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Saturday, August 29 2015

Jeremiah 6: Armies From The North

"O ye children of Benjamin, gather yourselves to flee out of the midst of Jerusalem, and blow the trumpet in Tekoa, and set up a sign of fire in Bethhaccerem: for evil appeareth out of the north, and great destruction"

The prophet Jeremiah was a Levite whose family lived in the tribal territory of Benjamin (see The Inheritance Of The Levites and The Land Of Benjamin). Jerusalem was a southern border point of the tribal homeland of Benjamin, while Jerusalem was a northern border point of the tribe of Judah (see Judah's Homeland). Jerusalem (see also Salem In History And Prophecy) belonged to both tribes, as well as the Levites who served at the Temple.

The Division of The Kingdom under Rehoboam

"1:1 The words of Jeremiah the son of Hilkiah, of the priests that were in Anathoth in the land of Benjamin: 1:2 To whom the word of the LORD came in the days of Josiah the son of Amon king of Judah, in the thirteenth year of his reign." (Jeremiah 1:1-2 KJV)

When the LORD (see The LORD God Our Saviour) divided the united kingdom of Israel (see A History Of Israel's United And Divided Kingdoms and What Caused Solomon's Idolatry?) into two separate kingdoms, "Israel" and "Judah" (see Israel In History and Prophecy: Israel and Judah), it was a logical and natural choice for the tribe of Benjamin to remain with the kingdom that had Jerusalem as its capital - it was their city too (see A History Of Jerusalem: The Capital Of Judah and Jews - Three Tribes and Three Meanings).

"12:15 Wherefore the king hearkened not unto the people; for the cause was from the LORD, that he might perform his saying, which the LORD spake by Ahijah the Shilonite unto Jeroboam the son of Nebat.

12:16 So when all Israel saw that the king hearkened not unto them, the people answered the king, saying, What portion have we in David? neither have we inheritance in the son of Jesse: to your tents, O Israel: now see to thine own house, David. So Israel departed unto their tents.

12:17 But as for the children of Israel which dwelt in the cities of Judah, Rehoboam reigned over them." (2 Kings 12:15-17 KJV)

"12:21 And when Rehoboam was come to Jerusalem, he assembled all the house of Judah, with the tribe of Benjamin, an hundred and fourscore thousand chosen men, which were warriors, to fight against the house of Israel, to bring the kingdom again to Rehoboam the son of Solomon.

12:22 But the word of God came unto Shemaiah the man of God, saying,

12:23 Speak unto Rehoboam, the son of Solomon, king of Judah, and unto all the house of Judah and Benjamin, and to the remnant of the people, saying, 12:24 Thus saith the LORD, Ye shall not go up, nor fight against your brethren the children of Israel: return every man to his house; for this thing is from me. They hearkened therefore to the word of the LORD, and returned to depart, according to the word of the LORD." (1 Kings 12:21-24 KJV)

The Kingdom of Israel was conquered and exiled in 721 BC by the Assyrian Empire (see Israel In History and Prophecy: The Lost Ten Tribes), which was located to the east of Israel. The Kingdom of Judah was conquered and exiled in 586 BC by the Babylonian Empire (see Why Did Judah Fall To Babylon?), which was also located to the east of Israel. But their armies did not cross the vast eastern Arabian Desert (see also Paul's Geography Lesson) - the shortest and direct route. They instead followed the "Fertile Crescent" that, unlike the dry and barren desert, provided food and water for their massive armies all along the way. It was a route that Israel itself was created by (see the Fact Finder question below).

The result was that the invading armies from the east arrived in Israel and Judah from the north.

Ancient Mesopotamia

The Kingdom of Israel had already been long gone in Jeremiah's lifetime (see Why Didn't Jeremiah Live In The Kingdom Of Israel?), but the Babylonians were also coming - if the people of Judah failed to heed the LORD's warning to repent. From Jerusalem, Benjamin would be the first to have their border breached, hence Jeremiah's "O ye children of Benjamin, gather yourselves to flee out of the midst of Jerusalem, and blow the trumpet in Tekoa, and set up a sign of fire in Bethhaccerem: for evil appeareth out of the north, and great destruction."

"6:1 O ye children of Benjamin, gather yourselves to flee out of the midst of Jerusalem, and blow the trumpet in Tekoa, and set up a sign of fire in Bethhaccerem: for evil appeareth out of the north, and great destruction. 6:2 I have likened the daughter of Zion to a comely and delicate woman. 6:3 The shepherds with their flocks shall come unto her; they shall pitch their tents against her round about; they shall feed every one in his place.

6:4 Prepare ye war against her; arise, and let us go up at noon. Woe unto us! for the day goeth away, for the shadows of the evening are stretched out. 6:5 Arise, and let us go by night, and let us destroy her palaces.

6:6 For thus hath the LORD of hosts said, Hew ye down trees, and cast a mount against Jerusalem: this is the city to be visited; she is wholly oppression in the midst of her. 6:7 As a fountain casteth out her waters, so she casteth out her wickedness: violence and spoil is heard in her; before me continually is grief and wounds. 6:8 Be thou instructed, O Jerusalem, lest my soul depart from thee; lest I make thee desolate, a land not inhabited.

6:9 Thus saith the LORD of hosts,

They shall throughly glean the remnant of Israel as a vine: turn back thine hand as a grapegatherer into the baskets. 6:10 To whom shall I speak, and give warning, that they may hear? behold, their ear is uncircumcised, and they cannot hearken: behold, the word of the LORD is unto them a reproach; they have no delight in it. 6:11 Therefore I am full of the fury of the LORD; I am weary with holding in: I will pour it out upon the children abroad, and upon the assembly of young men together: for even the husband with the wife shall be taken, the aged with him that is full of days. 6:12 And their houses shall be turned unto others, with their fields and wives together: for I will stretch out my hand upon the inhabitants of the land, saith the LORD. 6:13 For from the least of them even unto the greatest of them every one is given to covetousness; and from the prophet even unto the priest every one dealeth falsely. 6:14 They have healed also the hurt of the daughter of my people slightly, saying, Peace, peace; when there is no peace. 6:15 Were they ashamed when they had committed abomination? nay, they were not at all ashamed, neither could they blush: therefore they shall fall among them that fall: at the time that I visit them they shall be cast down, saith the LORD.

6:16 Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk therein. 6:17 Also I set watchmen over you, saying, Hearken to the sound of the trumpet. But they said, We will not hearken. 6:18 Therefore hear, ye nations, and know, O congregation, what is among them. 6:19 Hear, O earth: behold, I will bring evil upon this people, even the fruit of their thoughts, because they have not hearkened unto my words, nor to my law, but rejected it. 6:20 To what purpose cometh there to me incense from Sheba, and the sweet cane from a far country? your burnt offerings are not acceptable, nor your sacrifices sweet unto me.

6:21 Therefore thus saith the LORD, Behold, I will lay stumblingblocks before this people, and the fathers and the sons together shall fall upon them; the neighbour and his friend shall perish.

6:22 Thus saith the LORD,

Behold, a people cometh from the north country, and a great nation shall be raised from the sides of the earth. 6:23 They shall lay hold on bow and spear; they are cruel, and have no mercy; their voice roareth like the sea; and they ride upon horses, set in array as men for war against thee, O daughter of Zion.

6:24 We have heard the fame thereof: our hands wax feeble: anguish hath taken hold of us, and pain, as of a woman in travail. 6:25 Go not forth into the field, nor walk by the way; for the sword of the enemy and fear is on every side. 6:26 O daughter of my people, gird thee with sackcloth, and wallow thyself in ashes: make thee mourning, as for an only son, most bitter lamentation: for the spoiler shall suddenly come upon us.

6:27 I have set thee for a tower and a fortress among my people, that thou mayest know and try their way. 6:28 They are all grievous revolters, walking with slanders: they are brass and iron; they are all corrupters. 6:29 The bellows are burned, the lead is consumed of the fire; the founder melteth in vain: for the wicked are not plucked away. 6:30 Reprobate silver shall men call them, because the LORD hath rejected them." (Jeremiah 6:1-22 KJV)

Fact Finder: How and when did Jacob / Israel's ancestors and descendants travel along the Fertile Crescent?
See Israel's Journeys Along The Fertile Crescent


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This Day In History, August 29

708: Coins made from copper were made for use in Japan (see also Solomon's Brass).

1350: During the Hundred Years war, a Spanish fleet of 40 warships was defeated by the English at the Battle of Winchelsea.

Vasco da Gama 1475: The Truce of Picquigny was signed, under which Edward IV of England agreed to withdraw his invading army from France in return for gold and a yearly pension.

1498: Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama prepared to leave Calicut (a city in southern India) and return to Portugal.

1526: The Battle of Mohacs in Hungary. Louis II of Hungary with an army of 24,000 was disastrously defeated by Suleiman I of Turkey (listen to our sermon The Ottoman Empire) with an army of 150,000. The king and nearly the entire Hungarian army were killed. Louis' defeat, which laid Hungary open to Ottoman/Turkish (the Ottomans were a ruling dynasty in Turkey) domination, was partly caused by the probably deliberate failure of John Zapolya to join Louis with his Transylvanian contingent. In 1687 Charles V of Lorraine routed the Turks on the same battlefield.

1756: Frederick II of Prussia (not to be confused with Russia; Prussia is in Germany - see also The Holy Roman Empire Of The German Nation) invaded Saxony, beginning the Seven Years War.

1786: Shays' Rebellion, an uprising of Massachusetts farmers, began in response to high debt and taxes. It was named after Daniel Shays, a veteran of the New England rebellion against England a decade earlier.

1825: Brazilian independence was recognized by Portugal.

1831: English scientist Michael Faraday discovered electromagnetic induction.

1842: The Treaty of Nanking was signed between the British and Chinese, ending the first Opium War. The treaty confirmed the ceding of Hong Kong island to Britain.

1885: The first motorcycle was patented, built by Gottlied Daimler in Germany.

1910: The Japan-Korea Treaty of 1910 (also known as the Japan-Korea Annexation Treaty) began the era of Japanese dominion of Korea.

1949: The Soviet Union detonated their first atomic bomb. The news was made public on September 22 when the U.S., Britain and Canada announced that they all had detected it.

1960: Jordanian Prime Minister Hazza El-Majali and 10 others were assassinated in an explosion set off by a time-bomb.

1962: A U.S. U-2 spy plane photographed Soviet technicians installing a SAM (Surface to Air Missiles) launch pad in Cuba (similar to U.S. missiles on the Russian border all across Europe). It was used as one of the excuses for the "Cuban missile crisis" 6 weeks later.

1974: Canadian astronomer Dr. A. G. Willis was credited with the discovery of "the largest object in the universe," a cloud of energy stretching 105,582,528,000,000,000,000 miles from end to end. It is 1.8 billion light years away.

1982: The synthetic chemical element Meitnerium (Atomic Number 109) was first synthesized, at the Gesellschaft für Schwerionenforschung in Darmstadt, Germany.

1991: The government of the Soviet Union suspended all political activity of the Soviet Communist Party that had ruled the country for over 70 years.

2003: Ayatollah Sayed Mohammed Baqir al-Hakim, the Shia Muslim leader in Iraq, was assassinated by a bombing that also killed about 100 bystanders as they were leaving a mosque in Najaf.

2005: Hurricane Katrina devastated a wide area of the U.S. Gulf Coast from Louisiana to the Florida, killing more than 1,800 people and causing over $80 billion in damage.


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