14 Dec. Jeremiah 29:1-12

14 Dec. Jeremiah prophesies the return of the exiles

“This is the letter that Jeremiah the prophet sent from Jerusalem to the elders who were among the captives, the priests and the prophets. He sent it to all the other people Nebuchadnezzar had taken as captives from Jerusalem to Babylon… “

“This is what the LORD All-powerful, the God of Israel, says to all those people I sent away from Jerusalem as captives to Babylon: ‘Build houses and settle in the land. Plant gardens and eat the food they grow. Get married and have sons and daughters. Find wives for your sons, and let your daughters be married so they also may have sons and daughters. Have many children in Babylon; don’t become fewer in number.’

“’Also do good things for the city where I sent you as captives. Pray to the LORD for the city where you are living, because if good things happen in the city, good things will happen to you also.’”

“The LORD All-powerful, the God of Israel says: ‘Don’t let the prophets among you and the people who do magic fool you. Don’t listen to their dreams. They are prophesying lies to you, saying that their message is from me. But I did not send them’, says the LORD.”

“This is what the LORD says, ‘Babylon will be powerful for 70 years. After that time I will come to you, and I will keep my promise to bring you back to Jerusalem. I say this because I know what I am planning for you,’ says the LORD. ‘I have good plans for you, not plans to hurt you. I will give you hope and a good future. Then you will call my name. You will come to me and pray to me, and I will listen to you.’”

          (Jeremiah 29:1-12)

 

 

In today’s reading, Jeremiah sent a letter of hope and consolation to the ten thousand Jewish captives who had been held in Babylon since King Jehoiachin's rebellion against Nebuchadnezzar in March 597BC: "This is what the LORD All-powerful, the God of Israel, says to all those people I sent away from Jerusalem as captives to Babylon: Build houses and settle in the land... Have many children in Babylon; don't become fewer in number... Pray to the LORD for the city where you are living, because if good things happen in the city, good things will happen to you also." (Jeremiah 28:4-7)

Jeremiah goes on to prophesy that Babylon will be defeated and the Jewish people will return to Jerusalem: "This is what the LORD says: 'Babylon will be powerful for 70 years. After that time I will come to you, and I will keep my promise to bring you back to Jerusalem'." (Jeremiah 29:10)

In the following chapter, Jeremiah speaks words of comfort and gives promises of hope to those in captivity in Babylon: "The LORD All-powerful says, 'At that time I will break the yoke from their necks and tear off the ropes that hold them. Foreign people will never again make my people slaves. They will serve the LORD their God and David their king, whom I will send to them." (Jeremiah 30:8-9)

In the New Testament, at the time when Jesus was born, the Jewish people were still expecting God to send another king- one like David - to defeat their foreign rulers (see Matthew 2:1-6).

The photo (by EdoM) shows the city walls of Jerusalem near the Tower of David.

You can read more from Chapter 32 of the Book of Jeremiah @ The Bible Journey | Words of hope and consolation


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