The Fruitless Prophet
Lesson 16 – The Rest of the Story
Jeremiah 52
Date: 3 February 2021 – Jer20
Dates and chronology are based largely on Used by permission.
This chapter gives us a summary of the end of the story, some of which is review.
1.         Rebellion (52:1-3)
a.          Zedekiah, the 21-year-old king, did evil in the sight of the Lord, just as his brother Jehoiakim had done (v.1-2).
b.          This angered the Lord and He cast them out of His presence (v.3).
c.           Zedekiah, against Jeremiah’s warnings, rebelled against Babylon (v.4).
2.         Siege (52:4-7)
a.          The Babylonian siege began in Zedekiah’s ninth year (v.4) and lasted until the eleventh year (v.5).
b.          By then end of those 18 months, the food in Jerusalem was all gone and the people were starving to death (v.6).
c.           The king and his soldiers tried to escape at night (v.7).
Because of their evil ways, God determined that they would die or be taken captive. Man can try to make his own plans, but no man can sidestep the plan of God if God has His mind made up.
3.         Capture (52:8-11)
a.          The Chaldeans overtook the escapees (v.8)
b.          They took the king to Riblah for judgment (v.9) (see map).
1)         Zedekiah watched his son’s execution (v.10).
2)         He watch the execution of all his princes.
3)         They then put out Zedekiah’s eyes, bound him in chains, took him to Babylon and put him in prison until his death (v.11)
4.         Destruction (52:12-16)
a.          The Babylonians burned the temple (v.13)
b.          They burned the king’s house and all the houses.
c.           They broke down the wall of Jerusalem (v.14)
d.          A few poor people were left to care for the vineyards and farms for the king of Babylon (v.16).
Remembering that God loved Israel, allowing His temple and the walls of His beloved city be totally destroyed must have hurt Him deeply. However, God’s holiness must override His feelings of love. Chastening is loving!
5.         Spoil Taken (52:17-23)
a.          Everything of value was carried from Jerusalem to Babylon including the huge pillars of brass before the temple (v.17). These pillars were huge. In verse 21 we read they were 18 cubits high (about 8.23m) and 12 cubits around (5.48m in circumference, about 1.8m in diameter) and four fingers thick. That is a LOT of brass.
b.          Both of the pillars had a crown on top that was another 2.28m high, also made of brass.
c.           The Babylonians also took all the articles from within the temple and wealthy houses (v.19).
6.         Executions (52:24-27)
a.          The chief priest, second priest, temple door keepers, a military leader, seven of the king’s bodyguards, the principle scribe and sixty other men were captured (v.24-25).
b.          The Babylonians executed them at Riblah (v.26-27).
7.         Exiled (52:28-30)
a.          Three groups of exiles are listed: 597, 586, 581. This does not include the first group in which Daniel was taken in 606.
b.          The total number was 4,600.
c.           Ryrie points out that “this third deportation in 581 B.C. was probably a punishment for the assassination of Gedaliah.” (Jer 41)
8.         Relief for Jehoiachin (52:31-34)
a.          Remember, Jehoiachin (also called Coniah, and Jeconiah), was the son of Jehoiakim. He had surrendered as Jeremiah told him to (2 Kings 24:12) “And Jehoiachin the king of Judah went out to the king of Babylon, he, and his mother, and his servants, and his princes, and his officers: and the king of Babylon took him in the eighth year of his reign.
b.          After 37 years in a Babylonian prison, God moved the new king of Babylon, Evilmerodach, to bring him out of prison (v.31; 2Ki 25:27).
c.           He treated him kindly, set him on a throne or seat of honour, took away his prison garments, and fed him continually before the king for the remainder of his life. This is truly amazing.
d.          Why would God allow this? Perhaps because he surrendered as God said to do. His father Jehoiakim and his two uncles refused to surrender. Perhaps in his heart he got right with God. We really do not know.
As we conclude this great book, we must remember the theme, repent and turn back to God or you will die or become slaves in Babylon. When we step away from God, His warning is the same, repent and return, or suffer the consequences. Keep your heart clean, tender and submissive!