Jeremiah’s Self-Denial
as a Message to the Nation

16: 1-21

607 BC during the eleven-year reign of Jehoiakim

The life of a man or woman of God is hard, let alone a prophet of God. In order to get the attention of the people, ADONAI sometimes told the prophets to do unusual things. Isaiah gave two of his son’s odd names, which he used to convey a message to the nation (see the commentary on Isaiah Cf – The Sign of Maher-Shalal-Hash-Baz). Isaiah also dressed like a prisoner of war to call attention to a coming conflict (see the commentary on Isaiah Eh – The Oracle Concerning Egypt and Ethiopia).

The whole section is in an autobiographical style. Given the importance of children in that culture, this prohibition would have been startling to both the prophet and the people. The deprivations pictured here made Jeremiah’s life a picture of the terrible fate that awaited the nation (Co - You Must Not Marry and Have Sons and Daughters). The next file shows that the word of judgment is not God’s last word with respect to this people. The days are coming when YHVH will once again show favor and return (shuwb) Isra’el from exile (Cp - Judgment Before Final Restoration to the Land).


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