Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Notes on Jeremiah 3:6-6:30

Israel’s Sinfulness
·      The most common imagery of Israel’s sinfulness is that of spiritual adultery/harlotry (3:6-10 [cf. Ezek. 16:46; 23:1-11]; 3:20; 4:30-31; 5:7-9).
·      Another common theme in this section is the prideful rebellion and stubbornness of the people (4:3-4; 4:19-22; 5:11-13; 5:19-29; 6:10; 6:16-21; 6:27-30).

Israel’s Unfaithful Leaders
We also learn in this section that those who were supposed to be Israel’s spiritual leaders (priests and prophets) had failed to confront the people and warn them to repent.
·      Jeremiah thought the problem was only with the poor and ignorant, but in fact “all alike” had broken the yoke of submission to God (5:1-5).
·      The priests and prophets gave the people what they wanted (5:30-31; 6:13-15).
·      Interestingly, Jeremiah says that the Lord deceived the people, through the means of dishonest prophets (4:9-10; cf. 2 Thess. 2:10-12).

God’s Judgment
·      Jeremiah repeatedly warns the people about a fierce invader from the north (4:5-6; 4:16-17; 4:29; 5:15-17; 6:1-6; 6:22-26).
·      Another common set of images is that of predators (4:7; 5:6).
·      In 4:11-13 judgment is depicted as a hot east wind (the sirocco) blowing toward Jerusalem, perhaps ultimately pointing to God as the divine warrior coming on the clouds.
·      Another common picture of judgment in prophetic books is the undoing or reversal of creation, as in 4:23-26 (cf. Isaiah 13:10).

God’s Compassion
This section not only announces judgment, but it also points toward God’s restoration of  His people, a theme that will be the focus of Jer. 30-33.
·      Several times in this section the Lord promises to leave a remnant (3:14; 4:27; 5:10, 18).
·      God desires for His people to return and promises to restore them (3:12-18, 22-25).
·      Not only will Israel return, but the nations will also come to God (Jer. 4:1-2).

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