Egyptian Hebrews Warned (Jeremiah 44)


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Jeremiah 44

1. What “famous last words” have you had to eat recently? How did you feel when the other person go the last laugh?

2. When have you crowed, “I told you so”, over a similar fate happening to someone else?

3. Do you picture God as King or Queen? Is it possible to visualize God as neither male nor female?

4. The Jews flee the scene of the crime (the murder of Gedaliah’s murder) plus any who had been deported earlier (see 2 Kings 23:34) make up the “large assembly” (verses 1 and 15) to hear what would be Jeremiah’s last recorded prophecy. In this word of the Lord, what does Jeremiah try to explain (verses 2 – 6)?

5. What have the Jews in Egypt done (verses 7 – 10)? Does this surprise you, in light of all Judah has suffered? Why are they honoring Ishtar or the “Queen of Heaven” (verses 17 and 18; compare chapter 7:17 – 19)? What must their opinion of Yahweh be?

6. What does God promise in return (verses 11 – 14)? Who will be the few fugitives? Does Jeremiah’s prophecy surprise you?

7. Why do think this story of apostasy keeps playing over and over, with only the names or places changing?

8. What prophecy does Jeremiah make as a sign (verses 29 – 30)? Hophra was deposed and executed a few years later. What impact do you think Jeremiah’s accurate prediction would have on the Jews? Would that impact be any different than a current prediction of some astrologer coming true in a few years?

9. This chapter gives the end of Jeremiah’s story as we know it. Was his 40+ career a failure? How would you gauge his success as a prophet?

10. How can people hear God’s word, see God’s power and yet still misunderstand the message? In what sense were you like that with your parents? In what sense are you like that with God?

11. Would you say your life has been a success so far? On what basis? What constitutes failure?

  • falling short of a goal?
  • not seeing results for all you effort?
  • not trying hard enough?
  • making mistakes?
  • not making any mistakes?

12. Looking at out world’s sordid and bloody history, would you say God has been a success? Can God fail, or can He only succeed?

13. What do you regret? Do you have a lot of regrets? How do “regrets” point to sin? What do you do with “regrets”?



A Remnant Flees To Egypt (Jeremiah 41:16 – 43:13)


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Jeremiah 41:16 -43:13

1. When lost, do you just keep driving, or do you stop and ask for directions? How long have you been lost before you finally decided to consult a map?

2. What type of stone best describes you: hefty boulder to block the way? diamond in the rough? bedrock that can’t be penetrated? brick for building? pebble for a sling shot? other? Explain.

3. Why are the army officers afraid, even though they had nothing to do with Gedailah’s murder (chapter 41:16 – 18; see 2 Kings 25:25, 26)? How might Nebuchadnezzar interpret the act? What are  their options? What is “plan A”?

4. Are the people sincere in seeking guidance (chapter 42:2 – 6)? Why ask Jeremiah, if their minds are made up?

5. What do you suppose they were thinking about during the 10 day delay, waiting to hear from God (chapter 42:7)? What do you thing Jeremiah was during those 10 days?

6. What does God tell them and why (chapter 42:8 – 18)? What is wrong with the Jews following their natural instincts and “getting out of the kitchen if you can’t stand the heat (the Babylonians)”? Why would they want to live in Egypt anyway?

7. How does Jeremiah’s counsel go over (chapter 43:2, 3)? Does this surprise you after hearing all their promises? Or could you tell that their minds were already made up? How so? Why would they accuse Baruch of manipulating him? What do they think the Babylonians will do to them (chapter 43:3)? Why might they suspect Jeremiah and Baruch are not afraid?

8. Do you suppose Jeremiah and Baruch go along to Egypt willingly or unwillingly (chapter 43:4 – 6)? What was Egypt’s relationship with Babylon (see chapter 37:5; 2 Kings 24:7)? How would Nebuchadnezzar interpret a flight to Egypt?

9. What message does God give Jeremiah at the Egyptian border and why (chapter 43:8 – 13)?

10. Review the dialogue this past week between you and others. When were your questions really statements? When were your statements really questions? Do you have trouble being direct? When is it toughest to ask what you really want to know or say how you really feel?

11. In your decision-making process this past week, at what point did you seek God’s counsel? The input of others? Did you truly want advice, or simply a blessing on your plans?

12. Have you ever obeyed God’s word to you at a time when all your gut instincts said “no”? What happened as a result of your obedience?

13. When in doubt about someone’s intentions, do you assume the best or the worst? Are you naturally trusting or skeptical? Has anyone ever doubted your integrity, as they did Jeremiah’s? Why?

14. Do you prefer to call the shots in work situations? In relationships? What do you find objectionable about submitting to someone? When was the last time you deliberately surrender control? What happened?

15. Have you ever felt beyond God’s reach?Did God reach you after all? How so? Do you know anyone who feels “out of touch”, with God? How can you help?

Gedaliah Assassinated (Jeremiah 40:7 – 41:15)


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Jeremiah 40:7 – 41:15

1. Which political assassination do you remember most clearly? Did it affect you emotionally? Why or why not?

2. Do you have any hobby collection? What lengths do you go  to to collect and maintain your collection?

3. Are you a “pack-rat” (collecting everything)? If you had to suddenly clear out all of your stuff, what would be the last to go?

4. What sort of governor was Gedaliah (chapter 40:7)? What were the Jewish guerrilla commanders concerned about (chapter 40:8 – 10)?

5. Why do the Jewish refugees from the war return to Judah (chapter 40:11, 12)? What are their alternatives? What alternative is Ishmael pursuing and why (chapter 40:14 – chapter 41:1)?

6. Why would Baalis support this assassination plot? Why does Gedaliah find such a plot incredible? What is Gedaliah’s “fatal flaw”?

7. Why do the 80 Samaritans come to Judah (chapter 41:5; see also Jeremiah 16:6, 7)? Why does Ishmael ambush them (chapter 41:7, 8)? What political statement is made in filling King Asa’s cistern with the dead (chapter 41:; see 1 Kings 15:16 – 22)?

8. Ishmael could set up rule at Mizpah and declare war on Babylon. Why doesn’t he (chapter 41:10 – 12)? Why is his leadership divided?

9. To this day, Jews commemorate the assassination of Gedaliah with a day of fasting. Why do you think this event was so significant?

10. Do you think Gedaliah was right not to male a preemptive strike at Ishmael? Why or why not? What else could he have done to protect himself?

11. Are you a good judge of character? What sorts of things influence your impressions? Have you ever seriously misjudged someone’s intentions towards you?

12. Is there any situation in which you are tempted to take matters into your own hands and rid yourself of the person you can’t get along with? If violence only begets more violence, why would you do it? If running away from your problems or striking first doesn’t solve your problems, what does?