The Fruitless Prophet
Lesson 15 – After Jerusalem Fell
Jeremiah 40-44
Date: 27 January 2021 – Jer20
Dates and chronology are based largely on Used by permission.
1.         Jeremiah is freed and Gedaliah made governor (Jer 40)
a.          Jeremiah, being set free by Nebuzaradan, chose to stay in Judah with Gedaliah (40:1-6), (cf., 39:11-14). It is a blessing to see how God protected Jeremiah during the Babylonian takeover. When we walk in God’s will and obey Him, we need not fear what might happen to us. He will always do what is right.
b.          The scattered Jews return to Gedaliah (40:7-12). These people had eluded the Babylonians, but because of their sinful hearts, they continued down their sinful path to destruction. We cannot possibly hide from God when He is determined to discipline us for our sin.
c.           Johanan revealed Ishmael’s conspiracy but Gedaliah did not believe him (40:13-16).
KJBC, p. 901 records “In 1935 a seal inscribed ‘belonging to Gedaliah, the one who is over the house’ was found in the ashes left by Nebuchadnezzar when he burned Lachish.”
2.         Gedaliah is assassinated (Jer 41)
a.          Ishmael, treacherously killed Gedaliah and others and fled to the Ammonites (41:1-10). Evidently, God did not allow Gedaliah to believe that his life was in danger. Perhaps God allowed this to spare him the heartache of trying to lead this rebellious people.
b.          Johanan rescued the captives and made plans to flee into Egypt (41:11-18). They were fearful that the Babylonians would kill them or capture them because Gedaliah was dead.
3.         The remaining people asked Jeremiah for God’s guidance (Jer 42)
a.          Johanan and all the people asked Jeremiah to enquire of God, promising obedience to his will (42:1-6).
b.          Jeremiah assured them of God’s blessings if they remained in Judea (42:7-12)
c.           He warned him of sword, famine, and pestilence if they flee into Egypt (42:13-18).
d.          He warned them not to go into Egypt. He rebuked them for lying to him. He assured them that they would die by the sword, famine and by pestilence in Egypt (42:19-22). They had said that they would obey God, yet they had no intention of doing so. It is no small sin to try to lie to God. We too must be careful about this.
4.         Jeremiah is accused of lying and rebels go to Egypt (Jer 43)
a.          Azariah, Johanan, and all the proud men accused Jeremiah of speaking falsely (43:2). They claimed that Baruch gave him his false words (43:3). These men took by force all the people including Jeremiah and Baruch into Egypt (43:4-7).
b.          Once again, God’s faithful men, Jeremiah and Baruch, were persecuted and forced against their will. This time they were taken to Egypt. Sometimes God allows His faithful people to suffer that His name might be glorified. May the Lord help us to be faithful to Him for His glory!
c.           Jeremiah prophesied that Nebuchadrezzar would set his throne on stones that Jeremiah hid in Tahpanhes, Egypt (43:8-13).
Halley’s Bible Handbook, p. 318 tells us “Nebuchadnezzar’s annals state that he did invade Egypt in 568 B.C., which was 18 years after Jeremiah uttered the prophecy that he would (43:10). Three of Nebuchadnezzar’s inscriptions have been found near Tahpanhes.”
5.         Jeremiah’s prophecy concerning the rebels in Egypt (Jer 44)
a.          Jeremiah expressed God’s judgment against Judah for their idolatry (44:1-10). They would be cut off (44:7).
b.          He prophesied their destruction, because of their idolatry in Egypt (44:11-14). They would die by the sword, famine, and pestilence.
c.           The Jews were obstinate (44:15-19). They bluntly declared that they would continue in their idolatry.
d.          Jeremiah gave them God’s threatening words (44:20-28).
e.          For a sign that what he said would happen, he prophesied the destruction of Egypt by Babylon (44:29-30).
f.            The rebellious Jews thought they would be safe in the heart of the mighty nation of Egypt, but God planned differently. As we have noted before, the safest place on earth is in the centre of God’s will!
Halley’s Bible Handbook, p. 318 states, “The place and manner of Jeremiah’s death are not known. One tradition is that he was stoned to death in Egypt. Another is that he was taken from Egypt by Nebuchadnezzar, with Baruch, to Babylon, and died there.”