Scripture Text:(click to open in a new window or tab)
The end has finally come. The fall of Jerusalem is recorded 4 times . . .
Sept 14: Jeremiah 39
Today (Sept 16): Jeremiah 52
Monday (Sept 19): 2 Kings 25 and 2 Chronicles 36:15 – 23
1. Have you been particularly affected by any books or movies regarding war? Read or seen any more than once? Why?
2. Have you personally witnessed the horrors of war or assassinations? Have family or friends? How did you react at the time?
3. Have you ever picked a fight with someone, only to find out too late that you bit off more than you could chew? What happened?
4. Why do you think someone added this postscript to Jeremiah’s book (see chapter 51:64)? What does it add to the story already recorded in chapter 39?
5. What family ties, political forces and spiritual influences seem to have motivated Zedekiah to rebel against the king of Babylon (verses 1 – 4; see also Jeremiah 27:1 – 7; Jeremiah 37:5; Ezekiel 17:15, 16)?
6. What had Jeremiah (and God) advised Zedekiah when he first thought of rebellion (see chapter 27:12 – 14; chapter 29:4 – 9)? How about during the siege of Jerusalem (see chapter 38:14 – 23)?
7. When does it dawn on Zedekiah that he was biting off more than he could chew in the final showdown with Babylon (verses 4 – 7; 2 Chronicles 36:12, 13)? With tail between his legs, where does he go?
8. What is the net effect of Zedekiah’s revolt on him and his family? On Jerusalem? On the officials and the poor? On the Temple? What prophecy about the temple did this fulfill (see chapter 26:1 – 6)?
9. Why were some people singled out for execution (verses 24 – 27), while others were spared?
10. What was the reason for this disaster which fell upon Jerusalem (verse 3; Deuteronomy 29:22 – 28)?
11. After building throughout the book to God’s judgment upon Israel and Judah, are you surprised by the way in which the book ends? Why or why not?
12. Why do you think this happier note of Jehoiachin’s elevation follows the previous passage about Hezekiah’s rebellion and imprisonment?
13. What lessons from the book of Jeremiah are brought to mind by this postscript or second reading about the fall of Jerusalem? What else in Jeremiah do need to re-read to make sure you get the point God wants you to get?
14. Who is the “Jeremiah” or “Ezekiel” in your life who warn you when you’ve made a wrong turn or bad decision? Are you trying to tune them out (and God) in any way right now?
15. What is your gut reaction to the wrath of God revealed in this passage? Does it make you yearn for a happier ending? Or do you feel satisfied that the punishment fit the crime?