The Fall of Jerusalem (2 Kings 25; 2 Chronicles 36:15 – 23)

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2 Kings 25

2 Chronicles 36:15 – 23

The end has finally come. The fall of Jerusalem is recorded 4 times . . .

  • Sept 14: Jeremiah 39

  • Sept 16: Jeremiah 52

  • Today: 2 Kings 25 and 2 Chronicles 36:15 – 23

1. Do you know anyone who lives in a war zone? Occupied territory? The inner city? Why don’t they move?

2. This conflict story poses a dilemma: Is surrender ever noble? In what way do you need to surrender? To keep fighting? How do you know when to do what?

3. Is God still angry today? Over the same things? Does God judge nations and bring disaster on them? Why or why not?

4. Has God ever pulled everything out from under you? Without your last crutch or means of support, what happened when you fell? Do you dread falling again? Are you less afraid now?

5. Jehoiachin went into exile two years before the rest of Judah, but was given amnesty halfway through the 70-year period of exile? Why do you suppose that was?

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The Fall of Jerusalem (Jeremiah 52)

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Scripture Text:

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Jeremiah 52

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?

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The Fall of Jerusalem (Jeremiah 39)

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Scripture Text:

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Jeremiah 39

The end has finally come. The fall of Jerusalem is recorded 4 times . . .

  • Today (Sept 14): Jeremiah 39

  • Friday (Sept 16): Jeremiah 52

  • Monday (Sept 19): 2 Kings 25 and 2 Chronicles 36:15 – 23

1. What “family” movie have you seen recently that had far too much violence in your opinion? What is it about violence that attracts and repels you?

2. What is the longest you have gone without eating? Was it planned or forced on you? How did you “break fast”?

3. Imagine living in Jerusalem during the two-year Babylonian siege (verses 1 – 2). What would you fear the most?

  • giving up stones in my house to fortify the city walls?
  • not knowing when the end would come?
  • sure death by the sword?
  • slow death by famine?

4. Jeremiah had predicted the fall of Jerusalem for nearly 40 years. How many kings have heard his message during this time (see Jeremiah 1:2, 3; 2 Kings 22:1; 2 Kings 23:31, 36; 2 Kings 24:8, 18)?

5. What violence and torment is Zedekiah forced to endure (verses 5 – 9)? Do you feel sympathy for him? Why or why not?

6. Who does Nebuchadnezzar (and the Lord) spare and why (verses 9, 10, 12 – 14, 16 – 18)? Why does Babylon deport the ruling class and leave the poor people to tend the land (see 2 Kings 24:12 – 14)?

7. Why does Nebuchadnezzar treat Jeremiah so well? Has Jeremiah sold-out (see chapter 27:12; chapter 37:13)? Or is he in debt only to the Shaphan family (verse 14; see chapter 27:24)?

8. Why is God sparing Ebed-Melech (Ebed-Melek the Cushite) (verses 15 – 18; see chapter 38:10)?

9. When have you been in a no-win situation, as Jeremiah? Whom did God use to get you out of this tough spot?

10. How do you think Jeremiah (and God) felt when the city finally fell?

11. To whom could you show kindness and help out of a tough spot?

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