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A minor historical footnote brings to close the record of Jeremiah’s ministry. After a reign of some 45 years, Nebuchadnezzar is succeeded by his son Evil-Merodach (Amel-Marduk in Babylonian). Remember Jehoiachin had been taken captive 37 years earlier in the great deportation of 597 BC.
Whether Jeremiah is still alive at this time is unknown. His last prophetic utterance took place in 586 BC (after he had been taken to Egypt by a renegade band of his own people). At that time his ministry had spanned more than 40 years, and it had been about 25 years since then. In any event, the record of Jehoiachin’s release is probably added to Jeremiah’s prophecies by is faithful scribe, Baruch.
Although there will be other prophets and prophecies to come, the era of the great written prophecies of Isaiah, Jeremiah and Ezekiel now comes to a close. It’s appropriate that we’ve reached this point at the close of the year. Next week (in the new year), we will begin our study of Job and the problem of suffering. Undoubtedly, the book of Job will be our focus for the year 2017.
Happy New Year everyone!