No Balm in Gilead

8:4 to 10:25

Jehoahaz reigned only 3 months in 609 BC when Necho, Pharaoh of Egypt, removed him (Second Kings 23:31-33; 2 Chronicles 36:1-3). Even though Pharaoh Necho deposed Jehoahaz these far historical prophecies given by Jeremiah concern the final invasion by Nebuchadnezzar and the Babylonians twenty-three years later in 586 BC.

This section contains some of the most poignant imagery in Jeremiah. The Jewish people and their City are described as on their way to death because of their refusal to be faithful to YHVH. The two formal elements of the lawsuit, indictment and sentence, are at the heart of the prophet’s message. Judah, not ADONAI, had abandoned the covenant. Thus, judgment will come, either from invasion, destruction and death, or exile. This central theme is woven in a variety of ways. A counter theme to the lawsuit of guilt and judgment is the expression of grief that is felt by Isaiah, and of course, by God.


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