinal Point(s)

  1. Unbelievers will ask for prayer but refuse to repent.
  2. Unbelievers will hate the messenger as well as the message.

Practical Application

  1. Try to separate the message from the messenger.

Questions

  1. Verse 1 of Jeremiah 37 confirms that the events of this chapter took place during the time of King Zedekiah, the last king of Judah. It was during this time that the _______ siege of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar took place, sometime between ______ BC and _____ BC.
  2. Verse 1 essentially skips over the 3 month reign of Coniah (Jehoiachin), the son of Jehoiakim. Why?
  3. Did King Zedekiah’s request for prayer (v 3) indicate that he had decided to repent?
  4. Verse 5 records the temporary lull in the siege of Jerusalem which took place when the Babylonians (Chaldeans) had to leave and fight the Egyptians. Remember, it was recorded in chapter 34 that it was during this time that the people of Judah reneged on their covenant with the Lord to release their ________.
  5. Why was Jeremiah thrown into the prison dungeon by the princes? Did King Zedekiah return Jeremiah to the dungeon after secretly talking to him?

Answers

  1. The final siege of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar took place during this time, between 588 BC and 586 BC.
  2. Coniah (Jehoiachin) was taken into captivity to Babylon so soon after he was named to be king that his throne was never established. Therefore, the prophecy of Jeremiah that Jehoiakim would leave no descendants sitting on the throne of David was fulfilled. (See Jeremiah 36:30.)
  3. King Zedekiah was unwilling to repent, even though he wanted Jeremiah to pray for him.
  4. During the lull in the siege of Jerusalem, the people of Judah reneged on their covenant with the Lord. They initially released their slaves as the Lord had commanded, but soon after took them back again.
  5. Because Jeremiah had preached to the king and the nation of Judah that the Word of the Lord was to surrender to Nebuchadnezzar, the captain of the guard logically assumed that Jeremiah had gone out of Jerusalem (v 12), by way of the Gate of Benjamin to surrender to the Babylonians. This was not true and Jeremiah told them so, but they would not listen. It became evident that the real reason they beat him and threw him into the dungeon was that they did not like the message Jeremiah was preaching - the message that Jerusalem would be conquered and burned. The king did not return Jeremiah to the dungeon, but he did further imprison him in the court of the prison, where he commanded that Jeremiah be fed daily.

Discuss/Consider

  1. Discuss the possibility that the property Jeremiah left the city to take possession of (v 12), was the field he had purchased at Anathoth. The record of his purchase is found in chapter 32.

Challenge

  1. Have you experienced hateful responses from people with whom you have shared the truth of the Gospel? Has the hatred surprised you? (See 1 John 3:13.) Has your love for them given you the confidence to continue to be the messenger of God’s love as well as His holiness?

Key Verses

  • “Therefore the princes were angry with Jeremiah, and they struck him and put him in prison in the house of Jonathan the scribe. For they had made that the prison.” Jeremiah 37:15

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