The End of Jeremiah’s Ministry (Jeremiah 52:31 – 34; 2 Kings 25:27 – 30)

Scripture Text:

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Jeremiah 52:31 – 34

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!

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The End of Ezekiel’s Ministry (Ezekiel 29:17 – 21)

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Ezekiel 29:17 – 21

After Ezekiel’s great temple vision, it is another two years before the word of the Lord comes to him again. This time it comes as a somewhat strange footnote to the judgment which Ezekiel had brought 16 years earlier against the city of Tyre. God seems to be telling Ezekiel that He is giving Egypt to Nebuchadnezzar as a consolation prize. For such a brief passage, it raises several interesting  questions.

Do you think Nebuchadnezzar attacked Tyre and Egypt out of conscious obedience to the Lord?

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Ezekiel’s Great Temple Vision – Part 12: The Gates of the New City (Ezekiel 48:30 – 35)

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Ezekiel 48:30 – 35

  1. How many gates are there? Where are they located? What are they named after (verses 30 – 34)? Which two tribes share one gate (verse 32; see Genesis 48:5, 6)?

2. What is the name of the city (verse 35)? Given the nature of this book, why is this name especially significant? Do you think the Jerusalem envisioned by Ezekiel ever came to be? Was the name ever changed?

3. Do you think the book of Ezekiel ends abruptly? How would you have ended it? Considering the way it ends, what is especially important about Ezekiel’s prophecy?

4. The prophets often see the image of God living in the midst of a peaceful city. Why hasn’t it come to pass? Do you think we humans are called to build the “beautiful city”, or is that a job only for God?

5. In the apostle John’s vision of the “New Jerusalem” (see Revelation chapters 21 and 22), what kink of person will live there? Are you one of its citizens?

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